Memory Lane (2016) My choice of Book of the Year ~ it absolutely traps you, beats you down with tragedy and still the human spirit endures. Review: IN THE DREAMING HOUR by Kathryn Le Veque

via My choice of Book of the Year ~ it absolutely traps you, beats you down with tragedy and still the human spirit endures. Review: IN THE DREAMING HOUR by Kathryn Le Veque

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Mary Morgan’s holiday release: TO WEAVE A HIGHLAND TAPESTRY! Discover her glorious series!

Traveling in Mary Morgan’s world is not for the weak of heart. It’s for the dreamer in us, the one who reaches for the unbelievable just to find reality within her grasp.

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Title: To Weave a Highland Tapestry a tale of the Dragon Knights
Author: Mary Morgan
Genre: Historical Romance/Time Travel/Fantasy
Pages: 196
Published by: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Published Date: December 9, 2019

Publisher’s Summary:

Patrick MacFhearguis, hardened by battles won and lost, desires what he can never have—peace within his heart and soul. Yet, the ever-meddling Fae weave a new journey for him to conquer—a task this Highlander is determined to resist.

When skilled weaver, Gwen Hywel, is commissioned to create a tapestry for the MacFhearguis clan she embraces the assignment. While seeking out ideas, she finds herself clutching the one thread that can alter the tapestry of her heart and life.

A man conflicted by past deeds. A woman with no family of her own. Is it possible for love to unravel an ancient past in order to claim two badly scarred hearts? Or will the light of hope be doused forever?

My Review:

There are so many reasons why Mary Morgan’s work speaks to me.

Morgan’s world-building is phenomenal. She has tied two exhilarating series (Order of the Dragon Knight’s and Legends of the Fenian Warriors) together letting me revisit characters that are dear to me. – Beam me there Scotty!

She combines my favorite genre into some really classy writing! Time travel, medieval historical settings, and a fantasy world of Fae. It’s entertaining, imaginative, and credible.

The characters have their flaws, merits and secrets! Some are bold, daring to break rules, others are confused and scared. She has a delightful cast of emotions and conflicts which will either anger or endear. She knows what buttons to push to totally, 100% engage me!She ties family, love and passion into the mix. What is not to like about all that?

Styling and pacing unfold the story naturally, while leaving threads of unanswered questions to gnaw at my curiosity!

Traveling in Mary Morgan’s world is not for the weak of heart. It’s for the dreamer in us, the one who reaches for the unbelievable just to find reality within her grasp.

Her series are the kind where a reader gladly rereads the story and the series, many times over. Very worth it to listen on Audible, too.

You will be charmed with To Weave a Highland Tapestry. This story is somewhat pivotal providing the reader hints of what challenges face the world, spanning time.

A little about the story:

Gwen Hywel is a woman a bit out of step with her present life. She loves medieval history and tapestry weaving. When she has the opportunity to create a mural for the MacFhearguis, she jumps at the opportunity. The MacFheargius are not the ordinary family. They are time travelers themselves, coming from the past. (their story is in her earlier series)

One day as she’s trying to decide what to weave, circumstances send her whirling into the past. Can she cope with her new world? Can she return to her own time? What about her promise to make the tapestry?

Posted in Book Reviews, Fantasy, Fantasy Romance, Highland Romance, Highland Stories, Historical Romance, Medieval Romance, New Book Release, Romance, Time Travel | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Meara Platt releases her 14th book in WICKED EARLS’ CLUB — Earl of Kinross

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Title: Earl of Kinross Wicked Earls’ Club Book 14
Author: Meara Platt
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency
Pages: 117
Publication Date: October 8, 2019
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC


Publisher’s Summary:

Marcus Brayden, Earl of Kinross, thought fighting Napoleon on the battlefield was dangerous. But it is nothing to the upheaval caused by Lara Le Brecque, his best friend’s sister, when she climbs over his townhouse wall shortly before Christmas and attempts to sneak into his London home. Lara ought to be on the marriage mart, enjoying her London season and the holiday festivities, but when she confides the Le Brecque family problems to him, he knows he must do all he can to help…even if it means marrying Lara.

Lara Le Brecque is facing another difficult Christmas with her family in disgrace and under threat of losing all their holdings. Lara has no one else to turn to but Marcus Brayden, who has just returned home from the Napoleonic War and been awarded the Scottish earldom of Kinross for his heroism in battle. With her father under house arrest and suspected of treason, and her brother condemned as a pirate and a murderer, she must expose the villain behind this plot to destroy her family and needs Marcus to help her bring this culprit to justice. Marcus has told her to hide in his rooms at the Wicked Earls’ Club if ever she is in danger, but as she finds herself falling in love with Marcus, she realizes the greatest danger of all is to her heart.

My Thoughts:

A quick, yet engaging story with humorous moments of a woman left to fend for herself. Her brother’s good friend comes to the rescue when her life is close to hitting rock bottom. But is that what she wants?

Lara Le Brecque is a character easy to love (just a tad bit wicked!) She didn’t let her gender detour her from trying to solve her problems. She’s a character who uses humor to get through rough times. But watch out for her temper! You will love her boldly innovative means of ‘getting the job done!”

Lord Kinross, her childhood playmate has grown to be quite the hero. With Lara’s morning call by climbing over a wall to his townhouse and the hilarious scene of finding Marcus in dishabille, we discover even though this is a light moment between the two, she has big problems. The first scene had me captivated from its first paragraphs.

Her brother, Hugh, once the Visount Brixham is running as a fugitive, while her father, Earl of Stratton, is under house arrest. All these challenges throw up so many questions needing to be answered.

Marcus clinches my interest in the story when he says he’ll marry Lara if he can’t clear her father and brother’s names. Subsequently Lara throw a plate of eggs across the room.

The story sparks laughter as Lara and Marcus spar on most points–great dialogue. It gets heated with Lara’s response to the man her playmate has become (very sensuous).

I hope you pick up the book. Meara Platt’s style is her own. I highly recommend her work.

Posted in Historical Romance, New Book Release, Regency Romance, Romance | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

JUST RELEASED How to Heal a Highland Heart by Julie Johnstone ~ an all-around great read!


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Title: How to Heal a Highland Heart Highland Vows: Entangled Hearts Book 9
Author: Julie Johnstone
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 228
Published by: Darbyshire Publishing LLC
Published Date: August 29, 2019
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Entangled Hearts Series:

When a Laird Loves a Lady
icked Highland Wishes
Christmas in the Scot’s Arms
When a Highlander Loses His Heart
How a Scot Surrenders to a Lady
When a Warrior Woos a Lass
When a Scot Gives His Heart
When a Highlander Weds a Hellion
How to Heal a Highland Heart

Published Summary:

Fate bound them together, but love will set them free.

With no chance of escape…

When Patience Kincaide learns she’s being forced to wed for a third time, she’s desperate to compel her husband-to-be to stay away from her. Both her previous husbands were shockingly cruel, and she holds no hope this time will be different, especially since the man is known as the Savage Slayer. Her plan is simple: pretend she’s crazy. But what happens when the man she thinks she wed turns out to be hiding behind a facade cleverer than her own, one that conceals passion she didn’t believe possible and tenderness she never dreamed existed? What’s a lass to do when the very man she successfully drove away is the only one she’s ever wanted near?

The best laid plans…

A second son relegated to life in the shadows, Highlander Brodee Blackswell left home to serve as the enforcer for the King of Scots, longing to one day govern his own lands and castle. And now that Brodee has become a legendary warrior, the king grants him exactly that. But even rewards have a price. The castle comes with a broken, albeit beautiful, lass he must wed. Yet for a man with no desire to marry, a woman lost in her own world might just be the best possible option. Except Brodee quickly discovers who Patience truly is, and the complicated, caring lass is awakening parts of himself he’d rather leave dead.

May be their undoing…

The potential of a dazzling future dangles just within reach for Brodee and Patience, but dangers they never conceived consume them, threatening their fragile, newfound trust. Their only hope of survival is to shed their meticulously crafted masks and relinquish the pain of the past to embrace the promise of healing, enduring love.

*If you love romantic, page-turning books set in the mysterious, rugged Medieval Highlands that are about honorable, alpha Scottish warriors and the brave heroines who capture their hearts, then this is the perfect novel for you!*

Secrets, seduction, and romance sizzle in the Highlander Vows: Entangled Hearts novels from USA Today bestselling author Julie Johnstone. 

My Review:

Both hero and heroine carry baggage as most relationship do. In this case, neither truly want to wed, but the command of the king and Brodee Blackswell’s need to have a keep of his own, a dream which normally doesn’t happen when a male is not first born, is most powerful.

Patience wants to avoid marriage because she’d been in two other marriages where neither were bliss. Why would she put herself into a position to be ridiculed and abused again?

But marry they must and marry they do. Brodee is a gentleman and tries to give his bride some space to get use to the idea. Hence a marriage in contract, but easily dissolved if not consummated.

Danger lurks close at hand and forces are ready to prevent a true marriage. The author writes the story in a style where the reader knows who the antagonist is, but Patience and Brodee do not. On the contrary, she thinks this individual a friend. Brodee at first suspects evil everywhere because he’s taken over the keep, killing the previous laird and has his hands full.

The story has enough danger to give it a good edge. Of course, as I got more attached to Patience, I was ready to kick Brodee in the head!

Hope you enjoy the story as much as I did!

Posted in Action/Adventure, Book Reviews, Highland Romance, Highland Stories, Historical Romance, Medieval Romance, New Book Release, Romance | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Blog Tour: HOW TO LOVE A DUKE IN TEN DAYS by Kerrigan Byrne released August 27, 2019


These men are dark, bold, and brave. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees…

Famed and brilliant, Lady Alexandra Lane has always known how to look out for herself. But nobody would ever expect that she has darkness in her past—one that she pays a blackmailer to keep buried. Now, with her family nearing bankruptcy, Alexandra strikes upon a solution: Get married to one of the empire’s most wealthy eligible bachelors. Even if he does have the reputation of a devil.


Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is seeking revenge and the first step is securing a bride. Winning a lady’s hand is not so easy, however, for a man known as the Terror of Torcliff. Then, Alexandra enters his life like a bolt of lightning.

When she proposes marriage, Piers knows that, like him, trouble haunts her footsteps. But her gentleness, sharp wit, independent nature, and incredible beauty awakens every fierce desire within him. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe in his arms.


Chapter One

Maynemouth, Devonshire, 1890 Ten years later

Accept the invitation to Castle Redmayne. I’m in danger. I need you.

Alexandra Lane had spent the entire train ride from London to Devonshire meticulously pondering those fourteen words for two separate reasons.

The first, she had been unable to stop fretting for Francesca, who tended to give more than the appropriate amount of context. The terse, vague note Alexandra now held was more of a warning than the message contained therein.

The second, she could no longer afford a first-class, private railcar, and had, for the last several tense hours, been forced to share her vestibule face-to-face with a rough-featured, stocky man with shoulders made for labor.


He’d attempted polite conversation at first, which she’d rebuffed with equal civility by feigning interest in her correspondence. By now, however, they were both painfully aware she needn’t take four stops to read two letters.

It was terribly rude, she knew. Her carpetbag remained clutched in her fist the entire time, except when her hand would wander into its depths to palm the tiny pistol she always carried. The sounds of the other passengers in ad- joining vestibules didn’t make her feel safer, per se.

But she knew they would hear her scream, and that provided some relief.

For a woman who’d spent a great deal of the last ten years in the company of men, she’d thought these painful moments would have relented by now.

Alas, she’d become a mistress of manipulating a situation so, even if she had to endure the company of men without a female companion, there would be more than one man. In the circles she tended to frequent, people behaved when in company.

It had worked thus far.

Alexandra braced herself against the slowing of the train, breathing a silent prayer of relief that they’d finally arrived. She’d been terrified that if she’d glanced up once, she’d be forced into conversation with her unwanted companion.

Rain wept against the coach window, and the shadows of the tears painted macabre little serpents on the conflicting documents in her hands. One, a wedding invitation. The other, Francesca’s alarming note.

A month past, she’d have wagered her entire inheritance against Francesca Cavendish’s being the first of the Red Rogues to capitulate to the bonds of matrimony.

A month past, she’d assumed she’d had an inheritance to wager.

Their little society had seemed destined to live up to the promise they’d once made as young, disenchanted girls to never marry.

Until the invitation to an engagement masquerade— given by the Duke of Redmayne—had arrived the same day of her friend’s cryptic and startling note.

The invitation had been equally as ambiguous, stating that the future duchess of Redmayne would be unveiled, as it were, at the ball. Included in Alexandra’s particular envelope was a request for her to attend as a bridesmaid.

The subsequent plea for help from Francesca—Frank— had arrived in a tiny envelope with the Red Rogue seal they’d commissioned some years prior.

Alexandra hadn’t even known Francesca had returned from her romps about the Continent. Last she’d heard, the countess had been in Morocco, doing reconnaissance of some sort. Nothing in her letters had mentioned a suitor. Not a serious one, in any case. Certainly not a duke.

Francesca had a talent for mischief and a tendency to interpret danger as mere adventure.

So, what could possibly frighten her fearless friend?

Marriage, obviously, Alexandra thought with a smirk.

A risky venture, to be sure.

From How to Love a Duke in Ten Days. Copyright © 2019 by Kerrigan Byrne and reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Paperbacks.

Buy-book link:

I am reading this book right now and can’t seem to turn the pages fast enough!  Watch for my review in the next couple of days.


Author Bio:

Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, USA Today bestseller Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast. Her Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.


Posted in Action/Adventure, Highland Romance, Highland Stories, Historical Romance, New Book Release, New Book Release Tour, Romance, Romantic Suspense | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Is Jack Shadow Stirling’s Days of Plunder Over? Review: SEDUCED BY THE PIRATE by Maggi Andersen

Seduced by the Pirate: Pirates of Britannia Connected World

Title: Seduced by the Pirate Pirates of Britannia Connected World
Author: Maggi Andersen
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 143
Published by: DragonMedia Publishing, Inc., 1 edition
Publication Date: June 25, 2019

Publisher’s Summary:

When a hardened pirate meets a proper English rose…

A bitter man, pirate Jack Shadow Stirling cares for little but his ship and his crew. But disaster strikes the Golden Orion; driven leagues off course in a storm, his men begin dropping like flies from typhus. Forced to anchor in a bay on the West Africa coast to see to his men and mend damage to the hull, Jack and three of his crew go in search of fresh water and meat to shore up their dwindling supplies. What he finds surprises him – an English lady, whom he likens to a rare orchid, is treating the sick from a nearby village, while her botanist brother, Alexander Bromley, searches for specimens.

Startled by pirates invading her small camp, Lydia Bromley snatches up her pistol and aims it at the tall, dark-haired, handsome devil who leads them. Unfazed, he grins at her and warns her that should she shoot him with a muff pistol, she would fail to kill him. But he would be annoyed.

Thus begins Lydia’s journey, discovering the love and romance she’d thought denied her… with a pirate!


My Review:

I love to read something where the good guy isn’t all that he should be, slightly tainted and doesn’t measure up, while the bad guy impressively steps up to the plate and wows me. Such is the case when comparing Alexander Bromley, brother and protector of his sister, Lydia, and Jack Sterling, captain of a pirate ship.

It’s also fun to watch a hardened pirate basically melt at a woman’s feet. Lydia has been much the shadow for her brother, a botanist in a place he should never be and who’s been there for two years! She doesn’t have any wiles, outwardly make of stern stuff. Jack’s interest is sparked, but dare not do his usual grab and take.  This time his heart is held captive. He wants her. Such a gentleman! Who would have thought!

Circumstances show the reader the passionate and understanding woman Lydia is and destiny gives her a way out, albeit a very wet one! Destiny also provides Jack with some very valuable information. And hope.

Author Andersen kept me on the edge of my chair, thoroughly watching the antics between Jack and Lydia. Dialogue sets the tone between these two, with subtle undertones of I-wish-it-were-different.

If you are reader of the Pirates of Britannia Connected World, you’ll find Andersen’s contribution to this Dragonmedia Publishing series equally as exciting as the others.


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Released last week: THE DUKE IS BUT A DREAM by Anna Bennett


Title: The Duke is But a Dream A Debutante Diaries Novel, Book 2
Author: Anna Bennett
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency
Pages: 317
Published by: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Published Date: July 30, 2019
Sold by: Macmillan


Publisher’s Summary:

She’s a secret sensation.
Miss Lily Hartley is the anonymous mastermind behind the ton’s latest obsession: The Debutante’s Revenge, a tell-all advice column for young ladies. To keep her identity hidden, Lily delivers her columns disguised as a boy—which is well and good, until she lands in the middle of tavern brawl. As luck would have it, a devastatingly handsome duke sweeps in to rescue her.

He has no idea who she is.
Eric Nash, Duke of Stonebridge, discovers there’s a beautiful woman hiding beneath a lad’s cap, and, before long, he’s falling for the delightfully clever stranger recuperating in his house. He vows to help her find her home, even though he’s reluctant to part with her. There’s only one problem…

Neither does she.
Lily has no idea who she is. She could be a duchess or maid. Betrothed or married. There’s only one thing she does know—that her attraction to Nash is more than skin-deep, and it grows stronger every day. While Lily and Nash search to find her true identity, they just might lose their hearts to each other…


My Thoughts:  5-Star Review

The storyline is very unique. Lily Hartley, a young woman with the knowledge of her sister and friend, is the writer of The Debutante’s Revenge, a rather risqué advisory column in the newspaper. Amusingly, Lily has never been in love, but she can imagine how it should make a young woman feel. She imagines her dream man, then advises women to seek him out by his qualities and how he makes her feel. The column is highly read and appreciated among young ladies and is totally frowned upon by the stronger sex and mothers.

With her family away for a couple of weeks, she decides to take several weeks of column over to the Hearsay newspaper office and do something fun to enjoy her freedom. As usual she’s disguised as a delivery boy; on her way home she happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. But once I’ve said that, perhaps she was in the right place at a very right time! She was caught up in a pub brawl and suffered a very hard blow to the head. The kind of blow which creates amnesia and needs immediate attention. In walks hero Eric Nash.

Once Eric Nash, Duke of Stonebridge, realizes a young boy knocked to the floor and unconscious was a she and not a he, and feeling responsible for getting him/her injured, scoops her off the floor and takes her home before anyone could identify her.

Nash wasn’t much into parties, he’d just come back into London after being away for many years. He realized it wasn’t fair to Delilah, his sister. She needed to see society, go to balls and think about marrying. Nash’s problem was he couldn’t let go of his protective streak which grew stronger after his father and twin died.

His visit to the pub that night only adds to his worries. He brings a young woman into his household without a chaperon. And apparently, a name. He couldn’t let anyone know she was there for fear of her reputation. He wasn’t sure if she hailed from the ton or working class.

When Lily wakes she’s confused. She remembers nothing of her life, let alone the pub brawl. I’ve got to give the girl credit. She sure has pluck!

One thing Lily did know. She is attracted to Nash. In this void, a friendship and trust forms between the two, and something deeper begins to emerge. You will definitely be caught up in this sweet romance! Delilah and Lily get along splendidly. As Lily is relearning who she is, Nash is swept into her vibrant personality.

Author Anna Bennett creates a fun situation, ensuring the reader lots of smiles and chuckles. This is a sweet story, a page-turner riddled with mirth. Nash learns to love without fear and possessiveness, Delilah learns the meaning of real love the hard way, and Lily finds her prince charming. You, dear reader, will have hours of entertainment.

Posted in Action/Adventure, Book Reviews, Historical Romance, New Book Release, Regency Romance, Romance | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Just Released! FORBIDDEN ALLIANCE by Diana Cosby


Title: Forbidden Alliance The Forbidden Series, Book 4
Author: Diana Cosby
Genre: Historical Romance, Scottish
Story Setting: Scotland, 1308
Pages: 215
Published by: Lyrica Press
Published Date: August 6, 2019

The Forbidden Series:
Forbidden Vow
Forbidden Knight
Forbidden Legacy
Forbidden Alliance

Publisher’s Summary:

Bound by revenge, a woman turned outlaw and a knight sworn to reclaim his birthright band together to vanquish an enemy of Scotland …

After her family is slain and her home seized, Elspet McReynolds flees into the forests surrounding Tiran Castle, where she resorts to thievery to survive and save her sole remaining kin. There she finds an unexpected protector and ally in Sir Cailin MacHugh, rightful heir to the earldom of Dalkirk–a noble rumored to have perished at sea . . .

Sir Cailin owes his life to the Brotherhood for saving him from a murderous plot. But what is the Knight Templar to do about the fearless, sword-wielding beauty who has enlisted his aid–and awakened his desire? In the face of devastating betrayals and traitorous enemies closing in, can Cailin and Elspet dare claim a love that makes no promises–for a future they may not live to see?

My Thoughts:

This is a story of two evenly matched people, both fighting for what they believe is right when destiny decides their paths to cross.

Elspet seeks to free her brother from the Earl of Dalkirk. The earl is a wicked man and will not stop to get all he wants, yes, even his earldom. Elspet lost her mother and father by his hands. Desperate and naïve she trusts a guard of Tiran Castle to help her free her brother. Her problem? She hasn’t coin to pay him. She turns thief.

Elspet doesn’t have luck stealing. Her first forage ends very close to rape. Her second she pulls off, but has a change of heart. That change of heart changes her life.

Sir Cailin, still very much a Templar Knight, even after the knighthood was dissovled, seeks his birthright, to regain his claim as the Earl of Dalkirk. His uncle has taken the title after killing Cailin’s mother and father and got of Cailin.

He meets a fiery lassie with an agenda of her own. His Templar instincts kick in — to protect her when he finds her fending off some men.  Elspet doesn’t need to be protected as much as he thinks. She’s quite the warrior. Keeping her out of his bed, however, becomes increasingly difficult as they work together, she to achieve her goal to save her brother and he to regain Tiernan castle.

Author Diana Cosby wields her pen as deftly as Sir Cailin does his sword. She interlaces a historical setting of danger with tender, blossoming love.  Her characters and their challenges drive the power of the telling. Scenes of love making don’t get in the way of the story, rather they contribute to the understanding that flows between Sir Cailin and Elspet. Cosby’s choice of words describing the feelings between the two was poetic.

I loved the read with its fast-paced and meaningful dialogue, its boldly descriptive scenes, and its characters, each with difficult and very believable inner conflicts, pulling at my heart strings.

Posted in Action/Adventure, Book Reviews, Highland Romance, Highland Stories, Historical Romance, Medieval Romance, New Book Release | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Newly Released: Cynthia Wright’s RETURN OF THE LOST BRIDE book two in Brides of Skye Series

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Title: Return of the Lost Bride Brides of Skye, Book 2
Author: Cynthia Wright
Genre: Historical Romance, Scottish
Story Setting: Scotland, 1539;
Pages: 296
Published by: Boxwood Manor
Published Date: July 19, 2019


Brides of Skye Series:
Abducted at the Altar
Return of the Lost Bride

Publisher’s Summary:


Darkly handsome Ciaran MacLeod revels in his life as a Highland warrior. By day, he trains with his comrades at Duntulm Castle on the far cliffs of the Isle of Skye, and by night he takes his pick of smitten lasses.

However, Ciaran harbors a family secret that makes him deeply suspicious of love. He’s grateful he doesn’t have to worry about taking a wife, for the castle is efficiently run by Violette, a plain young Frenchwoman who hides under a dowdy gable hood and reveals nothing of her own past.


Violette Pasquiére fled to Scotland to escape a predatory stepfather. On the remote Isle of Skye, she feels safe, tending to the strong Clan MacLeod men who would be lost without her care. The potent attraction Violette feels for Ciaran MacLeod is just one more secret she keeps.

But a threat to Duntulm Castle changes everything, and Ciaran’s elders’ pressure him to make a marriage alliance that will benefit the clan. Rebelling against their efforts to control him, Ciaran impulsively proposes to Violette instead, setting in motion a passionate series of events that shake not only their future, but challenge their carefully guarded hearts…

My Review:

It was easy for me to attach myself to Violette Pasquiere. We met her briefly in book one of the series. She appears docile, withdrawn and extremely efficient in running the household for the MacLeod men. Fear makes her appear that way and fear keeps her thus.

Her French ancestry, and her beauty are hard to conceal, however much she tries. She is a strikingly beautiful woman who conceals her golden tresses under an ugly headdress. Why is she hiding? If her stepfather were to discover her whereabouts, he may come seeking her and Violette would rather die than do what he intends for her. She is betrothed to an odious man, one her stepfather chooses, as odious as he himself is. Her younger life, living in the household of her stepfather left deep scars. She fears she’s marked for life.

When the MacLeod clan leaders are requested to appear before the King in Edinburgh, she is obliged to go with them.

Ciaran is a sensitive man and has enjoyed having Violette part of the family during the last year, even though she is only the housekeeper. He decided she should join them in Edinburgh, thinking to give her a good time, being she is cultured and well-spoken. He thought she would be most comfortable as nurse to his grandfather. Her life story in France somehow doesn’t ring true, making him even more inquisitive about her.

Although Violette’s keeps Ciaran distant, she is charmed by his flirtatious ways and sweet disposition. She dare not let it go beyond affection. This, too, she keeps secret. But as things work out, it would have been better had she stayed in Skye and not gone to Edinburgh. Her disguise as Alastair Crotach’s nurse didn’t hide her beauty nor who she used to be.

Violette is discovered by her betrothed in Edinburgh. Her worst fears come back to haunt her. She panics.  What to do?

Ciaran takes spotlight in Edinburgh when the MacRae clan see an opportunity to merge the families by marrying Judith MacRae to Ciaran. Ciaran panics.  What to do?

The story evolves from this crucial point, with some laughable moments as I anticipte in any book penned by Cynthia Wright.

Magnus, Ciaran’s father is an interesting character, as is his father.  I appreciate how much time the author takes to mold and flesh out these men, flaws and all. Both of them add more dimension to the story.

  • This is a story where past trauma squeezes the possibility of future happiness.
  • It’s a story where the ways of tradition are not necessarily the wise road.
  • It’s a story of stepping up to the challenge and taking it head on.
  • It’s a story where friendship matters, and trust is gained.
  • It’s a story you won’t want to miss!
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Releases Next Week: THE SMUGGLER’S ESCAPE by Barbara Monajem ~ A Regency of humor to entertain and charm!

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Title: The Smuggler’s Escape
Author: Barbara Monajem
Genre: Regency Romance
Story Setting: Sussex, 1794
Pages: 269
Published by: Soul Mate Publishing
Published Date: July 24, 2019

Publisher’s Summary:
After escaping the guillotine in her native France, aristocrat Noelle de Vallon takes refuge with her aunt in Sussex. Feisty, resourceful, and determined to make her own way, she takes over the local smuggling operations, doubling their profits. But when their plans are betrayed, a man from her past steps out of the shadows to save her. Too bad he’s the last man on earth she ever wanted to see again.

Years ago, Richard, Lord Boltwood’s, plan to marry Noelle was foiled when his ruthless father shipped him to the Continent to work in espionage. But with the old man at death’s door, Richard returns to England with one final mission: to catch a spy. And Noelle is the prime suspect.

Noelle is determined to finish the smuggling run and escape back to France. She needs Richard’s help to do it, but how can she ever trust the man who abandoned her? And how can Richard catch the real culprit while protecting the woman who stole his heart and won’t forgive him for breaking hers?

My Review:

Mademoiselle de Vallon, more commonly know has Noelle, has a kind and compassionate heart. Unfortunately, she is also naïve and fiery-tempered. Her traits add lots of charm to this story. Her need to help her fellow townsmen leads her to smuggling, mind you, to make sure the otherwise law-abiding folk have food on the dinner table. She is rather good at directing events and has already amassed money for herself – enough she hopes to be able to leave her aunt and uncle and venture out on her own, someday.

She has been informed by her ex-betroth’s father, Lord Boltwood, she is in imminent danger to being arrested as a spy. Those were close to his last words before he passed away. With this knowledge and the recent harassing of the excisemen, and almost disaster of the town folk caught, she is rethinking her destination. Perhaps living on the continent would be an alternative, far away from the fear of being caught.

A government official, Richard Boltwood, her nemesis, does come knocking, playing two roles. He’s investigating Mademoiselle de Vallon for the Home Office and the same time following up on his promise of betrothal. As with lots of what author Monajem writes, you find yourself chortling along with the situations the characters find themselves.

Richard Boltwood, having just lost his father, is now back as the new lord. He gallantly steps in to rescue Noelle. The dialogue between characters is superb. Lord Boltwood is all about control. Noelle is fiery-tempered and acts the hellion. The good news? Both have not lost the passionate feeling smoldering for two years and five months, awaiting their reunion. Can Noelle trust him with her heart?

Not only did I enjoy the humorous situation, the characters personalities and their dialogue, I appreciated being privy to some truly amusing inner thoughts. This is a fun light-hearted Regency certainly worth the read!

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