Category Archives: Historical Romance

Book Review: ‘Heart of Stone’ by Willa Blair

Title: Heart of Stone (Highland Talents Prequel)

Published: 26th August 2016

Author: Willa Blair

Facebook: www.facebook.com/willablair

Twitter: @willablair

 

Synopsis:

Bound home after two years away, Gavan MacNabb comes across a lass and her deerhound in a moonlit circle of standing stones. Little does he know that the garland of bluebells she weaves and the spell she sings will change the course of his life.

Marsali Murray doesn’t really believe the old wives’ tale that making a chain of bluebells by the standing stones under a waxing moon will bring true love, but she’s desperate to try anything to escape the boring, everlasting sameness of her life. Anything except marrying a man her father chooses for her. When her deerhound, Corrie, insists on following Gavan, Marsali decides that’s the excuse she needs to have the adventure she craves. She’ll go where he goes, whether he is the man promised by her spell—or not.
Gavan has already seen much of the world denied to Marsali. He’s ready to settle down. She is eager to spread her wings. Can they find what they need with each other?

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A Scottish Highlander historical romance.

Marsali longs to find her true love, hopefully before her father sells her off to the highest bidder for political gain. An old tale she’s told tells of a spell that once cast will bring forth her true love. One that involves stringing bluebells together and singing a song in the middle of a sacred circle of stones. She knows its a long shot so is shocked when a man appears before her, a very handsome one to boot. Though at the end of the day maybe she should just listen to her deerhound Corrie – the fearsome beast she is lol – she seems to know who she should be with.

Gavan is on his way home when he gets drawn towards a voice singing on the wind. It’s like he feels a pull towards the voice and when he finds the one it came from a pull towards her as well. He might want her but holds back for fear of scaring her. Then he takes note that she is in the middle of nowhere by herself with only a deerhound to protect her. Said fearsome deerhound that all but bounces over to him to say hello. Good old Corrie, she knew who he was to her master even before they did. He almost wants to scare her into seeing how dangerous the situation could be but settles on offering to escort her home instead. She might insist she is fine but she secretly wishes for him to force her to be led by him spell or no spell. She may have cast it but how much faith should she have in it anyway? More than she does it seems as they meet again by chance. You can see the pull is there but not acted upon, mainly due to him leaving the next day. Thinking she has lost her chance it seems fate, or should that be Corrie, has other plans as she rushes off to follow him hours after leaving. Marsali might have longed for adventure and she is about to get it when she follows her faithful hound.

Danger is along the path she travels so its good she has a Scottish Highlander to come to her rescue. To keep her safe becomes his first priority and it seems the closest place to do that would be his home. But there awaits a long lost love, one he had hoped would wait for him. Though does he still want his past or maybe now a new future. He thinks to give Marsali time for her adventurous nature to wear off so she will go home on her own choosing but really he wants her to stay, even if he won’t say it. She longs for him to see her as his love as she has quickly come to see him as hers. They fit together no matter where they are. I mean come on even the hound knows they are meant to be. But with past lovers, family ties and hope being tested it’s a wonder if love can concur at all.

Nice short, sweet, clean, adventurous Scottish highlander romance to chill out with on a chilly evening. Would be interesting to see how others in their families get on with their own stories. Lots more tales I hope.

4 out of 5 stars

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Book Review: ‘Claiming – A Medieval Romance’ by Saskia Knight

Title: Claiming-A Medieval Romance (The Gresham Chronicles Book 1)

Published: 16th January 2014

Author: Saskia Knight

 

Synopsis:

After her father’s death, Lady Rowena Gresham wants nothing more than to be left alone to run her estates and live a life free from the destructive passion that had ruined her mother’s life. But the year is 1207 and her father bequeaths the estates to a distant relative.

Sir Saher de Bohun fought alongside her father for the King and has been rewarded with the wealthy Gresham estates, and the feisty Lady Rowena. But he will not take her by force and is determined to woo her into his bed.

But will Saher’s courtship be enough to allay her fears, enough to stop her from putting into action a plan, the discovery of which would incur both his displeasure and the King’s wrath?

Passion, hot enough to melt the heart of the iciest maiden, contained within.

 

Review:

Short and sweet historical read with a lot of passion being awoken. Claimed is definitely the right word as that’s what Sir Saher de Bohun wants to do with Rowena from the moment they meet. And if she’s really being honest with herself she wants to be claimed by him just as much.

Rowena was always her fathers’ favourite daughter. Almost like his shadow with helping running the castle and its land. It’s all she’s ever wanted to do, as she has no intention of ever marrying for she fears where it might lead. Her sisters’ paths are set – one married and the other taking orders to be a nun – and so she thought hers until their father died. Her father always led her to believe that the castle, land and all it makes would be hers to run after his passing. She is in for quite the shock when the sheriff and a priest turn up to tell her otherwise. It seems her father left the castle and all its land to another, one Sir Saher de Bohun. That’s not all he left, as it seems she is now within that deal also. If she leaves she will lose that which she loves most and have nothing but if she stays she will live with a stranger. One she fears will draw forth her passionate nature and in doing so seal her fate like her mothers.

Saher always wanted land of his own and is pleased to take over the Gresham estate. He knew Rowena’s father well and trusted him. He might have spoken of his daughters strong will but its not until he meets Rowena that he truly believes the force of it. He knew what he was to be promised and is keen to set a life forward but he will not force her to stay. Going further when they are married he will not force himself on her either. No matter how much she temps him. One kiss sparks more passion than either was expecting and it’s not long before he sees a way forward with his new wife. He must woo and seduce her to come to him, her reactions only fueling him on to what he knows they both want. It’s her passionate nature that pulls her back though with fear, this fear he wants to rid her of.

She wants to plan an escape all the while he is trying to get to know her. The longer they are in each other’s company the more her mind, and body, changes with what she wants. Can she truly trust him with her heart and body as well as her land?

Fun short historical read to chill out to on a cozy afternoon. Would be interesting to see how her sisters fare from here on too.

4 out of 5 stars

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Book Review: ‘Mine, Forever and Always’ by Tammy L. Bailey

Title: Mine, Forever and Always

Published: 15th March 2017

Author: Tammy L. Bailey

Facebook: www.facebook.com/tammylbaileyauthor

Twitter: @tammylbailey

 

Synopsis:

Just shy of fifteen years old, and during a fake and impromptu wedding ceremony, LILY SCOTT married her best friend’s brother, HENRY DALTON.

It seemed harmless enough until he leaned in and whispered to her his true feelings, amorous words she has been unable to forget: Now you’re mine, forever and always.

Unfortunately, growing up pulls them apart and transforms Henry into a pompous scoundrel. When they meet again at a house party hosted by Henry’s sister, will Henry remember his once faithful promise to Lily?

 

Review:

A sweet short romantic historical read with great back and forth verbal sparing between Lily and Henry. Loved it right from the start with them and Henry’s sister Jane. Jane is a bit of a master at games it seems, especially when true love is on the cards. Hadley Manor is where we start with a week of fun and mischief when this group gets together. Mr. Waverley was an interesting character and just as good at games it seems as Jane. Now that would be an interesting match.

Everything starts with a letter. Lily writes the letter in question on Jane’s behalf as she feels she would be able to express her love much better than her. Jane wants a letter written that she can later sign to secretly give to Mr. Waverley to let him know her true feelings but the best laid plans don’t go to plan. Jane told her to write from the heart and that she did. She writes of the love she has for the one who holds her heart – her husband of sorts – thinking it would help her heal from how he left. It did nothing of the sort when the man in question is so near and treating her so unkindly, like he doesn’t even remember her at all. More so after she bumps into him dropping the secret letter at his feet. One she very much wants to get back from him by any means necessary before he reads it. By a stolen kiss perhaps?

Henry knew that coming to a party of his sisters would turn into something else as she always has a reason for everything. As a way to stay away from her games he brought Miss Appleton, his latest conquest of sorts, as a distraction. But is she there so someone stays away from him or to help him stay away from someone else in particular. Someone he fears he can never have. The latter I think but it doesn’t really work out that way, as it seems he can’t seem to make himself stay away from Lily. More so when he sees the lengths she will go to get the retrieve the letter that fell at his feet. One he has memorized every word of and on some level wishing it was about him. His mission from then on is to figure out who Lily might have written the letter to but come on man look a little closer to home. You may have saved yourself some time but its fun to see how they play off each other. She might seem shy at first of his dismissive nature but her frustrations soon come to the surface, his also it seems.

Chemistry is bubbling below the surface and you know the higher the tension builds the bigger the passion will become. He needs to get over his mistrust of women and thinking he knows all their games or he will lose the only one who will truly love him forever and always. First book read by Tammy L. Bailey and I would highly recommend it and want to check out any others.

4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Sorceress’ by Saskia Walker

Title: Sorceress

Published: 30th June 2012

Author: Saskia Walker

Twitter: @saskiawalker

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/104558.Saskia_Walker

 

Synopsis:

Their love affair is forbidden, dangerous, and unstoppable.

The Empress Elishiba has vowed to protect her people, even if it means marrying an enemy. But when the mysterious man known as Amshazar arrives as a spokesman for her future husband, her passion is ignited. Amshazar is an attractive and powerful man who is rumored to be a sorcerer, and he is allied to her enemy. Consorting with him would be disastrous. Why then does she let him arouse her and distract her from her goal?

Amshazar is a gifted magi and an envoy of the gods. Lusting after the Empress Elishiba wasn’t part of his plan, and yet he cannot resist. Their connection is vital, their desire undeniable—but their forbidden affair soon captures them in a web of danger, a web where magic and romance weave their own vibrant and inexorable threads. As the enemy seeks to destroy Elishiba and all she stands for, Amshazar must fulfill his duty and empower her as a powerful Sorceress, whatever the cost.

 

Review:

Intriguing read right from the start with many twists and turns to keep you hooked until the end. Seems Aleem and Karseedia are two very different lands run in two very different ways. One run for the love of its people where an Empress would do whatever it takes to keep peace and the other by fear. The Aleemite way of life focuses on all things pleasure, you should know all about it, no matter your status. Karseedia, however, is a treacherous country ruled by an evil hand hiding not so far in the background. I know which one I would rather be in.

Empress Elishiba of Aleem vows to protect her people no matter what but she is about to be pushed to her limits when she embarks on a mission with a neighboring enemy land. If a deal for a treaty fails then it seems the only way to ensure peace is to link them by marriage, hers to Emperor Hanrah of Karseedia. She knows her goal and can’t afford to be distracted from her path but the moment she meets the mysterious Amshazar that idea gets thrown right out the window. He is rumored to be a sorcerer and allied to her enemy but that doesn’t stop her lust from igniting the moment they meet. The pull it seems can’t be ignored but following it could lead them both down a disastrous path. Dark forces are at every turn to do evils bidding so she has to careful of whom to trust. New friends could be foe but to trust in herself is key. Her heart will always lead her down the correct path, even if it’s breaking at the same time.

Amshazar is a magi who is called upon by the Gods – specifically Credan and Sevita – to deliver a message to the exotic lands to help prevent a war. He needs to help one and guide another to get the peace the Gods are after. Something Hurda the God of war isn’t too keen on after his meddling got them to that stage in the first place. He first befriends Hanrah and soon is a trusted part of his life, so much so that he is sent as a spokesman with the group that goes to collect and escort Elishiba back to Karseedia. She is the one he must guide for the sake of all buts it hard to do after passions collide from the moment their eyes lock. Its like something sparks to life inside her. Her own magic seems to sense his and its with his presence and guidance that she can pull it to the surface when needed most. The moment they kiss all else fades away and it’s just them in a bubble of passion. She longs for him and he craves for her. He has a job to do, one she is a part of, but he can’t tell her it all yet for fear of scaring her. Falling for her and her passionate ways wasn’t part of his plan but fate it seems has other ideas.

Poor old Hanrah, he is very much under his mother Mehtap’s rule. He must strive to over throw her to become the man he is meant to be. His loyalty seems to be to his lover Kazeen but he needs to think of all his people before his mother ruins their land for good with war. Sibias is a creepy guy who you get a bad feeling about right from the start. He is Mehtap’s puppet, one that likes to delve into the dark magic to do her bidding it seems. All you are hoping is that they get their comeuppance.

Elishiba is not alone on her journey, she may have Amshazar for now but also brings her closest friends and consorts which gives the story more depth. Xerxes is her loyal warrior and leader of the Immortals, friend and past lover, well who wouldn’t want someone like that watching your back. Her handmaids, twins Elra and Amra brought a bit of humour, loved their scenes. Yoshi her Seeress loves to speak in riddles and her ‘gift’ from Mehtap turned loyal friend Kerr was sweet – someone the twins very much hope to share. Love the way they try to entice him to their side. Believe me it doesn’t take much for him to be in ore of them and the way of life in Aleem. A much better place to be than Karseedia it seems. A power play coming from all sides has started and it soon becomes a road trip built on a dark web of mystery. A fun paranormal fantasy erotic historical read to get stuck into.

4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Rescued by the Captain’ by Laura A. Barnes

Title: Rescued by the Captain

Published: 10th January 2017

Publisher: Lulu.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=author%20laura%20a.%20barnes

 

Synopsis:

Abandoned at sea.

When Ivy Mallory awakens; she finds herself on the ship of the man who rejected her love years earlier. While he was away working for the Crown, she embraced the London Seasons trying to forget him. Caught in the middle of a treason plot; she must help save her brother. To do so she needs to put her trust in the one man who can protect her. But can she protect her heart from loving him again?

Found at sea.

Captain Marcus Thornhill never imagined he would find a lady floating unconscious in a lifeboat out in the middle of the open sea. But it wasn’t any lady, it was Ivy. Seven years earlier he rejected her love for a life at sea. As he rescues her he gets involved in a treason plot that will bring the war to their beloved shores of England. As he unravels the plot he is unable to deny his desire for her. Is he too late in saving her and the love he has for her?

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book set in an era you would love to travel to. Love a good period historical romance read and this one had a sexy captain of the high seas in it too. Adventure, romance, danger and intrigue – what’s not to love!

We follow Marcus and Ivy – his Hedera and name of his ship – on one hell of a crazy journey. Love when we find out what Hedera really stands for. He might be a Captain and love the life of the sea but there is someone from back home he loves more, Ivy. Fate has intertwined their paths and this time nothing is going to tear them apart again. Well let’s hope so anyway.

We start out at sea where Captain Marcus Thornhill gets a bit of a shock when his ship comes across a lifeboat floating out at sea. More so when it becomes clear that the passenger – unconscious passenger mind you – is none other than Ivy Mallory. The girl turned women he left behind seven years ago before he started his life at sea. Right from the start you know there is going to be quite a story as to how she got left out at sea in the first place but for the moment all Marcus can think about is trying to make sure she doesn’t die from her ordeal. Its almost like his heart stopped the moment he saw her, fearing she was already lost to him, and that it won’t start again until she opens her eyes. She gets a bit of a shock when she does open her eyes as she fears she is dreaming. It’s the only reason she can come up with as to how Marcus – love of her life – could be before her. Dream becomes reality very fast though when she realizes the position she has found herself in. Namely being alone in a cabin with Marcus being her sole carer. I think you may be able to guess where that situation might lead. Seems distance has made the heart grow fonder and passions soon come into play. Land is far away so they have time to reconnect but danger is never far behind. Sometimes said danger comes from them when they just won’t listen. These two are the king and queen of misunderstandings I feel. Just talk to each other and stop jumping to conclusions! Rant over but they do need to listen because once they do start talking they get the answers and love they have both been missing all these years spent apart.

Seems Ivy has found herself in the middle of some kind of treason plot that could mean war for her land. Her brother Charles is missing and all she can think of is finding him. Doing so only leads her to more danger and there are only so many times Marcus can save her. The reason for her being found out at sea soon becomes linked to the plot as well after she caught the eye of a pirate; one that seems to be connected to more than first appears. A plot is afoot and you are never quite sure what angle people are playing. Zane – friend or foe, whose side is he on? More to his story than meets the eye. The same goes for who has Charles. Missing, hiding out or kidnapped? You are never quite sure. Sammy was a sweet character, always looking out for his Captain and Ivy soon after meeting/rescuing her.

There are a few grammar issues throughout but not enough to take away from enjoying the story itself. Action packed romance adventure read. You know it’s just the start of what’s to come for Marcus and Ivy. Nothing will ever be smooth sailing, fun at times, danger at others, but as long as they are together they will get through.

5 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from the author for my honest review.

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