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review 2013-12-30 00:23
REVIEW: Somewhere to Dream by Genevieve Graham
Somewhere to Dream - Genevieve Graham

A young women is taken in by the Cherokee with her sister, after a terrible tragedy. A young man is captured by the Cherokee and embraced as the soul of one of their lost warriors. Can two people with painful pasts find peace in a new way of life?

Review Courtesy of Romance Junkies and reposted at TBR Mountain Range, with a photo taken by me.

This is the third book in THE MACDONNELLS trilogy. I did not read the first two books, so my review may be completely different from someone who knows the back-story. We meet Adelaide, called Shadow Girl by the Cherokee, who tells her story for several chapters before we meet Jesse Black, a captive. This book mixes early American history with the paranormal in the form of visions.

Adelaide and her sister Maggie were abducted and abused by five men. The Cherokee attacked the men, killed them and took the two sisters to their tribe's village where they comforted them and healed their physical wounds. Healing their memories and their hearts is more difficult. The tribe grandmother helps the sisters with their gift as seers. Maggie readily accepts her gift of visions, while Adelaide has fought them since the beginning.

In a previous book, Maggie met her love and married, so Adelaide elects to stay with the tribe, letting her sister leave to be with her husband and his family. Adelaide is trying to be less afraid and work with her Cherokee grandmother on accepting her visions, but her past has been locked away out of fear. She knows a great white warrior is coming to the tribe before anyone else and keeps this knowledge to herself, afraid to let her vision go further because of mistakes she's made previously when misinterpreting her visions.

Jesse Black is captured by the Cherokee and all he can think about is how to escape. Jesse is curious about Adelaide from the first moment he sees her. He can't help but wonder why a blonde, young woman is with the Cherokee and acts as if she belongs with them. Jesse needs Adelaide as a translator but she is so shy and skittish that he can't stop wondering who hurt her. Jesse expects to be killed but Adelaide explains that the warrior who captured him thinks that Jesse has a fallen warrior's soul and has adopted him as his brother.

SOMEWHERE TO DREAM follows the developing love between two people with very painful pasts. Will their love help them overcome their fears and learn to love each other beyond what's in their history?

The beginning of the book is a bit choppy because we don't get to see everything while Adelaide represses her past out of fear. I'm guessing that I would have understood it better by reading the other books. Eventually, all is revealed so this book can be read as a standalone, but would probably be enjoyed more if read in order as a trilogy.

Adelaide and Jesse both give an interesting perspective in regards to the Cherokee customs and how they react to them, accept them or are appalled by them. Parts of the story depict the violence of the times in raw detail. Also, Adelaide eventually describes what happened to her and her family so if violence against men or women is something that disturbs you, you might want to avoid this book. It's realistic and it's all for valid reasons, giving insight into the characters' past, but it might be overwhelming to a sensitive reader.

I enjoyed the Cherokee characters as much as I enjoyed Adelaide and Jesse. Even one particular Cherokee troublemaker, who has a grudge against Jesse, becomes an excellent part of the story. We also get to know some of the whites in town, as well as have a couple visits with Maggie, so those who have read the previous books will enjoy a catch-up with the characters.

I enjoyed Adelaide and Jesse's interactions with the tribe grandmother the most. She's a wizened old woman who sees into their connection more than they see for themselves. Jesse was very angry at first so he acted out in ways that made me dislike him. Adelaide always showed a reserved front that was likeable, even when she experienced the most fear. Jesse does redeem himself later as he matures into a strong warrior and as a safe haven for Adelaide.

The tribe life really intrigued me and it was the part that I enjoyed the most. The Cherokee friendships were well-drawn and believable. I could sense the urgency of this couple's future and how their relationship might heal them both. There are some really heartbreaking moments that make this book hard to describe, as well as hard to rate. I enjoyed the relationships but the main characters faced so much violence in their past and present that I wasn't ready to let go by the end. I guess I needed a “vision” of more of their future. A book four about one of the Cherokee, perhaps?

SOMEWHERE TO DREAM will satisfy those who enjoy an American historical journey with a paranormal twist.

More reviews by Dorine and contests at TBR Mountain Range.

Source: romancejunkiesreviews.com/artman/publish/historical/Somewhere_to_Dream.shtml
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review 2013-11-04 02:01
REVIEW: Taming a Wild Scot by Rowan Keats
Taming a Wild Scot - Rowan Keats

Escaping from prison with Black Warrior Niall's help, healer Ana must face evil personified before her happy-ever-after is within reach.  Engaging, similar to the Knights of the Round Table of Arthurian legend or Robin Hood's merry men, TAMING A WILD SCOT is filled with quests.

Review Courtesy of Romance Junkies and reposted at TBR Mountain Range.

Healer Ana Bisset finds herself in a hopeless situation when accused of witchcraft.  Left without food or water for days, deep in a hole in the dungeon of Lochurkie Castle, it could be just a matter of hours before her death.  When the guards take all the lanterns and she's left in the dark to wonder why she is facing death, Ana hears voices and can't stop herself from calling out to them.

Niall MacCurran, a Black Warrior, still feels guilty about leaving the woman he rescued from the Lochurkie dungeon to fend for herself in the woods near the castle.  It was necessary in order to save his brother from the very same dungeon.  They lost their land, Dunstoras, over the framed attempt and consequent imprisonment of his brother and they are determined to get their home back at whatever cost.  Although Niall saved Ana against his better judgment, that's all he could do when speed was of an essence to save his brother.  When Niall recognizes Ana at a market in another town, he knows she will help him get access to the manor he seeks, even though he didn't actually save her completely.

Making it publicly known that he is her long lost husband, Niall leaves Ana with no choice but to bring him to her home while going along with his ruse.  He knows that she was accused of poisoning the earl she tended at Lochurkie and that no one in this town suspects that, yet, so he uses that knowledge to convince her to help him.  Will she return the favor of her life saved in exchange for helping Niall get the evidence he needs to retrieve their land before the king gives it to someone else?  Or will Ana once again face death for helping someone other than herself?

Ana won my enthusiasm for her moral fiber right from the beginning.  Left in an incomprehensible position to fight for her life, I'm still unsure how she survived what she faced after being held prisoner.  And that's not all she will endure, either, so she becomes a heroine even more worthy of respect as her story progresses.  Niall, on the other hand, didn't score many points with me when he left Ana for the guards' dogs to chase down after he helped her escape from prison.  He did rescue her, but he didn't take it far enough for me to have complete trust in his intentions.  Many times throughout the book I doubted that he could love Ana in the way she deserved.  Niall won my heart in the end, but I think I expected him to work a lot harder at winning Ana while proving that he deserved her love.  She was that great of a heroine, while Niall needed some improvement in regards to his unrealistic expectations.  I wanted to smack him a few times but eventually Niall proved his worthiness to my satisfaction.

There are several intriguing secondary characters who hinted at what may happen in future books, as well as one particular unexpected villain who was beyond creepy in his zealousness.  Prejudice and fear of the unknown run high in this story, which made me root for the characters' success even more.  There are parts of the story that left me quite anxious to see the resolution, so although I enjoyed this story for its simplicity in many ways, those complications heightened my interest even more.  I'm hoping to see Ana develop some friendships that she can trust in future books because she's a character who has experienced enough tragedy for one lifetime.

TAMING A WILD SCOT features an engaging adventure for a healer and her brave Scottish warrior aided by the Scot's merry men and challenged by villains you'll love to despise.  This first book in the CLAIMED BY THE HIGHLANDER series is predominately historical in flavor, taking place in Scotland in the year of 1285, but it does have a few paranormal elements, primarily magic, that give it a fantasy flare.  With its plot's tendency toward adventure, especially the way the book ended, making the reader hope for more interaction with the secondary characters, I feel that this series could easily appeal to historical as well as fantasy readers.  I know I'm looking forward to what happens next with this band of warriors and the ladies they love.  Reminiscent of the Knights of the Round Table of Arthurian legend or Robin Hood's daring, the CLAIMED BY THE HIGHLANDER series is off to a promising start.

More reviews by Dorine and contests at TBR Mountain Range.

Source: romancejunkiesreviews.com/artman/publish/historical/Taming_a_Wild_Scot.shtml
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