Author Archives for Tracy

About Tracy

Avid reader (and reviewer) of historical romance.

The King and His Queen by Donna Fletcher

The King & His Queen (Pict King Series Book 3)The King & His Queen by Donna Fletcher
Release Date: 2/23/17
Series: The Pict King, #3

Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a great end to this series!

Talon is the Pict King, he is a fair and fearsome warrior who has done the impossible by uniting the Pict tribes, but to secure his position he must marry and sire an heir. He has married twice and neither wife conceived with him, nor have any of the women he frequently beds. His former wives have been remarried and are both pregnant by their new husbands, leading his people to believe that Talon is not able to father children.

Hemera is the sister of Verity (the heroine in The King’s Warrior), she was introduced to us in the previous book and portrayed as a little slow-witted. But in reality, she is anything but slow – she is incredibility observant and sees more than she lets on. She knows people think she is slow, but she uses that to her advantage. She annoys Talon more than any woman he has ever met, she does not obey him, she challenges him constantly and is more alluring to him than she should be.

While awaiting the arrival of his new bride, Talon becomes aware of a traitor in his midst and he is shocked to find that Hemera is aware of the plot and is actively trying to find out who is involved. Slowly, Talon begins to see the real Hemera and his desire for her grows.

They begin a secret affair and the more time they spend together, the more they want. But with so many things working against them and the misconceptions people have about Hemera, it doesn’t seem possible for them to be together.

The book completely wraps up the series and ties up all the loose ends from the previous books, but it could easily be a stand alone title. The writing is wonderful and the story flows at a good pace, there are steamy love scenes, a few graphic fight scenes, some shocking secrets, some lovely surprises and enough twists and turns to keep you reading and on the edge of your seat until the very last page.

I highly recommend this book and can’t wait to see what Ms. Fletcher comes up with next!

Someone to Love by Mary Balogh

Someone to Love (Westcott, #1)Someone to Love by Mary Balogh
Release Date: 11/08/16
Series: Westcott, #1

Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was hands down one of the best Mary Balogh books I have ever read. I loved it and I didn’t want it to end.

Anna Snow is an orphan, but it was not until the death of her father that she learned that she was not who she always thought she was. She has lived almost her entire life at an orphanage in Bath – never knowing who her family was or how she came to be there. All she knows is that she has a benefactor who has been paying to support her and will continue to do so, until she leaves the orphanage. Her life changes the day she receives a letter with a summons to London.

The Earl of Riverdale has died and Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby has been named guardian of Harry Westcott, the new earl until he reaches his majority. The old earl left no will, but all seems in order, so Avery is a bit surprised when the Countess of Riverdale asks him to meet with her and the solicitor without the new earl. Turns out the Countess would like the solicitor to find her late husband’s illegitimate daughter and settle a sum of money on her as long as she agrees to never contact the family or make any future claims. She is adamant that she does not want anyone especially her two daughters, Lady Camille, Lady Abigail or her son Harry, the Earl of Riverdale to know about the girl and wants to know nothing about her herself. She asks Avery to oversee this and he reluctantly agrees.

Avery comes across as an indolent, selfish fop – but he is anything but. He seems disinterested and uncaring, but he isn’t – he is unknown and unknowable – or is he?

Anna comes to London and is given the shock of her life – she is not alone – she has a large family that she never knew and never knew of her. She is also the sole legitimate child of the late earl. It seems the late earl married Anna’s mother and when her mother got ill and return with Anna to her parent’s home – the earl returned to his former life and remarried, but the problem is he remarried 4 months before his first wife died! Suddenly the table have turned and the bastard child is the lady and has inherited the family fortune! But she loses what she wants most – the brother and sisters that she always wanted.

Anna tries to make peace with her siblings, but they want nothing to do with her and refuse to take anything from her. Her extended family of Aunts and cousins, step in and begin the transformation of Anna from orphan to Lady Anastasia Westcott. Avery watches from the sidelines and steps in to rescue Anna more than once when she seems overwhelmed.

Avery’s reaction to Anna mystifies him – she is nothing like any woman he has ever met and he is sure that he cannot be attracted to her. But attracted he is and when Anna’s family suggests she marry Alexander, the new earl – Avery steps in and tells her she could marry him.

For her part, Anna is just as confused about her feelings toward Avery as he is to her. But with Avery she feels safe and she agrees to marry him. Once they marry, he takes her to find her maternal grandparents and then back to Bath to visit her sisters and the orphanage. They seem like they are off to a great start and very happy – but all that changes when they return to London.

Once back in London, they start to drift apart and they both long to recapture the closeness they had on their honeymoon, but neither really knows how. It isn’t until Avery is ready to open up and let Anna know him that they find their HEA.

This book was well written, flows nicely, has a bit of drama, a lot of laughter, some mild love scenes and an absolutely beautiful declaration scene. The book does set up the series, but I never felt like Anna and Avery got lost in the process. I would happily recommend this book and am eagerly awaiting the rest of the series!

Forbidden Knight by Diana Cosby

Forbidden Knight (Forbidden #2)Forbidden Knight by Diana Cosby
Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Release Date 06/06/17
Series: Forbidden, #2

I really liked this book. It is an emotionally charged book that is centered more on the hero than the heroine. It is a little light in the romance department, but it is a beautiful story nonetheless.

Alesone is a woman on the run, she is trying to escape her father, Lord Comyn, who plans to use her as a pawn to over throw King Robert. Alesone is loyal to Robert and wants nothing to do with Lord Comyn.

Sir Thomas is a displaced Templar Knight, who is on his way to join King Robert, when he comes across Alesone, who shoots an arrow at him, narrowly missing his heart. She claims to be the king’s healer but Thomas doesn’t believe her. He thinks she is a spy assassin and thinks she is just bluffing about her relationship with the king.

When the plot Alesone’s father has concocted is revealed, the king charges Thomas with seeing Alesone to safety. Thomas is not pleased about this turn of events, but does as the king bids. When he is injured, Alesone saves him and finds them shelter. When Thomas wakes, he recognizes the owner of the cottage they are in and discovers he is near his childhood home.

Sir John, the owner of the cottage, has Thomas and Alesone taken to the nearby monastery for further help. Once there Thomas’ past comes rushing back and he is confronted with old friends, family and heartache that he has spent years running from.

Thomas’ father comes to claim his son and Thomas is reluctant to go home, but knowing that Alesone’s safety is paramount, he agrees. Alesone has tended Thomas and they have grown close, she doesn’t expect anything will come from their time together, but she is beginning to fall in love with him and wants to help him heal, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. Alesone has been alone most of her life and has recently lost the only person she had ever considered family. She blames herself for Grisel’s death and can understand Thomas’ grief – but she can’t understand his refusal to rejoin his family.

Alesone is a beautiful person, both inside and out and my heart broke for her, she has lost so much and when she begins to open herself up to Thomas, he repeatedly shuts her out. I understood his reasons, but he was really awful to her, maybe not on purpose, but he hurts her again and again. The healing of Thomas takes time and he doesn’t make it easy – he has judged himself unworthy of forgiveness or of love and no matter what anyone says, he won’t change his mind. Alesone along with his friends and his father really have their work cut out for them convincing Thomas to accept their love.

I thought the book was well written, but it did drag a little bit in the middle and Thomas’ reasons for not acknowledging his feelings for Alesone started to get old and tired. But once he begins to forgive himself and accept that he deserves happiness, the story picks up. I enjoyed his bumbling attempts to explain himself to Alesone. The heat factor in this book is rather low, there are some love scenes and they are well done, but not steamy. There are a few battle scenes, but nothing horrifically violent or gory. There is also a twist at the end, that I never saw coming, but was delighted by on Alesone’s behalf.

In the end, I really liked this book and I would be happy to recommend it. It is the second book in the Forbidden Series, but it could be read as a stand alone title with no problems.

* I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC provided to me by Netgalley and the publisher*

The Traitor’s Club: Ford by Laura Landon

traitors club - ford
The Traitor’s Club: Ford by Laura Landon

Release Date: 05/30/17
Series: The Traitor’s Club, #1

Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lady Calinda aka Callie was burned years ago by her betrothed and has decided that men cannot be trusted and wants no part of marriage. She is content to help her grandfather run the Crown’s shipping company.

Captain Ford Remington is one of the “Queen’s Scoundrels”, he has returned from the war and is at loose ends, he feels a bit of survivor’s guilt and desperately wishes there was something he could do for all the wound/crippled soldiers that were not as fortunate as he and his friends were. His chance arises when the Queen requests his assistance with the Crown’s Shipping Company. Profits have been declining for years and she wants Ford to go undercover and find out why. His reward will be half interest in the company. The money will enable Ford to help those soldiers, so while he has no desire to spy again, he can’t turn away this opportunity.

Ford meets Callie at a ball and befriends her – he feels badly about deceiving her, but he has a mission and until he learns more, she is a suspect. Callie is shocked at her reaction to Ford, she hasn’t had any interest in a man since her ill fated betrothal. Even though she tries to keep Ford at a distance, she feels a connection to him and begins to share her worries about the company with him.

As they work together to figure out who is stealing from the company and how, they fall in love. Ford can never seem to find the right time to tell Callie about his mission and knows the longer he waits, the harder it will be for her to forgive him.

Things come to a head and when Callie finds out the truth, she shuts him out. She refuses to talk to him, listen to him or read his letters. Up until this point, I though this was a 5 star read – but the way she acted turned me off and I had a hard time liking her after that. She came across as a hypocrite since she was also keeping secrets from her family and especially from her grandfather. She assumed the worst about Ford and steadfastly refused to believe she might be mistaken.

She does redeem herself (sort of) but for me, it was too little, too late.

The book is well written, interesting, moves at a steady pace, has very mild love scenes (kissing only), great secondary characters and a decent mystery. I loved Ford, from the first page to the last and I look forward to reading the other “traitors” stories.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*

Falling for the Highlander by Lynsay Sands

Falling for the Highlander (Highlanders, #4)Falling for the Highlander by Lynsay Sands
Series: Highlanders, #4
Release Date: 01/31/17

Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book, but I will be honest – it has been so long between books in this series, that I honestly don’t remember reading about Murine in the previous novels.

Murine has been living with her half-brother in England since her father died the previous year. She is not happy in his home and feels isolated – she has not heard from her friends since she moved and is beginning to wonder if they are getting her messages. When she learns that a group of Scotsmen are coming to see her brother, she wonders if she can convince one of them to carry her message to Saidh.

Dougall has come to England to sell horses to Murine’s brother. When her brother cannot produce the coin to pay, he offers Dougall his sister in exchange – not to marry, just to “use” until he feels the debt is repaid. Dougall is outraged and disgusted by the offer and refuses. When her brother suggests that they wait a day because he is sure his neighbor would pay to use his sister – Dougall makes it clear that even if Montrose got the money, Dougall would never sell his horses to him. He and his brothers immediately leave the castle and travel to the village.

Murine is humiliated and appalled by her brother’s offer and knows that he will sell her – she decides that she must leave and travel to Saidh’s home and hope that she can help her.

When she meets up with Dougall and his brothers on the road – they are surprised to learn that she is their sister Saidh’s friend – the very friend that saved her life! They agree to take her to Saidh and protect her from her brother. Before they can start out – men from her brother’s castle come looking for her and Dougall orders his brothers to hide her. While hiding, Murine faints, Dougall takes her up on his horse and holds her so tightly, that each time she comes to, she faints again from lack of air. When they finally stop to rest the horses – it is amusing to see Dougall and his brothers doting on Murine.

The trip to Scotland is plagued with “accidents” which Dougall believes are caused by Murine’s tendency to faint – even when she insists that she did not faint. Dougall and his brother’s agree that Murine must be saved from her brother and think that she should marry as soon as possible. Several of the brothers offer, and even though he is not in the market for a wife – Dougall doesn’t want anyone but him to marry her. There is a bit of a misunderstanding between Murine and Dougall after they kiss.

They realize that they are being followed just before they reach their home and Murine is injured – Once they arrive in the gates – Dougall announces that he is going to marry Murine. But first she must be tended. While Murine is recovering – Dougall and his brothers learn that Murine’s brother is nearby and looking for her – Dougall takes Murine into hiding and their relationship begins to blossom.

It appears that these two will get their HEA, but first they will have to solve the mystery of who is trying to kill them and why.

This was a good book, it is well written and flows nicely, the love scenes were steamy, the mystery was well done and while it was amusing, it was not nearly as funny as previous books by Ms. Sands. I especially enjoyed catching up with Saidh and Greer and Dougall’s brothers are always entertaining (seriously hope they all get a book!) I would be happy to recommend this book and am looking forward to the next installment in the series.

Scandalous Ever After by Theresa Romain

Scandalous Ever After (Romance of the Turf)Scandalous Ever After by Theresa Romain

Release Date: 7/4/17
Series: Romance of the Turf, #2

Tracy’s rating: 3 of 5 stars

Maybe 3.5 stars

Kate, the Countess of Whelan and Evan Rhys have a history. Evan has been in love with Kate since the day he met her – as the bride of his best friend. The three of them shared a deep friendship – but all that changed when Kate’s husband Con died in a racing accident.

Evan left shortly before Con died, after they had a heated agreement. Evan finally gave in to his anger of the way Con treated Kate and his responsibilities. He left never intending to return.

Two years later, Kate is back in England trying to secure a loan to pay off her late husband’s debts and to save her son’s legacy. She learns that Evan is lecturing not far from her families home and she seeks him out. Evan has been fighting depression his entire life and Kate seems to be the only person that keeps the “gray” from consuming him. He has stayed away for the last two years because he feels unworthy and guilty. But seeing Kate again smashes all his reasons for staying away. He has been trying to find the source of forgeries used to smuggle and Kate’s appearance is the perfect excuse to return to Ireland.

They try to pick up their friendship where they left off, but there are things that need to be said and feelings that need to be explored. When they take their relationship to the next level, Kate immediately regrets it – even though she instigated the interlude. Kate wants things with Evan to be like they were and can’t understand his withdrawal from her.

They return to Ireland and begin to investigate the forgeries and their feelings for each other. Each of them learns some hard truths and begin to come to terms with the changes between them.

When Evan’s life is in peril – Kate finally acknowledges her true feelings and lets go of her fears and past hurts.

I liked the story, but I didn’t love it. The writing felt a bit disjointed and was at times confusing to follow. Although, I was impressed with the author’s portrayal of Evan – his unrequited love for Kate, his guilt over Con, his struggle with depression and his refusal to accept a half-life with Kate – it was really well done and completely believable.

All in all a decent read and I would be happy to recommend it to others.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*

Three Weeks with a Princess by Vanessa Kelly

Three Weeks with a Princess (The Improper Princesses, #2)Three Weeks with a Princess by Vanessa Kelly
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Improper Princesses, #2

Release Date: 6/27/17

Jack, the new Marquess of Lendale is Lia Kincaid’s oldest and dearest friend. Lia is the granddaughter of the previous Marquess’ mistress and the illegitimate daughter of the Duke of York. She lives with her grandmother in Bluebell Cottage on Jack’s estate, Stonefell.

Since the passing of his uncle, Jack has made some shocking discoveries, the main one being the ghastly state of the estates finances. He has no idea how he is going to be able to support the estate, let alone Lia and her grandmother. Jack has loved Lia for as long as he can remember, in a strictly platonic way, but seeing her again after so long, he begins to realize that Lia is no longer a little girl and is horrified by the lust he feels for her.

When Lia realizes that Jack is not in a position to support them any longer, she hatches a plan. She will move to London with her mother and become an actress – the only problem with her plan is that she can’t sing, dance or act. Her grandmother suggests that she become a courtesan and Jack is adamantly opposed to this plan – he assures Lia that he will always take care of them.

Lia loves Jack and doesn’t want to burden him, so she slips off to London without telling him. Lia knows that Jack will have to marry a rich woman to save the estate and knows that she and her grandmother will only cause him grief. When she arrives in London, she realizes her options are limited and being a courtesan might be the only thing she is qualified to do.

When Jack finally tracks her down, Lia learns that she has an extended family that she never knew about. Chloe, Dominick, Charles and Gillian all welcome Lia with open arms and tell her they will help her find a husband, by launching her into society. Again Jack is not happy with this plan, Lia is his responsibility and he wants her to go back to Stonefell.

Lia is still certain that she will have to become a courtesan and as much as she appreciates her new family, she continues to pursue her original plan and ends up needing to be rescued more than once. After one such rescue, Jack and Lia share a passionate encounter and Jack declares that they will marry. Lia knows that marrying Jack will ruin him and refuses – but they make a bargain, three weeks to either come to an agreement or Jack will help her find a protector.

What could possibly go wrong?

This is a wonderful addition to the Improper Princesses series! It is well written, flows nicely, has a lot of twists and turns, some laugh out loud moments, some tense moments and some very thought provoking scenes, it is not as steamy as most of the other books in the series, but the love scenes are on the warmer side. This is the second book in the series, but it could be read as a stand alone – however to truly appreciate Gillian’s role in this book, you should read the previous book, My Fair Princess.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*

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