Tracy’s Reviews

SMP Holiday Blitz

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Christmas in Kilts_Cover

Christmas in Kilts by Terri Brisbain, Lecia Cornwall, Brownwen Evans, Lavinia Kent, May McGoldrick

Jacket Summary:
Tis the season to fall in love! These five bestselling authors bring you great tiding of highlanders and romances this holiday season!

A HIGHLANDER’S HOPE by Terri Brisbin
A village harlot who would never dream she could have a different life meets a Highlander who visits for the holidays and brings with him an offer and hope.

A HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS WAGER by Lecia Cornwall
When a snowstorm forces a charming lass hiding a broken heart to take shelter in a castle with three fine Highland lairds just days before Christmas, there’s a game afoot—who will be the first to win a kiss and maybe her heart.

A SCOT FOR CHRISTMAS by Bronwen Evans
She’s ready to embrace her life and future as a spinster, he’s trying to have one last hurrah before he gives into his family’s wishes and proposes marriage to his neighbor, but fate has other ideas when the lady and the Scot meet at a holiday house party in the wilds of Scotland.

LEFTOVER MISTLETOE by Lavinia Kent
What happens when a highlander finds himself stranded, maybe kidnapped, with an English lady around Christmas… maybe the mistletoe will help answer that question.

SWEET HOME HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS by May McGoldrick
An encounter between an English officer and a desperate aunt trying to keep custody of her young niece leads to a little magic during the holidays.

Buy Link:
http://smpromance.com/historical/christmas-in-kilts/

With This Christmas Ring_Cover

With this Christmas Ring by Manda Collins

Jacket Summary:
A wallflower determined to fulfill a dying promise, the rogue she jilted years ago, and an orphaned baby are all brought together amidst the magic of Christmas in this new novella from Manda Collins.

Miss Merry Parks makes a deathbed promise to a schoolfriend that her infant daughter will be taken to her absent father. There’s only one problem—to find the baby’s father, she’ll have to consult his cousin, Viscount Wrotham, the man she jilted five years ago. The man she couldn’t forget.

Alex Ponsonby, Viscount Wrotham, is stunned to find Merry Parks—looking more lovely than ever–on his doorstep with an infant in her arms. His shock soon turns to dismay when he learns his own cousin William is the man who abandoned his wife and child. As head of the family he’s duty bound to see right is done. But he can’t let this opportunity pass. He’ll take Merry and the baby to his cousin, but he’ll woo her back in the process.

Merry agrees to travel with Alex and the baby to Wrotham Castle, where the entire Ponsonby family has gathered for Christmas, but her plans to see the baby settled then leave are ruined by a snowstorm. After five years apart, Alex and Merry will spend the week getting reacquainted. Perhaps it’s the spirit of the holiday, or the magic of the season, but there could be something else in the air this Yuletide…A Christmas Reunion.

Author Bio:
Manda Collins is the author of the Studies in Scandal series, The Lords of Anarchy series, The Ugly Duckling series and the Wicked Widows series as well as several other Regency-set romances. She spent her teen years wishing she’d been born a couple of centuries earlier, preferably in the English countryside. Time travel being what it is, she resigned herself to life with electricity and indoor plumbing, and read lots of books. When she’s not writing, she’s helping other people use books, as an academic librarian.

Buy Link: http://smpromance.com/historical/with-this-christmas-ring/

Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt

Duke of Desire (Maiden Lane, #12)Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt

Series: Maiden Lane, #12

Release Date: October 17, 2017

Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Raphael, the Duke of Dyemore is one of the most tortured heroes I have ever read, but beneath the scars and the pain is a man with a huge capacity for love. His mission is to destroy the Lords of Chaos, the depraved group of men that was lead by his father until his recent death. Raphael fled England and his father and went to live with his mother’s family in Corsica at the age of twelve and hasn’t returned since. But now that his father is gone and Raphael is the new Duke, he is home to take his rightful place and to bring down the LoC.

Lady Iris Jordan is kidnapped from her carriage on her way home from Alf & Hugh’s wedding and kept captive by the LoC as revenge against Hugh (the Duke of Kyle) for his attack on them in the previous book (The Duke of Pleasure, Maiden Lane #11). So when Iris is taken to the revel and announces that they have taken the wrong woman, a very naked man in a wolf mask claims her as his prize. The leader of the LoC grants the wolf the right to woman, but tells him to kill her in the morning.

When Iris is thrown into the wolf’s carriage, she frantically looks for a weapon while he is speaking to his men, finding a gun she shoots the wolf as he enters the carriage. This is when she learns that the wolf is actually Raphael, the mysterious scarred man she met and danced with at a ball a few months ago and rather than planning on ravishing her, he was trying to save her.

Raphael had planned to send Iris to London, but now that he is wounded and he realizes that she is not married to Hugh, he decides the best way to keep her safe is to marry her himself. At first Iris resists, but then agrees that marriage is necessary. They marry in a brief ceremony before Raphael passes out from his wounds. Iris spends the next couple of days nursing Raphael and trying to learn more about her new husband’s past – she thinks she has an idea of what happened, but no one, especially Raphael is willing to give her the whole story. Iris wants answers and she wants a true marriage with Raphael. Her first marriage was not happy and she has no desire to repeat that fiasco with Raphael, but much to her dismay, he intends to keep her close, but in name only.

When the LoC come calling and learn that Iris is not only alive, but married to Raphael, he knows he must get her to London. They set out almost immediately and Iris decides to use the time to make her new husband come around to her way of thinking. But Raphael is firm in his convictions and Iris wonders if the problem is her – even as she ponders this, she makes a discovery that makes it clear that desire is not the problem. She goes to confront Raphael and stumbles upon an ambush. When the attack is over they spend the night together and Iris believes that they have turned a page and will be able to have a real marriage, but the next morning Raphael is more remote than ever.

They return to London and slowly grow closer until Raphael finally tells her the truth of his scars and the reason he is out to bring down the LoC. Iris is horrified by Raphael’s tale (an rightly so) but it only makes her realize how much she cares for him and how much he needs that love and acceptance. They share an incredible night of passion and finally consummate their marriage, Iris believes that they are finally going to have a real marriage but the next morning Raphael is more remote than ever and tells her that their night will never be repeated.

When the LoC kidnap Iris again and force a confrontation with Raphael, he knows that he loves her and will do whatever he can to make her happy, even if that means letting her go.

This was an amazing story, it was well written, flowed perfectly, had some truly horrific, dark moments, some steamy love scenes, lots of secrets, lots of pain and sorrow, some sweet moments and finally a well deserved HEA. I loved this book and would have no problem recommending it, but I would strongly suggest that you read the Duke of Sin (book 10) and the Duke of Pleasure (book 11) before reading this installment.

I am sorry to see this series end but I can’t wait to see what Elizabeth Hoyt comes up with next!

*I am voluntarily leaving a review of an eARC*

The Highlander is all That by Sabrina York

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THE HIGHLANDER IS ALL THAT by Sabrina York
SMP Swerve
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
ISBN: 9781250147363; Price: $3.99

Description:

Elizabeth St. Claire has always been hard to please. Dreaming solely of Highlander men her whole life, no prancing London Lord can stand a chance at winning her heart…

… But perhaps a Scotsman can.

Elizabeth watches intrigued as the Highlander of her dreams, a Scotsman named Hamish Robb, arrives to oversee her season at the behest of her cousin, the Duke of Caithness. Elizabeth doesn’t hide her feelings for the striking Scot. But Hamish, determined to obey his order to protect the St. Claire sisters, steadfastly rejects her every seducing lure.

Believing that the debutante Elizabeth deserves a better, wealthier man, Hamish continues to turn away from her affection, even though he doesn’t exactly want to. Can this Highlander Scot resist the tempting seductress’ attempts to win his heart?

Author Bio
Sabrina York is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of more than twenty hot, humorous written works. Her stories range from sweet and sexy to scorching erotic romance. Visit her webpage to check out her books, excerpts and contests, and download a free teaser book filled with excerpts and reviews for her work.

Author Links
Website: http://sabrinayork.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SabrinaYorkBooks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sabrina_york

Buy Links
http://smpromance.com/historical/the-highlander-is-all-that/

York_TheHighlanderIsAllThat

Excerpt:

The Highlander is All That by Sabrina York
Ach. This was going to be difficult, Hamish thought as the disgruntled butler and young footman—who carried their bags—led them up the sprawling staircase to their rooms, which, for some reason, were at the far end of the east wing, a portion of the mansion that was apparently very rarely used.
And by difficult, he did not refer to the mission the duke had given them. Not even to an unwanted visit to London.
But her.
He hadn’t expected to be this attracted to one of his charges, and it had hit him like an anvil.
It had been all he could do to maintain a placid demeanor. To not stare.
But damn, she was beautiful.
They all were, the St. Claire sisters. Anne was tall and willowy with serene brown eyes, and Victoria sparkled like a diamond. Even wee Mary was a beauty.
But Elizabeth?
She took his breath away.
Small and elegant with a spritely smile and bouncing black curls, she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever laid eyes on.
It was a damn shame he was here to help find her a husband.
It was a damn shame she was the duke’s cousin.
It was a damn shame he wasn’t rich.
He had nothing to offer a girl like her. He had no business even thinking about her like that.
But damn, she was beautiful.
“Well, what do you think?” Ranald asked after the butler had unceremoniously shown them to their rooms. They stood by his window and stared out at the gray London sky.
“Hmm?”
“How long do you think it will be before we can go back home?”
Hamish made a face. “The season is three months.”
“But if we get them all married off, our work is done. I say, having had a look at them, it shouldna take long.” He fingered the hem of the curtain. “That one is quite a stunner.”
Something in Hamish’s gut clenched. He had nothing to offer Elizabeth, but Ranald did. His friend had a title and the majority share in the business they ran with some of their friends. While the duke might balk at having Hamish wed his cousin, Ranald would be welcomed with open arms.
The thought made him want to pummel something.
Probably Ranald.
“They’re all lovely,” he grumbled.
“Aye. But Anne is exquisite.”
Anne?
Anne?
Relief gushed through him. He had no idea why. “Och. Aye. That she is.”
“Of course, they are all verra lovely.”
“Aye.”
“We’ll probably have to be beating off suitors with a bat.”
They grinned at each other. Whacking Englishmen was always a pleasant proposition.

Tracy’s Review:

The Highlander Is All That (Untamed Highlanders, #3.5)The Highlander Is All That by Sabrina York
Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is the much awaited follow up to the novella “The Scot Says I Do” in Say Yes to the Scot: A Highland Wedding Box Set in which we met the St. Claire sisters. This book not only brings back her Untamed Highlanders, but also several of the characters from her Noble Passions series.

The primary hero/heroine in this book are Elizabeth St. Claire and Hamish Robb, but there is a very strong secondary romance between Anne St. Claire and Ranald Gunn, Baron of Bower, as well as secondary-secondary romances for the two younger sisters, Victoria and Mary.

Elizabeth and her sisters are cousins to the Duke of Caithness and he has generously financed their season and given them dowries, but since his wife Lana is expecting their first child, he sends Hamish and Ranald to London to watch over them in his stead. Their chaperone Lady Esmerelda, is disappointed that the duke is not going join them, but decides that having two handsome highlanders around could be used to their advantage. Lady Esmerelda is on a mission and nothing will stop her from finding husbands for the St. Claire girls!

Elizabeth already has a suitor when the book opens, Lord Twiggenberry (OMG – I still crack up over that name), and as much as she knows he would be a good match, she really doesn’t like him (or the pomade he uses), she hopes for a love match and preferably with a Scotsman, so when she meets Hamish for the first time – it is like an answer to all her prayers. Hamish is equally taken with Elizabeth, but doesn’t feel like he has anything to offer her and tries to quash his desire for her.

The story that ensues is a very amusing tale complete with kidnappings, runaway marriages, an Almack’s patroness with wandering hands, stinky suitors and a second chance at love. Yup, this story has something for everyone – laugh out loud moments, heart wrenching moments, steamy moments, lots of cameos and finally several HEAs!

This book could easily be read as a stand alone title but once you read it, you are going to want to read the Untamed Highlander and the Noble Passion series just to find out what you missed!!

I highly recommend this book and am looking forward to next generation of highland heroines!

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

King of Hearts by Eileen Putman

King of Hearts (League of Rogues, #1)King of Hearts by Eileen Putman
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: League of Rogues, #1

Release Date: September 28, 2017

After a drunken bet goes horribly wrong, Gabriel Sinclair finds himself with a noose around his neck and in his last moments contemplates his life and wishes for a second chance. His second chance comes in the form of Louisa Peabody…

Louisa Peabody is a woman who has been grossly wronged by the men in her life and has made it her mission to save other women from the injustices heaped on them by men. Scarred inside by the events leading up to and her incredibly brief marriage, Louisa believes that love is not for her and turns all her passion into helping other women. When her latest rescue mission goes wrong and she ends up with Gabriel instead of the woman she planned to save from the gallows, Louisa reluctantly takes Gabriel back to her home and nurses him back to health.

Once Gabriel recovers and is ready to leave, Louisa makes him an offer, help her break the woman she originally meant to save out of prison and she will pay him a small fortune for his help. Tempted by the money and the lovely repressed woman making the offer, Gabriel agrees to her mad scheme.

Gabriel and Louisa are wonderful leads that have both had more than their fair share of pain and heartache. Gabriel finds himself drawn to Louisa and fights his reaction to her – he will leave and forget he ever met her – he really will! And Louisa needs no man in her life, she will be happy to see the last of Gabriel – she really will! Ah, the lies we tell ourselves 🙂

This is a truly lovely story of second chances and the healing power of love. I thought it was really well written and paced well. The dialogue is both amusing and heartfelt. The secondary characters aka “The Flowers” are a wonderful addition to the story and add several additional storylines to this book without pulling the focus from Louisa and Gabriel. The love scenes are warm and well placed, there are some tender moments, some tense moments and moments of joy. Happily, the villains get their comeuppance and everyone gets a HEA.

I really enjoyed this book and would be happy to recommend it.

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

An Earl in Wolf’s Clothing by Emily Windsor

An Earl in Wolf's Clothing (Rules of the Rogue)An Earl in Wolf’s Clothing by Emily Windsor
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Rules of the Rogue, #1

Release Date: September 28, 2017

When I first read the blurb for this book, I thought that this was going to be a typical lovers separated by a misunderstanding story, and to a certain extent it was, but it was also so much more!

The opens with Sophie Beckford searching for her betrothed, Bram, the Earl of Kelmarsh. They are to supposed to be in the ballroom announcing their betrothal but he has gone missing and when Sophie finally locates him – he is with another woman! Sophie overhears their conversation and is heartbroken, she rips off her betrothal ring and leaves the ball without speaking to him. Days later, her family leaves for Ireland with Bram in hot pursuit.

Bram just misses the boat taking them to Ireland and for reasons unknown to the reader, he is not able to follow her. He has secrets that he cannot share with Sophie, he is a spy for the crown and the meeting she overheard was not what it seemed, but sworn to secrecy and unable to explain, it appears that he will lose his lady love, but he is not willing to give her up without a fight – he is unable to go to Ireland, but he writes to her and sends gifts, hoping to win her back. Now almost a year later, she is back in London, but she is not the Sophie that he remembers.

Armed with a new wardrobe and her feisty Irish cousin, Sophie is back and determined to forget Bram and his betrayal. She makes her intentions painfully clear to Bram when he corners her at Almack’s and tries to explain the misunderstanding without revealing his secrets.

With the “help” of his fellow agents, Bram sets out to complete a final mission for the crown, retire and win back his lady. Ah, the best laid plans………

This story is both amusing and heartfelt. I loved that Sophie didn’t immediately forgive Bram, she made him work for her forgiveness. And I loved that Bram never gave up, he knew he hurt her (unintentionally) and owned it, while I wouldn’t say he groveled, he did work hard for her forgiveness. The book has both amusing and tense moments, a great cast of secondary characters, secrets, revelations, kidnapping, some warmish love scenes and finally a very hard earned HEA.

I had not read any of Ms. Windsor’s previous books, but after reading this book I am definitely going to be checking out her backlist while I wait for the next book in this series!

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an copy that was provided to me by the author – all opinions in this review are my own*

Wilde in Love by Eloisa James

Wilde in Love (The Wildes of Lindow Castle, #1)Wilde in Love by Eloisa James
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Wildes of Lindow Castle, #1

Release Date: October 31, 2017

What a wonderful start to a new series!

Lord Alaric Wilde aka Lord Wilde, author, adventurer and son of the Duke of Lindow is back in England after years of traveling. He was expecting a hot bath, a cup of tea and a quiet reunion with his family to mourn the death of his eldest brother but what he got was a mob of ladies clamoring to meet the infamous Lord Wilde. Unbeknownst to Alaric, someone has adapted and embellished his books into a play titled “Wilde in Love”” and the women of England can’t wait to meet him and console him after the tragic death of his beloved. His fame or infamy comes as a shock to Alaric and he has to disguise himself to escape.

Miss Wilhelmina Ffynche aka Willa and her friend Lavinia are attending a house party at Lindow Castle, in honor of the betrothal of their friend Diana and the duke’s heir and Alaric’s older brother Lord Roland Northbridge Wilde (aka North). Lavinia is overjoyed that Lord Wilde will be there, she has read all his books and has purchased several prints of his adventures, Willa is not as enthused, she has not read any of his books and has spent the last three years listening to Lavinia gush over the man. So it comes as a bit of shock to her when she first meets him and finds herself reluctantly attracted to him.

Alaric is fascinated by Willa, not only is she lovely and intelligent – but she has absolutely no interest in fawning over him like the rest of the women attending the party.

Willa has no interest whatsoever in Alaric, she is a very private person and the thought of having a husband who is adored and pursued by countless women is abhorrent to her. She is sure that his books are made up and the man himself is unreliable. She tries to avoid him as much as she can without being rude, but the more she tries to avoid him, the more determined he becomes.

Willa grudgingly accepts Alaric’s presence and even begins to like the real Lord Alaric, but she still has no desire to form any attachment to a man that is most likely going to leave again and is stalked by hordes of women. So when a crazed woman appears at the party and announces that she is Alaric’s deceased beloved, Willa pretends to be his betrothed to discourage the woman.

Alaric see this as an opportunity to woo Willa, he has decided that she is the woman for him and he will win her!

This book is delightful, it a well written, engaging and witty read. The introduction of secondary characters (who will presumably have books of their own) was done perfectly, they enhanced the story of Willa and Alaric instead of distracting the reader, there are mischievous siblings, a pet skunk, a crazy stalker, a hero who doesn’t mince words with other women, a bog and finally a wonderfully done HEA – with an epilogue!!

I loved this book, I am happy to recommend it and I am looking forward to Roland’s book (Ms. James set his book up with a bit of a cliffhanger in this story).

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

Highland Promise by Alyson McLayne

Highland Promise (The Sons of Gregor MacLeod #1)Highland Promise by Alyson McLayne

Series: Sons of Gregor MacLeod, #1

Release Date: October 3, 2017

Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very enjoyable read, I hadn’t read anything by this author before, but I really liked her writing style and will definitely be reading the future books in this series!

The book opens with the set up for the series, in which Gregor MacLeod has defeated five other clans and demands that they foster their sons with him. He will raise the boys as brothers and teach them to be honorable warriors. The fathers have varying reactions, but in the end they all agree.

Darach MacKenzie first meets Caitlin MacInnes when he rescues her from his greatest enemy, Laird Fraser. Caitlin has been beaten and is barely coherent when Darach saves her – she is grateful to him, but doesn’t entirely trust him. So she only tells him part of her story – leaving out some very important details. Darach is attracted to Caitlin, but he has been burned by love and is not willing to let this woman into his heart, no matter how lovely or charming she is!

Caitlin is a delightful heroine, she is kind, naïve, innocent and funny, she also is trouble looking for a place to happen – no intentionally, but trouble seems to follow her, especially as she is a trifle impulsive. Even with all the problems she causes, everyone who meets her, likes her and she has a very giving nature and gift with both animals and people.

As Darach comes to know Caitlin better, the more he wants her, but marriage is not something he is willing to consider – or is he? Once he finally decides to marry her, all hell breaks loose and the secrets Caitlin has been hiding may tear them apart.

I really liked this book, it vaguely reminded me of Mary McCall’s book – which coincidentally is also titled “Highland Promise”. It is a moving story with characters that have suffered a lot pain and betrayal, but it is lightened up considerably by Caitlin’s misadventures and charming personality and Darach’s responses to her. The writing is good, the story moves at a good pace, it is amusing, has steamy love scenes, great secondary characters, evil villains, a soulmate type of love and a satisfying ending.

I did feel like the end of the book was rushed a little bit, but it didn’t really take anything away from my overall enjoyment of the story. I would be happy to recommend this title and look forward to reading future books about the rest of the “brothers”.

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

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