Book Review

Castles, Kilts, and Kisses by Tarah Scott, Ceci Giltenan, Sue-Ellen Welfonder, Amy Jarecki, Carmen Caine, Lily Baldwin

ckak a bbSTORY: From medieval to the Victoria era, six full length, stand alone Scottish romances by six best-selling authors.


A STORM IS COMING… Although she faces tragic loss, Brenna will never succumb to grief or fear, nor will she surrender to the one man she despises–the very man who now has the power to control her destiny. Like the storms that rage unchecked over the moors, her fury is about to be unleashed.

A HIDDEN LOVE… He does not look at her or speak to her, and most importantly, he does not touch her. These are the rules Duncan set for himself long ago to ensure his affection for his best friend’s wife remained undetected. But under the weight of a land besieged by war, the walls he erected to shield his heart crumble.

Wed and widowed seven times, he had come to believe that sharing his name alone would consign a woman to an early grave. So, on the sunny spring day Cameron encounters a delightfully devious, bright-eyed lass selling charmed stones in one of Stirling’s alehouses, he tosses her a shilling, thinking only to steal a kiss. But it is a kiss that will change his life forever.

Her parents want a betrothal, but Mairead MacKenzie can’t get married without revealing her secret and no man will wed her once he knows. Tadhg Matheson admires and respects the MacKenzies.

While an alliance with them through marriage to Mairead would be in his clan’s best interest, he knows Laird MacKenzie seeks a closer alliance with another clan. When Tadhg learns of her terrible shyness and her youngest brother’s fears about her, Tadhg offers for her anyway.

Grieving from the death of his wife, Lord Colin Campbell listens to the cries of his newborn son whilst penning a missive to the king. With no marriage prospects, Colin petitions his majesty for help in finding a stepmother. Never again will he fall in love—the death of a woman brings more pain than losing a whole contingent of men on the battlefield. Feisty, quick tongued and smart, Margaret Robinson is delighted when her father receives a messenger from the king…until she discovers what news he brings. In a sennight, she will wed the notorious Black Knight—her life is about to end.

London Heiress kidnapped by the Marquess of Ashlund, read the headlines. Yet no one tried to save her.
Phoebe Wallington was seven years old when a mass assassination attempt rocked Regency England. Her father was the only accused traitor to elude capture. Seventeen years later, the one man who could prove her father’s innocence is dead. Now as a grown woman and a British spy, she’s no closer to learning what really happened that day. Phoebe’s quest for the truth takes a sudden turn when she’s kidnapped by a suspected traitor. But Kiernan MacGregor, the Marquess of Ashlund, may not live long enough to stand trial. Someone wants him dead…and Phoebe stands in the killer’s way. The only way to save her reputation and protect Kiernan is to marry him.

SOME LIKE IT KILTED by Sue-Ellen Welfonder writing as Allie Mackay
A ghost’s home is his castle – and she’s about the storm the gates.
A woman’s heart needs a loving home.
Mindy Menlove lives in a castle that was transported stone by stone from Scotland to Pennsylvania. When her fiancé dies in scandal and Mindy decides to sell the gloomy estate, her plans soon unravel. She’s bound for the Hebrides, a place she’d hoped to avoid.

REVIEW: A wonderful compilation of Scottish stories! Two of the stories in this set I have previously read and enjoyed. HIGHLAND COURAGE by Ceci Giltenan and SOME LIKE IT KILTED by Sue-Ellen Welfonder writing as Allie Mackay. A definite must read for lovers of Historical Scottish Romance!

(Isle Of Mull #2)
Brenna, a widow of Duncan’s best friend, is a strong spitfire of a woman who finds herself confused by the feelings she has for Duncan because he seems so insufferable to her.

Duncan is a braw warrior who is in constant emotional turmoil when it comes to Brenna. He is deeply in love with her but hides it behind indifference, bordering on cruelty, from a misguided sense of honor to his deceased best friend.

Rona is a girl that helps Brenna out and I found her hilarious several times while reading even though she gets on Brenna’s last nerve. There’s a mystery to the story that centers around Brenna’s daughter, Nellore, which keeps you on your toes. This is a beautiful story showing that “meant to be” moments happen.

(The Highland Heather and Hearts Scottish Romance Series – #2)
All Cameron Stewart’s previous seven wives have died of one thing or another and now the King wants him to take another. Kate has lost her mother and sister to a fever and her father has lost his sight due to the same fever and his health is failing. Because the fever didn’t touch her, everyone has labeled her witch.

The story is full of court intrigue that kept me on the edge of my seat with all the danger going on around them. I despised a few characters which speaks volumes of Caine’s writing to bring that deep an emotion out of me, and I deeply loved others.

At one point my heart felt like it lay broken and things came together bringing a sense of healing back to my heart. This is the first I’ve read by Caine and it will not be the last!

(Duncurra #2)
This story had a ton of humor that had me Hee-Hawing. I love when I find my cheeks aching from smiling and laughing so much. The fact that Ceci Giltenan had me laughing one moment, in the “aw” mode the next, then directly into a feeling of rage, shows the depth of emotion in the story and her ability to make you ‘feel’ it too.

The Epilogue brings it all full circle with a welcome surprise… or two… that left this reader very content. Thank you, Ceci, for the adventure!
If you’d like to read the full review I wrote when I first read this story, you can find it here.

(Highland Dynasty #1)
Colin, who is a Knight Hospitaller of the Order of St.John, has just lost his wife in childbirth and finds himself called by the Pope to fight in the Crusades for the third time. He petitions the King for a wife before he leaves so his son will have a mother.

Margaret is bid by the King to marry “Black Colin” and be step-mother to his son, Duncan. Their relationship is slow to start but they do fall in love before he leaves. He’s gone for seven years and, with no word from him, she starts to believe he’s dead. A neighboring Chieftain, who has forever been at odds with Colin, tried to weasel his way in to Margaret’s good graces. Will Colin make it back in time or will their love be forever lost?

Although there were a few times the story felt rushed or I would have liked to see more of their relationship outside of the bedroom, I did enjoy the story and look forward to reading the next stories in this series.

(Highland Lords #2)
I liked Phoebe and Keiran and their banter had me giggling many times. She’s a handful and he’s just the man to keep her feet on the ground. She’s on the hunt for her father and has her secrets to keep and just when Keiran thinks he has everything under control, she pops up smack in the middle of things. He never has a dull moment with her around.

There are two things that I found kept pulling me out of the story. I felt bombarded with too many characters in the beginning…character overload if you will. I felt almost as if I needed to read the previous story to fully understand this one so I’m advising reading MY HIGHLAND LOVE first. There were also quite a few places where the editing could have been better. Repeated words, lack of words, or words out of place in sentences would pull me out quickly. Even with these things, I really enjoyed the characters and setting and I’ll definitely be purchasing the previous book to follow Keiran’s father on his journey to love.

SOME LIKE IT KILTED by Sue-Ellen Welfonder writing as Allie Mackay
(The Ravenscraig Legacy #4)
Reading this re-issued addition brought back to me why this has always been one of my favorite stories. Oh, the laughter throughout, and the happy tears at the end! From the moment Mindy meets three hilarious ghosts who help her in the decision of returning the stones of a medieval castle back to it’s original home, I knew I was in love with this book. I even fell a little head over heels for Saor, Bran’s best friend, and oh my goodness at the sweetest of all beasties…. Bran’s dog, Gibbie.

Mindy and Bran’s story will pull at your heart until the very end when an old friend with red plaid shoe-strings help them find their heart’s desire with a little nudging in the right direction. Scotland at it’s finest with the mist and magick. If you love to laugh out loud, fall in love, and reach for what you desire, this book is for you!

Leah for b2b


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