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: Seduction of a Highland Warrior (The Highland Warriors, Book 3) by Sue-Ellen Welfonder

Seduction of a Highland WarriorReviewed by Zarabeth

It is abundantly clear that this book is written by a woman who loves the Highlands (and Highlanders :P) of old. I loved every time she painted the picture of the landscape, the horizon, or the men in this book.

And her characters are just as well-written. Lady Marjory Mackintosh and Chief Alasdair MacDonald are your quintessential highland characters so I enjoyed them greatly. He is strong, bold, honor-bound, and incredibly stubborn. She is fiery, brave, superstitious, and also incredibly stubborn.

Their love alternates from dripping with passion to crumbling under the weight of their clan enmity. Of course the Mackintoshes and the MacDonalds have been at war longer than anyone can remember but Marjory and her friends have a plan to bring everyone together sealing the King’s Peace Treaty with a marriage pact. I believe this is the 3rd and final book of that trilogy though it easily stands alone. So its up to Marjory to finish things or let everyone down.

It is obvious to all that Alasdair wants and desires the beautiful Marjory, but can she seduce him into marriage despite their clans’ history? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

Which I recommend you do!

Marjory’s seduction of Alasdair has some magnificent points of sexual tension where you can almost feel the heat from his body. But a much more serious threat could also keep them apart, or perhaps seal their fates together.
Read Seduction of a Highland Warrior to find out if our ladies win out!

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Seduction of a Highland Warrior (The Highland Warriors)

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Get into Bed with Mary Wine (Author Interview)

trouble with highlandersKeira: As an author of 20+ works, what is your process? Do you have any tips for perseverance or obtaining a steady/growing word count?

Mary Wine: Hello Folks! It’s grand to be here! Thanks for having me over to blog. I’m really excited to have The Trouble with Highlanders making its way into your hands.

It’s a constant battle of good vs the evil distractions of the internet. Okay and chores and of course the parrot. It is my main job to hold and love the parrot. LOL. You know, like any job, you’ve got to be focused. There are going to be times you want to just sleep in or leave early or log onto Facebook and play silly games. But if you want to finish your book, you’d better strap your little tail into the pilot seat for the long haul. ‘How bad do you want it’ really fits. I keep a word count log and make myself stick to it. The other thing I keep is a log of other things I do. This helps me identify wasted time when I sat down in front of the TV or something else non-productive. It’s always surprising to me to discover where my hours are slipping away into.

Keira: What is your favorite reenactment? If you could travel back in time to the real deal, would you?

Mary: I love all time eras. I met my husband at a renaissance faire and we still go. He kisses the back of my hand and we dance period dances. I think he might just be going for the sword fighting…wink. I might travel back if I were in control. History is full of brutal realities from violence to bacteria. Would I love to sit in the court of Elizabeth the first and just watch? You bet! But I’d think twice about how to do it because it’s likely I’d be accused of being a spy. Still, wouldn’t it be something to visit Victorian England? Maybe join one of the cycling women’s groups for an afternoon. I would love to walk through the fabric market and watch a tailor at work.

Keira:  There’s trouble and then there’s The Trouble with Highlanders – explain the difference!

Mary: Trouble…in this case, a big, arrogant Highlander who has never had a woman walk away from him. This isn’t the first time Daphne McLeod has taken a hand in her fate. She hid in a convent to avoid her arranged marriage because it was causing two best friends to fight over her. She also let Norris seduce her so that Broen, her arranged marriage, might renounce her and marry the woman he truly loved. Daphne is her own woman and it was good for Norris to meet his match. The handsome brute just had it too easy with females if you ask me.

Keira: Either/Or: If you were kidnapped like Daphne MacLeod, the heroine, in The Trouble with Highlanders, would you prefer to be rescued by a Laird or a Lord? Why?

Mary: I’d bloody well take care of myself. I don’t drag myself to martial arts class five days a week for nothing. Don’t let the picture of me wearing a bustle fool ya. Just call me Mulan. 

Keira: Use this space to share anything you like!

Mary: I thought I’d show you the afore mentioned parrot…I mean ‘time sucking black hole’ but she seems to think she’s the office manager. Lol.

This is Ginger. She is an umbrella cockatoo. Ginger is about five months old and I’m the insane person who fell in love with her. She can employ an almost impossible tractor ‘cuteness’ beam that pulls all humans toward her. Once in your arms, she purrs and lets one cuddle her endlessly. This is all designed to make me forget that she throws her food all over the floor.

Thanks for having me over. You can find me on Facebook and Twitter!

Mary Wine

MaryWine.com

Buy: The Trouble with Highlanders

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

Review: The Wedding by Julie Garwood

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Julie Garwood is a staple, a household name, and Wedding is the first book of hers I ever read. Recommended to me by my closest friend, I came to the conclusion that it must go to the top of my TBR pile. I found the Wedding to be a delightful combination of bride stealing, tortured hero, and a quest for justice. The tortured hero was my favorite part, though the heroine was pretty great too. The Wedding is the sequel to The Bride, but I don’t think you miss anything by reading this one first; it is after all what I did first. I also found pieces of text to get choppy when going from scene to scene near the end or from heroine to hero point of view. Overall it wasn’t a bad start to learning about who this fabulous author is. Spoilers ahead…

Wedding focuses heavily on a revenge plot, which in the end I felt could have been wrapped up better. When young Laird Connor McAlister comes to his father’s death bed, he is made to promise to seek justice for the wrongs of his father. At ten, one would not think this would be particularly important or something that would be a driving force in the child’s life but we’re underestimating the loyalty between father and son, the pride of the Highlanders, and of course the time period. Connor seeks protection from Alec, forms a lasting brotherhood with the man and grows up to search for his father’s killers.

The man Connor’s father thought was behind the plotting is getting married. Since he cannot prove his involvement with his father’s death, Connor decides to seek a lesser revenge by stealing his bride, Brenna Haynesworth. Lucky for Connor, his soon to be bride, Brenna, shares a bit of history with him. I’ll give you it’s a relatively brief history, but this history is needed so that Connor can justify his actions to his brother Alec. See, Brenna as a young girl asked Connor to marry her three times during his one and only stay at her childhood home. Brenna is an amusing heroine because she loses her possessions constantly. Hair ribbons, knifes, shoes, it all follows behind her like a trail of bread crumbs.

When the novel focused on the hero and heroine falling in love, it was a very good read but then it drifted back into the revenge plot and stuck there with a few too many clichés. Connor’s stepmother is plainly evil. She affects a loving spirit still in mourning for her dead husband in front of Connor, but sabotages Brenna at every turn and picks on all her fears about herself and Connor whenever the man isn’t looking. And Brenna is so concerned about gaining his stepmother’s favor and love that she doesn’t bring up her problems with Connor or anyone for that matter.

Then when Connor’s stepbrother arrives on the scene he is a lecherous cretin, bent on seducing Brenna as soon as possible, not caring at all if she’s willing or not. While this is going on the man Connor thinks plotted his father’s death is moving his players around and causing mischief so that Connor cannot be near Brenna or observe what is going on in his own household until it’s nearly too late. Then to top it all off is another communication misunderstanding and the happily ever after is almost caput. In the end they have it, but I would have preferred Garwood to draw it out more instead of tacking it on at the end as if she’d forgotten about it.

Rating: ★★★½☆

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Susan’s Quoted on the Back of Accidental Highland Hero!

I’ve got some more fun news to share! Are you prepared for some major squeeing? I can wait. Ready?

SQUEEE!!!!

And again… SQUEEEEEEEEE!!!! *Ahem…* I’m good now. ;)

Susan is quoted on the back of Terry Spear’s The Accidental Highland Hero!

Don’t you think that’s pretty darn awesome?! I do!

I knew about her quote since January, but waited to announce it to everybody until I had pictures (which she just sent me), because everything is more exciting with pictures. :D

Her quote reads:

“This spicy historical will steal your breath, and capture your heart.”
-Susan Sigler, Love Romance Passion

And LOOK! It’s on the inside too!

How neat is that? Congrats Susan on your fabulous quote!

Susan will be sharing a full review in a few days time so keep your eyes peeled, but in the meanwhile feel free to go out and get a copy for yourself!

Buy: The Accidental Highland Hero

DIY Highlander Romance Novel Cover Contest – Time to Vote

Last night was the last chance to enter the DIY Highlander Cover Contest and this morning and all day is set aside for voting. You vote by leaving a comment on the entry you like the best for both cover and background. We have two great entries by two great artists.

Sasha presents Laird of the Manor, a contemporary romance with a historical background centered around mock battles.

Zarabeth presents The Highlander’s Heir, a historical romance featuring a feisty plump heroine and a hero with a mission.

Also take a moment to think about the next DIY cover. What would you be interested in see next? We’ve had Pirates and Highlanders, perhaps we need Vikings or werewolves? Maybe corporate bosses and their secretary mistresses? Leave a suggestion!

Highlander Romance Novel Cover Contest

I was hoping to have an example cover to share with everyone like I had with the Pirate contest – but my friend who owns a kilt is being a little shy at the moment. Perhaps if you leave some encouragement he’d be more inclined to don it and show of his legs!

About:

This contest runs from January 1st, 2009 to January 30th, 2009. Winners will be the entry with the most unique user comments on their blog post detailing their novel cover. Additional votes will be acquired in a Twitter poll on the 30th and the winner will be announced on the 31st of January. Good luck! I can’t wait to see what creative things you do!

Prize:

$10 gift card to Amazon. Go ahead and buy yourself a kilted warrior or three. I hear their swords are mightier in bed than they are out of bed!

Rules of Entry:

Each contest is considered fresh. This means previous winners are welcome to join in all the fun again if they so choose.

1. The guy in your photo must be someone you know. Don’t bother submitting Patrick Dempseys in mini-kilts or Mel Gibsons in war paint. I’ve seen these warriors in action – I want fresh meat!

2. You must do your own photo editing. It is on your honor as a Highlander!

3. He must be bare-chested. Show those bulging pectoral muscles and rippling abs!

4. In addition, we should see plaid (or a kilt) somewhere in the cover. Bonus points for bagpipes, tattoos, swords, castles, and lochs.

5. The image should be: 468 pixels wide by 420 pixels tall.

6. Must include a name for your novel, like mine was entitled Her Highlander. We’re a superstitious lot, Highlanders, and a sword without a name will not slay many men in battle.

7. Tell us your Highlander story behind the photo. A hearty mug of ale goes great with a boastful tale. We want Glory and Happily Ever Afters in the making.

8. Submit to the wee lass, Keira at reviewromancenovel@yahoo.com