Tag: Scotland

Book Review: A Highlander is Coming to Town, by Laura Trentham

Image belongs to St. Martin’s Press.

Title: A Highlander is Coming to Town
Author: Laura Trentham     
Genre: Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5

You better watch out. . .

Holt Pierson is dreading Christmas. His parents absconded to Florida for the season and left him to handle the family farm which will be his one day—whether he wants it or not. Driven by duty, Holt has always followed the path expected of him. But lately, he’s been questioning what he wants and where he belongs. Will assuming the responsibility of the Pierson farm make him happy or is there something—or someone—else out in the wider world calling to him?

To Claire Smythe, the Scottish lead singer of a touring band, Highland, Georgia, is the perfect place to hide . . .until a very handsome and deeply curious Holt begins to ask all the questions Claire doesn’t want to answer. As Holt draws Claire out from under and into the fabric of small-town life, can Claire put the past behind her and embrace the unexpected gifts of the season—including the new and lasting love?

I’ve really enjoyed the books in the Highland, Georgia series, and this one did not disappoint. I liked the switch to the female lead being from Scotland, not the male. Claire’s scattered issues with the differences between American slang and Scottish were amusing, too.

This is another in the list of books I’ve read recently that make small-town life sound appealing. Highland, Georgia sounds like a charming—almost magical—place, and it truly comes to life on the pages of these novels. Claire and Holt are both flawed characters, but their imperfections make them relatable, and their chemistry is believable and compelling.

Laura Trentham was born in Tennessee. A Highlander is Coming to Town is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.)

Book Review: All Stirred Up, by Brianne Moore

Image belongs to Crooked Lane Books.

Title: All Stirred Up
Author: Brianne Moore    
Genre: Women’s fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5

Susan Napier’s family once lived on the success of the high-end restaurants founded by her late grandfather. But bad luck and worse management has brought the business to the edge of financial ruin. Now it’s up to Susan to save the last remaining restaurant: Elliot’s, the flagship in Edinburgh.

But what awaits Susan in the charming city of Auld Reekie is more than she bargained for. Chris Baker, her grandfather’s former protégé–and her ex-boyfriend–is also heading to the Scottish capital. After finding fame in New York as a chef and judge of a popular TV cooking competition, Chris is returning to his native Scotland to open his own restaurant. Although the storms have cleared after their intense and rocky breakup, Susan and Chris are re-drawn into each other’s orbit–and their simmering attraction inevitably boils over.

As Chris’s restaurant opens to great acclaim and Susan tries to haul Elliot’s back from the brink, the future brims with new promise. But darkness looms as they find themselves in the crosshairs of a gossip blogger eager for a juicy story–and willing to do anything to get it. Can Susan and Chris reclaim their lost love, or will the tangled past ruin their last hope for happiness?

This was a fun read. Susan’s family was awful, though, as was all the obsession with social media/appearances. That did make sense, though, as two characters are actors and a third is a famous chef.

The history between Susan and Chris was pretty bleak—and dark for more than one reason, one of which came totally out of nowhere, so it was a bit less than believable for me. But the chemistry between these two characters—not to mention the food descriptions—made this very enjoyable.

Brianne Moore was born and raised in Pennsylvania but now lives in Scotland. All Stirred Up is her newest novel.

Book Review: The Stolen Letter, by Paige Shelton

the stolen letter
Image belongs to St. Martin’s Press.

Title:  The Stolen Letter
AuthorPaige Shelton
Genre:  Cozy mystery
Rating:  4 out of 5

Delaney Nichols is confident she’s doing what she loves—case in point, just one day after returning from her fabulous European honeymoon, she’s eager to get back to the Cracked Spine, the bookstore where she works. But as she disembarks her bus and hurries toward the shop she and another woman collide, sending a stack of books the woman is carrying to the ground.

Delaney’s hapless victim’s name is Mary, and the two women can’t help but notice that they bear an uncanny resemblance to one another. According to Mary, they both also look like the long-beheaded Mary Queen of Scots. Even stranger, Mary believes she is the reincarnation of the Scottish queen. But peculiar as Delaney’s doppelganger is, she doesn’t have time to dwell on it: on her arrival to the bookshop, she learns the Edinburgh city council wants to close the Cracked Spine, citing code violations, and she’s determined to stop them.

But when Mary’s husband dies in a car explosion—and Delaney learns he was the very member of city council who proposed that the city take a closer look at the bookshop’s construction—she starts to wonder if her meeting with Mary wasn’t an accident. Edinburgh has become as filled with intrigue and deception as any European court, and Delaney is determined to get to the bottom of this royal mystery.

I haven’t read any of the first four books in the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series, but that wasn’t a problem at all. I was all ready to pack up and head off to Scotland after finishing this. I love the tribe at the bookstore, and the eccentric Mary gives a quirky edge to things. This was a fun, feel-good read.

Paige Shelton lives in Arizona. The Stolen Letter is her newest novel, the fifth installment in the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series.

(Galley courtesy of St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.)

Book Review: A Highlander in a Pickup, by Laura Trentham

a highlander in a pickup
Image belongs to St. Martin’s Press.

Title:  A Highlander in a Pickup   
AuthorLaura Trentham
Genre:  Romance
Rating:  4.5 out of 5

Anna Maitland is ready to show everyone in Highland, Georgia what she’s capable of. Her best friend, Izzy, can’t run the Highland Games in their hometown this summer, so Anna is happy to do it. If she succeeds, her bid for mayor will be sure to succeed, so she’s not letting a single thing out of her control—except the animals. She’ll need help with that, because a dance instructor in a tutu knows nothing about sheep and cows. Fortunately, there’s a man in a kilt who can handle the animals.

Ian Connor is used to being the strong, capable man everyone turns to when they need something physical done—and then abandoned when they don’t. He grew up at lonely Cairndow Castle, where he’s expected to take over as groundkeeper from his father. But now he finds himself in Georgia, to help plan the Highland Games—if a certain controlling dance teacher will ever admit she needs help.

I love that Ian isn’t the typical handsome, suave romantic lead. He’s awkward but nice and goes out of his way to help people. Anna was a little harder for me to like, as she was prickly and a bit too bossy, but the interactions between the two were fun to read, as was the further development of Highland, Georgia. This was a quick, enjoyable read.

Laura Trentham is an award-winning author. A Highlander in a Pickup is the newest novel in her Highland, Georgia series.

(Galley courtesy of St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.)

Blog Tour: A Highlander Walks Into a Bar, by Laura Trentham

highlander
Image belongs to St. Martin’s Press.

Title:   A Highlander Walks Into a Bar
Author:   Laura Trentham
Genre:   Romance
Rating:   4.5 out of 5

Isabel Buchanan wasn’t really expecting her mother to bring back a souvenir from Scotland, much less a handsome new boyfriend. The trip was only two weeks long, after all. So Isabel is immediately suspicious of Gareth—and his intentions. But Isabel is too busy worrying about the Highland Games—which she and her mother host every year to support the local community—to waste too much energy on worry…until Alasdair arrives.

Alasdair Blackmoor has been sent to drag his uncle back home and away from a greedy American’s clutches, but when he arrives in Highland, Georgia, he finds Gareth hasn’t told anyone who he really is—and Alasdair wonders just what Isabel and her mother could be up to. Georgia awakens feelings Alasdair thought had died—Georgia and Isabel. Her fiery temper and tendency to say whatever pops into her head makes Alasdair laugh, but soon he’s feeling much more than amusement—and he’s determined to stop the trouble he’s brought to her door.

This book made me laugh so much! Isabel’s speak-first, think-later tendencies lead to some hilarious conversations. I related to her feelings of awkwardness so much ,and the town of Highland was so quirky and so charming! The occasional hot Scotsman in  a kilt didn’t hurt, either. Isabel and Alasdair’s attraction grows so naturally and so comfortably, and I loved seeing how it developed and the challenges they overcame.

Laura Trentham is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance, including Then He Kissed Me and The Military Wife. She is a member of RWA, and has been a finalist multiple times in the Golden Heart competition. A chemical engineer by training and a lover of books by nature, she lives in South Carolina. Her newest novel is A highlander Walks Into a Bar.

(Galley courtesy of St. Martin’s Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Book Review: Getting Hot with the Scot, by Melonie Johnson

Getting Hot with the Scot
Image belongs to St. Martin’s Press.

Title:  Getting Hot with the Scot
Author:  Melonie Johnson
Genre:  Romance
Rating:  4 out of 5

Cassie Crow is a pop culture reporter for a talk show, but she wants to be a “serious” reporter. Even though she’s on the vacation of a lifetime with her friends, her upcoming big interview is all she can think about. Until a mix-up in a Scottish castle leads to a chance encounter with a handsome man in a kilt.

Logan’s career is doing pranks before a camera and making it big is all he can think about. Until he meets Cassie and needs her to agree before he can use the footage that may capture the hearts of his target audience.

What was supposed to be a one-night-stand might become more, but only if Cassie and Logan conquer the fears from their pasts.

Getting Hot with the Scot was a quick, fun read. Running into a sexy Highlander in a kilt—in a castle, no less—is probably the dream of a lot of women, so I found the way the novel took that idea and ran with it to be quite entertaining. The best part of this book, besides Logan’s accent, was the friendship between Cassie and her group of friends.

Melonie Johnson is a writer, a wife, a mother, and many other things, depending on her current interests. Getting Hot with the Scot is the first book in the Sometimes in Love series.

(Galley courtesy of St. Martin’s Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)