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Recent reviews

A smooth, flowing read.

Posted : 9 years, 8 months ago on 6 January 2009 05:39 (A review of The Highlander's Bride)

After reading Isle of Lies, also by Donna Fletcher, I was skeptical about trying any of her other titles. The Highlanders Bride had been on my wish list for some time so I thought to give it a try. I fell in love within the first chapter. The story is set in 1514, not really considered medieval by some but close enough for this chick. I won't give a description of the plot as it has been well written by another reviewer, I'll just give my pov.

Our heroine Sara has got to be in my top 5 favorite heroines. She is a warrior, courageous, defiant, emotional and most outspoken, a charm I love in my heroines. Her outspoken tongue is one of the reasons this book different from other historical romance novels. Sara declared her feelings for Cullen 95% of the time. There were not any misunderstandings about her feelings for him (most of the time). The great lengths she went through to assure that Cullen's son was safe from harm warmed my heart. Her good natured heart and character will quickly win the reader over. You'll be hooked.

Cullen is most interesting as well. A warrior, intelligent, fair, generous and above all, honest. Though I did not enjoy his constant declarations that he would never love again, I understood why he felt torn. He does not mistreat our heroine, only gives it to her straight about his intentions and feelings. All the while trying to convince himself that his feelings for her are out of gratitude for saving his son. He fills her with passion and in turn she makes him smile when he thought he'd not smile again. I was really impressed and enjoyed seeing Cullen blossom and progress chapter after chapter.

Mrs. Fletcher does a nice job of giving us just the right amount of romance and danger. Also, our hero is not a powerful noble but a normal highlander warrior who has a good amount of coin to weigh his pockets. They are traveling for a good portion of the book. One place in particular stands out :-) I laughed, wanted to cry and looked forward to seeing the story unfold. I don't see any promise for a sequel but I would love one all the same. HIGHLY Recommended!!!

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A great debut for Michele Sinclair

Posted : 10 years ago on 21 September 2008 06:30 (A review of The Highlander's Bride (Zebra Debut))

What a great story this was. Laurel and Conor are very likable characters. Laurel has always traveled to Scotland to visit her mothers father. However, after the death of her mother, her father forbade her to visit and even after his death, her brother upheld his wish. He would only grant Laurel her visit if she agreed to stay away forever. En route to her grandfathers land, she is ambushed by a clan rival and taken prisoner for a couple of days.
She manages to escape into the arms of our hero and his men and viola a beautiful story evolves. I won't tell too much. As with any romance, the hero and heroine are unknowingly working against one another. What I thought was excellent was the hero being so protective of Laurel (others hated this). Of all the historicals I have read, he was most upfront regarding his feelings. I enjoyed the story and could not wait to start on the second in the series.

To those who slammed the novel, let us take into consideration that this is her first novel. Sure there were mistakes (as with many other authors) but they were minimal and did not sway from the plot of the story. She did a very good job and I look forward to future novels. A very promising debut indeed.

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A promising sequel

Posted : 10 years ago on 21 September 2008 06:28 (A review of To Wed A Highlander)

I was delighted to start the second novel (I believe 2 of 6) of Michele Sinclair's highlander series (The McTiernay brothers). The first book started with the hero and heroin meeting as the hero was returning from Colin's wedding, our hero in this novel. About two years pass and Colin finds himself in discussion with his late wife's father regarding a marriage with the lairds youngest daughter, Makenna. This alliance is needed because the lairds health is failing and he needs someone who can protect The Dunstan clan and his name. Also, Colins late wife wanted the union to take place!

Colin does not want a new wife and if he did it would not be Makenna, For she is too wild and untamed. Makenna does not feel that she is "wife material." Not to mention in Makeena's eyes, Colin is a brute who has taken all of her special privileges away. No more sword playing is just her first complaint of many. Colin wants to refuse this union but honor and pride will not allow him to.

They are married and soon find themselves more attracted to one another than each thought possible. No longer does Colin only see a wild and untamed lass before his eyes, but a beautiful woman he is falling in love with. Makenna finds herself drawn to Colin much more than I thought possible in such a short time. She begins to understand Colin and realize all he has done for her clan (who is not welcoming by any means). The highlander that so many hate has managed to win her heart and she vows to show a united front to the clan.

The story unfolds wonderfully. Excellent secondary characters will make you smile. Ahh, a jealous past suitor of Makenna is also starting mischief along with many of Colin's clan members. There is love, hate, betrayal, pride, honor and enough steamy sex scenes to keep you up all night reading this novel. We also get a good dose and many updates of Conor and Laurel from "The Highlander's Bride." A great followup by Michele Sinclair, I anxiously await Cole's story.

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A delightful read!

Posted : 10 years ago on 21 September 2008 06:27 (A review of Devil in a Kilt)

Linnet MacDonnell knew that this could not be true...she was to be bartered to her da's sworn enemy, Duncan "The Black Stag" MacKenzie--A man who was rumored to have killed his first wife. Though her lady's maid Elspeth Beaton fought hard in her defense naming a number of reasons why she should not marry Duncan. However her father would not stand down for he had too much to gain to not offer her hand in marriage, enemy or not. Besides, Duncan wants only her gift of sight to confirm if his son Robbie is his son and not his half brothers'. He wants nothing to do with her...or does he?

Linnet, Elspeth and her brothers travel to meet her future husband half the distance and though he is arrogant, she is in complete awe of his very presence. His fierce scowl causes Linnet to realize one thing, he does not find her appealing. Why would he? She does not have her mother or sisters beautiful looks. Wrong she is for the scowl covering his face is because of her worn clothing not her looks. The MacDonnell boys are openly hostile because they don't feel like he has greeted her properly. Before swords start to swing, the fight is diffused with a single promise...he will not harm her. They travel towards his home and a web of feelings take over both the hero and the heroine. Duncan also realizes that she is not plain at all! Why her hair is near bronze, beautiful eyes and a genuine innocence, why she very appealing to him!

I laughed very much while reading this novel. Duncan is your usual alpha-male scowling and glaring at anyone who crosses his path. However, he is forever in outrage (for one thing or another, lol). He made more oaths than anyone and used phrases such as "By Saint Peter of Rome" quiet frequently! Did I mention the constant blushes, not only from women but men!!! It was hilarious. A delightful story. Excellent secondary characters, Elspeth, Fergus and one of my favorites, Sir Marmaduke! The characters are well developed and the attention to detail surrounding Scotland is heart warming. Historical romance readers will adore Devil in a Kilt (this is the first book of the series!). Highly recommended!

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Posted : 10 years ago on 21 September 2008 06:25 (A review of Isle of Lies)

This is my first of Donna Fletcher's and though it was an OK read, I expected more.

Moira Maclean has been in a convent for 17 of her 29 years. She is content with her life as it is however fate has other plans. A stranger by the name of Ian Cameron comes to the convent in the dead of the night bringing a message from her "late" father that they wed. Why she asks and Ian explains that this union will unite the clans and save lives. She is apprehensive and questions him about her age. He is well aware of her age and to her surprise he is only 25!

Moira gave in and they were married fast followed by an even faster marriage consummation. Soon she hears a voice she thought dead, it was her father! He was not dead after all and to her dismay, she has just married his enemy. He is furious with her. She feels betrayed. As if her feelings aren't wounded enough her father tells Ian to abandon Moira because she is contempt with her life. Furthermore she is too old and barren, she will never give you a babe he says. Ian reluctantly leaves and further damage is done. He abandoned her, without a word but he did leave her with something. Two months later, her father is proven wrong.

We start to learn how smart Moira really is, how the convent depends on her knowledge to thrive. Though with child, and no sight of her husband she is content with life. Out of the blue, Ian comes back to claim his bride and to remove her from the convent for she is not safe. A fellow nun called Anne whom has not yet taken her vows is also going along for the trip. It is from her, in a sudden outburst to set Ian straight that he finds out his wife is with child. Sparks fly and emotions run raw all the while, someone is trying to kill Moira, but why?

Readers will see that Ian has a good heart. A little too soft for a laird but a nice hero all the same. He is very romantic and appears to really want things to work out with his wife. Moira is strong, intelligent and unforgiving. She struggles with how their union came about for she feels betrayed. Used. No matter how much Ian makes her blood boil, she can not forgive him, or can she? Secondary characters Anne and Blair, Ian's right hand man is just what the book needed to give it a boost.

Now my problem with the book, it starts out really fast, then its as cold as a fish. Not much action. The h/h don't have sex again until MUCH later in the book, closer to the end even. Then in a burst of energy, the book becomes interesting again towards the end. It appeared that the conversations between the characters were redundant at times. Her age was constantly spoken of with the word "barren" hand in hand. Also, the fainting got really old. I was hoping that there would be some reason for such frequent swooning. There is mischief but it soon becomes evident. Bottom line, an OK read but not the best. I'll try her Highlanders Bride before giving up on this author.

Likable h/h and great secondary characters give this book the edge with a 3.5

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I could not finish this, sigh

Posted : 10 years ago on 21 September 2008 06:24 (A review of By Arrangement)

After reading the rave reviews on Amazon, I decided to buy this book. I started reading it and found myself not concentrating. I had an immediate dislike to the heroine. She was so mean to the hero and although he wasn't high on my list, I felt bad for him. The plot appeared to develop at a snail like pace. I made it to page 72 and could no longer read it anymore. I really wanted to like this book. I agree with another reviewer, perhaps the novel I read before had my standards set too high. My love for historicals is allowing me to give it a 2 though 1.5 would be more fitting. I may try this book later in the future.

Oh. I forgot to add, the order in which you read these books is quirky. See her website for the order.

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Beauty is forever skin deep

Posted : 10 years ago on 21 September 2008 06:22 (A review of Bride of the Beast)

Sir Marmaduke Strongbow was one of my favorite characters in Devil in a Kilt. I was delighted when I saw that he also had his own story.

Lady Caterine Keith was in need of a man, no a champion. She needs protection from Sir Hugh who was not content with only taking her livestock but also wanted the castle and to marry her. Twice widowed and her innocence taken early in life she has no need for a man. Too stubborn for her own good, her dear friend Rhonda took it upon herself to send word to Linnet asking for help. Her sister Linnet already had a champion in mind, one of the greatest warriors none other than Sir Marmaduke Strongbow.

Sir Marmaduke Strongbow has much to look forward to. Though there was not a lady in his life, he would soon move into and guard the new castle that he and Duncan MacKenzie has designed. The only thing missing was a lady. Linnet seeks out Marmaduke to ask a favor in the middle of the night while heavy with child. Of course, Duncan is aware that she has slipped out of the bed and he soon finds them in the chapel. Linnet lost her courage and Duncan gladly requested the favor, be a champion to Caterine. He mulls over the request, bad timing considering his new castle will be complete soon. Honor, however will not let him ignore a lady in need.

I found myself a little agitated with Caterine. She was a bit cold. I could understand being apprehensive considering her previous problems but she was icy. One thing I found to like about her was his scars had nothing to do with the constant rejection. I loved his character except I thought that perhaps he was too forthcoming with his feelings. I wanted him to be more firm considering the lady he was dealing with.

Some reviewers hit the nail on the head, there was a very strong sexual attraction there but that wasn't all. He actually wanted to love her, to marry her and make her his wife in every way. He admired her strength and beauty. She on the other hand wanted a marriage of convenience. Slowly she starts to open up her heart. She admired him as a man, a very noble man who was slowly slaying her internal dragons.

The four highlanders he takes along, James (her late husbands self-pitying son) and her best friend Rhonda all make excellent secondary characters. We also visit Duncan and Linnet several times. Duncan, true to form lets off a string of oaths within the first sentence of his appearing in the book (this was one of the funniest things in the previous book IMO). Linnet appears to use her gift of sight much more in this novel. The mystery behind the traitor adds a nice touch along with the beautiful Scottish setting that Mrs. Welfonder describes perfectly.

A solid read, 4.0 rating. Historical romance readers will enjoy this book.

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Little Robbie is clearly all grown up

Posted : 10 years ago on 21 September 2008 06:21 (A review of ONLY FOR A KNIGHT)

Sir Robbie was first introduced as a small child in Devil in a Kilt. In fact, his existence and Duncan Mackenzie's desire to prove that he was indeed his child is how he became wed to Linnet. Moving on...

No longer a small child, Robbie has been gone from home for 10 years now. He is expected to return to marry Euphemia Macleod whom he has been promised to since childhood. Though he does not know her, he has no desire to marry her. When he lays eyes on the beautiful lass about to drown, he knows then that it will be hard to honor his word... Though her gift has not been strong these past years, Linnet (who is miles away!) senses that this bonny fiery hair maid is to be Robbie's wife.

Juliane Mackay suddenly awakens in the arms of a charming stranger, none other than Sir Robbie MacKenzie. Something is wrong, why she can't even remember her own name! She does not know of her destination or the circumstances of how she came to meet this handsome stranger. Although she is unable to recall her past, she has a feeling that her journey was of great importance, but what could it be? Slowly she starts to piece her memory back together only to find that perhaps it would have been best to forget...

Lady Euphemia is fighting mad that Robbie has ruined her life. Plain in looks with no womanly curves her anger in increased by her soon to be husbands late arrival. Already she hates Eilean Creag castle, why she can barely breath with all of the smells swarming around the castle. Hence the reason she was put into Robbie's old chamber (from book 1 which we learn is tiny). She hates Robbie, but why? She has never met the poor man. She constantly complains and has more a wild side that I believe is best read by you :-)

Robbie has but to do one thing, find a reason not to marry Euphemia. He is willing to do what it takes. He has taken his concerns to his father who won't hear of it. Now, he must take matters into his own hands. There MUST be a way to convince her not to wed him. Little does he know, luck is on his side.

With love strong in the air there shouldn't be anything to keep them apart. Sigh, There is one other threat. Perhaps Juliana's journey held important information that could make or break her relationship with Robbie. Oh, only if she could remember!

This was a good story but not better than the prior novels. More romance than anything. There was not much danger. Not the type of danger/betrayal that are usually hr subplots. At first, the lack of action bothered me. Then I really started to adore Robbie and Juliana. I do wish that Robbie would have had more of a battle reputation. A nice read!

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I'm sold, Paula Quinn is excellent!

Posted : 10 years ago on 21 September 2008 06:20 (A review of Laird Of The Mist: Number 1 in series (MacGregors))

This was my first Paula Quinn novel and impressed would be an understatement. I probably should have reviewed this right after I read it but as it is, this will be short and sweet.

Kate Campbell is not only beautiful but can handle a sword better than some men. Though her guardian was Duncan Campbell Earl of Argyll, she lived at her late fathers holding being raised by a handful of his loyal soldiers. Her "dear" uncle had always promised Kate and her brother a home on his land but that day did not come for Kate until she was much older (Robert was away on duty with the Earl). She'd noticed how he gazed upon her with lustful eyes. Luckily for Kate, she never left her holding with the man but she did leave with a MAN.

Callum MacGregor is a honorable and full of revenge against the man who destroyed his family, Duncan Campbell. He comes upon a raid of the Campbell's with one intention: find Duncan! Though they are sworn enemies, he does not want their demise to come from anyone but him. Then his men discover what appears to be a lass fighting for her life. Callum and his men assist The Campbells and their prize is Kate Campbell. What better way to lure the Earl out? What he didn't count on was a beautiful, spirited lass who just might have the key to unlock his heart.

But to release his heart would betray not only his kinsmen but his honor.

Callum's story is so sad. I do believe I cried a few times just reading the sorrows that he and his sister Maggie went through. You come to understand his need for revenge. On a positive note, he is a dark handsome hero who will make your heart melt. Secondary characters make this even more alluring. Graham Grant (Callum's right hand man), Maggie (Callum's sister) Angus, Jamie, Brodie (Callum's other soldiers) and Robert (Kate's brother) all make excellent secondary characters! Angus and Brodie's constant bickering will make you laugh out loud.

Paula Quinn's knack for detail made me feel like I was in the Highlands with Callum, Kate & gang. Excellent character development and plot will pull the reader in and before long you'll be done in one night looking for the sequel, A Highlander Never Surrenders which is about the sexy Graham Grant. Highly recommended and one of my favorites.

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Romance+Magic= A lovely read indeed!

Posted : 10 years ago on 21 September 2008 06:17 (A review of Bride For A Knight)

I'm not one to enjoy anything with even a hint of paranormal. One of the reasons I didn't enjoy Until the Knight Comes. This one was different. Perhaps it was the characters?

Big in every sense of the way, Jamie Macpherson joined clan Mackenzie and went on to make a name for himself through out the years. While still @ Cuidrach Castle, he receives word that his brothers have all died from a tragic accident. He is also told that he will be married to the daughter of his fathers enemy, Aveline Matheson. But why would his da's enemy want him married to his daughter? He hadn't planned on returning but honor would let him do no less. He would return even if it meant facing the truth; he would never earn his fathers love, last son or not.

Aveline Matheson, youngest daughter of Alan Mor is a delicate soul. She is likable within the first couple of chapters for she has an earthy nature. With her betrothal to Jamie approaching, she knows that she must make the best of her situation. Besides, it's for the good of their clans. Though she is a wee delicate lass, she has no fear. Nor does she let her small size shield her from all of the joys of life. of married life. of life with Jamie Macpherson.

I usually prefer a little bit of bickering from the h/h however these two gentle hearts were sweet to each other from the beginning. I enjoyed watching their romance bloom and not in a sexual way but love! On that note, I will admit that the sex scenes were "PG" and I had hoped for more. They were not steamy at all IMHO. Excellent secondary characters helped that blemish *Munro and Morag*! We also get a glimpse of the Mackenzie's; Duncan, Robbie, Linnet, Juliana, Arabella and our next heroine Gelis. Anytime this clan is involved, I tend to smile. With the ghost, betrayal and eerie feelings floating around, can their love last?

I had honestly thought not to read this novel..I was disappointed in Until The Knight Comes and thought that it could only get worst. However this is an excellent story and I await the story of Gelis (though I must wonder why we don't see Arabella's story first seeing as she is older).

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