Category Archives: Historical Romance

Review: The Striker by Monica McCarty

The Striker
(Highland Guard, #10)
By: Monica McCarty
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: Nov. 24, 2015
Genre: Historical Romance

Six years ago, Eoin “Striker” MacLean endured the greatest betrayal of his life, a disaster that led Robert the Bruce to a crushing defeat and left Eoin without the spirited woman who ruled his heart. Eoin knew that falling in love with his sworn enemy’s daughter was risky, dividing him between a possessive desire for beautiful Margaret MacDowell and an undying loyalty to his king. He promised Bruce that he would keep his fiery bride in the dark about the elite Highland Guard, but he could not predict the dire consequences his secret would have on his young marriage. Nor could he foresee how surrendering to temptation could cripple Bruce’s cause, forcing Eoin to blame his wife—and himself for trusting her.

Now, as Bruce prepares to challenge the resistance’s remaining strongholds, Eoin finally has his chance for revenge against the woman he once loved so fiercely and her entire clan. But when ferociously independent Margaret reveals a surprise that unites her with Eoin, neither of them will let their love go down without a fight.


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Review: Highlander Redeemed by Laurin Wittig

highland redeemedHighlander Redeemed
(Guardians of the Targe, #3)
By: Laurin Wittig
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Published: May 12, 2015
Genre: Historical Romance


Scotia MacAlpin may be only eighteen years old, but she’s no stranger to trouble. Her latest incident—which resulted in a death and forced her clan into battle—has made her an outcast among her exiled people. Scotia is tired of being ignored and overshadowed by her sister, a gifted Guardian of the Targe, and she’s become hell-bent on destroying the army out to capture the ancient Highland relic for their English king.

Duncan of Dunlairig has looked out for Scotia since she started to walk. She was as restless and reckless then as she is now—only the stakes have become higher and more perilous. While the rest of Clan MacAlpin ostracizes her, Duncan secretly helps Scotia become the warrior she yearns to be. But the real test of her skills may come when he needs her help—and her long-forgotten heart—in this thrilling and romantic Guardians of the Targe tale.


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Review: The Arrow by Monica McCarty

19288180The Arrow
(Highland Guard, #9)
By: Monica McCarty
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: Aug. 26, 2014
Genre: Historical Fiction

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The talents of legendary marksman Gregor “Arrow” MacGregor are crucial now, as Bruce moves to reclaim his Scottish holdings. Gregor is considered the most handsome man in Scotland, and his fame as an archer is rivaled only by his reputation with the lasses as a heartbreaker. But when his infamous face is exposed during a covert mission, Gregor is forced to lay low. He returns home only to find a new battle waiting: a daring game of seduction involving his now very grown up and very desirable ward, Cate of Lochmaben.

A born fighter, Cate was clinging to life when Gregor rescued her after a vicious English raid on her village left her mother dead. But five years later, the once scrappy orphan Gregor took under his protection has become a woman. Brave, strong, and skilled in warfare, Cate is determined to lay claim to the warrior who refuses to be trapped. The heat in his eyes tells her she has his attention . . . and his desire. But will Gregor allow his heart to surrender before danger finds them, and the truth of Cate’s identity is revealed?

Cate was rescued by Gregor and his fellow Phantoms when the English attacked her village. Since her mother was killed in the raid, Gregor took in Cate as his ward. However, because he is part of Bruce’s secret elite army, the Phantoms, he doesn’t spend much time at home. So he has no idea how much Cate has grown or how beautiful of a woman she’s become over the time apart. However, Cate is determined to make him see her as a woman. A woman who he can;t live without.

I love this series. There’s so much rich history in the books that it’s hard not to be taken back in time. The author does a lot of research for her books that it’s hard to remember that it’s technically a work of fiction. Even though the series is amazingly entertaining, this one just didn’t hold up to the others. The story was still entertaining but I had some problems with the main characters.

Cate has been in love with Gregor since he saved her. She’s been anxiously waiting for his next trip home from the war so that she can woo him with her womanly charms. I could see her wanting him to see her as a woman but some things she did just didn’t really work for me. She claims she knows how he loathes being looked at as a prized trophy husband for his looks alone. She claims she knows him for who he is. However, her advances towards him were all wrong for what she claims. She corners him, forces herself on him and just doesn’t take no for an answer because he’s surely just fighting his love for her.

Gregor was a likable character at first. He does everything he can to stay away from Cate. She’s a nuisance sure, but he can’t deny her gravitational pull. He tries to discourage her advances by parading around with other women. However, when he is good and “trapped” into marrying Cate and finds out how she manipulated everything to get her way he decides to prove to them both that he doesn’t truly love her. So what does he do? He seeks out another woman. That was when I lost all respect for him. He stopped being the hero in the story and instead became a douchebag.

It’s true that these were not my favorite characters from the series. However, I am still a huge fan of the series and will continue to the next book. I like how the epilogue shoots forward in time. It makes me wonder if maybe the next book will have a whole new list of people to follow.

“That is, if you can bear to tear yourself away for a few hours from the bevy of admirers. ‘Oh laird, I brought you this tart because I know how much you love figs,’ she mimicked, “Or ‘Oh, my laird, have you had this cheese from our farm?'” She made a sharp scoffing sound. “Their ploys are so obvious. Does ever woman think the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?”
He crossed his arms and grinned at her. “Well, I do like figs and cheese.”

Previous reviews from Highland Guard
The Chief
The Hawk
The Recruit
The Hunter


Excerpt: The Kiss of a Viscount by Linda Rae Sande

17658532The Kiss of a Viscount
(The Daughters of the Aristocracy, #1)
By: Linda Rae Sande
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Published: March 4, 2013
Genre: Historical Romance

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Having inherited a viscountcy, George Bennett-Jones knows he must find a bride, preferably the daughter of an aristocrat. His mistress Josephine insists on it. Through a series of lessons, she instructs George on the finer points of meeting and pleasing a woman. Josie has the ear of a politically powerful marquess, and his daughter, Lady Elizabeth, would suit perfectly. Elizabeth, though, has her sights on the handsome Earl of Trenton. When he returns to London for the Little Season, she is sure he will propose. Elizabeth has secretly founded her own charity, Finding Work for the Wounded, using bribery to secure employment for ex-soldiers. The first beneficiary of her charity knows George. Knowing he has only one night to court Elizabeth, George enlists Josie to help make the evening s arrangements. She acts as a chaperone, assuring Elizabeth she is safe with George, and shares information she has learned from Trenton s mistresses.



“I must find Mr. Bennett-Jones for this dance,” Elizabeth stated as she heard the orchestra begin playing. She moved away from her friends, and then, sure no one was watching her, stepped out through the nearest door. Having been in Lady Worthington’s home several times, she knew exactly where to find the library. Certain she wasn’t seen, Elizabeth ducked into the room and quietly closed the door behind her. Holding the knob to lock it, she was dismayed to find it did not have a lock.

“I’m afraid we’ll have to make do without a lock.”

Elizabeth gasped and whirled around to find George leaning against a library table, his arms crossed over his chest and his face sporting a mischievous grin. Her breath caught again as she realized the man wasn’t as unattractive as she’d first thought. In fact, with his sable hair combed into a perfect Titus style and the close fit of his evening wear and the grin that lifted his eyes, and indeed, his entire face, Elizabeth thought him rather handsome. “George!” she whispered hoarsely, meaning to scold him for startling her.

“I’m sorry, my lady,” he said as he bowed. “I thought you would at least look about the room before you closed the door,” he teased, but then his breath caught as he took in the sight of her again. The auburn curls atop her head were dressed with satin ribbons and mother-of-pearl combs, a single strand of pearls graced the base of her long neck, and the satin gown displayed the tops of her breasts and a rather deep cleavage.

Curtsying to his bow, Elizabeth nearly rolled her eyes. “It is I who should be apologizing, George. I do hope you have not been waiting long,” she hedged as she moved to stand before him.

My whole life, he almost said. “Just a few moments. Enough time to read The Iliad and half of The Odyssey,” he added as he waved toward a copy of Homer’s epic poems left open on the table. Two glasses of champagne stood next to the book. “Will you join me in a toast?” he wondered as he picked up the glasses and held one out to her.

Smiling at his attempt at humor, Elizabeth felt the nervousness leave her body. This was George. Just George. She had nothing to fear from him. He was just going to kiss her. “Of course,” she finally said, moving a step closer to take the glass.

George’s eyes closed for more than a blink, as if he was saying a silent prayer. “To the art of kissing,” he stated, holding his glass out to touch hers.



A self-described nerd and lover of science, Linda Rae spent many years as a published technical writer specializing in 3D graphics workstations, software and 3D animation (her movie credits include SHREK and SHREK 2). An interest in genealogy led to years of research on the Regency era and a desire to write fiction based in that time.

Now running the front office of a busy print shop, she’s developed an appreciation for pretty papers and spends time using them in her scrapbooks. She can frequently be found at the local cinema enjoying the latest movie. During the winter, she hosts several junior hockey players, and an indeterminate number of tropical fish live with her year-round. She makes her home in Cody, Wyoming.

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Review: Everlasting Enchantment by Kathryne Kennedy

17344007Everlasting Enchantment
(Relics of Merlin, #4)
By: Kathryne Kennedy
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: Dec. 3, 2013
Genre: Paranormal Historical Romance

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Sir Gareth Solimere, knight of King Arthur’s Round Table, has been trapped inside Merlin’s relic for centuries, cursed until he finds his one true love. When he finally finds her in the unexpected form of a beautiful were-panther named Millicent Pantere, he has to use all of his charms to try to make her love him in return. But if he manages this feat, will he finally be free to live a normal life?

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Review: The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

6323104The Bronze Horseman
(The Bronze Horseman, #1)
By: Paullina Simons
Publisher: William Morrow
Published: May 22, 2001
Genre: Historical Romance

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The golden skies, the translucent twilight, the white nights, all hold the promise of youth, of love, of eternal renewal. The war has not yet touched this city of fallen grandeur, or the lives of two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha Metanova, who share a single room in a cramped apartment with their brother and parents. Their world is turned upside down when Hitler’s armies attack Russia and begin their unstoppable blitz to Leningrad.

Yet there is light in the darkness. Tatiana meets Alexander, a brave young officer in the Red Army. Strong and self-confident, yet guarding a mysterious and troubled past, he is drawn to Tatiana—and she to him. Starvation, desperation, and fear soon grip their city during the terrible winter of the merciless German siege. Tatiana and Alexander’s impossible love threatens to tear the Metanova family apart and expose the dangerous secret Alexander so carefully protects—a secret as devastating as the war itself—as the lovers are swept up in the brutal tides that will change the world and their lives forever.


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Review: Untamed by Jane Shoup

By: Jane Shoup
Publisher: Diversion Books
Published: Aug. 6, 2013
Genre: Historical Romance

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A love too strong to be tamed: the true story of Tarzan, and the woman who loved him.

In 1908, on a mission to find a new breed of ape in central Africa, an unfathomable thing is discovered – a wild, white man, living amongst gorillas. Local villagers call him matokeo ya utafutaji kwa, the untamed one.

Joining the team of hunters and trackers searching for matokeo ya utafutaji kwa is Arianna Day, the 21-year-old niece of the expedition’s leader. She catches the untamed one’s eye and, believing she is meant for him, he takes her captive and claims her for his own, body and soul.

When Arianna is rescued, the untamed one is captured, and they are sent their separate ways: the wild man to learn language and social skills he’d long forgotten, Arianna back home to England to try to fit back into her old life. A promising marriage proposal awaits, but thoughts of the untamed one haunts her.

Amidst the backdrop of London in the summer of 1908, as the Olympic Games are hosted and the Franko-British Exhibition is held, the now-civilized wild man returns home, with his original name restored: Sebastian or ‘Zan’ Shaffer. He and Arianna are drawn together again only to be ripped apart by social convention and Marshall Derringer, the man determined to have her as his wife. But Zan is not the only one with an untamed heart…


1thoughtsAri and her uncle travel to Africa in hopes that they will be able to locate the wild man who’s been living in the jungle for the majority of his life. The only problem is, they have no idea that the second they stepped into the jungle, the wild one was watching them… Ari to be precise.

I was extremely excited to read this story. I’ve never read a re-telling of Tarzan before and this story sounded like a good one. You see, they capture the wild one, teach him how to be civilized and introduce him back into society as Zan. The only thing that Zan wants though is Ari but Ari is engaged to be married to another man.

There were way too many points of view in this story for me and there wasn’t always a definite break between them. So I found myself getting confused quite a bit when the POV would switch to a secondary or sometimes even more distant character. It would jump like this between chapters with no markings that the POV had changed. I also felt that all the POVs weren’t necessary. I would have much preferred just Zan and Ari’s POV with a little bit of Ari’s fiance mixed in. There was also a lot of scenes that were drawn out or not necessary. I found myself skimming over quite a bit of the story to get back to the important parts that were taking place.

I really enjoyed the beginning of the book when they find him in the jungle. The first encounter between Ari and Zan is so “untamed” and animal instinct driven that it’s hard to not get sucked into the rawness of it. I mean you figure he’s only known the way of animals so he lacks the understanding or the wrongness of what he does when it comes to Ari.

“She felt sore but not hurt. She’d been forced but did not feel abused. She did not hate him. She didn’t even fear him. He simply wanted her.”

It got me really excited for the upcoming story because surely it had to get better than that! But like I said a lot of the middle was boring talk and way too many POV’s to keep track of who I was reading from, that I lost interest for a while there. I wish the author had kept that same rawness throughout more of the story before it turned to Zan “the gentleman”.


1favequote“I’m sorry you feel impatient. Naturally, you should analyze precisely what that means and handle it accordingly.” -Ari


Review: The Hunter by Monica McCarty

The Hunter
(Highland Guard, #7)
By: Monica McCarty
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Published: June 25, 2013
Genre: Historical Romance

Prized for his unbeatable tracking skills, Ewen “Hunter” Lamont accepts a dangerous assignment: locate a missing undercover courier. But this is no ordinary target. Ewen has met his prey before as “Sister Genna,” a fiery, forbidden woman forever etched in his memory after one stolen, sinful kiss. Now that he knows her real identity, he’s more determined than ever to keep her safe. But without the protection of the veil between them, fighting the allure of the beautiful lass may be the toughest battle this extraordinary warrior has ever faced.
After her ill-fated attempt three years ago to rescue her twin sister, Janet of Mar has found salvation acting as a royal messenger—until she surrenders to a darkly handsome warrior whose rough, sensual kisses stir feelings the woman in her can’t deny. But when betrayal leads to danger, and a crucial communiqué is put in jeopardy, Janet has no choice but to put her faith in the hunter who can find anything—perhaps even her heart.

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Review: Highlander Most Wanted by Maya Banks



Highlander Most Wanted
(The Montgomerys and Armstrongs #2)
By: Maya Banks
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: March 19, 2013
Genre: Historical Romance

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In Highlander Most Wanted, a reclusive woman content to live in the shadows shows a Highland warrior the true meaning of love.

Genevieve McInnes is locked behind the fortified walls of McHugh Keep, captive of a cruel laird who takes great pleasure in ruining her for any other man. Yet when Bowen Montgomery storms the gates on a mission of clan warfare, Genevieve finds that her spirit is bent but not broken. Still, her path toward freedom remains uncertain. Unable to bear the shame of returning to a family that believes her dead or to abandon others at the keep to an imposing new laird, Genevieve opts for the peaceful life of an abbess. But Bowen’s rugged sensuality stirs something deep inside her that longs to be awakened by his patient, gentle caress—something warm, wicked, and tempting.

Bowen seizes his enemy’s keep, unprepared for the brooding and reclusive woman who captures his heart. He’s enchanted by her fierce determination, her unusual beauty, and her quiet, unfailing strength. But wooing her will take more than a seasoned seducer’s skill. For loving Genevieve, he discovers, means giving her back the freedom that was stolen from her—even if it means losing her forever.


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Review & Excerpt: It Stings So Sweet by Stephanie Draven

It Stings So Sweet
By: Stephanie Draven
Publisher: Berkley
Published: Feb. 5, 2013
Genre: Historical Erotic Romance

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They vibrated with incendiary Jazz. They teemed with sexual abandon.
The Twenties were roaring and the women—young, open, rebellious, and willing—set the pace and pushed the limits with every man they met…
 In the aftermath of a wild, liquor-soaked party, three women from very different social classes are about to live out their forbidden desires.

Society girl, Nora Richardson’s passionate nature has always been a challenge to her ever-patient husband. Now he wants out of the marriage and she has just this one night to win him back. The catch? He wants to punish her for her bad behavior. Nora is offended by her husband’s increasingly depraved demands, but as the night unfolds, she discovers her own true nature and that the line between pain and pleasure is very thin indeed.

Meanwhile, Clara Cartwright, sultry siren of the silent screen, is introduced to a mysterious WWI Flying Ace. If Clara, darling of the scandal sheets, knows anything, it’s men. And she’s known plenty. But none of them push her boundaries like the aviator, who lures her into a ménage with a stranger in a darkened cinema then steals her jaded heart.

Working class girl Sophie O’Brien has more important things on her mind than pleasures of the flesh. But when her playboy boss, the wealthy heir to the Aster family fortune, confronts her with her diary of secret sex fantasies, she could die of shame. To her surprise, he doesn’t fire her; instead, he dares her to re-enact her boldest fantasies and Sophie is utterly seduced.

One party serves as a catalyst of sexual awakening. And in an age when anything goes, three women discover that anything is possible

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