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review 2017-11-20 20:05
A fun and light read recommended to lovers of fairy tales and Scottish-themed adventures
Enchanted by the Highlander (A Highland Fairytale) - Lecia Cornwall

Thanks to NetGalley and to St. Martin’s Press/Swerve, for providing me with an ARC copy of this novel that I freely chose to review.

I love fairy tales. Although probably Beauty and the Beast is my favourite, I have a soft spot for most classics. I also love the Scottish Highlands (I’ve visited two or three times but I hope I will visit again in the future). When I saw this book, which combined a retelling of Cinderella with a setting in the Highlands, I could not resist (I also liked the cover).

This is book 4 in A Highland Fairytale series, but it can be read as a standalone (I haven’t read any of the other books in the series). The story is told in the third person from different characters points of view, but there is no head-hopping and the changes in perspective are clearly marked. The novel is set in the XVII century and tells the story of is Gillian, a young girl daughter of Donal, the laird of the MacLeod’s clan, quiet and shy, whose father and sisters think will never get married (although she is very pretty but too quiet to make herself noticed). Quiet waters and all that, because Gillian has dreams and wants to marry for love. While visiting one of the sisters, she meets an Englishman who is Captain of her brother-in-law’s men, John Erly, and although he has no fortune to his name and a terrible reputation, she discovers there is more to him than people think and falls in love with him. At a masquerade ball, they kiss (he is not wearing much of a disguise but he does not know who she is) and she loses her mask. Despite the effect she has on him, nothing happens and she goes back home. A few months later she is engaged to get married to an old nobleman (older than her father) as her family is convinced she wants a quiet life and an old husband is just the ticket for her. Somehow, John ends up escorting her to Edinburgh with a full complement of Highlanders… And the rest, well, you’ll need to read the book to know.

I don’t want to rehash the plot or reveal any spoilers. As this is a romance and a fairy tale, you can imagine how things end up from the beginning, but the beauty is in the details. Gilliam is far from the wilting violet everybody mistakes her for, and John isn’t the rogue others think either. They go through many adventures, including being assaulted by outlaws, a wedding that is ruined, numerous suitors, fights and perils, a competition to obtain Gillian’s hand in marriage, secrets, confessions, and plenty of Highland traditions, expressions, songs, whisky, and a fair amount of fun (and romance). Of course, it is a fairy tale, so it does require a deal of suspension of disbelief, but both main characters are likeable, and most of the secondary characters are great too (even if we don’t get to know them as well, they provide light relief and liven up the action).

The retelling of Cinderella is limited to the mask and the ball, as the circumstances of the character are quite different (she is beloved by her family even if they don’t understand her true feelings) and what happens later bears no resemblance to the story, but is an enjoyable romp. There is plenty of action and humour, there is violence, there are also scary moments, and a couple of erotic scenes (they are quite mild but I would have enjoyed the book more without them as I’m not a big fan. Especially the first one felt particularly unrealistic, and I know I’m talking about a sex scene in a fairy tale, but for me, it did stretch credibility more than the rest of the book). The writing is in keeping with the story, easy and fairly dynamic, at times reminding me of the serials of old, like the Perils of Pauline, where there is a never-ending amount of trouble waiting for the heroine (who luckily is pretty resourceful).

A fun and light read recommended to lovers of fairy tales and Scottish-themed stories, who enjoy adventures galore and don’t mind some violence and a bit of sex.

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review 2017-06-26 12:54
Review: The Highland Duke by Amy Jarecki
The Highland Duke (Lords of the Highlands) - Amy Jarecki

The book opens with healer Akira finding the badly injured Geordie on the battlefield. Unwilling to provide his name because he’s a Duke who just rode against Queen Anne’s army, Geordie is smitten with the wisp-of-a-girl who is like an angel. Due to the determined redcoats hunting him, Geordie must take Akira with him as he escapes. Soon the pair is running for their lives, yet neither is willing to walk away.


The Highland Duke held a lot of promise, and by the conclusion, I was satisfied with the story. However, a slow and rocky start almost made this book a DNF for me. In the end, I enjoyed the pairing of Akira and Geordie, but it took a long time for me to get on board with their romance.


Akira is a young, innocent, poor girl with Romany heritage. This makes her and her family shunned. Yet she remains hopeful and helpful despite those who treat her poorly. She’s a solid character, yet her naivety creates a huge unbalance when matched with the powerful Duke of Gordon. 


Geordie is weathered and rough. He’s lived a full life, having divorced, fought, etc. He’s easy around the ladies and just comes off so much older than Akira (he is ten years her senior). She’s SOOOO young and naive. She’s a virgin and never been around any man in an intimate capacity. Not even hugged by her father, as he was never in the picture. It was difficult for me to get into their story, for rather than sexual tension and sparks, I saw an “old man” who is lying to a young girl that he lusts after.


Another concern I had was that Geordie uses his position as an injured soldier to "tease" Akira. But to me it is sexual harassment as he uses his knowledge and power to put her into compromising positions; ones that Akira feel are improper behaviors. It's not cute or fun, to me it's destructive because she is so innocent.


It really isn’t until after 50% mark that the book started working for me. Once Akira started standing up for herself and exerting confidence, she becomes her own person—one strong enough to stand up to and match Geordie. While I continued to struggle with her naivety, which was too much for my tastes, she finally becomes a worthy heroine.


In the end, I enjoyed the historical references and lovely Scottish Highland scenery that is the base for The Highland Duke. And despite the difficulties I had with the first half of the story, I found the action and romance of the second half of the book an enjoyable read.


My Rating:  C+ Liked It, but I had issues

Review copy provided by publisher

Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About

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review 2017-06-26 08:05
Book Review For: 'Rogue of the Highlands' by Cynthia Breeding
Rogue of the Highlands - Cynthia Breeding
Rogue of the Highlands (Rogue, #1)Rogue of the Highlands by Cynthia Breeding
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 Stars
'Rogue of the Highlands' by Cynthia Breeding is book One in the "Rogue"series. This is the story of Lady Jillian Newburn and Ian MacLeod .
This book was first published in 2012 and is now being released again.
Jillian has suffered harshly from the men in her life. From her father who 'sold' her to a husband that abused her physically and mentally. Now Jillian is a widow who is trying to raise enough money to buy back the family house and have enough for her sister to have a coming out.
To do so she has been offered a job to instruct Ian on how to be a Gentlemen.
Ian is a Scots man and is only excepting the English Title to help his Clansman with the money the lands and such will bring. Ian was reluctant to except this English Ladies help until he sees her. Ian finds her captivating and hes never had issues with women before. Ian is used to ladies throwing themselves at him. But Jillian has a lot of rules that she is trying to enforce on him but he has his way of getting to her.
I enjoy Ms. Breeding writing and was glad to see this being released again.
"My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."

View all my reviews


Source: www.amazon.com/Rogue-Highlands-Cynthia-Breeding-ebook/dp/B071ZZMY5C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498412353&sr=8-1&keywords=Rogue+of+the+Highlands+Cynthia+Breeding
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review 2017-04-23 22:32
The Forbidden Highlands
The Forbidden Highlands - Kathryn Le Veque,Eliza Knight,Terri Brisbin,Amy Jarecki,Collette Cameron,Emma Prince,Victoria Vane,Violetta Rand

Title: The Forbidden Highlands
Authors: Kathryn Le Veque, Eliza Knight, Terri Brisbin, Amy Jarecki, Collette Cameron, Emma Prince, Victoria Vane & Violetta Rand
Publisher: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc.
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five

"The Forbidden Highlands" by: Kathryn Le Veque, Eliza Knight, Terri Brisbin, Amy Jarecki, Collette Cameron, Emma Prince, Victoria Vane & Violetta Rand

Featuring: The Forbidden Highlands..'The Maiden of Moray' .by Author Victoria Vane

My Thoughts...

This is a beautiful medieval Scotland story that is portrait in 'The Maiden Of Moray.' The beautiful
details that are presented in the story is so well done giving you the feeling this you are there in the midst of it all. The story features Alexander has been chosen as a tutor for the Domnall. Since Alexander is now getting to see the world before taking his vows what will happen when see sees Lady Sybilla? What does she have in mind for him since she has never been kissed? Will Alexander began to question whether taking his vows would be the best for him especially when 'secrets that have been long hidden from him' began to come out. Will all of this alter what is out there for him? Be ready for some very complex characters with some backstories that will keep the reader interested in what will come next. Well, to find out how this story will come out I guess the reader will have to pick up the next series to see what will happen between Sybilla and Alexander.

Along with "The Maiden of Moray" the reader will get quite a collection of a total eight short entertaining romantic novellas all dealing with 'Forbidden Love.' Each of the stories are well written with 'their unique style to capture the reader's heart' and will definitely hold ones attention to the very end and will have you wanting to get the next story.



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review 2017-04-07 21:53
Hero in the Highlands: A No Ordinary Hero Novel - Suzanne Enoch

Major Gabriel Forrester loved battle. Gabriel was suppose to be on the hill this morning watching with Wellington and his commanders. But Gabriel had not answered general wellington and forged into battle. Then Gabriel is called to general wellington and told he needs to go as he is now the Duke of Lattimer. Gabriel is now on his estates with his aide - de-camp who has been in Gabriel’s company for eight years and he practically knows Gabriel’s thoughts. Gabriel had inherited his lands and title from a distant uncle. Fiona is the Lattimer's Stewart and has been since her brother disappeared. Fiona's main focus is seeing that her people are looked after. Fiona's cause was making her job a little difficult.Fiona knows Gabriel doesn’t plan on staying. Fiona is attracted to Gabriel and Gabriel is  fascinated with her and determined to have her in his bed. Fiona is no virgin and has had lovers even the Gatekeeper of the estate. But someone seems to be stealing the sheep from the estate.  Fiona wants Gabriel to leave his own estate for she hates all things English and Gabriel is English.

I didn't care for this story. First I would have liked more background on gabriel. I didn’t like or really connect with Fiona as I felt she was bratty and immature and it was Gabriel’s estate not hers whether he was English or not and she had no right to want him to leave who did she think she was? She wasn’t doing that good of a job if sheep were being stolen at least as far as I am concerned. This definitely didn’t WOW me in any way. I also didn’t feel the chemistry between Gabriel and Fiona. I don’t even know why Gabriel was even attracted to her and really she was a floozie as far as I am concerned.  Also there was too much going on.

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