Tag: Kate McKinley

Guest Review: So I Married a Highlander by Kate McKinley

Posted November 24, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: So I Married a Highlander by Kate McKinleyReviewer: Tracy
So I Married a Highlander by Kate McKinley
Series: What Happens in Scotland #2
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 30, 2015
Format: eARC
Genres: Historical Romance
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Series Rating: four-stars

A Lady’s Rules of Etiquette When Eloping:

1. A lady should never leave a note behind explaining her intentions.

2. If by chance a note has been left behind, a lady must prepare to be hunted down and the ceremony thwarted.

3. In such a case, seeking consolation with a night of excessive drinking will be tempting, but ill advised.

4. And lastly, a lady must never, under any
circumstances, wake up manacled to a deliciously handsome Highlander.

Lady Evelyn Alexander has managed to break all four rules in the space of an evening—and the tall, virile Highlander she accidentally married is only the beginning. Her fiancé has also mysteriously gone missing and the threat of scandal is hot on their heels…

Alec McAllister has no use for a wife, but when he wakes up entwined with the lovely and spirited Evelyn, he’s willing to reconsider. He’ll help her find her fiancé, but when the passions ignite between them, it’s only a matter of time before the Highlander claims what’s his…


Evelyn and her fiance Stephen have eloped to Gretna Green. She’s anxious to get the wedding over with before her brother, a very powerful duke, comes and stops it. The regular balcksmith that does the marriages is quite busy and so Evelyn asks if there’s another blacksmith in town. She’s told yes but she doesn’t find a man willing to marry her – she finds a surly shirtless guy who’s will only perform the ceremony for a kiss. Evelyn complies and when Stephen shows up the blacksmith, Alec McAllister, starts to marry them. They are thwarted by Evelyn’s best friend and her brother’s best friend and end up NOT getting married.

Back at the inn that evening Evelyn is pissed that the wedding didn’t happen so has decided to drown her sorrows in whiskey. Is it the done thing in London for a lady to get drunk? Not at all but here in Scotland Evelyn feels like anything goes. She confronts Alec, who’s also in the pub, for staring at her and he ends up taking her up to her room before something bad can happen to her. One thing leads to another and the pair wake up naked in her room – and married.

Alec was attracted to Evelyn when he first saw her so isn’t having that hard of a time imagining himself married to her. Evelyn finds out that her betrothed, Stephen, was shot and then taken to a hospital in Glasgow so wants to make sure he’s ok. She heads off with Alec to see to Stephen and the couple find their share of troubles along the way. They also find that their compatability is much higher than either of them thought. When Evelyn’s brother shows up, however, he immediately rushes her back to London and away from Alec.

This was a very cute story if a little unlikely. Yes, things tend to happen quickly in a romance (there are only so many pages in a book) but this one happened rather quickly.

Evelyn is sick of being under her brothers thumb and is anxious to start her own family. Her brother married and she feels like it’s her turn. Her brother refused Stephen’s suit so they took it upong themselves to elope. Actually Evelyn talked Stephen into it. She really just wants to get married but when she finds herself married to Alec it’s not something she’s happy about. I found that strange. She really didn’t know a whole lot more about Stephen than she did Alec. She was a sweet girl though and I could see how Alec would fall for her. Alec fell hard and fast for Evelyn and I was surprised at how fast it happened. He was more than willing to stay married – especially after spending time with her and falling in love.

I felt the wrap up at the end of the book happened way too quickly and easily and that bothered me a bit. I wanted to see Evelyn stand up to her brother but she didn’t – or if she was planning on it they never showed it. I would have liked to have seen a few more pages devoted to the HEA in the end as it would have made it all the more believable.

Overall a fun book, an easy read, that’s not too deep or angsty.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


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Review: A Night With the Bride by Kate McKinley

Posted March 7, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Genres: Anthologies (multiple authors)

While at a lavish house party, Gabriella Weatherfield confidently bets her friends that she can convince the “unseducible” Duke of Somerset to kiss her. But Gabriella’s innocent wager turns wicked when faced with the duke’s intense blue eyes and talented hands.

Nicholas Montgomery usually strives to stay away from society, yet there’s no denying Gabriella’s wild beauty or the way she makes him want to lose control for once. Will the fire between them burn out when Gabriella uncovers the inner demons haunting Nicholas?

Gabriella sees the elusive Duke of Somerset and likes what she sees. The Duke is at a house party after not really being out in Society since his fiancé cried off three years earlier. She determines that she’s going Seduce the man. She says to her friends…

If he’s breathing, then he can be seduced.”

Gabriella had been on the marriage mart for 3 seasons and had half a dozen marriage proposals that were all refused. She figures she knows enough about men to be able to obtain just one kiss from this duke. She’s not interested in marriage but a kiss is something she’d very much like from this intense and good looking man.

Nicholas tries to intimidate Gabriella thinking that she’ll run off to her friends. What he ends up doing is making her more curious about his kisses. The pair play a bit of a cat and mouse game but eventually end up in bed together. (Gabriella isn’t a bride at this point so I’m not sure where the title of the book came from.) By that time they’ve each determined that they are perfect for each other but Nicholas ends up trying to push Gabriella away “for her own good” when all it ends up doing is hurting her when all she wants to do is love him and accept him for who he is.

This story was an interesting one. Nicholas in this story is a bit mad – or so he thinks. He is a bit on the “odd” side in that he gets disturbing visions or images in his head and the only thing he can do to rid himself of them is to complete a task over and over and in a particular order. Can you say OCD? Nicholas’s was extreme but underneath his bit of craziness was a lovely man who thought that no one could love him as he was.

Gabriella was a rare woman, imho. She fell for Nicholas quickly and accepted him for all of his quirks quite easily. This may seem strange but it just worked in this story. She was a kind and caring woman who gave of herself easily and I loved her spirit.

This was definitely my favorite of the three novellas in this series. The story wasn’t too long but it was a delightful way to spend a bit of time.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Kate McKinley

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What I Read Last Week

Posted March 3, 2014 by Tracy in Features | 1 Comment


How ya’ll doin’? Did you have a great weekend? I hope so.

My week last week was pretty quiet, if I remember correctly. My life has been pretty boring lately – I have to say I enjoy that sometimes. lol

My girls played in their bell choir this past Sunday – 2 pieces. Here are the videos if you’re interested. I think they’re both doing a wonderful job and they love playing, which I love. 

(My girls are..second from the left and 5th from the left.) 


(My girls are on the left table 1st and second from the right.)


Ok, on to what I read this past week:

I started off the week with A Lady by Any Other Name by Jennifer Kitchens. This story is about a young woman running from her evil brother when he promises her in marriage to an old disgusting man. On his deathbed her father had told her that he wasn’t her real father and gave her clues as to who the real father was. Nicole figures it out and goes to talk to her real fathers family hoping that they’ll take her in. What she finds is unexpected but then she’s sent to London to wait for proof of her parents marriage. She then falls in love with the man she’s staying with. The story was good if not a bit too busy – too many story lines floating about. The romance happened quickly with the hero and heroine going from what looked like 2 people who might have an attraction for each other to “I love you.” I just didn’t think they were at that point yet. Anyway the story still worked which was good. 3.25 out of 5

The Blind Wolf boxed set by Aubrey Rose is 4 stories following the romance and lives of Julia and Damien. Damien is a wolf shifter and finds out that Julia is his mate – but she’s full human which never happens. The story unfolds from there. Though not romance heavy it could get very emotional at times. I’ll post my review of this one this week. 3.5 out of 5

Disarm: The Complete Novel by June Gray was originally a serial. This is actually all 6 stories in the serial wrapped up in one and I’m so glad I read it this way. The story is a friends to lovers story involving Elsie and Henry. They finally get together after many years of friendship but then have to face Henry’s deployment to Afghanistan and Henry’s personality change when he returns. There’s a whole lot more that goes on and it was definitely worth reading. I’ll post my review of this one this week. 4 out of 5

Next was The Devil Wears Kilts by Suzanne Enoch. This is the first in a new series called Scandalous Highlanders. Ranulf is a highlander and proud to be one. He ends up chasing his 18 year old runaway sister to London when he refuses to let her have a Season. The family she stays with has an older daughter, Charlotte, who Ranulf is highly attracted to. Unfortunately Ranulf’s mother was English and that wasn’t necessarily a good thing. Ranulf has prejudices against the English but Charlotte puts him in his place. The story is about the pair working out their differences as Charlotte abhors violence and Ranulf lives with it daily and thinks it’s ok. Ranulf decides to change his thinking but he’s not sure if it’s enough to capture Charlotte’s heart. It was a great story and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. 4 out of 5

Bite Me by Shelly Laurenston is the story of Livy Kowalski, a Honey Badger shifter, and Vic Barinov, a hybrid shifter that is half bear and half tiger. Livy’s father is found dead and had obviously been murdered. Livy and her family decide that the person behind it all needs to pay. While this is happening Livy and Vic, who were friends before, start sleeping together which ends up turning to love. There’s a whole lot that goes on and it all wrapped up into a great story. I’ll post my review for this one later this month. 4 out of 5 

Last for the week was A Night With the Bride by Kate McKinley. This is the 3rd book in the By Invitation Only series. The story involves Nicholas, a duke who has basically been in seclusion and is thought to be mad, and Gabriella. Gabriella takes on a dare with her friends that she can get the duke to kiss her. It turns into so much more. I’ll post my review of this novella later this week. 4 out of 5


My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Everybody’s Got A Story by Heather Wardell  

Happy Reading!

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What I Read Last Week

Posted February 24, 2014 by Tracy in Features | 0 Comments

Hidee ho neighbor!

Wassup? Did you all have a wonderful week last week and a great weekend? Last week was pretty good but then I was down for the count with headaches all weekend. It was beautiful here, too, so not getting out of the house sucked.

Nothing much happening around here so I’ll get right to what I read last week:

My first read was Before You Break by Christina Lee. This was a wonderful story about a guy who is dealing with guilt over a car accident that killed his best friend – when he was driving –  and the woman is dealing with her own guilt over her brother’s suicide. Together they deal with their emotions and fall in love. It was oh, so good. I’ll post my review this week. 4.25 out of 5

Next up was Have You Any Rogues by Elizabeth Boyle. The novella is about Crispin and Henrietta who are members of rival families. They fall in love but then different events occur that keeps them apart for years. The story takes place while the pair are locked in a wine cellar and is told mostly in flashbacks but it’s like the characters are telling the story to each other. I really liked it but admit that I wanted more of the current time period but unfortunately there wasn’t much. I also thought Henrietta was way to impulsive over the years and was surprised that A) Crispin still wanted her after all of her rash decisions and B) she was even available after getting married so many times! 4 out of 5

Scent of a Mate by Milly Taiden was the story about a girl who is writing a book, per request, on the history of werewolf traditions…or maybe history. Anyway, she and her friends stake out a scenting ceremony but she gets a bit distracted when her mate, who is her best friends’ brother, decides to claim her that night. The book was cute although the heroine kept getting hurt which was annoying. This was definitely more erotic romance than straight paranormal with sex added – just fyi. 3.5 out of 5

The Bancroft Affairs: The Beginning by Liberty Valens. This short was free from Amazon and I’m really glad I didn’t spend money on it. The story is basically about Jillian who is blackmailed and forced to work as a call girl/prostitute. She is looking for a way out of her situation and trying to help her friends who are in the same sitch. I didn’t care for the story all that much (although there were parts that were ok), or the way the story was set up. It kind of felt like 2 stories in one which was amazing since it was so short and there was no conclusion. 2 out of 5

Stranger Delight by Tabitha Levin is a short erotic romance (also free on Amazon) about a woman who is at a party and is watching through a window as her friend has sex with her boyfriend. While watching a man comes up and has sex with her but she has no idea who it is – when she looks he’s gone. It was an ok story but was just too convoluted for me. 2 out of 5

Best Gay romance 2014 edited by R.D. Cochrane & Timothy J. Lambert was an anthology of short gay romance stories. I wouldn’t call this the BEST gay romance but there were definitely some good ones in there. I’ll post my review of this one later this week. 3.25 out of 5

Hard As You Can by Laura Kaye is book 2 in the Hard Ink series and it was really good! This is Shane and Crystal’s story. My review will post tomorrow to tell you my thoughts. 4 out of 5

My next read was a short novella called A Countess by Chance by Kate McKinley. This is mostly the reconciliation of a couple who had once been engaged but she had broken it off two years prior. There is a wager involved while they’re at a house party and erotic hijinks ensue. It was a cute story I just wanted more background. 3 out of 5 

In the Service of the King by Laura Kaye is a novella dealing with King of the Vampires (I thought he was THE king but since the series is Vampire Warrior Kings I’m guessing he’s A king. :)). He needs to feed every so often from either his mate or a virgin (called Proffereds) in order to hold on to his immortality and his humanity. His mate died 300 years ago so he feeds from virgins. He hates the ritual until he meets Shayla, one of the Proffered, who ends up being his mate as well. It was a cute story that was sexy and not too deep at all. 3 out of 5  

Come a Little Bit Closer by Bella Andre was last for the week – book 7 in The Sullivans series. This is Smith’s story and has him falling in love with the sister of one of his co-stars. I’ll post my review of this one later this week. 3.5 out of 5


My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Fall For Me by Sydney Landon
Friends Without Benefits by Penny Reid

Happy Reading! 

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Review: A Duchess in the Dark by Kate McKinley

Posted December 1, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Miss Daphne Hayward is on the hunt for a safe, honorable husband and she has set her sights on the perfect target. He’s kind, titled, and miraculously single. She plans a full-scale seduction that will bring him to his knees, begging for her hand in marriage. But when she mistakenly climbs into another man’s bed, sparks ignite, threatening to send all her plans up in smoke.

Ashton Fitzgerald, Duke of Claymore, is surprised by the powerful desire that surges through him when he sees Daphne for the first time. So when he unveils her as his mysterious midnight visitor, he is determined to make her his…forever.

Daphne wants to secure her soon to be engagement with Edward. She loves him and wants her brother-in-law to put up no arguments when Edward finally asks for her hand in marriage. To that end she decides to sleep with Edward. Once she’s lost her virginity to him how can anyone naysay their marriage, right? Well, that would be great if Daphne had done her homework a lot better. You see, she sneaks into Edwards room while all is dark. She climbs in bed with him and finds the man’s physique to be much more muscular than she thought. After she has sex she gets dressed and heads back to her own room – only to run into Edward in the hall. Wait, if Edward’s here then who the hell did she just sleep with? Good question.

Ashton, the Duke of Claymore, is having a great morning. Yes, he drank too much brandy the night before but his mistress came to see him in the middle of the night and it was unparalleled. He’s excited to see her again so imagine his shock when his friend and host tells him that she’s been delayed and isn’t even in residence. What? When he starts to think about the woman he was in bed with he’s realizes that it couldn’t possibly have been his mistress and now he’s determined to find out who it is. When he suspects that it’s Daphne he’s thrilled. He’s had a thing for her for years but since she was his best friends sister-in-law he knew she was off limits. Now’s his chance to finally get her where he wants her – in his bed as his wife – but that may not be as easy as it seems.

A Duchess in the Dark was a pretty short novella but a good one. Daphne is a stubborn woman with Ashton but she really can’t deny her attraction to him, especially when he keeps getting her alone and showing her ways he can make her happy sexually. She is determined to marry Edward though as she thinks that what she desires is a calm, staid husband. Ashton keeps fogging up her mind but she soon realizes that Edward isn’t who she thinks.

The story was pretty calm with not a lot of angst and that made for a nice relaxed read. I liked the characters and the story and look forward to what McKinley will give us next.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Kate McKinley

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