#Review | A Royal Kiss And Tell (A Royal Wedding Series #2) by Julia London #ARoyalKissandTell #ARoyalWedding @JuliaFLondon @harlequinbooks @MillsandBoon
Hello, Sunshines, I hope you are all safe and well?! I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of; Royal Kiss And Tell by Julia London. As always take a seat, grab and a cuppa and enjoy.
Royal Kiss And Tell by Julia London
Series: A Royal Wedding #2
Publisher: Harlequin/Mills and Boon
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: 19 May 2020
Every prince has his secrets. And she’s determined to unravel his…
Every dashing young man in London’s ton is vying for Lady Caroline Hawke’s hand—except one. Handsome, delectable roué Prince Leopold of Alucia can’t quite remember who Caroline is, and the insult is not to be tolerated. So, Caroline does what any clever, resourceful lady of means would do to make sure a prince remembers her: sees that amusingly risqué morsels about Leo’s reputation are printed in a ladies’ gossip gazette…all the while secretly setting her cap for the rakish royal.
Someone has been painting Leo as a blackguard, but who? Socially, it could ruin him. More important, it jeopardizes his investigation into a contemptible scheme that reaches the highest levels of government in London. Now, Leo needs Lady Caroline’s help to regain access to society. But this charming prince is about to discover that enlisting the deceptively sweet and sexy Lady Caroline might just cost him his heart, his soul and both their reputations…
I have been a huge fan of Julia London’s books for many years now, I have always loved her witty, clever and passionately romantic writing, her historical’s are in a league of their own – especially those Highlander…phew, those are scorching!! But, I do have to admit that the first book in this series wasn’t the huge boom I had expected it to be, which I do hate saying.
You know me, I hate saying anything negative. But that wouldn’t stop me from continuing with this series after all this is the great Julia London we are talking about, and I am pleased to say that this is soooo darn good!
Don’t you just love a proper rogue, a scandalous, cavorting and debauched; rake? Off course you do, and with gorgeous, sexy, exciting, mysterious, scandalous and aloof; Prince Leopold of Alucia …sigh!! We have got one hell of a swoon-some hero!
Lady Caroline Hawke is the shining star of society, she is lusted over by every man except the man she would like to lust over; he doesn’t seem to like her at all which makes him hugely fascinating to her but also infuriates her, for our Caroline is exceedingly vain, it’s not actually her fault it’s just how she has been treated that has made her that way. But she cannot abide the fact that the such a man can’t even remember who she is, so she thinks up a way to make sure she is well and truly imprinted on to his mind and suddenly scandalous stories about him start appearing in a ladies gossip rag. Which is the last thing that our hero needs at the moment as he has bigger fish to fry, one that could very well cost lives? Leo needs help so what does a prince with a blackened reputation do? Go straight to the source of all of his problems – even though at the time he doesn’t realise it.
This is the second book in the hilarious romantic comedy series; A Royal Wedding by Julia London, this is marked as a stand-alone which it could very easily be read as such, but my personal opinion is that you should read the previous book first. Even though with all of Julia’s books each story is very central to the two lead characters I do think to really grasp the entirety of the series then you should read the first book – just a suggestion. I personally think that this one is far better than the first book, there is far more wit and well I can’t put my finger on it but this one has that Julia London magical feel which we all know and love back which I don’t think the first book in the series had. This is full of belly laughs, I was happily giggling away at Leo and Caro’s shenanigans, what a marvellous could they are even though they both have huge flaws.
I will admit that as much as I loved the sexy banter, chemistry and blossoming romance between Caroline and Leopold, it did take a while for me to see past her vanity. I was in two frames of minds about her, she is beautiful there is no questioning that and she knows it, but she has this marvellous catty wit and brilliant mind hidden beneath the mask she wears, at times I found her to be quite the enigma; rather aloof and then thoroughly passionate. But deep down past all that bravado she just wants a good man to actually see the true her; the brainy owl and not just the beautiful swan. But, the more you get to know her, and see her with Leo; how she shines, I did start to warm to her and ended up really liking her.
Another winner for Julia London, it captivates and entertains; its full of danger, passion and intrigue. Highly recommend, I can’t wait to see what comes next in this series.
This was an arc copy via the author, which I voluntarily reviewed. Thank you, Julia and Nitty.
Hello Sunshines, I hope you are all safe and well?! I thought that I would jump on the bandwagon of sharing your ‘50 Favourites‘ and share my 50 Favourite Historical Romances with you all, there could have been 50 more but that would mean these post’s going on for weeks and weeks. Instead, I have split it up; ten books per post, five parts of the series….make sense?
You will notice unlike a lot of those other ‘50 Favourites‘ I haven’t made a numbered list for them, I refused to do that as I think all these books are equal and shouldn’t be given a ranking, so I hope you will all follow over the next five days to see all of my favourites.
So without further ado, here is Part 1 in my; 50 Favourite Historical Romances.
Thief of Shadows ( Maiden Lane #4) by Elizabeth Hoyt
A MASKED MAN . . .
Winter Makepeace lives a double life. By day he’s the stoic headmaster of a home for foundling children. But the night brings out a darker side of Winter. As the moon rises, so does the Ghost of St. Giles-protector, judge, fugitive. When the Ghost, beaten and wounded, is rescued by a beautiful aristocrat, Winter has no idea that his two worlds are about to collide.
A DANGEROUS WOMAN . . .
Lady Isabel Beckinhall enjoys nothing more than a challenge. Yet when she’s asked to tutor the Home’s dour manager in the ways of society-flirtation, double-entendres, and scandalous liaisons-Isabel can’t help wondering why his eyes seem so familiar-and his lips so tempting.
A PASSION NEITHER COULD DENY
During the day Isabel and Winter engage in a battle of wills. At night their passions are revealed . . . But when little girls start disappearing from St. Giles, Winter must avenge them. For that he might have to sacrifice everything-the Home, Isabel . . . and his life.
A Warriner to Rescue Her (Wild Warriners #2) by Virginia Heath
Tempted by the damsel in distress!
Captain James Warriner is startled to find a curvaceous beauty caught up a tree in his orchard! Despite his shattered leg, he rescues Miss Cassandra Reeves, then is determined to have nothing more to do with the enticing vicar’s daughter.
Except when Cassie seeks Jamie out to apologize, they find themselves persuaded to work together on her storybook. Secret liaisons with the dashing soldier make Cassie wish Jamie would rescue her once more…by making her his wife!
Marrying Her Viking Enemy (To Wed A Viking #1) by Harper St George
A Saxon maiden…
Bound to a Viking warrior
Part of To Wed a Viking: The conquering Danes have taken everything from Elswyth—even her mother. So, despite the uneasy truce between their people, she knows where her loyalties lie. Until she meets towering Rolfe, leader of the opposing forces. Her mind knows this muscled Viking is her enemy.
So why is her traitorous body so..
Devil Takes a Bride (Knight Miscellany #5) by Gaelen Foley
In the quiet English countryside, far from the intrigues of London, Lizzie Carlisle slowly mends her broken heart, devoting herself to her new position as lady’s companion to the Dowager Viscountess Strathmore— until her peaceful life is turned upside down by a visit from “Devil” Strathmore, the old woman’s untamed nephew—a dangerously handsome man whose wicked reputation hides a tortured soul.
Devlin Kimball, Lord Strathmore, has spent years adventuring on the high seas, struggling to make his peace with the tragedy that claimed the lives of his family. But now he has uncovered the dark truth behind the so-called accident and swears retribution. He has no intention of taking a bride—until his eccentric aunt’s will forces he and Lizzie together, and Devlin finds his path to vengeance blocked by the stubborn but oh-so-tempting Miss Carlisle. Her passionate nature rivals his own. But disillusioned once by love, Lizzie will accept nothing less than his true devotion.
His Convenient Highland Wedding (The Lochmore Legacy #1) by Janice Preston
Bought by her husband…
Bound by secrets of their past!
The start of The Lochmore Legacy – A Scottish castle through the ages! Earl’s daughter Flora McCrieff brought shame on her family once, now she discovers she must wed impossibly rich but low born Lachlan McNeill. He’s undeniably handsome, but a man of few words. Despite the attraction that burns between them, can she reach beyond his impeccable clothing to find the emotions he’s locked away for so long…?
Unlaced by the Highland Duke (The Lochmore Legacy #2) by Lara Temple
A plain Regency governess
In bed with the duke!
Part of The Lochmore Legacy: a Scottish castle through the ages! Unceremoniously packed off to Scotland to care for the Duke of Lochmore’s young son, practical widow Joane Langdale fears she will be ignored as always. But the deep connection and heated passion that develops between her and Benneit is far more dangerous! When Benneit is expected to propose to another, how dare Jo dream of becoming his duchess?
A Runaway Bride for the Highlander (The Lochmore Legacy #3) by Elisabeth Hobbes
Lost in the Highlands
Found by the laird!
Part of The Lochmore Legacy: a Scottish castle through the ages! Far from her home in France, Marguerite Vallon escapes her arranged marriage to a man she despises. Stowing away in a stranger’s cart, she finds herself headed deep into the Highlands with Ewan Lochmore, the new Earl of Glenarris! Ewan vows to protect her. But maybe the freedom Marguerite has been searching for can be found with this rugged warrior…
Secrets of a Highland Warrior (The Lochmore Legacy #4) by Nicole Locke
The key to his past…
…lies with the enemy sharing his bed!
Part of The Lochmore Legacy: a Scottish castle through the ages! Rory Lochmore had expected to wage battle, to claim land and finally secure his standing within his clan… Instead he won a wife. A McCrieff wife. Their convenient marriage could unite the two long-feuding clans forever. But can a political alliance give way to a passion strong enough to stand the secrets of the past?
Devil in Tartan (Highland Grooms #4) by Julia London
Peril and passion on enemy seas…
Lottie Livingstone bears the weight of an island on her shoulders. Under threat of losing their home, she and her clan take to the seas to sell a shipload of illegal whiskey. When an attack leaves them vulnerable, she transforms from a maiden daughter to a clever warrior. For survival, she orchestrates the siege of a rival’s ship and now holds the devilish Scottish captain Aulay Mackenzie under her command.
Tied, captive and forced to watch a stunning siren commandeer the Mackenzie ship, Aulay burns with the desire to seize control—of the ship and Lottie. He has resigned himself to a life of solitude on the open seas, but her beauty tantalizes him like nothing has before. As authorities and enemies close in, he is torn between surrendering her to justice and defending her from assailants. He’ll lose her forever, unless he’s willing to sacrifice the unimaginable…
Pursued For The Viscount’s Vengeance by Sarah Mallory
Beneath that puritanical dress she was quite beautiful…
Viscount Gilmorton had never seduced a woman before but, as the only way to avenge himself on her deceitful brother, he was prepared to disgrace the buttoned-up Deborah Meltham.
He was planning nothing more than to shame her, but not beyond repair. Gil would ensure that she came to him willingly, because if Deborah was as lonely as he thought, she should be receptive to him. Only Gil hadn’t counted on his feelings for her changing—nor her reaction when she realized he’d been deceiving her from the start
You can find all books featured in this post on Amazon or your own favourite book-buying site. I also want to urge everyone to support their local independent book shops, most of which are delivering directly to your door.
Do stop by tomorrow for the next ten in my Favourite 50 Historical Romances.
There’s no matchmaking an unruly heart
When a prominent Scottish family faces a major scandal weeks before their daughter’s wedding, they turn in desperation to the enigmatic fixer for the aristocracy, Nichol Bain. Remarkably skilled at making high-profile problems go away, Nichol understands the issue immediately. The family’s raven-haired ward, Maura Darby, has caught the wandering eye–and rather untoward advances–of the groom.
Nichol assuredly escorts Maura toward his proposed solution: an aging bachelor for her to marry. But rebellious Maura has no interest in marrying a stranger, especially when her handsome traveling companion has captivated her so completely. Thankfully, Nichol loves a challenge, but traveling with the bold and brash Maura has him viewing her as far more than somebody’s problem. Which raises a much bigger issue–how can he possibly elude disaster when the heart of the problem is his own?
This is book six and the final one in the fabulous Highland Groom series, I am saddened that there won’t be any more, I cannot tell you how much I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this series.
After the death of her father Maura became the ward of the Garbett family, over the years as she grew into a beautiful young woman and began to out shine their own daughter Sorcha, the Garbett’s begin to treat worse and worse as the years wore on until finally when the man who was intended for Sorcha takes a liking to Maura one thing leads to another and all hell breaks lose leaving poor Maura yet again without a home ad destined to live with a vile distant elation to the family while the Garbett’s try and fix the scandal that is about to erupt. With a wise word from the marvellous Duke of Montrose – I loved this man in the previous book and yes, I am still in love with him, he is such a wonderful character – Mr Garbett sent to the one man who can sort out their little issue.
Maura is completely innocent of all that she is accused of, Sorcha is nothing more than a spoilt little madam with an ugly and jealous streak that would make the Hulk look pretty. What precious Sorcha wants, precious Sorcha gets, which also includes the only thing that Maura has left of her family; her mother’s necklace.
Walk on the scene mysterious, gorgeous green eyed Nichol Bain – I do have a penchant for green eyed heroes. Nichol is very close friends with the Duke of Montrose and he also has a gift at fixing problems which is why the Duke sent Garbett to him. With a little crafty planning ad wee bit of manipulation Nichol has found the perfect solution – the only thing needed is to collect Maura for her take the part Nichol has planned for her.
But for the first time ever Nichol perfectly laid out plan basically get chucked out of the window when he meets feisty, intelligent and way to shrewd for her own good Maura, who has other idea’s. She has no intention what so ever in going along with the disturbingly handsome Scot’s plan, she has only two things that she wants; one is to leave the awful place she has found herself in, and get away from the man who has thinks of her nothing more then a plaything – literally she has had to barricade herself in her room to protect herself from this horrid man. And the second is her mothers necklace that the equally horrid Garbett’s stole from her.
Nichol is sympathetic to Maura’s cause, her plight resonates with him far more then he thought it would. Which is why he agrees to help her, which begins’ their journey one that is full of twists and turns, secrets and lies and mistrust. They are both so alike they have very similar backgrounds, they both have issues with trust which in Maura’s case is very easy to understand why, Nichol has his own secrets his own personal heartaches that have shaped and made the great man that he is. They are both lonely, suspicious and cynical people that I think do see the bad in people well before the good. Yet they both have huge hearts that are yearning for love, it just takes a while for them to get to their much needed happily ever after.
I have to say I adore that first moment where they meet, she has barricaded her self in her tower and because she refuses to come out Nichol decides to go all dashing hero and climbs the tower and goes through the window only to have a bit of a battle of wills with the not so damsel in distress, that is a brilliant scene and sets up their blustery relationship nicely.
Over all this is as ever a fantastic romance, I do love romance stories where the hero and heroine have to really work for their happily ever after and Ms London is a master as spinning a mesmerising and engaging tale that the reader can really get behind and love. I love the complexity of the story there is so much going on, the twists throughout are great additions to an already wonderfully immersive story. Seduced by the Scot will keep you glued and turning the pages, and keep you up way past your bedtime, It’s emotional, intriguing and though-provoking.
A fantastic book, I cannot recommend this book and this series enough!
This was a ARC via the author’s assistant in exchange for an honest review.
Seduced By A Scot is to be released on 30 October and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.
Mystery and desire cloak the Scottish Highlands
Unruly. Unmarried. Unapologetic. Catriona Mackenzie’s reputation precedes her everywhere she goes. Her beloved late aunt Zelda taught Cat to live out loud and speak her mind, and that’s exactly what she does when Zelda’s legacy—a refuge for women in need—comes under fire. When her quest puts her in the path of the disturbingly mysterious Hamlin Graham, Duke of Montrose, Cat is soon caught up in the provocative rumors surrounding the dark duke. Never one to retreat, Cat boldly goes where no one else has dared for answers.
Shrouded in secrets, a hostage of lies, Hamlin must endure the fear and suspicion of those who believe he is a murderer. The sudden disappearance of his wife and the truth he keeps silent are a risk to his chances at earning a coveted parliamentary seat. But he’s kept his affairs tightly held until a woman with sparkling eyes and brazen determination appears unexpectedly in his life. Deadly allegations might be his downfall, but his unleashed passion could be the duke’s ultimate undoing.
Oh, my word! This is incredibly good! I have been a fan of Julia London’s work for ages now and I have been avidly reading this ‘Highland Grooms’ series with relish but this, I have to say is the best of the series, so far. I will admit that the last book; Aulay’s story didn’t live up to the previous book’s, after reading Rabbie’s and Cailean’s stories I didn’t think that this series could get any better and along come Catriona and Hamlin.
After her auntie Zelda’s death, Catriona is left to run Kishorn Abbey on her own, for it is in fact a refuge for women who for whatever reason need a safe place to turn to. Catriona has had a lot to deal with, she was by her auntie Zelda’s side through her illness and slowly she withdrew from society and public life and now she is practically a shell of what she used to be. To an extent that her family are worried, she is drinking heavily, unsociable and severely unhappy. She maybe proud of her spinsterhood and the fact that she doesn’t want or need a man in her life, deep down she is lonely.
Which is why they plot against her and send her to recuperate at her uncle Knox’s, Catriona doesn’t intend to spend her days lounging about she fully intends to get her wealthy English uncle’s support to help save Kishorn Abbey from being taken by the crown. But her well laid out plan’s soon take a turn when she meets the mysterious and devilishly handsome Duke of Montrose. As soon as she sees him across the Inn for the first time in years she feels alive and intrigued by something.
From the onset of meeting Catriona, you see straight way that there is a darkness hanging over her head, London has wonderful job with Catriona’s depression in the first part she hasn’t gone over done it but in those few moment’s you can get a glimpse of Catriona’s state of mind and she isn’t a happy woman. She tries to show to the world she is content but deep down she is a crying wreck.
Hamlin Graham is living under a dark and heavy cloud, of secrets, lies and scandal after the disappearance of his wife all of society think’s that Hamlin murdered her. He has lived with that hanging over his head, it has tarnished his reputation blackened his good name and now driven him to live a lonely and isolated life. It would all be well and good if he didn’t have his hopes set on gaining his seat in Parliament, after all Scotland were only allowed a handful of seats and he wanted one. He had plans to help and he could only do that once he gained that seat. But the scandal in his past and the secret he holds close to his heart are standing in his way.
That is until he meets feisty, determined kindred spirit; Catriona. Who brings the sunshine back into his dark life and makes his once dead heart begin to beat again. Catriona is the only one that knows Hamlin wouldn’t have killed his wife, he may be a huge, brawny and monosyllabic man but he she sees the goodness, she knows beneath that rude persona there lies a gentle, sensitive man.
Oh, my goodness, what a stud! Hamlin is soooo swoon-worthy, he ruggedly handsome. Kind, generous, dark and brooding. Plus, he is very good with his hands in more ways than just welding a hammer to fix his own roof, he isn’t your stereotypical duke. Part man part devil and when he looks at Catriona with those dark/black soulful eyes you melt. He is dark uncivilised and equally as sad as Catriona, they are a match made in heaven!
I love that first chapter where all the Mackenzie clan are all together after Zelda’s death, their closeness and protectiveness to one and other is so heart-warming. This is why I love this family so much, they maybe brutish men in kilts and fierce women with great mind, but they are also hugely supportive of each other and a wonderful family.
Just want to say that I am so intrigued by Nichol Bain who is Hamlin’s secretary. He is a mysterious young man, he has many secrets hidden behind those green eyes and I do hope that he will get a story of his own. He is quite a man I would love to know more about him.
This really is so good, wonderful storyline that keeps you hooked, and keeps you turning those pages to find out what happens’. Character’s that are engaging, intriguing and it’s a joy to watch as their relationship blossoms and their personal characters develop.
As I said in the beginning of the review, this is the best of the series, it’s thrilling, romantic, sexy with two of the best character’s. London has outdone herself with this, it is perfection!
This was an ARC copy via the Author’s PA in exchange for an honest review.
Tempting The Laird is to be released 26th June and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.
I have a wonderful and exclusive to Chicks Rogues and Scandals Giveaway, to be in for a chance to win some exclusive Julia London swag then just answer the question below.
As the Highland Grooms is set in Scotland, what is your favourite thing about Scotland?
It can be anything, from food, clothes, the highlands or something Scottish from TV, mine has got to be Outlander 😉 what’s yours?
This giveaway will be open on here and on the Chicks, Rogues and Scandals Facebook Page which means you have the chance to put your name into the hat twice.
(Eg: Comment on this post -1 entry / Comment & Like Facebook post – 1 entry)
Good luck everyone!
*Unfortunately, giveaway is only opened to US and UK, Giveaway closes on 31st May at midnight GMT. Winner will be announced as soon as possible after closing date.
Peril and passion on enemy sea…
Lottie Livingstone bears the weight of an island on her shoulders, under threat of losing their home, she and her clan take to the seas to sell a ship load of illegal Whisky. When an attack leaves them vulnerable, she transforms from a maiden daughter to a clever warrior. For survival, she orchestrates the siege of a rival’s ship and now holds the devilish Scottish captain Aulay Mackenzie under her command.
Tied, captive and forced to watch a stunning siren commandeer the Mackenzie ship, Auley burns with the desire to seize control – of the ship and Lottie. He has resigned himself to a life of solitude on the open seas, but her beauty tantalizes him like nothing has before. As authorities and enemies close in, he is torn between surrendering her to justice and defending her from assailant. He could lose her forever, unless he’s willing to sacrifice the unimaginable….
Devil in Tartan is book four in the Highland Grooms series, this series has just gone from strength to strength, as we have got to know each of the brother’s. I have been looking forward to reading Aulay’s story, we have seen him pop in to the series, he has been like a shadow in the background. He’s been there but not as fully formed as the other brothers have been – in my opinion, so when you finally come to read his story you read it as a standalone as though everything is new.
Lottie and her family on the fringes of ruination, their rent is over due and her father yet again just dismisses it and claims as always that they will be alright and all the while they are sinking deeper and deeper. Lottie is at her wit’s end, the only way for them to maybe get out of the hole they are currently stuck in is for her to marry their clan chief who will then go on to pa off the Livingstone’s debt’s but that route would come at an even bigger cost then the actual debt and it is something that Lottie just cannot face, but she would for her family.
That is until her father comes up with a plan; they will sell their illegal whiskey but not in Scotland or England where their laird can hear about their treachery. They all pile on to a ship, not one of them knowing how to sail and set off with their illegal whiskey, it is while at sea that the real issues start. After sinking a Royal Naval ship, they are sinking when Aulay on the Rhulaig Balhair comes along to save them.
Captain Aulay MacKenzie is on his way to Demark with his own cargo that he needs to drop off, he has made a deal that he will deliver his cargo and in return his family will be saved from their own financial ruin. But when he comes across a sinking ship, he is a good man and a good Captain at first after seeing the at sea battle between Lottie’s ship and the Royal ship he is a bit dubious whether to help or not – but his better side wins and he does the decent thing, only for the extraordinarily beautiful woman to knock him and take his ship – basically she pirated his ship!
Aulay is absolutely fuming and he wants justice for this traitorous act of piracy, and yes there is a lot of growling and threats about hanging’s coming from our enigmatic Captain. As Lottie and Aulay are forced into close quarters as they battle for leadership – not just regarding who Captains the ship either – Aulay learns that there was a reason behind Lottie’s actions, even if those actions could sentence her to death for piracy. Aulay is a compassionate man and on hearing her tale of woe he understands her plight, after all he is doing something very similar to save his own family. As his feeling for her grow is stuck between a rock and a hard place; does he do the right thing and turn her over, so justice can be served? Or does he do all he can to protect the woman he has given his heart to?
Aulay and Lottie go through so much in such a short space of time, they start of hating each other – even though Lottie doesn’t really hate him, she distrusts him, but it’s not hate, whereas Aulay can’t wait to string her up. I think the scenes where they are bickering are some of the best in the book, I really like how they seem to bounce of each other, how their personalities can be conflicting and yet they are hugely sensual.
As much as I do really, really like Devil in Tartan – and I do like it, the plot is fun and it makes you think about what’s going on and the characters are sexy and hugely likable, but I got the distinct feeling that there was something lacking, it has everything you would want in a ‘Enemies to Lovers’ Historical Romance so I can’t quite put my finger on what was missing, but for me this one didn’t seem to have that legendary London sparkle that I am so used to.
It is a really good story and one that I do very much recommend, even though it is a series I found that each one can be read as a standalone.
Devil in Tartan is out now and can be purchased at Amazon.
This was an ARC from the author via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
An indomitable governess…a brooding Highlander…a forbidden affair…
An ill-fated elopement cost English-born governess Bernadette Holly her reputation, her unsuitable lover and any chance of a future match. She has nothing left to fear—not even the bitter, dangerously handsome Scot due to marry her young charge. Naive wallflower Avaline is terrified to wed Rabbie Mackenzie, but if he sends her home, she will be ruined. Bernadette’s solution: convince Rabbie to get Avaline to cry off…while ignoring her own traitorous attraction to him.
A forced engagement to an Englishwoman is a hard pill for any Scot to swallow. It’s even worse when the fiancée in question is a delicate, foolish young miss—unlike her spirited, quick-witted governess. Sparring with Bernadette brings passion and light back to Rabbie’s life after the failed Jacobite uprising. His clan’s future depends upon his match to another, but how can any Highlander forsake a love that stirs his heart and soul?
Rabbie MacKenzie hates the English, he is a self-confessed Jacobite and who was apart of the attempted Jacobite uprising only to have it fall through and making him flee his own country to the safety of Norway. Now he has returned and his clan needs him to do the one thing that he never thought he would have to do, the one thing that any proud Jacobite would never do – Marry an English Sassenach!
Bernadette, is the governess of timid and foolish young girl that has been betrothed to the Scottish brute, Avaline is like Rabbie she is coerced into marrying. Bernadette knows that these two are just no good for each other, he would bull doze his way over little Avalaline,, she isn’t strong enough to take on the brooding giant. So Bernadette comes up with a plan to try to get this betrothal called off and in doing so she begins to see Rabbie in a whole new light, she sees his vulnerability and out of the blue she falls for this fragile man.
Can Bernadette get this betrothal cancelled and what’s more will Rabbie and her be able to have their much need Happily Ever After?
Rabbie caught my attention from the first moment we met him in the previous book and you needed to get to know more about this man, about why he is how he is and he is well worth the wait.
Rabbie is a deeply troubled man he is on the cusp of alcoholism and depression, he is in a very dark and dangerous place. It’s heart-breaking to watch as he starts dropping further and further in to the dark and gloom and you do worry if even Bernadette can bring him back to the light. He is stressed and forced to marry against his will to keep peace, he is still very much in love with his childhood sweetheart that was brutally killed while he had to flee Scotland and it is that what has contributed to turning him into this dark and dangerous man.
London has got Rabbie’s depression spot, on she hasn’t over done it, she hasn’t pushed his suicidal thought’s and alcoholism into your face at every turn. Instead there is an atmospheric undercurrent throughout and it is so skilfully done.
The girl Avaline that Rabbie is supposed to marry is a timed little mouse, she is like a deer in head lights. She is a scared and naive little thing and so not good for Rabbie, she would let him walk all over her he needs a woman who has got some gumption and a brain and wit of her own that can match his strength and who can heal his fragile heart and mind.
Bernadette is a fiery strong woman, she is a woman who knows her own mind but deep down so well hidden she has a secret heartache. She is just like Rabbie, scarred and lonely and in need of love. She at first thinks him a dark large brute but as time passes she begins to see that there is more to that darkness ten mere grumpiness. There is a real beautiful moment when she finally sees his vulnerability and when he finally confesses all to her.
“For God’s sake, you are to be wed, you’re to start a new life. This is absurd!”
“This is what you want,” he said, nearly upon her. “As do I.”
“I don’t want this !” she insisted, but her words sounded false to her own ears. “You don’t understand,” she said, her voice trembling now. “I am standing on the edge of utter destruction, Rabbie . You stand on the edge of ruining a young woman’s life. Is this… this infatuation worth that?” she asked pleadingly. “You need to be with her now! We both must rid ourselves of the madness that has gripped us!” He put his hand on her elbow and drew her into him. He shoved his fingers into her hair, pulled her head back and kissed her hard.
Bernadette splintered. She rose up on her toes and gripped his arms as she returned his kiss with a ferociousness that felt quite unlike her. He was suddenly holding her so tightly that she could feel the thud of his heart against her chest.
“I want you, Bernadette,” he whispered into her ear. He roughly ran his palm over her hair while his gaze searched her face. “Aye, I do, I want you, and you want me. You betray your mistress. I betray a memory. We are both of us traitors, then, we are, but let’s no’ betray each other.” Her heart pulse was racing, her body craving him, her mind screaming its warning to her.
“It’s so wrong.”
“Aye,” he agreed. “But the desire exists between us, and Diah, we’ll neither of us rest until we’ve put an end to it.”
There is darkness in Rabbie that I havn’t come across in a Historical Romance hero before, he is a fearsome, monosyllabic giant of a man who doesn’t care whether he lives or dies, he doesn’t care what people think of him and he doesn’t care if his insults or upsets anyone. He is struck in his dark brooding world.
Bernadette picks up on his darkness right away, she is very wary of this giant Scotsman, she as never met anyone like him and yet she is inexplicably drawn to him; like a moth to a flame. With Rabbie he wasn’t interested in the young lass, it was just a duty that he has to do but yet as soon as he sets eyes on Bernadette he knows that there is something about this lass.
They are both severely scarred and have both lost so much in their lives, they have both got splintered hearts that need fixing. As unlikely a pair as they may be, Rabbie and Bernadette are really good for each other they know what the other needs and how to help them in their darkest hour.
London has out done her self with this and especially with Rabbie, she has created a highly complex and scarred man and I think that he is the best of London’s heroes to date. This story is heart wrenching, you go through so many emotions while reading this there are highs and lows that keep you on the edge of your seat.
This is an absolute masterpiece from Julia London, I don’t have enough good words to say about it. This has to be read, it is definitely a five out of five. Just amazing!
This was an ARC copy from the publisher via Netgalley.
A young widow puts her sexy suitors to the test in New York Times bestselling author Julia London’s scintillating return to the idyllic Scottish Highlands.
Widowed and forced to remarry in three years’ time or forfeit her son’s inheritance, Daisy Bristol, Lady Chatwick, has plenty of suitors vying for her hand and her fortune. But a letter from a long-lost love sends Daisy and her young son to her Scottish Highland estate to buy time for his return. Along the way she encounters the powerful Cailean Mackenzie, laird of Arrandale and a notorious smuggler, and she is utterly and unwillingly bewitched.
Cailean has no use for any Sassenach in his glen. But Daisy’s brazen, flirtatious nature and alluring beauty intrigue him. When her first love appears unexpectedly at her estate, Cailean knows that a passionate woman like Daisy cannot marry this man. And to prevent the union, Cailean must put his own life at risk to win her heart.
Daisy is heading to Scotland to get a bit breathing space from her suffocating london life, she has got a deadline hanging over her head that could be disastrous for both her and her son. Her late husband drew up a legal document that states Daisy must marry within three years or her son will lose his birth right, and to make sure that she obliges his last wishes, her late husband has got a bishop in to work as a match maker for her. But Daisy has only one person in her mind tat she wants to marry – her childhood sweetheart; Robert Spivey, Captain in the Royal Navy. So she does the only thing she can, she flees london and waits for her long-lost love to turn up.
As Daisy and her little group are making their way north they have an accident, while she is waiting to get moving again they have drawn the attention of a gang of rugged highlanders. Daisy is immediately drawn to their leader – a big and brawny, blue-eyed Scot, what Daisy doesn’t know is that the ruggedly handsome Highlander that tried to help her is actually the broody and cynical Cailean Mackenzie; Laird of Arrandale.
Cailean is highly suspicious of the bonny English woman who has arrived in his Highlands, especially when he get’s wind that the beautiful Daisy’s sweetheart is non other than the Navy Captain that is trying to bring down Cailean and his smuggling ring. Is Daisy in Scotland to spy on the Mackenzie’s and help Captain Spivey capture Cailean?
Cailean is at first very suspicious of Daisy and I can really understand his apprehensiveness of her sudden appearance in Scotland, she is English and it is a time of social unrest between Scotland and England they is a lot of tension and fear. And there is the fact that the man she has decided to marry – her long-lost sweetheart – is Cailean’s clan’s enemy. He is afraid that she is going to cause him and his family trouble and afraid that now she and the Captain are around that someone is going to be seriously hurt or worse. Cailean is an amazing character, smuggling Laird, who is fiercely protective and independent. He is a real cynic, no matter how much he trie’s to see the good in people, you just know that deep down he still doubts.
Daisy is a rather naive and confused young woman – no matter how experienced and exotic she act’s. She has got a lot on her shoulder’s; she has got the dreaded legally binding last will and testament from her late husband, stating she has to marry or her son, Ellis will lose everything. A matchmaking bishop to contend with, a run down highland house to repair, a son to raise. And now a handsome Highlander has appeared and turned her head. No wonder she is confused!
She is all appearances our Daisy, she tries to show that she is a strong, independent woman who is in charge of her own life, but yet, for me she doesn’t quite achieve it. To me she comes across as vulnerable and bullied young woman – she is a sweet and very loving character and I do like her immensly, but I think she only really shines when she is with Cailean. He has a way of bringing her and Ellis out of their shells.
“Daisy?” he said and took a cautious step forward.
“Cailean.” Her voice shook when she said it, and so did she. She suddenly broke into a run.
Whatever Cailean was holding shattered on the floor when she leaped for him. He caught her in his arms, his mouth landing on hers as he twirled her around. “ Are you barmy?” he asked, roughly pushing loose tresses of hair from her face. “What are you doing here?”
“In the Highlands, if you want something, you reach for it.”
“Mi Diah,” he muttered, and kissed her again….
Daisy and Cailean are a such a lovely couple, they are like two peas in a pod and there is times when you wish someone would bang their heads together and see what is in front of them. whereas Robert Spivay is a very old school villain, he is slippery and a bit too smarmy for my liking. He is one of those kind of villains that can be all sweetness and nice in a very malicious way, he definitely has a way of making your skin prickle. Spivay has a grudge against Cailean. He thinks Cailean and all highlanders are braggarts. Untrustworthy. Thief’s, liars and cheats, he see’s our Cailean as the worst sort, handsome, intelligent and titled, that in Spivey’s book is a terrible combination add that to the fact that Cailean is a notorious smuggler and all Spivey wants to do is make an example of our rugged Laird.
This is a proper Historical Romance, the plot is engaging the characters are – as we have come to expect from Julia – loving, fun and likable. They stick with you long after the last page. This is beautifully written, sexy and atmospheric and highly recommended and a series that I am looking forward to seeing where it is going to go and especially looking foward to seeing what Ms London does with Cailean’s brother; the cocky and piratical Rabbie Mackenzie.
The Sinful Scottish Laird is book 2 in the Highland Grooms Series and is released on 28th February 2017 buying link’s below
For more information about this book and Julia London then drop by her website
This was an ARC copy from the publisher in return for an honest review.
The winner of Julia London’s signed Book/Audio copy of The Year of Living Scandalously is. . .
Congratulation’s Joy, Julia’s team will be in touch very soon.
Today at Chicks Rogues and Scandals, I am very, very happy to announce that brilliant Author Julia London has come have a chat with me, so take a seat and let’s get to know Julia. . .
Julia London is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of more than thirty romantic fiction novels. She is the author of the popular Cabot Sisters Historical Series, including The Trouble With Honor, The Devil Takes A Bride, and The Scoundrel and The Debutante. She is also the author of several contemporary romances, including Homecoming Ranch, Return to Homecoming Ranch and The Perfect Homecoming.
Julia is the recipient of the RT Book club Award for Best Historical Romance and a six-time finalist for the prestigious RITA award for excellence in romantic fiction
She is also good friend’s with Author Teri Wilson and one of her first love’s is her Golden Labrador Moose.
Reading Chick : Hi Julia, Welcome to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals, Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today, Firstly, If you could live in any era and place, When and where would it be?
Julia : I am very happy living in the present. I would like to visit the regency era, but I think the bathroom and shower situation would get to me after a day or so. 🙂
Reading Chick : Very true! Who was your childhood hero?
Julia : I can’t think of an admirable childhood hero I might have had. I’d like to say an astronaut or a president, but honestly, my heroes were people like Charlie’s Angels and the two men on Alias Smith and Jones
Reading Chick : I those are really great people to look up to, after all who doesn’t alike a set of good looking guy’s in western garb? 🙂 OK, What is your favorite time of the year?
Julia : I live in Texas, and it is so blistering hot by the end of summer that I look forward to fall. I love that time of year—cool mornings and mild afternoons.
Reading Chick : I have to say I do prefer the cooler month’s too, Out of all your work, who is your favorite character and why?
Julia : My favorite character that I have ever written, hands down, is Leo Kendrick from the Pine River series. He is the only character I have written in first person, and the only character who truly took on a life of his own as I was writing him. It felt as if I’d lost a real friend at the end of that series.
Reading Chick : That is a really great character choice, Love it! What three tip’s would you pass on to an aspiring author?
Julia : 1. Write every day. 2. Read every day. 3. Don’t give up.
Reading Chick : Practical and really great tip’s, thank you Julia, OK moving on, If you were hosting a dinner party what three people would you invite? (They can be real/fictional, dead or alive)
Julia : 1. Colin Firth because he will always be Mr. Darcy to me. 2. Mark Twain to make us laugh. 3. Eddie Veder because I am going to marry him some day.
Reading Chick : I like it, I think Colin Firth will always be Mr Darcy to a lot of women, me included. Thank you again for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today Julia, I have just one more cheeky question, just for fun. . .What is your all time favorite naughty but nice food?
Julia : Brownies. Sinfully, hopelessly, unequivocally cannot resist the brownies.
Reading Chick : Love it, Brownie’s are pure heaven in my book’s, Thank you again Julia.
If you would like to get more information about Julia and her book’s then click on the link’s below.
For a chance of winning either a signed book or a audio version of “The Year Of Living Scandalously” leave a comment below. . .Good Luck!
I have been Tagged to do the Disney Book Tag by the wonderful Shivalika from The Whimsy Journal’s.
I have to say that I was very interested and excited to be included in the Tag Game so here is mine.
The Little Mermaid: a character who is out of their element, a fish out of water.
I’m going to go with Billy Blade from Gaelen Foley’s : Lady of Desire (The Knight’s #4) He is a rough and rugged leader of an East End gang, who is forced off the street’s and back into the society he left as a child and Billy has to learn all etiquette all over again.
Cinderella: a character who goes through a major transformation.
I have to go with Sophia Fry from Mary Balogh’s : The Arrangement ( The Survivor’s #2). She start’s off as being called “the Mouse” and being ignored and put down and in the end she end’s up a Viscountess.
Snow White: a book with an eclectic cast of characters.
The Secret’s of A scoundrel by Gaelen Foley for me, it is full of spy’s, pirate’s, kidnapper’s, prostitute’s, and a mix of everything in between
Sleeping Beauty: a book that put you to sleep.
I hate to say it but I have to say Stephanie Lauren’s : On A Wild Night (Cynster #8) which is a shame as I do really like her work but I did feel that this one did drag.
The Lion King: a character who had something traumatic happen to them in childhood.
This has definitely got to be Ian Mackenzie from the Mackenzie Series by Jennifer Ashley. Without giving anything away, Ian witnessed a awful even as a child that had him detained in a asylum.
Beauty and the Beast: a beast of a book (a big book) that you were intimidated by but found the story to be beautiful.
There are three that are quite big book’s, it’s the Languedoc Trilogy by Kate Mosse. Labyrinth,, Sepulchre and Citadel. Each one has it’s one beautiful story and the way that they are all interlinked together is really lovely.
Aladdin: a character that gets their wish granted, for better or worse.
This for me is definitely Heathcliffe out of Wuthering Height’s, all his life he has wanted to be with Cathy and he doe’s eventually get to be with her. Do I have to say any more about him?
Mulan: a character who pretends to be something or someone they’re not.
In A Year Of Living Scandalously by Julia London, Kiera Hannigan and her cousin Lily swap place’s and Keira end’s up living as the Countess of Ashwood for a year.
Toy Story: a book with characters you wish would come to life.
I would definitely love the entire Knight clan to come to life, from Gaelen Foley’s; The Knight Miscellany and The Spice Trilogy. Pure Heaven!
Disney descendants: your favorite villain or morally ambiguous character.
There are so many Villain’s out there. . .I am going to go with Valantine Napir from the Maiden lane series, he really is quite evil but yet he is so enthralling to read and with him being focus of the next Maiden lane series : Duke of Sin out soon, we will get to know so much more about this intriguing man.
I Tag for The Disney Book Tag
Carol : @RakesandRascals
Rebecca : @Rebeccabookreview
Caz : @Caz’sReadingRoom
La Deeta : @LaDeetdaread’s