Thursday, January 11, 2018

When a Warrior Woos a Lass By Julie Johnstone, Highlander Vows: Book 6. Five Kilts. Celtic Barb says this one was a masterpiece!!!

“When a Warrior Woos a Lass” 
  by Julie Johnstone

Series: Highland Vows:Entangled  Hearts, Book #6

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

Heat Rating:🔥

Overall Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Isle Of Skye, Scotland 

The heroine of this story is Lena MacLeod has been kidnapped as a child, abused as an adult horribly by her late husband both mentally and physically. Her brother Graham killed the man Findlay Campbell who kidnapped, humiliated, thrashed tortured and scarred her but now she can’t even let any man touch her! Even in the most non threatening ,innocent, platonic, casual way! Her brother’s know it’s just a matter of time before the King will want another favor! That is  for another clan alliance to bind another clan to the King. They have to please their King for he could take away titles, lands holding with a snap of his fingers. Even if they do support him and consider him a friend.  Yet the King will want to use Lena and force her in to marry in another powerful clan. They hope it won’t be anytime soon as they would encourage that she not be forced but make her own choice of husband. They know how damaged she is, but also know the reality of the situation with granting the King favors. As there was no real choice in the matter! 

Laird Alex MacLean is the hero of this novel. A childhood friend who has been Laird since he was fifteen summers. His best friends are Lena’s brother’s. He always defended and protected Lena as a child if older children bullied her. Now he sees her in a completely different light as the most beautiful woman he has ever known. Of course he has his own demons as one who has been abused he sees the signs. Alec was abused horrible by the Laird who was supposed to protect and train him when he was twelve. It is why he can’t marry or have a normal relationship with a woman. So he understands Lena and would kill her former husband himself if he wasn’t already dead! 

One night at a family wedding feast Alex’s sister who is married to Lena’s brother Lachlan talks him into asking Lena to dance. As she always hides in dark corners at public feasts and celebrations to avoid speaking with men or socializing. Of course Lena knows this is a man she has always considered a dear friend. Yet they both have been attracted to each other for a long time. They dance and Alex wishes he could heal her. He knows because of  his deep dark past it’s impossible. He can’t even make love to a woman without pain involved and his previous partners know this. He would never abuse a woman to his darkness. Alex is upfront to all his partners ahead of time about his expectations in the bedroom. Yet for one dance he wants to pretend he is a normal man though he does want to chase Lena’s demons away and make her strong again.

Then the king appears and he wants Lena to marry another he does chose three good men.  Alex can’t help but feel jealous and the observant king notices. As the King is actually protecting her as someone dangerous wants to wed her. Then it is Alex he want for Lena’s husband he can see the feeling between these two. Alex doesn’t want this as he can’t be a real husband due to his violent nightmares. He has nearly killed his man the only one to know his secrets. Alex worms away in Lena’s heart loving and protecting and trying to heal her. Yet he won’t share his secrets which starts a great divide between the couple. Plus the King want Laird Alex to play traitor where all the people he cares for and calls friend will hate him including Lena. Plus it’s back where his nightmare and abuse started so the memories and guilt are horrific. Plus Lena wants to join him on this adventure and there are some who plan on taking their revenge out on him. So danger is lurking at every corner what will be the result? Death, violence or worse? Can these broken fences and shattered hearts be mended? You will have to find out!

Have the Kleenex ready! As Julie Johnstone pens a very emotional heartbreaking story I could not put down! I sobbed through this one a lot! My favorite of the entire series though I have loved each one. Another exhilarating story any reader would want to revisit and read again. Yes it is that magnificent and awe-inspiring!  

Readers must read this masterpiece of a story it’s totally brilliant! Julie Johnstone absolutely outdid herself with this swoon worthy abused Laird and his childhood love. 

You can read as a stand alone book, but I highly recommend to read the entire series! To see the relationships of the other MacLeod siblings and other fantastic characters. As some might call this a second chance at romance. You will find out more of the history between Lena and Alex,in book 5,“How a Scot Surrenders to a Lady. It has all the elements Scottish historical romance readers love, plus riveting page turning adventure, suspense, mystery, swoon worthy hero with non stop action! It teaches you to believe in healing, faith, trust and of course love. 

I absolutely and unequivocally loved this book so much!

I received this book from the author for a fair and honest review. I voluntarily agreed to read, review, and blog. All words, ideas and thoughts are my own.

Amazon Buy Link:

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Book: Highland Redemption 
By Lori Ann Bailey

Series: Highland Pride, Book #2

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

Heat Rating:🔥

Overall Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is the second book in Lori Ann Bailey’s riveting “Highland Pride” series. “Celtic Barb’s Tartan Book Review Blog”

As the strain is even more hostile between the royalists, known as cavaliers and the covenanters. This is the beginning of the first English/Scottish Civil War as there were three in total. Also known as the “War of Three Kingdoms” which involved Scotland, England and Ireland. 

Scotland, 1643

In this exhilarating story spymaster Brodie Cameron who rescues a lass while spying for Clan Cameron. Brodie didn’t realize it’s the very lass who broke his heart five years prior with no word. The very reason he entered that the dangerous world of spying. It was to prove he was worthy of Skye’s love. Brodie made this decision after overhearing a conversation by Skye’s Uncle, claiming Brodie was not good enough for Skye.  The problem now was he had secrets from Skye. This made Skye suspicious wondering where he was, what he was doing and why he was doing it? 

Now since his shattered heart the world thinks he’s a drunkard and womanizer. This is his disguise and cover from his actual spying activities as “The Raven”. 
Five years ago Skye Cameron’s heart was broken long ago by the abandonment and desertion by Brodie Cameron. A man who nearly destroyed her after her father's death. She waited for Brodie to come back to  love, support and console her. He never came, no letters, messages or any word at all. Now her Uncle had rescued her and taken her into his clan and home. A place that makes Skye feel so lonely and isolated away from her family and friends. Of course she has heard of Brodie’s womanizing and feels she was just another notch in his kilt.  

What Skye doesn’t realize is she is the woman Brodie has always loved and cared for. Now what Sky doesn’t realize is her very life is in danger! However, she is now betrothed to another which is only a political alliance. Yet the Duke of Argyll, who supports the Presbyterian Covenants as the sole religion of Scotland. He puts a bounty on Skyes head dead or alive. He does not want this match to occur no matter what! They may cause her death or a heinous accident. In addition her missing could cause a  bloody clan war! This makes no sense to Brodie and can not figure out why Argyll would put such a high price on Skye’s head! 

Brodie knows things are different now, as he would never want to put Skies life in danger. As wife, to one of the top spies in Scotland, her very life would be easily forfeit for information. Yet he still wants to know why she never responded to any of his messages. He turned to drink and women trying to mend his shattered heart. As they were childhood friends as he also had worshipped her father too.

Now they are on the run together and in close captivity will old feelings come back? Will the love in their hearts be allowed to be set free? Or will they still face lies and denial? You must read this masterpiece of story that will stay with you long after you have read it. A definite on your keeper shelf!

Fans of the “Highland Pride” series like myself of Lori Ann Bailey’s first book, “Highland Deception”, will be thrilled Lachlan and Maggie appear in this book too. This book has all the elements romance readers love from riveting adventure, mystery, suspense, romance, heartbreak, abduction, betrayal, rescue, miscommunication, attempted murder, treachery, spying,
arranged betrothal , political alliances, secrets, forgiveness, faith, passion, joy and love. 

I absolutely loved Highland Redemption as much as I loved from Highland Deception. Again Ms. Bailey pens another heart pulling masterpiece that had me weeping, but always cheering this couple on! The type of story that will always stay with me long after I have read it. The setting was magnificent and the dialogue just blew me away. There were plots within plots in this story which had me mesmerized. Finding my heart racing, yet holding my breath with anticipation not knowing what would happen next!

A phenomenal story from start to finish. A definite read you don’t want to miss! You can read as stand alone book or in series order. I recommend series order as I think it’s just more fun that way. To connect the dots of previous  characters or seeing the hero of this book as a secondary character in a previous book. No matter what you chose it is a spectacular read. My favorite reading recipe is true history weaved with a fictional historical romance. Highland Redemption was absolutely brilliant as I can’t recommend it enough!

Amazon Buy Link:

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 and thoughts are my own.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Princess and The Laird by C. A. Szaerek. Series: Prequel to A Highland Secrets series. Five Stars! Celtic Barb loved this book!

Book- The Princess and the Laird
By C.A. Szarek

Series: Highland Secrets prequel

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

Heat Rating:🔥

Overall Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is the prequel to the time-travel, paranormal, fantasy,romance, trilogy, Highland Secrets.

The hero is Alex MacLeod who is pushed into the responsibility of being his clans Laird before he is prepared. Even though he always knew this was his future. His mother is very ill and his father just wants to spend his time as her caretaker. Alex doesn’t understand love therefore he doesn’t agree with his fathers choice putting a woman before his clan and people. Alex tend to be a bit self involved not putting others before himself. Of course when he get a whiff of the thing called love hopefully he will evolve for the better.,.

The heroine of this story is fae Princess Alana. She goes through the faerie stones to hide in the Forbidden human realm. There she meets the and falls for the Laird. He is like forbidden fruit something she might taste but can never keep.

Alex and Alana are both running from futures they both refuse. Yet they will pay the price coming from two very different and forbidden worlds? What will be their sacrifices or risks be? Will love be discovered and hearts be broken?

You will have to read this exhilarating book to find out. I can’t wait to read the Highland Secrets books as this prequel is fantastic!

Fast paced page turner, magical settings, spellbinding dialogue, plotting paced perfectly and captivating characters I so enjoyed.

I was totally mesmerized by this enchanting tale from beginning to end. My first by this author and so looking forward to reading more. I can’t wait to read the first book in Highland Secrets. C

I received this book from the publisher that I voluntarily agreed to read, review and blog through netgalley. All words, ideas, thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Free Ebook Giveaway - The Highlander Who Loved Me By Tara Kingston

The Highlander Who Loved Me by Tara Kingston - Giveaway

Just comment on blog post and your are automatically entered in free giveaway ebook contest. Winner will be chosen randomly by Nicole Massabrook on December 6th at 11:59. Contest will be open until then.

This Giveaway is open to everyone! ♥ If you have any problems entering on site just message Celtic Barb on Facebook at Tartan Book Reviews group or Barb Batlan-Massabrook on Facebook. As you do not have to have a blog or Google account to enter free giveaway.

Good Luck! ♥♥♥

The Highlander Who Loved Me, Book # 1 of Highland Hearts series.

Meet the Author
Tara Kingston’s Social Media:

The Highlander Who Loved Me by Tara Kingston - Giveaway

The Highlander Who Loved Me, Highland Hearts series, book #1 by Tara Kingston - Giveaway


He may be her fiercest ally…or a scoundrel waiting to betray her.

Johanna Templeton is on a life-and-death quest. Swept into an intrigue that rivals the tales she pens, she joins forces with a Highland rogue to find the treasure that will save her kidnapped niece—a prize the Scot seeks for reasons that have nothing to do with ransom. Engaging the Highlander in a sizzling battle of the sexes, Johanna shields her heart.

Connor MacMasters, spy for Queen Victoria, is a man on a mission—keep a legendary gemstone from an evil man. Trailing an American novelist who holds the key to the treasure should’ve been simple, but Johanna awakens feelings he’d long thought dead. Torn between duty and desire, he wants her in his bed, but loving her would be a fool’s game. Blasted shame his heart doesn’t agree.

The Highlander Who Loved Me is the first book of her Highland Hearts series. The second in this series, "Lady Evelyn's Highland Protector" will be available 11/27/2017. Make sure to order and grab a copy.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Alec Mackenzie’s Art of Seduction by Jennifer Ashley . The MacKenzie series, Book # 9. Five Kilts! Celtic Barb says this is one of her top favorite reads of the year! An absolute exhilarating masterpiece!

 Book: Alec Mackenzie’s Art of Seduction by Jennifer Ashley
Series: The Mackenzies Series, Book #9

Reviewed by: Barb Massabrook of
1)Tartan Book Reviews
2) Purple Tulip Book Reviews
3)Celtic Barb’s Tartan Book Review Blog
Overall Rating: 5 STARS
Blog Rating : 5 KILTS

This is Jennifer Ashley’s ninth book as the story's hero is  the handsome, charming and swoon worthy Alec Mackenzie! He is the brother of Book #8 Malcolm, from “The Stolen Mackenzie Bride.” Also ancestor of long time MacKenzie favorite Ian. How this unforgettable, phenomenal, Mackenzie series started with - “The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie”. It is pure brilliance in my opinion, one of my favorite reads of 2017! - Celtic Barb’s Tartan Book Review Blog.

Attic of Kilmorgan Castle, Scotland  1892
The story starts as Mackenzie series favorite Ian, (The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie) is going through the family history carefully and methodically. Well that is until his beautiful wife Beth enters the attic.  His Beth is the keeper of his heart, Ian easily gets distracted whenever  she is in his surroundings. Beth is always interested in anything that captures Ian’s attention. He is  the husband she fought  so hard for so many years ago. She also taught Ian to always tell a story one specific way. That way is is with “Once Upon a Time”, so it begins…

1746, London.
In the aftermath of The Battle of Culloden Alec MacKenzie’s brother Will is missing after sadly  losing a few of his other brothers to misfortune . The family has exiled to France during this turbulent time. Another reason why they can’t understand  why Will would be in dangerous London. Not after the bloodbath the Bonnie Prince Charlie/ Tearlach led them in. Alec refuses to lose another brother! Rumors are flying that a certain English Duke of Crenshaw might have the  information he seeks! As it’s rumored Will might be imprisoned or possibly executed. This English Duke also has a beautiful daughter who is also a talented landscape artist. Her selfish duchess mother feels her daughter Celia is a disgrace and embarrassment to the family. Refusing a promising marriage to a man three times her age, but a big financial and titled opportunity. In punishment she has been pretty much living in seclusion as her mother's prisoner. Her mother wants her to paint faces for advancement opportunities. Especially since she is ruined for another marriage opportunity!

Now Alec is living in London with his infant daughter, at the well known and infamous Lady Flora’s. He is using the identity of a drawing master under an Irish assumed name - Mr. Finn.  No English aristocrat would allow their daughter near a traitorous Highland warrior! Now the seductive Alec has other ideas for his new student  and that is to study anatomy! As the Scottish Mackenzie’s are known Jacobite  traitors now living in France. It would be a death sentence if his true identity was ever know. Plus might even put his exiled family in France at risk, not to mention Will if he is in London. 

Celia is definitely not what Alec expected and now he feels rather protective. Plus seeing her so nurturing around his daughter starts melting his cold heart. Her talent, tenderness and caring surprise him. She is no shrinking violet that is for certain. He also realizes he wants her very badly and not for information! 

Celia recognizes Alec for what he truly is a Highland warrior as she is food at listening and studying people. She is mesmerized by his drool worthy good looks and charming personality. Yet she sees his tenderness with his daughter, his talent as an artist and his protectiveness. In addition she see’s a side of him that scares her if anyone crossed him he wouldn’t accept it lightly. She also feels horrible that he and his family's home and livelihood was destroyed by her King and country! She also realizes she’s falling in love with a Jacobite highland warrior! 

What will she do when she realizes she is just a pawn in a very dangerous game? Will Alec find his missing brother Will? Or  God forbid Will is being held as a prisoner or worse! Does Alec get caught trying to locate his Jacobite brother? 

Again, another beautifully written Jennifer Ashley masterpiece. It is filled with favorite MacKenzie characters, plus all the elements historical readers love! From a riveting, fast paced adventure, filled with betrayal, misfortune, and heartbreak. Plus the aftermath of war, destruction, treachery, murder, scandal, death, exile, passion and love. In addition, it weaves true history with a phenomenal, fictional, historical, romance that I could not put this book down! 

The setting is absolutely dazzling and dialogue was magnificent. Plotting was so awe inspiring and paced perfectly! I was holding my breath with anticipation not knowing what could possibly happen next!  

 I was honored with an early arc of this book from the author. I voluntarily agreed to read, review and blog. All words thoughts and ideas are my own.


Sunday, November 5, 2017

FREE Giveaway Digital Ebook of Debut Book-"Tying the Scot" by Jennifer Trethewey. Just comment and your entered winner will be radomly picked on 11/15/2011


I will be in touch with Jennifer Trethewey. Thank you.

Free Digital copy of "Tying the Scot'' by Jennifer Trethewey

This book will be released on November 27th.

Meet Jennifer Trethewey
Jennifer Trethewey writes sexy, sweeping, historical romance set in Regency era Scotland full of adventure and Highland heartthrobs. Her addictive debut novel TYING THE SCOT, the first in a series of four Highlanders of Balforss books, is scheduled for release in November 27, 2017.


Facebook: jennifertretheweyromance

Twitter: @jltrethewey

Title: “Tying the Scot”
Author: Jennifer Trethewey
Series: The Highlanders of Balforss #1

Pub Date: 11/27/2017
ISBN: 9781640633469
Imprint: Amara
Price: $3.99

Tying the Scot Blurb:
At age eleven, Alex Sinclair pledges an oath to the Duke of Chatham promising to serve and protect his illegitimate daughter, Lucy FitzHarris. Nine years later, the duke unexpectedly takes Alex up on his vow, offering the future Laird of Balforss his daughter’s hand in marriage.

Now a man, hotheaded Alex has difficulty convincing Lucy—who would rather starve to death than marry a vulgar Scot—to go through with the arranged marriage. Once Lucy arrives in Scotland, she cannot resist the magic of Balforss or the allure of her handsome Highland warrior. But when Alex seemingly betrays Lucy right before their wedding, she is tricked into running away. Alex must rein in his temper to rescue his lady from unforeseen danger and Lucy must swallow her pride if she hopes to wed the Highlander she has come to love.

Just comment and the winner will be picked randomly on November 15th. Then message me your name and email and I will have this author send your winning  digital copy of Tying the Scot. Good Luck! ☘️☘️☘️☘️

Free Lori Ann Bailey Giveaway of Signed Print Book and Scottish Swag Giveaway! Winner will be picked on 11/28/2017

In Celebration of Lori Ann Bailey’s 2nd Book Release in her   “Highland Redemption”. This book will be released on November 27th. This is not the giveaway. The giveaway is the first book of the Highland Pride series "Highland Deception''. Lori Ann Bailey generously donated a signed print copy of "Highland Deception" and Scottish Swag.

Highland Redemption Blurb:

While spying for Clan Cameron, Brodie Cameron rescues a lass, only to realize it’s Skye—the woman who’d broken his heart. He needs to get her to her uncle as quickly as possible to keep her safe, but every minute he’s distracted from his mission brings the clans that much closer to war. And having beautiful Skye anywhere near him is dangerous, because the price on his head is higher than the one on hers.

Upon being rescued from kidnappers, Skye finds herself staring into the eyes of the man she once loved—Brodie Cameron. She’s grateful to be freed, but has no idea how she’ll resist the lad who has become a braw man. Especially because she’s promised to another, in a political marriage forged to strengthen the Royalist clans against the Covenanters who plot to turn Scotland upside down.

Highland Deception (Giveaway)

Highland Deception Blurb:
Scotland, 1642.

Maggie and Lachlan must fight their growing attraction, battling suspicion and intrigue as religious and political turmoil threaten to tear their clans apart.
He has sworn he will never marry.
Lachlan Cameron is honor bound to see a wounded lass to safety, although he has well learned women are deceivers, and this lovely maid harbors a wealth of secrets. But Maggie's free spirit and charms enthrall him while he works to discover if she is innocent…or a spy scheming with his enemies to destroy his clan.
She has sworn she will never fall in love.
Maggie Murray fled her home to avoid a political marriage to an abusive man. Salvation comes when the Cameron laird, unaware of her identity, protects her as she escapes. His kindness slowly warms her, and she’s tempted to confess her real name. But his strong sense of honor would force him to return her to her father…and torment at the hands of her scorned betrothed.

All you need to do is comment and your entered. The winner will be randomly picked by my daughter Nicole. The Winner will be announced on 11/28/2017 both here and at Tartan Book Reviews in my Facebook group.

Blogger Celtic Barb and Author Lori Ann Bailey at WRW luncheon in October 2017.

Follow Lori Ann Bailey on

Highland Ruse by Madeline Martin. The Mercenary Maidens, Book #2. TBR 11/14/2017. 5 KILTS! Celtic Barb says this book was an absolute delight to read from start to finish!

Book: Highland Ruse
by Madeline Martin

Release Date: 11/14/17

Series: (The Mercenary Maidens #2)
Reviewed by: Barb Massabrook (of)
Tartan Book Reviews
Purple Tulip Book Reviews
Celtic Barb’s Tartan Book Review Blog

Heat Rating:🔥

Overall Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Starting March 1602

Delilah has a night of passion giving up her maidenhead to King James. Then after a night of passion he drops her like a sack of potatoes. After all she comes from a  poor family of 15 children. She thought she would finally be a woman of status as means coming to Court.  Then after the royal dumping thinking her life is over she meets a mysterious woman. There she finds out her life is just beginning, but not as the King's mistress or courier,  but that of a spy! After a couple of  years of training  and perfecting her skills with weapons.  For this is Delilah’s first mission alone: she switches places with Lady Elizabeth Seymour, playing decoy. As they are very similar in looks and physical appearance. This woman is the evil and vicious Laird MacKenzie’s betrothed.
Of course this is an arranged nuptial.

Kaid MacLeod life has been filled with misery, death and disappointments.  The MacKenzie Clan is an enemy who will continue attacking his clan and his people with his violence, murder and treachery. He wants a peace treaty, though his clan wants revenge. All Kaid needs is to find a crack in his armor per say, a weakness.

He finally finds one in the name of Lady Elizabeth Seymour. This English lady  and her entourage should be enroute to visit her betrothed. He who happens to be his evil nemesis, Laird MacKenzie. Kaid MacLeod  has one option and that is to kidnap Laird MacKenzIes betrothed. Kaid only wants to live in peace and harmony with his people. He needs Lady Elizabeth to help him achieve this goal. If not there is going to be more treachery, destruction, mass murder, and mayhem. Kaid does not think his clan could survive another annihilation.

Yet what will Kaid do when he finds out he has been lied and betrayed once again. Plus right on the cusp of love. Can a love even survive this type of betrayal? Will he accept Delilah’s lies and ultimate betrayal? So many lives are on the line. Will Kaid even be able to convince her to help him save his clan? These are two very different  types of people who just want to feel safe, protected  and loved.
Both have been severely hurt,  and suffered much disappointment, and  heartbreak to last them a lifetime. Yet can they mend the their broken hearts, protect his clan and keep the lass who has his heart?  You will have to read this spectacular book to find out.

This book is action packed filled with an emotional, quick page turning, adventure, with mystery, suspense, treachery, deceit, lies, betrayal,trickery, fraud,  heartbreak, and love.

This is book #2 in Margaret Martin’s magnificent series: “The Mercenary Maidens. I just loved this clever tale! As I think any reader of Scottish historical romance will absolutely agree. I have read each and every book she has written since her debut. They are always beautifully written, exhilarating reads that I can never put down. Always leaving me breathless, a nail biter. Never knowing with anticipation what is going to happen next!

Have the Kleenex ready as “Highland Ruse” by Madeline Martin definitely was a definite heart puller! This story had me sobbing!  When I get that emotional I know I am reading an extraordinary novel. I definitely can’t recommend this remarkable novel enough. A total delight and joy to read!

I received this book from the publisher that I voluntarily agreed to read, review and blog through netgalley. All words, ideas, thoughts and opinions are my own.

Amazon Buy Link: