Monday, October 26, 2015

The Crusaders Bride by Claire Delacroix 5 stars!

Wow! Wow! Wow! Been read this spectacular author since the early 90's as all her Books are exceptional, quick page turners, that quickly engage you in the characters plots and  and some true history. Also mixed in  a beautifully written loves story with a bit of adventure, mystery, suspense and of course amour - everlasting love. The Crusaders Bride by Claire Delacroix is exactly that!  

Jerusalem, 1187

This is the story of Gaston and Ysmaine. Gaston de Ch├ómont- Maine is one of the Templer Knights, a third son by his father's third wife and yet he had just recieved message his older brother has died and he must do his duty and leave the order and take his place as A titled lord and Baron. Now the life Gaston has known since age fifteen summers when he first joined the order is to return home to take his brothers  place. Yet before he  leave he must complete one last mssion which involves a missive and a secret relic to be relocated. Now with all reports of Saracen movement before he can even request to leave the order a last journey. He also knows he must find a wife and  perhaps have heir or two to secure the future of his family when he takes his brothers place as a Lord. He decided to find a woman at the Pilgrimage as he had no family here to find him a match plus not exactly his expertise. As Templer  Knights are pledge to be chaise to celibate. Though some do break this vow and go to houses of ill repute for sexual release. Not honorable Gaston. He is an honest honorable man and took all his vows seriously. So now he must find a bride as he watches this thin beautiful woman at the convent praying each day.

This where he find the starving Ysmaine yet when he tried to give her coin well at first she thought he thought her a harlot but when he tells her to eat she explains she wants to use the coin for apothecary to save her ailing maid. The problem is Gaston spent most of life among men and does not know  how nor does he have the time  to woo and court a woman. He only knows how to be straight forward and gets right to the point. This was the last thing Ysmaine expects or wants, after all she believes she is cursed being a widow twice before the bedding nuptials even occurred as she is still a virgin!

Ysmaine is In dire straits as her maid is so very ill and she does not have the coin to get proper herbs from the Apor. This pilgrimage has been a nightmare as her guard and family friend is murdered. So she is without coin and protection and reduced to begging.  As she is from noble family but bad luck seems to find her as they were robbed to get here and having widowed twice on her wedding night and still a virgin. Now even her sisters can't find husbands due to her curse, She thought going on the pilgrimage might help to release this curse as everyone believes she is cursed as her father can not even get he another match. Ysmaine  accepts she will never marry again but wants happiness for her sisters future and will do anything to remove this curse,

Ysmaine is as honest as Gaston and explains her curse but Gaston does not believe in curses and persuade her to marry him . Will he survive the curse? Will all the secrets be revealed? It was so much fun and fascinating watching Gaston and Ysmaine get to know each other and how they both quickly fell for each other but not with some bumps in the road too. Gaston also had little sexual experience and has no clue how to please a women and some male chauvinist views as well that Ysmaine is determined to show that she is just as valuable as his horse her competition! Also they have an imposter in their party who wants the relic and it is discovered Ysmaine has recieved wolfs bane from the Apothecary which is poison

Ysmaine at first. idea what Gaston has in mind and does not trust nor accept his generously when he gives her coins for food and apothecary to help nurse her maid. She knows there is also a price and when she find out it is for a wife  she is more then a little shocked!  Ysmaine does believe she is  curse having two husband dies before the wedding night and now even her father can't find matches for her younger sisters. Her reason for this pilgrimage to be free of this curse that is attached to her. It was fun watching these two fall in true and what they will and sacrifice too. As they have a mission to bring a Templer relic to Europe to deliver and this is when he meet Wulfe and Christina secondary characters in this story but will be the main characters in the next book Thr Crusaders Heart. Plus it is a dangerous time in Jerusalem then again even today it is a dangerous time  just different  foes and in some ways they same reasons too over religious politics. This is a time when infidels were at war with each other each wanting to gain power and control and being at war with the Christians too. War was breaking out as Gaston and Ysmaine are trying to leave the city and there is also a villain thief among them. Yet who is it? Will he cause Gaston and Ysmaine harm and possibly death?  Plus it is discovered Ysmaine has recieved wolfs bane from the Apothecary which is poison! Is her story about a curse the truth? Or perhaps she is that cuts   all her precious husbands lives short? What exactly is this relic and why so important to take so many risks for the order? You must read this magnificent  book to find out.

Also the hero and heroine of her next book Wulfe and Christine are I introduced and bit more then secondary characters too. Wulfe is a Crusader's knight and Christine is a prostitute so the following book The Crusaders Heart is going to be  amazing too and I plan to read next. Duncan's story The Crusaders Handfast  will be book three thought done in a different format then the other books in the series. This book will be done in monthly installments. The fall book will be released in July 2016. Followed by Gaston's squires book  in The Crusaders Kiss  and the last book  in the series will be The Crusaders Vow which is The Scotsman Fergus storyOf course I plan to read this entire series  all secondary characters in this book as Gastons squire will be book 3 and of course my fav is the Scot in book 4! How can you not continue this amazing riveting , thriving,  fast moving adventure!

Wow this book is absolutely mind blowing and so much of true history mixed in this fictional this story! Claire Delacroix really did a phenomenal job with this spectacular book! The reason I love read Historical romance! I highly recommend you read The Crusaders Bride and follow with The Crusaders Heart  too as this is one series you really don't want to miss. I read and reread this book two times as I absolutely fascinated and ensnared with this captivating story!  Loved it!!!

Personal note* Sadly Israel which still has its share of problems today as it did so many centuries.  In a sense not much has progressed a country still in turmoil, where no one compromises and this has been going on for over a thousand years!

(The Champions of Saint Euphemia Book Series)
by Claire Delacroix

1. The Crusaders Bride - Available now
2. The Crusaders Heart - Just Released 10/20/2015
3. The Crusaders Handfast- first installment December 2015 see review fir details.
4.The Crusader's Kiss  - TBR in 2016
5..The Crusader's Vow - TBR in 2016

Monday, October 19, 2015

The MacKinnon's Hope by Tanya Anne Crosby Releases Tomorrow 10/20/2015

Been reading this spectacular author for close to 25 years and her books are still one of my favorites on the planet  making me cry, laugh, melting my heart and always leaving me breathless....Ms. Cosby is one of those rare few authors that captures you right from that start until the very last word of the epilogue or last chapter. Always on my keeper shelf as all her books are. Impossible for me to put her books down so talented is this amazing short story revisited by all our favorite characters from both The MacKinnon's Bride's and Guradians of the Stone series, Tanya Anne Cosby is such a fabulous story teller!

Just a little history:

Northumbria was under Scottish rule when King David of Scotland was crowned King when King  Henry I died on December 1, 1135 due to his close relationship with King Henry so I found this interesting that this story begins five days after King Henry 1st death. 

Also the man Hugh FitzSimon this fictional character is Page FitzSimon MacKinnon ( the MacKinnon's Bride) father who always believed Page was the bastard child of his unfaithful wife and King Henry I. Of course anyone reading the Mackinnon's Bride know this is not true as Page  was being mistreated and mentally abused by her father her entire life! This is due to her father's jealousy and where both she and her mother were mistreated and no truth to his accusations as we all know he is her natural father. This is the reason she has been estranged from him for the past eleven years where this epilogue/ short story begins.

Northumbria, Aldergh Castle, December 6, 1135
Northumbria is now northern England and south-east Scotland

At first I thought this was going to be a version of the Christmas Carol after reading the prologue as fans of MacKinnons Bride of course in the role of the cruel Scrooge was to be Page FitzSimon'scruel father  Hugh as his dead wife visited after receiving word of her death. He lives alone and with guilt for never telling Page the truth even after he realizes all had been due to his unfounded jealousy of the king. Hugh always believing the worse, even though his wife had been faithful and loved him, as Page was not illegitimate but his natural child. Why had he not told Page the truth after all these years?  He does not even know why sadly and now it was too late. The evening he gets the message of his wife's passing he gets  a visit from her ghost.  As she does come to warn him to change his ways or he can pretty much expect eternal damnation for his future and eternity! Now does old Hugh change and listen to Page's mothers ghost whom he exiled and never ever even told Page she was alive. Page and he have been estranged for eleven years now and a lot has changed.

This epilogue which was more of a short story or novella to me as it is a lot longer then the average epilogue in my opinion. It brings you up to date on all the clans of this series and fans will see and hear about all our favorite characters from The Highland Bride series and her new Guardians of the Stone series. This was a double treat in my opinion and I loved seeing some of my favorite's like Laird Ian MacKinnon, Broc the Blond and Aiden dun Scotti, Gavin Brodie and more! A lot in this book centers on Malcolm MacKinnon, the young son who was kidnapped all those years ago by Page's father and the reason for Iain to kidnap Page the best thing that ever happened in Page's life! A father who made her feel worthless  an abductor who showered her with love and made her feel worthy and special but let her make decisions herself. 

Destruction has hit The MacKinnon's  village as a fire burned everything to the ground! Now with the help of other clans all from the previous books, it is really touching how all these friends and relatives by various marriages - each book in this series come to aid The MacKinnon's! Malcolm MacKinnon, Iain and Page's son who is very mistrusting of strangers and other due to his kidnapping as a child, but has also has a bit of the sight too and feels all is not well. He is correct in this, as there is a villain in the mist who has murder on his mind, and the murder of who is Malcolm's stepmother the only mother he has ever known and the one he loves more then life. The ending really surprised and shook my and touched by heart! Yep an emotional ending so have those Kleenex ready! You will have to read this wonderful story to find out!

I highly  recommend this exceptional epilogue and of course I highly recommend both series The Highlanders Brides and Guardian of The Stone series both are spectacular as I am looking forward to the next book in the third  and forth and upcoming Guardians of the Stone series. I having been reading this author for close to twenty-five years and hope to keep reading her marvelous books for another twenty-five as her books pretty much rock my world and have always captured my heart in her riveting  plotlines! I can't recommend Tanya Anne Crosby enough if you love book about adventure, Scottish history, mystery, honor,highland lore, conflict, mayhem and of course love then check all of Tanya Anne Crosby spectacular books! I guarantee it will melt  your heart and soften your soul as I know her books do that to me.

I was getting choked up as this book is near and dear to my heart as I have read and reread The MacKinnon's  Bride five times it is one of my favorite books on the planet.  Loved Mackinnon's Hope by Tanya Anne Cosby

Book Lists:

The MacKinnon's Bride Series by Tanya Anne Crosby 

1. The MacKinnon's Bride
2. Lyon's Gift
3.On Bended Knee
4. Lion Heart
5. Highland Song
6. MacKinnon's Hope

Guardians of the Stone Series by Tanya Anne Crosby

1.Highland Fire
2.Highland Steel
3.Highland Storm.. To be released February 2016
4.Highland Fury....Release date TBA

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Highland Curse by Dana D'Angelo

This is the second book in Dana D'Angelo's Highland strife series. Another fast paced enchanting. mesmerizing, spellbinding read that readers won't be able to put down. Ms. D'Angelo sweeps you into a love story where opposites sometimes attract. The Highland Curse is filled with passion, treachery, betrayal, terror, murder, mayhem and the supernatural in a beautiful Scottish setting, that will have readers at the edge of their seats in this paranormal Scottish historical!

Tancraig Castle, Scotland, 1560

In this story it starts off as Adrina MacGill recently has an erotic dream about a handsome braw highlander which she did not want to wake up from.  Adrina  just arrives Taincraig Castle traveling alone during a gathering of Clans to prepare for an expected upcoming English attack. Adrina asks for assistance and low and behold she meets her dream lover in the flesh one Duncan MacGregon! He is friendly enough at first and you can see he is as attracted to her and she is to him until all he finds out the real reason she is asking for assistance. Adrina believes her Clan is under some type of way enchantment from the evil former cleric Fingal who has stole her Great grandmother's book of spells and has an eerie bird as his minion that follows and reports everyone move When questioned why by the Laird Rory MacGregon from Book one The Highland Chief, as his English wife Darra and and mother-in-law Venora who is a great healer helps her make a potion to release her people of this enchantment. Duncan doesn't believe in anything in the supernatural form unless he can see it right in front of his face, as he is a great believer in logic and analyzing things thoroughly to think clearly. Another reason why he is such a great fierce warrior and have kept himself alive this long. Plus he is aware the English are gathering forces and want to go to war, as he knows the English coming up on their heals. Even this Adrina can see that a great many men of Scotland will die leaving women widows and children fatherless. Though Duncan sees this as protecting his land and people from oppression, slavery and death. Duncan voices his opinion of Adrina's over active imagination which just angers her feeling disappointment of her dream lover! She knows she sounds mad and at first though it was her imagination but then the voices came and the visions she could no longer deny, now they came in her dreams too.  So many of these visions came true where she could no longer deny her gift and knew she must save her clan from possibly death and destruction.

The Lairds wife Darra refused to allow Adrina to travel back alone home,though she has a limited amount of time to get back to her clan while the complicated potion is most potent. At first Rory assigns Duncan to escort Adrina home, but he directly refuses! Duncan  feels he is needed home to defend his clan against upcoming war and not go on this silly quest of Adrina's. Then his younger brother Griogair offers to be her escort and Adrina is relieved, yet when she leaves it is Duncan who comes stating there was a change of plan!  Adrina is both  disappointed and frustrated and doesn't hold back from her feelings. Of course Duncan tries to use charm and wit to overcome her and isn't used to being rejected from the female sex. Of course as their journey continues and peculiar things start to happen. Duncan and Adrina come to let their guards down and true feeling out you can feel the sizzling chemistry, attraction and passion they feel which sizzles off the pages! Even though he admits having no interest in marriage, plus he needs to find out why her father has ignored several messages to attend his clan's Gatherings and needs to fine out why. Plus Adrina knows she has to marry her father's choice for the clan, it was the usual way for a Lairds daughter. She had always knows Duncan had another reason for escorting her home when he so adamatly had previously refused. Of course now she knew she was in love him with Duncan as well realizing he said as not the self absorbed conceited man she originally thought but a caring, loving man that wants to defend those he cares about.

Duncan starts to open his eyes and feel things he never did for another and when he sees they have two of her clansman looking for her wishing her ill, plus this eerie bird following them! He is starting to believe her but still questions his logic as well. Then Duncan sees the evil Fingal the cleric who is using magic and spells to use and overcome her clan is convinced Fingal is correct and this poor lass is just delusional and perhaps insane! Adrina realizing she is in love with Duncan knows he is under Fingal's power now. Though her heart is broken she is relieved Fingal allows Duncan to return to his home at Tancraig Castle and the even though he leaves Adrina not realizing to fight for her life! 

Is Adrina's clan doomed forever? Will all her visions of doom and murder come true? Has Duncan abandoned Adrina never to see her again? Adrina's has a broken heart never to be mended will it ever heal? Will she even be alive long enough to see it healed? Lots of twists and turns and ups and downs in The Highland Curse that you will have to read to get the answers. Definitely a lot of strife in this one, I can't wait for the next book in the strife series! You can read this as stand alone book, but there are character's from The Highland Chief where I personally think it's more fun to read both. Again it is the readers choice. You can follow the story easily either way. So give yourself an fun, exciting, and heart warming adventure and read The Highland Curse by Dana D'Angelo!

Strife Series by Dana D'Angelo

1.The Highland Chief- Rory and Dara
2. The Highland Curse- Duncan and Adrina

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Rogue Knight by Regan Walker just released today!

My 5 star amazon review highly recommend

Rogue Knight by Regan Walker reviewed by Celtic Barb

Happy release day Regan Walker Here is my 5* review of Rogue Knight by Regan Walker. Loved it!

This is book 2 in Regan Walker's Medieval Warrior Series. I absolutely loved this story. I am a big fan having of true history being weaved into a fictional story and Rogue Knight successfully accomplishes that in spades! This is the story of the years after the Norman Conquest and how King William the Conquerer wants "to put all of England under his rule as well.. This story it it how William wants to conquer  the the city of York and was ruthless how he goes about it and how the people of York hated him and his Norman invaders. Also how everything was for the taking from the young, the old and the innocent. The people had enough with his treatment of them and his outrageous taxes but this time they were determined they wouldn't lose with the help of the Danes. Although I don't think anyone expected Williams's wrath to be so great, to burn and salt everything  that forced the people into starvation, which those he didn't out right murder died of starvation. Most of York did die  Sadly it would take centuries until York would be inhabited and livable again.

York, England, 1068

The hero of this story is Sir Geoffroi de Tornai the fair haired knight some might remember from book one, Renauld de Pierrepont the Red Wolf's Prize, best friend and rejected  would be suitor of one of Lady  Serena's widowed ladies. As he is commanded by King William to come to York and quash the rebellion,but it here he see's the most beautiful women he has ever laid eyes on. He know she hates everything Norman and understands it too, but he is determined to become her protector offering his service if ever needed. Renauld, also nicknamed the Red Wolf, could not join in this journey due to an injury and wife's upcoming birth of thier first child. Therefore, Sir Renaud appointed Sir Geoffroi as the leader of this mission.

The heroine of this story is Emma of York . Emma's father in the story and  Maerleswein, former Sheriff of Lincolnshire, true  historic figure who was a wealthy English Thegn, one of the leaders of the rebellion. When she first meets Geoffroi de Tornai she feel the attraction as does he but feels guilty even feeling after all he is her enemy. Geoffroi sees the goodness in Emma who helps other like taking in and the care two twin orphans, her dog, and anyone else under her care. Emma can never tell Sir Geoffroi  as her life and those of her father's would be forfeit. There could never be a future for she and Geoffroi, but Geoffroi is determined to change her mind thinking he wants this women! What will happen when he finds out who her sire truly is?Also the fact he father wants her to marry nobility,the handsome Earl of Bamburgh, former Earl of Nothumbria and cousin to King Malcolm of Scotland and also another true historical figure! Will she be forced to marry her father's choice? You will have to find out the answers by reading this magnificent medieval read!

This book sweep you into the history of William the Conquerer and all that suffered from his wrath plus the amazing details was just fantastic. Another suberbly written story that draws you in with the blend of  history and a few true historical figures and the fictional love story will melt your heart. This book also sweeps you in with so much emotion with treachery, murder, rape, hate, betrayal, forgiveness and of course love. Will Geoffroi finally get his happily ever after or is he determined to be a bachelor forever? Plus what will happen if he finds out Emma's betrayal of not confiding in him of her father being one of the rebel leaders? Will he betray her and give her name to William? This would mean her certain death or to hold over the head of her father to hopefully stop this rebellion.  Also would mean to put her father in prison or worse with his betrayal to the King? Will Emma ever see Geoffroi  as being more then her enemy? You will have to read this exceptional book to find out! There area lot of beautiful and touching scenes with the adopted children and their love for all the caring adults in this story and if you are a dog lover like myself you will fall with Emma's very large dog. All in all, I highly recommend Rogue Knight by Regan Walker, another riveting faced paced page turner... Loved it!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Cadha's Rogue By R.L.Syme

5.0 out of 5 stars R.L. Syme's beautiful heart stopping high sea romantic adventure you won't be able to put down! Spectacular read!, October 3, 2015

Reviewed By Barb Batlan-Massabrook

This review is from: Cadha's Rogue (The Highland Renegades Book 5) (Kindle Edition)

Horn Holland, 1303

This is the the fifth book in R.L. Syme's Highlander Renegade series which you can also and easily read as a standalone book too. As I have loved this series which has been a sheer joy to read and this book is no exception. Another quick paced page turner, flawlessly plotted, lined with warmth and genuine love and so beautifully written. I totally got swept away in Cadha's Rogue by R.L. Syme

1303, Hoorn, Holland

In this book the heroine of the story is about a Dutch woman Cadha de. Witt whose father is a privateer and was awaiting for her beloved. Her family renamed him Maas Maasen, also hed been an orphan, Scottish boy, her family found and adopted as a child being so young and alone. Due to their different is classes, Cadha and Maas have a secret betrothal her family is not aware of and so when he doesn't return and remains in Scotland without a word Cadha is her heart broken and devastated! Her family knows that Cadha is very close to Maas but are clueless as the depth of her true feelings, as they think she thinks of him as her favorite brother. She decides to go hire a boat secretly and go find Maas In Scotland and find out what is going on and this is where she also meet Valc. Valcymer Vanhorn who falls for Cadha like a ton of bricks except he is dressed like a woman! They go on an unforgettable journey and danger and pirates seems to lurking at every corner, plus this is a very dangerous time to be traveling to Scotland by seas during the renegade war better knows the war of independence.

You can feel the chemistry and heat between Valc and Cadha on heir high sea adventure with plundering pirates with an evil physic captain can tell if you speak the truth or a lie in a matter of a few words. I found the pirate captain's "now finally the truth" rather eerie and some what amusing myself. This book has everything you looks for on a spectacular historical romance:mystery, murder, mayhem, suspense, betrayal, desire, rejection, human trafficking and of course true love. So there is a bit of a triangle and plus the fact she hasn't been exactly honest and straightforword with Valc about Maas who goes by the name Erlan Mason now. Who will she choose, the man from her past, her first love or the or the man who had taught her love and desire in a short period of time? You will have to read this wonderful, powerful book to find out. Personally, I sure hope the man Cadha did not pick gets his own love in a future book. R.L Syme is is one of those rare gifted author's that's stories know how to capture the romance readers heart and Cadha's Rogue definitely ensnared mine! Loved it! I recieved this arc for an honest review which I gladly gave

The Highland Renegade Series

1.The Outcast Highlander
2.The Runaway Highlander
3. The Pirate Highlander
4. Lachan's Revenge
5. Cadha's Rogue