Review: Highland Wolf by Hannah Howell

Reviewed by Jen

I cannot remember the last time I struggled so hard to finish a book. My problems with Highland Wolf kicked off at the very beginning and then only intensified as the story continued. I did a little research after reading a review copy and discovered this is book 15 in a long running series and it is a reissue from 10 years ago. Interesting, but neither was the real root of my problem.

The simplest explanation is that I thought this book was boring. I liked the setup well enough. James was the laird of Dunncraig Keep but was framed for the death of his wife three years ago. Now he is posing as a woodcarver to get close to his enemy, reclaim his land, and rescue his young daughter. Meanwhile, Annora is the bastard cousin of that enemy. She takes care of the little girl to earn her keep and she has grown to love her. She hates her cousin and his awful men, but she wants to protect the little girl and will not leave her. [Read more…]

Review: The Royal Runaway by Lindsay Emory

Reviewed by Debz

So I saw pictures from Princess Eugene’s wedding and she looked absolutely stunning. Her dress was, dare I say, the best royal bridal gown this year and it took a lot of confidence for her to break with royal tradition and show her scars for the world to see. She rocked it!!!

It was also serendipitous that at the same time the wedding was going on, I was reading about another bad ass princess (albeit fictional) and her journey to happy ever after. This one was a rocky journey, though; boy were there twists and turns.

Princess Theodora Isabella Victoria is second in line to the throne of Drieden and is supposed to marry dashing Scottish Duke, Christian Fraser-Campbell in the wedding of the decade….except he doesn’t show up for the wedding. That must have been super devastating and embarrassing. It is a bother to say the least, to be stood up at the altar, but to do that at a Royal wedding!!! With all the preparation and money and time that had been put into it!!!!! A disaster of epic proportions. [Read more…]

Review: The Highlander Who Protected Me by Vanessa Kelly

Reviewed by Jen

This new story from Vanessa Kelly is the first in her Clan Kendrick series, but it reads like it’s part of something bigger. I did a little bit of digging and discovered that the Kendrick family and the couple who led it were the main characters in The Highlander’s Princess Bride, the last in Kelly’s Improper Princesses trilogy. Obviously, I didn’t read that book and I enjoyed this one anyway. But it was very clear that there was a lot of story before this that came in another book, not just with the other couple but with the main hero and heroine here. So if that sort of thing bothers you, be warned. It niggled me a bit to have their past referenced, but the author does a good enough job of filling in the blanks so at least I wasn’t lost.

As the story begins, the hero is already half in love with Lady Ainsley. Royal was injured at Waterloo and has been kind of checked out on his life ever since. But with Ainsley, he feels alive again. Unfortunately, she is engaged to another man. Fast forward a year or so and you skip the course of events that transpired between them in the other book. Apparently, Royal had tried to kidnap Ainsley because he thought she would rather marry him. It did not go well. Now she is living with an aunt, too ruined by his kidnapping to get married. And he has no idea whether she considers him a friend or foe. But she wrote him a letter, so he takes a chance and goes to visit her. [Read more…]

Review: The Warrior of Clan Kincaid by Lily Blackwood

Reviewed by Jen

This third book in Lily Blackwood’s Highland Warrior series tells a familiar story, but one I did not mind retreading. The titular character here is Cull the Nameless, a man who was kept as a slave for many of his formative years before someone bought him his freedom and lead him to a life as a soldier of the king. As the story begins, his benefactor has tapped him to lead a mission to relieve the Kincaid clan of their land.

Wait, you may say, the book is called of The Warrior of Clan Kincaid, but our hero is fighting against that clan? Well, yes and no. You see, the Kincaid men are missing one of their brothers. Or rather, he was presumed dead when their parents were killed. And did I mention that Cull has no recollection of his life before slavery? I don’t mean to spoil anything, really, but it does not take a rocket science to connect the dots. You would have figured it out on your own pretty quickly, I promise. And even though it takes a little while to spell it out on page, the big reveal is in the book’s blurb, so I don’t feel too guilty for mentioning it here.

This is a premise I have read several times over the years, but Lily Blackwood does a pretty good job with it. [Read more…]

Review: The Highlander’s Crusader Bride by Cathy & DD MacRae

Reviewed by Ronelle

Half-Armenian, half-Scot Arbela MacLean is a true daughter of the desert, a princess born in the Holy Land only a few years after the Third Crusade. Determined not to be as helpless as her mother was, she’s forsaken the gentler, feminine pursuits of women her age for Turkish bow and arrow, a sword, and throwing darts. She is a warrior who fears nothing—except perhaps the day a husband is chosen for her. That day becomes much too close for comfort when her father is recalled to Scotland to take up leadership of clan MacLean.

Caelen MacKern, known as the Bull of the Highlands, has no use for a wife. His first marriage formed an alliance, and he did not grieve when his spoiled, immature bride passed away not long after giving birth to their only son, Bram. But after a devastating pestilence nearly wiped them out, clan MacKern is in desperate need of help. Against his better judgement, Caelen agrees to an offer he can’t in good conscience refuse; convince Arbela to marry him and receive the men, means, and coin he needs to rebuild. Considering the tone of their initial encounter, it doesn’t entirely surprise him when the exotic, outspoken lass has some terms of her own. [Read more…]

Review: Surrender To The Highlander by Lynsay Sands

Reviewed by Sara

Lynsay Sands was one of the first Historical Romance authors I ever read and she is the first author to introduce me to the delight of Highlander Romances. So, you can be sure that when one of her books is up for grabs, I’m taking it.

Surrender to the Highlander is book 5 of Sands’ Scottish Highlander series. In it, the Buchanan brothers pay a visit to their very pregnant sister, Saidh, only to find out she needs their help. Saidh hasn’t been able to reach her friend Edith in several weeks and she’s worried. The brothers take on the task of looking in on Edith, but when they arrive at Drummond castle they find the castle closed up due to an illness that has overtaken the Laird and several of the brothers and has left Lady Edith on death’s door. The brothers make their way into the castle only to discover it’s no illness that has plagued the castle, but rather poison. This leads to the brothers protecting Lady Edith and bringing her back to health. [Read more…]

Review: Hard-Hearted Highlander by Julia London

Reviewed by Jen

Let me start by saying I have read other books by Julia London and have enjoyed them. I say that so you know it’s nothing I have against the author when I say how abysmal I found this book. This is the story of Rabby MacKenzie, a Scotsman being forced into marriage with a young English miss, then falling for her governess. I hated every minute of it.

Let me tell you about Rabbie. He is the most morose, maudlin, douchebag of a “hero” I’ve read in ages. To be fair, the love of his life was killed in the Jacobite rebellion. He’s got a reason to be sad and to hate the English, but this guy is miserable for the entire book. Not only that, he is thoroughly awful to everyone around him. He only agreed to marry Aveline because of some convoluted land issue that would allow his family to keep smuggling. OK. But good grief, he is constantly contemplating suicide. He is a boor, not only to his betrothed, but his entire family. And when he falls for the governess, Bernadette, he becomes no more likable. [Read more…]

Review: My Highland Rebel by Amanda Forester

Reviewed by Jen

A sympathetic hero can make all the difference in a book. For instance, my absolute least favorite trope in romance is The Big Secret. And that is the underlying thread in this book. However, I found I enjoyed the story anyway because it had a hero I could not help but to root for. So kudos to Amanda Forester for that.

Cormac is the son of the most fierce and vicious warlord in the Highlands. He wasn’t raised by his father. He was actually brought up by monks. He loves to read. He wants to be a scribe. But his father has other ideas. Red Rex wants to toughen him up, to remake him in his image. And it doesn’t matter that Cormac dreams of something different. It is conform or die. [Read more…]

Review: The Highlander by Kerrigan Byrne

highlanderReviewed by Jen

I love these books! Kerrigan Byrne has such a way with her heroes. They are dark and deadly and so very broken. Liam Mackenzie is all of that and more.

We met our heroine, Mena, earlier in the series. She was abused by her husband and wrongfully admitted to an asylum. But she was rescued by the heroes of the previous books, and now she is in hiding, sent to live with Dorian’s brother, Liam, as governess to his children. You really don’t have to read The Highwayman or The Hunter to enjoy this story, but I would recommend them, just because they are so very good. [Read more…]

Review: The Beast of Clan Kincaid by Lily Blackwood

beast of clan kincaidReviewed by Jen

I guess I’m conditioned to expect every book with “beast” in the title to be some kind of Beauty and the Beast retelling –or at least for the hero to have some kind of beastly demeanor or appearance. None of these is the case here, so if you are looking for any of those scenarios, you can move along.

Niall is called “the Beast” because he is a dangerous mercenary. He’s also the rightful laird to the family lands that were stolen from his father nearly 20 years ago. You see, his parents were betrayed and murdered by two clans they thought were their allies. Niall and his brothers escaped and went their separate ways in order to stay hidden. Now that Niall is grown, he is ready to reclaim his birthright. [Read more…]