‘Breton Wolf’ by Victoria Vane

bw-vvSTORY: She swore to defy him to her dying breath… But passion blurs the line between love and hate…

The bluest blood and the hardest heart… at least when it comes to marriage… The daughter of a duke and granddaughter of a king, Adele of Vannes was bartered at birth in a marriage treaty for the sole purpose of producing a royal heir. When her philandering husband is slain by Norse marauders, she is coerced to wed again in order to protect her home and her people. Adele knows that her beloved Brittany needs a strong hand to survive, but how can she ever reconcile her bitterness and hatred with the desire she feels for her mortal enemy?

She’s the jewel he seeks for his Breton crown…A Barbarian bent on building a dynasty, Valdrik Vargr, ‘the Norse Wolf,’ is renowned for both his bravery in battle and shrewdness in statecraft. Setting his sights on claiming the kingdom of Brittany, he knows that siring sons from royal blood would solidify his hold, but the woman he would claim as his queen refuses to have him. Will he fuel her hatred by taking her to his bed, or will the man who strikes terror in the hearts of men be reduced to wooing his bride? 

REVIEW: It’s no secret that I love Ms. Vane’s historical novels and finding out that she’d penned a Viking Medieval story was as much a surprise as delight to someone that is a huge fan of the Vikings series on History channel.

I must say that this story was action filled from start to finish, and despite the complexity of the politics of the two peoples, I truly enjoyed it. My enjoyment was tripled as Ms. Vane had went all out in creating the world and the characters that rang true throughout the story.

Adele was a true and devoted lady of her time, forced to wed a man who raped her on their wedding night, and never failed to humiliate her in front of their people. However, her submission to him only made her grow more strong and when his demise finally sets her free of him, she finds that she’s now become a “spoils” of the war.

When Valdrik, The Norse Wolf, is given a chance to claim the Kingdom in Brittany, he takes it because he knows that chances like that are rare, but in order to do that, he must fight a man and wed his wife.

If you’re a fan of the genre, you’ll love this story because it is well researched and told in such a way that you’ll fall in love with a world we hardly ever hear about these days. Highly recommended!

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author

‘Her Highland Rogue’ by Violetta Rand

hhr vrSTORY: Errol MacRae’s days of gallivanting across the Highlands are nearing an end. His father’s health has taken a turn for the worse, and rumors are swirling that the crown intends to transfer ancient lands into the hands of the MacKenzies, the clan the MacRaes are sworn to defend. Errol expects to lead his men into battle soon. So he isn’t pleased when his father instead sends him to retrieve a beautiful flame-haired lass who has fled into the mountains.

Orphaned as a young girl, Aileana vividly remembers how the MacRaes rescued her and welcomed her into their clan. For ten years, she has served them loyally—until the night she’s nearly despoiled by one of the laird’s captains. Aileana risks her life and her reputation to seek refuge in the snowcapped peaks of the Five Sisters, the one place that has always felt like home. But after the strong-armed, strong-willed Errol tracks her down in a blizzard, she finds herself tempted to risk something even more dangerous: her heart.

REVIEW: There are some books that work, and then there are some that don’t and there are many, many reasons for either. For me, the story has to have at least one strong character to whom I’ll be attached to and root for. In this case, there were two and I just couldn’t suspend my imagination enough to care for either of them.

The hero was a typical Alpha and had no redeeming qualities, at least for me, and the heroine wasn’t strong enough to carry this story on her own. I think that the characters needed more development as well as the story. Everything just felt two dimensional.

As for the writing, it was just okay. Nothing in this story spoke to me, nothing attracted me to it and in all honesty I can’t recommend it.

Melanie for b2b

‘The Beast of Clan Kincaid’ by Lily Blackwood

tbock lbSTORY: They call him the Beast—a hardened mercenary whose heart seems as cold as his icy blue gaze. They do not know his true name: Niall Braewick, son of the Laird of Kincaid. It has been years since he escaped into the forest the night his father was murdered. Now he has returned, ablaze with a vengeful hunger. He will gain the MacClaren chief’s trust, gather his clan, and take back his lands. And take the MacClaren’s daughter as well…

Though he pulled her from the river, saving her life, Elspeth has been warned to keep her distance from her father’s hired warrior. He is a barbarian—a shame, as he is far more compelling than the lechers and fools competing for her dowry. Little does she know that, like the castle itself, she is a prize Niall intends to claim…but will he extract blood for blood and possess what is his, or will his enemy’s beautiful, innocent daughter tempt him to forsake his dream of conquest?

REVIEW: This is the first book in the Clan Kincaid series about three brothers who supposedly died in an uprising against their clan. The first story is of the oldest brother and I liked it a lot.

The characters are well developed and the hero is Alpha male to the core. The heroine, who just happens to be the daughter of the hero’s enemy, was such a hoot!

I liked that the story moved fast and the revenge trope was well executed and I really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the stories.

If you’re a fan of medieval period, and especially of the Highlanders, you’ll thoroughly enjoy this one.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘The Beautiful Pretender’ by Melanie Dickerson

tbp mdSTORY: What happens when a margrave realizes he’s fallen in love with a servant?

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble-born ladies from around the country to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.

Avelina is only responsible for two things: making sure her deception goes undetected and avoiding being selected as the margrave’s bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. Will Avelina be able to stop the evil plot? And at what cost?

REVIEW: Thornbeck Forest – 1363 – Roman Empire

Reinhart Stolten, Margrave of Thornbeck, is out riding on his vast property chasing away a pack of wolves in an effort to keep everyone in the area safe. Once a powerful knight, he is now reduced to using a cane to walk. When he returns to his castle, he finds he has received a missive from the King requesting that Reinhart get married and suggests the daughters of the Duke of Geithart and the Earl of Plimmwald as possible brides. It happens that the fathers of these men had fueded with the previous Margraves of Thornbeck and the King wants to unite these families and thus ensure peace. While Reinhart would rather ignore the request, his aide, Jorgen, encourages him to comply with the King’s wishes. So, Jorgen and his wife, Odette, begin planning the ball. It is decided that there will be a two-week party and ball at Thornbeck Castle. These two ladies and others will be invited so Reinhart can meet them and decide which one best suits him.

Avelina is a lady’s maid to Lady Dorothea, daughter of the Earl of Plimmwald. Dorothea is hoping that her father doesn’t find out about her trysts with his Knight, Sir Dietric, and now she is carrying his child. When her father orders her to go to the Margrave’s ball, she runs away with her Knight. Upon learning what she has done, her father decides to send Avelina to attend the party and pretend that she is Dorothea.

Upon arrival at the castle, Avelina feels out of place but is befriended by a lovely woman also attending the party and works hard to keep her true identity secret. It becomes more difficult for her when she realizes that Reinhart seems to be quite taken with her.

But mischief is afoot and someone is trying to get her out of the way. As there has been bad blood between the families before, it looks like more problems may be coming.

This was a good story that stayed well with the time period. I enjoyed it and I know other readers will as well.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

‘Knight of My Dreams’ by Lynsay Sands

komd lsSTORY: Lady Alice knows she is not the type to entice a man. She’s too voluptuous, too intelligent, too strong minded. Why, she even reads! But then Jonathan, Earl of Fairley, arrives at court. Tall, dark and handsome, the knight is any woman’s dream. And he has just been ordered by the king to find a bride … and Alice is to help him!

Jonathan has been evading his mother’s matchmaking schemes for years, so why does she insist that Lady Alice isn’t for him? Alice is only to aid in his search for a bride, yet Jonathan can’t help but be distracted by her glorious hair—the color of a sunset—and a figure that is like a lush berry about to burst to full ripeness … Has Jonathan fallen prey to love?

Originally appeared in the print anthology A Mother’s Way, under the title “Mother May I?”

REVIEW: As short stories go, this one was very well written and a lot of fun to read in one afternoon.

If you’re in a mood to spend a short time in Medieval Era than you should give this story a try. With unconventional heroine and an Alpha hero, the story moves fast and entertains on all levels and through the end.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘The Dark Knight’ by Elizabeth Elliott

Stdk eeTORY: Thief, assassin, and master of disguise, Dante Chiavari is the most feared mercenary of England’s King Edward. On one last assignment, Dante must play the part of a chivalrous knight to steal Avalene de Forshay from her family and thwart the ruthless Faulke Segrave, who would wed Avalene and use her to spark war between Wales and the crown. Upon seeing the beautiful and innocent young maiden, however, the mercenary suddenly finds himself at the mercy of his own intense desire.

When Avalene meets the handsome knight she knows only as Sir Percival, he sweeps her off her feet even as he spirits her away from Coleway Castle. Their escape is wrought with risks and perils, but Avalene will find that the greatest danger lies in losing her heart. And after the truth is revealed, Avalene fears that she may never again be able to trust the dark knight who has come to mean more to her than life itself.

REVIEW: I can’t believe I let this book languish on my Kindle’s TBR for couple of years now. I finally got around to reading it this month. It’s a fourth book in Montagues series, which I’ve never read, but it hadn’t bothered me at all. It can really be read all on its own.

This is my first time reading this author and let me tell you, she is G.O.O.D. Very good.  From prose to plot and on to pace, this book sucks you in and doesn’t let go even days after you’re done reading it.

What I loved above all else, were our hero and heroine. These characters were extremely complex, yet so likable. The slow burn of their attraction to each other just jumped off the pages.

There was one thing that could have made this book even better than it was, and that’s the dialogue in the Medieval Renaissance speak. It would have had me sigh even more than I already had been! I do understand the reason behind not using it. It would probably drive some readers bonkers, and I probably would have had a hard time understanding some of the dialogue. But oh it would have sounded so very good.

If you’re like me and feel the need to step into Medieval time romance, please don’t hesitate to pick this one up. It will surprise and delight you. I promise.

And now I’m off to track the other three books in this series, The Warlord, Betrothed and Scoundrel🙂

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘His Seduction’ by Diana Cosby

hs dcSTORY: An Impulsive Act…

Lady Rois Drummond is fiercely devoted to her widowed father, the respected Scottish Earl of Brom. So when she believes he is about to be exposed as a traitor to England, she must think quickly. Desperate, Rois makes a shocking claim against the suspected accuser, Sir Griffin Westcott. But her impetuous lie leaves her in an outrageous circumstance: hastily married to the enemy! Yet Griffin is far from the man Rois thinks he is—and much closer to the man of her dreams…

An Irresistible Outcome…

Griffin may be an Englishman, but in truth he leads a clandestine life as a spy for Scotland. Refusing to endanger any woman, he has endured the loneliness of his mission. But Rois’s absurd charge has suddenly changed all that. Now, with his cover in jeopardy, Griffin must find a way to keep his secret while keeping his distance from his spirited and tempting new wife—a task that proves more difficult than he ever imagined…

REVIEW: I liked the setting, Scotland in the thirteen century in the reign of King Edward Longshanks. Despite the story starting off a bit predictable and farfetched, I liked the pace of it and the main characters. They were quick witted, strong and very entertaining as the tension just grew between them throughout the story.

This was a great read and even though I’ve never read the previous four books in this series, I had no trouble following the story.

If you’ve seen ‘Braveheart’ and liked it, you’ll love this story. Ms. Cosby did a great job blending a bit of magic and just enough of history to lure me into this story.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher