Castle of the Wolf (Love Spell) by Sandra Schwab is up first. Celia, aka Cissy, Fussell's father has left her only a mysterious castle in the Black Forest as her inheritance, though to keep it, she must marry the man there. Fenris von Wolfenbach had no idea what his parents had arranged for him in order to keep their family castle, but he's none too pleased by it when Celia arrives and he makes the discovery. It is very difficult to like Fenris throughout much of this story, even though you can understand why he is the way he is. And Celia, well, I could call her flighty, though that doesn't apply all the time. I could call her foolish, and that applies too much of the time. The one thing I don't believe I would call this story is paranormal, though that is what the spine says. There's very little of the paranormal to this one, just mostly unhappy people trying to do what they can with what they have. I didn't much enjoy this one. It started off as if it might be gothic, then is inexplicably lighter for large portions of the tale. Inconsistent might be the best thing I can call this one, I'm afraid.
Highland Savage (Zebra) by Hannah Howell is next. Sir Lucas Murray is on a little trip for vengeance. He doesn't expect to meet up with the woman who betrayed him, who arranged for him to die. Katerina Haldane is just as shocked to see Lucas again, having believed him murdered by her half-sister's men. Kat's been hiding from them herself ever since, pretending to be dead while trying to find evidence against them. And this pair now has to work together to do it, try to put aside all their old feelings, and bring down the bad guy (and woman). You all know by now I love a good Scottish setting. But this one has far too much of the 'ye' and 'nae' and assorted other goodies in the dialogue to suit me. I find it highly distracting. A little here and there to keep you in the setting, but not every other word. And I just couldn't care too much about these characters. They didn't really grab me. Perhaps because I was so distracted by the dialect. Fortunately I'm in the middle of another Scottish romance for next time, and I'm enjoying it just fine.
Immortals: the Calling (Love Spell) by Jennifer Ashley is next with the first in a new series. Witch Amber Silverthorne just wants to know what killed her sister. She didn't intend to be attacked by a demon, or for the Immortal Adrian to come charging to her rescue. But the evil that killed her sister is bigger than she knew, and Amber and Adrian are about to embark on a quest neither expected. If you're really into paranormal stories with lots of 'special effects', this might be right up your alley. For me, it was just okay, not a keeper. I am, however, looking forward to the Joy Nash contribution to this series later this summer.
Until next time, happy reading!