Category Archives: Historical Romance

Book Review: ‘Captured by the Pirate Laird’ by Amy Jarecki

captured-by-the-pirate-laird

Title: Captured by the Pirate Laird

Published: 18th January 2014

Publisher: Rapture Books

Author: Amy Jarecki

Facebook: www.facebook.com/amyjarecki

Twitter: @amyjarecki

Synopsis:

Wed by proxy to a baron old enough to be her grandfather, Lady Anne trudges up the gangway of a galleon that will deliver her into the arms of a tyrant. Crestfallen, she believes her disastrous life cannot get worse—until she awakes to the blasts of cannon fire.

Facing certain death, Anne trembles in her stateroom while swords clash and the chilling screams of battle rage on the deck above. When a rugged Highlander kicks in her door, she prays for a swift end.

But Laird Calum MacLeod has a reason for plundering the ship—and it’s not a stunning English lass. With no other choice, he takes Anne to his crumbling keep on the isle of Raasay and sends a letter of ransom to her husband. In time, Anne grows to understand MacLeod’s plight and finds it increasingly difficult to resist Calum’s unsettling charm—until the baron sends a reply agreeing to terms.

Ripped from passion that will be forever seared into their souls, will Anne and Calum risk everything for love?

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2016 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with a pirate in it. I love highlander books and this one had an extra twist that he was a pirate to boot – brilliant!

Anne has been wed by proxy on the word of her uncle to Lord Wharton, a man old enough to be her grandfather. She may have caught his eye at the Queens coronation, not the she remembers, but he couldn’t be bothered to collect her himself when she is sent to him. Instead he sends her alone out on a ship so she can be delivered almost like cargo. It might look bleak to begin with but that’s just the start as pirates soon take over the ship and all its cargo – her included.

Calum MacLeod, pirate captain of the Sea Dragon and Laired of Raasay, gets a bit of a shock when he comes across English lass Anne hiding in a room on the ship he just concurred. Unsure what to do with her at first his plan is to take her back with him until he knows more about who she really is. When he finds out that she is wed to Lord Wharton he knows the only outcome is to ransom her to the English Lord. A fight is brewing between the English and the Scots and it seems this meeting by chance is the catalyst that starts it all again.

Anne may not have thought her life had much of a bright outcome on the start of her journey but she soon learns that meeting Calum could be the best thing that ever happened to her. Especially if he keeps looking at her the way he does. Passion is brewing, more than she really knows what to do with, so it’s a good thing that Calum does. She thinks she always has to do the right thing for her family but can Calum show her another way? They both need a little faith in each other to get what they really want.

There are lots of other key players throughout that play a part in creating an interesting world. Too many to mention them all but with Bran, the young squire, you get a feeling he is going to be key to the future of Calum’s land. Good way to set the scene for the rest of the series. It almost has a Robin Hood feel to it with the fact that Calum only steals from the wealthy so he can feed his people – you even have a Friar, though he’s called Pat not Tuck. Anne may not condone what he does but she can see why he would need to. Its not just Calum’s friends and family that make up the interesting group but the people along the way that help Anne get back to where she really belongs. Lets hope they are all strong enough to band together against the danger that follows them in the form of Lord Wharton, his henchman Denton and the army he has claimed along the way.

bookbookbookbook
4 out of 5 stars

Leave a comment

Filed under Historical Romance, Reading Challenges, Reading Nook Blog Posts

Book Review: ‘The Crusader’s Bride’ by Claire Delacroix

The Crusader's Bride

Title: The Crusader’s Bride (The Champions of Saint Eupemia Book 1)

Published: 28th July 2015

Author: Claire Delacroix pseudonym for Deborah Cooke

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorClaireDelacroix

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorDeborahCookeFanPage

Twitter: @cooke_delacroix

Synopsis:

Gaston battled for duty and honor—until his new wife tempted him to fight for her love.

Gaston has had his fill of war and the Latin Kingdoms when he learns that he has inherited his father’s estate in France. He accepts one last quest for the Templars, the order he has served for fifteen years, and agrees to deliver a package to Paris on his way home. A practical man, Gaston knows he now has need of a wife and an heir, so when a lovely widowed noblewoman on pilgrimage catches his eye, he believes he can see matters solved to their mutual convenience.

But Ysmaine is more than a pilgrim enduring bad luck. She has buried two husbands in rapid succession, both of whom died on her nuptial night, and believes herself cursed. Accepting the offer of this gruff knight seems doomed to result in his demise, but Gaston is dismissive of her warnings and Ysmaine finds herself quickly wed again—this time to a man who is not only vital, but determined to remain alive.

Neither of them realize that Gaston’s errand is one of peril, for the package contains the treasure of the Templars—and some soul, either in their party or pursuing it, is intent upon claiming the prize for his or her own, regardless of the cost. In a company of strangers with secrets, do they dare to trust each other and the love that dawns between them?

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2016 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A historical romance. I do love a good historical romance and this one was great. A lot of information is thrown at you from the get go, almost too much to keep track of, but soon you find yourselves on a intriguing crusade along with the characters so just go with the flow.

Gaston has been a fighter and protector for the Templars for most of his life and thought he would continue to do so. A letter from back home informing him of his brothers passing and telling him that his fathers estate in France would then be passed to him changes all that. Knowing he will now be Baron de Chamont-sur-Maine he knows he is bound by duty to father a son to continue the family name due to his brother having only daughters and for that he seeks a wife. Lucky for him he has seen the perfect choice and if her character is anything to go by feels it would be a well-suited match.

Ysmaine has come on a pilgrimage to try and find penance for what she sees as her curse. Twice widowed she has buried two husbands before the wedding night can proceed. She fears herself cursed and has come seeking answers from the holy mother. What she didn’t expect was another proposal of marriage. She can see Gaston would be a kind sole to her but can’t stop her mind from thinking the worse might befall him if they did wed. Gaston becomes very convincing and soon she finds herself wed again – well third times the charm they always say! This new husband of hers seems more determined than most to stay alive, which is good because its not just the wedding night he should be concerned about.

Before Gaston is to leave, new wife in toe, he is given one last task. He must deliver a letter and some secret treasure of sorts to Paris while on his way home in the guise of just being a member of a travelling party. The only reason they would let such a treasure leave is fear that they will fall in the battle to come. They clearly don’t want whatever it is to fall into the enemy’s hands. What neither of them realises though is the danger that follows them; it might be closer than they think. There are a lot of players within their travelling group, so it is not always easy to see the truth between the lies. Not knowing who can be trusted is a sure way of creating divides and distrust between them all. This would be simple journey turns into something a lot bigger with more danger than anyone first thought.

Trust is the one thing Gaston asks of Ysmaine but trust is earned not always freely given. This trust for one another slowly turns into something more. After the wedding night goes off without her husband dying Ysmaine can’t help but think something was missing. When the act was nearing its end for him she felt the start of something she didn’t know how to explain. Lets just say he got his rocks off but she was left hanging on the edge. Knowing there is something more she could get she becomes bolder in her actions but its not until they both see shadows of another couple in the throws of passion that they really let lose on each other. Wouldn’t say this one is focusing too much on the bedroom department of this pair but more on the journey they find themselves on. In a short time Ysmaine knows she has fallen for him and is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure his task is completed, no matter the cost to her reputation and maybe even her life. Takes Gaston a little longer to catch up on the feelings department but once there you can see he too would stop at nothing to keep her safe. Once his sole purpose was to be a knight for the Templar but now he must learn to be the best husband he can be.

Lots of other characters help drive the story through and you are trying to guess who the traitor truly is. There are a few options so get your thinking caps on; who seems out of place and character. The crusade is clearly the starting point for the series as a whole so is showing the key male leads that will go off into their own books. Lots of information about the warring parties and land layouts can get a bit confusing but stay with it as it soon comes back to focus more on the group and what they are going through first hand; with an overview of what is happening in the world around them.

bookbookbookbook

4 out of 5 stars

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

1 Comment

Filed under Historical Romance, Reading Challenges, Reading Nook Blog Posts

Book Review: ‘The Renegade’s Heart’ by Claire Delacroix

The Renegade's Heart

Title: The Renegade’s Heart (The True Love Brides Book 1)

Published: 12th January 2014

Author: Claire Delacroix pseudonym for Deborah Cooke

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorClaireDelacroix

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorDeborahCookeFanPage

Twitter: @cooke_delacroix

Synopsis:

Released from the captivity of the Fae, Murdoch Seton wants nothing more than to forget his lost years. Undertaking a quest to recover treasure stolen from his family seems the perfect solution – but Murdoch is not counting upon a curious maiden who holds both the secret to the theft and his sole redemption.

Isabella is outraged to find her brother’s keep besieged by a renegade knight – especially one who is too handsome for his own good or hers. After a single encounter, she becomes convinced that his cause is just and decides to unveil the true thief, never imagining that their single shared kiss has launched a battle for Murdoch’s very soul.

As the treacherous Fae move to claim Murdoch forever, Isabella seeks to heal the knight who has stolen her heart. But will Murdoch allow her to take a risk and endanger herself? Or will he sacrifice himself to ensure Isabella’s future?

This edition includes excerpts from THE HIGHLANDER’S CURSE and KISS OF FIRE.

Review:

2016 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book about a curse or prophecy. Historical highland romance with a paranormal twist – loved it! There is a good balance between the historical world and the fae world. I don’t think it really matters if you have read the others in series or not as feel that this could be read as a standalone. Does make me want to check out the rest of them though.

Murdoch has been set free from the fae world so he can return to his homeland. He should have known though that the fae Queen wouldn’t give him up so freely. There is always a catch it seems with the fae, nothing is quite as it seems. The Queen wants him to stay with her so plants a curse on him that will slowly turn his heart black making his only choice to stay alive to go back to her – or is it? On route home he meets an old friend, Stewart, who informs him it has been three years since he was last seen. What felt like weeks held captive in the illusion of paradise with the fae was really a lot longer. When he gets within the keep he learns that his father has passed and brother is now the laird. He also finds out that their sacred relic has been stolen. So he, along with Stewart and two squires, set out on a quest to return the relic in hope it will bring prosperity back to his lands. First point of call is to go back to the people who sold the relic in the first place. If past stories are to be believed then they have gone back to their old habits of stealing. He will find the truth and the relic no matter what; he just wasn’t expecting to find something worth a whole lot more in the process.

Isabella is intrigued by Murdoch the first moment she sees him through her window. He appears so bold in his actions with wanting to speak to her brother no matter what. When he gets inside he stumbles across her in the corridor outside her bedroom. Just this brief meeting has her curious so after he follows a servant up to her brother she follows to listen outside the room. She can hear the whole exchange where Murdoch is almost accusing her brother, or their family, of stealing a relic that belonged to his family now. She believes her brother has nothing to do with the theft but something in his voice makes her think he does know something about who might be involved. When the door opens, fearing being caught she rushes back to her room but not before Murdoch catches up to her. He forces her into her room where he confronts her about what she heard. After hearing his story she has this need to help him. Believing in him when it may appear he does not. Murdoch is just seeing this situation as something he can use to his advantage. He thinks to seduce her into finding out information. One stolen kiss though is enough to make both start to feel more than they first thought.

With the fae not playing fair and confrontation from all sides it will be a race against time for them to find the relic and figure out a way to save Murdoch. They may end up getting some help from unusual sources. If Murdoch can just be the real man he has always been, someone Isabella has seen from the start, then he may just find a way out and get everything he has always wanted.

Intrigue, danger, passion and romance make for an interesting read. Setting the scene for what’s to come in the rest of the series and I can’t wait to check them all out.

bookbookbookbook

4 out of 5 stars

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

1 Comment

Filed under Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance, Reading Challenges, Reading Nook Blog Posts

Book Review: ‘The Golden Braid’ by Melanie Dickerson

The Golden Braid

Title: The Golden Braid

Published: 17th December 2015

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Author: Melanie Dickerson

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MelanieDickersonBooks

Twitter: @melanieauthor

Synopsis:

The one who needs rescuing isn’t always the one in the tower. Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mother might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry. Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again-this time, to the large city of Hagenheim. The journey proves treacherous, and after being rescued by a knight-Sir Gerek-Rapunzel in turn rescues him farther down the road. As a result, Sir Gerek agrees to repay his debt to Rapunzel by teaching her to read. Could there be more to this knight than his arrogance and desire to marry for riches and position? As Rapunzel acclimates to life in a new city, she uncovers a mystery that will forever change her life. In this Rapunzel story unlike any other, a world of secrets and treachery is about to be revealed after seventeen years of lies. How will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? And who will prove faithful to a lowly peasant girl with no one to turn to?

“The Golden Braid is a delightful, page-turning retelling of the story of Rapunzel. Dickerson brings this familiar fairy tale to life with a fresh and unique plot that is full of complex characters, a sweet romance, and danger at every turn. Rapunzel’s search to understand her place in the medieval world is a timeless identity struggle that modern readers will relate to. Her growing courage and faith are inspirational and will have readers cheering her on and sad to see the story come to an end.” -Jody Hedlund, bestselling author of An Uncertain Choice

Review:

Well who doesn’t love the story of Rapunzel! ‘Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair’. I know I do and this is a great re-telling. Loved it from the start and didn’t want it to end. You can go in knowing the basics but it’s the authors’ own style of writing and storytelling that brings it alive and keeps you reading.

Rapunzel and her ‘mother’ are moving away yet again due to her getting more attention than her mother would like – a marriage proposal would do that. Rapunzel’s mother wants to get her away so she is out of danger from men but little does she know that by moving her she would start a chain reaction of greater changes and danger to come. On the way to a new town two robbers set upon Rapunzel and her mother. In the midst of the struggle Rapunzel prays for an angel with his flaming sword to help them. Her prayers are answered in the form of Gerek, a knight of the realm, when he hears her cry. From the moment she meets him nothing will ever be the same again.

After hearing a women’s cry for help Gerek charges in to save the day. After catching one of the robbers and assisting the women in the aftermath of the attack he insists that he guard them for the rest of their journey. As a knight it is what would be expected of him, but he can’t believe that he has come across anyone to be as ungrateful as the young maidens mother. He insists that the young maiden, whose beautiful eyes he is trying not to notice, lie down to rest in the cart that they have now acquired from the robbers as she took quite a bump to the head when she was pushed down. He thinks that he will be able to keep them safe and keep an eye on his captive while they continue their journey to Hagenheim. A thunderstorm and a hare manage to change Gerek’s plans though when he is thrown from his horse. Not only does he end up breaking his arm and leg when his horse falls on him, but if it wasn’t for Rapunzel’s good aim with throwing a knife he may have lost his life as well as the robber was moments from taking it.

From being the one coming to the rescue it now seems that Gerek is in need of some assistance himself. As he fears he may not last all the way to Hagenheim he insists that they all seek shelter with the monks along the way. Once there Gerek thinks that this will be the last time that he sees the women he rescued. Little does he know that one of his friends, a monk, has offered him up as a tutor for Rapunzel as he will be laid up for weeks while waiting for his bones to heal. The only thing that Rapunzel has continually asked her mother for is the chance to find someone who would teach her to read. If only her mother had found her someone sooner then Rapunzel wouldn’t have gone to extreme measures to make it happen. At first Rapunzel thinks that she will be taught to read by one of the monks so she is surprised, and a little nervous, when she finds out that she will actually be taught by Gerek, who has captured her mind from the moment she met him.

The more time they spend together, the more they learn, you can see the walls start to come down for both of them. Rapunzel has always been taught by her mother to be wary of men and stay away at all costs as they will only cause her heartache but she feels safe with Gerek and closer to him than she would have thought in such a short time. Gerek on the other hand has come from a troubled past and the fear he has of turning into his father has made him view the idea of marriage as nothing more than a contract to get the wealthiest bride. One sure way to show his brother that he has made something of himself. Love doesn’t come into it. Rapunzel knows that if, or more importantly when, her mother finds out she will be mad but she doesn’t count on exactly how far her mother is willing to go. Gerek’s outlook on life and love change from the moment he meets Rapunzel. With the troubles that follow to stay safe they find that they need to stay close to each other. In the end they save each other’s lives in more ways than one.

As you know the story you are waiting for the big reveal and how everything will play out. You are also waiting for when Gerek will wake up and realise that Rapunzel is the perfect woman for him and if he doesn’t claim her for his own then he will regret it forever. The pace of the story is just right and you are just happy to be along for the ride. The characters are complex and intriguing and I loved this fresh twist on a classic fairytale. Even though this one can be read as standalone I was excited to find out that this book is part of a series and that they are all medieval fairytales re-told. I do love medieval stories so I will definitely be checking out the rest of them.

bookbookbookbookbook

5 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC fro my BookLookBloggers for my honest review.

Leave a comment

Filed under Historical Romance, Reading Nook Blog Posts

Book Review: ‘Caroline and the Duke’ by Sabrina Darby

Caroline and the Duke Pic

Title: Caroline and the Duke: A Regency Short Story

Published: 9th December 2013

Author: Sabrina Darby

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SabrinaDarbyRomance

Twitter: @sabrinadarby

Synopsis:

A Widow Determined to be Merry

At the urging of her best friend, Caroline, Lady Ballister, seeks a lover with no emotional attachments. After all, experience has taught her that love is a fickle, pointless thing.

A Duke Determined to Marry

Sutbridge has wanted Caroline for ten years and, now that she is once again free, is determined to make her his wife. But will he settle for her body, or wage a war for the most important treasure of all: her heart?

Review:

Short but sweet historical romance. After reading a long book this is just what I needed to chill out to.

Caroline is almost thirty and widowed so is deemed to have more freedom in how she now acts. Her friend has said to her that she needs to start to live for herself, as she is now free to do so. Her idea is that she get herself a lover and the person that comes to mind is Julia’s brother John – the Duke of Sutbridge. Now her friend doesn’t come right out and say this but rather cokes Caroline into suggesting the idea herself. She has decided that she will never marry again but after a bit of prodding from her friend she coincides to saying that she would only marry again if it were to a wealthy Duke. Julia then just happens to remind her that her brother is a wealthy Duke. Julia has known about Caroline’s feelings for her brother from her first season and now some ten years later she knows they have no more gone away than her brothers for her have so is only too happy to intervene when things don’t go quite as she had hoped.

Sutbridge wanted Caroline from the moment he saw her but at only twenty when they met it wasn’t seen as important for a gentleman to marry straight away as it was for a lady. This wasn’t going to stop him though and he had every intention on asking, its just her family had other ideas and married her off to someone else before he had a chance. Now fate – or rather his sister – has seen to put her in his path again and this time he is playing for keeps. He just has to convince her that a passionate affair is not what he is looking for and if she is really honest with herself neither is she.

A nice short read to unwind to in an evening. I do love historical romance books and this one was a fun fast read. Not that steamy but you had a feeling that it could get there if the story continued. Julia was a fun interesting character and I think it would be good to see what her story really is from all the little titbits that get mentioned.

bookbookbook

3 out of 5 stars

Leave a comment

Filed under Historical Romance, Reading Nook Blog Posts