Hello, and welcome back! We’re still waiting for our first taste of real winter weather here, and it doesn’t look like I’m going to get my snow anytime soon, sadly. It’s certainly cold enough for it, but Mother Nature is being uncooperative so far this winter. At least I have plenty of books stacked on the corner of my desk to keep me occupied while I’m indoors.
This time out, I have the anthology Mammoth Book of Scottish Romance (Running Press, purchased), which I really bought just for two of the authors contained within it. This one has stories by Terri Brisbin, Jackie Barbosa, Annette Blair, Connie Brockway, Jacquie D’Alessandro, Anne Gracie, Susan Sizemore, Heather McCollum, Patricia Grasso, Marta Acosta, Jackie Ivie, Elle Jasper, Debbie Mazzuca, Julianne MacLean, Lois Greiman, Kimberly Killion, Leah Marie Brown, Donna Kauffman, Sandy Blair and Donna Grant, all set in gorgeous Scotland, one of my favorite places in the world. I picked this one up for the stories by Terri Brisbin and Jackie Barbosa, as I knew neither would disappoint me, but I figured I would read some of the other stories as well and find some I enjoyed. Brisbin’s ‘Kidnapping the Laird’ has Padruig Grant and his unhappy wife barely on speaking terms after their arranged marriage and disastrous wedding night months ago. Catriona, however, has had enough of her husband’s lover, whose behavior has at last pushed Cat over the edge. She arranges with her brothers-in-law to abduct her husband so she can attempt to renegotiate the terms of their arrangement to include more intimacy.
Barbosa’s ‘The Reiver’ has Duncan Maxwell discovering that the reiver his kin has captured is, in fact, a young woman. She refuses to give him her name, and he refuses to let her go. She knows that sharing her identity will have devastating consequences for her own family, but the longer he keeps her with him, the more she falls under his spell. I also quite enjoyed Marta Acosta’s ‘Wolfish in Sheep’s Clothing’ with Kathy Samuelson’s solo trip to Scotland turning out to be much more interesting than she’d expected when she meets the sexy Calder. D’Alessandro’s ‘At Last’ is terrific with younger man Ian finally catching up to Sophia after a long, frustrating hunt. ‘His Magick Touch’ from Killion is good, too, with Keiran coming to rescue Sorcha from her abusive and power-hungry husband, and Anne Gracie’s ‘The Laird’s Vow’ is fantastic, with Cameron Fraser marrying the first woman he meets in order to take control of his estate from his careless uncle. Jeanie Macleay has no idea what she’s agreed to when she says ‘yes’ to his proposal. Of course, Cameron doesn’t realize the treasure he’s about to wed either. Blair’s ‘Her MacKinnon’ is also great, with Maggie MacKinnon’s drunken and irresponsible husband A.J. much changed after a car accident, as the spirit of his ancestor has taken over his body. There are other stories that are enjoyable, if not memorable. My biggest
complaint about this collection is the copyediting errors throughout, which distract from the reading. This has just whetted my appetite for more great romances from Terri Brisbin and Jackie Barbosa, and I will have to pick up a couple of books from some of the other authors whose stories made me fall in love.
Until next time, happy reading!