Review of Newly Released: GARDEN OF SHADOWS by Meara Platt

33026943Title: Garden of Shadows Dark Gardens Series, book 1
Authors: Meara Platt
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency, Paranormal, Fantasy
Story Setting: Village of Borrowdale, London, Eastbourne Estates
Pages: 259
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc.; 1 edition
Published Date: December 6, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B01MXK1BEO

 

Publisher’s Summary: Danger lurks for Julia Marsden, the daughter of the late vicar of St. Lodore’s Church in the quiet village of Borrowdale.

Julia doesn’t believe in faeries or magic or dreams coming true, but odd things have been happening at the vicarage lately that cannot be explained. Her orphaned cousin, Charlie, believes in mythical creatures and claims that faeries now inhabit the vicarage’s bluebell garden. The boy also claims the faerie king, Cadeyrn, has promised to make him a prince in his kingdom and teach crippled Charlie to walk again if he will cross into the Fae realm.

As the faerie king’s influence on the boy grows stronger, another threat emerges from the boy’s uncle – Douglas Hawke, the Earl of Eastbourne, who has come to wrench him from Julia’s guardianship. Julia is determined to fight both men, but as she and the boy begin to fall under the spell of the faerie king, Julia realizes that only her love for Douglas can save them. But is Douglas capable of loving her, even at the cost of his own life

My Thoughts: It’s always enjoyable when Regency reads pair themselves with another genre.  In this case, the author delights her audience in the small village of Borrowdale, where the king of the Fae makes his court in the bluebell garden of Julia Marsden, unseen by all except, Charlie. Charlie is so engrossed in the king’s court, he draws, in great detail, what he sees.  Charlie isn’t an ordinary boy.  He has been unable to walk and move about since he was four.  The bluebell flowers bloom all year round, easily explained as fed by a warm underground spring. But is that explanation true?

When Douglas Hawke shows up at the cottage, Julia is angry.  She knows he wants to take Charlie from her. Douglas is confused.  Julia doesn’t appear to be anything but a sweet, kind soul who obviously loves Charlie very much.  Strange incidences begin happening.  The Fae king shows himself in obvious ways.  He manipulates Douglas’s feelings.  Julia begins feeling trapped.  But my whom?  Is it Douglas, whom she is attracted to, even though she doesn’t trust him, or is it the strange events that are occurring around her? One thing for certain, she won’t let the earl have Charlie.  She will protect him with her life.

Douglas Hawke, sixth Earl of Eastbourne has secrets and appears his facts aren’t in order.  Julia has secrets and is very critical of the Eastbourne family as we learn why throughout the story. Will all these secrets prevent them from saving themselves and Charlie?  Is love enough when trust is lacking? Will the powers of the faerie realm destroy them all?

 

Ms. Platt writes a tight read–pacing, action and dire circumstances with very few clues about how this story will resolve itself—keep you reading and questioning a world both beautiful and cruel.  The ARC of the read brings Julia, Douglas, Charlie and the faerie king in a showdown you won’t want to miss!

If you like your romances with an HEA, this one has it, however, enough threads are dangling, you won’t be satisfied until you read the rest of the series. I know I won’t!

 

 

 

Posted in Fantasy, Fantasy Romance, New Book Release, Paranormal Romance, Regency Romance, Romance | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Wonderful tale by Amy Jarecki, perfect for the holiday season and book 3 of a perfectly delightful series: THE TIME TRAVELER’S CHRISTMAS

31361641Title: The Time Traveler’s Christmas A Guardian of Scotland Novel, Book 3
Author: Amy Jarecki
Genre: Historical Romance, Time Travel
Story Setting:  Present day, The Scottish Borders, November, 1314
Pages: 322
Published by: Rapture Books
Published Date: August 26, 2016
ISBN-10: 1942442238
ISBN-13: 978-1942442233

 Guardian of Scotland Series:
Rise of the Legend
In the Kingdom’s Name

The Time Traveler’s Christmas

 

Publisher’s Summary:

man’s life can fall apart in an instant…

Tougher than oxhide, Lachlan Wallace can take about anything except a breakup call from his wife two minutes before competing in the Karate Championship of the World.Arriving home with a loss, he agrees to watch his uncle’s cat over the holidays. Or so he thinks–until he awakes on a fourteenth century battlefield beside a woman fighting for her life.

Never underestimate a woman’s determination…

Taken from her at the age of two, Lady Christina de Moray hasn’t seen her son in thirteen years. While traveling with Robert the Bruce’s army to exchange an English prisoner for the lad, a battle erupts. Losing the fight, Christina is rescued by a mysterious warrior while the English escape with her son yet again.

And never bet against the potency of passion…

Left with no way back to the twenty-first century, Lachlan agrees to help Christina rescue the lad from his English captors. If the heir is not returned by Christmas next, the Bruce will make his decision whom to grant the de Moray lands, including Lady Christina’s hand. Once his duty is fulfilled, Lachlan hopes to discover a way home–as long as he keeps his mind on the goal and ignores his growing love for the spirited woman who gives him her trust–and her heart

 

My Thoughts:  I can never get away from one of Amy Jarecki’s stories without ending up crying buckets.  She knows how to tell a story, making all impossible so very possible, you can’t not be but pulled into one of her stories without truly leaving something with you.

If you are able to read the first two books of this series, it will make this one centered around Christmas time even more stunning. So, for those of you are interested in a great Christmas read, make sure to partake of this one.

This heart-string pulling, sometimes humorous tale is fast-paced with main characters who have pasts that have devastated them. Lachlan Wallace is such a strong centerpiece to this story – his talents are many, but he comes to the 14th century not believing in himself because his wife announces she’s divorcing him and takes a few stabs at his manhood.  One thing you must keep in mind, Lachlan is not only a modern man, but his father is from the 14th century.  It sounds crazy, but believe me, the author will have you flipping those pages so fast, nothing is more important than knowing how it all turns out.

Christine has spent some 13 years being held by the English and just recently as been released.  Her son was taken from her when he was two.  Again, the English are the culprits.

Andrew, Christine’s son is a mess.  Lachlan is able to kidnap him from the English, but received a nice cut on the chest from Andrew.  The boy wanted to stay in England.  He is promised to be a knight. He no longer sounds Scottish, or thinks of himself a Scot.  Brainwashed by the English, he doesn’t accept his mother—it’s breaking her heart.  But Lachlan knows a lot about kids and his studies prove invaluable when dealing with Andrew on many levels.

I enjoy the notes the author leaves us.  She sticks very close to historical events, breathing living color into the relic pages of history.  Thank you, Amy Jarecki, for letting me tag along to Scotland with you at Christmas, in this memorable tale. A Merry Christmas to you, too!

Posted in Highland Romance, Highland Stories, Historical Romance, Paranormal, Time Travel | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Beauty in its purest form of innocence and love found in a new world of Victoria Zak’s making: BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS, Daughters of Highland Darkness, Book 1, her newest release

beautiful-darknessTitle: Beautiful Darkness Daughters of Highland Darkness, Book 1
Author: Victoria Zak
Genre: Historical Romance, Scottish, Vampires
Pages: 141
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc., 1 edition
Publication Date: November 29, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B01M3YBQCJ

About the Story: Step into the sexy world of the Fae Vampire sisters from the Scottish Highlands….

The Highlands are full of magic and fae trickery. Adaira, Leana, and Masie Keith know this all too well. Destined to change their fate, but unprepared for the truth, their journey begins as the sisters grow accustomed to their dark sides—forever beautiful—forever blood drinkers—forever Baobhan sith.

Accused of murdering their laird’s son, Masie and her sisters flee their home.

Masie is immediately conflicted, especially after she’s captured by Clan Gunn and falls in love with the laird’s brother. Her true identity must remain a secret. For if she tells her Highlander who and what she really is, she could be burned as a witch. And Masie would never endanger her beloved sisters.

The last thing Commander Kerr Gunn saw in his future was falling in love with a lass from Clan Keith, his greatest enemy. The moment he laid eyes on her, he was under her spell. With the woman he loves wanted for murder, will he surrender Masie to her clan to stand trial or protect her with his sword and fierce heart?

My Thoughts:  The cover of the book simply captivated me.  Yes, Victoria Zak, take me there—where innocence is stark against the evil these sisters are destined to endure– to the dark side of the Scottish Highlands and let me experience the darker side of mythology.  Not having read one of author Zak’s books, I didn’t know what to expect. I scrambled to find my bearings, to understand this new world of sharp contrasts and was sucked in.   

The love of three sisters, Adaira, Leana and Masie, binds this story together.  Their purity of heart and innocence shone through with their need to save their mother from their father. One evening wishing for a change in their fate, following their heart, and the magic of the night, they were tricked. The girls were taken back to the evil fae queen, learning who they were and what they must endure.  For 10 long years, they bided their time –the moment to escape the winter fae queen. But did they escape from the pot only to fall into the fire?

Kerr Gunn, the man Masie is drawn to, has a rough edge about him.  He has fought the Keith clan so long, he actually enjoys the killing, a pleasure to give the fatal twist of the dagger. There is a lot of Kerr Gunn we don’t know, as well as his brother who is his laird.  Is there a story here we’ll learn later?  Does he match Maisie more in blood than we are aware? This intrigues me.

Masie is caught in the vigor and pure maleness of Kerr.  Chemically, they sizzle.  Kerr, pulls away from this attraction – he must protect his clan. He wonders if she is spy.  What secrets is she going to share with her own clan?  Masie knows she should not spend time with the Gunn brothers.  She and her sisters must keep their secrets.  Their very lives would be in peril if found out.

Not all secrets are revealed, some the reader knows, some are hidden from others.  I enjoy this type of writing, giving me the opportunity to be a participant, where others know what I do not and I know what others don’t.  I see Ms. Zak has found the soft underbelly of evil. Masie is so pure in her love of Kerr, her unwillingness and pain to withhold information from him is not something she wants.  But will her love for him have her make rash decisions?

I was slightly discontent with the ending of the story.  While I was worried about Ina returning with the counter spell to her previous magic, Kerr and  Masie were snuggling in bed trying to get some sleep. I wouldn’t be thinking about sleep if I had some poison in my body.   Perhaps, I misread intentions here?

This being said, I must say it is my intention to continue the series.

Posted in Highland Romance, Highland Stories, Historical Romance, New Book Release, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Romance | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Let It Snow Audiobook Giveaway!

I’ve listened to all three audios, and ladies, you must put your name in for this giveaway. They were all beautiful stories, narrated impeccably!

LET IT SNOW AUDIOBOOK GIVEAWAY

So many awesome authors have joined together to give away lots of FREE Audiobooks! Now through December 15th. Just look for the hashtag #snowaudio on Facebook and/or Twitter to see how you can win!

let-it-snow-audio-www

I’m giving away FREE 2 copies each of Laiden’s Daughter, Findley’s Lass, and Wee William’s Woman from my Clan MacDougall Series. It’s easy to enter and you have lots of chances.

  1. Leave a comment here AND/OR
  2. Go to Facebookor Twitter and look for the hashtag #snowaudio and follow directions there. 

It’s super easy! 

I’m giving away FREE copies of Laiden’s Daughter, Findley’s Lass, and Wee William’s Woman from my Clan MacDougall Series. It’s easy to enter and you have lots of chances to win lots of different audio books!snowaudio-contestld

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Join Mary Morgan at Yule Tide, Scotland 1207, quick stop in 2016 with A MAGICAL HIGHLAND SOLSTICE

Title: A Magical Highland Solstice
Author: Mary Morgan
Genre: Historical Romance
Story Setting: Castle Creag, 1207,
Pages: 145
Published by: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Published Date: December 2, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B01LYR7LJ3

 

Order of the Dragon Knight’s Series — click to order from Amazon:

Dragon Knight’s Sword
Dragon Knight’s Medallion
Dragon Knight’s Axe
Dragon Knight’s Shield
Dragon Knight’s Ring 

5-stars

About the Story: Laird Cormac Murray has witnessed how love destroyed his own father after the death of his mother, and he vows to never take a wife. Yet, when he comes upon a bewildered lass traveling alone, he finds his heart will no longer listen to his mind. In the end, Cormac risks everything to claim the love of a woman not of his time.

Eve Brannigan loves helping others and baking. After winning a contest, she is stunned to learn that the Clan Murray has requested her assistance to cater to their guests during the holiday season. When a lost path in Scotland leads her to a handsome but gruff Highlander, Eve fights the temptation to allow love to enter her heart for the first time.

Can the Fae and the magic of the Yule season bring together two souls who have forsaken love? Or will tragedies from the past separate the lovers forever?

magical-highland-solsticeMy Thoughts:  I just love starting one of Mary Morgan’s stories.  Curling up into a chair, I’m prepared to love her hero and heroine and get a booster shot of time travel.  I hated to let this series go when I finished Dragon Knight’s Ring.   But she thrust me in the midst of a kitchen battle, and again I was enjoying the best of Mary Morgan!

From the cover to the last page, this novella had all the components of why I delight in her stories. 

Let the festivities begin for the Yule Tide!

Where and when?  Scotland, 1207. 

The delightful tone of this novella is set by Ranald and Bran, lads who’ve turned the kitchens topsy-turvy.  Cormac Murray, laird of Creag Castle is facing dire circumstances.  Cook and assistant have been injured and must be moved from kitchen duties.  But what about preparation for Yule Tide?  Duly punished by the laird, we learn the kind of man he is – firm with the lads—they take their punishment.

Cormac pinched the bridge of this nose to word off the impending pain creeping in behind his eyes. “Enough!” he roared. “I can tell by your arguing in front of me—your laird—that neither of ye has any remorse from this mishap.”

Both lads immediately went quiet and bowed their heads.

“’Tis shameful!”

Both nodded silently in agreement.

“Ye should not be allowed to step foot inside the castle. Mayhap I shall banish ye to the stables for the rest of the month.”

“And miss the Yule feasting?” both protested in unison.

Cormac crossed his arms over his chest, glaring at them. In his heart, he would never banish anyone to  the cold, foremost a child, but he would not let the lads ken this yet. “Pray tell, what would ye have me do? Surely, ye dinnae believe ye can be forgiven so easily?”

Ranald narrowed his eyes in thought, and Bran started to tap his foot, which told Cormac they were fully prepared to come to some sort of deal.

Bran raised his hand. “If I may be allowed to speak my laird?”

“Granted,” stated Cormac.

The lad stole a glance at Ranald. “First, we will clean both kitchens. From hearth and stone.” He paused and scratched at his chin.

“Continue.”

“Then we will see to the kitchen duties and tend to Moira.”

Ranald gave Bran a scathing look.

“Do ye deem it wise to be in the verra place that would tempt ye to snatch foot?” Cormac held up his hand when the lad started to utter a protest. “I agree to the first part of your terms. But for the second, ye will clean all muck from every place inside and outside the castle. From the stables, to the urinal pots. Since ye have mentioned Yule, this is a time of preparation and we need all hands to help.” Watching as their races grimaced and then went to wretched horror, he fought the smile forming on his own face. “Are we in agreement?”

“Aye,” muttered Bran.

“Are ye saying we have to do this for one day, or for the entire month?” asked Ranald.

The truth revealed itself with the lad’s question. Cormac knew him to be the leader in this devious plan. “For as long as I deem necessary. What say ye?”

“Aye,” both mumbled in unison.

“Off with ye.”

Cormac watched their slow retreat from the Great Hall. Placing both his hands on the table, he whispered, “What am I going to do now?” with no cook, he would have to rely on one of the young lasses.

 

While the Fae guardians were busy setting the scene in 1207, in preparation for their chosen, Eve Brannigan, she had her own set of circumstances.  She had entered a baking contest at The Blushing Rose Bakery. Her prize was $5,000.  She sure could use the money, but her friend, who also entered the contest, needed it more.  With this scene, Eve, shows her compassion, understanding and loyalty of a good friend. The guardians set her up for a trip to Scotland, to work in the kitchens of Castle Creag, in preparation for the Yule.  Eve was delighted.  She’d always wanted to visit Scotland. Fae do what they do so verra well—make things happen to give love a chance.  Once off the flight her trip poses difficulties.  From one snow bank to another, Eve’s life changes.  She expects changes, after all she was in Scotland.  But these people were taking things a wee bit too far, living in medieval times!  Cormac happens upon Eve.  If Eve is confused, so, too, is Cormac.  What sort of lass did he find?  And why out here alone in the brush? Feisty thing, she was.

If you haven’t read any of Mary Morgan’s work, Christmas time is a great time to start.  Although this story is connected to the above referenced series, you needn’t read them in order.  Maybe Mary will write Melinda (Eve’s best friend) into a continuation of this series.  That would be totally awesome! If I were you, I’d get out there and purchase book one, or ask for the set as a Christmas gift.  You will fall in love with this writer!

5bbb5c_7d4699be9425491d990b9ffcb699ad47.jpg_srz_346_488_75_22_0.50_1.20_0I am a constant daydreamer and have been told quite often to remove my head from the clouds. Yet, this is where I find the magic to write my stories. Not only do I love to weave a good tale, but I have a voracious appetite for reading. I worked for Borders Books for almost fourteen years. Imagine my delight to be surrounded by so many books, talking to others about them, and getting paid.

 Pure bliss!

 I have traveled to England, Scotland, Ireland, and France. There are those who know me well when I say, “My heart is in the Highlands.” I believe I have left it there or maybe in Ireland.

When not writing, I enjoy playing in my garden–another place where magic grows. Of course, there is time spent with my family. They are the ones that keep me grounded.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Fantasy, Fantasy Romance, Highland Romance, Highland Stories, Historical Romance, Medieval Romance, New Book Release, Time Travel | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Review of UPON A MIDNIGHT DREAM, one novella from the collection UNDER THE KISSING BOUGH ~ novellas where the lore of mistletoe plays its part

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Title: Upon a Midnight Dream, a novella from UNDER THE KISSING BOUGH COLLECTION
Author: Kathryn Le Veque
Pages: 1460
Story Setting: 1194
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc.
Published Date: November 22, 2016}
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B01LZM4A8B

 

About the Bundle: 15 brand-new novellas. 15 best-selling romance authors. A holiday-themed collection like no other.  According to lore, the origins of which date to the late 12th century, no lady should refuse a kiss beneath the mistletoe, else she will not marry in the next year. In exchange for the kiss, a berry is removed from the sprig until all of the berries are gone and no more kisses can be stolen. Some also believe that a sprig of mistletoe collected from a local church and placed beneath a maiden’s pillow will inspire dreams of her future husband.

What happens when fifteen daring heroines pin their hopes on mistletoe, a little luck, and a kiss in this multi-genre, limited-edition holiday collection from 15 bestselling authors? Pure holiday magic!

This set includes USA TODAY bestselling and National bestselling authors Sandy Blair, Suzanne Ferrell, Kathryn Le Veque, Jeanne Adams, Anna Campbell, Tina De Salvo, Barbara Devlin, Joan Kayse, Catherine Kean, Anna Markland, Hildie McQueen, Meara Platt, Elizabeth Rose, Jordan K. Rose, and Lana Williams.

My Thoughts: I wanted to get this review out after just reading one of the 14 novellas.  This really is a nice Christmas read including authors I’ve read and others I haven’t.  It’s a pleasure to get a bundle like this, all new novellas for $0.99 — 1,460 pages of entertainment.

I read Kathryn Le Veque’s story first.

During this time of year in 1194, life isn’t easy for those who have not.  The story begins with a knight huddled in the corner of Derby’s Cathedral, exhausted. His name, Sir Rennington of Ashbourne.  We learn the importance of mistletoe and its berries from two sisters who are desperate to have their sister married off.  Their father says they must wait until Holly marries.

“Look at this!” the woman whispered. “Will this work?”

The other woman nodded. “It has berries on it, she said. “It is not too big. It should work very well, indeed.”

…The first woman nodded. “Then we will put the sprig beneath her pillow so that she will dream of her husband,” she said, making clear the plan.  “Once she dreams of him, it will make her more open to the idea of marriage. Of course, she will want to marry if she dreams of her future husband.”

The second woman shook her head. “Or she will dream of her dead love and it will ruin everything,” she said, annoyed. “It is his ghost that stands between her and marrying another. Holly has everything; she is Father’s heiress and she shall inherit his estate when he dies. Father is having a big feast tomorrow in celebration of her day of birth and everyone in the county will be there. She will have men admiring her and people bestowing great presents upon her. How on earth can she be so unhappy with her life?”

The knight still hidden in the shadows feels here is an opportunity for him.  The following day at the gathering he would trap an heiress.  I didn’t much like this knight.  After all where was his honor, yet when he met Holly is was very kind with her.

In getting to know her, he sees she is quite the catch.  She has an internal beauty and purity of soul.  Will this knight’s honor ever kick in?  Holly is attracted to the knight as well.  Are we headed toward a catastrophic marriage? Or will fate step in, directing events?

I enjoyed the story, the unusual beginning with a knight definitely not up to Le Veque standards. Would he be able to redeem himself?

 

************************

AKathryn Le Veque 1bout the Author: USA TODAY Bestselling Author
Amazon All-Star Author
#1 multi-published Bestselling Amazon Author
#1 ranked English Medieval Romance Author on Amazon

“Le Veque writes… winning epics….” — Publisher’s Weekly

“Kathryn Le Veque is a force of nature. Her stories are epic, with timeless themes and heroes to die for.” –Tanya Anne Crosby, New York Times Bestselling Author

“The epic Medieval Romance is back – thanks to Kathryn Le Veque!” — Claire Delacroix, NYT Bestselling author

“This author… genius…!” — Ind’Tale Magazine

KATHRYN LE VEQUE is a USA TODAY Bestselling author, an Amazon All-Star author, and a #1 bestselling, award-winning, multi-published author in Medieval Historical Romance and Historical Fiction. She has been featured in the NEW YORK TIMES and on USA TODAY’s HEA blog. In March 2015, Kathryn was the featured cover story for the March issue of InD’Tale Magazine, the premier Indie author magazine. She is also quintuple nominee (a record!) for the prestigious RONE awards for 2016.

Kathryn’s Medieval Romance novels have been called ‘detailed’, ‘highly romantic’, and ‘character-rich’. She crafts great adventures of love, battles, passion, and romance in the High Middle Ages. More than that, she writes for both women AND men – an unusual crossover for a romance author – and Kathryn has many male readers who enjoy her stories because of the male perspective, the action, and the adventure.

On October 29, 2015, Amazon launched Kathryn’s Kindle Worlds Fan Fiction site WORLD OF DE WOLFE PACK. Please visit Kindle Worlds for Kathryn Le Veque’s World of de Wolfe Pack and find many action-packed adventures written by some of the top authors in their genre using Kathryn’s characters from the de Wolfe Pack series. As Kindle World’s FIRST Historical Romance fan fiction world, Kathryn Le Veque’s World of de Wolfe Pack will contain all of the great story-telling you have come to expect.

Kathryn loves to hear from her readers. Please find Kathryn on Facebook at Kathryn Le Veque, Author, or join her on Twitter @kathrynleveque, and don’t forget to visit her website at www.kathrynleveque.com.

Posted in Historical Romance, New Book Release, Romance | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Releases in days! CAMPBELL’S REDEMPTION by Sharon Cullen ~ her tales are sensual, emotional and compelling

This series has been a favorite of mine. Campbell’s Redemption releases in a couple of days. Great reading with bold characters and dire events!

 

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Title: Campbell’s Redemption A Highland Pride Novel, Book 3
Author: Sharon Cullen
Genre: Historical Romance
Story Setting: 1746, border of Campbell and Sutherland land
Pages: 256
Published by: Loveswept
Published Date: November 22, 2016
Sold by: Random House LLC
ASIN: B01CBM44O2

A Highland Pride Novel Series:
Sutherland’s Secret
MacLean’s Passion
Campbell’s Redemption

 

About the Story:

In a tense, seductive novel from the USA Today bestselling author of Sutherland’s Secret (“[A] story of love, loyalty, and honor.”—Library Journal), a Highland chieftain and a beautiful young widow are reunited by deception and desire.

With Cait Campbell hiding Scottish fugitives from the British crown, who should arrive wearing his English-style coat but Iain Campbell, the traitorous clan leader and the man responsible for her husband’s death. Iain seeks a healer for his fallen kinsman, and out of a sense of duty Cait is obliged to help. Her uncanny ability to read people is powerless against his dark, impassive gaze, yet Iain is kind in a way that moves her.

In Cait’s company, Iain is overcome by painful memories of his best friend, her husband, who died protecting him. But grief shows weakness—a luxury he cannot permit, because Iain is playing a dangerous game with the British army. One small misstep and he could be branded a traitor or executed as a spy. But even with political tensions mounting to a fever pitch, Iain can’t get Cait out of his mind. What he doesn’t know is that Cait is playing a deep and deadly game of her own, and their love could put everything—even Scotland itself—in peril.

My Thoughts: I’m ever the fan of Sharon Cullen’s work. She weaves a story of passion, bravery and honor which usually reduces me to tears, at some point, as she did with this one.  The depth of emotion runs deep in her characters, drawing me into their plight.

Iain Campbell wasn’t a likeable character in the other two books of the series.  He always had a question mark with me about his motives.  He manages to ride the fence between the Scots and the English.  He has ulterior motives many don’t understand and others are quick to accuse him of being a traitor.  Here in Campbell’s Redemption, we get to know him, and learn there are those who respect him on both sides of the fence. But he isn’t sure if he respects himself.

Iain and Cait, along with John, Cait’s husband and Iain’s best friend, spent many hours enjoying each other’s company in the past.  So why the dislike now? Cait has the ragged memory of her husband dying to protect Iain.  She blames Iain.  And Iain blames himself, too.

One particular cast member I must make note of.  It’s Cait’s uncanny cat who knows someone is coming to her small cottage and will sit by the front door.  Her relationship with the cat tells me a lot about Cait. Since Cait loves the cat and wants it to remain with her, she dare not name it.  Black Cat it was. Your next question might be, well, why not?  Everything in Cait’s life she loved has been killed. So, if she doesn’t name it, it isn’t important and therefore won’t be taken from her.

Cait no longer trusts Iain. Even his presence torments her, for she loved John.  She doesn’t trust him.  As a healer, many people came to seek her aid, and on one fateful night Iain came with one of his clansmen, Adair.  In this evening, Cait is harboring Scots under the floor boards of her cottage, who are being hunted.

Adair was leaning forward, his arm protecting his middle. She could see from the blood staining his shirt that he’d been either short or stabbed.

She was reluctant to let these two into her home. It was well known that she was not a friend of the Campbell, and if he discovered the fugitives hiding under the floor, she would expose Sutherland’s secret underground movement to whisk the most wanted of Scotland’s fugitives out of the country, thereby putting her life in danger and ruining any chance of the fugitives escaping.

But what choice did she have? She was the local healer, and as such, her door was always open to those in need. It would seem churlish and raise suspicion to turn them away.

But dear Lord, why tonight? Why couldn’t Adair have gotten hurt tomorrow night, when her cottage would be empty?

She tries to get Iain to leave Adair with her.  It’s too risky having him around because of the fugitives.  But Iain is obstinate and will not leave, after all, this is his land. He sleeps in the barn and discovers the fugitives leave her cottage in the middle of the night.  He doesn’t confront her, but questions to himself why she should be putting herself in danger.  Now he won’t leave the area. Then comes the admiring redcoat. But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Here’s an excerpt very telling about how Cait and Iain affect each other.

He stood, the scraping of the chair loud in the silence. “I’ll chop some wood.” “As ye wish.” She said tightly. What he wished was that she would forgive him for John’s death. What he wished was that he could forgive himself for John’s death. What he wished would probably never happen.

What Cait wished was that Iain Campbell had picked a better place to chop wood. Did he purposely position himself right outside her window, halfway between the house and the barn? He’d found her ax, set up a wooden block, and carried a mound of sturdy logs to the block.

And then he’d taken off his shirt, and Cait had abandoned any pretext of baking.

He lifted the ax high above his head, ripping torso tensing, revealing a stomach laddered with well-defined muscles. Shoulders flexed as he swung the ax down, cleanly slicing the log in half. He bent over to toss the pieces to the growing pile of kindling and started all over. Cait’s gaze traveled over wide shoulders that tapered to a thin waist. His trousers hung loosely, clinging to his hip bone and revealing the dip of muscles that arrowed down to…

Cait is fighting her attraction to Iain.  Iain is fighting his attraction to Cait. Both are in way too deep in protecting their country.  Cait has the added danger of one of the redcoats, Sergeant Halloway, showing her favoritism.  Yes, the slope is very slippery for them both.

There is plenty of suspense and some scenes with tremendous danger, nail-biting time.  I don’t hesitate to recommend any of this author’s work, particularly if you enjoy a passionate love story with danger escalating at every turn, gripping all your senses.

5-stars

Sharon CullenAbout the Author:  After earning a degree in journalism from Ohio University Sharon found that the stories inside her head were more interesting than what was going on in the world around her. Yet, it wasn’t until years later that she decided to pursue her secret dream of writing a romance novel. Since then she’s been published in romantic suspense, paranormal romance and contemporary romance. The Notorious Lady Anne is her first historical romance.

Sharon’s other job descriptions include chauffer, laundress, cook and mediator to her three very busy kids, her husband and two dogs. She lives in southwest Ohio with her brood although her dream is to someday retire to St. Maarten and live on the beach.

If you’d like to find out more about Sharon and her books, you can visit her at her blog or her website. She’s addicted to social networking so you can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Friend her! Like her! Follow her! She’d love to hang out with you and talk about her passion—books

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