Cephalopod Coffeehouse Oct 2015–WHEN A SCOT TIES THE KNOT-A Review

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Hi there! Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of book lovers, meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the tomes they enjoyed most over the previous month. Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino and join in the fun.

When a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After, #3)This month I’m reviewing an historical romance from Tessa Dare. I’ve enjoyed some of her books in the past and ran across a recommendation for this new release, WHEN A SCOT TIES THE KNOT, from a friend on Goodreads. I must say I enjoyed it.

I picked up this book on the review/recommendation of Khanh, who rarely finds a 5-Star gem, and gushed over this historical romance. Thanks, Khanh!

Madeline Gracechurch is a proper young Englishwoman whose stepmother and father wish to have settled favorably with a husband. At 16, Maddie is unable to mix in company, however, She suffers intense agoraphobia and knows that she will disgrace her family if pressed into London’s social marriage network. She’s a devoted penpal to her “afianced” however, one Captain Logan MacKenzie, A Highland Scot fighting the French–who happens to be entirely fictitious. She sends him letters and sketches, and arranges to have return letters from him delivered from him.

This charade continues for years, Maddie feeling bad, but not entirely. She expects that her letters are being trashed somewhere, entertainment for anonymous troops who think her a flighty girl. Remorse does set in when her godfather gifts her a Highland estate so that she and Captain MacKenzie will be comfortable upon his return. She decides to end this ruse, now some eight years old, by reporting the death of the valiant Captain. She mourns him properly, vows to never wed and decamps form her father’s home to her Highland estate, in the company of her “ruined” spinster Aunt Thea.

Maddie has been comfortable in her estate for two years now. She has a tidy income from her scientific drawings and the working farm. She is a good mistress, knowing her tenants and ensuring their welfare. What she is not is a woman looking for a man, and one appears on her doorstep out of the bonny blue sky: Captain Logan MacKenzie.

Not just the good captain, he has brought some of his displaced soldiers with him. To stay. Yes, Logan exists, and he received many a letter from a foolish English lass he expected to be decrepit or club-footed or have some gross malformation that rendered her unsuitable for marriage. The young, delicate comely woman who is terrified by his brawn (and assertion that they be married posthaste) is not at all whom he expected to find.

Logan has has a bad time of life. Abandoned by his parents, left as an orphan and pressed into His Majesty’s service by his “adoptive” family, Logan has never known a real home, nor real love. He doesn’t believe in it, and figures that the spoils young Maddie received by conning her family ought to suit him and his cast-off men who have nowhere to live after all their sacrifices for the Crown.

Aunt Thea is overjoyed, and canny. She wants her Maddie to have a love-filled life, and this rugged Highlander seems to fit the bill. Maddie, for her part, is attracted and intrigued, but she agrees to handfast her captain only because he threatens to reveal her subterfuge to all of London’s society.

It’s a big mess, of Maddie’s own creation as she acknowledges, and she womans up. She makes her vows, but allows herself some time to adjust to married life. In particular, she forestalls the consummation of their marriage in the hope that she can locate MacKenzie’s cache of her letters and destroy the evidence thereby unsealing their deal. In the meantime, they spend quite a bit of time together, managing the estate. Maddie’s even prepared to hand this over to Logan, in return for him letting her be, but Logan knows how the English change their minds and take back what they give in Scotland. So he won’t be having any of her deals.

Plus, he’s mighty attracted. His initial lust tempers into admiration when he sees how compassionate she is to all those around her estate. A true affection blossoms between Maddie and Logan, one that is fierce. It scares both Logan and Maddie, but Maddie takes steps to protect her heart–until she recognizes that Logan’s armor guards him too closely for very good reason.

Maddie and Logan are two excellent characters. While Logan is a battle hardened man, he’s not a brute. He’s educated and appreciates Maddie’s peculiarities. Maddie practically swoons when she find him reading her treasured copy of Pride and Prejudice, yet she can’t allow herself to believe such a beautiful physical specimen could truly love her. In fact, she very much believes Logan when he tells her he cannot.

There are some delightful sexytimes. Maddie is a virgin, and Logan has been celibate ever since Maddie’s letters began arriving. He lived a model life to give his men hope, and when the letters started he couldn’t set a bad example of carousing when the men believed he had a steadfast sweetheart. It has created a serious (10 years!) back-up of lust for Logan to carry. The sexual tension is delicious with a constant build and excellent resolution. Logan’s selflessness is a problem through the story–all the way to the very end, and yet, it’s his most endearing quality.

Where can I find me one of those magic mirrors or circles of standing stones? I need me a sexy Highlander, toot sweet.

Interested? You can find WHEN A SCOT TIES THE KNOT on Goodreads, Amazon, All Romance, and Barnes & Noble. This is a mass market paperback so it’s probably in Target and other convenience booksellers–and try the library, too.

Thanks for stopping in, and don’t forget to dash in and see what all my fellow Coffeehouse readers picked as their fave book for the month. Oh, and Happy Halloween!

BOUND BY WISH AND MISTLETOE? Of course!–Review and Giveaway

Hi there and welcome to my stop on the Bound by Wish and Mistletoe Blog tour organized by AToMR Book Tours. If you’d like to see the other tour stops click here. Today’s feature is a double review of Kat Bastion’s recent works:  adult paranormal romance novella, BOUND BY WISH AND MISTLETOE, and also the preceeding novel–FORGED IN DREAMS AND MAGICK, released in September.

Let’s get started, shall we?

BBWAM Cover Bound by Wish and Mistletoe:
Desperate to honor a life-long promise, Susanna MacEalan escapes her abusive clan with the fierce determination of never falling under the power of a man. Ever.

Aggravated by shallow-hearted pursuing lasses, Robert Brodie, commander of his clan’s elite guard, has foresworn scheming women. Forever.

When magick transforms Brodie Castle into a Christmas wonderland, the two despondent souls find solace in a most unexpected place . . . each other’s arms.

Amid a whirlwind of escalating events, Susanna’s traumatic past threatens Robert’s ability to protect the one woman meant for him. In a harrowing moment, as her fears and demons coalesce, will hope, faith, and love be enough to save them?

My Review:

Susanna has been promised to a man she doesn’t desire in order to forge an alliance for her abusive, violent father. Unwilling to submit, she escapes. Only to come upon Robert Brodie while on a mission to acquire the perfect Christmas tree for Lady Isobel. Robert is taken by Susanna’s strong will and vulnerability, against his wishes.

When her unwanted suitor arrives, Robert and his men fight to save Susanna, only to trap her once again. The inhabitants of Castle Brodie do not leave their enchanted castle often, and Susanna’s hard-fought freedom must be surrendered if she is to remain with Robert.

Finally finding a place where she can be happy, she accepts Robert’s offer and love, but all is not settled and her father’s power is not to be forgotten.

This novella has heart and soul. I really enjoyed the banter between Robert and Susanna, and I enjoyed reconnecting with Isobel and Iain Brodie. It’s a lighthearted romance, and will appeal to any who enjoy Highlander love tales…
Interested? You can find BOUND BY WISH AND MISTLETOE at GOODREADS, AMAZON and Barnes & Noble

But what about the book that started it all?

Forged in Dreams and Magick:Forged in Dreams and Magick_Cover
Isobel MacInnes wakes up in present-day California, lunches in medieval Scotland, and by ten days’ end, falls in love with a man and his country, only to lose them in a heart-wrenching twist of fate . . .

Found in the arms of her second soul mate . . .

Forced to balance the delicate strands of time between two millennia . . .

Shocked by revelations rewriting the very foundations of history . . . of everything.

Isobel, a rising-star archaeology student, is dropped into two ancient worlds without warning . . . or her permission. Her fiery spirit resists the dependency thrust upon her. Amid frustration at her lack of control, she helplessly falls in love. Twice.

She struggles to adjust to the unimaginable demands of two leaders of men—a laird in the thirteenth-century Highlands and a Pict chieftain in a more ancient Scotland. Isobel transforms from an academic, hell-bent on obtaining archaeological recognition, to a woman striving to care for those she loves, and ultimately . . . into a fearless warrior risking everything to protect them.

My Review:
What woman wouldn’t want two insatiable lovers in two separate epochs?

Isobel may be a modern woman, but she’s not made of stone. When her connection to an ancient artifact tosses her to 13th century Scotland, Isobel does the best thing she can: marries the leader of Clan Brodie, Iain. Super swoony Iain is the whole of her existence…until she encounters that danged artifact again. Tossed back even farther, Isobel must survive with the Picts–and does so by mating the chieftain, Velloc.

Both men are fearsome fighters, courageous leaders, and tender lovers, but Isobel had given her heart to Iain first. Being with Velloc is heavenly, but shouldn’t she return to Iain if she can? How can a girl chose between sides of her heart?

She does, however, and is able to convince both her husbands that she should split time between them–why? Because she’s unsure if her time displacement will upset history, or cement it. Isobel returns to Iain and spends time with him–then returns with Iain’s help–to Velloc for a temporary visitation, only to find he is embroiled in the Roman conquest of Scotland. Now her knowledge of history is the only thing that can save Velloc and his Pict clan. Also, an angel…

Skorpius is a delicious treat who helps the Brodie, and Isobel, survive.

It’s a super fun read if you like time travel romance or Highland stories. Plenty of magic and mystery surround the artifact that whipsaws Isobel through time and love. As for the romance steam-factor: think warm and fuzzy, not melt your Kindle.

Interested?  Forged in Dreams and Magick is available via GOODREADS, AMAZON and Barnes & Noble

About the Author
Kat Bastion is an award-winning paranormal romance writer, poetic warrior, and eternal optimist who loves getting lost in the beauty of nature.

On a never-ending, wondrous path of self-discovery, Kat throws her characters into incredible situations with the hope that readers join her in learning more about the meaning of life and love. Her first published work, Utterly Loved, was shared with the world to benefit others. All proceeds from Utterly Loved, and a portion of the proceeds of all her other books, support charities who help those lost in this world.

Kat lives with her husband amid the beautiful Sonoran Desert of Arizona. Visit her blog, her website, or connect with her on Facebook, Goodreads or Twitter for more information on Kat and her works.

****GIVEAWAY****

(5) eBook copies of each title (5 of Bound by Wish and Mistletoe and 5 of Forged in Dreams and Magick) gifted from either Kindle, Nook, Kobo, or ARe (not Smashwords) – International

(5) Signed print copies of each title (5 of Bound by Wish and Mistletoe and 5 of Forged in Dreams and Magick) – International

(1) Pandora sterling silver and 14k gold Christmas Tree charm with Pandora sterling silver bracelet – International

Holy cow!  Click HERE to enter this STUNNING giveaway.

And, as always: Keep reading my friends!

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