Tag: fiction

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- Raven (A Creepy Hollow Story) by Rachel Morgan

Raven (A Creepy Hollow Story)Raven by Rachel Morgan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had my doubts about this book since a) I couldn’t really remember Raven from the Creepy Hollow series and b) I didn’t think any other character in Creepy Hollow would make a impact on me the way that Chase did. I decided to just read a few pages to see what I thought of the book and I was instantly sucked in.
Raven comes from a very wealthy family and is “practically royalty” according to her mother. What Raven’s parents don’t know is that Raven has a close (and forbidden) friendship with Flint, one of the guards.
When Raven is caught in the middle of a dangerous murderous plot, Flint is the only one around to help her.
This is a really fast read and I loved getting a look at a completely different part of Creepy Hollow. I would love to see more from the upper classes of Creepy Hollow.
I didn’t like Flint as much as Chase (will I ever like anyone as much as Chase? Doubtful) but I thought he was a great character nonetheless. I especially enjoyed seeing Tora as a kid. I would love if the next Creepy Hollow novella was about her.
This is a quick but entertaining read that fans of Creepy Hollow will love!

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Fiction Friday: Five Reasons I Always Carry a Book With Me

I love the Kindle app so much that I have it downloaded on both my tablet and my phone. It’s a super-easy way to always have a book with me and I love always having a book to read. Here are some of the reasons why I always carry a book with me:

5 Reasons Why I Always Carry a Book With Me

 

1) To cure boredom: I love that when I’m bored all I have to do is open the Kindle app and voila, instant entertainment. I have atleast twenty unread books so there’s always something to read.

 

2) To escape into another world: I love being able to escape into a bookish universe whenever it suits me. I can visit Hogwarts on the way home from campus or spend a few minutes in Creepy Hollow while my mum is shopping for groceries.

 

3) To help deal with my stress: I get stressed so easily it’s ridiculous. Reading usually calms me down which is why I always carry my tablet (longer battery life) to campus.

 

4) To get away from social gatherings: Loud crowds of people make me anxious. It’s less noticeable to sneak in a few words every now and then (people always have their phones with them) instead of sitting with an actual paperback (which then prompts the “why are you being so anti-social” conversation?”)

 

5) To make progress with my reviews: One cannot be a book reviewer without reviewing books and one can’t review books without, you know, actually reading the books. Reading on the Kindle app every chance I get allows me to make significant progress on the books I’m supposed to be reviewing.

Do you carry a book every place you go? Do you prefer print books or ebooks?

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A “Beauty and The Beast” retelling that involves fae…How can you not like this book? Feyre accidentally kills a faerie when out hunting for her family’s dinner. Tamlin, another faerie, demands that Feyre returns with him to his home in return for killing his friend. (Yes this makes absolutely no sense but play along coz it will eventually make sense).
Eventually Feyre and Tamlin fall in love. But there’s a dark evil force that could tear them apart.
I don’t think my review can be trusted to be 100% non-biased because I love anything to do with Beauty and The Beast. However this is a far darker and an infinitely more compelling tale. This book is my everything and I am obsessed with it! I really believe that everyone should read this book. It’s compelling, it’s different, it’s very well-written and the evil monsters in here are absolutely terrifying. Read it. Now!!!!

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Book Review: Gracie’s Song by Michelle Schlicher

Gracie's SongGracie’s Song by Michelle Schlicher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Gracie left home ten years ago for no apparent reason. Now she’s back for her mother’s funeral and her friends and family long to know the reason behind her absence. This book is told in flashbacks of Gracie’s life before leaving home and her life now that she has returned.
This is a wonderfully heartwarming read and I was in tears by the end. Gracie’s story is emotional and I love that she had a genuine reason for leaving home (I hate books where characters run away for no concrete reason or an overdone reason).
Fans of contemporary romance will love this book and I wholeheartedly recommended it to anyone who enjoys romance fiction. This book is beautiful!

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Writing Wednesday: The Beginning of the End

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Have you ever felt pain so crippling that it ate at you slowly, piece by piece? Pain that intense can make you crazy. It can make you do things you’d never think of doing before.
I stood on my balcony, looking over at the city of London.
London was beautiful at night and this night was no exception.
I felt a twinge of regret for what I was about to do. I would be spoiling the beauty of London with my act.
But it needed to be done. I could no longer live an existence of pain.
I gripped the railing tightly before climbing over.
I heard a scream from below.
“Somebody is going to jump!”
I was running out of time.
“Mummy’s coming, sweetheart,” I promised my daughter.
And with those words, I pushed myself forward, eager to reunite with my child.
The last thing I felt was the icy air as the ground rose to meet me.

Fiction Friday- Book Review: The Faerie Guardian (Creepy Hollow #1) by Rachel Morgan

The Faerie Guardian (Creepy Hollow, #1)The Faerie Guardian by Rachel  Morgan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found a copy of this book online on Smashwords. I’m not going to lie- I had incredibly low expectations simply because the book was free. Except it is absolutely amazing.I love the world-building. This is such a different book. It’s intriguing, it’s mysterious and it is impossible to put this book down! I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. I thought the romance between Nate and Violet was a bit forced but Nate was a sweet character.This may not deal with the same supernatural creatures but this is my new Harry Potter.

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Why Do Contemporary Romances Promote Cheating?

I absolutely adore contemporary romance. They capture perfectly the emotions of falling in love. Recently however I’ve noticed that several of my cherished novels involve cheating or almost cheating (ie flirting or leading someone on when you’re clearly in a relationship). Off the top of my head some examples are: Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door and This Raging Light.
Maybe I’m simple-minded but it just seems to make sense to break up with someone when you no longer feel a connection with them. My friend, Vincent broke up instantly with his girlfriend of a year and a half (we were all devastated) when he realised that the feelings he once had for her was gone.
In the abovementioned novels, someone is always in a relationship. Yes it may not be a great relationship(in Anna and the French Kiss, St Clair hasn’t seen his girlfriend in ages and in Lola and the Boy Next Door, Lola’s boyfriend is a jerk) but that doesn’t make it okay.
Maybe Someday- an excellent novel by Colleen Hoover- tells the story of two people with an incredible connection…but the guy is already in a relationship and refuses to break up with his girlfriend. Yet despite that he is unable to let his feelings for the other girl go or even let her date other guys.
I get that in the world of this novels, there’s a reason this behaviour is okay -it’s dramatic, it drives the plot, etc- but it worries me what if people think “hey if person xyz can do it, why can’t I?”
Think about it. How often have we seen the cliché story about the girl crushing on the guy with the mean girlfriend? And why is it okay? Shouldn’t the fact that someone is in a relationship mean that they’re off-limits?
I certainly wouldn’t want my boyfriend going around and flirting, almost flirting or even connecting with someone while we’re still together. The decent (albeit painful) thing to do would be to have a clean break.
What do you think of contemporary romance stories with cheating or almost cheating in it?

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