Tag Archives: highlanders

The Beast of Aros Castle

The Beast of Aros Castle (Highland Isles #1) by Heather McCollum

the-beast-of-aros-castle

Overview by Publisher:

On the run from a dangerous man, Ava Sutton flees to the Isle of Mull off the coast of Scotland. Masquerading as a titled, English lady, Ava must convince the cynical and darkly handsome chief of the Macleans of Aros to wed her before the devil tracks her down. 

Tor Maclean, the new chief of Aros Castle, has sworn off marriage after his first wife tricked him into it. Despite his efforts to scare away the Englishwoman, his father arranged for him to wed, Tor is drawn to her fire, courage, and beauty. But when truths are revealed, and hearts as well as lives are on the dagger’s edge,  Tor doesn’t know if he can forgive or if he will truly become the solitary Beast of Aros Castle…

There is SO much to love about this book!  It reminded me a lot of Monica McCarty’s books, which definitely means it was a great book!

Ava and her friend Grace are on the run to Scotland to get away from a dangerous Lord who has perversions in mind when he lurks in the shadows.  Ava is a natural leader and therefore she pretends to be Grace, who has a marriage contract with the Laird of Aros.  You know right away that concealing one’s identity will lead to big problems, but it creates some great complications.

Tor has no desire to marry.  He definitely doesn’t want to marry an English lass who tempts him like no other.  It becomes a battle between the two.  Ava must get him to propose and fast.

What works so well in this book is the development of the characters.  Tor and Ava are not one dimensional.  They are lush, sensual characters who create sparks when they interact.  I didn’t want to miss one scene where they match wits, or kiss or fight.

What also works really well is the complications of the English and politics.  Like all Monica McCarty’s books, the tensions with the English soldiers in Scotland lead to many problems that force the characters to react and often with interesting consequences.

Seeing Scotland through the eyes of Ava and Grace made me fall more in love with the Highlands and Isles.  Scotland is such a wonderful place to set a historical romance novel.  When done well, it becomes like a character in the novel.  This story is true to Scotland and every nuance of Scottish life infuses the plotline.

I have to come back to the romance between Tor and Ava.  It’s passionate and steamy and I loved every passage and word.  Tor is a magnificent lover and with Ava, they literally set the pages on fire.  It’s passionate scenes like this that make the romance even more exciting to read.

If you are a fan of Highlander romances, Outlander or men in kilts, then this is a book you will definitely want to check out!

Highland Vixen

Highland Vixen (Highland Weddings Series) by Mary Wine

highland-vixen

Overview by Publisher:

Marcus MacPherson is every inch the fearsome Highlander. He’s used to men averting their eyes and women cowering before him. He thinks he’ll eventually settle down with a nice, obedient bride. Instead, he gets Helen Grant… Stubborn as the day is long, fearless and dedicated to raising as much hell as possible, Helen is definitely going to challenge Marcus. And challenge him some more. And then some.

This was a great Highland story!  I have just booked a trip to London and Scotland in the spring and reading this book made me so excited to go!  Not because I expect to be transported back to the time of James Stewart, but because of the culture and history that is abundant in the Highlands.

Marcus is the war chief for the MacPherson clan.  After Outlander, many people understand what the war chief position entails.  Marcus is a tough man and works to protect his clan.  Part of that was actions that happened in the first book of the series.  He kidnapped Helen Grant from her home in the Highlands in retaliation for her families actions and brings her to the MacPherson keep.  There is history between these two when the story starts, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy this book without reading the first.

Helen is repeatedly called a vixen in the story.  She is a very strong willed woman who leads men in the Highlands (and lowlands) on a chase.  She demands respect and is smart.  It was easy to respect Helen and her battles with Marcus.  She is not from a wealthy clan and doesn’t have a lot of monetary assets, but she has pride.

Marcus wants Helen.  He chases after her when she escapes the MacPherson hold.  He follows her to court and finds himself entangled in royal affairs.  What is so interesting about this story is the machinations of the royal court and how women were used like trading cards.  While it was grotesque how women were treated, it was interesting and an effective plot point to highlight how important it was that Helen stood her ground with men.

Back at MacPherson land, the danger to Helen and Marcus doesn’t abate.  Between the burgeoning romance there is many plots to undermine the clan and the politics of the Highlands.  This is the best kind of historical romance story – one that blends a romance and political intrigue.  Marcus and Helen share some very intense sexual moments and it was the perfect blend of story and action.

This story has it all.  An alpha male, a saucy lady, danger and the beautiful Highlands as a backdrop.  If you like historical romance set in Scotland, definitely give this book a try!

Her Wicked Highlander

Her Wicked Highlander (Highland Knights #2.5) by Jennifer Haymore

her-wicked-highlander

Overview by Publisher:

A HIGHLAND KNIGHTS NOVELLA

A Highland Knight clashes with a Highland lass. Scotland will never be the same.

Aila MacKerrick has lived a quiet, lonely life since her parents died two years ago. That is until a dark stranger steals her from her bed one night, throws her on his horse, and spirits her away to an ancient, abandoned castle in the middle of the Highland forest.

Maxwell White has been assigned to take the MacKerrick lass to a safe location. In Max’s experience, women are docile, biddable creatures, but he’s never met anyone like Aila. She surprises him at every turn, with her spirited fight against him, with her willingness to dirty her hands, with her adventurousness in bed.

Max vows to protect Aila, but an ambitious warlord is determined to possess the legendary dagger that has belonged in her family for generations, and he’ll go to any lengths to get it–including tearing Aila away from Max forever.s

This is a quick and fun read featuring two great characters!  Aila and her family have guarded a Highland treasure for years.  She lives in isolation in the Highlands when a man steals into her home in the middle of the night.  He kidnaps her and takes her away – briefly admitting it’s for her own benefit.

I have really enjoyed this series featuring the Highland Knights.  They are a group of former military officers from Waterloo who have been formed to protect the crown.  Max has been sent to the Highlands to secure the precious dagger that can unite the clans against an enemy.

The book reminded me a lot of So Worthy My Love by Kathleen Woodiwiss.  A feisty woman held captive who falls for the man sent to protect her.  Things move fast as expected since this is a novella, but there is a ton of plot in the pages.  Action and adventure mingle with the lust and attraction in the pages.

If you’re looking for an enjoyable read for an afternoon with a sexy Highlander who meets his match – you have found the right book!

Much Ado About Highlanders

Much Ado About Highlanders by May McGoldrick

much ado about a highlander

Overview by Publisher:

Highland warrior Alexander Macpherson has lost his wife. When he agreed to take Kenna Mackay as his bride to advance his clan’s power in the north, he expected a bit of an adjustment. He didn’t expect the sharp-tongued beauty to run away on their wedding night. Still, Alexander wants his runaway bride…and he has the sneaking suspicion that she wants him, too.

Kenna Mackay thought she was safe in a priory full of nuns learning the craft of healing, but when she is kidnapped by her own husband, the battle of wits begins anew. But even as passions ignite, a deadly secret from Kenna’s past rises to the surface and put their new love in jeopardy. As a heartless villain closes in, two headstrong lovers find themselves locked in a struggle between evil and the power of undying love. And this time, Alexander is determined he will not lose his wife again.

This awesome Highlander novel is based on the Shakespeare play, Much Ado About Nothing.  I have to admit, that I was unfamiliar with this play by Master Shakespeare as my high school focused on Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet, so after I read this book, I had to research Much Ado to see the connections.

Alexander’s bride ran away on his wedding night.  Granted, he spent his wedding night in the bed of another woman, so it would seem justified.  Kenna has been at a priory for the past six months.  Through treachery Kenna and her cousin are kidnapped and forced into the presence of her husband and his clan.

I love stories that take place on the road.  The kidnapped women are forced to travel with the men.  This is when characters personalities come to life.  Kenna is fierce!  She swears, she fights and she is beyond passionate.  I adored her!

Kenna is a skilled healer, and well known for her abilities.  There is one ability that is just developing.  Kenna’s mother left her a small stone that gives her powers to heal.  This paranormal aspect is fascinating as they young couple are being hunted by a power crazed English knight.  The story revolves around the reconciliation of Kenna and Alexander and the danger from the English forces hunting her for the stone.

Kenna and Alexander were so much fun to read!  I loved how manly and confident Alexander was.  He was so capable and more than up for the task of matching wits and swords with Kenna.  She is a challenging woman and it takes a strong man to partner with her without breaking that amazing spirit.  Alexander has done her wrong, but so has Kenna.  Their reconciliation was passionate and exciting.  Of course he is an amazing lover and the sensual teasing was downright thrilling.  What I really liked about this story was that we get to know the characters so well. The deep fear that Kenna has for her future and the way Alexander makes her feel safe enough to trust him.

The hunt for the stones across Scotland was perfect.  At first I was worried that this would detract from the love story, but it was the perfect conflict to keep our characters working together.  What I found hard to read was the treatment of the Scots by the raiders.  None of it was a surprise, but the brutality was hard to stomach.

This book has an amazing love story with fiery characters!  I adored Kenna and Alexander is the stuff of Highland dreams.  I heartily recommend this story!

The Rogue

The rogue

The Rogue by Monica McCarty

Overview by Amazon:

What’s not to love? Not only is Sir Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray, one of the most important and wealthiest men in the kingdom, he’s charming, devastatingly handsome, and the favored nephew of King Robert the Bruce. Even so, when Isabel “Izzie” Stewart meets the vaunted knight, she’s glad he’s her cousin’s soon-to-be betrothed and not hers. He takes himself far too seriously, to her mind, and seems to be acting out the role of the “perfect” knight. In her experience, men who are too good to be true usually are. But when Izzie starts to wonder whether her first impressions might have been wrong, she discovers a complex, compelling man who is far from perfect and more seductive than she ever imagined. 

I was so interested to read this book.  The male lead, Sir Randolph has made appearances in the Highland Guard books before.  However, it wasn’t pretty.  His past was full of arrogance and indignation.  He switched sides at one point and supported the English.  His return to the side of Robert The Bruce has made him learn a lot of hard lessons.  His honour is even more important to him than ever – he must never be found wanting again.

So the problem becomes that even though he’s about to become engaged to Elizabeth, he’s attracted to her cousin Izzie.  It isn’t Elizabeth that torments him or makes him feel things he’d rather not.  He is trying to fight his attraction to her with all that he has.

I adored Izzie.  These characters have been featured in the book The Rock, and I was desperately trying to remember all the plot points so that I could figure out what was going to happen!  Izzie is opposite to her cousin.  She is lively and witty and always seem to have a smirk on her face.  Thomas notices her because she doesn’t fall at his feet to flatter and impress him.  In fact, she is often laughing at him and his stiff attitude.  Izzie is a mystery and challenge to Thomas and you know what that means!  The chase is on!

Izzie and Thomas spend time together and she gets to know the man behind the reputation.  She challenges him and makes him question if his honour is the most important thing in the world.  Like all of her books, Monica McCarty creates a world where these two lovers are fighting for a love that is challenged by war, politics and social norms.  Considering this is a novella, it features a beautifully crafted love story that is fully developed.  I felt that I completely understood the characters, the issues and the difficulties they face.  It’s such a different world that Izzie and Thomas inhabit, yet thanks to the skill of Monica McCarty, not only was I immersed, I understood.

Monica writes great love scenes.  Since this is a novella, we only get one, but it’s a great scene!  Lots of lust and eagerness to fan the fires between Izzie and Thomas.  His prowess in the bedroom is mentioned frequently, but I kind of loved that he felt like a lad facing Izzie and the importance of their union.  That is what makes these books winners – the depth of emotion you feel from the scenes and actions of the characters.

I can’t say enough about this series and book.  You will not regret getting lost in this series.  Every single one has been outstanding!  In fact, as I write this I am already plotting which book I will go back and read this weekend.  Through the eyes of Monica McCarty, I have fallen head over heels for Scotland.  I love the history, the fierce passion for the land and the deep, rich culture.  Wondering what to read next?  Start this amazing series with The Chief and let me know when you get to The Rogue – I promise not to say I told you so!

 

Kill or be Kilt

 

Kill or be Kilt by Victoria Roberts

kill or be kilt

Overview by Publisher:

It’s been three years since Lady Elizabeth Walsingham ended her childish crush on Laird Ian Munro, the fierce Highlander who scared everyone but her. She’s a grown woman now, heading to London to find a proper English gentleman. But when the wild Highland laird walks through the door, she’s that breathless youth all over again.

Ian tries hard to avoid the young lass who’s confounded him for years. But now that they’re attending court, he must keep watch on her night and day. Danger is at every turn and advisors to the Crown are being murdered. Ian soon realizes the girl he’s been protecting is a beautiful lady who needs his help, almost as much as he needs her.

This is the third book in the series featuring the Walsingham sisters.  Ravena and Grace have had their happily ever afters, but Elizabeth is still pining for Laird Munro.

The Walsingham sisters are a breed unto themselves.  Noisy, nosy and opinionated, they have taken the Highlands by storm.  Elizabeth is the third sister out of four.  She has been relocated to the highlands by her sister’s marriages and has been infatuated with Laird Ian Munro for three years.  No one can understand her interest, especially Ian.  He is a rough man, brawny and curt.  But somehow, now that Elizabeth is finally of age, he sees her differently.  And it scares the kilt off him!

The Walsingham uncle has died and the Laird’s are expected to see King James and give their yearly pledge of loyalty.  So off to England they all go.  While on the trip, Elizabeth has had a change of heart on a few matters.  She is no longer traipsing after Ian.  She has decided that she wants her come out at court and to find an Englishman to wed.  She doesn’t know about her uncle and sisters spying, and is woefully unprepared for life at court.

It’s like a case of wanting what you can’t have for Ian.  Now that Elizabeth isn’t panting after him, he realizes what a great woman she is.  She saw beneath the harsh exterior and liked him for the man.  Now he wants to reclaim her affections, but he is so not up to the task.  His friend Fagan (Grace’s husband) has to help him and give advice when he continually messes up his courting of Elizabeth.

Of course the minute they arrive at court there is intrigue and danger afoot.  I loved how the court politics played out.  It tied together some plot points covered in the past, as well as helped to move the plot forward between Ian and Elizabeth.  King James liked to make the Highlanders wait for his audience, so there was nothing for Ruiari, Fagan and Ian to do but watch over Elizabeth and her admirers.

The relationship between Ian and Elizabeth was a dance.  One minute Ian would bring Elizabeth into his sphere and bungle things, so she would move away.  The actions would repeat themselves until they had a heart to heart and agreed to give a relationship a try.  Elizabeth was worried about getting her heart crushed again and Ian suffered from negotiating a relationship with no experience.  The result could have been whiplash from the posturing, but it was delightful how Ian tried so hard and was flummoxed when he failed.  I loved the relationship advice that Fagan was always dishing out.

The political court and the danger to the Privy council was very interesting.  I love books that feature the realities of court life and what it was like to be a part of that society.

This is another great addition to the series on the Walsingham sisters.  I think I really enjoyed this book because Elizabeth was such a great character and her empathy and love for Ian made their romance special.

 

 

Highland Spitfire

highland spitfire

Highland Spitfire by Mary Wine

Overview by Netgalley:

Passion flares between enemies
Two hotheaded Highlanders, the offspring of feuding lairds, are tricked by the King’s Regent into a desperate choice: marry or die. Bhaic MacPherson is more disposed to lead his clan into battle than stay married to the daughter of his enemy. But perhaps the intensity of his feelings has more to do with desire than hostility.

And the Highlands ignite
Ailis Robertson wanted a husband, not a savage—but when her family was faced with a deadly ultimatum, she had no choice. The union of a MacPherson and a Robertson could end three generations of hostilities between the two families, but can bitter rivals truly become lovers?

This book was amazing!  I have been contemplating all day long what is the difference between a strong story and one that has a lot of flaws.  As the reader, when you start that book that is solid, well developed and written, it is all about how you feel.  I feel safe while reading it.  That may sound silly, but I know that my time is going to be well spent.  I enjoy what I am reading and not having to fill in gaps or make conjectures about what I am reading.  It’s the excitement of giving yourself over to a competent author who weaves a magical story.

This story reminded me a lot of Monica McCarty’s writing.  Obviously they both feature Scots, but the similarities continue with strong male characters and feisty women.  I think the female leads were just amazing in this book.  Ailis has been dealt a tricky hand and forced into marriage.  It wasn’t that she was perfect, there were times that she wanted to gnash her teeth or just give up and cry, but she was so strong.  I loved that she had a strong perspective and an understanding of the collective good.  It wasn’t that she was sacrificing her life, but rather taking charge when the men had their heads up their backsides.

Bhaic is trapped just as much as Ailis.  Things are easier for him, as Ailis joins his clan, so his life is not as disrupted.  There is a strong Romeo and Juliet feel to the story.  The two of them seemed to be the voice of reason in a mad world.  Bhaic was a treasure because he recognized the value of Ailis.  Not just as a wife, but as a partner, a lover and a political ally.  It definitely didn’t hurt that Bhaic had the patience of a saint and the lips of a sinner.

The clan politics were really interesting.  I think this is why it reminds me of Monica McCarty’s books.  She explores some of these issues in her series, but Mary Wine takes it deeper.  The stubborn Scot mentality of generational feuds is deeply explored and the impact on the average person.

The secondary characters were excellent.  Ailis’ guards reminded me of Angus and Rupert from Outlander.  The relationship between Helen and Marcus was so interesting and engaging.  I really hope that Mary Wine writes their story next!

I think the word ‘engaging’ is the best to describe my experience with this book.  I found it highly interesting, emotional and rewarding.  The passion between Ailis and Bhaic was a large part of the story and it was exceptionally well done – don’t worry – if you like your historical romance with time in the bedroom, you won’t be disappointed.  It was a really great love story full of politics, romance and challenges.  A definite must read!

Highland Heat

Highland Heat:  A Highland Knights Novel by Jennifer Haymore

highland heat

Overview by Amazon:

With blood still drying on the front lines at Waterloo, Lady Grace Carrington helps an injured soldier to a British medical tent. Though she believes she’s pulled him to safety, in fact she has put them both in grave danger: Because when his brilliant blue eyes meet hers, the passionate Scottish sergeant kisses her in a way that leaves her breathless and trembling. As the obedient daughter of an earl, Grace shouldn’t be tempted by someone so far below her station. But as a red-blooded woman, she longs for so much more.
 
As far as Duncan Mackenzie is concerned, getting stabbed in the arm was the best thing that ever happened to him. When he wakes on the battlefield, the sight of Grace’s lovely face sets his soul aflame. As an enlisted man and a farmer’s son, however, pursuing his guardian angel means facing the wrath of London society, not to mention his own superiors in the British Army. Aye, but he’d risk all that and more just to keep her in his arms.

This was such a great book!  I found myself sucked into the story and captivated by the emotional story Jennifer Haymore has created.  This is the first book in a new series and I will definitely be following the escapades of the Highland Knights.

The story opens on the battlefield of Waterloo.  Grace is there helping the wounded and she meets Duncan.  It is quickly apparent that they two are kindred spirits.  They spend time together and enjoy the quiet solitude in the midst of war.  They realize that they come from different stations in life and that a relationship between the two is not only impossible, it is dangerous.  Duncan is an enlisted solider and Grace a lady, but love doesn’t always follow the rules.

The book follows the relationship between the two as they sneak precious moments together.  It’s not just a physical attraction, but a deep and lovely connection that develops.  The moments when they realize the world will not accept them were truly tragic.  As the reader, I was desperate to find a way for them to be together without having to give up everything.

Duncan has been recruited with a group of Scots to be part of the Highland Knights.  They will work for the War Office on British and Scottish land to put down insurrections.  For Duncan, this is the chance of a lifetime to better himself and have an occupation other than farming in the Highlands.  His relationship with Grace jeopardizes his position and his future.

The relationship between the two was really steamy.  Duncan is a huge Highlander with a physique that made me drool.  Grace’s sister is married to a Scot and she has the best theory.  When chatting about sex, her sister refers to the ‘theory of Scots’ and that all women who marry or bed a Scot never refer to it as their duty.  They are well satisfied by their men.  This definitely applies to Grace as Duncan treasures her above everything else.

The ending was great!  I won’t give it away, but as I fretted about how things would end, the author did an exemplary job of tying up the loose ends.  This was a great story and I really liked the premise and characters.  If you like Highlanders, you need to start this series!

The Alpha Male

I have been on a highlander binge lately.  I’ve blasted through Deceptions of A Highlander, A Highlander’s Obsession, A Highlander’s Passion and Kilts and Daggers.  All have been outstanding for the male lead characters in them.  All these characters have something in common besides the fact that they wear kilts really, really well.  They are all alpha males.  Leaders, strong, protective and warriors.  After I finished each of these books, I was searching for another book with characters just like these men.  It got me thinking about why I was so attracted to alpha males.  What was it about these men that got my pulse racing and so interested?

a highlanders passion

So I went to trusty google and researched ‘alpha male’.  A lot of what you would expect popped up – buff men and advertisements for gyms.  However I did find some really interesting articles about what makes a man an alpha.  One article I found states that alpha men are ‘real men’.  They are at the top of the social ladder (hello Lairds, Dukes and SEALS).  They have access to power, money and women.  They get this through physical prowess, intimidation, and domination.  Think of any Highlander you have read about.  Yup, they fit that description don’t they?  What is it about romance novels that feature so many alpha males?  Is this what women really want?  What about a sensitive man?  Or one with a great sense of humour or the ‘nice guy’?

One article suggests that it all comes down to chemistry.  Pheromones and testosterone make us what we are.  Alpha males have more testosterone that other men.  Women literally get drunk on the pheromones these men put off.  It doesn’t mean that we are deceived, rather that it’s an evolutionary mechanism at work.  Back when life and death were heartbeats away, the strongest man was the one you wanted.  You wanted the man that could throw the spear the hardest, could run the longest and mate the most.  When I think of Monica McCarty’s Highland Guard novels, the men are all alpha males.  They live in a very dangerous time in history and their physical prowess is the tipping point between life and death.

While an ideal mate in our time now may be the ‘beta man’ who is a more consistent partner.  One who cares for children, will empty the garbage and put the toilet seat down.  But personally, I don’t want to spend a couple of hours reading about what is sitting on the other side of the couch from me.  I want to read about a fantasy man.  I want to read about a man who slays dragons and wields a claymore like an extension of his arm.  The dominant behaviour of an alpha male makes for an amazing character in a romance novel.  He acts differently than most men we come across in our civilized world.  It’s this fantasy that has so many women sighing over the overly ripe muscles and the take charge attitude.

Would I want an alpha man in real life?  Probably not, as all the testosterone would become wearing after a while.  We don’t live in a world where I rely on my hunter to get dinner, I need my partner to use his brain to make money so I can grocery shop.  I like and cherish making decisions together with my spouse.  It would be like stepping back to a time where a man made all the decisions and women had little say.  This is not always the case.  My latest obsession, Vonnie Davis, writes contemporary novels with crazy alpha Highlanders.  They live in their own microcosm where the alpha males thrive and it the fantasy of it seems so appealing.

Why are there so many references to historical males and those from Scotland?  Well, those genres are very popular and it stands to reason that an alpha man was the safest choice in times when life was so uncertain.  There are also a lot of alpha males in contemporary novels – the billionaire 30 year old genre for example.  Alpha male doesn’t mean BDSM in romance novels.  It is not synonymous with hurting women and controlling them to their detriment.  If that is how the alpha male is being portrayed, I’m not interested in the book.  They don’t prey upon women and are not ruthless (unless they are trying to woo and win their woman).  It’s a matter of the confidence in the way they carry themselves and are comfortable with their body and position in life.

Take a look at the covers of the books on your Kindle or book shelves.  Most of them feature the bare chested man who is the object of the woman’s adoration.  Publishers and authors would not be featuring this many bare chested warriors if they were not appealing.  Look at how many cover reveals are featured on blogs and twitter – it’s quite a phenomenon!  Even MAC cosmetics got into the action with posters that featured wind swept lovers:

image

So next time you read a book and wonder if the lead is an alpha male, ask yourself if the character has these characteristics:

  • comfortable with his body
  • confident
  • strong
  • popular
  • low voice, speaks slowly and with command
  • holds eye contact
  • doesn’t back down
  • strong posture
  • relaxed

So if you like alpha males here are some books that I have read that feature great alpha male characters.  Click on the titles to read my reviews of the books!

a highlanders passion

A Highlander’s Passion

kilts and daggers

Kilts and Daggers

deception of a highlander

Deception of a Highlander

highland warrior

Monica McCarty’s Books

naked

Naked

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Rogue with a Brogue

imagesCAOU3UC8

Crossfire Series

If you want to read more about the science behind alpha males, here are two articles I found interesting:

http://www.bodylanguageuniversity.com/public/239.cfm

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/07/07/the-myth-of-the-alpha-male/

Top Ten Tuesday – Highlanders!

This week’s meme, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, is Top Ten Books for people who like_______. This is a GREAT week! I can’t wait to see what other bloggers are sharing!

So I decided to make my week about Highlanders in honour of Droughtlander ending soon. So my top ten list is all about Scottish heroes who will raise your pulse! (And they are in no particular order…)

1. On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well—until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.
on dublin street
Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. Knowing how skittish she is about entering a relationship, Braden proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.

But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, she realizes that Braden won’t be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her… down to the very soul.

2. The Chief (Highland Guard Series, Book #1) by Monica McCarty

AN ELITE FIGHTING FORCE UNLIKE THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN . . .

Scouring the darkest corners of the Highlands and Western Isles, Robert the Bruce handpicks ten warriors to help him in his quest to free Scotland from English rule. They are the best of the best, chosen for their superior skills in each discipline of warfare. And to lead his secret Highland Guard, Bruce chooses the greatest warrior of all.

The ultimate Highland warlord and a swordsman without equal, Tor MacLeod has no intention of being the chiefdrawn into Scotland’s war against the English. Dedicated to his clan, the fiercely independent chief answers to no one—especially not to his alluring new bride, bartered to him in a bid to secure his command of the deadliest fighting force the world has ever seen. The treacherous chit who made her way to Tor’s bed may have won his hand, but she will never claim his heart.

Although her husband’s reputation is as fierce as his manner, Christina Fraser believes that something softer hides beneath his brutal shell. But the only warmth she feels is in their bed, in glorious moments of white-hot desire that disappear with the dawn. When Christina’s reckless bid to win her husband’s love goes awry and thrusts them into danger on the eve of war, Tor will face his ultimate battle: to save his wife and to open his heart—before it’s too late.

3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century, and a lover in another…

In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon—when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord…1743.
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Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire’s destiny in soon inextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch. She is catapulted without warning into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life …and shatter her heart. For here, James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire…and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

4. Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught

ELIZABETH CAMERON
The Countess of Havenhurst possessed a rare gentleness and fierce courage to match her exquisite beauty. But her reputation is shattered when she is discovered in the arms of Ian Thornton, a notorious gambler and social outcast.
IAN THORNTONalmost heaven
A dangerously handsome man of secret wealth and mysterious lineage, his voyage to Elizabeth’s heart is fraught with intrigue, scandal, and a venomous revenge.
Destined for each other, yet wary of each other’s motives, Elizabeth and Ian engage in a dance of suspicion and passion that tests the very soul of their star-crossed love. As a twisting path of secrets takes them from London’s drawing rooms to the mysterious Scottish Highlands, Elizabeth must learn the truth: is Ian merely a ruthless fortune hunter at heart?

5. Deception of a Highlander by Madeline Martin

Scottish Romance doesn’t get much steamier—or more dangerous—than a spy hunting her quarry, and losing her heart to him instead.

To pay a seemingly impossible debt, Mariel Brandon has become a spy for Aaron, one of England’s deadliest minds. Aaron’s latest mission for the sharp-witted and daring Mariel is to find two people in a heavily fortified castle on the Isle of Skye, a castle headed by the clan MacDonald and the powerful Kieran. Mariel is to seduce Kieran and get him to take her to Skye. If she succeeds, Aaron promises to let Mariel’s young brother go, and to free both of them from their debt. If she fails, her brother will die.
deception of a highlander
What she doesn’t count on is craving Kieran MacDonald almost immediately upon meeting him. Now Mariel must keep a secret from Kieran—one that could get them both killed—as she tries to form a plan that will save her brother, get her out from under Aaron’s thumb once and for all, and keep her in Kieran’s strong arms forever.

6. The MacLeod’s of Skye Trilogy by Monica McCarty

HIGHLANDER UNTAMED

Rory MacLeod is a powerful Highland Chief with only one allegiance—to his clan. He vows revenge against the rival MacDonald clan, though duty demands a handfast marriage to Isabel MacDonald—a bride he has no intention of keeping. Blessed with incomparable beauty, Isabel is prepared to use every means possible—including seduction—to uncover her husband’s most guarded secrets. Instead Rory awakens Isabel’s deepest desires and her sweetest fantasies. Now Isabel has found the happiness she’s always dreamed of . . . with the very man she must betray.
the macleods of skye
HIGHLANDER UNMASKED

A hardened mercenary on a secret mission to protect his clan, Alex MacLeod must keep his true purpose hidden. But his dangerous endeavor is threatened by a beautiful woman he saves from outlaws, never dreaming she will appear at court and put his plans in jeopardy. As Meg Mackinnon challenges Alex—the midnight rescuer whose smoldering blue eyes and raw sensuality left her breathless—to reveal his secrets, the stakes grow perilously high, especially for the bold woman who dares to unmask a highlander.

HIGHLANDER UNCHAINED

A born leader possessing brute strength, Lachlan Maclean will do whatever it takes to protect his clan—even if it means abducting the most willful woman in the Highlands. But Lachlan is unprepared for the beautiful spitfire who digs beneath his chiseled exterior. Flora MacLeod is determined to avoid her mother’s fate of being bartered away as a marriage prize. Vowing to make her captor pay, she boldly engages him in a battle of wills, sweetening the challenge with dangerous passion–even as the deadly ghosts of a past tragedy reach out to thwart a love that has yet to be spoken.

7. The Bride by Julie Garwood

By the king’s edict, Alec Kincaid, mightiest of the Scottish lairds, must take an English bride. And Jamie the youngest daughter of Baron Jamison, is his choice. From his first glimpse of the proud and beautiful English lady, Alec felt a burning hunger stir within him. This was a woman worthy of his fearless warrior’s spirit. And he aches to touch her, tame her, possess her…forever.the bride
But with the wedding vows, Jamie pledges her own secret oath: She will never surrender her love to this Highland barbarian. He was everything her heart warned her against — an arrogant, brooding scoundrel whose rough good looks and seductive embrace fire her blood. But when strange accidents begin to threaten Jamie’s life and an old rumor that Alec killed his first wife spreads anew, something far more dangerous than desire threatens to conquer her senses.

8. In Bed With A Highlander by Maya Banks

Ewan McCabe, the eldest, is a warrior determined to vanquish his enemy. Now, with the time ripe for battle, his men are ready and Ewan is poised to take back what is his—until a blue-eyed, raven-haired temptress is thrust upon him. Mairin may be the salvation of Ewan’s clan, but for a man who dreams only of revenge, matters of the heart are strange territory to conquer.
in bed with a highlander
The illegitimate daughter of the king, Mairin possesses prized property that has made her a pawn—and wary of love. Her worst fears are realized when she is rescued from peril only to be forced into marriage by her charismatic and commanding savior, Ewan McCabe. But her attraction to her ruggedly powerful new husband makes her crave his surprisingly tender touch; her body comes alive under his sensual mastery. And as war draws near, Mairin’s strength, spirit, and passion challenge Ewan to conquer his demons—and embrace a love that means more than revenge and land.

9. Beware A Scots Revenge by Sabrina Jeffries

Lady Venetia Campbell’s visit to her childhood home in Scotland takes a dramatic turn when she’s kidnapped at pistol point by her father’s sworn enemy. Sir Lachlan Ross is widely feared in his guise as The Scottish Scourge, but Venetia remembers her former neighbor as a handsome youth whose beware a scots revengeattentions she craved. Now a wickedly sexy man, Lachlan’s appeal is even more intoxicating…and much more dangerous. Though Lachlan tries to treat her as his foe, his scorching kisses tell another story. And despite his plan to use her as a weapon against her father, Venetia is determined that Lachlan’s lust for revenge will be trumped by an even more powerful desire….

10. Rogue with a Brogue by Suzanne Enoch

A Rogue For Every Lady

London, 1817: Stuck in a Mayfair ballroom, thanks to his lovestruck brother, Highlander Arran MacLawry wants nothing but a bit of distraction from an arranged betrothal—and a clever auburn-haired lass in a vixen’s mask promises just that . . . until he discovers that she’s the granddaughter of the Campbell, chief of clan MacLawry’s longtime rival. Despite their families’ grudging truce, falling for fiery Mary Campbell is a notion too outlandish even for this Highlander…
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The Thrill Of The Forbidden

Raised on tales of savage MacLawrys, Mary is stunned to realize the impressively strapping man in the fox’s mask is one of them. Surely the enemy shouldn’t have such a broad chest, and such a seductive brogue? Not that her curiosity matters—any dalliance between them is strictly forbidden, and she’s promised to another. But with the crackling spark between them ready to catch flame, love is worth every risk…