Friday, October 25, 2019

A MacKenzie Clan Christmas: A Mackenzie Yuletide, book # 11.5 and A Mackenzie Clan Gathering, book # 8.5 Mackenzies and McBrides. Five Stars

Book: A Mackenzie Clan Christmas
by Jennifer Ashley

Series: (Mackenzie Christmas Anthology) Books 11.5 and 8.5

1. Tartan Book Reviews
2. Purple Tulip Book Reviews
3. Celtic World of Historical Book Reviews
4.Celtic Barb’s Tartan Book Review Blog

Overall Rating: 5 Stars and 5 Kilts
A Mackenzie Yuletide

December 1898

Mac Mackenzie, the families artistic family member, painting a landscape late one evening. He is surprised when he sees an apparition though most of the family don’t believe him. They ruin his fantasy of talking to one of their MacKenzie ancestors. As his sister-in-law the Duchess and younger family members go on a ghost hunt using trick photography to help catch a thief! As they want to make sure it isn’t a thief or someone threatening their lives. Especially with all the expensive art work of the Duke of Kilmorgan’s. Plus Ian’s priceless Ming pottery, as well as priceless jewels and other items the family owns. 

Ian always wants to get his wife an extra special present for his Beth. Yet he hears someone may have stolen the priceless item he wants. So he goes on a different type of hunt to get a unique gift from a worthless collector. Will he be able to locate the piece? Read and find out. 

This novella was absolutely magnificent from start to finish. It’s another beautiful story with the family I absolutely love. I love that the author give a quick detailed explanation of each relationship. I personally didn’t need it as I have read each book and remember each story. It is great for first time readers or people who may have forgotten each story. 

I love The Mackenzies so much though Ian and Mac are my favorites! You can’t help but fall in love with this beautiful family. The perfect story to get you into the Christmas spirit and remembering that the holiday is about love and family. I have been reading this series since it began and hopes it never ends. 

I highly recommend the book as A MacKenzie Yuletide is absolutely perfect! 

A Mackenzie Clan Gathering

One of my favorite reads of 2016 and fun to read again! 

Jennifer Ashley pens another riveting beautiful heart-melting story that you wish would never end! It will give you chills and melt your heart at the same time! Loved this quick paced, extraordinary, unique and extremely entertaining read I could not put down! 

Scotland, 1892

All the Mackenzie's and MacBride's were getting ready to travel to Kilmorgan Castle which is Hart Mackenzie, the Duke of Kiomorgan's residence to celebrate Hart's Birthday the following week. So far his youngest brother Ian, his wife Beth and children and a skeleton staff were the only ones in residence. Ian, the one some cruel or ignorant people refer as mad or crazy, of course if it was present day it would be called Asperger's syndrome or ASD. Unfortunately, it is still only the 19th century and it will still be quite some time when physicians and the medical community can give people like Ian, the correct diagnosis. This always impresses me  how Ms. Ashley brilliantly and also tenderly tackles the subject and of course Beth his wife is his biggest supporter, his salvation, his everything! I think also, this is why Ian is definitely the favorite Mackenzie among readers. Through Ian's special qualities and his senses he hears things and and is in-tune to sounds most are not. Why he wakes up alert and hears the intruders, he knew it wasn't the usual sounds in the house he grew up in and he naturally goes after them to protect his family and nearly gets himself killed in the process. Unfortunately Ian feels responsible as the intruders makes off with a good portion of Hart's priceless art collection! Ian decided to go after them, especially when someone tampers with Ian's distillery where they make the profitable Mackenzie malt whiskey. 

As things were not already topsy turfy enough,  Beth invites her missionary brother-in-law of her deceased first husband whom has a secret agenda! He tells Ian secretly that he can cure him of his madness or at least try. Ian has dreams of being what he calls normal for Beth he has yet to understand that she loves the man he is and always will and does not want a different man. What will it take for Ian to finally accept or understand this and let go of this unfounded guilt he has. I personally blame his cruel father for a lot of these feelings besides the ignorant finger pointers calling him insane throughout his life. Except we all know Ian is not mad or insane! Lots of action, adventure, drama and heart pulling scenes that gives readers chills.  Beautiful of course, seeing how Beth and Ian still love each other as much as ever of not more with their three children who adore him, being together over a decade now. I had goose bumps and tears rolling down my cheeks during certain scenes as Ian and his family definitely does that to me and I love how Beth is ready to fight for her man no matter who it is. I also love how Beth has taught him so much about love, life and what really is important. Ian now understands a stolen art collection, even his Ming China collection, are just objects and objects can be replaced, people cannot. He understands the safety of Beth and their children Jamie 11, Belle 10 and Megan 7 is all that matters. Afterall it is what completes Ian and make him whole. 

Lots of action, surprises, mystery, suspense, adventure, love and emotion as always and of course fans of the Mackenzies and MacBrides will truly delighted with this spectacular story centering on  Ian and Beth. Being a long time fan of the series I was not disappointed or surprised and another superbly written story that touched my heart and captured my soul. I read this in one sitting and be prepared to fall in love with Ian Mackenzie all over again! 

I absolutely loved this riveting, charming, amazingly brilliant page turner and highly recommend "A Mackenzie Clan Gathering" by Jennifer Ashley. I can't compliment it enough as I was completely dazzled and enchanted as I totally loved it! ❤️

** I was given an ARC from the publisher through in exchange for an honest review.**

Chronology and Reading order:
The following is the order in which events in the series take place, which is more or less publication order. 

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (1881)
Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage (1881)
The Many Sins of Lord Cameron (1882, September; Epilogue, June 1883)
The Duke's Perfect Wife (1884, Spring; Epilogue, June 1885)
The Seduction of Elliot McBride (1884, June)
A Mackenzie Family Christmas: The Perfect Gift (1884, December)
The Untamed Mackenzie (1885, April)
Scandal and the Duchess (1885, November)
The Scandalous Mackenzies (Print edition of Untamed Mackenzie and Scandal and the Duchess)
Rules for a Proper Governess (1885, December)
The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (1890)
A Mackenzie Clan Gathering (1892)

Eighteenth-Century Mackenzies
(Can be read before or after the Victorian Era Mackenzies)
The Stolen Mackenzie Bride (1745-46)

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Friday, October 18, 2019

The Highlander and The Governess by Michelle Willingham. New Series Untamed Highlanders, Book #1. Five Kilts! Celtic Barb absolutely loved this page turning masterpiece! Definitely have a box of Kleenex available as it is a wonderful, emotional rollercoaster!

Book: The Highlander and the Governess

By Michelle Willingham

Series: Untamed Highlanders, Book # 1

Reviewed by: Barb Massabrook (of)

1)Celtic Barb’s Tartan Book Review Blog 
2)Administrator of Celtic World of Historical Book Reviews 
3)Administrator of Tartan Book Reviews 
4)Administrator of Purple Tulip Book Reviews 

Heat Rating: 🔥🔥🔥

Overall Rating: Five Stars and Five Kilts

1813, Scotland

Frances Goodson, the daughter of a Baron, is now being shunned by London society. She was ruined due to an awful decision in her past. Just because she   believed the sweet words of a silver tongued nobleman’s deception and empty promises! As beautiful Frances was very young, innocent, gullible and naive. She now lives in poverty in exile away from her family. This was her choice, as she did not want any of her bad decisions to affect her family by the ton. She also decided never to marry or have children. It wasn’t like gentlemen were lining with marriage offers! Who would want her anyway she thought, as she had little self esteem and a very low opInion of herself! 

So after three years of heartache she was overjoyed to receive an offer employment! It was to become a governess in Scotland, which was perfect, to start a new life and fresh beginning! Frances had assumed the offer was from Lachlan MacKinloch, Laird of Locharr, for his children. When Frances arrives, she immediately falls in love with Scotland and this beautiful castle she will be living in. She is soon disappointed to learn this laird is a bachelor, and he never made this offer of employment! She discovers it was his mother, who is traveling abroad,  that offered her this position. Frances decides to give her son lessons in acceptable manners and proprieties to win a wealthy, shy, English heiress. As Laird MacKinloch is to marry a woman he has not seen in a decade!

 Lachlan wants this bonnie English governess to leave as soon as possible and out of his atmosphere. A man who others see as a hideous scarred monster, from a tragic accident of his past. He has healed physically, but is still suffering mentally. Feeling guilt and heartache from this accident, making promises to a family member. Especially since he could not save this family member, from this horrific accident! Frances is also mentally suffering from the past and they both need to heal for different reasons. They are two peas in a pod in many ways-even though they don’t realize it. 

So even though Lachlan finds his governess teaching him how to to behave in London society ridiculous! He can’t ignore her beauty, kindness, and humor. Frances bribes to stay longer even without pay! She soon wins the hearts of the MacKinloch Clan and eventually the Laird himself. She soon become air to Lachlan though he knows he can’t keep her and a new wife under the same roof. Nor would he ever humiliate she or his new wife with a mistress, not even a wife he does not care for romantically! This marriage is only a business arrangement to keep his clan fed which Frances truly admires about the Laird. 

Frances soon realizes 
she is in dangerous territory falling for a man she can never have. Soon the Laird feels the same, but he knows he has no choice but to marry the woman or his Clan will not survive. As this star crossed couple will have to say goodbye forever and never see each other again. Can these two broken individuals survive such a sacrifice? Read and find out!

Have a box of Kleenex ready fo this extraordinary tale! Another Michelle Willingham story really pulled at my heartstrings. It was absolutely captivating and brilliant. I truly felt for this broken couple who never seemed to be able to get what they both truly desired. Any historical reader who wants to read an extraordinary conflicted romance which is always the most fun to read will absolutely love “The Highlander and The Governess”.

 I am a big fan of Ms. Willingham’s work and loved the previous MacKinloch Clan series. You can imagine how thrilled I was that this clan got a new life! In addition I loved seeing characters like The Duke and Duchess of Worthingstone from her previous novel “Undone by the Duke”again too . I love revisiting characters from previous books it is like a mini reunion and update of their happily ever after too! As I have been reading Michelle Willingham books since her debut, which are always magnificent and definitely always capture my heart! This is the first book in her brand new (Untamed Highlander) series, as I definitely can’t wait for the next book to be released!

Again all the elements historical romance readers will absolutely love from beginning to the end. A fabulous setting, captivating characters, the plot twists were absolutely phenomenal, with breathtaking dialogues! Plus the My Fair Lady similarities was pure genius in my opinion! It’s a book readers don’t want to miss which I absolutely and unequivocally highly recommend! 

Disclaimer: I received an advance readers copy from the Harlequin publishers. I voluntarily agreed to do a fair review and blog through netgalley. All thoughts, ideas and words are my own. 

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Sunday, September 29, 2019

Highland Obligation by Lori Ann Bailey. Highland Pride Series book #5. Five Kilts

Book: Highland Salvation 
By Lori Ann Bailey

Series: Highland Pride Series, Book #5

Release Date: September 24th 2019

Reviewed by: Barb Massabrook of
1. Tartan Book Reviews
2. Purple Tulip Book Reviews
3. Celtic World of Historical Book Reviews
4.Celtic Barb’s Tartan Book Review Blog 

Heat Rating: I Smokin Hot 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Overall Rating: 5 Star & 5 Kilts

Isle of Skye, Scotland, 1643,
Cairntay, Castle 

Isobel MacLean will do absolutely everything in her power to protect those she loves. As she is guilt ridden over an incident from her past. Feeling she must protect all she cares for or they will leave her. Now she is being forced by her family to weds a man she despises, heir to the MacDonald, Grant MacDonald.

As she blames Grant MacDonald, for not allowing her to kill the Covenanter leader’s vicious cousin. An evil and despicable man who recognized her, the reason her life is now in danger. Also the reason her family was forcing this marriage on her to Grant MacDonald! Yet it was the only people who could keep her safe since her life was in danger. As it is gossiped the Covenanter leader knows who this Royalist resistors female warrior is. Especially since recognized by his cousin, Torsten Campbell, a Covenanter villain who wants to move up in his cousin, Earl of Argyll’s ranks, given the respect he feels he deserves! In addition, knowing he wanted to back the MacLean Clan into a corner, knowing it was the Laird’s daughter.

The MacDonald’s is the strongest Clan in the Highlands. It was the safest course to take to protect Isobel. The Campbells would not be able to climb over the Cullin slippery mountains, no matter if it were the black or red cullins! As they might even go over the cliffs into the Loch Sligachan, even if pagens believe it is the Fountain of Youth! Although a quick death for the leader would definitely solve Isobel’s problems! So there was no way out of this marriage for Isobel!

Yet when Isobel walks down the isle, Grant recognizes Isobel, as the female rebel warrior who killed his best friend. He knows he has to master, his rebellious wife that he would like to murder. He blames her for many things including his brother-in-law’s death. Yet as time goes on and on an assignment in Edinburgh, Grant MacDonald starts to open his eyes and sees his mischievous wife in a different light . He sees he may not of been correct in assuming her evilness.  Yet to keep her safe and away from revenge, he must distract his highland beauty, turning his savage warrior, into a Lady of Clan MacDonald. The wife of the Laird MacDonald’s heir! Soon hatred turns to love, but can all be forgotten and forgiven? Will Isabel be able to open a heart she has closed off to everyone? She is even fearful of getting attached to a wee kitten. Can she trust a husband who only wants peace? Will she and her husband put their hatred aside and ever open their hearts? Are they doomed for a loveless marriage for the rest of their lives?

I have read each book in the Highland Pride Series that always blows me away. You can read this book as a stand alone book. Any of the books in this series can be read as a stand alone book. Each book is a bit better than the last, don’t get me wrong as I have loved them all! I love that the setting of this book, is the most beautiful place in the world, the Scottish Highlands. 

This book was quick paced, page turner! Another riveting, awe-inspiring, action-packed, romantic, adventure was another phenomenal masterpiece! It has all the features that historical readers love. Plus historical geeks like myself who love real factual history weaved into a fictional romance! It includes murder, arranged marriage, deceit, betrayal, treachery, politics, Clan wars, forced religion, protection, assault, hatred, forgiveness, understanding, and love.

The setting made me gasp for air, being totally breathtaking! The characters were brilliant plus I love revisiting characters from previous books. Plus visiting new characters like some of the MacDonald’s warriors, Annis the maid and her unseen baker. The dialogue was captivating and plots kept my heartbeat racing,wondering what could possibly happen next?

Solemn League and Covenant, (1643), agreement between the English and Scots by which the Scots agreed to support the English Parliamentarians in their disputes with the royalists and both countries pledged to work for a civil and religious union of England, Scotland, and Ireland under a presbyterian–parliamentary

This is a book readers don’t want to miss! I highly recommended Highland Obligation by Lori Ann Bailey.

The Highland Pride Series
By Lori Ann Bailey

1)*Highland Deception  
2)* Highland Redemption 
3)* Highland Temptation 
4)* Highland Salvation
5)* Highland Obligation

I received this book From Entangled publishers for a fair and honest review. I voluntarily agreed to read, review, blog and promote through netgalley. All words, ideas, thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Highland Jewel by May McGoldrick Royal Highlanders series book #2 Five Kilts

Book: Highland Jewel
by May McGoldrick

Series: (Royal Highlander, Book #2)

Release Date: September 24th

Reviewed by: Barb Massabrook of
Tartan Book Reviews
Celtic World of Historical Book Reviews, Purple Tulip Book  Reviews
Celtic Barb's Tartan Book Review Blog

Heat Rating: Hot🔥

Overall Rating:  5/5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Edinburgh and The Highlands,
August 1820

The heroine of this story is Maisie Muarray. The younger sister of Isabella Murray Drummond, heroine of Highland Crown. Maisie is a bit of a chameleon, living a double life. To her family she is just a pretty face with an empty head that only require a husband and bairns. In other words a life with no other requirements besides being a whore in the bedroom, a cook in the kitchen and housekeeper and governess. For other women this might be enough but not Maisie she has a passionate nature and accomplishments to be met. They find her simple-minded, submissive, often silent and speechless where she is ready to conform to the authority of others. A follower more or less not a leader at all but they are wrong on so many levels.

Those outside the home especially her best friend, Fiona Campbell, knows Maisie has a warrior’s heart and a rebellious nature for the right reasons. Maisie wants to fight to change things for women at peaceful meetings and protests. Proving that this oppression has to stop! It’s not even just for women but everyone who of middle and lower classes. Anyone not born into wealth and nobility. Maisie is the conqueror of women’s rights and justice and wants to change things especially after Peterloo Massacre and similar incidents slaughtering innocent lives! This is how she and Fiona Campbell discover The Edinburgh Female Reform Society together. As they both take pride in carrying the banners for Universal Sufferage and its cause.

The swoon worthy hero of this story is Niall Campbell. A decorated, war hero, and recently retired, veteran officer, of the Royal Highland Regiment. A man who has seen too much death and destruction, for no other reason but to fill the noble Kings pockets! He just wanted to find a quiet, stable life and existence. Of course his senior officers are less than thrilled about losing this young, high ranking, superior, officer.

Niall soon meets and finds out his sister and her new friend are taking big dangerous risks in this new obsession of theirs. He understands their passion, wanting to correct society’s wrongs. Trying to make a better life and protection for others if only it was that simple.  He agrees with them, but he also knows they could end up dead. As this corrupt authority will add charges of things they did not do, but can not prove. They will throw them in prison as traitors with the possibility of a traitors death or worse being they are women. In addition his sister is a widow with two young daughters and Maisie’s family would just assume she is missing. As they have no idea she is doing these activities. 

During this time he falls in love with Maisie, but than some corrupt officers want Niall under their thumb, abducting someone near and dear to him. All his hopes and dreams come to an end, the only way he can be a savior is to hurt someone close to Maisie. Will this destroy Maisie and Niall’s love and future? Will Maisie ever tell her family who she truly is? Will she ever forgive Niall?

Again another action packed, awe inspiring, extraordinary May McGoldrick novel  blew me away! I absolutely loved the main characters of the book Maisie and Niall. I also loved Fiona Campbell as I hope this young widow gets a future book. I loved getting to know the humorous and independent Morrigan Drummond too. Of course this spectacular heartwarming phenomenal novel had my favorite ingredients for a story, true history with a fictional romance. I have been reading May McGoldrick books for over two decades and am never disappointed, finding all their books major addictive! The Edinburgh and Highland settings were absolutely breathtaking. Another amazing dialogue and the extraordinary plotting with so many twists and turns. It made me wonder with my heart racing, what could possibly happen next? You think you have one plot figured out, but find out you are totally wrong! I love that about May McGoldrick novels as they always keep me on my toes guessing!

This book has all the elements historical romance readers love. It is a fast moving heart felt, adventurous, novel with murder plots, attempted murder, blackmail, abduction, espionage, treachery, betrayal, hatred, loyalty, faith, trust, joy, passion, love and more. 

Any historical romance or lover of true history is going to love this book. In history I always felt bad for Queen Caroline. So I am glad they are giving her a new life in this book. You can read this as a stand alone book, but I recommend you read Highland Crown too. I can’t wait to read the third book in this magnificent series Highland Sword. That will be Morrigan’s story. 

I received this book from St. Martin’s Paperback publishers for a fair and honest review. I voluntarily agreed to read, review, blog and promote through netgalley. All words, ideas and thoughts are my own.

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