Tag «Highlander»

set in Scotland with Highlander clans

Blitz + Review: The Scot’s Bride by Paula Quinn


I’m a little embarrassed that this is the first time I am talking about Paula Quinn on my blog. Because she is the standard for me when it comes to highlander romances. I fell in love with the MacGregor Duology and I devoured the Children of the Mist Series soon after. It’s so, so cool to follow generations of the same family and read about their unique adventures and swoon-worthy romances. I love returning to this world time and time again.

Below you will find a link to an exclusive excerpt, my review as well as a giveaway for a copy of the book courtesy of Forever. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post!


Title: The Scot’s Bride

Author: Paula Quinn
Series: The MacGregors: Highland Heirs #6
Pub. Date: October 31, 2017
Publisher: Forever
Format: Mass Market Paperback & eBook
Find it: Goodreads | Kobo | Amazon

AN IRRESISTIBLE SCOUNDREL
Highlander Patrick MacGregor likes his life just the way it is. Fighting for his coin, enjoying a woman’s charms, and bearing no responsibility at all. Aye, that’s the life for him. That is, until Patrick sees her-a raven-haired beauty with eyes as dark as midnight. Patrick swore never to fall in love. Not even with a lass as wild as he…especially when she’s from a rival clan.

AN UNDENIABLE DESIRE
Charlotte Cunningham knows Patrick is trouble the moment she sets eyes on him. Her only goal is to escape the possibility of marriage. Any marriage. But as the summer days turn into sultry nights, enticing her beyond reason, Charlie is forced to choose between the freedom she craves and the reckless rogue she can’t forget.

Add: Goodreads | Buy: Amazon // Barnes & Noble // iBooks // Google Play // Kobo

Read an Exclusive Excerpt Here!

 

Patrick’s parents are the leads from one of my favourite highlander romances EVER, Seduced by the Highlander. So I couldn’t wait to read about Patrick and the lady who would knock him off his feet!

My favourite aspect of this book is the slow burn romance. All too often in historical romances, the leads jump into their passionate affair and the rest gets left behind. So not the case here! Their attraction is palpable from the start but watching that connection grow into something more was fabulous. These two are a great pair who complement each other wonderfully and seeing them discover that was such a treat.

My only wish is that the ending didn’t feel as rushed. The vast majority of this book is Charlie and Patrick fighting their budding feelings and Patrick keeping his true identity a secret. But there are so many other things at play (like the clan rivalry and past events) and I feel like they don’t reach their peak until the last 20%. I think some of that could have been brought out earlier and played out a little more to enhance this story.

Nevertheless, highlander fans will love this one! This book reminded me why I love highlander romances and why I should be picking them up more often!

My Rating: 4/5

Paula Quinn

New York Times bestselling author Paula Quinn lives in New York with her three beautiful children, three over-protective chihuahuas, and a loud umbrella cockatoo. She loves to read romance and science fiction and has been writing since she was eleven. She loves all things medieval, but it is her love for Scotland that pulls at her heartstrings.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

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Series Review: McCabe Trilogy by Maya Banks

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for In Bed With a Highlander (from Goodreads):
Ewan McCabe, the eldest, is a warrior determined to vanquish his enemy. Now, with the time ripe for battle, his men are ready and Ewan is poised to take back what is his—until a blue-eyed, raven-haired temptress is thrust upon him. Mairin may be the salvation of Ewan’s clan, but for a man who dreams only of revenge, matters of the heart are strange territory to conquer.

The illegitimate daughter of the king, Mairin possesses prized property that has made her a pawn—and wary of love. Her worst fears are realized when she is rescued from peril only to be forced into marriage by her charismatic and commanding savior, Ewan McCabe. But her attraction to her ruggedly powerful new husband makes her crave his surprisingly tender touch; her body comes alive under his sensual mastery. And as war draws near, Mairin’s strength, spirit, and passion challenge Ewan to conquer his demons—and embrace a love that means more than revenge and land.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author, Fav Couple (Never Love a Highlander)
Series: McCabe Trilogy
Author: Maya Banks
# of Books: 3 (In Bed With a Highlander, Seduction of a Highland Lass, Never Love a Highlander)
Book Order: Connected but Chronological Events
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Historical Romance, Highlander, Erotica, Action
Heat Rating: Hot  (Kink: mild [Seduction of a Highland Lass])
Point of View: Third Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: August 2011 – October 2011
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I went through a Highlander romance phase during the Spring of 2012. It was a weird phenomenon for me to be honest because Highlanders are the very definition of alpha male–a characteristic I detest in my romance heroes. But what I think makes it for me is the fact that the women are just as strong and independent…at least in most cases. There is just something so satisfying to see a man change his perception of what the role of a female should be when he meets a woman who isn’t going to take his brutish ways. Also, the action and fight scenes are fun to read too!

Of course, historical romances–especially highlander ones–have their fair share of docile women and I definitely read a few duds during my addiction. However, this series has that little something and actually has my favourite highlander romance of all time in its midst (Never Love a Highlander).

The Concept / The World:

It is very important to read these books in publication order. There is a bridging plot line that runs through all the books and concludes in the final novel. You can definitely read them out of order, but everything makes more sense if you read them together in the order they are meant to be read in.

The Plot:

What I liked about these books was the balance between the plot and the romance. While it definitely focuses more on the romance, the plot that is there is enough to keep you interested. And it is an overarching plot that links all the books together. I just loved how it was building; it was like watching a soap opera, seeing how all these events and people shape the story to be what it is. I suppose that is why Outlander is such a TV hit…

The Characters:

I break down the couples in the Romance section but I really did like the characters in this series. Because you follow this plot line for multiple books, you easily get attached to characters and it’s nice to see people pop up here and there. I like how they all interweave and how loyal they are to each other.

I also love that the bad guys are BAD. It makes them so easy to hate them and root for the good guys. I like the danger and drama they cause; it keeps the books interesting.

The Romance:

I really enjoyed Mairin in the first novel. She was spunky and though she became a little too submissive for my liking (you know, one of those girls who seems to change once she meets a man) I admired her spirit. Ewan was a great match for her and I loved watching their story unfold.

It was not the same situation with Alaric and his chosen (I’m not going to name her because it is a bit of a spoiler) in Seduction of a Highland Lass. They just did not work me. I didn’t see the connection and their love scenes made me cringe. If you’ve read more of Maya Banks’ books, you’ll know she tends to write more of the BDSM/kinky erotica and I don’t really enjoy that. It seemed like such a change from the previous book and it really made me dislike the leads.

But Caelen and his girl in Never Love a Highlander—WOW one of my favourite couples ever! I actually reread this novel this during exams in December 2015 because I adore it. They have everything I love in a romantic couple: attraction, an emotional connection and they love each other for who they are, flaws and all. I swoon every time I read their story <3

Series Rating: 4/5

In Bed with a Highlander 4/5 | Seduction of a Highland Lass 3/5 | Never Love a Highlander 5/5

overall

If you enjoy historical romances with strong Highlanders, head-strong women and lots of spice (but not full blown erotica), this is a great series for you to pick up!

Read if You Like: historical romance, highlanders
Avoid if You: dislike highlander stories

similarreads

  • Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks (The Montgomerys and Armstrongs Trilogy #1)
  • Ravished by a Highlander by Paula Quinn (Children of the Mist Series #1)
  • Captured by a Highlander by Julianne MacLean (Highlander Series #1)

 

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Series Review: Castles Ever After by Tessa Dare

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

Castles Ever After Series

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Romancing the Duke (from Goodreads):

As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens. She never doubted romance would be in her future, too. The storybooks offered endless possibilities.

And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off. One by one by one.

Ugly duckling turned swan?
Abducted by handsome highwayman?
Rescued from drudgery by charming prince?

No, no, and… Heh.

Now Izzy’s given up yearning for romance. She’ll settle for a roof over her head. What fairy tales are left over for an impoverished twenty-six year-old woman who’s never even been kissed?

This one.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Must Read/Favourite Author
Series: Castles Ever After

This series crosses over with the Spindle Cove Series in book #4, Do You Want to Start a Scandal

Author: Tessa Dare
# of Books: 4 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Connected – Same Universe
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Romance, Historical, Regency
Heat Rating: Really Warm
Point of View: Third Person, Alternating

thoughts

**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

Romancing the Duke, Book #1:

When I read a Tessa Dare book I know that I am going to get three things: great romantic leads, humour and an entertaining plot line. After reading two of her other awesome series, I was eagerly awaiting this new one!

I really enjoyed this book despite not really knowing to expect plot wise from the vague plotline. But the plot was a lot of fun and interesting and there were aspects to it there weren’t like anything I have read in this genre before. It did remind me a lot A Night to Surrender in the setup but each story has its unique aspects to it and they really are different.

As expected, I smiled and chuckled to myself as I read–which is always a bonus. Ms Dare’s characters are always a great blend of wit and fun and always a joy to read. I always appreciate her female characters in particular. They are always strong leads who are more than able to take care of themselves despite the somewhat extraordinary situations they find themselves in.

The sexual tension between Izzy and Ransom was awesome to watch unfold. I loved their connection and their interactions with each other.

Note About Series Order:

These books aren’t connected by characters, rather they are connected by the idea that the leads inherit an old castle. So don’t expect any crossover of characters or a sequel book about one character from the previous novel.

updates

–March 14, 2015– Book #2: Say Yes to the Marquess

I FINALLY managed to read Say Yes to the Marquess! I’ve had my name on my library’s hold list since September 2014, where I was in position 100–when the book’s release date wasn’t until December 2014! I guess people know a good thing when they see it!

There is a reason why Tessa Dare is the only historical romance reader I still follow continously. Her works are always so consistent in what they deliver but I never feel like I am reading a regurgitation of her previous works or another historical romance. Say Yes to the Marquess was everything I thought it was going to be (based on the synopsis). It was really cute, fun and sweet which was exactly what I needed to read. It was a great follow-up to Romancing the Duke.

I’m super, super excited to read When a Scot Ties the Knot. I think it is going to be my favourite of the series based on the synopsis. It looks like it is going to be a lot of fun and I can’t wait!

–April 25, 2017– Book #3: When a Scot Ties the Knot

I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed when my favourite historical author (Tessa Dare) created a highlander (my guilty pleasure romance genre) hero.

This book was just perfect! It was funny, sweet and ultimately charming.

It helps that the premise is just so ridiculous, it’s fun! The whole notion is so entertaining to watch unfold. These two try their best to outmaneuver the other but end up learning more about themselves and what it means to be in a relationship.

What really shone for me was the romance itself. They have this great chemistry from the start. Too often you see characters compromise who they are for their partner–especially in highlander romances. But these two establish this great relationship of understanding and mutual respect that’s just a joy to watch.

I can’t wait to reread this one in the years to come!

Series Rating: 4/5

Romancing the Duke 4/5 | Say Yes to the Marquess 4/5 | When a Scot Ties the Knot 5/5 | Do You Want to Start a Scandal TBA

overall

Simply put: this is a fun, light-hearted read that Tessa Dare fans will love and new readers will enjoy!

Read if You Like: historical romances, strong heroines, fun
Avoid if You: characters to appear over multiple installments

similarreads

Book Review: Kidnapping the Laird by Terri Brisbin

While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel!

Author: Terri Brisbin
Genre: Romance, Historical, Highlanders
Heat Rating: warm

Thoughts on Kidnapping the Laird:

I actually got this book for free from Kobo and I am glad that I did.

This book showed a lot of promise but because it was only a novella, it just didn’t have enough time to fully develop. If it was a full length novel, I would have really liked it.

It was a super cute read and story. Padruig and Cat were likeable and you wanted to cheer them on. I liked Cat’s plot to get Padruig back and thought it was a great plot line to follow. It was a refreshing highlander read which is why I wish it was longer and more developed.

There isn’t much more to say as it was only a few dozen pages long and I don’t want to give everything away.

Conclusion:

A cute, SUPER quick read that if you can get for free like I did, is worth the short amount of time it takes to read.

Rating: 3/5

Similar Reads: Taming the Highlander by Terri Brisbin (The MacLearies, #1)

Synopsis for Kidnapping the Laird (from Goodreads):
Catriona MacDonnell is a wife of convenience who discovers that she wants more from the handsome, sexy laird she had to marry.

Padruig Grant was not happy when his wife kicks him out of her bed, but his pride prevents him from returning to it. When Catriona takes matters…and her husband…into her own hands to claim the love they both deserve, should he resist her valiant efforts or should he surrender?

Series Review: The MacLearies by Terri Brisbin

 

Series: The MacLearies
Author: Terri Brisbin
# of Books: 4 + a novella (Taming the Highlander, Surrender to the Highlander, Possessed by the Highlander, The Earl’s Secret)

The Novella is book 4.5 in the series: One Candlelit Christmas

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Historical Romance, Highlander Romance
Heat Rating: Lukewarm

Thoughts:

To be truthful, I only read the first 3 books of the series. The Earl’s Secret is sitting on my Kobo waiting to be read but I probably won’t get to it soon, if ever.

I LOVE highlander romances. I’m not sure why but I think it has something to do with the mix of action and romance. I like the suspense and fighting that these books often have. So because of my slight obsession, I have read a lot of highlander books which may be why I’m not the biggest fan of this series.

There is definitely suspense in Taming the Highlander but I felt like the plot was a mash-up of stories I have read before. I also found that there was a mash-up of Scottish dialogue as well. Some characters would talk one way and another from the same area would have a different way of talking. I just felt like it wasn’t consistent in writing style, especially when Rurik–a secondary character in the 1st book with a notable dialogue–gets his own story in Surrender to the Highlander and his dialogue changes again.

Rurik’s story was actually a disappointment for me. I loved him in the first book and was so excited to read the second novel. I enjoyed the plot more in Book 2–it wasn’t as predictable and based on the plot summary on Goodreads wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. I just didn’t really care for Margiet and I think that stopped me from enjoying the book.

Book 3, Possessed by the Highlander was actually my favourite. I had never really cared for Duncan’s character before this book but once I read it I realized what a sweetheart he was. Both characters are strong and I liked the plot for this one as well. I also didn’t mind the love-at-first sight bit either.

I’m not sure where The Earl’s Secret comes in. From what I can see, it doesn’t have much to do with past characters and is just set within a notable setting in the books. Thanks to Ms. Brisbin, I have been told that The Earl’s Secret and the novella feature the descendants of the first three novels and are set in Regency times. As I said before, it didn’t grab my attention so I will conclude the series here.

Conclusion:

I’ve read a lot better and a lot worse in terms of highlander fiction. If you have the time and want a “cleaner” highlander novel, you might want to check out this series. I, on the other hand, will stick to my other favourites (see them in the “similar books” below!)

Rating: 3/5

Similar Reads: In Bed with a Highlander by Maya Banks (McCabe Trilogy), Laird of the Mist by Paula Quinn (MacGregors Series) and The Highlander’s Bride by Michele Sinclair (McTiernay Brothers Series)

Synopsis for Taming the Highlander (from Goodreads):
Lady Jocelyn MacCallum had always believed she would marry for love. But the price of her brother’s freedom was to become fearsome Connor MacLerie’s new bride — a bargain that could cost Jocelyn her life. From the moment she looked into Connor’s sternly handsome face, Jocelyn began to hope that the rumors surrounding his first wife’s death were false. His reputation was as wild and untamed as the Scottish moors. Would she find a way to reach the man beneath that forbidding exterior?

Series Review: Douglas Kincaid by Deborah Smith

  

Series: Douglas Kincaid
Author: Deborah Smith
# of Books: 3 (Legends, The Silver Fox and the Red Hot Dove, Heart of the Dragon)

These books are loosely linked together–meaning they are not direct sequels of each other and focus on different characters.

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Highlands
Heat Rating: lukewarm

Thoughts:

I love contemporary romance novels and even more so, I love highlander novels so this book seemed like a dream come true but it soon became a nightmare.

I think it has something to do with when it was originally published, 1990. I’ve read a few romance novels from before I was born because they came from romance authors that the world seems to adore and one thing I have found is that they are cheesy and everything you expect from a “romance novel”. I think it is fair to say that more recent contemporary romances have stepped away from the cheese and make their stories more realistic and “dirtier” (not just sex wise but tragedies, plot twists, etc.).

I guess when I read the synopsis I thought it would be a bit more exciting plot wise–with some twists and turns and witty negotiating. It had a few interesting tidbits but I often felt like it was trying too hard. It was very cheesy in parts and a generic romance overall with the typical characters. It was a lot shorter than I thought (eBook wise) but I don’t think I would have wanted it to be any longer.

Because I didn’t enjoy the first book, I did not read the rest of the series. But based on the synopsises of the other two, I have a feeling they follow a similar formula.

Conclusion:

I’ve read better and worse, but I wouldn’t recommend this to someone unless they wanted a quick read to pass the time.

Rating: 2/5

Similar Reads:

Synopsis of Legends(from Goodreads.com):
Elgiva MacRoth descends from a long line of bold Scots willing to fight for their heritage. When her picturesque town comes under siege by a corporate raider, she devises a daring plan to stop billionaire Douglas Kincaid. But kidnapping a man off the rooftop of his penthouse and holding him hostage proves far less complicated than saving herself from his intoxicating sensual assault.

The stunning beauty with her golden eyes and fighting spirit make captivity feel like a fantasy. The desire heating up is enough to make them both forget the battle, and surrender to something far more pleasurable. But Douglas has his own dreams for this lovely spot of Scottish land. And he has a proposal that he hopes will convince Elgiva to give up her hard line and give in to him in every way that matters. With a warrior’s will, he’s fighting for his legacy, his heart, and the woman of his dreams.