Excerpt: It’s Getting Scot in Here by Suzanne Enoch


The first in a wickedly seductive new Scottish historical romance series from New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Enoch, IT’S GETTING SCOT IN HERE (St. Martin’s Paperbacks, February 26, 2019, $7.99) crosses two sweethearts from separate worlds. Readers find out what happens when a headstrong leading lady, who refuses to marry someone she doesn’t love, meets an off-limits ruffian from the barbaric Highlands.
London socialite Amelia-Rose Baxter is nobody’s fool. Her parents may want her to catch a title, but she will never change who she is for the promise of marriage. Her husband will be a man who can appreciate her sharp mind as well as her body. A sophisticated man who loves life in London. A man who considers her his equal—and won’t try to tame her wild heart…

Rough, rugged Highlander Niall MacTaggert and his brothers know the rules: the eldest must marry or lose the ancestral estate, period. But Niall’s eldest brother just isn’t interested in the lady his mother selected. Is it because Amelia-Rose is just too. . . Free-spirited? Yes. Brazen? Aye. Surely Niall can find a way to soften up the whip-smart lass and make her the
perfect match for his brother for the sake of the family.
Instead it’s Niall who tempts Amelia-Rose, despite her reservations about barbarian Highlanders. Niall finds the lass nigh irresistible as well, but he won’t make the mistake his father did in marrying an Englishwoman who doesn’t like the Highlands. Does he have what it takes to win her heart? There is only one way to find out…

 

EXCERPT:

Prologue
Once upon a time—in May 1785, to be exact— Angus MacTaggert, Earl Aldriss, traveled from the middle of the Scottish Highlands to London in search of a wealthy bride to save his well- loved but crumbling estate. Aldriss Park had been in the MacTaggert family since the time of Henry VIII, when Domhnall MacTaggert, despite being Catholic and married, declared publicly that Henry should be able to wed as many lasses as he wanted until one of them got him a son. Aldriss Park was the newly minted earl’s reward for his support and understanding. For the next two hundred years Aldriss thrived, until the weight of poor harvests, the ever- intruding, rule- making Sassenach, and the MacTaggerts’ own fondness for drinking, gambling, and wild investments (including an early bicycle design wherein the driver sat between two wheels; sadly, it had no braking mechanism and
after a series of accidents nearly began a war within the MacTaggerts’ clan Ross) began to sink it into disrepair. When Angus inherited the title in 1783, he realized the old castle needed far more than a fresh coat of paint to keep it from both physical collapse and bankruptcy. And so he determined to go down among the enemy Sassenach and win himself a wealthy bride. The English had made enough trouble for him and his over the centuries, so they could bloody well help him set things right. On his second day in London, he met the stunning Francesca Oswell, the only offspring of James and Mary Oswell, Viscount and Viscountess of Hornford— who had more money than Midas and a bevy of very fine solicitors—at a masked ball where he dressed as a bull, and she as a swan. Despite the misgivings of nearly everyone in Mayfair, Angus and Francesca immediately fell madly in love, and married with a special license ten days later. A week after that, Angus took Francesca back to Aldriss Park and the Highlands, where she found very little civilization, a great many sheep, and a husband who preferred brawling to dancing, and he discovered that her father’s solicitors had arranged to keep the Oswell family money in Francesca’s hands. This made for some very spectacular arguments, because there is nothing more combustible in the world than an impoverished Highlands laird in disagreement with an independently wealthy English lady about his own ancestral lands. Over the next thirteen turbulent years the estate prospered, and Francesca gave Angus three sons— Coll, Aden, and Niall— and with each one became more concerned that this was not a life for any civilized person. She wanted to bring the boys back to London for proper educations and to live proper lives, but Angus refused, stating that what had been good enough for him would be good enough for his lads. When a fourth child, a daughter, arrived in 1798, Francesca reached her breaking point. No daughter of hers was going to be raised with an uncivilized accent in a rough country where she would be ridiculed by proper Society and unfit to marry anyone but a shepherd or a peat cutter. Angus refused to let his lads go, but he allowed Francesca to take young Eloise and return to London—on the condition that she continue providing for the maintenance of the estate. Francesca reluctantly agreed, but given that she controlled the purse strings, she had her own conditions to try to keep some influence with her wild sons: All three boys must marry before their sister, they must wed proper Englishwomen, and at least one of them must marry someone of her choosing. She knew Angus would raise them as he pleased, but they were her children, too, by God, and she meant to see to it that they had some semblance of propriety in their lives— she was a viscount’s daughter, after all, and certain things would be expected of her offspring. She refused to allow them to be viewed as unsophisticated wild men by her London neighbors, and she remained determined to have a presence in their lives. To enforce her will, she convinced (or rather, coerced) Angus to put his signature to the agreement, which contained this provision: If young Eloise MacTaggert did marry before any of the boys, Francesca would cut off all funds to the estate. If they were to insist on defiance, they would have a heavy price to pay for it— one they and their tenants could not afford. Angus had no choice but to agree, and considering that Coll, the oldest, was only twelve at the time of Francesca’s departure and Eloise was but a wee bairn, he was willing to wager that he would have time to renegotiate. Angus and Francesca remained married, but neither would bend enough to visit the other ever again. As far as the lads were concerned, their mother had abandoned them. In the spring of 1816 Angus received a letter from Francesca announcing their daughter’s engagement, and he promptly collapsed. He’d hoped his sons would have found themselves Scottish lasses by now and shown their mother she couldn’t control their lives after all, but the lads were defiant and wouldn’t be rushed. Now it appeared to be too late. He summoned his sons to his apparent deathbed and confessed all— Francesca funding the estate, the pernicious agreement, and their mother’s grasping claws, which he explained was a symptom of all Englishwomen and their weak, clinging, cloying ways. For the sake of the property and their tenants the young men must go to London. At once. No sense even taking time to put him in the ground, much less mourn him, because Francesca wouldn’t excuse the loss of time, and they needed to marry before their sister. The lads— grown men, now— were not at all happy suddenly to learn about the responsibilities and rules foisted upon them by a woman they barely remembered. Being wily, freehearted, and exceptionally handsome men accustomed to doing things their way and certainly not bowing to the demands of a demented Englishwoman, they determined to go down to London not to comply, but to outwit their mother and upend any plans she had for them. And thus, dear reader, begins our story.

I have already started reading this and it is incredible!

Suzanne Enoch

SUZANNE ENCOCH grew up in Southern California, where she still balances her love for the
Regency romances of Georgette Heyer and classic romantic comedies with her obsession for
anything Star Wars. Given her love of food and comfy chairs, she may in fact be a Hobbit. She
has written more than 35 romance novels, including traditional Regencies, Historical Romance, and contemporary Romantic Suspense. When she isn’t working on her next book she is trying to learn to cook, and wishes she had an English accent. She is the bestselling author of Scandalous Brides series, The Scandalous Highlanders series, and One Hot Scot.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- P.S I Still Love You by Jenny Han (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #2)

P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2)

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Lara Jean and Peter are finally really together and they are an absolutely ADORABLE couple. But Gen is still lurking in the picture. Peter swears that there is nothing between them but why does it seem like Gen is more a part of Lara Jean’s life now than before?
With the reappearance of John Ambrose, another one of the boys Lara Jean wrote love letters to, Lara Jean is forced to consider who she wants to be with.
This was a cute read however I was in a book slump and struggled to finish it. I also cannot forgive Peter for allowing Gen back into his life (I don’t care what the reason was).
This was a fun, light read that I strongly recommend to anyone who enjoys contemporary. There were several new colourful characters introduced which was highly entertaining. I especially enjoyed seeing the development of Lara Jean’s relationship with Peter and John Ambrose.



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Fiction Friday: Thief by Tarryn Fisher (Love Me With Lies #3)

Thief (Love Me with Lies, #3)

Thief by Tarryn Fisher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I actually cannot remember most of this novel (which is worrying considering that I spent so much time invested in this series).
“Thief” follows Caleb and Olivia in the aftermath of his divorce. Once again they are drawn together when Olivia and her husband start to have issues.
This was a sweet read that almost made up for all of the emotional strain the previous books put me through.
I especially enjoyed seeing how Caleb and Olivia have changed over the years. It is made clear that though they have made mistakes in the past, they have both grown from it.
This was a wonderfully emotional series that made me cry, rage and almost throw my cellphone across the room but I enjoyed it immensely.



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Fiction Friday: Book Review- Dirty Red by Tarryn Fisher (Love Me With Lies #2)

Dirty Red (Love Me with Lies, #2)

Dirty Red by Tarryn Fisher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


After reading “The Opportunist”and realising that “Dirty Red” was Leah’s story, I had zero interest in continuing with this series.
I could never forgive Caleb or Olivia for both of their deceptions and Leah was my least favourite story so I had no desire to learn any more about her.
However after reading about two pages of this and after completing “Verity”, I NEEDED another flawed, bordering-on-psychotic female to follow. So I picked this up again and it did not disappoint.
Leah finally has her marriage to Caleb as well as a beautiful baby. Sure, he might seem to care more for the crying brat than he does for her. But he is away from Olivia and that is what matters. Or does it?
Olivia may be out of their lives physically but she is still a part of Caleb’s mental space. As Leah and Caleb struggle with their marriage and their differing opinions on parenthood, there might still be space for Olivia to wriggle her way back in anyway.
By the end of this book, I had a reluctant understanding and sympathy for Leah. She is a flawed woman who loved a guy who did not love her back. Yes, she is a bitch. But this novel shows that this bitch does have a heart.
This was a well-written read that I could not put down and I enjoyed it immensely. I have never read a book, let alone a series, about so many flawed characters and this change was good.
Definitely pick this up.



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Why You Should Save for A Rainy Day


Yesterday I got in to my pretty, shiny (it had just been washed the day before) car to go to church. I was feeling pretty good about myself since I was fifteen minutes earlier and the weather had changed from constant rain to a dull sun.

I turned the key in the ignition, felt the car vibrate and then heard a sound of my nightmares. The awful crank of a car NOT starting. I stared at my dashboard in shock. NO! NO NO NO!

My dad had the habit of parking my automatic car in Neutral. Did I start the car on Neutral? Nope, I checked. And the radio was working so whatever this fault was, it was not the battery.

Fear was fast making it’s way around my body. Something was wrong with the car. And whatever IT was. I already knew I would not be able to pay for it without suffering for the rest of the month.

Here’s the thing- I am pretty good when it comes to my money. However this year I chose to do a course online in Digital Marketing and I used any extra income of mine to pay off this course.

After nine painful hours of trying to track down a mechanic on a Sunday, we managed to locate one. He agreed to look at the car and confirmed that there was water damage.

Please let us take a minute to appreciate this irony. I took advantage of the rain to wash the car and that was what caused the car to not start.

After trying repeatedly to start the car, he finally managed to fix it and charged me R350.

Don’t get me wrong. I was glad that it was nothing serious and R350 is not much compared to the thousands I imagined spending on the car.

However it certainly dampens my spirit that I do not have any extra cash for the month ahead (which is still four days away).

Moral of the story: Save for a rainy day. They may take a while to come but even sunny Durban has them.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Friend Request by Laura Marshall

Friend Request

Friend Request by Laura Marshall

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Louise receives a Facebook invitation from her childhood classmate Maria Weston. But Maria Weston is dead. Or atleast that is what everyone else thinks.
Maria and Louise were the closest of friends back in high school before Louise abandoned her to join the popular crowd.
Louise is well-aware of what happened the last night Mara was seen. Louise is part of the group that played an awful prank on Maria before she died. But there was no body found. Could Maria actually be alive?
As Louise starts to gets creepy messages from Maria’s Facebook account she is more and more convinced that Maria might be back and looking for revenge.
This was am intriguing read that I devoured in one sitting. There were countless plot twists which I enjoyed immensely. If you are looking for an unpredictable read, I strongly suggest this one.



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My Most Anticipated Reads for 2019

Person reading open book

2019 looks to be a great year in books with several of my favourite authors releasing new reads. Here are the books I am most excited for:

  1. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo- I devoured the “Grishaverse” books as well as the “Six of Crows” series. It has been too long since I read a book set in this universe and I CANNOT WAIT for this book to release.
  2. Devil’s Daughter by Lisa Kleypas- I love anything by Lisa Kleypas especially if it is historical. Interested in historical romance? You can read a snippet of “Devil’s Daughter” here.
  3. Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus- “One of Us is Lying” was one of my favourite mysteries of all-time so I cannot wait to read this.
  4. Again But Better by Christine Riccio- Book vlogger Christine Riccio releases her debut novel and if it is even a fraction as funny as she is, we are all in for a treat.
  5. Finale by Stephanie Garber- Stephanie Garber’s “Caraval” series will finally come to an end with “Finale”. Personally while I have enjoyed this series, I cannot wait. I have questions that I need answered about Dante and his past.
  6. The Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton- Picking up from the cliffhanger ending where most of my favourite characters (and one character I absolutely detested) were on the run, a resistance is building up. I love books about a team of people resisting the usual order. There is just something about people getting together to fight and overthrow the usual social order that makes me feel warm and cozy.
  7. The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh- Renee Ahdieh tackles vampires in New Orleans in this novel and I am SO HERE FOR IT! I adore Renee Ahdieh’s writing and world-building so I just know that this is going to be a great read.
  8. Queen of Ruin by Tracy Banghart- “Grace and Fury” was impossible to put down and I cannot wait to see how the story continues in this next book.

What books are you most excited for in 2019? Let me know below.

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#CurrentlyReading January 2019

Girl reading book with present in her hand

New year. New books. This year instead of visiting the bookstore for New Years Day, I decided to try and tackle my own books. Of course, I did go to the bookstore eventually but it was a tough day and I needed the retail therapy. Here are the books that I am currently reading this month:

  1. Welcome to the Real World by Lauren Berger- I genuinely feel like this book is life-changing. I am about 20% into it and I already signed up for a Digital Marketing course, gone back to the gym, started eating healthy AND scheduled all of my book reviews for the month #ProductiveBeast
  2. Bright We Burn by Kiersten White- I bought this book as a Christmas treat for myself. I stopped reading it the day before I went back to work and now I have just not managed to pick it up. Probably because I skipped to the end and I was not happy with the ending (I have been doing that for most of my books recently).
  3. Tarnished City (audiobook) by Vic James- This is SOO good and I am so sad that I only get to listen to it to and from work.
  4. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas- another great read that I put down and never picked back up. I should just walk around with a book glued to my face.

What are you reading this month? Have you read any of the above? I’d love to know below.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Verity by Colleen Hoover

VerityVerity by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lowen Ashleigh and Jeremy Crawford meet at the site of a horrific accident. The two of them connect over this unfortunate event as well the tragedies that have struck them in their lives.
Jeremy hires Lowen to ghost-write a series that his now injured wife cannot complete. Lowen, who is unable to turn down the money due to her financial struggles, agrees and moves in to the Crawford home.
Lowen’s plan is simply- sort through Verity Crawford’s notes and get out as soon as possible. However she stumbles across a chilling autobiography written by Verity. This story paints a very different picture of who Verity is as well as the day her daughter died.
As Jeremy and Lowen grow closer, she considers whether or not to tell him the truth. Jeremy may be devoted to his wife but surely that would change once he finds out who she really is.
This was a creepy read that I devoured in one setting. “Verity” is well-written with an intriguing plot. I could not read fast enough and was left speechless at the end. I definitely recommend this to anyone who wants a memorable read.

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Fiction Friday: Hunted by Meagan Spooner

HuntedHunted by Meagan Spooner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yeva longs for the freedom of the forests. So when her father loses all of his money and the family is forced to move to an old hunting cabin, Yeva is secretly relieved.
She spends her days hunting food for her family while her father tries to track down a mysterious beast that he believes is watching them.
When Yeva’s father goes missing, she goes after him determined to capture the beast herself.
This was a really intriguing read that I finished in a matter of hours. I was unable to put this down and enjoyed this book thoroughly!
My only issue was that it fell a bit flat towards the ending. The last bits of this book was not really believable however I enjoyed that Yeva was not an ordinary “Beauty”. She is a skilled hunter and this is demonstrated throughout the book. I also enjoyed the stories and myths of the forests.
This is a great read for anyone who enjoys fairytale retellings.

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