Author Archives for Tracy

About Tracy

Avid reader (and reviewer) of historical romance.

Highland Conquest by Alyson McLayne

Highland Conquest (The Sons of Gregor MacLeod)Highland Conquest by Alyson McLayne
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Sons of Gregor MacLeod

Release Date: February 6, 2018

Amber MacPhearson is desperate, years ago Machar Murray took over her clan and has been pursuing her ever since. It was not so bad when her father and grandmother were alive, but since their deaths, Murray has escalated his attacks, going as far as to break into her cottage, she has kept him at bay by pretending to be a witch, but now even that is not working. So with the help of a clansman, she cuts her hair, dresses as a boy and escapes. Only to be captured by Laird Lachlan MacKay.

Lachlan has spent the last five years hunting the man who killed his brother and tried to kill him and he has finally found him, Machar Murray is finally in his sights and he will finally have his justice. He is scouting the castle, when he sees a boy go over the wall and head straight for them, he grabs the boy and takes him back to his camp. Once there he learns his young cousin Adaira has stowed away in one of the supply wagons, so he ties up the “boy” and deals with Adaira. He and his foster brother Callum then leave to take the castle and kill Murray.

Amber is glad that Lachlan is going to kill Murray, but she is worried for her clan and as a healer, she wants to be there to take care of the injured. She tricks Adaira into releasing her and then overpowers her guard and returns to the castle.

Murray bolts, but not before he takes aim at Amber, she runs from him, right into Lachlan. Lachlan is floored to realize the “boy” is actually a woman, the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. Desire flares between them, but before they can act on it, Earc (the guard) shows up with Adaira, she was stabbed by Murray and left for dead. Amber uses the situation to her advantage, she promises to heal her, if Lachlan will take over the clan. He agrees and Amber immediately takes over, she tends Adaira and all the injured. Lachlan is both impressed and annoyed by her and worries for her health and does little things to ensure she is taken care of, including diverting the castle priest, who hates her and calls her a witch.

Once all the injured are tended, Amber rests and then goes up to a chamber to bathe. Lachlan walks in and they realize that Niall, the castle steward is trying to compromise them, there is an amusing scene with Lachlan trying to hide from him, so he doesn’t end up wed to Amber.

Lachlan is frustrated that Murray escaped and they find several tunnels and bolt-holes, they have had no sightings of him. Callum speculates that he will not have gone far, he is obsessed with Amber and won’t leave until he has her. Callum suggests setting a trap, with Amber as bait.

When Amber is injured during an ambush by Murray, the clan decides that she must marry, Amber agrees, but has rules, she chooses Lachlan, thinking he will refuse and is shocked when he agrees to marry her.

Lachlan cares for Amber and despite his best efforts, he has not been able to run Murray to ground or keep her safe. Murray is an incredibly intelligent villain, so Lachlan hopes with the aid of Gregor and his foster brothers, they will be able to outwit him and finally be free of his reign of terror.

This is a very well written book and is filled with non-stop action from the first page until the last, there are steamy love scenes, wonderful secondary characters, amusing moments that keep the book from being too dark, an amazingly brilliant and supremely evil villain and finally a very touching and sweet HEA.

I really enjoyed this book and while it is not necessary, I am glad I read the first book in the series before reading this one. This book can be read as a stand alone, but if you want to learn more about Gregor and how he ended up with his foster sons, I would recommend reading Highland Promise.

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

The Taste of Temptation by Julia Kelly

The Taste of Temptation (The Matchmaker of Edinburgh, #2)The Taste of Temptation by Julia Kelly
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Matchmaker of Edinburgh, #2

Release Date: February 5, 2018

Caroline Burkett is traveling to Scotland to live with her brother Michael and his wife Elise, and hopefully to begin anew, she hopes to be taken on by Moira Sullivan, the Matchmaker of Edinburgh. Two years ago she was jilted and sued her ex for breach of contract. She won her suit, but destroyed her chances for marriage in the process. Hounded by the press and humiliated in court, Caroline just wants to find a husband and fade into obscurity.

Jonathan Moray is the founder and owner of two papers in Edinburgh, he would love to start a third paper, but refuses to borrow money to do so, he tells his staff that they need to sell more papers. When he learns that Caroline Burkett, the “Lovelorn Lady” has come to town. He wants to get an exclusive interview with her and has a plan.

They “accidentally” meet when he is in her seat at the theater. She is immediately attracted to him and is delighted when he asks to talk to her during intermission. When they meet up, she learns who he is and what he wants and she is disgusted. The press was relentless in their pursuit of her story and made her life a living hell. She has no love for newspapermen and tells Moray so. He makes a counter offer, tell him her story or he will begin to dog her every step in his scandal sheet. She refuses and makes the acquaintance of Robert Trevlan, a friend of her brother. Trevlan immediately makes his interest known and Caroline feels a little bubble of hope that her dream to marry might actually happen.

The next morning, she receives an invitation to meet Mrs. Sullivan. The woman agrees to help Caroline, but tries to convince Caroline to want more than just security. Caroline is firm, she just wants a husband and almost any man will do. After her experience in London, she doesn’t trust her own judgement and wants no part of a “love match” as love only brings pain.

At her first dinner party, Mrs. Sullivan invites Moray and seats Caroline between him and Trevlan. Caroline is at first annoyed, especially since she enjoys talking to Moray. For his part, Moray is attracted to Caroline, but he has secrets that could ruin everything he has worked so hard to build. He knows that Caroline is looking for a husband, but he could never be that man. He tries to refocus on his goal and ignore his attraction to her.

These two are thrown together several more times and a friendship of sorts blossoms. When they share a kiss and some personal confidences, Caroline knows that she wants him. He desperately wants to see her, but she is being watched by the press and he doesn’t want to give them anything to gossip about, he knows Trevlan is staking a claim and learns disturbing information about him. There is no opportunity to see her alone, so he sneaks in her room.

They embark on a heated affair and they both share their deepest, darkest secrets. But when Moray’s secrets are revealed, he turns on the only woman he has ever loved and pushes her in to the arms of his rival.

This was a very well written, well paced story that was surprisingly steamy (much to my delight), I really became invested in these two characters and found myself shaking my head and chastising them both at times, while still rooting for their HEA.

This is the second book in the Matchmaker of Edinburgh series, but I did not read the first book and had no problems at all following this story. I would happily recommend this book and look forward to reading more by this author in the future!

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

The Most Eligible Highlander in Scotland by Michele Sinclair

The Most Eligible Highlander in Scotland (The McTiernays, #7)The Most Eligible Highlander in Scotland by Michele Sinclair
Tracy’s rating: 3 of 5 stars

Series: The McTiernay’s, #7

Release Date: January 30, 2018

This was not a bad book, but personally, I found it a little boring.

The book opens with Conan McTiernay, the second to youngest McTiernay son and indisputably the most brilliant and the rudest of the bunch, being held at sword point while bathing in a loch near his brother Cole’s castle. He is on his way to Cole’s at Laurel’s bidding to help Father Laneghly and assist in moving items from the burned out priory to the McTiernay holding, when two men accost him and seek to take him captive. Conan has no time for this, even naked and wet, he knows these two men are no match for him. He quickly dispatches the first man and the other man runs off.

Mhairi Mayboill is the younger daughter of a traveling merchant, she has been residing with her sister (who is a nun) for the last several years, but since the priory burned and the church has moved them, Mhairi is no longer welcome with them unless she is willing to take vows. Mhairi has no desire to commit to the church or to marry – she wants her freedom and will not be tied down.

When she and Conan meet, sparks fly, I think they both realize that they have met their match – but neither wants marriage or commitment of any kind.

After this start, I expected this book to be action packed and filled with intrigue and adventure. But, nope – it is two incredibly stubborn people falling in love but refusing to change their plans to accommodate that love.

The story would have been a total bust for me if not for the secondary romance of Seamus and Maegen and the antics of Conor and Laurel’s daughters Brenna and Bonny.

The story ends with a HEA, but it is a long and torturous road (for the reader), there are some steamy love scenes, some laugh out loud moments (thanks to Brenna & Bonny), cameos from ALL the McTiernays, a little heartbreak and I am sorry to say a lot of modern verbiage and cliffhanger epilogue.

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

Beyond Scandal and Desire by Lorraine Heath

Beyond Scandal and Desire (Sins for All Seasons, #1)Beyond Scandal and Desire by Lorraine Heath
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Sin for All Seasons, #1

Release Date: January 30, 2018

WOW, Just WOW! Anyone who follows my reviews knows I read A LOT of books, but rarely do I want to cry at the end of book as much I as did this one – not because it was sad, but because it was over! I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book! Ms. Heath has a way with words, she has the ability to draw a reader in and force them to become invested in her characters – their joy is your joy, their pain is your pain, their troubles become your troubles – it is a rare treat to find an author who has this talent and an amazing gift for anyone lucky enough to read the book.

This is the first book in the Sins for All Seasons Series, the series is centered around the Widow Ettie Trewlove and the children she raised, who are all illegitimate cast-offs. Ms. Heath sets up the series and introduces us to the future characters, but never does it feel like this book is just a set up for the series, Mick Trewlove and Lady Aslyn Hastings are truly the stars and the main focus of the book.

Mick knows that the Duke of Hedley is his father and wants to be acknowledged as such. He is a wealthy self-made man who literally pulled himself from the gutter and forged an empire. But he longs for the respect and acceptance of the nobility, he is sure if his father would acknowledge their connection, doors would be opened to him. He has written to the duke several times, but after responding that he has no bastard to the first letter, the duke has ignored him. Mick wants his acknowledgement more than anything in the world and hatches a plan. If the duke won’t accept him, Mick will ruin his heir.

Lady Aslyn Hastings in the orphaned daughter of an earl and the ward of the Duke of Hedley. She has lived with the family since she was a young child and though it has not been officially announced, she and everyone in society assume that she will marry Hedley’s son and heir, the Earl of Kipwick and affectionately known as Kip. Aslyn has been sheltered and knows little of the world, the duchess is a recluse and extremely over protective of her. Aslyn longs for excitement and begs Kip to take her to Cremorne Gardens. This is where Mick and Aslyn meet for the first time.

Mick along with his sister Fancy are at the gardens and “happen” to run into Kip and Aslyn. Kip knows of Mick and longs to gain entrance to his brother Aiden’s club – The Cerberus Club. After a bit of friendly chatter, Mick tells Kip, he will take him to the club. Meanwhile, Aslyn is mesmerized by Mick, never has she had such a reaction to a man and it makes her question her feelings for Kip.

Over the next few days, Mick enacts his plan and plays on Kip’s weakness for gambling, he also begins to “woo” Aslyn. He plans to steal her from Kip and bring Kip to ruin, thinking he will then be able to force the duke’s hand. What he didn’t plan for was Aslyn or his reaction to her.

This is an amazing story, it is well written, flows wonderfully, there are secrets, betrayal, moments of wonder and joy, moments of immense heartache, steamy love scenes, shocking twists that have even bigger shocking twists and a truly beautiful soul-mate type love. I cannot recommend this book enough, I will definitely be re-reading this one and cannot wait for the next book in the series.

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

Falling for the Viscount by Lana Williams

Falling for the Viscount (The Seven Curses of London Book 6)Falling for the Viscount by Lana Williams
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Seven Curses of London, #6

Release Date: January 27, 2018

Spencer Campbell and Dalia Fairchild have known each other since they were children and have annoyed each other for just as long. In Dalia’s mind, Spencer is all that is proper and boring, not anything like a man she would consider spending her life with. Spencer is in fact cautious by nature, but by no means is he boring. Spencer has been working on a case for the Intelligence Office and in the course of his investigation he happens upon Dalia in a place no proper young lady should ever be!

Dalia has followed her maid to a Dance Hall located in a seedy section of London, her maid Ruth has been displaying some discontent lately and has decided to venture to the Dance Hall with her cousin Betty. Betty has been telling Ruth stories of a better life, but Dalia is sure that life involves prostitution. Worried for her maid, Dalia tries to convince her that her life will not be better if she listens to Betty, but without solid proof, Dalia fears Ruth will not believe her. Thus the trip to the Dance Hall. Dalia enters and feels uncomfortable and is more than shocked (and secretly relieved) when Spencer insists on seeing her home. She wonders why Spencer is at the Dance Hall, surely he is not there to meet a woman!

Spencer is trying to find evidence that Jack McCarthy along with his right hand man Charlie Pruett are luring and even abducting women to force them into prostitution. This cause is near and dear to the Prime Minister’s heart and success in this case could give Spencer the position and respect he longs for.

When she asks Spencer to take her to Cermore Gardens, so she can see more of what Ruth is being drawn into, he refuses. She argues that she needs to understand why her maid thinks that she would have a better life as a prostitute, she wants to go so she can present the facts and dangers to her. Spencer pulls her into an alcove and they share a kiss. Dalia is seriously reconsidering her opinion of Spencer – perhaps he is not what or who she has always believed him to be. They visit the gardens and Dalia causes a scene – one in which Spencer must rescue her from, yet again. He knows Dalia is trouble and is impulsive, but he cannot stop thinking about her.

Dalia wants to learn more about these fallen women and what options are available to them and decides to visit a home for women who are trying to leave the “business” and start a new life – what she finds is appalling, she seeks out Spencer for help and unknowingly draws more attention to herself.

Slowly these two transition from childhood nemeses to friends to much more. But the road to their HEA will not be easy, Spencer knows he cares for Dalia, but he feels that her impulsiveness will make them both unhappy in the long run. It isn’t until Dalia is placed in grave peril, that Spencer finally admits that impulsive or not, he cannot live without this woman.

This was another great installment of the Seven Curses Series, I really loved Spencer, he is a wonderful hero, he is not your typical HR hero, he is not an alpha male, but I wouldn’t really call him a beta either – he is more like a real man, not always the strongest or the smartest, but a man that would give his life for the woman he loves. The book is well written, flows nicely, has a couple of warm love scenes (no intimacy outside of marriage), a really nasty villain, cameos from Hawke, Aberland, Lettie and Sophia, action, some tense moments and finally a very sweet HEA.

I am happy to recommend this book and look forward to the next “curse”

Wallflower Most Wanted by Manda Collins

Wallflower Most Wanted (Studies in Scandal, #3)Wallflower Most Wanted by Manda Collins
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Studies in Scandal, #3

Release Date: January 30, 2018

This installment of the Studies in Scandal series, focuses on Sophia Hastings, artist in her own right and art historian and Reverend Lord Benedick Lisle, the vicar of Little Seaford’s parish. They met in the previous book and reconnect in this book. The book opens with Sophia taking a tumble over a cliff and Ben coming to her rescue. While checking her for injuries, they overhear a plot to kill someone. Sophia immediately wants to investigate, but Ben urges caution and insists on returning her to the house. Ben agrees that the plot they overheard warrants investigation and promises to collect her belongings, check for clues and return to share his findings with her.

Even though she is injured, Sophia is determined to attend the ball at the Morgan home that night, for two reasons, one her Aunt Dahlia has asked her to see if rumors about Peter Morgan running for a seat in the commons is true and also to see if she will recognize the voices of the men she heard talking on the cliff that morning. Ben also attends the ball and is surprised to see Sophia in attendance. He helps her escape her admirers and goes to find her sister, so she can be taken home. He is waylaid by Morgan who asks him to join him in preventing Sophia from exhibiting her art at the upcoming art show, he refuses and knows he has made an enemy.

He returns home to find his brother Freddie there, the Home Office has asked him to see if Ben would look into some allegations of forgery that seem to be coming out of Little Seaford. Ben briefly wonders if Sophia is involved, but after hearing all the details, knows she is not and thinks she might be able to help him.

Morgan makes another visit to Ben and threatens to report him to the Archbishop of Canterbury if he does not stand with him against Sophia, Morgan has his own artist and doesn’t want Sophia’s work to garner more attention than Thomas Ryder, his man. Again Ben refuses and decides to call on Sophia. He and his brother call on her and discuss the forgery problem, Sophia suggests they visit the Primble’s, owners and patrons of an artist colony. There they learn that Morgan’s artist, Thomas Ryder could in fact be a forger – he has the talent. Armed with this information, Freddie returns to London. Ben returns Sophia to the house and is surprised that his brother Cameron is there – fighting with Gemma (Sophia’s sister). He and Cam leave and return to the vicarage. Ben is given a cryptic message to meet someone at Framingham’s art gallery. Restless, Sophia decides to go to the village and see if she can learn anything about the forgeries from Mr. Framingham. She goes to the gallery and is confronted by Thomas Ryder. She enrages him and as he is about to strike her, Ben intervenes. Thomas leaves and Ben and Sophia share a kiss, which is interrupted by a shout from the back room. They find Thomas standing over the dead body of Mr. Framingham.

As with the previous books, the story is well done and interwoven with a delightful mystery. This installment was just as good as the previous books, it is well written, flows nicely, has some steamy love scenes, a nasty villain, a decent mystery that doesn’t overshadow the love story, cameos from the other heiresses, several plots twists that will keep you guessing “whodunit” until the very end and finally a very sweet HEA.

This is the third book in the series, but it really could be read as a stand alone title with no problems, I would happily recommend this book and am looking forward to Gemma’s story!

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

The Traitor’s Club: Caleb by Laura Landon

The Traitor's Club: Caleb (The Traitor's Club, #4)The Traitor’s Club: Caleb by Laura Landon

Series: The Traitor’s Club, #4

Release Date: January 30, 2018

Tracy’s rating: 3.5/4 of 5 stars

Caleb Parker is the final bachelor standing in the “Traitor’s Club”. Caleb has no desire to join the ranks of the blissfully domesticated. He is happy for his “brothers”, but is perfectly content to remain single.

The story starts with a tiny thief stealing Caleb’s breakfast, he catches the child and learns that the boy is a homeless, orphan. He also learns of a woman who runs a home for orphans outside of London. Caleb takes the boy to Southern Oaks, the home run by Eleanor, the widowed Countess of Grattling.

Eleanor is being harassed by a henchman for Vince Blackboot, a crime lord in St. Giles. Blackboot has a problem with Eleanor rescuing homeless children, he wants the children, so he can sell them to workhouses and brothels. Bryant, his henchman is currently trying to claim one of the children as his own, Eleanor calls his bluff and he strikes her – he is ready to hit her again, when Caleb intervenes. After a brief misunderstanding on Eleanor’s part, she realizes that Caleb is a very decent man and offers him a job.

Caleb takes the job of guarding Eleanor and the children very seriously and saves Eleanor more than once. He is shocked by his reaction to her and tells himself that nothing can come of it – he is the son of a common laborer and she is a Countess and granddaughter of a Duke. But the heart wants what the heart wants.

Eleanor has a huge heart and an enormous capacity for love. She is equally attracted to Caleb, but has her own reasons for keeping him at arm’s length.

This is a short novella, but it packs quite a punch! There is action, angst, betrayal, steamy kisses, sweet children and a very sweet epilogue with a Traitor’s Club reunion. The only reason I didn’t give the book 5 stars is because I felt like Eleanor’s secret dragged on a little too long. This is the fourth book in the series, but it could easily be read as a stand alone title.

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

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