Tag: Medieval

Guest Review: Ever My Love by Lynn Kurland

Posted April 3, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Ever My Love by Lynn KurlandReviewer: Tracy
Ever My Love by Lynn Kurland
Series: MacLeod series #10
Also in this series: Till There Was You
Published by Jove
Publication Date: April 4th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Medieval, Time Travel
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three-half-stars

Two people are caught up in love—and in time—in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Stars in Your Eyes.

In search of a fresh start, Emma Barton has traveled to Scotland to try to forget her rocky love life. Luckily, the gorgeous Highlander who owns the house up the path from her rental cottage might be exactly the kind of distraction she needs. But there’s more to his intriguing qualities than she can explain—and she certainly isn’t buying into the local legends of Highland magic.

Nathaniel MacLeod is a man adrift, all thanks to the unwanted gift that forces him to continually jump between centuries. He never knows if he’ll wind up in the present day or the fourteenth century, but when Emma follows him back through time, he suddenly has more to worry about than keeping his separate lives straight…

Someone has started to notice Nathaniel’s travels and now, no time period is safe, for him or for Emma.

Nathaniel MacLeod has been traveling back in time off and on for the past 5 years.  When he hears or sees a certain date he feels the time portal open and he knows that he must get back to medieval Scotland as soon as possible.  He doesn’t know why it’s him that has to go or what the purpose is of him being there but he’s determined to figure it out.

Emma Baxter is in England to get away from her life in England.  She’s pretty much hiding from her ex-boyfriend an trying to figure out what she needs to do next in her life.  She meets Nathaniel because his is a neighboring home to the cottage she’s staying in.  They are instantly attracted to each other but Nathaniel seems to have so many secrets.

When Emma ends up stepping through a time gate and ends up in a dungeon it’s Nathaniel that has to save her.  When she does it again and the exact same events occur Nathaniel knows that he needs to figure out what part Emma plays in his time traveling but he’s not sure he can fix it and keep her with him at the same time.

This was another good book by Kurland.  I’ve only read a few books in the MacLeod series but I think after reading this one that I might have to go back and take care of that lack as meeting Nathaniel’s relatives, Patrick, Ian and Jamie was awesome. They helped both Emma and Nathaniel in many ways and seemed to be very good men.

While I really liked Both Emma and Nathaniel in this book and liked watching their relationship develop, there was a certain disconnection I felt with the book.  I’m not sure if the term is “disjointed” but I felt like the story was all over the place.  It may have been the lack of information we received about Emma and her situation back home as well as the secrets that Nathaniel was keeping about his work and family.  This issue definitely got better as the book went on and we got more info on them.  The latter part of the book was what saved this one for me.

I also was a little disappointed in the physical contact between Emma and Nathaniel.  Yes, I know that Kurland’s books are clean – no sex – but this one had them kiss once.  Once!  And that was a peck if I remember correctly.  I don’t mind clean books but I definitely think the H/h need to have a bit more contact throughout the book – at least more than a peck. But that’s just me. 🙂

While definitely not my favorite book in the series it was a good one that I found entertaining.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Guest Review: Much Ado About Highlanders by May McGoldrick

Posted May 13, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Much Ado About Highlanders by May McGoldrickReviewer: Tracy
Much Ado About Highlanders by May McGoldrick
Series: The Scottish Relic Trilogy #1
Also in this series: Taming the Highlander, Tempest in the Highlands
Published by St. Martin's Press, Swerve
Publication Date: May 3rd 2016
Genres: Medieval, Historical
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three-half-stars

In the heart of Scotland, this Highlander is about to meet his match in a brand new romance from bestseller May McGoldrick.

Highland warrior Alexander Macpherson has lost his wife. When he agreed to take Kenna Mackay as his bride to advance his clan’s power in the north, he expected a bit of an adjustment. He didn't expect the sharp-tongued beauty to run away on their wedding night. Still, Alexander wants his runaway bride…and he has the sneaking suspicion that she wants him, too.

Kenna Mackay thought she was safe in a priory full of nuns learning the craft of healing, but when she is kidnapped by her own husband, the battle of wits begins anew. But even as passions ignite, a deadly secret from Kenna's past rises to the surface and put their new love in jeopardy. As a heartless villain closes in, two headstrong lovers find themselves locked in a struggle between evil and the power of undying love. And this time, Alexander is determined he will not lose his wife again.

Six months ago Kenna Mackay and Alexander Macpherson were married.  That night Kenna ran off to a priory and has been there ever since.  Their fathers and Alexander’s brother work up a plot to get the two together permanently.  They figure once they’re together they can work out their issues and all will be well.  Little did the plotters know that there was an Englishman razing villages and murdering people to try and find four magical runes – one of which belongs to Kenna.

The runes each have their own power.  One allows the person to talk to the dead, one the power or healing, one allows the person to see someone’s past and the other allows someone to see the future.  The Englishman will stop at nothing to get the runes so Alexander must keep his hot-headed wife safe – especially when he figures out that he loves her and can’t live without her.

This story was pretty fun and funny.  I really liked both Alexander and Kenna.  They were both really strong-willed and they weren’t afraid to tell anyone exactly what they were thinking.  They’ve each got vicious tongues and they’re not afraid to use them.

Kenna was raised by her father after her mother died and even though she had been his little girl up to that point he then became a man who treated her poorly and demeaned her at every turn.  After being put down so many times she knew that she wasn’t what Alexander (the next Macpherson laird) needed in a wife so that’s why she ran off after her wedding.  Once she got to know Alexander better she realized that she was good for him and soon fell in love.

Alexander was a good man.  He only wanted his wife back and couldn’t figure out why she ran off in the first place.  He knows that he should have gone after her immediately after she ran but he figured she needed time.  Once they were thrown together and were on the run from the Englishman he knew that he couldn’t ever let her go.  He took good care of her but let her be her own woman as well and I liked that about him.

There was also a secondary romance with Kenna’s cousin, Emily and Alexander’s brother, James.  They fell in love quickly but there were obstacles in their way – one being that Emily was already betrothed.  They had their issues but this too was a cute romance.

The story jumps around a bit going from Kenna and Alexander’s story to Emily and James’s story to the Englishman and his lackey’s story.  I found it annoying that the parts of the book that were about the Englishman were italicized.  Why?  If they were flashback events I could understand but they weren’t so I didn’t get the point of that at all.

In the end the story was a good one but we were left hanging a bit as to what happened with the Englishman.  I’m gonna assume that we’ll find out more about the other two women who have the stones in future books but I can’t be sure about that.  It would be cool to see how things pan out, if that’s the case.  If you like a relatively light-hearted Scottish romance, then this one would be a good one to read.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Guest Review: Her Warrior King by Michelle Willingham

Posted March 16, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Her Warrior King by Michelle WillinghamReviewer: Tracy
Her Warrior King by Michelle Willingham
Series: MacEgan Brothers #2
Published by Harlequin
Publication Date: January 1st 2008
Genres: Historical, Medieval
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four-stars

He has wed her, but will not bed her!

Blackmail forced Patrick MacEgan into marriage— although he could not be forced to bed his Norman bride. But Isabel de Godred was as fair as she was determined to be a proper wife….

She wished to help her proud warrior king with the burden of his responsibilities. As queen, she could aid an alliance between their people. As wife, she longed to comfort him, for when alone, they could put aside war and be but man and woman….

Patrick MacEgan is a king in Ireland. His fortress and people are attacked by Norman forces and many of his people, including his older brother, had been killed. Lord Edwin de Godred, who conquered his tribe, wants to be in good favor with King Henry and since Henry wants to unite the two countries de Godred wants to put Norman men into the Irish fortress, forcing the people to live together. He also wants Patrick to marry his daughter Isabel as the alliance will look good to King Henry. Patrick really doesn’t have a choice if he wants to save his people but he’s certainly not happy about the marriage or having the Norman soldiers in his fortress.

Patrick shows up to marry Isabel but he doesn’t plan on consummating the marriage and there’s no chance he will ever have kids with her as he wouldn’t take the chance that his sons would have Norman blood. The problem starts when he actually starts to like Isabel. Though she’s pretty much exiled on an island near his fortress she finds ways to challenge him constantly. Patrick tries to stay away from her but he finds himself drawn to her.

Isabel wants nothing more than for her marriage to work. She didn’t want to to marry Patrick but now that it’s done she wants to make the best of it. She constantly defies Patrick but wants to help him and what she ends up doing actually works to bring the two sides, the Irish and the Norman, together. The question remains, however, will Patrick ever see her as anyone more than a burden and can she make him fall in love with her as she loves him.

Though I read this book out of order (I unknowingly read them in publishing order instead) I loved seeing how the brothers worked together to save their tribe and fortress. Patrick was one stubborn man but I understood the reasons he kept himself apart from Isabel. Once he finally let her into his heart I knew that he wouldn’t be able to resist her.

Isabel was a piece of work – in a good way. She was determined not to be ignored and to make the Normans and the Irish to work together. Her ideas were shot down by Patrick but when she went ahead and put them into play herself they turned out working. I loved her ingenuity. Yes, some of it was done selfishly so that she could be with Patrick but it ended being a benefit to everyone. She was a kind woman but strong, independent woman but still very kind and generous. I loved her character and was so happy when Patrick finally pulled his head out and saw what a treasure she was.

I haven’t read many Irish historical romances before but I have to say that I’ve really enjoyed the MacEgan series so far (I’ve read books 2-5) and I’m looking forward to reading more in the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Guest Review: The Highlander’s Runaway Bride by Terri Brisbin

Posted February 9, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Highlander’s Runaway Bride by Terri BrisbinReviewer: Tracy
The Highlander's Runaway Bride by Terri Brisbin
Series: A Highland Feuding #2
Published by Harlequin Historical
Publication Date: February 23rd 2016
Genres: Historical, Medieval, Scottish
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four-stars

When Eva MacKay learns her father has bartered her off to a warrior from a neighboring clan, she has no choice but to run away, taking her dark secrets with her. Freedom is now within her grasp!

Dutiful highlander Rob Mackintosh tracks down his runaway bride, only to be stunned by the fireworks that erupt between them. For behind Eva's timid smile lies a headstrong beauty, and Rob knows, no matter what, this marriage is going to be full of surprises!

Eva fell in love and that love produced a child.  The day the baby is born, however, Eva’s father takes it from her and expects her to go on as if nothing has happened.  They had traveled far from their home to hid the pregnancy but the minute they get back to their clan Eva’s father announces that he’s marrying her off to someone.  Still sick with fever from the birth of her daughter, Eva takes off to find her little one.

Rob isn’t thrilled that his cousin has promised him in marriage but he loves his cousin and will do anything for him.  He heads to MacKay lands only to find out that his soon to be bride has runaway.  He heads off to find her but when he does she’s injured and still sick with fever.  He nurses her back to health and then marries her.

Eva knows that Rob is a nice guy but she longs for her child (which he still knows nothing about).   She’s dejected and withdrawn but Rob soon pulls her out of her depression and the pair soon find common ground in their marriage bed. When Rob finds out Eva’s secrets, however, it may be the end of the love that’s flourished between them.

Well, this was certainly not what I though was going to happen when I read the blurb to this book but I was pleasantly surprised with the story.  I liked Rob a lot, even though near the end he has his oh-my-god-you’re-a jerk moment.  He wasn’t thrilled about marrying Eva but was determined to make the most of it and actually found himself falling in love with her.  It was very sweet but also pretty heart-wrenching for him as he just couldn’t seem to make her happy.

Poor Eva.  My heart just broke for her because of all that had happened to her.  I hate that it did but I SO wish that she would have been forth-coming with Rob when they started getting closer.  I felt she should have known by then that he was a good guy and would understand but her father, the bastard, threatened to kill her daughter if she ever said a word.  Instead he found out another way and then twisted it all up in his head to be something it wasn’t.  Such a horrible start to the marriage but it all ended well in the end.

The book was a sad one that hurt my heart but was well done and definitely enjoyed reading it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Reading Order:

Stolen by a Highlander
The Highlander’s Runaway Bride

four-stars

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Guest Review: The Highlander Who Loved Me by Adrienne Basso

Posted December 22, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Highlander Who Loved Me by Adrienne BassoReviewer: Tracy
The Highlander Who Loved Me by Adrienne Basso
Published by Zebra
Publication Date: December 29, 2015
Genres: Historical, Medieval
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three-half-stars

Scottish Highlands, 1329. Sir James McKenna, second son of the powerful McKenna Chief, knows he has found his destiny when he falls in love with sweet Lady Davina Armstrong, niece of the Armstrong Chief. Orphaned in childhood, Davina has always felt like an outsider, and with James finally feels that she belongs. But their plans for a happy future are shattered after a brutal attack by a band of rogues. Horrified, Davina’s overprotective family quickly shelters her from everyone—including James…

Five years later, James is a changed man. His fighting skills sharpened to perfection, he is hardened by the war and destruction he’s endured as a Scottish knight—and by the loss of Davina. Weary, he returns home—and is shocked to find Davina there. Is it too late for them to start anew, or will the past dare to lay claim to their future once more?

James McKenna is completely smitten with Davina Armstrong in the first days that he meets her.  He stays at her father’s keep for a while and they end up falling in love.  He proposes and she accepts but before they can even blink they’re attacked by brigands and Davina is assaulted.  She tells James that not only can’t she marry him now but she can’t marry any man (as she has no idea if she was raped or not).  Just looking at James brings it all back to her and she sends him away.

Five years later Davina is corresponding with James’s mother and is invited to McKenna lands for Christmas.  She has pretty much made herself a prisoner for the past five years and hasn’t even been out of the castle gates in all that time.  She can hardly stand the sound of loud male voices and she certainly can’t take being touched by one.  She is determined, however, to be a stronger woman and ends up going traveling against her aunt and uncle’s wishes.

The first night she’s there they family is eating dinner when James, who hasn’t been home in five years because of being the Crusades, returns.  He’s not necessarily happy to see Davina as he’s worked hard the past years to try and forget her.  He wasn’t successful and seeing her again brings back all of the old feelings.

When the McKenna finds out that Davina’s traveling party was attacked while en route to the castle he feels that it would be safer for her to be married and have the McKenna protection so strongly encourages her to pick either James or his brother as a husband.  Davina refuses but that doesn’t stop James’s brother Malcolm from giving it his best shot.  Davina is still in love with James and as much as James tries to stay away from her he find he just can’t.  Getting married, however, doesn’t keep Davina safe and together the pair has to find out who is behind all of the trouble.

The first part of this book, with James and Davina getting attacked was pretty heart wrenching.  I felt so horrible for Davina that she had no idea if she’d been raped or not and certainly didn’t blame her for her self-imposed seclusion.  She truly wanted to be “normal” again but her aunt and uncle (who she’d lived with since her parents died) encouraged her hermit-like behavior. I wanted her to break out of her shell because I knew that she could do it.

When she got to the McKenna keep and Malcolm started paying attention to her I wasn’t thrilled. He had no idea that she had been romantically involved with James or how deep that relationship had been.  I don’t feel she purposely tried to make Jame jealous but I was a bit miffed that she felt so comfortable with Malcolm.  He wasn’t a bad guy but he need to grow up a bit, that’s for sure.

I was happy that James finally broke out of his gruff I-don’t-give-a-shit attitude he became a really nice guy.  He was so determined to not let Davina effect him again that he was a bit of a bastard but he finally became the loving man he had been before – just able to protect her better.

Overall I liked the story.  It was a decent romance and the suspense portion of the story was enough that it kept me interested.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars

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