Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Refuge: An Inspirational Novel of Scotland

By: Regan Walker

North of Glasgow near Loch Lomond, the Vale of Leven was attacked by two longboats of 'Northmen' (Norse). Catriona watched as her friends and family were brutally slain. All that remained were Cat, her falcon, her brother Niall and her faithful guard Angus.  Everything was gone including her faith. What God allows such carnage and mayhem, and plundering of all their possessions. Her soul was filled with terror and hatred.

The man Cationa had always thought she'd wed, Domnal mac Murchada removed them to their maternal uncle Matad, mormar of Atholl, and his daughter Fia. Matad was a powerful provincial ruler. Post-mourning he took them post-mourning he took them to the castle of Malcolm, King of Scots. Niall became an archer. Cat and Fia become two of Queen Margaret 'Ladies'. Unlike her strong warrior husband, the Queen was benevolent and pious, requiring personal sacrifices; pre-dawn prayers and feeding the needy before yourself. Soon Cat began to pray to God. The Queen, in her infinite goodness, saw the lost soul, the restlessness and depression so she spent time nurturing the hurt, and granting her some freedom that she may heal. Meanwhile, Domnal was also at court but paid her little heed and never spoke of the betrothed the and Catriona had planned. As he became more important so did his need for a well connected, well dowried Lady. Although painful, the Queen explained how God had other plans for her with a better man

That man is the King's scribe (with the body of a warrior) Steiner of Talisand, His gentle attentiveness and their mutual intellect, as well as his kisses, brought their lost souls together. Even the King's plans to wed her to another could not keep them from God and love. It's always nice to revisit beloved characters. It was a pleasure to read this from a religious point of view and see how Queen Margaret brought so much to her people but took time to save a hurt, lonely soul and an injured, displaced warrior.

This one has much adventure and brings you to Scotland of old with enough real history to put you in that time period, which I loved. And the story will warm your heart and feed your soul.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Dukes of War series (book 1) The Viscount's Christmas Temptation

By: Erica Ridley

Amelia ran the homes of her brother, the Duke of Ravenswood, as a well oiled machine. Her OCD tendencies allow her to multi-task and even perceive impending needs/problems. But as her thirtieth birthday approaches on the day after Christmas, she decides she must have a husband before that date-it's better to say you are twenty something. The 75th Annual Sheffields Christmas Eve Ball will provided her a pool of titled men to choose her husband from.

The Viscount of Sheffield lives his life strictly 8a.m. to 8p.m. is all business and from 8p.m. to 8a.m. is for debauchery. A house fire causes him to cancel the annual ball, that is until his world was turned upside down by the unannounced visit to his study by Amelia. She had a plan and told him that his ball was to take place, and she will be handling the details.

What ensues is a clash of two dominant OCD personalities and some daylight debauchery. The Dukes of War series storyline is constinually entertaining and well written. 

Stevie Zimmerman performs the Audible narration and I have given her a 4 star rating. A very female voice does not do justice to a tall, muscular male character. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

King's Knight (Medieval Warriors Book 4)

It's is always gratifying to catch up with old friends. In King's Knight, the son of our original h & H, Serena and Renauld de Pierrepont (aka Red Wolf) is his father's son. He's handsome, sexy and a powerful warrior for King William Rufus.

His sexual prowess is known far and wide but the raven haired 'Black Wolf' must answer to his king's wishes that he settle in Normandy and wed. But his heart belongs to the beauty of Talisand.

Merewyn, the illegitimate daughter of a rape victim, was bullied as a young girl. Her champion and protector was always Alex. She became an expert with the bow and arrow under the guidance of a Welsh friend of another expert archer, Lady Serena, mother of the Black Wolf. It was in Wales that Merewyn and Alex meet again. His protective feelings emerge again, love and passion build, but his King has chosen his bride and war between King William and the King of Scotland will take him away. Will Merewyn's secret ruin his favour with his King and devastate relationships of family and friends.

But we are happy to read about our favourite medieval family, and the Red Wolf's son. Regan Walker has created another dramatic epic as only she can. She is always historically accurate. Her physical descriptions and storyline are impeccable. Her words read like an old friend that has the reader wishing that as the pages turn, more will come to allow this masterpiece to be savoured.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Love Beyone Time Bk.#1 Morna's Legacy series

By: Bethany Claire

Many centuries ago Morna, a professed witch, saw doom descending upon her family, the Conall clan. In her room off the basement kitchen Morna stores her journals of spells. She made a spell in hopes of saving the future of her family both old and present.  If both parties, past and present eras, simultaneously read the spell, Blaire of the MacChristy clan,17th century Scotland and Brielle Montgomery, a present day kindergarten teacher in Austin, Texas, will exchange places in time. The vessel of transportation in time is an intriguing and believable story.

Morna's brother, the laird Alisday Conall, finds tells the story of the picture and incantation to the faithful housekeeper, Mary. The new laird, Eoin Conall, is to wed the, always irritating, daughter of his father's friend, Blaire MacCarthy. It's going to be a tumultuous ride as they show total disdain for one another.

Bri's mother, Adelle, is a renowned archeologist and has recruited her daughter, Bri, to return to Conall castle to investigate the legendary hidden room of the witch Morna. Happily, she finds it just as it was, full of dried up herbs and all of her journals. Upon entering the chamber Bri finds a plaque with HER picture painted on it. She held it and read the incantation. As she read the words she felt the  ground give way then blackness and she was in the 17th century Scotland. Mary is rushing to dress for her wedding to the new laird, Eoin. Bri thinks she is in a coma, this is just a dream, and since the environment was so amazing and the handsome, sexy Eoin is the man of her dreams. With the support and guidance of Mary she finally realized this is for real. As events unexplained happen, she knows she was sent here to save the clan from total destruction (as described in the history books).

This was a believable story with good character development. It is full of intrigue and suspense, action and vivid physical descriptions. There were surprising turns as characters become not who you thought they were, and made decisions that made perfect sense in the end. I am so looking forward to Book 2 to see who will be the main character and how life in 17th century Scotland and 20th century. The chronology was easy to follow. I would prefer more dialogue than narration. I loved the end and the h is so strong.

Once A Wallflower, At Last His Love Bk.#6 Scandalous Season series

By: Christi Caldwell

An impoverished family in Surrey is braving a season in London, courtesy of the devious Aunt Agatha. Their survival depends upon Hermoine making a monetarially (I have just made this a real word) advantageous match. The small tippence she earns as a gothic novelist, under the nom de plum Michael Michaelmas (yes really) will not support her family: a worthless father held up in his library, the growing twins and her sister Elizabeth who suffered brain malady from fever that left her a virtual child, and she was raped and is now with child herself. To Hermoine, this is a research trip to learn the inner workings of a dark, brooding duke for her next novel 'The Nefarious Duke". Instead, she meets the light, charming Duke of Mallen. Sebastian is the opposite of what her publisher has instructed her to write about, so she writes about him. Who is this girl who writes on her dance card? He has to know-she's captivated him, even in the hideous bright yellow dress.

Through a series of chance meetings they build their relationship, he just has to kiss her. But she has deadlines with her publisher and with news of her family and identity are known. It all falls apart when Aunt Agatha orchestrates discovering the couple in a very compromising position. The obligatory marriage occurs. What follows is a period of individual/seperate growth and discovery that eventually leads to enlightenment and love.

This is a compelling storyline that brings on many emotions, to feel the highs and lows. Christi Caldwell is master storyteller. Her character development and physical descriptions are impeccable (as usual). This is the another great series by one of our favourite authors.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Never Tempt A Rogue

By: Christy Carlyle

Although this is my second, and third, read of this lovely story, I felt it deserves a new review. One gets something new from each read and re-read of a quality manuscript.
These poor debutantes, coming to the Forsythe house party, where they are assured to meet the uber-tall, handsome, charming 'rake' Alexander Evering, Viscount Lindsay. Lady Georgiana, Countess Forsythe has assured all that her nephew is available, although she neglected to tell him that he is to be the soup du jour.
Amongst the debs is Amelia and her chaperone-cousin, Felicity, who is protective as a mother bear. Felicity is the oh-no-not-me, I'm-never-going-to-wed, not quite a spinster, wallflower. When she turns her flashing eyes to Alex in admonishment, he is captivated. Try as she might, he is not about to let her be a wallflower. How compelling to feel his insecurities, after all he's the catch of the season. But, to him, they are prejudices based upon his looks, and that he'd rather not deal with. He prefers quiet simplicity and happiness-not being a rake. I love that he knows, from the start, what he wants and didn't play games with anyone (well, mayhap his aunt), it's so refreshing.
Felicity is a predictably insecure martyr. She has to support and protect her charge. And I want to thank the author for not making her a nonsensical child. She was a great support to the storyline.
I actually applauded the most manipulative scenes of our antagonist, Aunt G., Lady Forsythe. Her on-again, off-again fire was bonechilling.
This is the beginning of a new series Rules For A ROGUE. I am looking forward to the next volume.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Rebel Warrior Bk#3 Medieval Warrior series

By Regan Walker

I was given an early edition for an honest, unbiased review. Medieval is not normally a genre I read but since Bk#1 of the Medieval Warrior series The Red Wolf Prize, I have been totally enthralled and involved in this on-going story. It's no surprise Regan Walker is again nominated for the prestigious RONE award. Bk#3 Rebel Warrior is flawlessly crafted and historically accurate. She has eloquently created characters and physical descriptions. 
Our 'h' Catriona and her brother, Niall of Vale of Leven, survive a massacre of their family and friends by some 'Northlanders'. With their uncle, the Moramer of Atholl and his daughter, Fia, they join the court of Malcolm, King of Scotland. The girls become Ladies to Queen Margaret. Being a pious woman she helps Catriona start a new life and return to God. The benevolence of the queen is heartwarming.
Steiner of Talisand, brother of Lady Serena of Talisand (Bk#1). Her husband, Lord of Talisand, was given Steiner's birthright and his sister by King William (England). Recovering from an injury, he is now scribe to King Malcolm. He falls in love with the free spirit and strong will of the red headed Catriona and literally fights to rejoin the King as one of his knights and to win her, and a new life for them.
His friend, Rhodri of Gwynedd is a talented bard and expert archer. It is unknown that he is heir to the throne of King of Gwynett and Powys (Wales). He immediately falls in love with Fia.
Read and enjoy them in order no matter what genre you usually read...and we can look forward to more.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Cold Hearted Rake

By: Lisa Kleypas

For the first time I bought a book for the cover-I kept coming back to it. One can never go wrong with LK but I'm not done with her other series yet. There was no indication this was a series until I went on Goodreads.

Some scenes were questionable eg: having sex in the morning after the wreck or on the breakfast room floor with a house full of people that could walk in at any moment. BUT ~sigh~ when he came up behind her, naked in the bath...well, that was amongst the sexiest scenes ever, without actually having sex. The physical description was so explicit that you can feel his voice and breath at her ear.

This was an entertaining read. The character development also sets up the family dynamics for continuation of the series. The next book, Helen's story, is bound to surprise us. And I can't wait for West's story. He is charming and very comical. I am already invested with these characters.

Highland Rogue (an Old School Romance Book Club Read/Feb.2016

By: Arnette Lamb

This is a charming and heartwarming story that is unusual in that the hunky Laird is not only lord and master but a loving and attentive father to his four illegitimate daughters. And they were all conceived during one wild season at court. He hides a big secret, one of his lassies is the niece of his new governess, but the secret does not end there,
Juliet didn't cross the ocean from Virginia and journey north of the Moray Firth in the dead of winter just to accept the governess position for not one but four sprite and bright six year old's. She's certain one is her niece, but which one? Crossing the line of impropriety and conducting her investigation become a double edge sword. She loves the girls, she loves him and he wants to marry her and have more children. What kind of hero is this? It's all hot and emotionally charged but she is intent on finding her sister's child and getting her safely to America. But what of the love so freely lavished on these girls by  their father, they thrive with happiness. The betrayal of Luchlan's former friend begins a path to truths and some mending of a tumultuous history for families of England and Scotland

Monday, February 15, 2016

Passionate Promises/ Nine Promises To Stir Your Passion

To Challenge The Earl of Cravenswood/Bronwen Evans
This is Book #3 of the Wicked Wagers Triology therefore, in order to truly appreciate this book it is necessary to read the supporting volumes. That being said, I love what the storyline promises but I did get confused with the characters development.

A Promise of Love/Ella Quinn
People can and do fall in love at first sight and it's all the sweeter when both acknowledge it right away. But what about those pesky judgmental older folks so set in their ways? Jenny and Frank make a gallant escape to America before the past catches up. This is a a charming storyline that entertains and leaves you wanting more.

A Kiss For Miss Kingsley/Collette Cameron
This is a romance story and, happily, intrigue. Be careful of what you hear when hiding out in your hosts library.

Stirring Passions/Maggie Andersen
This story has a compelling storyline and is eloquently written. The characters are well developed and charming. The physical descriptions bring you into the story. There are a couple of twists like who will end up with whom, who is a spy, who is a traitor, but this book left me wanting more and I am glad to be introduced to an author that will deliver hours of entertainment.

A Pledge of Passion/Victoria Vane
Baroness and heiress Mariah and Nicholas sealed a vow with a kiss. Being a titled younger son he was deemed not proper for her so he walked away. Twelve years later he is negotiating her marriage contract...but a vow is a vow. This is well written and engaging. You can't go wrong.

A Highwayman's Honor/Michelle McLean
Who doesn't want to be taken by a tall, dark, sculptured highwayman. Lord John Ramsey, leader of the Highland Highwaymen, could no longer tolerate the peerage, under King Charles, pilfering their tenants to bare threads. He assumed a Robin Hood type roll to reclaim some of the monies taken from those who cannot afford to pay so he can donate it back. Her father deserved to be robbed of that which he took from his tenants. Elizabet, Lady Harding did not deserve to be shot by one of his men in the process. But she's up for the adventure, an what girl wouldn't. Always the man of integrity, John does all to keep her safe but does she want to return to her father? Love always shows the way.

Lord Quickthorn's Bargain/Barbara Monajem
This is a well written, engaging fantasy. It was fun as Rex Lord Quickthorn becomes custodian of the fairy well so his sister can take a well earned vacation. He has to hone up on his fairy powers and not a moment too soon because he needs to save his sister and he needs Gwen to do so. This is a great story. This is not my genre but I enjoyed this read and I want it as a series. Do not miss this story.

Wanted By The Warrior//Violetta Rand
Lady Sophie wants a real adventure, with real people that live outside the castle walls, before her betrothal is announced and she is once again a prisoner within the castle walls. There is a festival with the Northern's and Southerner's in the village and it is here Sophie meets her prince. This is a great, happy ever after story and I loved it.

Never Tempt A Rogue/Christy Carlyle
How I wish this was a full length novel. It is so refreshing to have a 'H' that knows what he wants and communicates his feelings directly. There is no playing games, except flirting, and no misinterpretation. This story involves struggle-between the classes-between insecurity and self. And our 'H' has talent, besides in the bed, that is endearing. Our 'h' is punishing herself for falling in love six years ago and trusting.This has left her assenting of a spinster future. Surprisingly, her insecurity is quelled by the knowledge that she was naive and he is still a despicable person. As with all of Carlyle's books, it is well written with some sentences that really stuck with me. She eloquently crafts plot lines and it leaves you wishing, as the pages turn, more of this treat will come to be savored. My imagination is already conjuring up what will be in the following volumes. This story is not done.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

One Scandalous Kiss

By: Christy Carlyle

How far would you go to save your (deceased) wastrel father's business? Sometimes keeping a deathbed promise isn't the best road for a girl to follow. But Jess has integrity enough to do just that, keep his bookstore at all costs. What he also left her was his massive gambling debt.
When an opportunity to earn enough to bring the bank note current-she accepts. A little rich girl is upset that the handsome Viscount would not dance with her, he barely acknowledged her and now he needs to be taught a lesson-brought to his knees, and it is Jess who will bring him down...'the best laid plans' and all that.
As things fall apart in her comfortable, albeit sheltered world, she is rescued by an unlikely ally and taken to the estate of said Viscount. He needs to wed a very wealthy heiress (don't they all) before the roof caves in around them. Enter: rich heiress from America-to play 'dollars for title'. But there are temptations for all at this engagement-house party. And the heiress and Viscount cannot seem to keep their eyes focused. The rake friend, the little rich girl that got her feelings hurt (Yes, she showed up too!) and the well intentioned, busy body aunt are of no help.
You will thoroughly enjoy reading this, the first of the series, roller coaster ride into happiness.