Scottish/Highlander

Seductive Surrender by Collette Cameron

Seductive Surrender (Highland Heather Romancing a Scot, #6)Seductive Surrender by Collette Cameron
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Highland Heather Romancing a Scot, #6

Release Date: May 23, 2018

Gwendolyn McClintock meets Dugall Ferguson when her carriage runs him down. Injured by highwaymen, Dugall had stumbled out of the woods into the carriage’s path. Gwen insists on caring for him.

Gwen is aunt and guardian to Jeremiah, the new Laird McClintock, she has traveled from their home in South Carolina to Scotland. She has no idea what to expect in Scotland, but she is intent on seeing Jeremiah claim his birthright. She sold their plantation, packed up her niece, nephew, aunt and nanny and is anxious to see what the future holds for them.

When Dugall wakes, he is surprised to find himself bound and the fiery angel who found him on the road riding his horse! He convinces Gwen he is not a threat and offers to help her oversee the estate – until he hears back from the diplomatic corps – his lifelong dream is to be an agent for the corps and nothing, not even a gorgeous red head with a charming accent and hysterical sayings will stop him from leaving.

They arrive at the estate and Gwen immediately takes charge, she tends Dugall’s wounds and shares a kiss with him, letting it slip that she had been betrothed before – four times to be exact. As she is coming to terms with the kiss, she meets some of the other residents of the house. From Aunt Dolina, she learns that her grandparents eloped. Her grandfather was the younger brother of the previous Laird and caused quite a stir when he eloped with his brother’s intended bride.

Dugall takes her and the family to meet his brother, Laird Ewan, on the way there, someone takes a shot at Gwen. Terrified for her, Dugall insists on guards and when she learns the shooter escaped, she agrees and begins to think coming to Scotland was a mistake.

Weeks pass with no further incidents until the solicitor, Mr. Christie shows up with the will – Gwen is stunned by not only the revelations, but by the conditions. Dugall promises to look into it – but has received his acceptance to the corps and needs to leave. Gwen is a more than a little heartbroken, but she will not stand in his way. She cannot stay at Suttford House and accepts a position at Craiglocky Keep. Dugall leaves for his meeting with the corps and Gwen and the children settle in at the keep. Gwen misses Dugall and when he returns a week later, she is overjoyed to see him, until she is shot! Dugall is beside himself – his Gwenny has been shot and it makes him realize how he feels about her.

When news arrives from their investigation, it changes everything and Dugall will have to decide if he will give up his dream or keep the woman he loves.

This was a sweet, quick read with likable leads and cameos from previous characters, there is a decent mystery, entertain banter, some kisses, some shocking twists/turns and a sweet epilogue.

This is the sixth book in the series, but it could easily be read as a stand alone title with no problems.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me*

The Earl’s Forsaken Bride by Tammy Andresen

The Earl's Forsaken Bride (A Laird to Love, #5)The Earl’s Forsaken Bride by Tammy Andresen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: A Laird to Love #5
Publication Date: 5/15/18

What a perfectly delicious pairing of two perfectly lovely, perfectly delectable, perfectly flawed and perfectly perfect for each other people. This is a very short, but very sweet novella.

He has returned from the wars in India. He is scarred both inside and outside and doesn’t think he can ever give anyone love. He wants an amiable wife who is mature enough to understand his dark moods without swooning. He can’t abide the idea of the empty-headed swooning debutants he’s seen. He needs a wife who understands pain and suffering.

She is a ruined woman. Her father, an earl, took his own life rather than going to debtors prison. That left his daughter at the mercy of the world. She ended up living up with a very poor spinster aunt and taking in laundry in order for them to survive. Now, her aunt is ill and she doesn’t have the funds to see to her care. What will she do?

When Lady Elizabeth Chase returned to their small cottage after picking up laundry to wash, there was a very large, fine carriage at the door. Elizabeth has learned to be very wary in the last two years and there is absolutely no reason at all that there should be a carriage at her door. She hangs back where they can’t see her, but her aunt is ill within the cottage and she has to go in. Then, as she approaches, there is a man in her flower bed looking in through the windows. As he turns, she steps back and then another man walks around from behind the cottage. She’s alarmed, wary and feels trapped. The second man identifies himself as Laird Ewan McDougal a cousin from her mother’s side of the family. The first man, Lord Callum Tate, Earl of Blackwood has come to ask her to marry him.

This is a sweet and passionate story with lovely, and flawed characters. Their journey to an HEA is lovely and uplifting. If you want to read a book where you’ll be smiling and feeling very happy at the end, then this one is for you.

Please check out my reviews at:
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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”

Ladies of the Stone: A Scottish Romance Anthology by Eliza Knight, Madeline Martin, Cecelia Mecca & Lori Ann Bailey

Ladies of the Stone: A Scottish Romance AnthologyLadies of the Stone: A Scottish Romance Anthology by Eliza Knight
Tracy’s rating: 4.5/5 of 5 stars

Release Date: April 24, 2018

This was a really fun anthology – four novellas centered around the legend of the Heart of Scotland, a mythical stone that holds the soul of Scotland and the ladies chosen to protect it. The basic gist of the stories is that the Heart of Scotland must be protected, if it falls into the wrong hands, Scotland will suffer. Each time a protector dies, the stone returns to the Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye and is guarded by the priestess, until the new protector arrives. Every protector has a mark, a small dagger on their hip, they also have a special power, that usually intensifies after they take possession of the stone. For each protector there is a nemesis, who also has a mark on their hip and a power – each protector will have to fight to keep the stone safe – classic good vs evil.

The Highlander’s Quest by Eliza Knight – 4 stars – The daughter of Julianna and Ronan Sutherland, Julia Sutherland, is called to be the new protector of King David II, the boy king of Scotland. She doesn’t want to leave her mother, who is recovering from poisoning, but duty comes first. She goes to Dunfermline Palace to report to the Earl of Moray, the young king’s regent. When she arrives she is stopped by Alistair Campbell, Moray’s personal guard. It is definitely not a case of love at first sight! When the young king is kidnapped, Julia will be drawn to the pools and will have to choose between duty to her king or let the stone fall into the hands of a villain. Julia and Alistair will have to work together to save both the king and the stone. Nice story, lots of action, steamy love scenes and a HEA.

Cassandra by Madeline Martin – 5 stars – Cassandra Thomas is the most recent youngest daughter born to the line of Beaumont women – the youngest daughter of this line is always born with a gift/power, at her birth her grandmother predicts that not only will Cassandra have a powerful connection to the earth, but she will also be called upon as a protector of the stone. Cassandra feels the burden of expectation her entire life and feels like a disappointment to her family, when at the ripe old age of 20 she has shown no real evidence of her gift. But all that changes when the mark of the protector appears on her hip and she is drawn to the pools on Skye. Fergus needs the stone, his king is holding his son captive, a son Fergus has never seen and will not release him until Fergus delivers the Heart of Scotland AND the protector. Cassandra and Fergus meet when they both arrive at the pool – Fergus bests her and takes the stone. Cassandra follows him – which suits his purposes. Along the way to the king, Cassandra will come into her powers and Fergus will help her learn to harness her gift. They will fall in love, but will he be willing to save her at the cost of his son? This was the most “magical” of the novellas, it had some anguish, steamy love scenes, action and a seemingly impossible HEA.

The Protector’s Promise by Cecelia Mecca – 4 stars – William “Court” Thornhurst, an Englishman and seneschal of Camburg Castle is drawn to the pools on Skye and the stone as is Lady Marion of Ormonde. Court get the stone and is pursued by Marion. Marion is the protector, she has anticipated and trained for this her entire life – there is no way she is going to let Court keep the stone. When she confronts him, he takes her captive, he will not give her the stone, he doesn’t know why, but he knows the stone will help him win his heart’s desire. Marion isn’t giving up – she will get the stone. As they travel, they are attracted to one another, but they are enemies and resist the pull. Marion wears down Court and he promises to give her the stone after he completes his mission. Marion must convince him that his mission will destroy the truce between their countries and that he doesn’t need the lands and title he craves to be worthy. This was a sweet story, with steamy love scenes, a bit of angst and very interesting ending.

The Highland Guard and His Lady by Lori Ann Bailey – 4.5 stars – Leslee MacKinnon is the current protector of the stone, she has an unusual gift, she can “read” objects, she can see visions of the past and can feel the objects owners feelings. She is at Holyrood Place to translate an ancient text for the Queen. She meets Duncan Douglas, captain of the guard, when she tries to enter the queen’s apartments. Duncan is immediately drawn to her and feels oddly protective of her. Duncan is the distant cousin to Lord Darnley, the Queen’s consort, the father of the prince and Duncan’s only living family. They both feel the attraction, but she knows nothing will come from it – she will return to Skye and he is needed at the castle. They grow closer and Leslee trusts him with her secrets, which he seems to accept without question. But when Leslee’s nemesis tries to claim the stone, will Duncan choose Leslee or will he choose to stand by the only family he has left? This was a great story, lots of emotion, steamish love scenes and the most original and entertaining fictional interpretation of Lord Darnley’s death that I have ever read.

Overall, this was a wonderful collection, all the novellas follow the same theme, but they are all stand alone stories, they all incorporate true historical figures and events, they are all well written, entertaining, steamish and each have a touch of magic. I am happy to recommend this anthology and would be interested in reading more from all of these authors.

Betting the Scot by Jennifer Trethewey

Betting the Scot (The Highlanders of Balforss)Betting the Scot by Jennifer Trethewey
Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Highlanders of Balforss

Release Date: April 23, 2018

I really enjoyed this book, Declan Sinclair is one of the sweetest heroes I have read in a really long time – I just loved him! Caya was a good heroine, but I really questioned her intelligence on more than one occasion.

Declan has dreams that predict future events, so when he had a dream of a woman in a field of daisies, he knew she was the woman he would marry. He has been preparing to meet her for the last three years. He has started a distillery so he can support her, built a house for them to live in and has kept himself for her. When in Wick to pick up a tub for his then unknown wives boudoir – he sees her and instantly knows that she is his. He wonders how he will be able to meet her and her brother, Jack solves that problem. He joins Declan and his cousins after Caya retires for the night – Jack figures the Scots are easy pickings and proposes a game of cards – he loses everything and in desperation, he wagers Caya hand in marriage and loses to Declan.

Caya is in Wick with her brother to marry, her brother was deep in debt and arranged a match for her with a wealthy ship captain. Mr. O’Malley will pay off Jack’s debts in exchange for marriage to Caya. She is not happy, but she can’t bear to see Jack thrown in debtors prison, so she agrees. Caya has always taken care of Jack and cleaned up his messes, so this act is nothing new to her and he has promised that he is done with gambling. So she is surprised the next morning to be woken by Jack and told they have to leave the inn. When the go outside, she learns the awful truth, her brother lost her in a card game. Hurt and angry, she leave with Declan – he gave her the choice, he will marry her or if she wants, she can stay with her brother. She chooses Declan.

They travel to Balforss, where Declan’s uncle is Laird. Laird John refuses to let them marry or even court, until he feels enough time has passed. Declan is not happy, but he abides by his uncles wishes. The Sinclairs take Caya in and for the first time in many years, she feels loved, safe and part of a family. She wants to marry Declan, but will not go against Laird John’s decree. She is still smarting over her brother’s betrayal and needs time to heal. She settles in to life at Balforss and it seems like Declan and she are on a fast track to HEA – but what fun would that be?

The book is well written, but there are some glaring historical errors, which are needed to make the plot work, but were just really, really annoying to me. The story moves right along and has more than one twist, really vile villains, jealousy, misunderstandings, pirates, whiskey, accusations of witchcraft, cameos with Alex, Magnus & Lucy, more than one laugh out loud scene, a couple of warmish love scenes, kidnapping, heartbreak and a bit of betrayal before Declan can claim Caya as his own.

This is the second book in the series, but it could be read as a stand alone title with no problems, I actually liked this book better than the first book and I am really looking forward to Magnus’ story!

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

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Marry by Elizabeth Essex

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Marry (Highland Brides, #4)Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Marry by Elizabeth Essex
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Highland Brides, #4

Release Date: March 20, 2018

The wedding day of Lady Greer Douglas and Ewan Cameron, the Duke of Crieff is finally here, after 10 years of writing letters and falling in love, they will finally meet and marry.

Greer is in alt, she loves Ewan with her entire being and he is her best friend and today she will not only marry him, but look upon his beloved face for the first time! Betrothed as children, they have never met, the timing has always worked against them, but they have written letters and come to know each other and have fallen in love. Both are anxious and excited for the wedding.

But this day will not be the fairy tale Greer has envisioned, first they are delayed when they find a badly beaten man in the road, Greer doesn’t hesitate to help, the man is barely alive, they are preparing to take him to the castle when the moorkeeper for Crieff, Dewar comes along. He recognizes the man and tells Greer, he will take him and care for him. Greer is reluctant to let the man go, she feels drawn to him, but Ewan awaits. They continue up to the castle and are shocked that no one is there to greet them, they knock on the door and learn the awful news – Ewan is dead. His cousin Malcolm has installed himself in the castle as the new Duke and has the audacity to offer to marry her in Ewan’s stead. Greer is devastated and Malcolm doesn’t give them any straight answers. He says he doesn’t even have Ewan’s body yet, he was killed in Edinburgh after a night of carousing with his friends. Greer doesn’t believe him, but has no way to refute his words. In her sorrow, she runs out of the house and to the moors to grieve, this is where she finds Ewan’s dog Gent, alone and disheveled. As she takes the dog and makes her way back to the castle, she is intercepted by Malcolm and has no choice but to walk with him. They pass the moorkeeper cottage and Dewar tells her that the man died. He sees the dog and offers to take him, but Greer asks Malcolm if she can keep him.

Dewar tends to the man from the road, he is barely clinging to life and has only said one word – Crieff. The man is Ewan and Dewar is convinced that his life is still in danger. Ewan doesn’t remember anything – his mind is a black void, the only thing he knows is the name “Crieff”, but he doesn’t even know what that means. His only memory is a vison of a bridge, a woman and a penny. Dewar tells him that the Douglas of Delshee found him, that is another name he knows, but doesn’t know why. For his protection, Dewar moves him to a brothy near Glas Maol (yet, another name he knows).

Greer returns home and is inconsolable for the next two weeks, but finally she is given a purpose to get out of the house – the new duke is selling off unentailed land and her father wants her to look at it, it is near her favorite place, Glas Maol – this is the place between hers and Ewan’s estates – a place they had planned to meet but never got the chance. She goes and sees Ewan, but doesn’t’ recognize him as Ewan – having never met him in person and this man is still healing from a beating and is covered with bruises. She doesn’t know him, but Gent does! Greer begins to foster hope that this man, might be her Ewan. She talks to him and learns that he has no memory since the beating. She befriends him and promises to visit him again. She returns home to find Malcolm there – inviting them to Ewan’s funeral.

Ewan begins to heal and bits and pieces of his memory return, he is also falling in love with Greer, but sadly has no memory of his previous relationship with her. Greer is now positive that this man is Ewan and writes to his friends for answers to his last day in Edinburgh. But they have to proceed with caution, because even if Ewan can’t remember what happened to him, it is clear that someone tried to kill him. When he finally remembers who he is, it is bittersweet for Greer, as he has no memory of her. So she has found the man she loved, but has still lost him.

Together with his friends, they try to sort out what happened to Ewan that last day and who is trying to kill him.

This is a very sweet story of lost love found, betrayal and friendship. It is well written, it is set in the present, but is interspersed with the letters Greer and Ewan wrote to each other, so the reader learns their past and sees them falling in love, which makes it all the more heartbreaking when Ewan doesn’t remember her. The story has several suspenseful moments, some steamy love scenes, cameos from Quince and Alastair from Mad About the Marquess (Highland Brides, #2), a really nasty villain and a very, very touching ending.

I have loved all the books in this series, but I think this might be my favorite, Greer and Ewan truly are soulmates. I highly recommend this book, it is the fourth in the series, but it could be read as a stand alone title with no problems.

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

My Lady Captor by Hannah Howell

My Lady CaptorMy Lady Captor by Hannah Howell

Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Release Date: March 27, 2018 (Re-issue)

Someway, somehow I missed this gem when it originally released in 1996 AND when it was re-issued in 2009 – This book is classic Hannah Howell and I am so glad I finally got to read it!

Lady Sorcha Hay finds Sir Ruari Kerr injured on the battlefield while she is searching for her brother Dougal. She learns from Ruari that Dougal was taken by the English and will be ransomed back. While she is talking to him, her cousin Margaret finds another survivor, who turns out to be Ruari’s cousin Beatham.

Sorcha is dismayed, her clan has no coin to pay the ransom and her brother is Laird, they need him! So being the smart, resourceful girl she is, Sorcha hatches a plan, she will raise the ransom by holding Ruari and Beatham for ransom! She takes them back to her keep and hopes she can keep them from learning the secrets of the Hay clan. She tends Ruari’s wounds and tells him that he is her prisoner, Ruari is beyond angry and vows revenge.

Once they are back at her keep, Sorcha waits for the ransom demand from the English and tries to ignore the attraction she feels towards Ruari all while attempting to keep him from learning that most of the Hay clan are women, that she has the power to see and speak to spirits, that her cousin Euphemia is transitioning into womanhood and all the trouble that comes with that for a Hay woman. Not to mention trying to keep her cousin Margaret and Beatham from forming an impossible attachment and thwarting Ruari’s escape attempts.

Sorcha meets with the English and becomes the object of Sir Simon Treacher’s unwanted attention, she manages to negotiate a ransom and hopes to never see Sir Simon again. She sends the ransom demand to the Kerrs and informs Ruari. Ruari is still angry, but he wants Sorcha with a desire stronger than any he has ever felt. He proposes that they become lovers, no promises, no commitments. At first Sorcha is opposed, but she is attracted to him and will probably never marry, so she agrees. They share three incredible nights together before his family comes for him. They part and words are exchanged. But as he rides away, Sorcha knows that he is taking her heart with him.

She gets her brother back and is again subjected to Sir Simon, the man is obsessed! They manage to evade him and make it back to their keep. Six months pass and it finally seems like he has given up, so when Dougal suggests they attend the market fair, she looks forward to the chance to get out of the keep, she is still nursing a broken heart, but is not nearly as dramatic about it as Margaret is. She convinces Margaret to attend and even with a warning of trouble given by Effie, they set out.

Trouble finds them almost as soon as they reach the fair, Ruari is there and when he sees her, he is ready to take his revenge.

This book is great, there is a lot going on, but it never seems busy and all the various characters and story lines all tie neatly together in the end. The love scenes are steamy, the dialogue is amusing, the villain is vile, the problems keeping them apart seem unsurmountable, the declaration scene is very sweet and the epilogue is completely delightful.

I have no idea how I missed this book years ago, but I am so delighted to have found it! I would highly recommend this book and will be looking to see if there are any other books I missed!

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

It Happened In The Highlands by May McGoldrick

It Happened in the Highlands (The Pennington Family, #2)It Happened in the Highlands by May McGoldrick

Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Pennington Family #2
Publication Date: 3/27/18

This exciting and interesting tale is the second installment in May McGoldrick’s Pennington Family series. It is well paced, well written, and well plotted. Don’t let the book blurb fool you, he didn’t exactly walk away from the betrothal because of the gossip. So, if that description puts you off – as it did me – I’d say give it a chance – because it isn’t exactly accurate. I won’t give you his reasons because you need to read the book to find out. Now, I WILL say that I understand his reasoning, but NOT his timing. He was a very smart and capable man and should have recognized his dilemma long before he did. So, as I said – if that trope bothers you and you are thinking of not reading it because of it – give it a chance, I think you’ll like it.

We met Josephine Pennington (Jo) in the first book of the series – Romancing the Scot. You couldn’t help but like her in that one. She’s no less likable in this one, but I did feel she was a bit of a doormat. I really did enjoy watching her grow a spine. It wasn’t that she wasn’t smart and decisive, she just couldn’t stand conflict – especially when that conflict involved her. She allowed others to gossip viciously about her without any confrontation at all – she’d just run away. That forced everyone who loved her, especially the males, to be more and more protective of her. I was so very happy to see her grow a spine – and use it toward the end of the book. There is a scene with Lady Nithsdale at around the 95-96% mark that you will absolutely LOVE!

Captain Wynne Melfort is the younger son of a hateful, vindictive, spiteful, bigoted Baron – and his mother is as bad as his father. It would take a lot for a very young man to go against them and society. I was glad to learn that he found his bravery and was an accomplished leader in the Royal Navy. I think it took him a while, but he did get there. I believe my main reservation about him is his timing. I do sort of understand his reasoning for jilting Jo, what I question is his timing. Early on in the relationship, he knew ALL of the things he used as an excuse – he could have just skipped the proposal altogether or given her a choice to jilt him earlier. Instead, he made the decision for both of them. Then, he tells her in a letter! Granted, he called on her, but when she was out he left a letter breaking their engagement – say what! Talk about cowardice.

Sixteen years after the broken betrothal, Wynne is retired from the navy and has gone into partnership with his ship’s surgeon. They have opened an innovative hospital for people with mental illness. Wynne is the director of the hospital and the surgeon, of course, is the doctor. (BTW – you’ll love the doctor and I’m sure we will see him in his own story later). Wynne is also a widower with a son, Cuffe (wish I knew how to pronounce that). They are in the Highlands and Cuffe is having a hard time adjusting to the changes in his life.

They have a patient in their hospital who is uncommunicative – but he keeps sketching pictures of the same woman. Once Wynne sees the sketches, he recognizes the woman immediately – it is Jo. Wynne knows how important it is to Jo that she find her origins and Wynne thinks maybe this patient might hold a clue to those origins. So, he has Dr. McKendry write to Jo and include a copy of the sketch. Wynne knows that Jo will come to the hospital to see the patient, and he plans to be away while she is there – except she shows up earlier than expected.

The story leads the two of them into discoveries of many kinds. Discoveries about themselves, discoveries about their feelings for each other, discoveries about how strong they really are – so many things. As they search for Jo’s origins, they have to deal with villains, love and a lonely, unhappy little boy.

While I liked the first book better, this one is still a great read and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Please check out my reviews at:
Blog: https://flippinpages.blog/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/flippinpages…
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FlippinPagesRev
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BarbBookReview

“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”

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