Entertainment Weekly’s Take on Romance

So I found this really interesting article on romance novels in the October issue of Entertainment Weekly by Karen Valby. Here’s a snippet of the article and hopefully it will hook your attention:

“Romance has long been the leading innovator in the book industry, and has become the second-largest book genre, just behind thrillers. Sales of romance novels, in all their permutations, exceed $1 billion annually in the U.S. There is a treasure trail of reasons for that, including e-books and Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Check out the article here. Let me know what you think!

The Pact

the pact

The Pact by Karina Halle

Overview by Amazon:

It all started with a pinky swear…

Linden McGregor is tall, rugged, and gunslinger handsome; a helicopter pilot with a Scottish brogue and charm to spare. He’s also one of Stephanie Robson’s best friends and has fit into that box for as long as she’s known him.

Beautiful, funny and an ambitious businesswoman (with one hell of an ass), Stephanie Robson is one of Linden McGregor’s best friends and has fit into that box for as long as he’s known her.
But some relationships can’t be boxed, can’t be classified, and can’t be tamed.

Back in their mid-twenties and tired of the competitive hit-or-miss dating scene of San Francisco, Steph and Linden made a pact to marry each other if neither one of them were in a serious relationship by the time they hit thirty.

It sounded like fun and games at the time but as the years to thirty tick past and lovers come and go out of their lives, the pact becomes larger than life.

Sex is inevitable. Friendships are tested. Hearts are on the line.
The pact is about to change everything.

So this book must be really popular. There are over 600 reviews on Amazon alone! Not that it had any impact on my choice to read it, but I was surprised that I haven’t heard of it before. I read this book in one sitting. It was a good, solid book. I am in a bit of a funk since I read “Hero” by Samantha Young and historical romance novels are irritating me with their innocence. So when I saw the disclaimer that this book was racy, I was all in.

This book is very hot! It doesn’t get going for a while since the author has to build the relationship to the point that Stephanie and Linden are ready to get into bed. When they do…it’s like FIRE! Linden has a dirty, filthy mouth and it is so unbelievably hot! The story doesn’t revolve around bedroom scenes, but they certainly add intensity and sizzle to the relationship. Linden is an amazing lover and with the emotional depth between the two of them, the sex scenes couldn’t be better.

I really liked Linden. I think it is because a Scottish accent is just about sex on a plate for me. He infused Scottish terms into his daily conversations and if I was there in person, I don’t think I would be able to function. He’s hot, well-built and living the life he wants and on his own terms. He has had a thing for Stephanie for years and when they were twenty-five he makes a fateful pact with her.

The pact is a pinky swear that Stephanie and Linden would marry each other if they were both still single when they hit thirty. Most people would consider this a joke or a silly back up plan, but Linden is dead serious. Stephanie hopes he is serious, but she doesn’t want to give herself false hope. She is best friends with Linden and James (who is her ex-boyfriend). They are the three musketeers and see each other through relationships, one night stands, work and family. Stephanie and Linden have secretly found each other extremely attractive, but neither makes a move for fear of ruining a great relationship.

The fear of ruining their friendship is told by alternating perspectives. I didn’t mind this feature of the book as it allowed the reader to learn more about how they both felt. I adored Linden and how he supported Stephanie. He was the only one who pushed her to pursue her dreams of owning her own clothing store. He was so funny and I adored the smirk he wore on his face. He was a total dog when it came to women and would fuck anything that crossed his path, but like most romances, you love when the right woman takes him down.

Stephanie was that woman. I think I almost cried when they tenderly told each other how they feel. I think I was even more emotional because I knew that there was still a twist coming in the plot. Their happily ever after wouldn’t be in that quiet, peaceful moment lying together in bed. The saying is ‘two is comfort and three’s a crowd’ and that couldn’t be truer. The relationship with James strains the secretive world that Stephanie and Linden have created for themselves. The last third of the book is a roller coaster of emotions and I was left on tenterhooks wondering if there actually would be a happily ever after.

While this book engaged my emotions and kept my attention it also fulfilled the need for a contemporary romance with some very sexy scenes. It was a story that made me want a man like Linden in my life. He was the true highlight of the story for me. So if sexy, Scottish men float your boat, then this is a book you should read.

The Gilded Cuff

the gilded cuff

The Gilded Cuff by Lauren Smith

Overview by Amazon:

Every passion has its price . . .

Journalist Sophie Ryder has been following Emery Lockwood’s story since she was a little girl. There has always been something in his haunted eyes that she couldn’t resist and now, when she’s certain he holds the key to solving a string of kidnappings, she’ll do anything to speak to him.

Even if it means venturing deep into the seductive world of the Gilded Cuff, a luxurious BDSM club on Long Island’s Gold Coast and Emery’s personal playground.
From the moment Sophie enters his shadowy, sensual domain, Emery Lockwood knows this tantalizing new little sub was meant to belong to him. However, Sophie wants more from Emery than just pleasure . . . she wants his past. And that is something he isn’t willing to give-no matter who is asking. But every moment he spends with Sophie, Emery feels his control slipping and he knows it’s only a matter of time before he surrenders to her heart, body, and soul.

I’ve read erotic, BDSM stories in the past. Obviously the example most people think of is Fifty Shades of Grey, but I think a true example of this genre is Maya Bank’s series. I don’t consider myself an expert on BDSM by any stretch of the imagination, but reading enough about certain proclivities has provided an education. It’s not always my favourite genre, as I like to use my imagination when reading. Not to get too personal here, but the domination part is exciting, but being hit or hurt has zero appeal for me. While I would never use the term ‘mommy porn’, there is a very strong reason that sex scenes interest scores of readers. Who hasn’t imagined that they were the woman being held and ravished in the hero’s arms?

Even though it isn’t my first choice of genre, I was very excited to read this book as I really like Lauren Smith’s writing. I figured that if anyone could make me enjoy this genre, it would be Lauren. This book definitely has elements of BDSM in it, but it so much more than that. It’s also a love story, a mystery and a thriller. This book is not just sex scenes one after another, but a fast paced story about two people who have been deeply damaged by the loss and fear from abduction.

We meet Sophie as she is infiltrating the Gilded Cuff sex club in order to meet Emery. She wants to interview him and hopefully help him solve the twenty-five year old mystery of who kidnapped him and his twin brother, Fenn. She has precious little sexual experience, which makes her appearance at a sex club almost laughable. She encounters Emery and is mesmerized by his power and command. Sophie was a complex character. At times she could seem young and almost naïve, yet she is very intelligent and thoughtful. Sophie submits to Emery’s dominance, but she could hold her own. Sophie is plagued by a traumatic past and she feels a bond with Emery. I felt Sophie was so brave to continually face her demons and work as an investigative reporter digging into cold cases. I also really loved that Sophie wasn’t tall, skinny and perfect. She has curves and has a tummy – what could be better to read about a woman who is like the average female and yet she still gets to go on this amazing and exciting adventure?

Emery is the amazing adventure that Sophie gets to embark upon. Emery is part of one of the wealthiest families on the East Coast. Along with his twin brother, they were kidnapped and kept hidden away for months until Emery could get away. His brother forced him to flee and Emery left him behind to die. The trauma of being kidnapped, deprived and the loss of his brother has made Emery virtually a social recluse. He is the president of his company and travels when necessary, but other than visits to his BDSM club, he remains in the grand, old home Lockwood. Emery is a Dom and wants Sophie as his submissive. Their relationship and feelings develop very fast. I liked that Emery had a heart. He wasn’t a cruel Dom and he had a wicked sense of humor. To me, his Dom sensibilities were the things you want in a man – protectiveness, concern, care and interest.

For a story that revolves around a Dom and Sub relationship, it took a while to get to see Emery and Sophie do the deed. It’s almost like a skilled lover – brings you to the brink over and over again without release. The story starts off hot and heavy and then the action cools down to move the plot along (which is great as many books in the genre ignore well developed plot), then it spikes again. Hot and needy you just want these characters to get each other off. The tantalizing build up between the two almost had me screaming in frustration! Which I am sure is the intention and it was so well done.

The other element of this book that I really liked was the history and description of Long Island. The old mansions are described, along with the neglect and razing the twenty-first century has wrought. One of my very, very favourite movies is the 1988 version of Clue. It takes place in a beautiful, old mansion on the East Coast. For some reason, every time the mansions were mentioned, it was what came to my mind. It almost seemed like the Lockwood Mansion was another character in the story because of its history, connection to Emery’s tragedy and subsequent seclusion.

clue

The mystery of who kidnapped Fenn and Emery is braided through the story. While it is the main plot line and what brings Emery and Sophie together, their relationship is a major portion of the story. The kidnapper and killer are still out there and once Sophie opens old wounds, strange things begin to happen again. I enjoyed this part of the book. It was thrilling to see Sophie and Emery deal with the danger and of course it only heightened Emery’s protectiveness. I didn’t see all the twists and turns coming, although I think I figured out who was responsible for the kidnapping. There is a great twist at the end of the book which sets the plot for the next book in the series.

A great start to a new series for Lauren Smith and lucky for the readers that we get to go on this great journey with the new characters and world she has created.

New Release Tuesday

Here’s what is new this week:

too hot

Nikki Case is no fan of baseball. Her ex gambled away a fortune on the sport, and now her PR firm has tasked her with cleaning up the league’s most notorious bad boys. The New Jersey Sonics are known for wild womanizing and booze-fueled brawls, so Nikki expects the worst. Her first stop in the battle to win hearts and minds is star hitter Jake Baldwin—a legendary ladies man so smokin’ he threatens to melt her tough-girl armor.

Although his teammates prank her without mercy, Jake admires the way Nikki gives as good as she gets. She may be the queen of frost, but there’s kindling beneath those sultry curves—and he’s just the man to ignite it. But when a PR nightmare lands the Sonics in headlines across the country, Nikki is ready to walk. Only then does Jake realize how important she is to the Sonics’ success—and that winning the love of a good woman is no game.

Check out my review here.

if the viscount fails

The heir presumptive to the Viscount Rathmoor, Dominick Manton once had his heart’s desire within reach—a bright future as a barrister and engagement to Jane Vernon, a wealthy baron’s daughter. Then a shattering betrayal by his vindictive brother George snatched away Dom’s inheritance and his hopes of offering Jane a secure future. Brokenhearted, and attempting to end their engagement without destroying Jane’s reputation, Dom staged a betrayal of his own to convince her that he’s not the husband-to-be that she thought.

Now George is gone and the viscountcy restored to Dom, since his brother’s widow, Nancy—Jane’s cousin and closest confidant—never bore an heir. But when Nancy goes missing, a panicked Jane calls on her former fiancé to track down her cousin. Dom knows the mistakes of the past may be unforgiveable—but now, entangled together in mystery and danger, will they rekindle a passionate longing that was never lost to begin with?

Check out my review here.

against the sky

For detective Nick Brodie, that means keeping the perps off the streets of Anchorage 24/7. Nick has never backed down from danger, but after the horrors he’s seen, he’s definitely in need of a break.

Samantha Hollis never thought she’d meet anyone like Nick, especially in a place like Las Vegas. But after one reckless, passionate night, she discovers the charismatic stranger is everything she wants in a man. But can he ever be anything more than a one-night stand?

When Nick invites her to Alaska, Samantha decides to find out, never guessing the depths she’ll discover in him or the tangle of murder, kidnapping, and danger about to engulf them both. . .

Check out my review here.

While I haven’t read this book, Julia Quinn has a new one:

Julia-Quinn-Secrets-of-Sir-Richard-Kenworthy250

Sir Richard Kenworthy has less than a month to find a bride. He knows he can’t be too picky, but when he sees Iris Smythe-Smith hiding behind her cello at her family’s infamous musicale, he thinks he might have struck gold. She’s the type of girl you don’t notice until the second—or third—look, but there’s something about her, something simmering under the surface, and he knows she’s the one.

Iris Smythe–Smith is used to being underestimated. With her pale hair and quiet, sly wit she tends to blend into the background, and she likes it that way. So when Richard Kenworthy demands an introduction, she is suspicious. He flirts, he charms, he gives every impression of a man falling in love, but she can’t quite believe it’s all true. When his proposal of marriage turns into a compromising position that forces the issue, she can’t help thinking that he’s hiding something . . . even as her heart tells her to say yes.

Deserted Island Reads

deserted island

So I have always wondered what it would be like to be all alone on a stranded island. The closest I’ve been would be reading Nim’s Island and watching the movie. I am not a ‘hairdryer’ fanatic, but I really, really love indoor plumbing. I have actually never gone camping, so that probably feeds my illusion that if I was indeed stranded on a deserted island, that I would get to lay in the sun and read all day. I was thinking about this the other day and wondering what books I would bring with me? There would be no electricity, so I’d have to have real books since I’d likely run through a battery in a couple of hours.

So here’s my list of the books I would HAVE to have with me!

hero

I am SO obsessed with this book!!! I read it last wek and have re-read it literally 5 times since. It is so good that I don’t imagine I can ever get tired of reading it! Check out my review here. Samantha Young is such a talented author – I am blown away by how this story makes me feel. I want to buy this book for everyone I know and MAKE them read it, just so that I have someone I can talk to about how great it is! Have I sold you yet?

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I really love Lisa Kleypas’ historical romance books. She has a formula or recipe that she follows, but it just means that I know that they characters are going to get it on well before half way through the book. This one is truly one of her best. I know the other books in the series are really popular, but I love how the animosity between Lillian and Westcliff turns to blazing passion. I think I really dig smart ass women who torment the men they secretly want. This book has all of my favourite scenes and I can probably quote it if asked.

flirting with danger

Aaaannnnd…another smart ass heroine. I adore this series by Suzanne Enoch. Sam and Rick are so much fun to spend time with. Sexy as hell, smoking in the sheets and solving mysteries, these two are so great! If you haven’t had the opportunity to get to know Sam Jellicoe, what are you waiting for?? I did a series review recently. Check it out here.

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I adore Shana Galen. She is a great author and makes me want to read more and more. I really enjoy all the books in her Spy Series, but this one is the first I read and my favourite. I loved the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith and I think it didn’t get enough love for being the sexy, comedic adventure it was. This book is a spin on that movie – so HOW could I not love it! Except it is set in 1800 England and there are no machine guns. Awesome, awesome read! Check it out here!

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I have put The Arrow here, but to be honest, ANY book from Monica McCarty’s The Highland Guard series would do. Hot, strapping Highlanders working covertly for Robert the Bruce. Essentially a Highland Seals Team – ummm, yes please! Of course they are all wicked lovers and choose ladies who kick their butts. I haven’t met a Monica McCarty book I haven’t loved and thankfully there are more books to come. Check out more about the series here and here.

captain jack's woman

This book by Stephanie Laurens can be a stand alone, although the characters make an appearance in her Bastion Club series. I loved this book because Jack is an uber alpha male who is being beaten at his own game by a woman. It was such a fun read and highly sexual. I can still remember the scene against the tree! I haven’t read this book in a while, but it has been imprinted on me and I know that I could read it over and over again and enjoy it!

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I know that technically it’s a series, but if it comes in one box does it still count? I really like the Crossfire series by Sylvia Day. Something about Gideon is so intoxicating. I love the push and pull between him and Eva. To be so in love and lust, yet to be so tormented by the past that you can’t move forward. I can’t wait to read the final book in the series! See my reviews here and here of the series so far.

This list is no means exhaustive of all my favourites! Just what I would like to start to read until my hunky seal team comes and rescues me! Hahahaha!

Winner of the Earl’s Just Want to Have Fun Contest!

earls just want to have fun

Thank you to everyone who read my review of Shana Galen’s upcoming new book, Earl’s Just Want To Have Fun. It’s a great book and you can pre-order it here. It’s coming out next week on February 3rd!

Thank you so very much to Shana for her time and energy. The readers really liked learning about the new series and it was the most popular post on my blog for over two weeks!

The winner of the contest is Ki Pha! Congratulations! Contact me at kiltsandswords@gmail.com to arrange to get your copy of Shana’s newest book!

Welcome to OZ

pretty famous

Pretty Famous (An Astonvale Novel) by Carla Caruso
Overview by Amazon:

A dark secret from Hollywood’s Golden Age. A possible prince-in-hiding. Astonvale’s about to implode…

Professional organiser Celeste Pretty swore she’d never work with uber-blonde interior designer Imogen Karmel again, but then she’s presented with a project she can’t refuse. The prestigious Astonvale College is celebrating its centenary and needs the pair to ensure the festivities go off without a hitch.

As Celeste sets to work in a flurry of activity – in between organising her own engagement party – she finds herself blowing away the cobwebs on a sixty-year-old secret.

Meanwhile, Imogen becomes enamoured with a substitute teacher, Hudson Addison, who may or may not be a royal in hiding. And there’s nothing Imogen dreams of more than becoming a princess.
Will all be revealed on party night?

So I found this book on Netgalley and it seemed interesting so I requested it. It was a fun, quirky read about two Australian women. Celeste Pretty and Imogen Karmel are the lead characters. While they interact in the book due to the work they do at Astonvale College, the book alternates between their adventures.

Celeste must be a returning character for the author. She’s getting married to a great guy. She runs a business organizing people and events. I truly think she must have some form of OCD, but she’s entertaining as her life is being taken over with wedding plans by her well intentioned family to be.

Imogen is the quintessential snobby blond. She appears to have as much depth as a sheet of paper. Obsessed with celebrity and royalty, she is on the hunt for a royal of her own. Clearly this is delusional, but it’s entertaining to watch her try to navigate life. She is convinced a substitute phys ed teacher is actually a run-away royal and throws herself into his path on a regular basis.

While both Celeste and Imogen have mysteries surrounding them, it was fun to try to guess what was really going to be revealed. Celeste is interested in finding out about the mysterious death of a local celebrity over sixty years ago. Imogen is just waiting to snag and unveil her prince – although we know it must be something else.

This book was fun. That’s the best word to describe it. There is one hot love scene, but this isn’t the typical romance book I read. I really did enjoy it though. I found it interesting to read a book set in Australia. While I read books from authors who live in Australia, I have never read one set in the land down under. The vernacular and names are different than North America or Europe. It took a little while to figure out some of the terms the author was using. This book must have been written only a short time ago, as the author references a lot of pop culture and much of it very current. Book comes out soon and if you are looking for a book to curl up and read that is light and cheerful – this one’s for you.

Hero – A FIVE Star, MUST Read!

hero

Hero by Samantha Young

Overview by Amazon:

Alexa Holland’s father was her hero—until her shocking discovery that her mother and she weren’t his only family. Ever since, Alexa has worked to turn her life in a different direction and forge her own identity outside of his terrible secrets. But when she meets a man who’s as damaged by her father’s mistakes as she is, Alexa must help him.

Caine Carraway wants nothing to do with Alexa’s efforts at redemption, but it’s not so easy to push her away. Determined to make her hate him, he brings her to the edge of her patience and waits for her to walk away. But his actions only draw them together and, despite the odds, they begin an intense and explosive affair.

Only Caine knows he can never be the white knight that Alexa has always longed for. And when they’re on the precipice of danger, he finds he’ll do anything to protect either one of them from being hurt again….

I stayed up until 4 AM reading and re-reading this book. I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. The story has haunted me all day and I honestly cannot wait to re-read it even though I have a ton of books on my list to be read. From the moment I started the first page, I was excited. I just KNEW this book was going to be special. How special? Well, after reflecting on it all day, I have to say this book just cracked my top ten favourite books of all time. I was worried when I read the blurb that it would be the typical contemporary romance story line. Bored billionaire, impressionable young girl, lots of sex and power dynamics. These themes were definitely present, but this book was what you hope all other books would be.

The main characters sizzled with emotions and life. I was on such an emotional roller coaster reading this book. I laughed at the funny parts, I felt tense during conflicts and I really and truly felt a boulder weighing on my chest when Alexa is devastated. I was so emotionally invested in this book and the characters. This story grabbed my attention with its witty dialogue and well-paced story. I feel a sense of loss now that they story is over and even though I have been on this journey with two amazing characters, I feel sad that there isn’t more.

I adored Alexa. At first I thought it was kind of farfetched that she felt she needed to be in Caine’s life, considering that her father destroyed his. But she was no shrinking violet. She was impulsive and full of life. Caine calls her a ‘smart ass’ and she truly was. She wasn’t flippant in a cruel way, but her zingers and comebacks made me love her. I wanted to be her friend, I wanted to be her. She has endured a tough life full of disappointments that still continue to this day. I think what drew me to her was the hope she carried throughout the book. She was such an honest character. She accepts a no strings attached relationship knowing even at the time that it wouldn’t be enough. She knows that she keeps changing the expectations in her head for what she wants from Caine. She keeps fighting and pushing her way into Caine’s life when others would have turned tail and run. I think that honesty is what made her seem so real. Often in stories, the female character doesn’t admit the truth to herself or others. Alexa was so refreshing as she could admit the truth and face it head on, even if it crushed her.

Caine started out as a sadistic bastard. He was pushing Alexa so hard, I wondered if he actually had a heart. Smart ass that she is, she chipped away against the walls he erected. When he finally cracked a smile or a smirk, it was so rewarding because you wanted him to give into Alexa. You knew that she was different and good for him. His validation was hard won. Although women shouldn’t need a man’s validation, coming from Caine it seemed so right. He is just as broken as Alexa and it was her family that did it to him. He is a tightly controlled man, yet when Alexa pushes him to the brink I greatly enjoyed seeing him lose control. The fact that he was sexy as hell and had all the right moves made him even more appealing. I adored the way that Alexa saw him – she truly saw him for what he was. There is one scene where the author comments that his suit of armour was flying to him like Iron Man’s suit. It was a perfect description. Caine could be so closed off to life that when he used a term of endearment, became jealous or shared part of himself with Alexa, it was just so exhilarating.

Caine and Alexa have a very passionate relationship. However this relationship has enough challenges without kink. They didn’t need it. The sex scenes were so hot and so well written. The author builds up the tension between the two. I liked the characters so much that I wanted them to share themselves with each other.

This book definitely has it’s serious moments. Alexa and Caine are both dealing with abandonment issues. Someone is out to hurt Alexa. Caine has deep secrets that are tearing them apart. Yet through it all, this book is so lighthearted and funny. I think that has to do with the supporting characters. Caine’s nosy neighbour Effie was just perfect. Without her in the book it would have been harder to get to know the characters and love them. She was effervescent and light. She tells Alexa that she has lived on this earth for seventy-seven years and she has LIVED each one. She doesn’t always have the right answers, but she has their best intentions at heart. Alexa’s best friend Rachel was great comedic relief. I howled in laughter at the hijinks her daughter would get into and the witty comebacks that Alexa would give to Rachel. It made Alexa more human and unlike other romance novels, she didn’t ignore her friends or shut them out of her life once Caine walked in.

I feel different after reading this book. I feel like I am better off for knowing Caine and Alexa. Sometimes I read reviews by other reviewers of books that I have read. Sometimes they dislike a book that I enjoyed and when they point out annoying or inconsistent points, it changes my opinions. However, I would go to the mattresses for this book. I know when I read a book that makes me so emotionally invested that it is something special. This book has that special quality that makes it so great. That’s the hard part of writing a review. Trying to uncover what makes the book stand out and shine. I’ve given quite a few reasons, but to be honest, I don’t know if I can even quantify it. All I can share with you is that I feel a deep sense of longing to spend time with these characters and revel in the emotions I feel when reading the words crafted by Samantha Young.

Hurry to pre-order the book which is out on February 3rd. And don’t plan to do anything else after you get it!

The Highlander Guarding His Woman

highland guard hannah howell

Highland Guard (Murrays Book #20) by Hannah Howell

Overview by Amazon:

Lady Annys MacQueen has no other choice. The deception that enabled her to keep her lands safe is on the verge of being revealed by a cruel kinsman. To shield her young son from the sword and her people from devastation, she must turn to the one man she could never forget…

He lives for duty and honor. So the only way Sir Harcourt Murray could repay the laird who saved his life was to agree to father a child with Sir MacQueen’s wife…Lady Annys.
Now the passion he still feels for the lovely strong-willed widow is as all-consuming and perilous as securing her lands. But to convince her that his love is forever real means confronting her most wrenching fears–and putting everything they treasure most at stake…

This was an interesting plot for a highland romance novel. Annys married a man who was gelded and couldn’t give her a child. Her husband needs an heir to stave off his kinsman who covets his land and unfortunately is the heir. He arranges with Harcourt to lay with Annys until she becomes with child and then walk away. David, Annys’ husband, is thrilled with the birth of Benet and claims him as his own.

Things are not as rosy for Annys. Harcourt’s touch and passion is all she has ever known. Her marriage bed was cold and as a young woman, the handsome Harcourt was intoxicating. The story takes place five years after Benet’s conception when Harcourt has come back into her life. Annys has lost David and Adam is challenging the legitimacy of Benet’s status. He wants the land for his own and will stop at nothing to take over the land.

All I could think about while reading the book was about the passion and heat between Annys and Harcourt. They smouldered with lust when they looked at each other. Being a perv, I wanted to know more about the trysts they had together. You know they want each other and I was impatient for them to get it on! I imagined Harcourt differently than the cover of the book and to be honest, I kept forgetting that Annys had red hair, but the scenes are exciting and exactly what you want. It’s so refreshing to read about a couple that has a past and already done the deed. You can just jump right into bed with them and the unquenched lust they have had for each other over the five years they were separated burns up the pages.

After Harcourt and Annys consummate their relationship again, the rest of the book is around Harcourt preparing the keep for invasion and battle with Adam. There was a lot of tension as the battle draws closer. The author uses this time to solidify the relationship between Annys and Harcourt and for Harcourt to get to know his son.

I really liked Harcourt. He’s more than muscles and battle plans. He longs for the son he walked away from. From the very beginning, he never wavers on the longing he has to claim his son as his own. The time he spends with Benet is precious and it just made me like him even more. The future is uncertain for him and Annys, but if I was her, I would follow him anywhere. He was a keeper. Maybe this was a flaw in the story as he was such a good, solid guy. He didn’t seem to have any flaws. However that is how I like my heroes in romance stories.

I liked Annys too. She has not had an easy life. Her parents were horrible people, who didn’t care for her. She was to marry David’s brother who vanished in France, and then she marries David who is not a true husband. She loves her son and is so grateful to her husband for arranging stud services from Harcourt. As a young woman, she longed for strong arms to hold her and thankfully her husband notices her stolen glances at Harcourt. She is loved by the people of her clan. It seems like an idyllic place to live.

The secondary characters really enhance the story. Their son Benet was priceless. He has a pet lamb that is ‘not for the pot’ and a cat that seems to have magical powers and rides on the back of the lamb. It provided great comedic relief and gave personality to Benet who was lynchpin for Annys and Harcourt.

This book has reunited lovers, passion, secrets and battle. I love books of the Scottish highlands. The author writes as the Scottish would speak. Once you get used to the burr, it makes the story realistic. I really enjoyed the characters and the setting. This is the second book I have read by this author and I am looking forward to her next publication.

You can pre-order this book here

New Release Tuesday

I don’t have any books that I have reviewed to post today…boo!
However, here are some new releases, but I am just sharing what’s new – I can’t recommend something!

romance to the rescue

Romance to the Rescue by Julianne MacLean, Maya Banks, Eliza Knight, Marie Force and more…
Available here (and purchase of this book supports animal rescue)

lady honors debt

Lady Honor’s Debt by Maggie Andersen
Available here

caelen's wife

Caelen’s Wife – A Murmur of Providence Book #1 by Suzan Tisdale
Available here (actually out January 23rd)

trouble with scots

Trouble with Scots by Eliza Lloyd
Available here

duke who knew too much

The Duke Who Knew Too Much by Grace Callaway
Available here (released on January 15th)