Alpha by Jasinda Wilder

What would you do if you received a $10,000 check in the mail? It’s addressed to you, yet the signature is illegible. There’s just one word written in the memo line: “You”. So, what would you do? Cash it? I feel like I’d harass someone at the bank for more info, even if they couldn’t give it to me. Ask around a bit!

What’s it About?

alpha

The first time it happened, it seemed like an impossible miracle. Bills were piling up, adding up to more money than I could ever make. Mom’s hospital bills. My baby brother’s tuition. My tuition. Rent. Electricity. All of it on my shoulders. And I had just lost my job. There was no hope, no money in my account, no work to be found. And then, just when I thought all hope was lost, I found an envelope in the mail. No return address. My name on the front, my address. Inside was a check, made out to me, in the amount of ten thousand dollars. Enough to pay the bills and leave me some left over to live on until I found a job. Enough to let me focus on classes. There was no name on the check, just “VRI Inc.,” and a post office box address for somewhere in the city. No hint of identity or reason for the check or anything. No mention of repayment, interest, nothing…except a single word, on the notes line: “You.” Just those three letters.

If you receive a mysterious check, for enough money to erase all your worries, would you cash it? I did. The next month, I received another check, again from VRI Incorporated. It too contained a single word: “belong.” A third check, the next month. This time, two words. Four letters. “To me.” The checks kept coming. The notes stopped. Ten thousand dollars, every month. A girl gets used to that, real quick. It let me pay the bills without going into debt. Let me keep my baby brother in school and Mom’s hospice care paid for. How do you turn down what seems like free money, when you’re desperate? You don’t. I didn’t. And then, after a year, there was a knock on my door. A sleek black limousine sat on the curb in front of my house. A driver stood in front of me, and he spoke six words: “It’s time to pay your debt.” Would you have gotten in? I did. It turns out $120,000 doesn’t come free.

First Impressions

When our main female lead receives this mysterious $10,00 check she decides to cash it. She just got fired from her job, her mom is in an assisted living facility, her brother is in college, she’s in college, and her rent is past due. I think I’ve got all her bills covered! Although she debates over it for a while, she seemingly has no choice but to cash it. I must say, I did admire that one of the first things she did was give some of the money to her best friend to help with rent payments. Pretty selfless if you ask me. She made sure to take care of her own responsibilities rather than, say, go on a shopping spree. Kyrie also has the sense to admit to herself that there’s no way this money is being given absolutely free. Eventually, someone will come to collect. And after one year of receiving a $10,000 check every month, that collector comes a knockin’!

giphy

10k Here and There

Now, you’re probably asking yourself the same question I did whilst reading this one: why the hell would you continue cashing these checks, and racking up even more debt to this unbeknown benefactor? Especially considering the first 3 checks spelled out “you belong to me” in the memo lines. Creeeeepy! However, I gotta give it to Kyrie, she had a pretty logical answer to this conundrum. She was desperate to cash that first check to take care of herself and her family, and she knew there was no way she could have paid back that initial $10,000. When the others started coming she figured, what the hell? I’ll never be able to repay any of it, might as well keep cashing ’em. It kind of makes sense.

giphy.gif

The set-up to the novel was interesting, but the first year of cashing checks did drag on for a while. Then when the collector finally comes along things get pretty weird. Her benefactor’s personal driver comes to “collect” Kyrie, and when he brings her to Mr. Rich Guy he insists she wear a blindfold whenever she’s in his presence. He also refuses to tell her his name. Dude, you’re basically kidnapping this chica, maybe try and make her feel a bit more at ease rather than making it seem like she’s trapped in a horror film.

0c2e662250459b0021d3b918f4dd028d

A Billionaire Beast

In a way, this novel reminded me of a blend between Beauty and the Beast and Pretty Woman. Our mysterious benefactor is rather moody at first, he has his own personal quarters which are off-limits to Kyrie, and they manage to bond over his ginormous library. As for Pretty Woman, well, he provides her with her first ever opera experience!! The only difference here is that she had to remain blindfolded the entire time, and he makes her come during the “climax” of the performance.

ef351dfb5db210e45667b42f7accc260

And this brings me to the discussion of their sexual relationship. Gotta say, not a fan. I’m sorry, but I feel like there is a big difference between pushing your lover to try new things, and making them do things they legitimately don’t want to do. Prime example was when the blindfold was eventually removed, and Roth is feeling up Kyrie in his car. They quickly catch the attention of the driver in the car next to them. Kyrie repeatedly tells him to stop, that she’s embarrassed, and she keeps trying to push his hand away. But he ignores her, and keeps shoving his hand up her skirt. Personally, I found that to be disturbing rather than hot.

279416bb7637385fe1c1cd996a4d00df

Keeping Secrets

Now for the other annoying feature of the story. Roth admits right off the bat upon first meeting Kyrie that he has a big secret he’s keeping from her. Eventually he’ll tell her what it is, but he admits it will cause her to run from him, so he’s going to keep it to himself for now. Kyrie is initially concerned, but then basically just focuses on her burgeoning sexual relationship with Roth, and all the pretty things he keeps buying for her. I thought this secret was ridiculously obvious, but what really irked me was that Roth didn’t tell her what it was upfront. Yeah, she would have withdrawn from him, but then he could have tried to win her over through his actions. Instead, Roth tries to get close to her, make her fall for him, and then try to bring honesty to the discussion. Seems pretty manipulative to me.

Dog-with-a-flower

Narrator

I listened to this one as an audio-book. Overall I would say the narrator was just ok. Although she does a good job with Kyrie, she seemed to have a more difficult time with Roth. He’s supposed to have a slight British accent, and I felt she focused so much on trying to get that right that his voice came across as much older, and lacking any real emotion. When it came to Roth’s Mexican housekeeper, Eliza, and his Italian restaurant owner friend, both came across sounding Russian. The accents were definitely a problem. The last chapter of the novel was told from Roth’s point of view, and we suddenly get a male narrator, who actually did a great job. However, it was kind of jarring to suddenly have this deep and rumbling voice for just a few pages at the very end.

0331e64257a8c7d4515e2e00081d100fd0a9579a

Series: Alpha, book 1. I wasn’t a huge fan of the decisions some of these characters made in book one. Not sure I’ll want to carry on with book 2. Stranger things have happened though!!

Should you read it? Upon first collecting Kyrie, Roth was pretty insistent that this wasn’t all about sex, and if they do eventually have sex it wouldn’t be prostitution even though he gave her $$. Umm, sure, whatever you say. I have to call slight B.S.though considering it’s not long before he’s making her moan.

Smut Level: Funny how these billionaires always have a friend who owns an Italian restaurant. In this novel, Roth makes Kyrie secretly come by fingering her under the table as his friend presents their dinner of lasagna and chicken parmigiana. Who needs to worry about awkward dinner conversation when you have that going on under the table?

Get it on Amazon:  Click Here. FREE. Self-Published. 450 Pages.

Wicked Cravings by Suzanne Wright

Another female shifter with inner wolf problems!

What’s it About?

wicked cravings

For years, wolf shifter Jaime Farrow has harbored a not-so-secret crush on gorgeous Dante Garcea. But the time has come for Jaime to face facts: despite her best efforts, Dante just isn’t interested. And that’s probably for the best. The last thing Jaime needs is for anyone—particularly Dante—to find out about her little “problem.” The one that haunts her past and threatens to destroy her and everyone she loves…As the pack Beta, workaholic Dante Garcea doesn’t have time for distractions—especially the kind promised by Jaime Farrow. It’s all he can do to keep her at arm’s length and his desire at bay. Yet when her flirtations abruptly end, Dante becomes suspicious. She’s hiding something, something big, and unless he can convince her to trust him, their entire pack could be in danger. He knows hot-headed Jaime will resist him…but Dante never takes no for an answer.

First Impressions

This sequel in the Phoenix Pack series definitely had a slower start than the first book, and overall wasn’t as intense. That being said, I must say I did like the lead characters much better. They were more likable and less cocky than the alphas of the pack. Jaime has always had a crush on Dante, and has been following him around like a lost puppy for years. One day, she overhears him in a conversation with another pack member, where he mentions he could never have a relationship with someone like Jaime. Feeling slighted, Jaime decides she must finally relent, and avoid interacting with him whenever possible. As could be expected with similar playground antics, Dante finds himself drawn to her even more. Pay attention to meeeeee Jaime!!!

tumblr_nxvd8gIYMZ1uluepno8_250

The Struggle of a Beta

Unbeknownst to Jaime, Dante has actually always had an eye for her as well. He’s found himself drawn to her very presence, but Dante has vowed to never be with someone in his own pack. As beta of the Phoenix Pack, he realizes that if he were to claim a female, his attentions would eventually be split between his mate and pack business. Dante believes that he would inevitably choose his pack over his mate, and he would never want to put any woman through that, least of all Jaime. However, this doesn’t prevent them from entering into a sexual relationship! Instead of “friends with benefits”, it’s more like “pack members without the expectations of mating”.

kissing forest

Living with a Wolf

I must say, I find the inner wolf identity of these characters to be a rather unique feature of this series. Although their wolf is an essential part of their character, it’s also a distinct and independent feature of their personality at the same time. They even refer to their wolves in the third person as though it’s another character entirely.

838162

As mentioned earlier, Jaime has some severe wolf problems. She refuses to let her wolf out anymore because of a tragic event from her past. By continually suppressing her wolf, the animal becomes increasingly restless, and tries to overpower Jaime. Because of this, Jaime vows that she doesn’t want to discover who her true mate is, as she could never ask him to put up with her dysfunctional wolf. Unfortunately this just makes her wolf even more restless. Such a vicious circle!!

Series: Phoenix Pack, book 2. The first book had more action, but I still enjoyed this one. Definitely looking forward to more from this series!

Should you read it? Pretty easy to see where the plot was headed with this one. Both Dante and Jaime have put up a wall where they don’t want to find their mate, which makes them blind to what’s right in front of them. Then you’ve got her wolf ultimately coming out to play, and some rather jealous/overbearing female foes to contend with. Still an enjoyable read though!

Smut Level: These two like to push each other, both in and out of the bedroom. They also like to bite and claw each other in the sack!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $0.99 Kindle Price. Montlake Romance. 395 Pages.

834599._SX540_

Little Red by Caroline Lee

Alright, before we even get started with the review, I think we all need to take a moment to fully appreciate the sheer beauty of this cover art. Seriously, just look at it! The juxtaposition of the red cape against the white backdrop; the flow of the cape that makes you want to reach out and touch it. I wonder if I could get away with wearing a cape like that?

What’s it About?

little red

She’s gone over the river and through the woods, but who will protect her from the Big Bad Wolf? Rojita is in trouble; all she needs to do is get to her grandmother in Everland, but she’s being chased by El Lobo, one of the West’s most notorious gunslingers. It isn’t until she’s thrown herself head-long into danger that she realizes the old adage about frying pans and fires applies. She’s in desperate need of a protector, and hires the first man who comes along to get her safely to Everland.

Bounty hunter Hank Cutter is more than ready to retire to a lonely little cabin in Arizona, to hang up his gun and find peace. He’ll begrudgingly help the reckless young woman get to the nearest train station, because he figures she’d get into even more trouble on her own. But when El Lobo struts back into his life—Hank still has the scars from their last encounter—he knows that he can’t leave Rojita at the gunslinger’s mercy. Maybe he’s nobler than he’d thought, because he’s soon setting a trap to save the lovely, impetuous Red. The only problem is that she’s still keeping a secret that could destroy his trust.

First Impressions

I’ll admit, I really do love a fairy-tale adaptation. I grew up reading fairy-tales. Looking back I can’t really say I was drawn to the princess finding her happily ever after with Prince Charming per se. Rather, I loved the locations. The adventure! Growing up in suburban Ohio, basically any story that took me to another part of the world was a plus. When it came to this adaptation of the classic “Little Red Riding Hood” tale, there was an added unique feature of the story being transported to the Wild West. Gunslingers and all! It was such fun to see the mention of other classic fairy-tale characters as well, from Aurora to Snow White! Then when our main characters arrive in the small town of Everland, we see classic elements drawn into the names of streets and houses too. So cute!

1427313466511

Classic Western and a Classic Tale

I will say I thought it was extremely unique to adapt a fairy-tale into a good ole’ western romance, with a bounty hunter, gunslinger, not to mention an orphanage that needs saving! I also enjoyed the interesting twist to catching our wolf. In this adaptation we see grandma is the one who dons the disguise instead of the other way around. That being said, I do feel that unfortunately some of the essential elements of the original story were lost in the adaptation.

29695678764127375leWGRLzXc

When I think of the original “Little Red Riding Hood” tale I think of two primary characters: Red and the Wolf. If I put more thought into it I remember the grandma. If I reaaaally push it I remember in some variations you have like, a huntsman, who helps Red kill the wolf and rescue grandma. In this version you have Rojita as Red, Hank as our manly hero, and grandma is, well…grandma. One character was noticeably absent though for a rather large portion of the book. The wolf!! Infamous gunslinger, El Lobo, is our villain, but he’s only in a few scenes and doesn’t actually appear until a large portion of the book is already finished. Kind of disappointing.

Amanda-Seyfrieds-Red-Riding-Hood-Cape-1

Series: Everland Ever After, book 2.

Should you read it? Not a whole lot of action until the very end. We also don’t really understand the full connection of the characters and the villain until pretty late in the game. I did enjoy the unique take on this fairy-tale, but I wish it had drawn a few more elements from the classic telling.

Smut Level: Clean read. No sex, yet still full of passion!

Get it on Amazon:  Click Here. FREE. Amazon Digital Services LLC. 164 Pages.

Falling Away by Penelope Douglas

Man, who knew such a small group of friends in an unassuming Illinois suburban town could lead such dramatically complicated lives. Every single one of them!!

What’s it About?

falling away

K.C. Carter has always followed the rules—until this year, when a mistake leaves her the talk of her college campus and her carefully arranged life comes crashing to a halt. Now she’s stuck in her small hometown for the summer to complete her court-ordered community service, and to make matters worse, trouble is living right next door.

Jaxon Trent is the worst kind of temptation and exactly what K.C. was supposed to stay away from in high school. But he never forgot her. She was the one girl who wouldn’t give him the time of day and the only one to ever say no. Fate has brought K.C. back into his life—except what he thought was a great twist of luck turns out to be too close for comfort. As the bond between them grows, he discovers that convincing K.C. to get out from her mother’s shadow is hard, but revealing the darkest parts of his soul is nearly impossible.…

First Impressions

I really really really hate to say this, but I’m sort of falling out of like with this series. I can’t even say “love” because it was never really one of my ultimate favorites to begin with. I definitely liked book 1, that’s for sure, and my feelings towards book 2 were sort of lukewarm. However, when it comes to this 3rd book, I think I have to say I actually disliked it. Both KC and Jaxon come from troubled pasts, but that’s definitely not the reason why I had an overall negative impression of this book. Rather, I couldn’t help but feel that Jaxon and KC had a pretty toxic relationship that made me slightly uncomfortable at times, and even worrying for KC’s safety at others.

shock

Love/Hate Continues Again

As is the theme with most of the novels in this series so far, our lead couple starts off with some feelings of animosity towards one another instead of love. Eventually, their mutual feelings of enmity build up to a boiling point until they can’t help themselves, and they start attacking each other’s mouths. However, in this book I was somewhat disturbed at a few of the ways Jax pursued KC. Let’s look at a few examples.

passion

Stalking is as Stalking Does

Let’s start with the less threatening (if you can call it that) of his pursuits. So, Jax pretty much cyber stalks KC when she’s away at college out of state. This includes, but is not limited to, logging in to check her class schedule, grades, setting off pranks to push back a test she was unprepared for, and hacking her police record so she could complete her community service at their local high school where Jax just so happens to volunteer as well. Eventually, KC uncovers the extent of how closely he’s been monitoring her activities while she was away at school, and she is understandably confused and disturbed.

excuse me.jpeg

But then Jax manages to talk his way out of these stalker tendencies to the point where KC just brushes off the whole thing rather quickly. He explained that the reason she was so upset with his monitoring of her was because she doesn’t want anybody else to get too close to her. Umm, actually it’s called an invasion of privacy! You wanna know what’s going on in her life, maybe you should give her a call, or send her an email. Not hack her school records.

The Heart of the Matter

I suppose if you really want you could write off his computer stalking as him being overprotective, and wanting to check up on her. Whatever. What disturbed me even more was their physical relationship. At times, it was scorching hot. At others, I was legitimately concerned I was about to read a rape scene. There are many instances in this book where Jax pins KC up against a wall in the heat of an argument, and starts to devour her mouth in a passionate kiss. But there are also many times where KC tries to pull away from these ministrations, saying “no” and trying to push Jax away.

push away.gif

Now, I listened to this as an audio book, and the narrator for KC was amazing, but in these particular scenes she verbalized some very convincing “no’s” and also had an element of fear in her voice. For Jax though, it would appear that when it comes to KC “no” doesn’t necessarily mean “no. It just means keep kissing her until she submits and says “yes”. The fact that at one point he even pulled a knife and started taunting her with it while pinned against a wall made me feel that this relationship has a lot of serious problems. Sure, KC would eventually always succumb to his seductions, and pull him towards her instead of pushing him away, but I felt like Jax must not respect her very much if he used intimidation to bend her to his will instead of talking things out.

Troubled Pasts and Vicious Characters

Jax and KC both come from troubled pasts. Her parents had her in order to supplement their previous daughter who died, and Jax was physically and sexually abused at the hands of his father and his father’s friends. While we aren’t privy to all of the specific details of Jax’s abuse, it was still definitely very hard to read at times.

sad boy

His abusers are disgusting people with zero redeeming qualities. It’s heartbreaking to think of what he endured as a child, and how his past has influenced his actions as an adult. Jax attempts to push KC away once she starts to develop loving feelings for him, as he doesn’t want her to deal with his toxic past. Especially when his past comes back to haunt him, as his father has been harassing him more and more as his parole from prison draws ever closer.

Series: Fall Away, book 3. Will I continue with this series? Maybe, as the next book revisits the couple from book 1. It just might take me a while before I go there.

Should you read it? Jax is a troubled individual, and the horrors of his past definitely influence his relationship with KC. I get pushing her away because he doesn’t think he’s good enough, and we’re supposed to admire KC for sticking through all of this to eventually find the loving Jax hiding underneath. I still couldn’t help but feel disturbed though at some of the ways he treated her, especially when it came to their sexual relationship. The whole pulling a knife scene left a really lasting negative and frightening impression on me. If others have read this one and had a different view of their sexual relationship I’d love to discuss it!

Smut Level: Let’s just say they do some pretty…creative things with a popsicle.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $5.99 Kindle Price. Berkley Publishing. 429 Pages.

18625394

 

Falling for the Enemy by Samanthe Beck

The author of this novel manages to make a gas station bathroom seem like one of the steamiest and most sensual of places to have sex. I don’t care what you say, that’s talent right there.

What’s it About?

falling for the enemy

Salon owner Virginia Boca has declared herself celibate…at least until she wins the election for mayor of Bluelick, Kentucky. No hot men. No sex. And her plan to play the good girl might have worked—if the mysterious, hard-bodied stranger she’s seen around town hadn’t pulled her from the street and saved her life. The least Ginny can do is offer her savior a free haircut. But when an innocent haircut turns into hours of wickedly hot sex, former Navy SEAL Shaun Buchanan knows his plan to keep a low profile is shot. Especially once Ginny finds out he’s the current mayor’s son. With her reputation and the election on the line, Ginny seems determined to keep their nightly sexcapades a secret, but Shaun’s not willing to stay in the shadows forever…

First Impressions

These two can’t keep their hands off each other!!! Their undeniable desire is most evident in the rather unique locales they find themselves in for sex. Basically, they don’t have the patience to wait for a bedroom. In addition to the gas station mentioned above, they also explore pretty much every available work surface in her hair salon, and go skinny dipping in a pond where anyone could walk by. The fact that they must keep their relationship a secret as Ginny is running for mayor, and Shaun is the son of her opponent, simply adds an extra sense of urgency and the forbidden to their coupling.

bathroom

Beyond the Physical

In addition to their obvious physical attraction for one another, as well as Shaun’s proclivity to tie Ginny up during sex, they are also able to open up on an emotional level. That being said, they mainly reveal some important aspects about their pasts during just one deep conversation on her couch. I think perhaps one more scene of them connecting through talking in place of another unique sex locale could have really added to the overall story line. Although, damn that’s really a tough choice right there. Ok, maybe don’t take away a sex location, but a few more scenes of emotional connection would have been good.

Lovers

Series: Private Pleasures, book 3.

Should you read it? Personally, I loved the secrecy behind their relationship, as well as the added drama of the mayoral debate. Ginny is definitely a sharp leading lady who can hold her own in any argument. Nothing like a little political scandal in the small town of Bluelick!!

Smut Level: These two really like to go at it on sinks. Think of the talent involved! Not only can he bend her into pretty much any position due to her flexibility, but she has the balance necessary to refrain from falling into the sink from such a precarious position.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Entangled: Brazen. 220 Pages

Light Her Fire by Samanthe Beck

Holy hot fire chief!! He has a dirty little mouth to go along with his dirty imagination. And little Ms. Bluelick who is really happy to be the focus of his attentions.

What’s it About? 

Good girl Melody Merritt is ready to be bad. Fresh out of an unsatisfying ten-year engagement to the town golden boy, she’s determined to make up for lost time. And who better to burn her sterling reputation to the ground than Bluelick’s sinfully sexy new fire chief whose wicked gaze promises complete and utter domination? Yes, please. Corrupting the prim and proper Little Miss Bluelick is the most action Josh Bradley’s seen since he transferred from Cincinnati to fast-track his career. He won’t let anything or anyone—not even the delectable Melody Merritt—trap him in this Kentucky-fried Mayberry, but when their searing chemistry yields an unexpected result, he realizes he’s started a blaze that’s completely beyond his control…

First Impressions

Josh is looking for some action. He’s practically desperate for it. The town of Bluelick initially attracted him because he finally had the opportunity to become Chief of a fire department. He just didn’t realize that moving to such a small town would result in boring days with very little excitement. Basically, Josh has his dream job title, but without the perks of putting out blazes on a regular basis. Then you have Melody. She’s looking for some action herself after her 10 year long engagement just came to an end. We’ve got two beautiful people in a small town, out on the prowl with very little to do. Oh, how will they pass the time I wonder?

images

Let’s Get Creative

Melody is known as the good girl in town. She is Little Ms. Bluelick after all. And yes, that’s an official title. However, she is fully intent on throwing that good girl image out the window. These two might take a while to have actual intercourse, but they do pretty much everything else in between as Melody seeks to dirty things up. To top it all off, they get sexy in some rather interesting locations. From her office exam table to her front porch, the kitchen counter to the front seat of his truck. No matter the location one thing is guaranteed: Josh likes to throw her legs over his shoulders for maximum efficiency. Boom baby!!

65f6cabe22755e41674928a72e9c282a

Series: Private Pleasures, book 2. I’ll keep going with this series. They’re fun and sexy reads.

Should you read it? In addition to all the sexy times there is some drama thrown in on multiple fronts. We’ve got arson, a broken condom, Josh’s conviction to move to another town with more opportunity, and Melody’s insistence on keeping their relationship casual. Although everything does come together rather nicely in the end, I wasn’t thrilled with how it did. I couldn’t help but question if he was really ready to spend the rest of his life with Melody, or if he merely saw her as a means to an end. Overall though? Cute as hell.

Smut Level: When it comes to all the sex scenes, dirty talk and spankings, you are bound to burst into flames. Or at least…some of your undergarments will.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Entangled: Brazen. 266 Pages.

LHF-Panties Around Your Ankles no Cover


Tess and the Highlander by May McGoldrick

I can’t believe you all let me go this long without reviewing a historical romance novel. Honestly, shame on me!

What’s it About?

tess

Tess
Tess Lindsay has spent most of her life on the remote Isle of May, uncertain of her identity. Raised by the two sole inhabitants of the island, she is left to fend for herself after their deaths, until a stranger washes ashore in a storm. Tess pulls him from the surf, not knowing that in saving the Highlander she is saving herself.

The Highlander
If good looks and a taste for adventure are a curse, Colin Macpherson is destined for ruin. Until he ends up a castaway on Tess’s windswept island, he’s been roaming the seas, seeking fame, fortune… and a different girl in every port. But his fascination for this strong-willed lass goes beyond her wild beauty, intriguing him as no girl ever does.

As Colin gains her trust, Tess reveals what little she knows about herself and her past. From her scant clues, though, Colin comes to one conclusion: he must return Tess to the mainland to reclaim her birthright, even if it means losing her to a destiny that does not include him.

First Impressions

Ok, so when it comes to historical romance reads, this one was just alright. It wasn’t bad in any sense of the word, but it was overall a rather predictable and basic romance. Not a whole lot of depth, but easy-going and still enjoyable. Also, we’ve got a Highlander in a kilt, so at least it has that going for it. This book also made me realize that my brain has now been conditioned to always picture Sam Heughan from Outlander as the male lead for any Highland romance. I don’t care that the lead in this book, Colin, has a physical appearance completely different than that of Sam. Sexy Highlander in my mind automatically reads Outlander to me. I suppose James Dornan could be an acceptable substitute.

Outlander 2014

Plenty of Sass

My favorite character in this novel, hands down, had to be Tess. She had so much sass and spunk, and that isn’t something you necessarily always come across in historical romance leading ladies. No need for a fainting chaise in this one! Tess has been living alone on a remote island for a while now, and Colin is the first outsider she’s ever interacted with. He might be big, surly and intimidating, but that doesn’t mean Tess is afraid to speak her mind.

outlander

With a Shipwreck Here, and a Shipwreck There

Tess has no concrete memory of what life was like before she washed up on the island during a storm when she was a child. She was raised by an elderly couple who recently passed away, but they ensured she was kept hidden from any outsider who visited the island when they were alive. When Colin washes ashore during another terrible storm, Tess can’t help but drag him to safety. While she initially tries to stay hidden from him, their paths on this small island eventually cross, and sparks are quick to fly.

wedding-night-outlander-will-claire-choose-frank-or-jamie-gif-304885

The Harsh Reality of Coming Home

The few memories Tess has of her former pre-island life are far from happy, and remain as blurred, fiery flashbacks which come to her in the forms of nightmares. When she eventually leaves the island with Colin, her flashbacks start to become more and more clear, specifically in regards to her overbearing mother. Tess is desperate to reunite with her mother, who is also her only living family. However, her mom’s hatred of Highlanders, and ill opinion of Colin presents a complicated inner struggle for Tess. She craves the closeness and affection of her mother, yet also refuses to stand for her mother viewing Colin as a barbarian. A complicated and dramatic homecoming to be sure!

outlander-season-2-crop.jpg

*Disclaimer: Yes, I realize every photo I used in this post was from the show Outlander. Yes, I understand it might have been overkill.But you know what, I don’t even care! I LOVE!!!

Series: MacPherson Clan, book 6. I haven’t read any of the others, and had no trouble following along. We do see characters from the other books though.

Should you read it? Good, not great. Predictable and sweet. Tess has been independent for so long, it’s inevitable she’ll clash with her overbearing and controlling mother upon reuniting.

Smut Level: A few make-out scenes, nothing more. The best part though was when they were on the island together, and Colin has to warm Tess up after she was hiding in the cold and rain to avoid him. Time to get cozy!!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.01 Kindle Price. May McGoldrick Books. 173 Pages.