Tag: Michelle Willingham

What I Read Last Week

Posted August 26, 2013 by Tracy in Features | 1 Comment

How is everyone? What have you been up to lately? Tell me everything!

Things here have been…interesting. My oldest daughter is trying to feel her oats and in the process is making me feel..mental. Ah the joys of having a 15 year old. All I can say on the matter is if you’re the praying sort please put us in your prayers cuz we can use all we can get.

On to what I read this past week:

First up for the week was Freefall by Tess Oliver. This was a book I saw on Goodreads and was interested. The story is about a tattoo artist and his relationship with a girl who already has a boyfriend but the boyfriend is controlling and well, whack. It was an interesting and good book but I definitely had some issues with it. You can read all of my thoughts on the story here in my review. 3.5 out of 5

Next up was The Vampire With the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrelyn Sparks. Dougal is a vampire who was once in love. His love died but when he meets geneticist Leah Chen he believes that she may have the soul of his dead love. He does fall in love with Leah – whether she’s Li Lei or not but he doesn’t believe he’s the best person for her. Leah has a problem believing that vampires can be good people but eventually she does especially when she realizes she’s falling in love with Dougal. I’ll post my review of this one this week so you can read my thoughts on the book. 3 out of 5

To All The Rakes I’ve Loved Before by Anne Barton is a novella that has our heroine Amelia taking a beaten man into her home when her mother’s away. Amelia nurses Stephen back to health and they realize they have feelings for the other. It was a sweet story and though it all happened rather quickly I thought it was well done. 4 out of 5

Unexpected by Maisey Yates is the story of Kelsey who wants a child and finally does something about it by having in vitro. Cole finds out that his sperm was used accidentally and that he’s now going to be a father. Kelsey and Cole try to come to terms with the fact that they will be co-parenting but also with the fact that they find themselves falling in love. It was a cute story that I had more than a few niggles with but it was a decent read. 3 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)

Unbound by Cara McKenna has Merry hiking across part of Scotland but falls ill and seeks help from Rob who is a recluse. She brings him out of his shell and they find compatibility sexually with Rob as the submissive. Rob’s got his shame to deal with about his alcoholism and the fact that he never dealt with it – more just ran away from it. It was a decent read that I thought was well written but I personally wasn’t a fan of the sex scenes on a certain level. My biggest issue was the end of the book when they fall in love but we see no solid HEA. Very disappointing. 3.5 out of 5 (read for Book Binge – FYI: releases in October) 

Last for the week was To Sin With A Viking by Michelle Willingham. This story has Styr and his wife Elena heading off to Ireland to start a new life. They have a tumultuous marriage and Styr hopes that this new life will give them what they need to get things on track. They are attacked when they hit land and taken hostage. Styr by Carragh who just wanted to save her brother from certain death at Styr’s hands. After a while she lets him go and agrees to go find her brother, his men and his wife with Styr. Throughout their time together they find themselves falling in love but of course he’s married. I liked the story and I liked the h/h to a point. Unfortunately I don’t normally read books about infidelity. Styr kisses Carragh a couple of times and does touch her sexually in a minor way – but it’s the emotional infidelity that really got me. I just wish that this could have been a story of the two of them without the wife involved – it would have been great. 3 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Ad-Dick-tion Volume 3: 10 Tales of Hot Male Obsessions by Various Authors
Lover at Last by JR Ward

Happy Reading!

Guest Review: Tempted by the Highland Warrior by Michelle Willingham

Posted September 12, 2012 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Judith’s review of Tempted by the Highland Warrior (MacKinloch Clan #3) by Michelle Willingham

After years of brutal torture, Callum MacKinloch is finally at of his captors–but his voice is still held prisoner. He’d never let anyone hear him scream.Although Lady Marguerite de Montpierre’s chains may be invisible, they threaten to tie her to a loveless and cruel marriage.

When Marguerite discovers Callum waiting to die, her heart aches for the warrior beneath the suffering–but they can have no future. Yet she is the one woman with the power to tame the rage locked inside him. Maybe he can find another reason to live…for her.

We often encounter kindness in many forms and most of us realize that kindness is one of the most sneaky human actions. Just simple kindness, the sort that reaches out in small measure, the variety that simply expresses concern and caring in the most minor way, has the unbelievable power to overwhelm depression, hopelessness, and deepest despair, the kind that overwhelmed Callum in a time when slaves and captives were less valuable than manure on the bottom of the shoes of their captors. The torture was extreme and the pain almost unendurable. Simple kindness to Callum at a time when his life was almost at an end was deeply imprinted on his spirit and he kept the small piece of fabric that always represented Marguerite’s kindness, her treatment of him as a man of worth.

This story is filled with seeming dead ends that keep the reader on the edge of the chair, with readers often convinced that Marguerite and Callum have no future. Time and time again it is only Callum’s unflagging determination and Marguerite’s willingness to participate in the intrigue against those who would keep them apart that makes it possible for them to be together at all. All this together with the politics of the times, there is a steady level of tension throughout the story. It is one of those wonderful historical novels that not only entertains but educates as to the politics of the times, the social norms, the attitudes and actions that mark the clear boundaries between nationalities and the prejudices that drive people and their decisions. Yet at the center of this story is the tender regard, the deep love that allows two people to find their way toward each other, the love that makes it possible for a man to once again find his voice. This novel is a beautifully written offering that will please readers who love historical romance that is complicated, involved, and steeped in the social and political context that makes this time period on history so colorful and intriguing to contemporary readers.

I have read other novels from this time period and this author has not trouble, in my mind, at holding her own with the best of them. Lovers of historical fiction owe it to themselves to experience and enjoy this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5

The Series:

Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Harlequin Historical. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

What I Read Last Week

Posted July 9, 2012 by Tracy in Features | 5 Comments

Well it was an ever so exciting week in Tracyland this past week.
As I stated last Monday my new boss started and so far so good. She’s a very nice woman and though it was a pretty quiet week with her getting to know the place, etc. it was all good. Cross fingers that things continue to go well. 🙂
Then it was my baby’s 10th birthday yesterday. 10! How the heck did that happen? lol She was gearing up for the day and her party all week. We had the party at a local gym and the kids had a great time doing all the fun gym stuff as well as rock climbing & jumping into the pit of foam blocks. I called it the pit of doom because it seemed once the kids got in they had a damned hard time getting back out. lol  They all loved it of course. Here’s a few pictures:
The Pit of Doom
Her first time rock wall climbing
I think she wanted to stay in the pit forever
 We did have a bit of an OMG moment before the party when we went to pick up the cupcake cake. They, uh, spelling my daughters name wrong. Since the name was the only thing printed on the thing it was a bit obvious. My daughters name is KYRA. The cake said KRYA. Yeah, so much for spelling the name for the bakery worker and repeating it back and forth on the phone 4 times. They changed it while we waited but the colors were off and yeah, it was a bit disappointing. Thank God I just laughed about it – I mean, what could I do, right? 🙂 The saddest thing was that in the end the cupcakes were great but the frosting was horrible. Oh well – can’t have it all. 
Anyway, on to what I read last week:
I started off the week with Tempted by the Highland Warrior by Michelle Willingham. This was a medieval story of a boy who has been a slave for most of his life and had been constantly tortured. The fiancé of the man who is doing the torturing helps the slave and they form a sort of bond that becomes unbreakable. You can read my full review here. 4 out of 5
Next up was The Lady is a Vamp by Lynsay Sands. Book 17 in the Argeneau story has us FINALLY getting Jeanne Louise’s story. She’s quite young in vamp years – only 102 – so she wasn’t expecting to meet her life mate for maybe hundreds of years. She meets hers, however, when he kidnaps her so that she can turn his daughter into an Immortal to save her from dying from cancer. It’s a great love story and was a bit heart-wrenching because of the daughter but also what happens between Jeanne Louise and her life mate Paul. I’ll post my review for this later this month. (releases 7/31/12) 4 out of 5
My next book was Larkspur Road by Jill Gregory. This is book 2 in the Lonesome Way series and it was a good book. The story focused not only on the love story between Mia and Travis but also the troubles Travis’s son was having, an issue with Mia’s great-aunt and Mia’s niece, Brittany. A sounds story but light on the romance because of everything else that was going on. You can read my full review here on Book Binge. 3.25 out of 5
Forever a Lady by Delilah Marvelle is the story of an English Aristo living in New York with her millions and her finding love with a man who lives in Five Points – one of the very worst parts of New York. They actually meet while both of them are in England and Matthew falls for Bernadette almost immediately. Bernadette never wants to marry again after living for 12 years with her now deceased husband who was 43 years older than her. The book was not only about their love story but Matthew seeing a new life for himself, moving in that direction and becoming the man he always knew he could be. I’ll post my review of this later this month. (releases 7/24) 3.75 out of 5
Doubtless by Cat Grant was my last read for the week. This story has to do with Steve who was a character in Grant’s book, Priceless. I’ll post my review for this one this week.
My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Happy Reading!

Review: Tempted by the Highland Warrior by Michelle Willingham

Posted July 8, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

After years of brutal torture, Callum MacKinloch is finally free of his captors–but his voice is still held prisoner. He’d never let anyone hear him scream. Although Lady Marguerite de Montpierre’s chains may be invisible, they threaten to tie her to a loveless and cruel marriage.

When Marguerite discovers Callum waiting to die, her heart aches for the warrior beneath the suffering–but they can have no future. Yet she is the one woman with the power to tame the rage locked inside him. Maybe he can find another reason to live…for her.

Lady Marguerite is at the home of her betrothed when she is awoken by a scream. Despite her fear she heads out to the bailey to find a man near death as he has been whipped. But he wasn’t the man who had screamed as he cannot speak. Callum has been a prisoner since he was just 10 or 11 years old. He has learned to keep his screams to himself as they seemed to give his torturers greater satisfaction when he let them out. Because of this he had more or less not only blocked his screams but his ability to speak as well. When a woman who seems like an angel comes to his rescue he’s sure he’s died and gone to heaven. She treats his wounds and then lets him know that she’ll never forget her.

Callum is eventually freed by his brothers and her fiancé is killed in a battle but that doesn’t stop her father from arranging yet another marriage for her. Her father takes her away to his home but Callum follows in order to fight for her. The problem is, no matter what either of them want, money and power will overpower their love. Marguerite’s father thinks he’s doing what’s best but doesn’t pay attention to what his daughter wants. He forces another engagement on her and when he finds out about Callum sends him far away.

I can’t possibly tell you how heartbreaking this story was. Even toward the end I just couldn’t see how Callum and Marguerite were going to manage to have their happily ever after. So many obstacles were standing in their way but they still fought for each other.

Callum was great. He seemed like a much older man than his 19 years but I guess being a prisoner and slave for most of your life would age you. He was fierce in his love for Marguerite and I loved his strength and perseverance. Sure he had times of thinking that he wasn’t good enough as she had grown up with lots of money and he was just a poor third son but he quickly squashed those thoughts and moved on. He was quite the hero and I was pulling for him through the whole story.

Marguerite was the type of heroine that I thought I would dislike but really she was quite amazing when it all came to a head. At first she knew that she had to follow her father’s wishes but as the story went on she began to realize that she had a brain and feelings and she should use them and make others pay attention to them. I loved how she finally stood up to her father which I imagine back then was A) not done and B) extremely hard for her to do. How she eventually made her way back to Callum showed her strength and stubbornness and I loved it.

Overall it was a great book but not really one that I would say was a happy tale. Callum and Marguerite fight to be with each other for most of the book and it was quite heart-wrenching at times and this made for major angst. It was well worth the read though and I’m so glad I read it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Michelle Willingham

What I’ve Been Reading This Week

Posted May 17, 2009 by Tracy in Features | 15 Comments

It was a quiet week as far as events went. My hubby had to go back to Vegas for a convention/show/whatever for his work so he left Thursday and didn’t get back until last night. Gave me time to read more though. heh. Always a good thing imho.

The girls are doing well in their jazz and taekwondo classes. (no it’s not a combined class! lol) Now that I’ve got them settled in I can just plant it at the taekwondo studio and read for an hour with no interruption. That’s sheer heaven right there, let me tell ya.

Kris and I did announce that the Book Sluts ‘R’ Us Blogger Award winner was Wendy, our very own Super Librarian. Congrats to her once again.

I read a lot of good books this week!

First up was The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley. Although I have one of her other books on my shelf I’d not read this author before. I truly loved this book. I know it won’t hold that appeal for everyone but it was just a fabulous read for me. You can read my review here.

Next up was Burning Alive by Shannon K. Butcher. This was an impulse buy for me and my first read by this author. I believe I saw the cover on Kmont’s blog a while back so when I saw the book on the shelf it caught my attention. It was a pretty good book. There was some stock paranormal elements in it but it did have a nice story to tell. I have to say that this being a series it did leave me a lot of questions unanswered at the end of the book. I’m sure that was the authors intention but I personally would have enjoyed the book more had I received more answers. 3.75 out of 5

The next book up was Three Alarm Tenant by Charlotte McClain. This was a book that I read for The Book Binge and I’ll let you know when the review posts.

My Tracy’s TBR Challenge Read for this week was Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer. I love Jennifer Crusie’s books but hadn’t read one of the books she wrote with Bob Mayer. I don’t know why I waited so long to read this book! I really loved it. It was a fun, funny, lol suspense book. I just loved Agnes and of course the hitman, Shane, was wonderful. Not something I would usually say…hitman was wonderful…but in this instance the shoe definitely fits. Great book. 5 out of 5 from me. There just wasn’t anything I didn’t like about the book.

The newest release by friend and fellow DIK Lady, Katie Reus, is Dangerous Deception. I bought and read this the day it came out (Friday). This was a story about Sage and Trent. After Sage’s sister was murdered Sage decided to travel and do all of the things that her and her sister had talked about but never done. Now she’s settled in a quiet town and wants to go on with her life. Trent, a man that she spent 1 glorious week with shows up unexpectedly and just when Sage starts to get threatened by an unknown villain. Trent got a little he-man-I’m-in-charge-now for my liking at times but overall I enjoyed the story. 4 out of 5

Next book was Aftershock by Jill Shalvis. This was an impulse read but I think it will be my Year of the Category read for the month. That being said I’ll post my review on this on the 26th.

The Unlacing of Miss Leigh by Diane Gaston is a Harlequin Undone. It was a short historical story about Miss Leigh who takes a position as a companion to a scarred gentleman. She knows the man from her past but he doesn’t know who she is. It’s a cute little story. 3 out of 5

Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre was my next read. I very much enjoyed this book. I don’t normally read a book when I know that there will be no HEA at the end but it had been raved about so much that I just needed to dive in. I’m so glad I did. It had a great story, great characters and never a dull moment. Corine, the story teller, was the main character and while I liked her for most of the book she did start to annoy me just a tad at the end. It definitely won’t stop me from reading the next book however. 4 out of 5

Last read for the week was another Harlequin Undone by the name of The Viking’s Forbidden Love Slave by Michelle Willingham. Yep, I actually read a book with that name. Sometime I shock even myself! lol It was a short story about how Tharand steals Aisling from her village as a gift for his King so that he can get his 15 year old sister back from said King. The problem is that Tharand is having feelings for his fiery captive and eventually she for him. As all work out in the end it was a cute story but for such a short story it left me kind of hanging. Aisling’s village was being raided and pillaged…but why her village? Tharand walked through his village and the villagers avoided him and the kids ran…why was he so shunned? Just because he was a fierce warrior? Aisling’s brothers were stolen as well but we don’t hear where they are. I’m thinking this is part of a series but I’m not sure. 3 out of 5 stars.

That’s it for me this week. I’m exhausted just typing this! lol Any opinions about the books? I’d like to hear them.

Happy Reading!