Ten Things a Man Ought to Love about Wearing a Kilt

Guest Blog by Grace Burrowes, author of The Bridegroom Wore Plaid

The topic above was not the one I was initially asked to write about. I was asked to hold forth about Ten Things I Love About Men in Kilts. What I love about a kilt is to see it worn with pride by a fellow who appreciates the privilege, and the point of this post is to convince more fellows to add a kilt to their wardrobe. In that spirit, I’m hoping scads of men will consider:

  1. The wool will look better on you than it did on that old sheep.
  2. You never have to worry about what goes with what when you wear a kilt. Tell the nice fellows in the kilt shop what your clan affiliation is (or you’d like it to be), and the colors are all picked out for you, as are the accessories. Easy peasy.
  3. The best place to shop for a kilt is Scotland. Go shopping. Go shopping right now, laddie.
  4. Shopping for a kilt is thirsty work. This is proven by the fact that I’ve never seen a kilt shop that wasn’t within three doors of either a tavern or a whiskey shop. Go shopping, ye kiltless beggar.
  5. When you’re properly togged out in your kilt, you also get to wear a sporran right over your goolies. If you misplace your car keys, there’s only one place you might ask your date to help you look for them.
  6. Fellows who wear kilts don’t have to worry about as much laundry, particularly all those pesky loads of whites.
  7. If you do it up proper, you’re also supposed to go around with a handsome little dagger tucked in your sock, honest (your left sock is the more peaceable option). How something spelled sgian dubh gets pronounced “skidoo” probably has to do with those whiskey shops and the great thirst involved with your kilt shopping.
  8. Guys who wear kilts can go to any romance writer’s conference, and make instant friends with a zillion, cheerful, friendly ladies, some of whom, being in period attire, are also doing fewer loads of white laundry.
  9. Even when you’re wearing it somewhere besides a romance writers’ conference, the kilt is a guaranteed, sure fire, believe-me-when-I-tell-you, babe magnet, to the extent that you will get heartily sick of telling women you’re not wearing undies. I promise you this.
  10. The best reason to wear a kilt was explained to me by a little fellow who drove me around the Highlands in his cab. Abbey was a native of Aberdeen, and yet had gone his entire sixty-some years without acquiring a proper dress kilt. For a niece’s wedding, he agreed to make the effort to be fitted out in clan attire, thinking the whole business rather silly.

The fellows at the kilt shop, as Abbey told the tale, were a sly bunch. They measured and fitted, and pinned and tucked, and didn’t let Abbey see himself until he was completely rigged out in formal attire. Then they turned him about to see the picture he presented in the three way mirror, and in his words, “Ma chest expanded out to here, and I felt about ten feet tall. I tell ye, I nivver wanted to tek the damned thing uff.”

Wear the kilt because it symbolizes a tradition of pride and masculine confidence, wear it because you’ll nivver want to tek the damned thing uff.

THE BRIDEGROOM WORE PLAID BY GRACE BURROWES – IN STORES DECEMBER 2012

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes keeps winning reader awards for her gorgeously imagined books. If you’re already a fan, you’ll devour her new characters and if you haven’t yet discovered the richly drawn worlds of Grace Burrowes, you’re in for a treat….

His Family or His Heart — One of Them Will Be Betrayed…

Ian MacGregor is wooing a woman who’s wrong for him in every way. As the new Earl of Balfour, though, he must marry an English heiress to repair the family fortunes.

But in his intended’s penniless chaperone, Augusta, Ian is finding everything he’s ever wanted in a wife.

Praise for Grace Burrowes:

“Historical details enrich Burrowes’s intimate and erotic story, but the real stars are her vibrant characters and her masterful ear for dialogue. Burrowes is superb at creating connections that feel honest and real.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Memorable heroes. Intelligent, sensual love stories. This author knows what romance readers adore.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

Buy: The Bridegroom Wore Plaid

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Grace Burrowes is a bestselling and award-winning author of historical romances. Her debut, The Heir, was selected as a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year for 2010 in the romance category, and Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish won RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Historical Romance of 2011 and was also nominated for the prestigious RWA RITA award. The author of the bestsellers The Heir, The Soldier and Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal, Grace is a practicing attorney and lives in rural Maryland. She’ll conclude to the Windham Family Series with Lady Jenny’s story in October 2013, and will begin a new regency series with Darius in April 2013. The next book in Grace’s Scottish Victorian series, Once Upon a Tartan, will be in stores in August 2013. Please visit http://www.graceburrowes.com/  or follow her on Twitter: @GraceBurrowes for more information.

GIVEAWAY: 1 copy of The Bridegroom Wore Plaid to one reader in US or CAN. Enter by telling us why men should wear kilts. Last day to enter is Dec 16, 2012.

Get into Bed with Victoria Roberts (Author Interview)

temptation in a kiltIntroducing Victoria Roberts, author of Temptation in a Kilt

Keira: What is your favorite thing about Highlander romance?

Victoria Roberts: I’d like to thank everyone at Love, Romance, Passion for having me here today. I’m thrilled to be able to chat with you. For me, it’s basically the combination of the bonny landscape, castles, clans, the pride and honor of the Scottish people, alpha-Highlanders wielding broadswords, and perhaps an occasional peek under a wee kilt or two, just to name a few! Highlander romances provide a great backdrop for a steamy love story, don’t you think?

Keira: How do Lairds live it up?

Victoria: I would like to think when the Highland lairds were not defending their lands or clan that they knew how to make every moment count. In Temptation in a Kilt, Laird Ciaran MacGregor doesn’t really have time to live it up, but his younger brother Declan more than makes up for that. *laughs*

Keira: Tell us about Laird Ciaran MacGregor’s broadsword! ;)

Victoria: It’s verra big.

Keira: Which is tougher to deal with a clan battle or a wounded maiden?

Victoria: I think you’d have to ask Ciaran about that since he had to deal with both simultaneously.

Keira: Why is Lady Rosalia Armstrong journeying alone?

Victoria: Rosalia is determined to make a new life for herself. She escapes her family’s home on the Scottish border and is hell-bent on reaching her grandmother in Glengarry. If she weds the despicable Lord Dunnehl, she’s doomed to suffer a most unpleasant fate. She doesn’t need any man to protect her and she’s quite willing to take her life into her own hands.

Keira: Is it scandalous for a Highlander to marry a Lowlander?

Victoria: Highlanders in that time were seen as “barbaric” whereas the Lowlanders were seen as conforming to the English ways. In Temptation in a Kilt, the MacGregors do not care if Rosalia is a Lowlander. They have plenty of other troubles to worry about.

Keira: Would you ever travel back in time?

Victoria: I would love to travel back in time. I don’t know if I’d like to permanently stay there, but I’d love to visit.

Keira: Bad boy heroes are a lot of fun, who is your favorite bad boy hero?

Victoria: They are a lot of fun, aren’t they? I don’t have just one. From Damon Salvatore, The Vampire Diaries to Robert Carlisle’s character, Rumpelstiltskin, Once Upon a Time to Khal Drogo, Game of Thrones… there are so many to choose from!

Keira: Why do you think heroes love heroines that defy them?

Victoria: I think every man loves a woman who challenges him and knocks him from his pedestal. Who would want a mate that agreed with his/her every comment or literally hung on their every word? There has to be conflict and challenges because without those, there is no story. And be honest, we all love to read about the feisty women who challenge the roguish men. I know I do!

Keira: What is next in the Bad Boys of the Highlands Trilogy?

Victoria: X Marks the Scot is the second book in the series and is scheduled for release in February 2013. This is Declan MacGregor (Ciaran’s youngest brother) and Lady Liadain Campbell’s story.

Thank you so much for having me today. It’s been a pleasure to chat with you.

Happy Reading!

Victoria

www.victoriarobertsauthor.com

Book Blurb:

She’s on her way to safety

It’s a sign of Lady Rosalia Armstrong’s desperation that she’s seeking refuge in a place as rugged and challenging as the Scottish Highlands. She doesn’t care about hardship and discomfort, if only she can become master of her own life. Laird Ciaran MacGregor, however, is completely beyond her control…

He redefines dangerous…

Ciaran MacGregor knows it’s perilous to get embroiled with a fiery Lowland lass, especially one as headstrong as Rosalia. Having made a rash promise to escort her all the way to Glengarry, now he’s stuck with her, even though she challenges his legendary prowess at every opportunity. When temptation reaches its peak, he’ll be ready to show her who he really is…on and off the battlefield.

Praise for Temptation in a Kilt:

“Roberts’s debut features appealing characters and an interesting background of ancient clan feuds and spurned lovers.” —Publishers Weekly

“Well written, full of intrigue and a sensual, believable romance, this book captivates the reader immediately” —RT Book Reviews/4 stars

Buy: Temptation in a Kilt

About the Author: Victoria Roberts writes sexy, Scottish historical romances about kilted heroes and warriors from the past. An avid lover of all things Scotland—simply, she writes what she loves to read. Prior to ever picking up a single romance novel, she penned her first young-adult novella (never published) at sixteen years old. Who knew her leather studded motorcycle hero would trade in his ride and emerge as a kilt donning Highlander wielding a broadsword? Victoria lives in western Pennsylvania with her husband of nineteen years and their two beautiful children—not to mention one spoiled dog. When she is not plotting her next Scottish romp, she enjoys reading, nature and antiques.

Buy: Temptation in a Kilt

What Drives a Highland Laird to Kidnap and Why Do We Read It?

HighlandersPrize

Guest Post by Mary Wine, author of The Highlander’s Prize

Good Morning Folks!

This isn’t the first time I’ve addressed the topic of kidnapping in romance novels. Honestly, it’s one of my favorite themes to read. Why? Well from the stand point of entertainment, I think we all love stories about someone rising above overwhelming odds. I just saw the Hunger Games and really enjoyed it but let’s face it, the story is really extreme.

From a historical stand point, possession was nine tenths of the law in these periods. Among nobles it was common to foster children with other nobles and that wasn’t always done because the parents thought the other family would do a good job of raising their children. Many people were summoned to Court simply so they could be kept watch over. Kidnapping, wasn’t the same sort that we think of today. In the case of history, it was more a situation of having a reluctant guest.

In ‘The Highlander’s Prize’ my heroine Clarrisa is already being used as a pawn. She’s in Scotland because her family sent her and the law gives them the right. That doesn’t mean she’s happy about being kidnapped but it is a relief at the time that my hero takes her away from her arranged marriage.

Today, we’re shocked by the idea of arranged matches but in times past, they were the best means of survival. If your family could make a deal with another family that had wealth, you took the intimate part of the marriage in stride because starving was a blunt reality in these times. If you married poorly, winter might just be your last season.

But that’s all beside the point. Really, we just love to indulge ourselves in a moment of knowing that some handsome hunk is interested only in us and that he’ll challenge anyone or thing to have us. That’s the draw in kidnapping stories. The hero so always noble and kind and hunky…and hunky, did I say that part? Kilts allow for a lot of hunk-ness admiring.

I hope you’ll all enjoy my little highlander tale. ‘The Highlander’s Prize’ is on sale now. Please come over to my FaceBook author page and like it.

Cheers!

Mary Wine

Marywine.com

Excerpt from The Highlander’s Prize

“Ye sleep like a babe. Unconcerned as though the world is a peaceful place. Maturity should have taught ye differently, but I suppose I can nae be expecting any royal offspring to know much about life’s harsher edges.”

Laird MacNicols was a giant. He was poised on his hunches, the edges of his plaid just brushing the ground. She gained a glimpse of his well-made boots with antler horn buttons running up their sides before he muttered something to Shaw in Gaelic.

Fear twisted through her because Shaw’s eyes were icy and she recalled clearly what the other Highlander wanted to do with her.

Shaw was leaning against a rock, his long sword cradled across his lap. “She’s the one, sure enough. The only other was wearing a wimple and well past her prime. Saw them both get out of that wagon meself. There were nae any other females.”

The laird had blue eyes—startling with how intense they were. His hair was fair but streaked with hints of red. It hung down to his shoulders, with a section of it braided to keep it out of his eyes. There was an uncivilized way about him that had nothing to do with the common clothing he wore. It was in his eyes and the corded muscles so clearly visible on his arms and legs. He was not a man who had others do his bidding.

But his sword was fine. The pommel was clearly visible beyond his left shoulder and the rising sun illuminated the gold hilt. A blue sapphire winked at her from where it was set into a crest that included a rampant lion—A noble creature, only men with noble blood could use such an animal on his belongings. It meant he was more than just a clan laird. He had blue blood flowing through his veins.

The sight sent her struggling away from him, but the fabric still bound her. His lips twitched up, amusement sparkling in his eyes.

“Now, why the hurry to place distance between us, Clarrisa of York? Did I nae see to yer comfort quite nicely?”

“Your man wants to slit my throat. Why wouldn’t I want to be away from you?.”

He shrugged. “Shaw believes it a necessary thing, since yer kin seem to think we need their troubles spreading here to Scotland.” His grin faded. “Something I am nae in favor of either.”

“Neither am I.”

Surprise flickered in his blue eyes. “The way I heard it, ye were fixing to wait on our king like some fat pasha from the Far East.”

There was thick disapproval in his tone and he stood up. He was dismissing her—condemning her, actually. She struggled and sat up in spite of the fabric binding her.

“You understand naught.” She sputtered. “It was a ruse, to delay him.”

He returned his dark blue gaze to her, but there was a slight mocking arch to one eyebrow now. “Well then, lass, I’m listening sure enough. Why do nae ye explain to me what ye’re doing in me country and with me king?”

Why was she begging?

Because she wanted to live.

Heat stung her cheeks because she was ashamed at just how easily she had been reduced to whimpering. It wasn’t the first time she’d had no one to depend upon except herself. She drew in a deep breath and tried to collect her courage.

“I was sent here by my family. The ruse enacted to gain me freedom from the tower room your king intended to use to breed me like a mare.” The sting in her cheeks doubled as she spoke. “So…you see…we desire the same thing.”

He bent his knees so he was able to scrutinize her once more on the same level. He had his share of arrogance but what surprised her was the amusement lurking in his eyes.

“Do we now?” He muttered softly. “I have to doubt ye on that, since ye turned to flee from me.”

“I couldn’t willingly go with you when one of your men wants to kill me.”

He shrugged again. There was enough light from the rising sun now to show her thick muscles bulging along his arms and chest. His lips parted and his teeth flashed at her when he grinned at her. “I told ye it would nae be happening and I am laird.” His expression hardened. “But ye are still the natural daughter of Edward the Fourth of England and might well be accomplished in the art of twisting words.”

“I am hardly the only child he is rumored to have fathered outside his marriage.” She struggled against the fabric binding her again, feeling too helpless by far caught in its folds.

“I hear Edward acknowledged ye, which means a great deal, considering how rare noble blood is becoming due to yer war of the roses.”

He reached out and grabbed the fabric beneath her chin. A moment later she was on her feet. Her feet shifted, her balance unsteady because her toes had gone numb sometime during the night.

“Henry Tudor has wed Elizabeth of York. The War of the Roses is finished now because York and Lancaster are united.” She explained.

“But Henry has nae had her crowned queen and ye are here, brought under cover of darkness to a lone tower where James of Scotland sneaks away to meet with ye. Now that is suspicious, lass, and no mistake. But it is also dangerous for me and my clan, for we have enough troubles without ye giving James a son with York blood. Ye tried to flee when I offered ye freedom, which means ye might well be intent on becoming a powerful Queen through yer son.”

“I told you why I tried to run.”

He chuckled, but it wasn’t a pleasant sound. “Am I to trust ye, then?” He stepped closer, maintaining a firm grip on the fabric to keep her in place. “Will ye offer to bathe me with yer delicate hands, Clarrisa? To show me how adept ye are at common chores? From what the young maid told me, ye claim to have more practice at polishing men’s weapons. Mind ye, I am no’ saying I would nae enjoy ye proving yer gratefulness in such a fashion.”

Her jaw dropped open but the sound that emerged was a snarl. Full of rage and frustration, she actually lowered her chin and tried to bite the hand securing her in front of him.

“I shall not! You’re a blackard to suggest such a thing.”

He laughed at her, jerking his hand away before she sunk her teeth into his flesh. She stumbled and would have landed on her backside, but someone caught her floundering body from behind and her face burned bright red as she listened to his men enjoy her shame. Someone yanked the length of wool off her and she spun around like a child playing in a spring meadow. When the last of the wool plaid fell away she was dizzy. Her captor gripped her wrists while she struggled to maintain her balance and wrapped a length of leather around them. He knotted the ends firmly before giving a satisfied grunt.

“I am Broen MacNicols and ye will be leaving, lass, but ye will be traveling with me to the Highlands where I can be sure ye are nae adding to the troubles in me country. Give me men any frustration and I’ll let them keep ye bundled like a babe.”

“Brute.” She accused. “Uncivilized… Highlander.”

Buy: The Highlander’s Prize

A French Knight… in the Highlands?

Guest post by Amanda Forester, author of True Highland Spirit

Yes, True Highland Spirit is set in the Scottish Highlands of 1355. Yes, my heroine is a feisty Highland lass. And yes, my hero is… a French knight?!

Am I confused? Well, yes, often I fear, but let me try to explain what a French knight is doing gallivanting about the Scottish Highlands in the 14th Century.

One thing I enjoy more than I should is doing research for my books. Medieval history is a colorful ride, often more fanciful than fiction. In 1355, the English and French were embroiled in what was later known as the Hundred Years’ War. To distract England, a contingent of French knights was sent to join the Scottish clans in a plot to invade Northern England and take the English by surprise.

Of course the plot did not work so well (like most of the times Scotland invaded England) but the fact remained that in the middle of the 14th century French knights were traipsing about Scotland. If that isn’t a basis for a romance novel I don’t know what is!

The heroine of the story, Morrigan McNab, is one tough lady. Often the loser in war, the McNab clan has fallen on hard times, and Morrigan is accustomed to wielding a sword and doing what she must, even if it means taking what she needs by force, to feed her clan.

I knew when I first met Morrigan that she was going to need a special hero, one that could slip past her natural defenses. She had been around rough men all her life, even leading a band of thieves. She would not be overly impressed or awed by the typical burly Highlander. What Morrigan needed was someone completely different.

Enter Sir Dragonet. He has come with the group of French knights to convince the Scottish clans to go to war against the English. He also was on a secret mission, one that prevents him from forming any romantic attachments whatsoever. Dragonet is like nothing Morrigan has ever met before. He is polite, kind, and lethal. Unlike her boastful brother and boorish clansmen, Dragonet’s courtly manner and undeniable charm are utterly foreign to her. Yet beneath the casual calm exterior lies the deadly skill of a master swordsman and another even darker secret.

So why are French knights sexy?

  1. They are polite and charming.
  2. They are more likely to bathe on a regular basis.
  3. They hold firm to the code of chivalry.
  4. They have that sexy accent.
  5. Their prowess in the bedroom is so legendary they have a whole KISS named for them!

Poor Morrigan. She knows how to repel the typical Highlander type, but a French knight? There she has met her match. The fact that he does not want to fall in love any more than she does means they will deny their feelings until it is too late. Much, much too late.

TRUE HIGHLAND SPIRIT — IN STORES MARCH 2012

Morrigan McNab learned to survive with a sword in her hand. Taking command, she is determined to protect her impoverished clan, no matter the cost. When an elusive French knight offers gold to fight against England, she joins the call to arms. Sparks fly on the battlefield as a forbidden passion smolders between Morrigan and Sir Dragonet. Yet Sir Dragonet holds a secret that will destroy the hope for a life together, and will make them rivals on a dangerous quest for a mysterious relic. As they fight beside each other against the English, and against each other to find the treasure, their love becomes a greater force than either can control.

Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review

Romantic Times 4½ Stars, Top Pick!

Buy: True Highland Spirit

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amanda Forester holds a PhD in psychology and worked for many years in academia before discovering that writing historical romance novels was way more fun.  She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two energetic children, and one lazy dog.  The first two novels in her Highland series, THE HIGHLANDER’S SWORD and THE HIGHLANDER’S HEART, are currently on sale. You can visit her at www.amandaforester.com.

GIVEAWAY: I have 2 copies of True Highland Spirit up for grabs! Comment to enter. Open to US and CAN readers. Last day to enter: March 12, 2012.

Get into Bed with Mia Marlowe (Author Interview)

Mia Marlowe Interview, Co-Author of Sins of the Highlander with Connie Mason

Keira: You worked with Connie Mason on Sins of the Highlander, so I have to know, is it easier or harder to write with a partner? Did either of you ever want the story to go one way, but couldn’t take it there because the other wanted something else? Was there a lot of compromise?

Mia Marlowe: I found writing with a partner very liberating because I knew if I went down the wrong alley, Connie would reel me back in. Fortunately, that wasn’t ever necessary. Working with Connie is such a joy. She’s a very gracious lady. Honestly, I can’t remember a time when we had any sort of tension between us while crafting the story.

Keira: How did you both go about writing the novel? I know you didn’t meet up in person as you live in Massachusetts and Connie lives in Florida! lol Was there something each of you did? Did you write back and forth, scene by scene? Or each write from one character’s POV? Did you find that you both played to your strengths?

MM: We actually have met in person but it was years ago, in 2006 when my debut book came out. She agreed to give me a cover quote—the first one she’d ever given. Connie chose the setting and time period for Sins of the Highlander. Since I’d never written a Scottish set story, I had some researching to do to get up to speed. Connie and I kept in touch via email as the story progressed and fortunately, since our writing styles are very similar, the result is pretty seamless.

Keira: I love bride stealing plots and this one quite literally has the hero steal the bride away from his nemesis. What made you decide on this plot trope? What do you like best about it?

MM: Honestly, I never thought of it as a trope. My approach to story-telling is to get to know the characters deeply. Then I figure out what they want. Lastly, I decide how to keep them from getting it until they really deserve it. Once we knew Rob was mad with grief over his wife, it was a short step to realize he’d want revenge. Stealing a bride from the man he blames for Fiona’s death was only logical, in a crazy sort of way. Plot has to flow organically from the character’s flaws, needs and wants. If it does that with honesty, I don’t see how it can be a cliché.

Keira: A widower hero… sigh… love it. Tell me more about him – give us the good stuff – the toe curling good stuff!

MM: Rob MacLaren is an uber-alpha, a warrior, a clan leader, and all things we love in a man. He’s decisive, courageous and wickedly handsome. The man can rock a kilt. But he’s also damaged. At the outset of the story, he deserves the nickname “Mad Rob.” He still loves Fiona so deeply, she visits him nightly in dreams so vivid, he hates to wake and find he’s lost her afresh. But the fact that he knows how to love gave me hope that he could learn to do it again. If you’d like a taste (and a ‘toe curl’), visit http://miamarlowe.com/books/sins.php#excerpt for an introduction to “Mad Rob.”

Keira: Do you and Connie plan to write another novel together? If so, tell us what you got cooking!

MM: Yes we do! In fact, we have another release this year. Look for Lord of Fire and Icein August! Connie steered us into a Viking story for this one and I added a sparkle of magic by making our hero a fire mage! Brandr the Far Traveled and Katla the Black have a pretty fiery start to their relationship, but my money is on Brandr to melt her icy heart.

We’re also working a trio of Regency set stories for 2013 called “The Royal Rakes.” Readers who remember Connie’s Rogues series will love these new heroes! We just turned in the manuscript for Waking Up with a Rake (Jan. 2013)

In addition to our Sourcebooks novels, I have two more releases with just my name on them coming this year from Kensington Brava—Touch of Rogue (Feb. 28th) and Touch of a Scoundrel (July 2012). These adventurous, sensual Victorian stories have characters who are blessed—or cursed—with the “gift of touch.” They glean secret information when they touch certain objects, but it’s not always something they want to know.

I’m also planning some eBook only releases for readers looking for quality stories at a budget-pleasing price.

If you’d like to be notified of all my new releases, I invite you to enter my website contest. The Grand Prize is a NEW KINDLE! http://miamarlowe.com/contest.php Plus you’ll be automatically signed up to receive my short timely newsletters. I only send them out when I have a new book or special contest to share, so your email inbox won’t be inundated.

Thanks for having me here today, Keira. I have a question for your readers: Do you think it’s possible to fall deeply in love more than once?

SINS OF THE HIGHLANDER BY CONNIE MASON & MIA MARLOWE – IN STORES JANUARY 2012

Abduction

Never had Elspeth Stewart imagined her wedding would be interrupted by a dark-haired stranger charging in on a black stallion, scooping her into his arms, and carrying her off across the wild Scottish highlands. Pressed against his hard chest and nestled between his trong thighs, she ought to have feared for her life. But her captor silenced all protests with a soul-searing kiss, giving Elspeth a glimpse of the pain behind his passion—a pain only she could ease.

Obsession

“Mad Rob” MacLaren thought stealing his rival’s bride-to-be was the prefect revenge. But Rob never reckoned that this beautiful, innocent lass would awaken the part of him he thought dead and buried with his wife. Against all reason, he longed to introduce the luscious Elspeth to the pleasures of the flesh, to make her his, and only his, forever.

With two clans against them burning for battle, they must find a way to join together—body, breath and soul. Or both will be made to pay for the Sins of the Highlander.

Buy: Sins of the Highlander

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Connie Mason is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 novels. She was named Storyteller of the Year in 1990 and received a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews in 1994. She currently lives in Florida. Mia Marlowe is a highly acclaimed new voice in romance whose debut novel released in Spring 2011 from Kensington. She lives in Boston, MA. Together, they are working on a new Regency romance series for Sourcebooks Casablanca, the first of which will be in stores in early 2013. For more information, please visit http://www.conniemason.com/, http://miamarlowe.com/ and follow Mia on Twitter @Mia_Marlowe.

GIVEAWAY: I have 2 copies of Sins of the Highlander. Open to US and Canada only. Enter by answering Mia’s question at the end of the interview. Last day to enter: January 27, 2012.

Review: Highland Hearts by Hannah Howell

bookreview

I had a hard time setting Highland Hearts aside to get some work done once I started it. I ended staying up late last night to finish it. This story is exciting and thrilling and you’ll be sure to love it even if Highlander romance is not your cup of tea.

Contessa Delgado’s journey to love begins the moment she releases Sir Revan Halyard from her Uncle Thurkettle’s dungeon. Footsteps and voices descend the stairwell leading down to where they are and Revan does what any dashing knight would do when life was in danger – hold a girl by sword point and threaten to skewer her if Thurkettle and his men don’t drop their weapons.

Feisty Tess has a wicked tongue and gives him a verbal lashing even as he drags her onto his horse and rides into the woods as if the devil were on their heels. When arrows start to rain down on them without a care to Tess’ safety and some aimed even more deliberately at her the urge to get away is even more dire. What uncle would shoot to kill his niece? An uncle who wanted all the wealth she just inherited from her trust, that’s who.

When they rest at last Tess tells Revan what she thinks of his gratitude for her saving his life and he swears then that he never truly meant to run her through with his sword, the threat just had to look real. Then Revan asks Tess to face some hard facts. Tess acknowledges to Revan that she is aware of at least three other incidences where her uncle’s tried to kill her and make look like accidents. Revan having kidnapped Tess has made it far easier to kill her and lay the blame elsewhere.

Revan guesses it is because of fortune and Tess murmurs her agreement and tells him a paltry version of her inheritance not revealing her full wealth to the handsome knight. She then asks Revan why her uncle had locked him up and he reveals that he is a knight in service to the king. Together they patch what clues Revan was able to gather on his mission to spy for King James II and what Tess can deduce from clues she unwittingly encountered in her uncle’s keep of treason and betrayal her uncle and their neighbor Douglas were cooking up together.

Their knowledge puts them in even more danger as they now have to get their information to the king, avoid her uncle’s men and the Douglas men out to get them, and while they do not fight the growing fires that flare between them their love is not an easy one. This novel is truly about passion on the run as Revan and Tess land in one mess or another.

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: Tamed by a Highlander by Paula Quinn

Reviewed by Lynn Reynolds

I haven’t read a historical romance in quite a while. I’ve been reading a lot of erotic and paranormal romances. I’ve recently gone back to reading the historical romances and I’m glad that I did. Paula has grabbed my attention right from the first page.

In reading Tamed by a Highlander you can picture how all the characters felt, acted, and what they would have been wearing at that period in time. Paula has a way of making you feel as if you’re a part of the story. It’s as if you are watching her characters as their story unfolds. She is like a great fisherman. She keeps you hooked until the very end.

The heroine of this story is Mairi MacGregor. The story starts in the spring of 1685 and we see Mairi wanting to go to battle with the rest of her kin. Our hero is Connor Grant and for some reason Mairi doesn’t like him very much. We also find out why she is so passionate about fighting the battle.

As the story continues, you can just feel the heat between Mairi and Connor. The pages practically sizzle with the chemistry between the two. But as in all good romances, nothing goes smoothly. Lord Oxford, one of the minor characters, keeps coming between the two lovers. As you read, you wonder why he is so fascinated by her. Out of all the women at Court, what is the fascination?

Mairi has a strong personality which is unusual for the time period. She has certain beliefs and she is willing to defend those beliefs. She is like our modern women soldiers and would probably do very well in today’s society. But back then, women didn’t do those things. It was considered unacceptable.

I’m a reader that doesn’t usually like a book that I constantly put down and then pick up again. I lose my train of thought within the story. Usually when I constantly put a book down it’s because it just doesn’t hold my attention. I didn’t have that problem with this book. I couldn’t wait to see what Paula had in the offing for our lovebirds.

If you’re looking for a story that has a lot of sex in it, you won’t find it here. But if you’re looking for a sensual story with some action in it, this is the story for you. Circumstances always seemed to pull our lovers apart. Fans of great romances know that love conquers all. We know that the champion always overcomes any and all obstacles that will come between him and his one true love.

This is a book that I can’t wait for the next installment in the series to come out. I also look forward in to catching up with the series by reading the first two books. This is definitely a book that you want as part of your romance collection.

I give Tamed by a Highlander:

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Tamed by a Highlander, Tamed by a Highlander (UK)

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Review: The Highlander’s Touch by Karen Marie Moning

guestreview-2

By: Sasha Muradali, guest blogger

The Highlander’s Touch is the third novel in the series of Highlanders by Karen Marie Moning. It is darker than the rest, but provides the ground work for four of the next novels.

Enter Lisa, a woman from the 21st century who is too nosy for her own good. Touching an ancient artifact, she finds herself stumbling back in time 700 years prior into ancient Scotland. But the thing is, and how romantically-novel-typical, Lisa falls 700 years back into the private bed chamber of Highland Laird Circenn. His nickname is “Sin,” believe it or not.

But nothing is as sweaty, sexy and frustrating as it seems, for Circenn has a secret; a very dark, deep secret.

Lisa, torn between anger and lust, left an ill mother behind when she fell back in time and that one factor pushes her not only to push Circenn away, but to find a way back to her century. Not having that Circenn is determined to not only keep her in his century, but help her let go of all the anger and bottled up emotions ready to consume her.

There are two problems: Circenn does not know how to return Lisa to her century and the ‘person’ that does…well, Circenn isn’t speaking to him, as they got into a rather interesting arguement.

Three guesses as to of whom we speak?

Adam Black, ladies, the fabulous Dark Fae himself, Adam Black!

But it gets better – Adam holds the key to Circenn’s secret. Actually, Adam is the reason for Circenn’s secret and it is worth reading to learn. The story builds up, and the tension between the two lead male characters reaches various levels of intelligence, humor, respect and spite.

What I absolutely love about this novel, is not the typical boy meets girl, girl meets boy, girl hates boy, boy tries to woo girl, girl whacks boy so on and so forth.

No, I dare say my favorite parts are the exchanges, as few as they are, between Circenn and Adam. Not only are they entertaining, but these key conversations, will help readers understand what is to come in the next four books.

The Highlander’s Touch is truly a joy to read.  Karen Marie Moning is on target and her Highlander novels only get better from here.

Rating: 4 of 5 stars.

Buy: The Highlander’s Touch