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Becs G (Blighty)

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The Saint: A Highland Guard Novel (The Highland Guard Book 5)
The Saint: A Highland Guard Novel (The Highland Guard Book 5)
Price: £4.16

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Highland Romance, 12 April 2015
Well, it's been a LONG time since I picked up a book from Monica McCarty's Highland Guard series. My last review for the Viper was October 2011 - three and a half years ago. This is a fabulous series and Monica is possibly the queen of the Highlander Romance genre so I'm racking my brains as to why I left it this long to catch up. I think I just fell out with the whole historical romance thing after a couple of lacklustre heroines (pet peeve in a novel) and moved on but the TV adaptation of Outlander has rekindled that love that once burned so bright and I'm back with a vengeance and now Monica has four novels and a novella for me to totally binge on. Happy Days!

Now, that I'm back in the fold as it were, I was eager to get back into this series and when I read the blurb, I was struck by comparisons to Jane Austen's Persuasion. A young couple very much in love, a match frowned on my her family, she turns him down and years pass before they meet again and when they do that passion is still there but unacknowledged by the man himself. Persuasion is my FAVOURITE Jane Austen so I hesitated no longer and dived straight in. Like Austen's Captain Wentworth, I was half agony, half hope as Monica ramps up the angst factor in this one.

Our heroine, Helen, is still very much in love with Magnus who has now grown into a huge and fearsome warrior and they meet again on her wedding day to his best friend. AWKWARD! But, when her new husband is killed just days after their nuptials, Helen eventually sets about attempting to convince Magnus that her love has held fast and that she made a mistake in refusing him all those years ago and in agreeing to marry William. Magnus is having none of it - a connection to him would put her in danger and he had promised her dying husband to watch over her, after all.

I loved this book - there's just so much going on, so much suspense. The story zips along at an incredible pace and I was enthralled from beginning to end. Helen's attempts to get Magnus to succumb to her charms at once made me laugh and squirm. The big warrior is very stoic and resolutely refuses to notice her and even flirts with a serving wench at one point as we're subjected to a highly angsty love story. There's so many secrets between these two, explanations as yet untold and so many obstacles in their way that sometimes a match between them seemed impossible and yet Helen was SO determined and I had to admire her tenacity as she went after the man she loved and tried to prove that true love really does conquer all.

Magnus - be still my beating heart. What a fearsome warrior this man is and how hard did I fall for him. I loved his steadfastness, his determination to do what is right and to honour his King and his oath despite that this could quite possibly cost him his only chance at true happiness. He's fiercely loyal, incredibly strong - a true Highland hunk and yet another fantastic addition to the Highland Guard Hall of Fame.

Alongside the fabulous romance, is a story rich with skulduggery, deception and treachery as Helens' abilities to heal see her taken along with the King on his progress accompanied by Magnus. I did work out who the traitor was early on but this just increased my expectation of a thrilling finale which I definitely got.

My only problem with this book is the secondary romance - I am really NOT a huge fan of this in romance novels. I did love their story but I would much rather that this was just hinted at and told in a novella at a later date. Theirs was a beautiful story which didn't get a huge amount of page time and served mostly to distract me from the main event of Helen and Magnus and I would have preferred to get deeper into this at a later date and enjoy their story rather than rushing over their pages to get back to the main storyline. I would have loved to have read a novella dedicated to these two.

For fans of the Highland Guards we've fallen for in previous novels, we get to see them all again with their women and catch up with what is going on in their relationships and I hope to see plenty of Magnus and Helen in the subsequent novels in this series.

I have to confess to a rabid crush on Gregor 'Arrow' MacGregor and I'm dying to read his book. He's like the pin up of the Highland Guard and if Scottish maidens had posters on their chamber walls, it would be of this man. Supposedly, he has the most gorgeous face in all of Scotland and not to mention that the guy is well hench and an awesome warrior. I am all anticipation!! Bring. It. On.

4.5 saints and angels stars

A Highland Knight's Desire (A Highland Dynasty Book)
A Highland Knight's Desire (A Highland Dynasty Book)
Price: £3.11

5.0 out of 5 stars Action Packed, suspenseful Scottish romance, 11 April 2015
I am on such a MASSIVE Highlander jag right now thanks to Outlander - that show has totally rekindled my love for this genre but it's been difficult to find authors that work for me but, at last, I think in Amy Jarecki, I have found a winner. This is the second book of hers I have read and I've very much enjoyed both of them.

A Highland Knight's Desire has just about everything you could possibly want in a historical romance - a big burly protective as hell hero, a feisty kickass heroine, kidnap, murder, wrongful imprisonment, torture, daring rescue and wonderfully lusty 'chamber' scenes. The story romps along at a rate of knots with never a dull moment and I loved every second.

This time, our hero is Sir Duncan - eldest son and heir of 'Black' Colin, the hero of the previous book in this series. Duncan is part of the Scottish King's 'Highland Enforcers' - the author's version of Highlander Special Forces and fairly reminiscent of Monica McCarty's Highland Guard series. He's been tasked to rescue Lady Meg who has been kidnapped by an English Lord and return her to the safety of her brother's castle. Of course, it doesn't all go to plan and Sir Duncan ends up taking Meg back to his own keep for her safety before returning her to her brother. And, inevitably, he gets injured during the rescue, she tends to his wounds and one things lead to another and before they know it, they're falling in love - a forbidden love as Meg's brother is unlikely to approve the match.

We go on such a spectacular journey with these two - all over Scotland as they lurch from one disaster to the next. It's just SO much fun with plenty of humour as well as action and romance. Duncan is just a fabulous bear of a Highlander - gruff, totally hench, protective, possessive and 100% alpha male. What's not to love?? He does manage to get things very wrong where Meg is concerned many times which adds wonderfully to the angst but he does, eventually, more than make up for it. He ends up in really dire situations and I found it really hard to put the book down, even when I should have been sleeping, as the action and shocks come thick and fast. A very thrilling ride.

Meg was a fantastic heroine - she's absolutely no doormat. She's a strong, plucky Scottish lass, ferociously loyal and fiercely determined. She was an absolute tour de force and her determination to rush in where others fear to tread left me breathless and Duncan's big strong warriors pretty much in awe of her. It would be a foolish man that threatens this fiery redhead and those she loves.

Meg considers herself to be a poor candidate for a wife though as she has been born with a deformed left hand - just a thumb and forefinger and herein lay my only problem with the book. I wasn't bothered that she had this deformity but her insistence on referring to it as 'The Claw' constantly conjured Jim Carey in Liar Liar and I found it hard to get over that every time it was mentioned.

Other than that, this was a fabulous read. One thing I'm finding it hard to get used to when reading historical romance is the timescale that authors have to play with. It's vast and I sometimes find it hard when reading a series that the hero I have loved in a book, possibly only days before, is now an old man or, worse, dying! Also the last time I saw Duncan he was a young boy running around the keep and suddenly he's a HUGE warrior and more than just a little preoccupied in what is going on beneath his kilt. I think this is a problem peculiar to the contemporary romance reader venturing back into the midsts of time!

Another fabulous read from Amy Jarecki - can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

4.5 stars ❤️

Knight in Highland Armor: Scottish Historical Romance (Highland Dynasty Book 1)
Knight in Highland Armor: Scottish Historical Romance (Highland Dynasty Book 1)
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, passionate Highland Romance, 5 April 2015
I do so love a Highlander romance but this whole genre can be very hit and miss for me so I can't stress how thrilled I am to have discovered an author who appears to be a really good fit for me. Amy Jarecki has given me exactly what I want and need in a highlander romance - an angsty romance, a steely hero, a feisty heroine, plenty of hot sexy scenes and a thrilling story to underpin it all. And, even better, she appears to have a fairly extensive back catalogue for me to peruse! Win Win!

We start Knight in Highland Armour in a moment of sadness. Colin Campbell, known as Black Colin for his fearsome prowess on the battlefields of the Crusades and for crushing the Douglas rebellion, loses his beloved wife in childbirth leaving him with a motherless infant son and a call up to join yet another crusade. Heartbroken but knowing he must arrange for his son's care in his absence, he petitions the King for a new wife. He expected a comely widow with an ample bosom and child-bearing hips but that was not what he got.

The King chooses Margaret Robinson, daughter of a Lord - very beautiful, very free-spirited and very happy go lucky. Not at all what he expected or wanted but he marries her anyway and, after a very inauspicious consummation, takes her to his castle to meet her new stepson and start her life as his new wife. Still besieged by grief and guilt, he doesn't want to care for Margaret but he cannot help be charmed by her enthusiasm, her joie de vivre and willingness to involve herself in every aspect of his estate.

Sigh! I just adored Colin even though he behaved badly more than once. Here is a man who has just lost his beloved but can't help his growing love for his new wife even though he badly wants to resist it. He's very conflicted and I so loved that there was no 'insta-love' here and that their love grew slowly throughout the story. He's very concerned with doing the right thing and is torn between his duties as a new husband and father an as a soldier of the crusades. He's very stoic with a steely resolve and a completely frozen heart that Margaret is slowly beginning to thaw.

Margaret was such a refreshing heroine - no shrinking violet, she's determined to help Colin build his new castle and settle his accounts. She's bright and feisty and just what he needs in his life even though he's far too obstinate to see it for a long time. I often felt very sorry for her - this must have been a lonely life, taken from her family to start afresh with a man who refused to even entertain the idea of falling in love with his new wife but she relishes the challenge and throw herself wholeheartedly into it all.

This was wonderfully written - just enough description to bring to life 15th century Scotland without overstepping the mark and turning it into purple prose. Colin, Margaret, their castles and the supporting cast all came vividly to life in my imagination and the whole thing played out like a movie to me. I was completely lost and devoured the book in less than a day. It's also very sexy and I'm happy to report that there was real passion to be seen here - something I often miss in a Highland romance when I'm far more used to reading contemporary erotic romance.

This was a highly-consuming romance full of passion, intrigue and very real characters as it's all based on true events in Scottish history. The story held me rapt through to the very end as their love is severely tested over the years as fate and villains attempt to intervene and separate them. Thoroughly engrossing, I can highly recommend this one.

Amy Jarecki - you're my new queen of the Highlands!

4 sexy scottish stars

Deep: Stage Dive series 4
Deep: Stage Dive series 4
Price: £2.37

4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic end to an awesome series, 4 April 2015
Deep is book 4 and, I believe, the final instalment of the Stage Dive series. Despite this, it works perfectly well as a standalone so don't be worried if you haven't read the first three, although I can highly recommend them.

What we've come to expect from a Kylie Scott Stage Dive novel is an entertaining, feel-good romance loaded with her trademark humour and wit and Deep is most definitely maintaining that trend. It's a beautiful contemporary romance to binge read in one sitting with a big ole goofy grin on your face.

It actually reminded me a little of Lick, the first book of the series whereby the central couple are thrown together by an unexpected event and work out their relationship from this moment on. In Lick, it was a drunken marriage in Vegas, in Deep, we have an unplanned pregnancy after just one night together.

So, it's finally Ben's turn to succumb to his forever girl and he knocks up Lizzy, who is Mal's wife's little sister, during a one night stand despite promising Mal faithfully to leave her well alone. Mal is not going to be a happy hyperactive bunny!

I'd been dying to read Ben's story all through the series. For me, he's been a bit of a challenging soul over the previous books and I was eager to see how he measured up as hero material and he definitely didn't disappoint. Despite his scandalous reputation, he's actually quite noble and tries to do the right thing by Lizzy at every juncture. He's brooding, sexy, kinda commitment-phobic but ultimately very likeable and easy to warm to.

Lizzy also makes for a great heroine - someone we the readers can truly identify with. She's by no means perfect and her inner thoughts make her feel like a friend, rather than a book heroine. It's very easy to put yourself in her position and ride the emotional ups and downs right along with her.

Ultimately, Deep is a highly entertaining, light contemporary romance which I read with a bit of a sappy smile on my face. It's frothy, funny, sweet and sexy without too much angst going on and plenty of feel-good moments throughout the book.

For fans of the series, we get plenty of our favourite characters with revelations for them all and, of course, Mal is back in all his hyper-active glory, mad as a box of cut snakes at Ben for knocking up Lizzy, who he sees as his little sister.

There's a lovely epilogue to get you sighing happily that rounds it all off and completes their story and fans of the series will, I think, adore this one.

4 entertaining stars

Broken: LOST Series #1
Broken: LOST Series #1
Price: £2.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Suspenseful Romance, 4 April 2015
I actually don’t read romantic suspense very often anymore. I used to read it slavishly but then I found I was galloping through the story to get to the end expecting to see the Bad Guy come after the heroine and our hero ride in like a white knight and rescue her and I was skimming over the story and kind of missing the romance so I only dip my toes back in the suspense pool occasionally and when I do, I want it to be a good one.

I’ve read Cynthia Eden’s Deadly series in the past and I know, as a romantic suspense, author she gives me what I’m looking for – seriously nasty and sadistic bad buys, a hot sexy romance and a highly suspenseful story and that’s what I was looking for in Broken and I definitely found it.

Broken gives us not only a hot romance and a suspenseful story but also works hard at setting the scene for the rest of the LOST series, introducing us to the main characters who will no doubt star in future books and giving us a little bit of their background. It seems all these people have something very dark in their past which has driven them to be part of Gabe Spencer’s new missing persons agency and there’s just enough here to whet your appetite to want to carry on with the series.

So we have Gabe Spencer, head honcho of the LOST organisation, and Eve Gray who has survived torture and near death to wake up with no memory of what happened that day or anything before. The only thing she knows is that she’s escaped a killer and she looks uncannily like a missing heiress, suspected to be one of the killer’s victims. She turns to Gabe and his organisation for help and they share an incredible attraction and, once he realises that the killer is coming for again, Gabe’s protective and possessive traits come rising to the surface and he vows to keep the woman he’s falling in love with safe from the clutches of her would-be murderer.

This is a highly complex, multi-layered suspenseful story with plenty of red herrings and potential suspects. Pay close attention to all the details as there is plenty of little clues out there – some to definitely throw you off the scent but some do point straight at the killer. When he’s eventually unmasked, he was one of my suspects but I had several so I don’t think it was at all predictable. The plot is intriguing enough to keep me reading and gathering pace as I found myself dying to find out who the killer is and I once again found myself reading just a little too fast. I tried to slow myself down, to appreciate the growing feelings between Gabe and Eve but I found it nigh on impossible! Suspense novels just do this to me – I just have to know!

I think the mystery pretty much takes centre stage here but it’s interwoven pretty well with the romance between the two central characters and, for the most part, I really did feel their overwhelming passion and desperation at the gathering danger for Eve. It was very well done with some truly emotional and very hot sex scenes. I very much enjoyed it, devoured it in fact. The Killer truly was a messed up, sadistic bastard and I think Cynthia Eden does this type of bad guy really well.

I very much liked Gabe and his crew who will no doubt entertain us for several books to come and I look forward to reading them. If I have any complaints, it’s that I didn’t always completely get Gabe and Eve’s connection – it seemed to come out of nowhere, a kind of insta-love but I did eventually get on board with it and start rooting for them. A good start to what promises to be a great series.

4 LadyKiller stars

Taz (G-Man Series Book 4)
Taz (G-Man Series Book 4)
Price: £2.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What happens after the Happy Ever After, 4 April 2015
So, just when you think you’ve got your happy ending!!

We have already had Taz and Lindsey’s story back in book two of this series, Love Plus One. There was SO much for them to endure as a couple during that story that my heart broke for them and I wanted only great things for them and we do start this book with them seemingly living happily ever after. It takes place a few years after their original story – they’re married and have two beautiful children and they’re very, very happy. But don’t get too comfortable because Andrea Smith is about to viciously rip the rug out from under this happy couple and send us on one heck of a difficult journey.

Something is about to happen to Taz while he’s undercover working a mission for Slate, something that will seriously rock the foundations of his and Lindsey’s relationship and it will have you gasping in shock and sympathy. None of this is Taz’s fault but it’s going to be a heavy blow for Lindsey and will have you all squirming uncomfortably. It’s a plot line that I know will unsettle a lot of readers but it’s sensitively handled and really made me pause to think.

I really felt their pain – after all that they’ve been through together, to have come so far and then to have to deal with this. My heart hurt a little for them. I put myself in Lindsey’s position and asked myself how well I would cope with this if it happened to me. Short answer – not well at all. Of course, she’s going to be mad and and will struggle to get their relationship back on the straight and narrow and a lot of this book is given over to that emotional struggle. I found it desperately compelling and a really clever story line – in fact, I found it hard to put it down.

I think, when we’ve loved a couple in a book before, most romantics, like me, just like to assume that our happy couple are blissfully in love and lust and everything is perfect and in Taz we get a chance to see beyond the happy ever after to see a couple facing up to and dealing with really severe difficulties and come out fighting.

If you’ve liked Taz in the past, then you’re going to love this – it’s great to see him work hard to get his marriage back on track and wonderful to see his Lindsey learning to kick ass. She’s come a very long way since the young, naive girl we first met back in Diamond Girl.

This is another great contemporary romance from Andrea Smith who likes to push her reader’s boundaries just a little in every book. Always expect the unexpected when you’re reading her books and prepare yourself for a suspenseful ending. It’s a very emotional and thrilling read and a fantastic addition to the G-Man series.

4 highly angsty stars

Playing Knotty
Playing Knotty
Price: £4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Contemporary Romance, 4 April 2015
This review is from: Playing Knotty (Kindle Edition)
Well, this was a sweet contemporary romance but not quite the edgy affair I was hoping for. It’s the story of Ian and Emma. Emma owns a bookstore and is struggling to make ends meet. Ian, an old High School friend, pops in occasionally to buy books and notices she has a spare storage room and asks to rent it for one of his ‘workshops’. Turns out he is a rope bondage instructor and his model cancels at short notice and Emma steps in and I think you can guess where we go from there.

While I did enjoy this, it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. I think it’s possibly my expectations that were misplaced though as I was looking for a kinky little number and that’s not quite what I got. This is very much BDSM lite focussing only on the B in BDSM and Ian isn’t a dom – he’s more of a switch who likes to tie girls up and likes to be tied himself so if you’re looking for a commanding, self-possessed dom, you’re not going to find it here.

I also found this HUGELY frustrating – Ian and Emma are quite possibly the most awkward new lovers in the known universe. The minute sex was over, they couldn’t meet each others eyes and were like bashful school kids. Both of them have strong feelings for each other but are too reticent to say anything and plenty of misunderstandings ensued! It was a bit like the blind leading the blind here. They’re both as bad as each other.

Emma is seriously lacking in confidence and self-worth and I found being in her headspace for 300 pages a rather difficult place to be. She doubts herself at every juncture and and appeared to have virtually no self-esteem. After a while, she’s just plain exhausting.

Also, the secondary characters – I found myself skimming over those scenes. In that respect, it read rather like a second book in a series and Ian’s best friend Brent and his wife Missy felt like they’d been the central characters in a previous book but a bit of research reveals that to be wrong and I found it hard to see the author’s motivations in lavishing quite as much attention on them as she did. They don’t add to the story and I hurried them along to get back to the main event – Ian and Emma.

What was done REALLY well here was the rope bondage scenes. While not always sexual, they’re intensely sensual and obvious strong attention to detail and loving affection went into writing those scenes. They’re so well described that I could follow them perfectly as Ian wound the ropes around Emma. Even when they’re not leading to sex, I found these scenes incredibly HOT and they were absolutely the highlight of the book for me.

So, it’s an enjoyable contemporary romance with some gorgeously sensual rope bondage scenes and a central couple that I kind of liked even though I wanted to slap them with a wet kipper sometimes.

3 knotty stars

Yield (Pierced Hearts Book 5)
Yield (Pierced Hearts Book 5)
Price: £2.67

4.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Erotic, 4 April 2015
For you dark romance junkies out there - have you met Cari Silverwood yet? If you like your BDSM on the edgy side and the consent highly dubious - then check out this author!

Yield is book 5 of the Pierced Hearts series and, in my opinion, it only just works as a standalone but there is a whole lot here you probably won't get if you haven't read the previous books.

So, hold on to your hats for another dark and twisted roller coaster of a ride as we follow Wren Gavoche on the search for her father's killer. She's seriously wealthy and not without means and she hires Glass to help her. He says he has information (little does she know how much he is actually keeping from her) and he won't give up his intel without a roll in the sack with our Wren. She's incredibly attracted to him and agrees to his terms. But he's not the only one who wants her - she's drawn the attention of the mysterious Moghul who doesn't feel she should have a choice. He's going to take her, sadistically dominate her and bring her to heel. Or, at least, that's what he thinks.

Cari Silverwood really does her very own unique style of dark erotica. As always, we get plenty of scenes of highly dubious consent and terrifying sadism to the point of completely freaking me out but she does have an indomitable and witty style with plenty of humour which helps to take a little of the edge off because her sadists like to play hard. And I mean, freaking hard - as in hooks!

Yup - this time Cari takes me where no BDSM author has ever taken me before! Hook suspension - really this is only for the most masochistic of us out there because seriously, this left me totally freaked out and had every single inch of my body cringing. Each to their own I guess and it definitely works in the context of this story and how and why it happens but, oh my God, poor Wren! I wondered how anyone could ever take pleasure from it and googled it and the images just horrified me more but, as a plot device, it works wonderfully to underline the sadistic tendency of one of our 'heroes' and I use that term extremely lightly.

This really is the tale of two dominants - Glass and Moghul. Both of them want Wren - Glass wants to dominate her but his style is caring and fully consensual whereas Moghul is his polar opposite. This is a man who is hiding behind many pseudonyms and will just take her because he wants to. What she wants is of no consequence as he firmly believes he will break her and mould her to his will. But he doesn't bank on Wren.

Wren, despite her name, is no little bird and is a feisty and kickass heroine with a pretty dark fascination with knives. She's ripe for the plucking as we join her at a very vulnerable time in her life and I just adored that she never gave up, however dark things got for her. She bided her time, taking everything that fate dealt her and just waited for that tiny window of opportunity.

This is one heck of a dark and sadistic journey and I could almost feel the relish the author has in freaking out her readers and she has definitely freaked me out more than once in this series. What makes this series a little different for me from other dark erotica is the fact that her heroes are often pretty upstanding guys who find themselves unexpectedly tipping over the edge and doing things that they could never have conceived before. She likes to send the good guys bad and it's so freaking HOT! As always, when I read this author, I have to remind myself that it's only fiction!

It's yet another dark, pain edged, orgasmic ride from Cari Silverwood and there is a choice of ending - the path of lightness and the path of darkness. Personally I chose the path of lightness - Team Glass all the way.

4 highly sadistic stars

Kiss of the Highlander
Kiss of the Highlander
Price: £3.87

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Time Travelling Highland Romance, 4 April 2015
I'm not going to write a lengthy review here as this book is years old and there are already so many reviews but I will say that it's a highly enjoyable Highlander romance with some supernatural time travel elements mixed in and plenty of humour as well as a well-planned and surprisingly complex plot.

Drustan is a wonderful hero and I very much enjoyed seeing him waking in the 21st century after sleeping for hundreds of years and experiencing cars and lighters and such like. The time travel elements were enmeshed beautifully and Gwen is a wonderfully, determined kickass heroine with a real backbone.

Fantastic stuff!

4 stars

Claimed by the Highland Warrior (Mills & Boon Historical) (The MacKinloch Clan - Book 1)
Claimed by the Highland Warrior (Mills & Boon Historical) (The MacKinloch Clan - Book 1)
Price: £3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Soulful Highland Romance, 4 April 2015
While this is not quite the swash-buckling, bodice-ripper that the title and the cover implies, it is actually quite a soulful highland romance and an enjoyable and engrossing read.

Bram MacKinlock left his new bride Nairna on their wedding night without consummating their marriage in a fit of jingoistic fervour to go and fight the English with his father and brothers. His father was killed and he was taken captive and held for 7 years and everyone believed him to be dead. Now he has finally escaped and returned to reclaim his bride and rejoin his family but everything has changed. Most of all him.

In his absence, Nairna has remarried, lost her virginity and been once again widowed but she has never forgotten Bram and her love for him but they are both very different people now and a large part of this book is given over to these two getting to know one another again, Bram overcoming his PTSD and attempting to rebuild his clan which has fell into rack and ruin in his absence.

This is rather a slow burner but it did just about enough hold my attention. The character development is well done and I found myself invested enough in these two to want them to rekindle that fire that had once burned so bright. They have a lot of near misses, passion burning and almost getting there before one of them turns away - highly frustrating! More than once I wanted to scream at them to get on with it but I did really like them both and completely understood and sympathised with their situation and felt their pain keenly.

The one thing I can't stand in a Highland romance is a wimpy doormat of a heroine and, thankfully, Nairna is about as far removed from this as it's possible to be. She's determined to stand by her man, to help him rebuild his clan and to try and help him through his pretty obvious PTSD and staggering guilt that he carries. She's as strong as it gets and is exactly what Bram needs. He, for his part, is consumed by guilt at the continuing incarceration of his younger brother, Callum, and the death of his father - he's scarred both physically and emotionally and he's got a lot of healing to do and it was really very engaging to watch how his relationship with Nairna helped him to do this.

As this is the first in a series, there's great world building going on also with a fair few MacKinloch's waiting to tell their stories to us. I'm definitely going to read through the rest of the series. Alex and his troubled marriage is up next although it's definitely the silent Callum and the feisty french Marguerite that I'm most looking forward to.

Great start to a new Highlander series

4 second chance stars

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