Review: The Trouble with Highlanders by Mary Wine

trouble with highlandersReview by Lynn Reynolds

The year is 1488.

Daphne MacLeod is having a really good dream about Norris Sutherland. Norris is having an interesting conversation with his father about Daphne. What I love about Mary’s book is that she has made Daphne an independent woman during the middle ages when women were to take care of a man’s every need.

Mary’s book shows how things are perceived back in the 1400’s as how women are supposed to behave and what is expected of them. She also shows how women can turn against other women when they are perceived as being beneath others. There is also social standing that comes into play.

Norris is a true romantic hero. He doesn’t care about anything other than the woman he wants. He doesn’t care if he is supposed to marry someone else in order to satisfy an obligation. But there is someone that just has other things in mind.

Sandra Fraser is the woman who would give the Wicked Witch of the West a run for her money. She would also be a perfect fit for any of today’s soap operas. I will say that I was keeping my fingers crossed that she would get what was coming to her.

If you have read any of Mary’s other books, you will also want to read this one as well. I hated to have to put the book down. If you have not read any of the other books in this particular series, don’t be afraid to go back and read the others. Mary will not disappoint you.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Trouble with Highlanders

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Review: The Secrets of a Lady (The Jordans, Book 1) by Jenna Petersen

Reviewed by Sandra Scholes

In Regency times women never shined, or did anything out of the ordinary in society, but Audrey Jordan does, and she isn’t in the slightest bit ashamed. In fact, she loves her new life as a spy, even though it can get her in a lot of trouble. Her reason for her turning to a life of investigating and espionage is her love for Griffin Berenger, her brother’s best friend.

She comes to find out later that he is an unhappy man after losing his wife. It doesn’t help that she has teamed up with her brother to investigate his neighbour; a man who they think might be involved in a plot to assassinate the Prince. While she is a guest at Griffin’s residence, she has the time to relive the feelings she had for him, and the way she felt about him just by being in his presence.

The question is will Griffin feel the same way about her as she does him?

Also can she stay alive with her continued investigation of the potential assassin?

The reader can really get into the feelings Audrey has, when she was at Griffin’s wedding to Luci. She felt the waves of despair come over her, the pining for him, although she was reminded by her mother that it was useless, she still had for him. Griffin isn’t to blame for how she feels, though. He has no idea that she pines for him, even loves him. He has never known it since he has been around her as a friend before. Audrey finds it more annoying and heart-rending that he has found love from someone like Luci, as they both have an equal loathing of each other. She wonders if he can see the sort of person she is, but the reader might guess that her hatred of Luci is jealousy burning within her.

The tables are turned later when Griffin and Audrey share a drunken kiss, and Luci finds out, much to her distress, and ever since vows to hurt her in the worst way possible, but after her death and his brother’s revelation about her, he feels nothing but sadness of how he disappointed Audrey from the very beginning. He has only known the lovely and charming Luci, but found once they had married that she was nothing like the woman he originally wed. She was scornful and full of wrath, spreading harsh rumours about Audrey so that it meant no man would want to marry her. The utter humiliation of this, plus the fact he had married without her was too much and she had to leave for home, after her season had passed. Griffin has only one chance to make peace with her and tell her how he feels, but as his brother reminds him, he can’t mess it up, or it will hurt her all over again.

I liked the situations Jenna put the characters into. She has a great way with words and knows how to spin the most intriguing tale and make it into a best seller. The way she had her kissing Ellison in the hansom cab made Griffin fume with jealousy, but even when they argue, I would have to say in a way he had it coming, after all she was just playing the role of spy, and the kiss had meant nothing to her. Even better though is what Griffin is thinking:

Griffin downed a second drink and stared at the fire crackling in his bedroom. Rage and jealousy coursed through him and he hated himself for both. Once again he had been knocked from his orderly existence by a woman.

Audrey in the arms of another man was just too much to contemplate. It was bad enough with Ellison, but he could console himself with the knowledge that her relationship with his neighbour was only part of her job. But the man who had been holding her in Griffin’s sitting room was something very different.

Something personal.

The reader finds out more than enough, as Griffin is reminded of how his former wife Luci had acted one day:

He had found her curled up on the settee in the lap of a young merchant. They’d broken their kiss the instant he entered, the young man apologizing as he tried to find the nearest exit. Griffin had let him escape with only a well blackened-eye and a promise never to return or tell stories.

His wife had watched it all with a bemused smile. She’d never risen in fear or tried to explain her actions. Even after the man was gone and Griffin towered over her, demanding an explanation, she had only laughed. She’d actually laughed.

“What I do is my business, Griffin.”

From that remark, Griffin knows his wife is no longer his alone, and this is only the start of his despair, so when she is gone, and he is left with Audrey, the one he spurned before, he can no longer see her in the arms of another man, as it sends him so mad with jealousy – whether she did it as a spy or not, for him it doesn’t matter.

This novel shows how Regency women could be if they tried, but at the risk of their own reputations with men. It is well worth reading as it is different from the normal Regency titles out there. The characters are believable, and can be incensed at the drop of a top hat!

This novel is the first in a series of Regency romances. There will be other volumes following in the coming months such as; The Temptation of a Gentleman (The Jordans Book 2) in October, and The Desires of a Countess (The Jordans Book 3) in November.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: The Secrets of a Lady (The Jordans), The Secrets of a Lady (UK)

Review: Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas

Let me start off by saying Derek is one hot hero, he’s like number 11 on my top ten heroes list, just a hairsbreadth from being there.

Derek Craven is a self-made man. He’s wealthier than most of the gentry, but he is not one. Born in the slums of London to a prostitute and abandoned into the care of others, he’s had to fight for everything. He gets his kicks sleeping with the married women of the ton as a way to get back at the men who won’t let him into their inner circles. He makes the mistake of tangling with Joyce Ashby, who seeks retaliation when he breaks off their affair.

Miss Sara Fielding is a quiet country mouse and an acclaimed author. Most people confuse her with the fictional character of her second novel. Part of the reason her novels are so well received is because they are so well researched. Determined to make her third novel on gambling an equal success she decides to research the most infamous and exclusive club of all – Craven’s.

Favorite Sex Scene: Where Derek introduces her to the pleasures of doggy style… and how she thought sex wasn’t possible if she was on her stomach. Tehe. It was hot and cute at the same time.

Aw Moment: When he steals her spectacles so he can keep a little reminder of her in his life.

Big Page Suck: I could have done without the giant interlude at Greenwood Corners where she gets engaged to the pompous mama’s boy, Perry Kingswood. At the very least I felt that maybe Derek should have stalked her or been lurking nearby somewhere.

Evil Woman: I could also have done without the wicked and perverted Lady Ashby. Without her the giant angst-ridden conclusion wouldn’t have gone off the way it did what with kidnapping, presumed death, etc. but something similar could have occurred and been just as good.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

PS – Magdalen this is the book you’ve DNFed a few times, so don’t go out and buy a copy again! lol

Buy: Dreaming of You

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