Tag Archive: Historical


From Amazon’s Website

The Legend begins…

For centuries, stories of the Fae have been passed down from generation to generation throughout the Scottish Highlands. Over time, the truth of their existence was reduced to nothing more than childhood fairytales. Until now! On the eve of war between Good and Evil, Ella of Andor, the Fae Princess of Darkness embarks on a journey that would ensure her kingdom’s victory as prophesied. But in a twist of fate, Ella is led to the mortal world where she soon discovers a mystery about her past that could destroy everything she has ever known.

After returning home from battle against a neighboring clan, Laird Galen Graham stumbles upon an injured woman in desperate need of care and protection. Wanting to return her to her family becomes a difficult task when he discovers the lass cannot speak. While trying to solve the mystery behind who she is, Galen finds himself falling in love with a lass he knows nothing about.

Forced to return to the Fae world, can Ella stop the war threatening to destroy her kingdom, or will she give up her destiny to return to the man she has fallen for in the mortal world? After discovering the truth about the mysterious lass, will Galen be able to let her go?

Follow Ella and Galen’s fantastic journey filled with magic, danger, love, and mystery.

My Review:

Oh, where to start. In general the writing was good, as well as the character development. But this story had many issues. So many in fact that I almost quit reading the story multiple times. I did finish the book, but it was painful.

There are two sides to this story. There is the Fae realm and 15th Century Scotland. The Fae Realm was nicely created and well rounded. I could easily see the land and the creatures that were described. The history of the land was interesting and the author does a good job in making the reader want to stay in this realm and discover what happens to the people of it.

Then we get to the 15th Century Scotland. The number of items incorrect drove me nuts. I will admit that Scottish History is a big interest of mine and has been for a very long time. I usually don’t mind dialect in stories, but I felt that it was over used. There was at least one time where the author used the words dinna and no in the same sentence, causing the sentence to have a double negative.

The author also tended to use words that are not in common use and for one, the context wasn’t correct. At one point Galen tells his second to impose a cheminage for those who crossed his border. Cheminage is a fee traditionally applied to people taking items to market through a forest that is owned by a Lord. Very few clans would be able to man their entire border to collect this fee. The amount of money they would make compared to the man power needed makes it ridiculous. The economy of the Highlands in the 15th Century was still primarily barter based and due to poor roads, trade with others was not widely done. Trade and coins were common in strong economic centers like Perth, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, etc. The average person wouldn’t be carrying coin, therefore making the cheminage unrealistic.

Much to my surprise, we discover that the clan blacksmith and the clan healer lived ten miles from the clan seat. Why would you put these two very important people so far from the center of the clan? Typically both of these people would either live within the castle walls or just outside the walls. The average person walks at the speed of three miles per hour, and a walking horse averages four to five miles per hour, a distance of ten miles would not be covered at a trot or faster pace. At these speed averages, it would take people two and half to three and half hours to cover ten miles. No intelligent Laird would have these people so far from the largest grouping of clan members. Later in the story we discover that the armory is nine miles from the castle. Why isn’t within the castle walls?

At one point, Galen is planning on going to Stonehaven to visit the market because the trade ships would have come in that day or the day before. The author lets the readers know that Stonehaven is two hours from the castle. There are a few issues with this. First, the Laird would not have left to do the marketing. He would have a man who would do that and only a few times a year. By stating that Stonehaven is only two hours away, the author has stated that Stonehaven is closer than the clan blacksmith or healer. In the 15th Century, Stonehaven was a fishing village. It was never a trading port. The closest trading port was actually Aberdeen, which is north of Stonehaven. Even now, Stonehaven is still a fishing village but also relies on tourism for income. Then there is the name issue. Stonehaven did not get its name until the start of the 17th century. Stonehaven and much of the land around it was Clan Keith land. Another reason this whole scenario wouldn’t work is that trade ships wouldn’t attempt the North Sea in the winter. The sea is too treacherous.

When the author finally gave us a general idea where in Scotland the story was taking place, I discovered that the story is taking place over a hundred miles from where the author really wanted. Stonehaven is on the eastern coast of Scotland. During the story we learn that Galen’s clan Graham was having a feud with Clan MacGregor, and Galen was trying to forge an alliance with Clan Campbell and their Laird the Duke of Argyll. These clans never had land along the eastern coast of Scotland. For the most part, their lands were northwest of Glasgow, approximately a hundred miles from Stonehaven.

Imagine my surprise when I read the author biography at the end of the story and discovered that she has written three other Scottish Historicals.

I found that the relationship between Galen and Ella very platonic. Yes, Galen lusted after Ella but I never really felt that these characters fell for each other. The sex scene was not necessary to this story. It didn’t move forward the story or their relationship. It felt like the author went, “Wait, this is romance. It must have sex.” This story would have been just fine without the sex, especially since I feel that the characters didn’t have mutual desire for each other.

The end of the story was very abrupt. There were things not resolved in the Fae realm. How can Ella take the Queen’s offer and leave the Fae realm without completing a task she had set for herself? The author could have extended the story by having Ella and Galen working together. Even if they failed at the task, it would give a level of closure. Instead, Ella didn’t pursue the task and left it for others who looked to her for leadership. I realize that the author wanted to keep the task unfulfilled so she can have a series, but there should have been an attempt.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I give Legend of the Fae a 2 Horseshoe rating.

Legend of the Fae is available from Amazon in Kindle and Print editions.

Publication Details:

Author April Holthouse
Title Legend of the Fae
Format Ebook
Length 236
Publication Date March 2015
Publisher Self Published Through Amazon
ISBN 978-1-5077-6137-3
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From Publisher’s Website

A HEATED RIVALRY…

Morrigan McNab is a Highland lady, robbed of her birthright and with no choice but to fight alongside her brothers to protect their impoverished clan. When she encounters Sir Jacques Dragonet, she discovers her fiercest opponent…

IS GETTING EVEN HOTTER…

Sir Jacques Dragonet will give his life to defend Scotland from the English. He can’t stop himself from admiring the beautiful Highland lass who wields her weapons as skillfully as he does, and endangers his heart even more than his life…

My Review:

True Highland Spirit follows a character readers were introduced to in The Highlander’s Heart. In that book, Morrigan was very much the Anti-Hero. I was a little worried about when I found out she would be the star of her own book. But Ms. Forester did a wonderful job of making sure Morrigan had redeeming qualities.

Morrigan wants to help her clan regain its pride and financial stability. But both are harder than Morrigan and her brothers ever expected. They impersonate highway men to get the money needed to care for their clan, as well as having to deal with a mysterious bishop who demands they perform specific deeds. With both of her brothers gone from the clan seat, Morrigan is left to defend and provide for her clan.

She is approached by Sir Dragonet, who wanders the country to check individual clans’ loyalty to the King of Scotland and to Scottish freedom from England. Morrigan leads her men in to battle against the English to prove their loyalty, but at the same time Morrigan is loses her heart to the French knight.

Jacques and Morrigan are truly a great pair. He admires and understands her need to fight with and for her clan. She admires his need to make a better life for himself by helping the Scottish cause.

I enjoyed this book, especially Morrigan’s journey from being resigned to a life as a warrior Maiden to falling in love.

I give True Highland Spirit a 4 Horseshoe rating.

True Highland Spirit is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions.

Publication Details:

Author Amanda Forester
Title True Highland Spirit
Format Print
Length 416 Pages
Publication Date March 2012
Publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 978-1-4022-5307-2

From Publisher’s Website

Fleeing into the wilderness to escape an abusive marriage, Lady Isabelle Tynsdale would sooner face down a wild boar than spend another night with her wretched husband. Battered by the elements, desperate to elude a band of attackers, and defending herself against, as fate would have it, a wild boar she is rescued by the handsome Laird David Campbell.

Campbell knows holding Isabelle captive for ransom is his best chance to temper the storm threatening to destroy his clan. The ransom of an English countess should be more than enough to pay off his debts to England and save him from an unwanted marriage. But Isabelle didn’t escape her husband just to become another man’s captive and Laird Campbell is seriously misguided if he thinks she’s going to go quietly.

My Review:

One of my favorite genres to read, other than Contemporary Western Romance, is Historical Romance. Especially Scottish Historical Romance. Scottish history has fascinated me almost as long as horses have. I was very impressed with Ms. Forester’s knowledge of 1350’s Scottish and British History and her ability to convey it during the story.

The characters were well created and one could easily believe that they lived and breathed during those difficult years of political turmoil in Scotland and on the border between Scotland and England. David stole my heart in his very first scene. He will never take the place of my favorite Highlander, but he is high up on my list.

I did find my self occasionally getting annoyed with Isabelle. Her lack of common sense about things drove me nuts. If a guy is chasing your attacker in to the fog, don’t follow them. Sit your butt down and wait for him to return or the fog lifts.

A problem with Advanced Reader Copies, is that you don’t know if repeated information has been removed. When ever Isabelle considers prayer, the reader is told how she really doesn’t believe in it. This was repeated over and over. I hope that the printed edition doesn’t have this repetition.

There was a few minor things in the story that bothered me. One was how the author waited until almost the end of the book to name the English King, and even then she only called him King Edward, not King Edward III. Through out the book he was strictly referred to as the English King.

The other issue was a historical time line. It bugged me enough to dig through my Scottish history books. The story takes place in 1355 and there is a discussion between two characters about a rumor that the captured King David II was negotiating his release by offering the throne of Scotland to King Edward III’s son John of Gaunt. According to history, in 1352 King David II was paroled and attended a parliament meeting in Scotland. At that meeting, he gave them the terms of his release, which required the Scots to declare Prince John of Gaunt as the next King of Scotland. The Scots turned it down. In 1354, a ransom of 90,000 Scottish merks to paid over nine years was agreed upon. The paying of the ransom and the offering of the Scottish throne to England play important roles in this story. The time line mistake was very minor and most people would never notice.

Even with the minor issues, I did greatly enjoy this book and look forward to the next one. Might even need to look up the first one as well.

I give The Highlander’s Heart a 4 Horseshoe rating!

The Highlander’s Heart is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions. Also from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook.

Publication Details:

Author Amanda Forester
Title The Highlander’s Heart
Format Print
Length 448 Pages
Publication Date November 2011
Publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 978-1-4022-5304-1

From Back Of The Book

IS SHE STEALING… OR JUST HIDING IN DARK CORNERS…

The Earl of Dunraven is obsessed with catching the thief who stole a priceless heirloom from him. When he keeps running into London newcomer Millicent Blair in places she shouldn’t be, his suspicions aren’t the only thing aroused…

But Millicent’s real secret is a far cry from what the earl thinks – and would horrify him much more if he knew. Yet, every encounter increases the attraction between the powerful earl and the lovely, intelligent, and feisty Miss Blair…

Welcome to the sparkling Regency world of Amelia Grey, where the gossip is fresh and a new scandal is always brewing.

My Review:

Amelia Grey brought Regency London (1811-1820s) and the Ton to life in this fun, lighthearted novel. The pace was lively and well done.

Ms. Grey did a wonderful job with the character development. I instantly fell in love with Millicent. Every time the earl started questioning her, I would tell her to stay strong and not give away her secret. Then he would kiss her. A wonderful kisser will make any steadfast woman forget herself. I also enjoyed Lady Beatrice and the earl.

The relationship between Millicent and the earl was enjoyable to watch. The earl’s sneaking around like a young man to see Millicent in secret, and his watching her for her at the balls was swoon worthy.

The mystery of who stole the priceless heirloom was masterfully weaved in to this beautiful romance. You will be shocked at who was the thief!

I give A Dash Of Scandal a 4 Horseshoe rating!

A Dash Of Scandal is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions. Also from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook editions.

Publication Details:

Author Amelia Grey
Title A Dash Of Scandal
Format Print
Length 315
Publication Date October 2011
Publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 978-1-4022-3979-3

From Back Of The Book

A MAIDEN WHO WILL NOT MARRY

For the lovely Lady Audris, taking a husband would mean losing her home. She is content to concentrate on her special gift, weaving gorgeous tapestries that often contain hints of the future. But nothing predicts the arrival of Hugh Licorne, confident in his strength and single-minded in his determination – to have her.

A BATTLE-HARDENED KNIGHT WHO NEEDS A BRIDE

From the moment Hugh sets eyes on Lady Audris, he knows he has found the woman destined to be his wife. She’s courageous and beautiful, delicate yet strong. But winning her trust and defending her from her enemies will be the greatest battle he has ever faced.

My Review:

Just like Demoiselle Audris does with her gift, Roberta Gellis has weaved a beautiful historically accurate tale with a sweet love story intertwined within it. The story takes place during a time of English and Scottish history that is full of contradictory documentations of events that took place. This story takes place between 1136 and 1138 along Hadrian’s Wall.

The back of the book description is a little misleading. Hugh did not develop his determination to have Audris until after he was knighted and discovered that Audris shared his affection. Until then Hugh was very well aware that she was above his station and he was not worthy of her. It is obvious from their first meeting that there was an attraction, but both knew that it wasn’t appropriate. I am glad that Ms Gellis maintained that societal constraint of the time.

Not only is the book a beautiful love story, it is a beautifully written story. The author has done an amazing job placing the reader in to the locations of the tale. At one point Audris and Hugh are traveling past a burned village, I swear I could smell the charred wood and flesh that they were exposed to. When Hugh is at the Battle of the Standard, I could feel and understand his disgust at fighting men who were ill-armed or even unarmed. Even the quiet, tranquil parts of the story were beautifully written.

If you are a lover of historical novels or of novels that are well written, I would highly recommend this one. You will not be disappointed.

A Tapestry Of Dreams is a reissue that was originally published in 1985 by Jove Publishing.

I give A Tapestry Of Dreams a 4 Horseshoe rating!!!

A Tapestry Of Dreams is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions and from Barnes and Noble in Print .

Publication Details:

Author Roberta Gellis
Title A Tapestry Of Dreams
Number of Pages 485
Publication Date May 2011
Publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 978-1-4022-5498-7

From Publisher’s Site:

Miss Chelsea Bellamy is desperate

Her beloved brother is being held for ransom! Impoverished after the deaths of her parents, Chelsea doesn’t have five shillings, never mind the five hundred pounds the kidnappers are demanding. With no one to
turn to, she resorts to highway robbery to raise the sum.

Lord Anthony Grenville is bored

Viscount Montrose’s coach is overtaken by a highwayman—who turns out to be no man at all! Anthony hasn’t been this intrigued by anything, or anyone, since his return from the war. And when he catches the flame-haired thief breaking into his London house to further fill her coffers, he comes up with a plan to rescue her brother—and resolves to seduce her into his bed!

Their passion is mutual

Chelsea accepts Anthony’s aid, but she’ll never become his mistress—even if the thought of it fills her veins with liquid fire…

My Review:

A Rouge’s Pleasure is a historical romance that takes place in England in the fall of 1812. Hope Tarr has done a wonderful job of bringing the location and the era to life. I felt as if I was there. I found myself cheering for Chelsea during her robberies, urging her to accept Anthony’s help, and to eventually declare her love for the rogue. I enjoyed the characters of this book. The story was well written and the situations were very believable. I found the plot a tad predictable but that did not bother me in the least. This was a very delightful book and will be placed with the books I grab when I need a good diversion.

I am giving A Rouge’s Pleasure a 4 horse shoe rating!

Publication Details:

Author
Hope Tarr
Title A Rogue’s Pleasure
Format eBook
Publication 

Date

August 2010
Publisher Carina Press
ISBN 978-1-426-89048-2