Throwback Thursday-The Gift by Julie Garwood

Gift (Crown's Spies, #3)
Hotness Level-Blaze
Kink Level-No Kink
Series-Crown’s Spies #3
Reviewed by Kay
373 pages

This book was been on my to read list and then off again over and over. I saw it was at the library in Kindle format and thought, what the heck.

It starts when the hero was fourteen and the heroine was four. The King forced these two children into marriage because he was crazy and was sick of the two families fighting. Kind of like a milder Hatfields and McCoys type of feud. Nathan, the hero, is a Scot and the heroine, Sarah, is English. Her father signed the marriage contract for her since at her age she obviously couldn’t sign for herself. These two live seperately for years. Like fourteen years.

Nathan has made himself into a shipping magnate. He was an outlaw pirate for a while also but no more. He’s ready to get his wife into his life and pregnant with his heir. Over the years he’s never even looked in on her. Has no clue what she looks like. To him it doesn’t matter, she’s a means to an end. Knock her up and he gets the rest of the gift from the King from their marriage contract.

Sarah has always fancied herself in love with Nathan. At least her idea of him. She has grown up in an abusive household full of human vipers. She’s polite but semi reserved. When her aunt becomes a victim of family abuse, she becomes a bit more vocal. She breaks her aunt out of house imprisonment and the two try to flee London. When the man who orders her to let him help, she is skeptical to say the least. She totally flips out when she realizes he’s her husband.

This book was very cute. Very funny but I felt like they talked in all caps because they shouted at each other all the time.Truly shouted. The setting of the story mostly takes place on his boat and that is not my favorite thing but I pushed through. I liked the characters and the conclusion to the plot. The love scenes were frequent but not swoon worthy. I know the book was originally published in 1991 so I will give the bland love scenes a pass because of that. I enjoyed it but was expecting something more and better from what some call the legendary Julie Garwood. Undecided if I’d read more from her yet.

How To Handle A Highlander by Mary Wine

How To Handle A Highlander (The Sutherlands, #3)


Hotness Level-Blaze
Kink Level-No Kink
Series-The Sutherlands #3
Reviewed by Kay
352 pages

This is the continuing saga of the Sutherlands. They are an overlord family of Scottish Highlanders. This story Is about Gahan and Moira. Gahan is the illegitimate son of the Sutherland chieftain. He was acknowledged by his father so he could be a semi titled man. After his father recovered from the attempt made on his life by the Frasers, they have been obsessed over safety and watching the Frazers closely. Due to this watching, Gahan notices that Bari Frazer is going to marry off his half sister to the Matheson family. This marriage will bring an army with the Frazers against Gahan’s family.

Gahan is instantly drawn to Moira, the bride. Moira’s husband is impotent at his advanced age and therefore their marriage is never consummated. The two start an affair and it causes quite the situation. The story is about duty to your clan, family loyalty and revenge.

I’m a big fan of Mary Wine and I get giddy when she releases one of her Highlander books. My problem with this one has to due with the infidelity throughout the story. I know that they thought back then that a marriage wasn’t a marriage without consummation but the marriage in this book took place in a Church. This left me uneasy. I absolutely do not like adultery in my historical romances. Despite the fact that the story and love scenes were good, my rating was less because of this. I hope this won’t be a continued theme in her following books.

Married for Christmas by Noelle Adams

*Note: So, I have a thing for reading holiday themed stories.  The thing is, I generally lag behind by a month or so.  So, here I review a great story set at… Christmas.  Enjoy! ~Anne
Grade: A-
Hotness Level: Blaze
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary, Marriage of Convenience
Series: Willow Park #1
Published: 12/1/13
Reviewed by Anne
140 ebook pages

Jessica and her best friend Daniel agree to a friendly marriage.  Jessica has had a long time crush on Daniel (unbeknownst to him) and is pretty reserved socially and is despairing of finding someone to start a family with.  Daniel is a pastor who is being considered for the job to lead their small town church, but his unmarried state is a bit of a drawback for the church considering him.  Jessica talks Daniel into this marriage between friends.

So, I was really intrigued by a non-inspy book that featured people for whom religion was a large part of their life – a pastor!  I was lucky enough to get a copy from NetGalley and fired it up on my iPad one night at 11:30.  I was immediately hooked, and very emotionally involved in this book!  I was near tears – and HATE to cry while reading – but I loved it.  So I stayed up until 1:30am finishing the book, despite the fact that I’d be home alone with my four children the next day!  And I don’t regret it!

The thing that had me near tears was watching Jessica truly love Daniel.  He loved her back, but it was more of a friendship love, and he seemed to be working hard to keep a boundary between them.  Then they’d have a moment where they truly seemed close, and he’d pull back and distance himself again.  Even though the story is told solely from Jessica’s point of view, it seemed clear that he was developing feelings for her.  It wasn’t too clear why he was sabotaging those feelings, though!  It was especially painful because his unintentional hurts seemed to pile right on top of some insecurities she was holding onto.

As a character, Daniel was very interesting.  Jessica was almost too perfect.  She was shy and not good at cooking, but, really, who cares?  She was emotionally perfect and a bit of a martyr.  It was believable to me because they were trying to apply logic to a very emotional situation, so I’ll give her a pass on being an emotional Mary Sue.

There was a drawback to the single point of view of the book, and that was that some revelations about Daniel’s character caught me off guard when I read them.  I really did feel like there was much alluding to them.

Despite these drawbacks, the story really worked for me.  And as the cherry on top of this emo romance, there was really well written explicit sex!  What?  Religious people who have on page sex?  I loved it!  I recommend this book and I’ll be watching for more in this series!  (I’m rooting for a book about Daniel’s brother, Micah!)