Review: Islands by Richard V. Raiment

islands raimentReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: When two men find themselves shipwrecked on a deserted island they find that they must find a connection as they are the only two men who are left there for years. Of course there is only one way for them to quell the boredom of isolation, but Peter Lightfoot is a gay man while Thomas Carton is straight. That doesn’t stop them having intimacy though but when a woman is shipwrecked with them, anything could happen.

Review: The book starts out from Tom Carton’s perspective, from his time on the ship when turbulent seas meant the two of them had to make do on a desert island with no other company. Glad that he is not alone, he is also shocked that they would be involved in such an awful time sailing. Richard uses the language of the day and has Tom referring to Peter as a “Molly,” a man who has what he calls unnatural relations with another man, so the writing is very convincing – that you are transported to that particular time and place. You could be there, an observer of what two men’s lives would be like. There is the tension, the misery of them maybe never seeing anyone else ever again. it isn’t just the isolation that causes both men grief, it is the change in the way Tom feels about his new-found friend and bed partner, Peter. At first he sees him as a gay man, someone to avoid, feel hatred toward and even great unease, but as the story progresses, he has to change his mind about him and even grow to like him having been on the island with him so long. This is not just a menage story, it is more about acceptance than anything else.

Good Bits:

  • There are some humorous moments in the story.
  • The story is well written and you can actually feel you are there observing the action and the feelings of others purely as an observer.
  • Peter and Tom’s relationship – from unease and loathing to love, it couldn’t get any better than that.

Summary: This is a story to enjoy, and unlike many other novels that are at two-hundred or more pages long, this one is a lot less and more compact and cut back so that readers aren’t troubled by too many words of description or narrative. I love to read period dramas and menage ones are pretty rare, or so this reviewer thinks and I must admit to looking forward to seeing more from this writer in the near future.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: ISLANDS

Review: Highland Hellcat by Mary Wine

by Mandy Dougherty, guest reviewer

OVERVIEW

A life of purity, simplicity and devotion was the life that young Brina Chattan has been raised to endure.  Promised to the church from birth Brina, the daughter of a noble Scottish laird, knows that the day is quickly approaching when she will leave the walls of Chattan Castle for the solitude of the abbey.   The middle daughter in this powerful family Brina is very different from her sisters.  Where Deidre and Kaie have been molded into females worthy of serving a husband and bearing a family, Brina has become accustomed to a path of independence and pride.  Strong-willed and determined to honor her father’s word to the church, Brina is a walking contradiction. Her feisty demeanor and lack of submission deem her a hellcat by highland standards.  How Brina will serve the life required of a nun is questionable to many, but she is strong in her determination to prove that she is capable.

As her time draws to a close at Chattan Castle, Brina is plagued with thoughts of life outside the walls. Her thoughts are at times devoid of the abbey altogether as she begins to ponder what the touch of a man would feel like and why so many woman fall to the whim of their desires. Her curiosity peeks when she witnesses her eldest sister, Deidre, riding from the castle walls to meet a midnight lover.  Is the desire so strong that it is worth taking such a risk?  Where the fates of the sister’s were written in stone just hours before, the actions of Deidre, have left the bond of their father’s word to Deidre’s promised husband, Connor Lindsey, dishonored and the destiny of the Chattan daughter’s in peril.

Connor Lindsey has known struggle and pain throughout his young life.  Once considered a bastard child with no claim to the Lindsey name, Connor is now the clans powerful laird.  He has come a long way from his time of shame and misfortune and is determined to never be made a fool again.  When he finds his promised wife, Deidre Chattan, in the arms of a sworn rival his future becomes uncertain.  Not wanting his offspring to suffer the constant need to prove their lineage and right to his kingdom, Connor sets out on a path to the Chattan lands.  Though he is sure that the stained Deidre will not be his to wed he is determined to hold Robert Chattan to his word.  Connor will have a pure Chattan daughter as his wife and he will stop at nothing to ensure it.

Whisked away from the life she has always known behind the walls of Chattan Castle, the pure Brina Chattan must face temptation and desires that she has never known.  Will her bond to her destined duty within the abbey hold strong or will fates tempt her in the form of the devilishly handsome Connor Lindsey?

REVIEW

Author, Mary Wine, creates an intriguing world set in the Scottish Highlands in the tale of Highland Hellcat.  A tale filled with the fancy flight of chivalry and laced with romantic suspense, Highland Hellcat is a terrific read.  The highland heroes are alluring and the heroine a strong-willed beauty.  It is a classic tale of the good girl falling for the temptations of the off limits, bad boy.  Connor Lindsey is a delectable character. With the power of being a laird and the strength of a Scottish highlander, what isn’t to swoon over?

The story not only holds page turning romance, but also a creative, well mastered secondary plot that takes the reader beyond the relationship brewing between Connor and Brina and into the troubles amidst the highlands themselves.  Though at times I found myself just wishing that Brina would cave to Connor’s demands, it was still nice to see her hold her ground in honor of her father’s commitment to the church. Really though, who could deny a lust filled man in a kilt forever?

Once again, this is a fantastic historical romance that will whisk you away to a simpler time when chivalry was not dead, warriors loved as hard as they battled, and your word was stronger than any parchment it was scrolled on.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Highland Hellcat

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