THE HIGHLAND KISS: KAREN MARIE MONING REVIEW

Hello lovelies! As you guys know, I’ve been working my way through the Highlanders series, and as I finished the fourth one, it’s time for another review. I’ve been loving this series, so let’s go ahead and get going.

A laird trapped between centuries…

Enchanted by a powerful spell, Highland laird Drustan MacKeltar slumbered for nearly five centuries hidden deep in a cave, until an unlikely savior awakened him. The enticing lass who dressed and spoke like no woman he’d ever known was from his distant future, where crumbled ruins were all that remained of his vanished world. Drustan knew he had to return to his own century if he was to save his people from a terrible fate. And he needed the bewitching woman by his side….

A woman changed forever in his arms…

Gwen Cassidy had come to Scotland to shake up her humdrum life and, just maybe, meet a man. How could she have known that a tumble down a Highland ravine would send her plunging into an underground cavern — to land atop the most devastatingly seductive man she’d ever seen? Or that once he’d kissed her, he wouldn’t let her go?

Bound to Drustan by a passion stronger than time, Gwen is swept back to sixteenth-century Scotland, where a treacherous enemy plots against them … and where a warrior with the power to change history will defy time itself for the woman he loves…

RATING: 4.5/5 STARS

This book was so good y’all! I’m pretty sure I’ve said it a thousand times, but Moning writes some of the best romances I’ve ever read. She creates these couples that are so well matched, and then she writes them into these fantastic stories, and UGH. I just adore them. In this go around, Gwen finds Drustan in a cave on accident, asleep. She wakes him up from the spell, and from there they work together to try to return at least Drustan to his time in order to save his clan.

As always, I loved the characters. Gwen was fiery and strong, and she complimented Drustan in the best way. Gwen was a super sassy character, and unlike some, she was genuinely smart, a fresh change. Drustan was great as well, and I adored him. He was an excellent compliment to Gwen, he was just as clever, and he was sweet and caring. They were one of those couples that had more in common than just their physical attraction to one another, and I thought that their relationship was great. They were willing to sacrifice for one another, and with that, they created a fantastic pair. Along with that, I loved how they take some elements of Scottish cultures and tie it into the story. I don’t know a ton about the lives and traditions of Highlanders, but if any of the ones discussed in this novel were even partially correct, then please send me back now.

Along with a great main character, I absolutely adored the characters around them. Drustan’s family was completely wonderful, and all of the small characters we met along the way only made the story all the better. Along with great characters, this book was so well executed. The story flowed great, and the writing was eloquent and well done. I think out of all of the books in this series, my favorite is still the first one, Beyond the Highland Mist, but this one is definitely a close second, and it defintiely  had a chance at stealing the most favorite spot.

Overall, I really loved this book! This series is such a great one, and it is quickly becoming one of my favorites. After I read Outlander, I was already in love with Highlanders and Scotland, but as I’ve been reading these books, I’m pretty sure that Scotland may be the place that I need to travel to the first chance I get. If you’ve never read this series, I can’t stress enough how much you should definitely give it a chance! It is well executed, romantic, and so worth your time. If you’ve read this one, what did you think? I would love to discuss it with you!

Love,

Taylor

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SUSPICION: ALEXANDRA MONIR REVIEW

Today we’re going to be discussing Suspicion, a young adult thriller based on Rebecca. This book was pretty short, and there was a lot that happened over the course of three hundred pages. If you’re a fan of fast paced books with lots of twists, you should definitely keep reading and see if Suspicion sounds like something that you’d enjoy!

A modern-day twist on the classic thriller, Rebecca, with a dash of the supernatural, a powerful romance, and a deadly family mystery.

“There’s something hidden in the maze.”

Seventeen-year-old Imogen Rockford has never forgotten the last words her father said to her, before the blazing fire that consumed him, her mother, and the gardens of her family’s English country manor. 

For seven years, images of her parents’ death have haunted Imogen’s dreams. In an effort to escape the past, she leaves Rockford Manor and moves to New York City with her new guardians. But some attachments prove impossible to shake—including her love for her handsome neighbor Sebastian Stanhope.

Then a life-altering letter arrives that forces Imogen to return to the manor in England, where she quickly learns that dark secrets lurk behind Rockford’s aristocratic exterior. At their center is Imogen herself—and Sebastian, the boy she never stopped loving.

Combining spine-tingling mystery, romance, and unforgettable characters, Suspicion is an action-packed thrill ride.

RATING: 3/5 STARS

This book follows Imogen and her life before and after her return to Rockford Manor. In the beginning we see Imogen as a young girl, and then it shifts to her life after her parent’s death. I was really glad that we got to see how she lived prior to her death, and it gave us a chance to see the manor prior to the return. This book did an excellent job setting up the castle/manor, and I had great images, which was so important because it as so key to the story. I also really liked the creep factor, which isn’t nornally something that appeals to me. Suspicion wasn’t necessarily scary, but it was definitely eerie and since this novel thrives on mystery, it makes it all the more engaging. One of the best parts of the story was how it drew the reader in and made them think and try and figure out what was going on alongside Imogen.

Imogen was a really unique character to read about. Throughout the entire novel she definitely changes and as she tries to figure out why the maze is so important, she begins to learn more and more about the history of her ancestors. I think one of my favorite parts of this story is how much importance it placed on the past of the Rockfords. By adding in some fantastical and magical elements, the story had so many excellent levels. We also have Sebastian, who works alongside Imogen to figure out what has been happening at Rockford. They worked relatively well as a team, but their relationship was a little instalovey, not too bad though.

Overall, Suspicion  was a really quick, interesting read! I wasn’t blown away by it, but I really did enjoyed the story, and I would definitely recommend it if you’re a fan of things with a little bit of suspense and a pinch of romance. It was a quick read, and the cover is also absolutely stunning! I’ve never read a book quite like this one, and it was really great to have a fresh take on young adult.  If you’ve read it, what did you think? I’d love to discuss it with you!

Happy Reading!

Taylor

THE HIGHLANDER’S TOUCH: KAREN MARIE MONING REVIEW

Hello lovelies! I’m so excited to be bringing you a new review for the day. Today we’re going to be discussing the third book in the Highlander series. So far I’ve reviewed the first two (here’s one, and the other) and I’ve absolutely adored this series! Without further ado, let’s get into the discussion.

A WARRIOR OF IMMORTAL POWERS

He was a mighty Scottish warrior who lived in a world bound by ancient laws and timeless magic. But no immortal powers could prepare the laird of Castle Brodie for the lovely accursed lass who stood before him. A terrible trick of fate had sent her 700 years back in time and into his private chamber to tempt him with her beauty – and seduce him with a desire he could never fulfill. For this woman he burned to possess was also the woman he had forsworn to destroy.

A WOMAN CAUGHT IN THE MISTS OF TIME

When Lisa felt the earth move under her feet, the fiercely independent 21st-century woman never dreamed she was falling…into another century. But the powerful, naked warrior who stood glaring down at her was only too real…and too dangerously arousing. Irresistibly handsome he might be, but Lisa had no intention of remaining in this savage land torn by treachery and war. How could she know that her seductive captor had other plans for her…plans that would save her from a tragic fate? Or that this man who had long ago forsaken love would defy time itself to claim her for his own…

RATING: 4/5 STARS

Like all of the previous books in this series, we meet two new characters as they navigate being thrown at each other. In this story, Lisa is thrown back in time and ends up landing right into Circenn’s lap. Their initial meeting definitely starts them off on a not so great foot, so they have to work extra hard to mend what had been injured.

As a character, I liked Lisa. She was independent and strong but she also had a softer side. The last few years of her life prior to being dragged back into time were really tragic and she’s suffered through a lot of hurt, which was why she was so keen to get back home. Lisa was also really sarcastic and sassy, which is one of my favorite things ever. Circenn was great as well. He complimented Lisa in every way and he was really great for her, helping her heal and giving her a chance when he didn’t think he could. They had a fantastic dynamic, and Moning can sure write fantastic romances and couples.

The dialogue between the characters was super great, and it was one of my favorite parts of the story. Along with the great dialogue, the story flowed well, and it drew me in from the first page to the last. In this story, all of the time travel and Fae aspects tied in great with the other books, and it wove into the story beautifully.

All in all, I thought this book was absolutely great. The characters made me super happy, and this book had me swooning and head over heels from their first meeting. If you’re a fan of addictive romance novels with hottie Scottish highlanders, then this series is definitely for you. I’ve always loved romance novels, but this series has left me so thrilled and they are more addictive than candy. If you’d read this one I’d love to hear your thoughts. Also, I’m always looking for new swoony books, so please give me some suggestions that make you happy!

Love,

Taylor

A MADNESS SO DISCREET: MINDY MCGINNIS REVIEW

Hey guys, it’s that time of the week again! Today I’m going to be discussing A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis. This book was definitely out of my usual wheel house, aside from the historical fiction part, but it sounded really interesting, and the cover is absolutely stunning. I had also heard praises sung over this one, so I thought it was only fair that I gave it a chance too.

Grace Mae knows madness.

She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.

When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.

In this beautifully twisted historical thriller, Mindy McGinnis, acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, explores the fine line between sanity and insanity, good and evil—and the madness that exists in all of us.

RATING: 3/5 STARS

I’m just going to start out by saying that this book is weird. Like really, really weird. There were a lot of times where I was really confused as to what was going on, and it took me a while to catch up to what the heck she was talking about. I’m not sure if that was the plan, or if it was just a me thing, but not being able to follow it was something I took issue with.

Grace was a pretty interesting character to read about. She had some interesting character development, and over the course of the novel, she changes and revises her mold. Along with Grace, there’s Thornhollow who recruits her to help him solve cases, Sherlock Holmes style.

I think the best part of this book for me was the cases and the relationships that Grace builds within the asylum. The cases were really interesting and they made a ton of sense, and I think that they definitely what made the book keep flowing. My absolute favorite part of the entire story was the relationships she built with the other women at the asylum. All of the girls were so sweet, and the friendships they formed such a great element that I definitely wasn’t expecting.

Overall, this book wasn’t my favorite. I really liked the idea of the story more then I liked than what I was given. I think that this book had some really good elements, and I definitely see why some people loved it so much. While I didn’t love this, I did enjoy some parts of it and I don’t regret picking it up and giving it a chance. Have you guys read this one yet? If so, what did you think? I’d love to discuss it with you!

Happy Reading!

Taylor

TO TAME A HIGHLAND WARRIOR: KAREN MARIE MONING REVIEW

HEY LOVELIES! As of recently, I’ve had a pretty consistent bookish taste, and I’m currently obsessing over Scottish highlanders. Today we’re going to be discussing another Karen Marie Moning book in the Highlanders series, so let’s go ahead and jump in.

A Woman’s Tender Touch

He was born to a clan of warriors of supernatural strength, but Gavrael McIllioch abandoned his name and his Highland castle, determined to escape the dark fate of his ancestors. Hiding his identity from the relentless rival clan that hunted him, he called himself Grimm to protect the people he cared for, vowing never to acknowledge his love for ravishing Jillian St. Clair. Yet even from afar he watched over her, and when her father sent an urgent summons, “Come for Jillian,” he raced to her side—into a competition to win her hand in marriage.

A Warrior’s Steely Heart

Why had he run from her so many years before? And why return now to see her offered as a prize in her father’s manipulative game? Furious, Jillian vowed never to wed. But Grimm was the man she loved, the one who urged her to marry another. He tried to pretend indifference as she tempted him, but he could not deny the fierce desires that compelled him to abduct her from the altar. She was the only woman who could tame the beast that raged within him—even as deadly enemies plotted to destroy them both…

RATING: 4.75/5 STARS

I throughly adored this book, almost as much as the first one, Beyond the Highland Mist. In this book we have a repeat character from the first book, Grimm and I absolutely love him. Jillian was introduced, and she was so great. She was hilarious and witty, and I adored her dynamic with all of the other characters. Along with her, Grimm/Gavrael was such a swoon worthy gem. In the beginning he fights his feelings for Jillian, while Jillian was working the opposite direction, trying so hard to get Grimm to let down his walls. I loved how hard Jillian worked to get what she wanted. Sometimes main characters give up on what they want until the male characters swings in and saves the day, but Jillian never backed down. Grimm made me so happy y’all. When he stopped being an ass, he was an absolute sweetheart to Jillian, and hearing his back story made me love him even more. He had great character development over the entire course of the novel, and both he and Jillian were extremely strong characters.

So with the romance, there was a really additional story element going on. Grimm and Jillian were childhood friends, so we got some really great flashbacks, and along with the flashbacks, there were definitely great little additions. The entire plot behind Gavrael and his special warrior powers were really well woven in, and the way the entire story carried on along with that element tied in rocked.

Overall, I absolutely adored this book! The only reason I didn’t end up giving it a full fives stars is because by a hair, it wasn’t near as good as the first one. Karen Marie Moning is such a talented author, and she writes stories and romances that I’m getting so addicted to. If I had to take a guess, I would venture to say that the next book I pick up will be in the any area that has more Highland adventures.

Love,

Taylor

BEYOND THE HIGHLAND MIST: KAREN MARIE MONING REVIEW

Hello Lovelies! Today I’m coming at ya with another review. This book is in a genre that I’ve never really explored before, at least to this extent, but I’m so glad I did because I’m a little bit obsessed after reading this. Let’s go ahead and get started!

An alluring laird…

He was known throughout the kingdom as Hawk, legendary predator of the battlefield and the boudoir. No woman could refuse his touch, but no woman ever stirred his heart—until a vengeful fairy tumbled Adrienne de Simone out of modern-day Seattle and into medieval Scotland. Captive in a century not her own, entirely too bold, too outspoken, she was an irresistible challenge to the sixteenth-century rogue. Coerced into a marriage with Hawk, Adrienne vowed to keep him at arm’s length—but his sweet seduction played havoc with her resolve.

A prisoner in time…

She had a perfect “no” on her perfect lips for the notorious laird, but Hawk swore she would whisper his name with desire, begging for the passion he longed to ignite within her. Not even the barriers of time and space would keep him from winning her love. Despite her uncertainty about following the promptings of her own passionate heart, Adrienne’s reservations were no match for Hawk’s determination to keep her by his side…

RATING: 5/5 STARS

Let’s go ahead and cut right to the chase: I LOVED THIS BOOK. Like really really loved it, so much so that I couldn’t sleep after reading it because I was so completely giddy. Beyond the Highland Mist is an adult paranormal romance, and while I’ve definitely read my fair share of young adult paranormal books, adult was a new aspect. This book was extra steamy, which I was definitely fine with. I’m going to go ahead and say that this book isn’t some crazy different approach to a romance novel. It definitely had some roots in the typical themes and whatnot, however I absolutely adored the characters, setting, dialogue, etc.

Starting with the characters, Adrienne is great. She is this fiery, independent character, and I thought it was great that she didn’t go all weak in the knees and cave every single time she interacted with Hawk. She also always seems to have clever words to throw at him, which is always a plus because sarcasm is always a good thing. Then along with Adrienne, we have Hawk, and HOLY MOLEY. Hawk is honestly probably what made me love this book so much, because he is a total and complete Scottish babe. He reminded me a lot of Jamie Fraser from Outlander, which rocked. Hawk was sarcastic and stubborn, but even when he was egging on Adrienne you could see how much he loved her, which brings me to the sweetest part of the story. Hawk is one of those male characters that falls for the girl first, which I always love, and he spends the whole book proving to her that he wasn’t some jerk that is going to break her heart. Adrienne thinks that Hawk is just like every other attractive guy she’s ever encountered, shallow and two timing, ready to break her heart, but when she finally figures out that that’s not on the agenda, it gets so cute and romantic and totally and completely wow.

Besides the characters and the killer romance, this story also includes Fae and time travel, which I loved. The Fae were used in a really interesting way, and there are some really interesting references throughout the story. The time travel also added a cool aspect, especially because they didn’t know when or why it was happening.

Lastly this book takes place in Scotland, which was so AMAZING. Scotland is one of the places I’m dying to visit someday, and Karen adds descriptions that make me want to grab a plane ticket today. All in all, I highly recommend this book, it is such a great read, and if you like books with hot Scottish guys, this one definitely won’t fall short!

Love,

Taylor

TAKE ME ON: KATIE MCGARRY REVIEW

Hello Lovelies! I’ve missed this little blog so much, and I’m excited to get back to writing reviews on a (mostly) regular basis. Today I’m going to be discussing Katie McGarry’s Take Me On. I absolutely love her books, and this one was absolutely no exception, so let’s go ahead and jump right on in.

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she’d never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can’t stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she’d stay away from. Yet he won’t last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it’s his fault his family is falling apart. He can’t change the past, but maybe he can change Haley’s future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they’ll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

Author: Katie McGarry

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Pages: 544

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Review: 5/5

To start off, the whole premise of this book was so awesome. The fact that Haley was a female kickboxer, especially a champion one, was really cool. I loved that she could fend for herself, and I’ve definitely never read about a character quite like her. West was super charming and he was such a great guy. Over 550 pages, we get to see him develop and grow into a guy that isn’t afraid to work towards what he wants.

As a couple, these two were fantastic. Their relationship was slow to start, and I loved them during their “friend” stage and their “we’re actually a really adorable official couple” stage.

One of my favorite things about Katie’s books is the plots that she weaves into the romance. Both Haley and West had some really rough patches with their families, and watching them work through them together, using each other as support systems and confidants was absolutely fantastic.

Overall, this book is a must read if you’re a fan of books with amazing characters and steamy romances this one is for you!

Happy Reading!

Taylor