Monday, August 14, 2017

The Wolf of Kisimul Castle by Heather McCollum Highland Isles Series Book #3, 5 Kilts, Celtic Barb was totally dazzled. A definite heart melter!





Book: The Wolf of Kisimul Castle
By Heather McCollum

Series: Highland Isles, Book #3
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Reviewed by: Barb Massabrook (of)
1)Tartan Book Reviews
2)Purple Tulip Book Reviews
3)Celtic Barb’s Tartan Book Review Blog


Heat Rating: 🔥

Book Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Scottish Highlands, 1523
It was supposed to be Mairi Maclean’s wedding day. No, she did not love her betrothed Geoff, the new  MacInnes chief, since her elderly husband Fergus MacInnes death.  That marriage was forced by her father, now her brother Tor is chief. Tor explains, Mairi does not have to marry anyone except for love. She feels the ties with their clans would make them so much stronger. Mairi knew her insecure groom - was sending his most handsome warrior to kiss her as a test. If she really wanted to marry him she would still meet him down the aisle. So when the most strapping, handsome,  warrior she ever met gave her the most passionate kiss of her life! What is she to do? Than she realizes a decision has been made for her. Her warrior escort is taking her in the opposite direction of the chapel!


The man Mairi mistakenly took as one of Geoff’s men is actually their enemy! It isLaird Alec MacNeil,  known as the Wolf and Chieftain of Kisimul. A man who decided he was going to get his revenge. Even though Fergus is dead, but he killed his wife, so he will replace her with a new wife, Fergus’s wife. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a bride for a bride, all is fair in love and war! Plus Alex needs someone to mind his children besides his close  warriors friends and dogs. It  was a shame Fergus MacInnes was already dead or he would of run him through. It was only fair, yet Mairi is not the docile lamb he was expecting! Nor can she be forced to do anything against her feisty, independent, will! Alex thinks a week in his dark dungeon will change her mind. Mairi does take notice of her abductor, who  is kind to dogs,  extremely gentle and caring with her person.


Laird Alex takes her to his rundown empty cursed Kisimul Castle, the Castle everyone thinks is cursed and  leaves. Everyone leaves except his children and a couple of his men. As many believe in the curse especially after his wife was murdered. His own mother deserted him as a teenager, thank God Millie cared for him.


When Mairi refuses his marriage offer he thinks a week in the dungeon will change her mind. He doesn't realize his own children betrayed him, giving  her all the comforts of a Queen! Then the tides change as Mairi starts to feel things for this gentle giant.  Also his motherless children, his young son gives his puppy so she won't feel alone. His daughter Mairi gives cooking tips and the young lass makes her flower crowns.  So she can't help  feel anything but love for the wolf’s young children . Even the puppy his son gave her she has grown to love.


Plus the location of Kisimul Castle is inescapable so what can Mairi possibly do. Yet her brother Tor is searching for . She has no doubts her family will discover her whereabouts sooner or later. Will she stay or leave like everyone else? Readers will have to read this dazzling, memorable, story that is absolutely breathtaking and unforgettable!


Again, Heather McCollum pens another remarkable riveting action packed novel, that readers won't be able to put down. This is the third book in her magnificent “Highland Isles” series. It has all the elements Scottish-historical-romance-reader’s love! It includes a swoon worthy hero,  stubborn, independent and kind
beautiful heroine. If you're a dog lover like myself you will absolutely love this novel. Any mother will love Alec’s motherless children too. There are many facets and parts to this novel that had me totally captivated and mesmerized! It totally melted my heart!


This book brought so many emotions out of me from laughter to heart tugging moments as well. A beautiful superbly written novel that readers won't be able to forget. Definitely one for your keeper shelf to re-read. I found it a total delight! I highly recommend this as you can read as a stand alone or in series order. It is always such an enormous treat when I see a new “Heather McCollum” release.


Highland Isles by Heather McCollum
1)The Beast of Aros Castle
2)The Rogue of Islay Isle
3) The Wolf of Kisimul Castle - Releasing 8/15/2017


I received an advance reader’s copy from Entangled Publishing. I voluntarily agreed to do an honest, fair  review and blog through netgalley. All thoughts, ideas and words are my own.


Amazon Buy Links:









Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Ward's Bride by Ceceila Mecca. Border series prequel novella. 5 Kilts.



Book: The Ward’s Bride
By Cecelia Mecca

Series: Border Series Novella Prequel

Reviewed by Barb Massabrook (of)
1)Tartan Book Reviews
2)Purple Tulip Book Reviews
3)Celtic Barb’s Tartan Book Review Blog

Heat Rating: hot

Overall Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Coldstream, Scotland , 1245

Due to tension during peace talk among the borders there was an attack. To make amends it is decide English Knight, Sir Adam Dayne will wed Scottish Cora Maxwell. She is the daughter of the Scot’s  Marcher Warden.

Neither Adam or Cora find this forced marriage appealing. Cora hates everything English and plans to dissuade his decision. Cora wants to return home to Scotland to see her family again. She doesn't want to be abandoned in some forlorn keep in Southern England!

Even though it was a forced marriage Adam is an honorable man and very protective for those he cares for. He knows he is going to have to court his wife to keep her. Yet will it be enough?

A beautifully written novella that I absolutely loved from start to finish. This is my first book by author Cecelia Mecca but definitely won't be the last. I look forward to reading more books from this author.


I received a complimentary reader’s copy that I voluntarily agreed to do a fair review and blog. All thoughts, ideas and words are my own.

Highland Dragon Warrior By Isabel Cooper, Dawn of the Highland Warrior, book # 1. 5 Kilts. Celtic Barbs says "Dragons and Alchemists",oh my beating heart!

Book: Highland Dragon Warrior by Isabel Cooper

Series: Dawn of the Highland Warrior, Book #1

Reviewed by Barb Massabrook (of)

1)Tartan Book Reviews - Administrator & Creator

2)Purple Tulip Book Reviews - Administrator

3)Celtic Barb’s Tartan Book Review Blog - Blogger

Heat Rating: 🔥

Overall Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️



This is the story of Cathal MacAlasdair and Sophie Metzger.

1304, Scotland

Laird Cathal MacAlasdair is a dragon/human shape-shifter, the dragon laird. He is furious the Sassenach controls the highlands ever since Scotland fell to their rule.

As legend claims the highland dragon's took an oath ”Freedom at any Price!” Yet he's frustrated that not even he can keep his people safe.

He needs a ferocious, relentless, savage, warrior, that won't fear anything or anyone! This would keep his clan safe from enemies. Yet also a warrior clever enough to outsmart his foes, be more beast than human.


Than shortly after her meets Sophie he realizes she is exactly what he both needs and wants. He and Sophia have joined together to battle, win and conquer over evil and darkness! Will they also join in the carnal sense as well or part company. Will they Dragon lift his claws and hot breath to even allow it!

Sophia Metzger is a scholar and an alchemist, but can feel the land at Loch Arach is rejecting her and wants her gone. She came here to learn,  not to fight as a warrior does.  Of course she never expected to be attracted to a dragon or ride in the clouds on his back!

This captivating book has all the elements Scottish historical paranormal romance readers love. It is filled with murder, magic mystery, shape-shifting, fantasy,  healing, faith,  passion, betrayal and love. An attraction that grows from respect to love.

A spellbinding enchanting story from start to finish. Absolutely delightful read,  loved it.

I received an advance reader copy from the publisher. I voluntarily agreed to do a fair review and blog through netgalley. All thoughts, ideas and words are my own.

Highland Dragon Warrior (Dawn of the Highland ... - Amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/Highland-Dragon-Warrior-Dawn/dp/1492632031



Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Highland Commander by Amy Jarecki. Lords of the Highlands, Book #2. 5 Kilts! Celtic Barb says " It is absolutely exhilarating!!!


Book: .The Highland Commander
By Amy Jarecki


Series: Lords of the Highlands,  Book #2


Reviewed by: Barb Massabrook (of)


Tartan Book Reviews
Purple Tulip Book Reviews
Celtic Barb’s Tartan Book Review Blog


Heat Rating: Hot


Overall Rating: 5 Stars/5 Kilts


Stonehaven, Scotland
December, 1707


This book is about Aiden Murray the second son of an Earl. He decided to make a life for himself since he was not an heir. So he joined the Scottish Naval . This is how he meets the heroine of the story Magdalen “Maddie” Keith. Maddie was born illegitimate, the  child of an Earl. Sadly, when her father has decided to marry his new wife no longer wanted Maddie in site. As his new wife the countess Lady Mary, would not let her in as part of the family since she was sixteen. Therefore she was raised with the ladies maid. Her father was Jacobite supporter, William Keith, Earl Marischal of Scotland.


So Maddie decided to do something valuable with her life a. Proving her worth to society not the nobility! She did have a title Lady Magdalen Keith she didn't feel like an aristocrat or even a Lady for that matter. She worked at a hospital caring for abused women. The Scottish women suffered at the hands of the English. As they were manly rape victims.


Maddie is rarely allowed to attend fancy functions, but since her father is hosting it she is allowed to attend. She can feel her father's guilt not being able to spend more time together. Though this is not her scene she would rather be strumming her harp or assisting the abused women at the hospital.


Since it's a masquerade and no one will be the wiser of who she is. Her father  encourages her to  and dance he heart out and No One will be the wiser with a masque on. This is where she meets Aiden Murray for the first time. She won't see Aiden for another year. This time, a year later she is in dire straits. Even her father's wife who detests her asks for Maddie’s help. Of course Maddie being the good hearted soul that she is will do what she can to rescue her Jacobite father. Before Queen Ann can give him a death sentence where he'll be hanging from the gibbet!


The attraction only grows between these two and their innocence is just enchanting. As both are virgins so the passion scenes are absolutely heart-pulling.


Again you can feel Ms. Jarecki love of Scotland, as she weaves my favorite combination of true history into her fictional romance. Her research as well as her imagination and own spin is phenomenal! You can read as a stand alone book or in series order. This is the second book in  series “Lords of the Highlands”,  I absolutely loved “The Highland Commander”!  It has all the elements Scottish historical readers love. From riveting pirate sword fights, political battles, betrayal, imprisonment, swoon worthy heroes making the heroine swoon, love, true factual history, and so much more!


I have been reading Ms. Jarecki novels for years as an independent author. Now so happy Forever, Grand Central Publishing has recognized Amy’s gifts and talent. I look forward to more factual history, weaved with her spin on a fictional romance.


“Lords of the Highlands” Series by Amy Jarecki


1)The Highland Duke
2)The Highland Commander

Disclaimer: I was given this advance readers copy from the publisher through netgalley, for an honest and fair review. I voluntarily accepted as all words, thoughts and ideas are my own.



Amazon Buy Links:



Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Highland Redemption by Ceci Giltenan. The Duncurra Legacy, Book #1, 5 Kilts. Celtic Barb says, this one melted her heart!





Book: Highland Redemption
by Ceci Giltenan

Series: The  Duncurra
Legacy, Book One


Reviewed by: Barb Massabrook (of)
1)Tartan Book Reviews

2)Purple Tulip Book Reviews

3)Celtic Barb’s Tartan Book Review Blog


Heat Rating:  Hot
Overall Rating: 5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Back story: In Ceci Giltenan’s debut book “Highland Solution” :  19 years earlier Katherine “Kate” Ruthven,was nearly beaten (whipped)  to death trying to protect seven year old Tomas.  Then her wicked Uncle Ambrose forces a marriage on her-to a highlander, far away from the land and clan she loves. Kate is forced to marry Highland Laird, Niall MacIan. This was basically so her Uncle Ambrose can steal lairdship and lands, in order to marry the woman he loves. Niall and Kate do end up falling in love and adopting seven year old Tomas as their son. The past nineteen years luckily have been blissful!

Tomas MacIan is the hero of this story, adopted son of Katherine “Kate” Ruthven-MacIan and Laird Niall MacIan. Davida (Vida) Ruthven is the heroine of the story. However her father happens to be the ruthless greedy villain, Laird Ambrose Ruthven
Scotland. October 1378.
19 years later…

Tomas MacIan, his friends and allies from other clans-had just been to Edinburgh to deliver their taxes to the Crown. This is why  they have so many warriors. If attacked by highwaymen, they have enough seasoned warriors to defend themselves. Plus it was a seven day ride from Duncurra. This time Tomas was officially representing his Clan since his father Niall was not joining them this time.
Clan’s Carr and MacLennan also rode with them, eighteen experienced veteran warriors.


Now relieved they were on their way home without the burden of carrying gold anymore.  Yet they spotted a coach in trouble, being waylaid by highwaymen! They also  see the men defending the Lord and his lady fighting do not have any of their skills!   As they were outnumbered, so they did what any honorable warriors would do!  They lent a hand to rescue these people. Especially when they saw a lass being carried away! Then as the lass fought the assailment she was assaulted! Tomas was furious, after all Tomas and his mother went through at Ruthvens hands!  He just couldn't abide any lass being struck ever!

Then he was shocked realizing he just saved his enemy's daughter! Of coursed Tomas was unrecognizable being a twenty-six year old seasoned warrior, not a seven year old child. He lied about his age and name calling himself Tomas McHenry as he  was shocked when asked to help train at Cotharach.


At first he was ready to just refuse!  He hoped they would be attacked and ruined. As they explained how other clans were seeing them as weak and stealing their livestock off their lands,
. Of course after getting his friends approval and telling them the truthful story plus his beautiful daughter asked he couldn't refuse. So he thought this was the perfect revenge! So many ideas went through his mind, from training their men inadequately, to seducing his daughter and abducting her to the Highlands!


Will he get the verge that has been festering for years? This is the perfect opportunity!  However, he knows his mother would never approve of these underhanded tactics,  that would hurt the clan she loved. Plus it's his clan too!


As Tomas gets to know Vida he sees how similar in personality she is with his mother. He knows Kate would love her, yet he is shocked to learn how Vida thinks her cousin Katherine is dead!

Vida Ruthven is the only one who can mellow her father and keep his bad temper in check. He is a different man than he was,  but it is she keeping the clan a float, making sure all her people are cared far. The only area she didn't observe was the warriors, thinking her father was on top of that. Obviously this was another area he neglected again!  Again Vida was embarrassed and humiliated of  how badly their warriors were in need of training! As they  fought leaving them unprotected! If these Highlander's hadn't showed up god knows what would have happened to them! So she was very appreciative they accepted her father's offers. She saw her father thought the handsome Tomas was also enamored, as if he walked on water. Vida couldn't hide her attraction to the handsome guard herself. Then she comes up with the idea for Tomas to stay and train their men so they will not be so  vulnerable to other enemy clans to attack them. Of course she made it look as if it were her father’s idea, as she was very clever the way she maneuvered her father this way.


During this time Tomas still see’s Ambrose greed still knows no end, from gambling money he doesn't have and using his daughter as a pawn for a loan.


Tomas see’s this beautiful lass is the heart and soul of Cotharach! He also see’s how intelligent, kind and resourceful Vida is! So shall he ruin her and steal her away to the highlands?  Shall he make an honest woman out of her? As the attraction grows and is mutual  now both are falling deeply in love. Will Tomas come clean and admit his deception? Will Vida forgive him or feel the ultimate betrayal? Will these star crossed lovers end in heartbreak or forgiveness? You will have to read this captivating novel that is absolutely brilliant  to find out!  


Another exhilarating Ceci Giltenan read that simply blew me away!  This one has a very special place in my  heart. As I discovered this special author when she had just released her debut  Highland Solution. I  Have read every single novel since. I love that this is that seven year old boy’s story all grown up!


A beautiful written story fans of Scottish historical romance will absolutely love. I loved some familiar characters made appearances again. Kind of like a family reunion in a sense, that will make Giltenan reader’s heart melt. Plus all the elements romance readers love from riveting adventures,  mystery, mischief, mayhem  betrayal,  clan robbery, steamy passion, all consuming love and more!


This is definitely a story you don't want to miss! I highly recommend Highland Redemption by Ceci Giltenan.




Amazon Buy Links:

Disclaimer: I was gifted this advance readers copy for an honest review. I voluntarily accepted as all words, thoughts and ideas are my own.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Ashley York Release Day Blitz

Release day blitz, Ashley York!!

Genre: Historical Romance
Series:
Book 2 of 2 in The Derbfine series (2 Book Series)

Publication date: July 31, 2017
Language: English
ASIN: B072MFRH8G
Blurb
In ancient Éire, men and women take to the legends for answers. Different-colored eyes are the mark of a Seer, it is said, and those who can see the future are in league with the devil. They cannot be suffered to live.

He wishes to prove himself…

Marcán of Clonascra bears the bloodline of Brian Boru, the legendary high king, and his prowess as a warrior has earned him great respect. But he was born with different-colored eyes, and there are some who would have him suffer a Seer’s fate. His fiercest adversary is Beibhinn, mother to Diarmuid, his close friend and king, and Astrid, the woman who holds his heart. If Astrid ever showed him any interest, he would fight Beibhinn and any army to wed her.

She is desperate to escape…

Astrid is sick of her mother’s belittling, but her brother is in no hurry see her married, so she decides to see to her own match-making. The man she approaches quickly reveals his lack of honor, but her overbearing mother pushes her to wed him anyway. When Astrid discovers Marcán’s love for her, she realizes that what she wants has been in front of her all along. True happiness awaits them, but only if they can put a stop to her mother’s plans.

Buy links

Apple:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/eyes-of-the-seer/id1245425855?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4


Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Eyes-Seer-Derbfine-Book-2-ebook/dp/B072MFRH8G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1500314631&sr=8-1&keywords=eyes+of+the+seer+by+ashley+york


Barnes and Noble:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/eyes-of-the-seer-ashley-york/1126525453?ean=9780998668420


Google Play:
https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Ashley_York_Eyes_of_the_Seer?id=Oc4mDwAAQBAJ


Kobo:
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/eyes-of-the-seer-3

********

Meet Ashley York:

Two things you should know about me right up front. I’m a hard-core romantic! And I

I believe true love does exist and once found, can transform your life from a solitary journey into a passionate adventure. Easier said than done sometimes but writing about the infinite number of possibilities, working out the exact when and where, and developing the character's personal journey to get there, thrills me to no end.



I love history with larger than life heroes, chivalrous knights, lords and ladies, castles, manors, battles and conquests. These are the foundations for passionate, historical romance novels. That’s what I write.  There is nothing like the intense emotions sparked between a driven, hard-working medieval warrior and a feisty damsel in  a quandary, often not of her own making.


I’m fascinated by the High Middle Ages in Scotland, England, and Ireland. There are so many world-changing events taking place here from their participation in the Crusades to the Battle of Hastings that permanently connected the islands to the continent. Before the Declaration of Arbroath, before William Wallace,  before the Doomsday Book, the area was ripe for great events and they never failed to deliver. It is on this combustible backdrop that I create characters with the same desires and motivations as we have today.



When I’m not writing, I enjoy cooking. It’s relaxing and I always like to find something new and easy. On Fridays I occasionally share simple recipes with Foody Friday. Sometimes entrees. Sometimes desserts. Sometimes snacks. Always delicious.





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Sometime you get lucky and get to meet the authors you admire. Ashley York and blogger Celtic Barb (me) at NJRWA15 conference.


Thank you for hosting Ashley York!!

AprilR






Please stop by my blog celticbarb.blogstop.com. Also visit my author promotion group site on Facebook at Tartan Book Reviews.