Scottish/Highlander

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!

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*

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.

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