Monday, April 29, 2019

Romancing The Laird by Gerri Russell. All The Kings Men Series, Book #2. Five Kilts! Celtic Barb was blown away yet again by Ms. Russell

Book: Romancing the Laird
By Gerri Russell

Series: All the Kings Men, #2

Release Date: April 30, 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: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Overall Rating: 5 Stars and 5 Kilts

July, 1592

Lucy Livingston’s gets blackmailed on the day of her betrothal to Laird Reid Douglas. The blackmailer proves this by touching her sister Esme’s chest, forcing her in an apoplectic seizure.This stranger threatens the one person Lucy loves the most and has cared for her entire life, her epileptic sister Esme. In this time period it was called the shaking sickness. It is also a time the King James Charles Stuart VI who was very superstitious about witches and those accused who floated were burned at the stake. The stranger wants Lucy to murder the king, as it is well known of her notorious talent with a bow and arrow. This religious zealot wants this done now, due to the King’s treatment of the people in the  Catholics faith, not treating them justly or allowing them to practice their faith without persecution.

Now this religious radical threatens Esme, claiming he will make her sister go into an apoplectic seizure in public! In addition wickedly accusing her of being a witch with evil powers. This would cause Esme to be arrested, tortured and executed as a witch! This radical knows her betrothed, Reid Douglas  is close to the King and one of his chosen guardsmen. He also knows Lucy would have both opportunity and skill to get this execution of the King done.His promise is that Esme will be taken care of at a nearby Abbey if anything bad happens to Lucy. Such as imprisonment or execution for the murder of the King. Not a way Lucy would ever be wished to remembered, as a treasonous traitor and murderer of the monarchy!

Lucy Livingston now has a letter from the Abbey, stating this is true, as her sister would be under their protection, if she can’t care for her sister in the future. Lucy she really has no choice, no matter how much she hates doing this, not the way she wanted to start her marriage. Especially now seeing how kind, protective and handsome her new husband is. As they get married quickly but he is called away to protect the King since he is one of the Kings elite guardsmen. This gives Lucy the perfect opportunity to murder King James. Lucy is living with a lot of guilt but has no choice in the matter. She will do anything to protect her sister. The problem is she is falling in love with her husband, even though she was royally commanded to marry him through the spoils of war. Can she trust him? Will he even believe her or just send her to the gallows as a traitor and executor of the King. The man her husband is sworn to protect.

Her husband also has his own secrets to protect as this is the third wife he won’t let anyone take away. He will protect anyone who is his learning his lesson from a tragedy of his first wife. This is the first time he has cared about another person in seven years. He finds his new wife absolutely perfect yet he is guilty of being attracted to his midnight warrior. A woman who might possibly be an assassin of the King, Reid will protect his monarch, no matter who the would be killer is. Plus there are spies under his very own roof and an enemy clan that wants him and anything he cares about dead. So much conflict and turmoil in this relationship is doomed, before it even has a chance to begin! Will Reid and Lucy even have a chance? Partners or enemies? Reader will have to read and find out the answer to these questions and so much more.

A book readers definitely don’t want to miss. Ms. Russell does it again and pens another masterpiece that I couldn’t put down! It was a definitely both a nail biter, yet it romance gave my stomach butterflies too, with the swoon worthy hero and unconventional protective heroine! This is the second in the phenomenal series, All the King's Men. I absolutely loved this book from start to finish. You can also read as a stand alone book or in book order. I highly recommend readers to read both.

Again Gerri Russell pens another masterpiece from start to finish. It has all the elements romance readers love.  This includes my absolute favorite ingredient of factual history with an exhilarating fictional romance. Plus this novel includes iconic figures in Scottish history like King James VI and Queen Anne of Denmark.  Sadly women being burned for witchcraft was very prominent during his reign and obsession as King. He even wrote a book on his reflections and how to deal with witchcraft in 1591 called Daemonologie.

So again I was blown away by this magnificent story which is absolutely brilliant. I am so thrilled Gerri Russell has returned to Scottish historical romance! As I have been reading her books for close to fifteen years, since her Stones of Destiny and Brotherhood of the Scottish Templars series. I absolutely recommend everyone to check out those books too as they are fabulous!

This book has the all the elements historical romance readers savor. As “Romancing the Laird” is another riveting, fast paced, action packed, nail-biting, romantic adventure. It is filled with true historical and fictional events which includes blackmail, murder, treachery, intrigue, clan wars, assassination plots, witch hunters, witch tortures, religious prejudice, religious fanatics, arranged marriages, betrayal, protection, trust, honor and love. The specialty for many readers will be the weaving of true history with a fictional romance. The setting was beautiful, dialogue was amazing and the plotting was absolutely brilliant. Both characters and secondary characters are both exhilarating and unforgettable. A book many readers will want to read multiple times, a definite for your keeper shelves. Now I can’t wait to read Lachlan’s story. I can’t imagine being forced to marry a woman from the clan that murdered your parents! Looking forward to reading “A Temptress in Tartan”, book #3 in this magnificent series, All the King's Men by Gerri Russell!

I absolutely and unequivocally recommend “Romancing The Laird” by Gerri Russell

All the King's Men by Gerri Russell

1.Seven Nights with a Scot - Quinn & Vivian
2.Romancing the Laird - Reid & Lucy
3.A Temptress in Tartan - Lachlan & Elizabeth (Lizzie) Release Date TBA

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ARC copy from the publisher through Netgalley. I voluntarily agreed to read, review and blog an advance copy of this book. All thoughts, ideas and opinions are my own.

Buy Links:

Friday, April 19, 2019

Highland Crown by May McGoldrick, Royal Highlander, boo k #1, Five Stars. Celtic Barb is gasping in delight,


Book: Highland Crown
by May McGoldrick

Series: (Royal Highlander, Book #1)

Release Date: April 30th

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: Sizzling hotπŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Overall Rating:  5/5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Abbotsford, the Scottish Borders
September 1832

This book begins with a magnificent prologue, centering around  the famous historical novelist-poet-playwright and historian, Sir Walter Scott. As he is near his death it shows how reflects about himself as his sees himself, and as others see him to his eyes only. It shows how the heroine of this novel did the biggest favor of his life and  he wants to repay it. As he had only admiration and respect for Isabella Murray Drummond. Many men were jealous of Mrs. Drummond’s abilities. This would actually change history except she was now missing! As she disappeared in the Highlands, but was about to have the biggest adventure of a lifetime. Definitely more exciting than any story he has written with his pen.

He was born August 15, 1717 and died September 21, 1832. In each chapter there is a beautiful poem from the brilliant work of Sir Walter Scott.

My personal favorite in the book:
So Wondrous wild,
the whole might seem,
the scenery of a fairy dream.
— Sir Walter Scott
“Lady of the Lake”

This is a favorite poem  of mine not in the book:
“ Up with the Bonnie Blue Bonnet,
    The dirk, and the feather and a’ ! ”

— Sir Walter Scott
 “ Lady of the Lake”

This is the book of two lost souls who meet but there are many rough seas and rip tides they have to get over. If they even have a chance at survival to reaching calm seas!

Duff Head, Northeast
Highland Coast
June 1820

The city of Inverness is on the North Sea in Scotland. It is a port town where Highland rebels and Sassenach forces clash for mortal survival for endurance and sovereignty. Among the struggle is Isabella Drummond, a woman who has unique and extraordinary talents. In addition she is being tracked by Scottish Rebels and the English Government. So she goes into hiding in the highlands an area she was born  in, but has no memory of.

With the advice of a lawyer friend John Gordon he tells her to hide with his elderly Aunt Jean in this secluded fishing village in Duffhead, Northeast Qi! Highland Coast.  As John is booking her passage on a ship to Canada. In Duffhead, the villagers pretty much live off the sea and others misfortunes . It can be shipwrecks, dead corpses or strangers they rob. They take from the sea and give to the seas as they say. They split the newly discovered treasures between all the villagers. These villagers owe loyalty to no one, yet trust no one outside of their village. They will rob, murder and cut the throat of any stranger on their lands, than they throw the dead body into the sea.  This is also the best place for Isabella to hide as it is pretty much unknown and secluded as not many know of its existence.

Unfortunately this is where Cinaed Macintosh ends up after a monster storm shipwrecked his ship and livelihood. They had no choice but to destroy  all the illegal cargo too, which infuriated this gang of thieves that live in Duff Head! Cinaed’s life has not been easy, he was thrown out of his clan at age nine to become a Captains boy. He has  been on ships his entire life, even a woman’s touch was never free, he always had to pay for it. He never owned anyone’s heart nor had anyone owned his. He also feels like a loner and doesn’t belong to any clan, King or cou His ship the Highland Crown explodes as he tries to save all his men on long boats, but becomes separated. He ends up in this deadly, twisted, evil , fishing village and gets shot in the chest. This was done  just so they can steal from him! Isabella Drummond becomes his savior and as cannot stay hidden as she had previously promised John Aunt Jean as she wasn’t even to speak with her low lander accent! Plus the villagers are furious there is no ships booty or fortune to steal and someone has to pay for their loss.

Isabella sees a man's life is in jeopardy, she was a healer and had to help heal him no matter what the consequences were.  Although he does nearly choke the life out of her in the process, but the Doctor in her understands as he was confused and guarding his own life. Of course John’s Aunt is furious and would rather the assume let this sea dog die as she knew the people in her village would end up asking her questions or worse. These were definitely not kind, caring, trustworthy,  charity driven souls in Duff Head! Than the worst happened as Cinaed killed a villager for the right reasons and they had to leave. Plus Cinaed who needed rest and healing was shot again by the English. This time it was an officer in protecting Isabella but now the English Lieutenant was obsessed in finding Isabella dead or alive!

Isabella Drummond becomes his savior, as Cinaed  Macintosh becomes her savior as well. As these black hearted Dragoon Hussars of the English Calvary  just tracked and stalked her, offering an outrageous amount for the reward if anyone turns her in! Asking the rebellious starving Scottish who don’t trust her to turn her in  as they are desperate people yet their position and standing in life is caused by these English Dragoon Hussars. Yet the Scottish rebels want to kill her due to fearing she has to much information about their illegal activities. Isabella murdered husband husband was heavily involved as it has been for over 70 years since the battle of of Culloden in ‘45!

Now they all have to leave Duffhead due to a villain that has to be killed or the man would of killed them not to mention turn Isabella in or worse. Isabella feels so guilty forcing Johns elderly Aunt Jean leave the only place she has ever called home and Cinaed who still needs to rest and tending to his gunshot wounds to avoid a fever that could be fatal. Yet during these desperate hard time these two end up falling in love. A feeling Isabella has never felt as her marriage before had been to a man 28 years her senior. It was an arranged marriage to help her in her medicine education and so she keep practicing and helping people. Unfortunately he was killed because of his rebellious activities by the English and her knowing too much everyone wants Isabella dead.
Will these two triumph or will they be hung by the hangman’s noose or worse?

This book was a definite nail biter that I could not put down. Only this first book in this brand new Royal Highlander series and I am totally hooked! It was absolutely another fast moving, action packed , page turning, riveting romantic adventure that had me gasping with delight! It is filed with my absolute favorite best loved book combination which is true history blended with a beautiful fictional romance. So much has true events and even having iconic figures like Sir Walter Scott and mentions of other true Scottish figures in this novel. Plus the dialogue was incredible, the settings were amazing, the plotting will have readers gasping for air, wondering with high anticipation what could possibly happen next, how will they ever be able to get ahead? Plus the awe inspiring chararacters that are absolutely exhilarating and unforgettable!

I have been a huge fan of May McGoldrick close to twenty years and have loved each and everyone and this new book was no different!

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.

Buy Links

Highland Salvation by Lori Ann Bailey. The Highland Pride Series, Book #4. Five Kilts . Celtic Barb could not put this book down!

Book: Highland Salvation
By Lori Ann Bailey

Series: Highland Pride Series, Book #4

Release Date: April

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 πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Overall Rating: 5 Star & 5 Kilts

The Covenanters were a Scottish Presbyterian movement that played an important part in the history of Scotland, and to a lesser extent that of England and of Ireland, during the 17th century.

A royalist supports a particular monarch as head of state for a particular kingdom, or of a particular dynastic claim. In the abstract, this position is royalism. It is distinct from monarchism, which advocates a monarchical system of government, but not necessarily a particular monarch.
Scotland 1643

Finlay Cameron is the illegitimate son of an English Earl and Scottish mother.  He is ordered to marry Blair Macnab, to certify her clan, the Macnabs, prove their loyalty to King Charles and the Crown. Blair is a woman Finlay has always admired, but she has never noticed him. She is absolute perfection to Findlay, as she is beautiful, smart and outgoing. Her only flaw is he believes she wants to murder him!

Blair Macnab is tired of people only using her for her physical appearance. Blair has always wanted her father’s affection and respect, but he only uses her for political alliances, coin and advancement. She justs wants someone to care about her, to be kind, respectful, caring yet be an equal partner, and loved.  Blair just wants to be cared for for the person she is inside, finding her an asset as a partner worthy in many areas and not for her outside physical attributes. What if she can’t have babies? Her abusive fiancΓ© dies in battle, and now hbrutal cousin Bruce, tries to blackmail her into a forced marriage-using a big ugly secret they share. This leaves Blair with little options, as she refuses to be a pawn by her father again just for other people’s advantage. She must marry her brothers brawny friend, Finlay Cameron, before it’s too late. Though she worries, as she has made bad decisions in the past when it comes to picking the right men.

Blair had never opened her eyes to see what was right in front of her. As her brothers friend Finlay Cameron, is so so handsome that he’d make any woman swoon. Finlay makes her feel so safe and secure, as she doesn’t realize her blackmailer is coming after her, to destroy and ruin her with ugly secrets. On top of that, there have been a couple attempts on Findlay’s life. He wonders if she is more like her father who switches sides between Covenants and Royalists, which would make her a traitor to the King! Findlay wonders if the wife he desires so much is a traitor and trying to murder him?  Is it possible she is the Royalist she claims to be? Or is she just like her brother, her father’s heir? In addition Findlay assumes some untruths about Blair too. He has secrets of his own he has not revealed. Will this revelation destroy Blair and Findlay’s relationship and shatter their hearts and ruin their chance at future happiness? Will Blair and Findlay ever reveal the truth and be each other’s equal heart mate, and partner in all ways that matter?

I highly recommend you to read this remarkable breathtaking novel as it is absolutely both awe-inspiring and unforgettable. Another book for my keeper shelf in this  action packed,quick paced, page turner that weaves true factual history with a beautiful fictional romance. This novel has also includes a riveting adventure, scheming plots, hot steaming passion, attempted murder assassinations, physical and sexual abuse,  political marriage aliances, blackmail, treachery, suspense, mystery, betrayal, shameful dyslexia, illegitimate birth, unwanted life, hatred, heretics, trust, love and so much more. Yet a breathtaking setting, amazing dialogue, exhilarating characters and awe-inspiring plotting.

Could Blair be a loyal Royalist like her brother, her father's heir? Findlay wonders if the wife he desires so much is trying to murder him?

He has secrets of his own his has not revealed. Plus he assumes some untruths about Blair too. Will Blair and Findlay ever reveal the truth and be each other’s equal heart mate, and partner in all ways that matter?

I think Highland Salvation is my favorite story of the series. I have read each and every one. Although I have loved them all as this author Lori Ann Bailey is absolutely brilliant!  As it is a story to get swept away in. Again it is the war between the covenants and royalists which is historically accurate plus the breathtaking fictional love story. A phenomenal book readers definitely don’t  want to miss. No worries if it is your first book or your last book of the series. As you can read any of these books as stand alone books too.

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

Again the settings are extraordinary, the dialogue is brilliant and the detailed plotting with so many surprises just blew me away. In addition it has all the elements readers love: from a fast paced, action packed,
page turning, and a riveting, romantic, adventure. Plus it’s filled with suspense, mystery, blackmail, treachery, intrigue, treason, betrayal, fear, hatred, deceit, brutality, forgiveness, joy, faith, trust and love.

It is definitely a book historical romance readers don’t want to miss. I absolutely and unequivocally highly recommend this absolute masterpiece. It is a book readers won’t be able to put down.

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.

Buy Links:

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The Highland Renegade by Amy Jarecki, The Highland Lords, book 5, Five Kilts. Celtic Barb says its another winner!

Book: The Highland Renegade by Amy Jarecki

Series: Lords of the Highlands, Book #5
VfReviewed 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: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Book Rating: 5/5 Stars/Kilts

The Scottish Highlands, October 1712

Janet Cameron’s father has recently married. Her new step-mother would like nothing better than to get rid of Janet and marry her off to the first man who makes an offer.

The Camerons and Grants have been foes for centuries believing only the worst of each other. Laird Robert Grant believes they have stolen his cattle, as that is what he has been told. Dunn MacRae a friend to each clan sees that these two clans needs to put their differences aside. As the real enemy is the Sassenach red coats, as the English dragoons keep watching their every move. Finding the slightest reason to arrest and bring any Scot to Fort William to suffer the consequences .

At the Samain ceilidh unfortunately the leader of the Dragoons, Lieutenant Winifred Cummins is attracted to Janet Cameron. A lass who wants nothing to do with this foul smelling English Dragoon. The Dragoons show up uninvited to the Samain ceilidh and Janet refuses to dance with the drunk dragoon! She slaps the Cummins for manhandling her and he then arrests Janet! As her brother tries to escape with her-Robert hears her screams fearing the Redcoats have killed her brother. He is breathing and Robert rescues Janet. He brings her to his home on their way she falls off her horse and breaks her arm.

The Grant healer tells Janet she has to convalescent for two months to allow her arm to heal. During this time she and Robert fall madly in love with each other. Janet cares for Roberts blind sister Emma too. Yet they both know her father and clan will never approve and allow them to court each other. It could possibly start an enormous clan war with Janet in the middle. As she sees that Laird  Robert is a kind, honest, respectful man not to mention has gorgeous dimples! Robert sees Janet as a the bonniest good hearted woman he has ever met. On top of this Lieutenant Winifred Cummins want revenge especially on Janet, as he blames her for the bad things that have occurred in his life since the night of the Samain Ceilidh. So now Janet Cameron’s life might possibly be in danger.

Will star crossed lovers Robert and Janet ever be able to obtain a HEA? Perhaps their future will only be shed tears, broken dreams and shattered hearts. Forcing them to go their separate ways.

Another Amy Jarecki novel that I absolutely loved. It had my favorite novel ingredients which is true factual history during the Jacobite rising, with a fictional romance, based on true characters of the past. Plus it also had some true royal Scottish historical subjects of the past making appearances in this story. A book I definitely couldn’t book down.

It is a riveting, quick paced, page turner that had me glued to my seat. It was filled with adventure, clan wars, intrigue, theft, treachery, Jacobite rising, betrayal, prejudice, hatred, passion and love. This book can be read as a stand alone book or series order.

In addition it had captivating settings, magnificent dialogue, awe-inspiring main and secondary characters. Plus the detailed plotting was spot on, having readers wondering what could possibly happen next.

You can read this as a stand alone book or in series order but either way I highly recommend The Highland Renegade by Amy Jarecki.

Lords of The Highlands by Amy Jarecki

1.The Highland Duke
2.The Highland Commander
3.The Highland Guardian
4.The Highland Chieftain
5.The Highland Renegade

I received this book From Grand Central Forever 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.