Novella

Mists and Moonrise by Various Authors

Mists and Moonrise: The Reluctant Brides CollectionMists and Moonrise: The Reluctant Brides Collection by Kathryn Le Veque, Eliza Knight, Madeline Martin, Laurel O’Donnell, Catherine Kean and Elizabeth Rose

Release Date: 06/20/17

Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a nice collection of never before published novellas, they are all based on the legend of the ill-fated lovers Kael & Aelwen. While all the stories are rooted in the legend, they are not connected and are all easily read as stand alone titles.

Lady of the Moon, Kathryn Le Veque – 4.5 stars. This is the story of Samarra & Rhodes. When Rhodes refuses to marry the woman his father has chosen for him, his father hires Samarra to abduct him and deliver him to the cave in St. Agnes. His father believes that if Rhodes touches the wall with his betrothed, he will fall in love with her and willingly marry. This was a story of “insta-love”, but it is very well done and surprisingly believable. The story moves at a fast pace, has a lot of action, a little steam and an ironic twist.

Laird of Darkness, Eliza Knight – 5 stars. This is the story of Rosamond and Tierney. Rosamond’s father has abandoned her in the cave at St. Agnes to punish her for rumors at court (which are actually about her twin sister). Tierney has been held prisoner at the tower of London for the last ten years, he was branded a traitor when he saved the Bruce’s life in battle. He has finally been released and is returning to Scotland to reclaim his lands and title when he finds Rosamond in the cave. Tierney rescues Rosamond and on the journey back to Scotland, they share a kiss that leads to a misunderstanding. Once resolved, the decide to marry. They return to Scotland, marry and declare their love before Tierney must leave on a mission for the Bruce. This was one of my favorite novellas in the book, it is fast paced, well written, very steamy, had a believable love story and best of all – Eliza Knight says that this is just the beginning of their story, that she will be following this up with a full length novel later this year (Yay!!)

The Highlander’s Untamed Lady, Madeline Martin – 5 Stars. This is the story of Diana & Evander. Evander’s people are starving so he accepts a bride from England sight unseen as her father has offered him an outrageous dowry to marry her. Diana has been imprisoned by her father for refusing to marry, she manages to escape only to be chased by Evander. He catches up with her in the cave at St. Agnes and tells her that they are to marry and return to Scotland. She of course refuses, leaving Evander no choice but to drug her (and her two pet wolves). They travel back to Scotland and Diana begins to realize how wrong she was about Evander. They marry as soon as they reach his castle, but Diana is not ready to share all her secrets with Evander and tries to keep him at arms length, but the more she gets to know him, the more she admires him. Once Diana admits to herself, that she is in love with him, she takes the ultimate leap of faith and shares her darkest secret. Evander is all you could want in a hero – I loved him! It seems like these two are destined for a HEA, when an unexpected twist threatens to tear them apart. This was my favorite novella – it is well written, emotional, steamy and has a really sweet ending.

Bravest of them All, Laurel O’Donnell – 3.5 Stars. This is the story of Luke and Nessa. Luke has known Nessa for most of her life, they grew up together and Luke is betrothed to Nessa’s older (spoiled/vain) sister Melwyn. Luke has been in France with the girls father for years fighting in the war, their father was struck down and Luke is returning with him to England. They arrive to find that Nessa has been abducted – the villain mistook her for her sister. Luke immediately sets out to rescue her, but his party is betrayed and ambushed. He manages to escape with Nessa, but their story is far from over. Luke is injured when the traitor catches up to them and they must run for their lives. The more time they spend together, the more they realize that they love each other. Once they reach her father’s castle, Nessa has decided that she cannot betray her sister and tells her father that she does not love Luke. This leads to a misunderstanding that almost costs them the love of a lifetime. While I found the story entertaining and well rounded, it did wrap up a bit too quickly and ended abruptly. It was well written and had a lot of action, but there was no steam at all and the heroine comes across as a martyr.

That Knight by the Sea, Catherine Kean – 3.5 stars. This is the story of Garret and Adaline (Addy). Six years ago Garret and Addy were in love, but Garret was sent away. Six years later, Addy believes Garret is dead and is on the verge of being married to a man she detests. Garret is a mercenary and has survived the last 6 years by his sword, when the man who helped him gain his knighthood requests that he abduct Addy, he immediately refuses, the lord then blackmails Garret into compliance. Garret still loves Addy, but he does not believe he is worthy of her because of his part. When he abducts her, she does not recognize him, but it does not take her long to figure out who he is. She begs him to release her, but he refuses – until he learns that he has been double crossed. He tries to get Addy away, but she escapes him and all hell breaks loose. It doesn’t look good for our lovers, but help comes from an unexpected source. This novella had a lot of potential, but there were a lot of typos and some inconsistencies that dimished the story for me.

Pirate in the Mist Elizabeth Rose – 2.5 stars. This is the story of Brody and Gwen. Brody is the captain of a pirate ship, his crew has mutinied and forced him overboard. He swims to a deserted island and spends a week building a raft. He is picked up by a passing fishing boat, only to go overboard again while rescuing the captain’s daughter, Gwen. They find the raft (?) and make it to shore, where they enter the cave in St. Agnes. They touch the wall and immediately fall in love – at least Gwen does. They leave the cave and head to an inn, where miraculously Brody’s long lost friend is the owner. Gwen learns some awful truths about her family and Brody wants to protect her. He decides that he is also falling in love with her and wants them to marry. This story was just too short to do it justice – it seemed rushed and totally unbelievable. If it was longer and the author had time to build up the story and develop a stronger relationship between Gwen and Brody, I think it could have been at 4 star read.

All in all, this was an enjoyable read and for the price, you can’t go wrong – I happily recommend this book

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an ARC provided to by the author*

A Fine Madness by Elizabeth Essex

A Fine Madness (Highland Brides Book 3)A Fine Madness by Elizabeth Essex

Release Date: May 2, 2017

Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

This was a charming little story about Hamish Cathcart, the third son of an earl and Rory’s (from Mad for Love) half brother and Elspeth Otis, orphaned daughter of John Otis, infamous author of a banned book. This is the third book in the series, but it appears to run concurrently with Mad About the Marquess and I thought it tied the three books together nicely.

Hamish is in a bind, his father has decided that it is time for him to marry and has given him about 5 weeks to pick a bride or be cut off. Hamish has no desire to dance to his father’s tune and is determined to find a way to make his own fortune. As luck would have it, opportunity knocks in the form of Lady Ivers – sister to John Otis. She suggests that Hamish revive and revamp her late brother’s book and points him in the direction of the original publisher.

Elspeth is at home with her two aunts (her mother’s sisters) celebrating her 24th birthday when she is surprised by a delivery from her aunt (Lady Ivers) from Edinburgh – since she has never had any contact with her father’s family, she is shocked to find out that her aunts have kept the knowledge that Lady Ivers has sent her letters and gifts over the years from her. She makes a rash decision and leaves the cottage and travels to Edinburgh – much to the dismay and contempt of her aunts. Unsure of her welcome, Elspeth is delighted by the warm welcome she receives from Lady Ivers. Lady Ivers explains to Elspeth that the trunk that was delivered to her was actually her father’s and encourages Elspeth to explore the contents and pick up where her father left off on the manuscript within. She then points in the direction of the original publisher of her father’s book.

When Hamish and Elspeth first meet, it is definitely not love at first sight – but after Elspeth leaves and Hamish reads the book she has written – he is blown away and sees the means to make his venture a success and to escape the marriage noose his father is trying to trap him in.

Hamish and Elspeth meet again at Lady Ivers home and agree work together to publish the book. Hamish realizes that Elspeth is not the mouse he first thought and the more time he is with her, the more he wants her and not just for the book. Elspeth is also smitten by Hamish – but she has lead a small life and is sure that a worldly man like Hamish would never want a girl like her. When they meet at a ball and things become heated between them – Elspeth’s upbringing resurfaces and she is ashamed of herself – so when Lady Ivers tells her one of her aunts is ill and asking for her – she bolts.

Hamish is not willing to let Elspeth walk away and sets out after her. Just as he convinces her that should be together – a misunderstanding sends Elspeth running again.

I really enjoyed this book – it is well written, has an interesting storyline, likeable characters, no real villains (unless you count the aunts as villains – which they kind of were), a couple of steamy-ish love scenes, a quickly resolved misunderstanding and a wonderful declaration scene.

This book could easily be read as a stand alone title – but it does tie the other two books into the series very nicely.

The Proper Way to Stop a Wedding. In Seven Days or Less by Victoria Alexander

The Proper Way to Stop a Wedding. In Seven Days or Less (The Lady Traveler's Guide, #0.5)The Proper Way to Stop a Wedding. In Seven Days or Less by Victoria Alexander

Release Date: 04/01/17

Series: The Lady Travelers Guide #.05

Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars!

OMG! This book was totally delightful! It was laugh out loud funny and even though Henry and Celia were the primaries, I fell in love with Edward!

Henry and Celia met briefly and felt an instant connection – but parted ways without exchanging names and even though they both tried to find the other again, they did not and both accepted defeat and moved on.

Henry actually moved on to Katherine and after a whirlwind courtship, proposes to her. So imagine his shock when he meets her family and realizes his missing soulmate is her younger sister!

Unable to break his word he proceeds with the wedding plans even though he’s miserable and knows that marrying Katherine is a huge mistake. Celia is heartbroken but knows that Henry is a man of honor and would be devastated if he had to break his word.

Fortunately for our star-crossed lovers, Henry’s brother Edward and Celia’s Aunt Guinevere have no such scruples and set off on the campaign to make Katherine cry off!

This was an absolutely delightful read and whetted my appetite for the next book in the series! The only complaint I had was Henry came off as a little bit fickle – but in the end he is totally redeemed.

%d bloggers like this: