Review: What a Lady Needs for Christmas (MacGregors, Book 4) by Grace Burrowes

what a lady needs for christmasHeroine: Lady Joan Flynn flees her family’s estate ill prepared to join her extended family for the holidays. Her maid deserts her halfway there and she’s stuck at a train station with no help in sight. She’s not so much worried about getting to the party as she’s worried about not having a husband by the end of the holidays.

Hero: Dante Hartwell needs to drum up investors for his mills. He’s going to a house party of a wealthy Scottish gentlemen in order to do just that. But he doesn’t really like nobbing with these folks. If it wasn’t for his secretary he might not go at all. When his daughter requests he assist a woman at the train station he’s more than happy to oblige.

Review: Lady Joan was compromised by an unrepentant rake. He wanted her talent, but not her, and when Joan finds him engaged the next day it is no wonder she’s all in a panic. This fashion designer spinster needs a man willing to take her on. When Dante proposes marriage he’s the blessing she was looking for. He gives her plenty of outs – she can wait to decide or change her mind if she finds she isn’t pregnant. Their romance is a sweet one. I particularly enjoyed their wedding nights as they worked to figure out their husband and wife routine.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: What a Lady Needs for Christmas (MacGregor Series)

Review: A Highland Wolf Christmas (Heart of the Wolf, Book 15) by Terry Spear

a highland wolf christmasHeroine: Calla Stewart is not walking but running away from the aisle. She has no interest in reconnecting with her ex-fiance and leader of the pack, Baird. She has a holiday party to plan at her friends the McNeils and Grants and is looking forward to getting away. Until Baird chases her from her car to their property.

Hero: Guthrie MacNeill, is there to protect Calla with other members of his pack. The two have a little history, but peripherally because of their commitments to previous partners. Guthrie is the financial advisor for his clan and werewolf pack, and doesn’t see the point of spending money frivolously. He remembers a time when the clan was near the brink of starvation and doesn’t want to see them there again.

Review: Terry Spear juggles a lot of names and wolf clans in this book. The major players were easy enough but the plethora of side characters and cameos from previous books left me a little confused. I think some of the motivation would have been clearer to a reader who’d read previous books in the series than it was to me. Some of the wolf-logic was lost on me. They were immortal wolves? Wolves only had sex with other wolves when mating? I’m just glad that her ex was all bark and no bite.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Buy: A Highland Wolf Christmas (Heart of the Wolf Book 15)

Review: Love Potions (Warlocks MacGregor Series, Book 3) by Michelle M. Pillow

love potionsReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Lydia Barratt is walking through town but something doesn’t feel right. During her walk she meets Erik MacGregor – and it’s an interesting first meeting. You will see that they have a connection almost from the minute they meet. Erik is moving into the area and that is what’s going to make this an interesting read. Our author does not waste any time in fueling the fire between these two. You will get so lost in this book that you will lose track of time. It’s a book that you will not want to put down.

And who wouldn’t love to have a sexy highlander living next door – me, me, me (I don’t even have one in the neighborhood). Mine would most certainly wear a kilt and have nice smooth skin. And when he speaks he’d have that signature burr. How about you? This author certainly knows how to stimulate the reader’s imagination.

Erik has a scene with his brother Euann that will leave you chuckling and also give you some nice visuals. Lydia also has a great friend Charlotte that will keep you in stitches. I look forward to seeing if our secondary characters make another appearance. This is another reason that this is a great book – we want to know more about the other characters and not just the main ones.

It’s a great romance that has a little paranormal suspense and has an ending that will leave you smiling. And that ending will leave you wanting more and this is what makes a great author. She knows her readers very well.

During this time of year, we spend our time outdoors and on vacation. Why not take this book with you? If you’ve never read this author before, this story may give you the incentive to change that. Michelle has plenty of other books you can check out over at her web site, http://www.michellepillow.com/index.html.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Love Potions (Entangled Covet)

Review: The Seduction of Miss Amelia Bell (The MacGregors: Highland Heirs, Book 1) by Paula Quinn

The Seduction of Miss Amelia BellReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Edmund MacGregor will be damned if he allows Scotland to be ruled by the English and kidnaps Lady Amelia Bell as an act of defiance. He knows she is the daughter of a duke and also the chancellor’s beloved, but when he sees her, he is beguiled by her beauty and for a moment, he forgets why he kidnapped her in the first place. Amelia on the other hand is annoyed that her life has been disrupted by a Scotsman who is hellbent on ruining her marriage and her position. Beneath her demeanor, however she is a woman who would like to marry for love rather than duty, but that isn’t for her as she is expected to marry according to her station.

Review: This is the sequel to Conquered by a Highlander where Edmund MacGregor is adamant that the English he has fought for so long will not take over Scotland. If you thought it was too long since we had some sexy, sweaty, muscular-pecs drama and seduction, you were right, but that was before Paula Quinn did the right thing and wrote her sequel. Here Edmund might do something he will later regret – kidnapping the chancellor’s future wife can’t get more desperate than that, but if he can win her over, he might just make things right and his plan work. Once kidnapped, he doesn’t realise that she has the upper hand when he finally falls for her. The setting is just right, the characters are just as they should be; foolish at times and Like her father, demanding, but the real affection comes from Amelia letting down her barriers to Edmund and treating him like a real man, not a savage as she thinks he might be. Highlanders are proud, strong and know what they want, but he won’t hurt her, not when he sees that being heavy handed with her won’t get the best reaction.

Good bits:

  • It’s action packed
  • Well paced
  • The conflict and then make-up of Edmund and Amelia – it’s a delight to read

Summary: I have read Highlander romance before and noticed how steamy and erotic it was. My previous reads were the scintillating Rumors Among the Heather by Amanda Balfour and the seductive Desire in Tartan by Suz De Mello and both encouraged me to read more Highlander romance, hence me here reviewing this one and I’m glad to say I’m not disappointed. Amelia is typically beautiful but considered to be unlucky, but when she is faced with a devilishly handsome Scotsman, she wonders what will happen to her. I can’t give anything away, only that I did thoroughly enjoy this novel and look forward to reading more from Paula Quinn in the future.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: The Seduction of Miss Amelia Bell (The MacGregors: Highland Heirs)

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Review: Desire in Tartan: 2 (Highland Vampires) by Suz deMello

desire in tartanReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Her first novel in the Highland Vampires series, Temptation in Tartan: 1, concentrated on one part of the Kilburn clan, Lydia Swann-Williston and Keiran the Laird of Kilburn. This time readers are treated to a new possible romance between Dugald Kilburn and Alice Derwent. They both ache for each other, but he can never give her children as he is a vampire. He also wants to spare her the cruelty of being wed to a vampire, but as she is dying, she feels she wants him all the more.

Review: This novel is part of the Ellora’s Cave Legend series and as it mixes historical with the paranormal, it piqued my interest almost immediately. As she has lost her father, and has been thrown out of her father’s house by his friends, Alice has no choice but to take Dugald’s offer to work for him, but she has to adjust to the Scotsman’s brash manner before she falls for him. Dugald in turn is fascinated by her direct speech, and quiet manner. He finds her intriguing as she is beautiful, but not boastful, and conversational when pressed, but not brash. It is her intelligence that amazes him more, but when he knows her father made sure she was taught properly, he realizes he shouldn’t be. Dugald is well aware of what he looks like, and has an awful thought that he will go mad watching those he loves die while he still lives. This is his price for being one of the undead, and it is something he doesn’t appreciate.

Good bits:

  • Dugald’s use of his Scottish accent when the story is shown from his point of view.
  • Dugald has an appreciation of women as well as men, so he isn’t a chauvinist – hurrah!
  • The two for the price of one approach doesn’t make Alice think any better of Dugald, yet that’s what he has in mind – a governess and a wife.

Bad bits:

  • Alice riding for the first time – no, she’s not ready for it.

Final Thoughts: At first Alice is destined to have nothing and be thrown out of her home, when the Kilburn clan change all that and invite her to be their governess. Dugald makes sure she is well provided for even though she is scared to be around the family when she is invited into their home. He hopes she will warm to him, and to be honest, I wasn’t surprised she took to him as they are both opposites. He is rough and ready; she is shy and demure but hides her true self. You would think they would be a match made in heaven, but to be honest it isn’t as easy as that. There are many obstacles the two of them must get over before they can love each other.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Desire in Tartan: 2 (Highland Vampires)

Review: The Hawk (Highland Guard, Book 2) by Monica McCarty

the hawk Monica McCartySeries Overview:

Handpicked by Robert the Bruce to help him in his quest to free Scotland from English rule, the elite warriors of the Highland Guard face their darkest days. When Bruce is forced to flee, his bid for freedom rests on the shoulders of one extraordinary warrior.

Hero: Erik MacSorley is a ladies man and an excellent seafarer. When he rescues a half drowned woman from the water, he doesn’t expect to want her. Imagine his surprise when his charm and considerable good looks can’t sway her heart! He will have to try harder to win her over.

Heroine: Lady Elyne (Ellie) de Burgh may not be as resistant to Erik’s devil-may-care attitude as she seems. Pretending to be a nursemaid upon capture, she is hiding more than one secret. But then, so is Erik. What will happen when they reveal all?

Review: There’s a lot of background and narrative in this book. It is a stylistic choice and at times can be overwhelming for a casual read, but if you enjoy a bit more substance and meat to a read, this will do the trick. For me, it was more than I wanted and distracted me from the romance of the novel (which is more my meat and potatoes). The slow boil romance is gentle and filled with wit and sass.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: The Hawk: A Highland Guard Novel

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Review: Rumours Among the Heather by Amanda Balfour

rumors among the heatherReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Juliana Hastings is in a dire situation after being left destitute from her unfortunate father’s death. She is still in mourning, but has to get her life together, and wonders how she will be able to cope when her fiancé decides to jilt her. Her only hope is to become a governess for Matthew McDonald.

Matthew McDonald is in a dire situation as he becomes a fugitive when the Jacobite Rebellion ends. When he turns to Juliana who he has come to know as a great friend, confidante and lover, she gives him all he needs – yet when he is caught, he thinks she has betrayed him and continues to hate her even though she still loves him. When he is set free later, he wants to find Juliana and get his revenge.

Review: Matthew has the aid of his friend to get him safe passage to freedom at the beginning, but events soon change for the worst. Amanda brings the characters together under the worst of circumstances, while Matthew is busy trying to get away from his attackers; Juliana wants to get closer to him to be work for him. Matthew has a nephew, Ian whose mother died who doesn’t talk for long periods of time, leaving him with a boy who doesn’t want to learn through stubbornness. Juliana likes the challenge though and accepts his terms even though she is perceived to be too young for the position of governess.

He is surprised at her bluntness and temper, but intrigued that she had been brought up to be a genteel lady. The further into the story I got, I felt Matthew became more and more intrigued by her even though she says she doesn’t want to flirt with him, and just wants to get her job done. Her actions seem to betray her thoughts, leading her down a path she can’t come back from.

Good bits:

  • Matthew’s altercation with a footpad in the street – daring to say the least!
  • Having a pub called the Pig and Whistle.
  • Matthew notices Juliana tries to hide her beauty, but he knows a pretty girl when he sees one.

Bad bits:

  • The story takes a while to get really interesting.

Last thought: Amanda has gone to a lot of trouble to portray a beautifully ‘bonnie Scotland’ that can be loved by all, especially the characters that enrich the entire novel.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Rumors Among the Heather

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Win a Set of the Highland Guard Series by Monica McCarty

hunterThe war for Scotland’s freedom continues as King Robert the Bruce battles on. At his command is an elite army of trained warriors, soldiers dedicated to their king, their country—and to the remarkable women they love.

Buy: The Hunter: A Highland Guard Novel

Enter to win each of the 6 backlist titles here — 2 randomly US winners will be chosen – good luck! Promo ends 7/31

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