Once Upon a Highland Glen

It’s no secret I’ve been a fan of Suzan Tisdale for years. Before Outlander, she was my introduction to the world of hot Scots. And now she’s launched her own publishing house called Glenfinnan Publishing and launched her new endeavor with a historical, romantic anthology, Once Upon a Highland Glen.

Since there are six stories, I’ll have six sections in this review, with my thoughts italicized for easier reading.

  • Heat Level: the stories range from wholesome to steamy.
  • Genre: Historical Romance
  • Overall Rating: 5/6 Glass Slippers

The Legend by Violetta Rand

Laird Bron Kieth was not a kind man, and one night when we went out in search of his prized ram. He was set upon by his enemies and drug himself to the safety of a glen. A mysterious woman gives him one wish and he asks for a second chance at life, so he can be a better man.

This short introduction set the scene for the rest of the stories.

Wager of the Heart by Suzan Tisdale

Graham Kieth is the descendant of Bron, but has yet to learn the same lesson. A directionless cad, he drunklenly stumbles into a glen after a game of cards, where he laments his loneliness and wishes he had a family to care for him. When he awakes to find his wish comes true, he’s less than thrilled with his new reality. But when he must decide what kind of man he wants to be, more than one future will depend on him.

I thought this story was cute and could have easily been a full length book on its own. Graham and Leelah weren’t a match made in heaven, and he’s certainly no match for her stubbornness. It’s hard to tell who needs who more by the end of this story.

Clouds Across the Moon by Kathryn Lynn Davis

Braida is only sixteen when her daughter is born. Her husband Bran is twenty-two, the tutor for the laird’s children, and not an overly kind man. He feels detached from his daughter and longs for his wife to be the carefree, moldable teen he once met.

I have to admit I wasn’t a huge fan of this tale. A husband being basically disgusted by his child bride’s changed body and her devotion to their baby made me uncomfortable. There wasn’t the romance I expected.

Highland Heart’s Desire by Victoria Zak

The fairy Breena was enchanted by the forbidden human world. While she’s not very good with magic yet, she does what she can to keep the animals in her forest safe. When a hunter is injured, she breaks the fae laws to tend to him. Robert Keith thinks he imagined the beautiful woman that day, but five years later, he’ll question everything he ever knew.

This story was sweet and charming with a lot of heart. Breena was adorable and Robert was a gem. Watching their romance span the years was lovely.

The Lost Soul by Ceci Giltenan

Spoiled Margaret Grant is sent to live with her betrothed, Logan Carr’s clan in an attempt to make her come to peace with her betrothal. After a fall, she finds herself in a glen where she makes a wish to prove she can be a better person. But before she can go back to her pampered life, she must walk in the shoes of another.

This story was a bit on the humorous side, without losing the message that’s been carried through the anthology. It also held a nice amount of detail that really set the tone.

Whispers to the Soul by Kate Robbins

Kenzie is on the run from a vile clan guardsman when she’s rescued by the handsome Gaelin. But she soon learns she is no simple kitchen maid as she and Gaelin go on a journey to find safety and the truth.

This was my favorite story in the anthology, so I believe Robbins has found a new fan in me! Witty and steamy, Kenzie was a heroine in her own right and I would have lived to read a full book focused on her tale.

The Courageous Highlander by Lily Baldwin.

Laird Owen MacArthur rules over a secluded clan where every year the laird must hunt alone to bring prosperity to the people. On one of these hunts, he finds the beautiful Gwynn help captive in a strange glen. He’s struck by her beauty and promises to free her, but at what cost?

A magic tale, Baldwin’s addition was action packed with a touch of mystery. It was a wonderful addition.


Overall, I enjoyed most of the anthology with a few standing out as deserving a full length novels. I recommended this collection to all historical romance fans.

Advertisements

Coming Home to the Cowboy

The town bad boy with hidden pain…

Champion bull-rider and all-around fun guy Chase Summers is everybody’s friend, but his affable personality hides a lifetime of pain. Having been abandoned as a young child at the steps of a church, he learned young that he was unwanted. The only thing that saved him from isolation was his foster dad and life on Redemption Ranch. Now he spends his time on the rodeo circuit, sending home his winnings to help the ranch succeed, and his nights with buckle bunnies, making sure no one gets close enough to touch the pain deep inside. 

The town good girl who saw the good in everyone…

When accountant and small business advisor Hailey Spencer is hired by Redemption Ranch to implement their guest ranch ideas, she and Chase are thrown together. It’s not long before he is introduced to the son that she had with his best friend. The best friend who would’ve following Chase anywhere…even the bull riding circuit with it’s deadly potential. With Hailey hanging on to resentment and Chase racked with guilt, the two try to fight their age-old attraction – in vain. Chase knows Hailey deserves more than a broken-down cowboy for her son and her heart. 

Can Chase resist the call of the rodeo and man up for a woman he’s loved for years or will he leave for the allure of the road?


  • Coming Home to the Cowboy is available now on all major bookselling platforms!
    • Amazon click HERE
    • KOBO click HERE
    • iBooks click HERE
    • Google Play click HERE
    • Tule Publishing click HERE

    Ever since Megan Ryder discovered Jude Deveraux and Judith McNaught while sneaking around the “forbidden” romance section of the library one day after school, she has been voraciously devouring romance novels of all types. Now a romance author in her own right, Megan pens sexy contemporary novels all about family and hot lovin’ with the boy next door. She lives in Connecticut, spending her days as a technical writer and her spare time divided between her addiction to knitting and reading.

    There are many ways to keep up with Megan and all her books!

    • Visit her website HERE
    • Follow on Facebook HERE
    • Like on Instagram HERE
    • Follow on Pinterest HERE

  • Cupid Claus

    We’ve been waiting to share our cover for Cupid Claus for quite a while, and since it’s nearly release day, and it’s now available for preorder, we’d love to show you the face of our latest sweet, Christmas romance.

    When mistletoe is not enough…

    With her only son still single, Mrs. Claus is rolling up her red sleeves and playing matchmaker. With a little advice from Cupid and a list of potential brides, she’s convinced a dash of magic will get the snowball rolling. There’s just one problem, Nick isn’t looking for love. All he wants to do is fill his father’s boots as he prepares to take over as Santa Claus.

    While Mrs. Claus is scheming away, Nick meets Heather, a charming artist with a giving heart and a loving smile. Preparing for her first Christmas alone, Heather is looking for adventure. Nick becomes a kindred spirit as they both remember what it’s like to live in the moment. Just as they think they found a fairytale romance, Nick discovers his mother’s magical meddling.

    With Christmas Eve quickly approaching, Nick must decide if his love for Heather was the real magic all along or if it was just the work of Cupid Claus?

    Cupid Claus will be released on November 13, 2019 and the ebook is available for preorder now HERE! We’ll let you know when the paperbacks are available too.

    Until then, remember, a book is better when you have someone to share it with.

    Tule Birthday Bash

    Tule Publishing is celebrating their 6th birthday! That means party favors for you! From Friday September 6th until Sunday the 8th, all ebooks are 50% off with the code TULE6 at checkout in their online bookstore HERE.

    You can snag books about sweet cowboys, mobsters on the run, romantic pirates, and holiday escapades. We’ve reviewed several Tule books on this blog and haven’t read one we didn’t love. Sweet or steamy, it’s all there in the bookstore. Cick HERE to start shopping.

    BTW if you haven’t read Kelsey’s contemporary romance series set in Scotland, the first two books are in the Tule book shop, ready to be read! Catch up with all the hot Scots before book 3 comes out this winter.

    Match made in heaven or maid of dishonor?

    Tight-laced Rose Henselarrives in Scotland for her best friend’s wedding with a plan—to be the greatest maid of honor ever, let loose for the first time in years, and find out what Scottish guys really wear under their kilts. After meeting the best man, she thinks she found the man who checks all the boxes for a no-strings-attached romp among the heather.

    Lachlan Calder-Mackinnon knows how to show a girl a good time. Gourmet dinners in castle ruins, picnics among rolling hills, and a seaside escape create some unforgettable dates. But as the fling begins to morph into something more, an unexpected wedding guest threatens to ruin Rose and Lachlan’s new romance.

    With a plane ticket in one hand and her broken heart in the other, Rose prepares to head home to reality. However, she’s about to learn that what happens in the Highlands don’t always stay there.

    Order your copy in the Tule store HERE

    Can she stop her past from ruining her future?

    Sorcha Mackinnon isn’t your typical tortured artist. She is also a party girl, a vintage shopper, and the heiress to a whisky fortune. But when inspiration suddenly flies out the window, she’s left with an empty whisky glass and a blank canvas…until a childhood friend waltzes back into her life.

    She’s known Danny Gordon since birth, but they lost touch as their careers took them in different directions. He offers to show her the parts of Scotland he swears will spark life back into her brushes. And as they tour the sights on the back of his motorcycle, Sorcha realizes that under the tattoos and smart mouth, Danny may inspire more in her than just a new painting.

    But as a good time begins to morph into an ever after, Sorcha is reminded of old wounds that just won’t heal. Danny tries to open her heart, but her self-imposed isolation makes things harder than ever. Now she must decide what to do, because what happens in the ruins doesn’t always stay there.

    Order your copy from the Tule store HERE

    Back to School Booklist

    Ring, ring, ring…school’s back in session and that calls for more books on your reading list. Today’s theme is teachers in love and at least one is featured in each of the fantastic novels below.

    Blind Date Bet by Nicole Flockton

    Fifth grade teacher Isabella isn’t interested in getting mixed up with a military man again. She’s been down that road before and isn’t keen on getting her heart broken. Air Force K9 trainer Ethan isn’t opposed to love, but isn’t too worried about settling down right away. But could a blind date change both of their minds?

    Coming Home by Audrey Wick

    When a cyber attack forces college professor Mallory to her hometown in Texas for some much deserved rest, she’s looking forward to letting things back at work die down. Professional mover Alec specializes in helping people get their lives back on track. But when the line between work and something more begin to blur, are they both in store for heartbreak?

    Vision in White by Nora Roberts

    Wedding photographer Mac is sick of bridezillas. She’s looking for something to take her mind off work, and English teacher Carter fits the bill. But as the casual fling begins to morph into something more, Mac isn’t so sure she’s ready for her own happily ever after.

    Crazy for You by Jennifer Cruisie

    Highschool art teacher Quinn’s life is in a rut. Her relationship is a wreck, she’s bored to tears, and her future seems bleak. But a stray dog and a local mechanic threaten to shake up her world…if she’ll only let them.

    The Temporary Wife by Jeanine Moon

    Kindergarten teacher Megan never expected to becoming the guardian of her best friend’s daughter, Molly, or to have the grieving grandparents suing her for custody. Billionaire Jason hates how his parents are treating Megan and will do anything to keep her and Molly happy…even faking a marriage.

    Playing at Love by Ophelia London

    Choir teacher Tess is struggling to get funding for her students. The school budget only has room for choir or football, so she’s up against her one time love, football coach Jack, to keep her class. Will old feelings get in the way of her big plans or will she be able to keep the choir running?

    Getting Schooled by Emma Chase

    Garret was the king of his small town when he was the high school football star and still is, years later, as the favorite teacher. Callie thought she’d left her past far behind her when she started a new life across the country. But when she’s forced to come home and work as a substitute teacher, she’s back in close quarters with the one man she can’t stop thinking about.

    Take a Chance by Shelley Shepard Gray

    Kurt moves his little brother Sam to a new town, hoping for a fresh start. But when Sam gets in a fight, he begins to wonder if he made the right choice. Teacher Emily thinks Sam just needs a little TLC. As she works in close quarters with Kurt to make things better, she begins to question her rule about never getting too involved.

    First Semester by Sarah Fischer

    College freshman Violet is looking forward to her first year at Elton Hall U. A chance encounter with a handsome stranger gets complicated when she learns he’s not a grad student, but a visiting professor. Will she ignore her feelings for the sake of following the rules, or give in to temptation?

    (Not only is this book by the co-founder of this blog, it’s also free!)


    What’s on your back to school reading list? Let us know in the comments! We’re always looking for a good book.

    Where They Found Her

    I’m not normally a huge crime thriller fan. Slow burns can annoy me and I have a terrible habit of sneaking a peek at the ending since waiting isn’t my strong suit. But I heard wonderful things about Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight and decided to give it a shot.

    (Trigger warning: this book touches upon off-page rape and infanticide. Nothing is graphic.)

    • Genre: Crime Thriller
    • Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

    Molly is a recent NJ transplant, having followed her professor husband from NYC after a tragedy. While her young daughter is in school, she works as a local reporter, usually covering puff pieces. But when the body of a newborn is found on the outskirts of a university, and no one else can take the case, her job, and her life, becomes more complicated than she ever imagined.

    Barbara’s motto is happy, not perfect. Although she finds it hard to not work her fingers to the bone to keep up with the facade of being perfect. The perfect wife of the police chief. The perfect mother to her children. The perfect neighbor, friend, daughter, she tried to keep her life flawless in the eyes of everyone who knew her. But when cracks appear on the surface, she may fall apart.

    Sandy’s a teen who hasn’t had an easy life. She dreams of a better future, but feels it’s out of reach while she’s hiding money so her irresponsible mother doesn’t spend it on drugs. When she finally tries to go for her GED, she thinks there’s light at the end of the tunnel. But when her mom goes missing, only a peak into the past might be able to help.

    A missing woman, a list of victims, a dead baby, and decades of secrets collide in the picture perfect town of Ridgewood, New Jersey.

    Wow. I didn’t know if I’d like this book, but I was hooked from page one. From hiding the evidence to a mysterious package to a series of links holding a collection of unforgettable characters together, it was the perfect storm. Maybe my adversity to crime novels was having them be usually narrated by men, making them personally difficult to relate to. Having three women narrate was a choice I have to applaud McCreight for. I could see myself in Molly’s struggle as a mother, Barbara’s eagerness to stay “perfect,” and Sandy’s willingness to try to keep everyone afloat.

    Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my leap into crime thrillers in a way I hadn’t in some time. If you’re new to the genre, unsure if you’d enjoy it, or just want to really go for a wild ride, pick up a copy of Where They Found Her.

    The Condemned

    Whew, I always need a minute to recover every time I come into contact with a book from the Echoes from the Past series by Irina Shapiro. Beautifully written and emotionally jarring, each installment leaves me wanting more, even though I know not everyone gets a happy ending. Introducing The Condemned.

    As always, I’ll try to keep far away from spoilers. But this is book six, and if you’re not already invested in this series, you’re missing out!

    • Genre: Historical/Contemporary Romance/Drama
    • Heat Level: ❤️❤️❤️
    • Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

    In 1620, England is trying to stabilize their new colony in Virginia and women are asked to go to the New World to marry men they’ve never met and start families. Mary is terrified to leave the only home she’s ever known, but it’s the only way to escape her abusive uncle. She bonds with her fellow wives during the voyage, but her intended is less than she hoped. A chance meeting in the forest with a stranger gives her hope her life could be something more. But in a time of unrest in Virginia, a step in the wrong direction could be deadly.

    In 2015, Quinn is called to a seaside cave, where a skeleton is found, evidence of a crude medical procedure and a birth evident. But she can’t focus on the body when she receives news that her twin sister is missing. Through war-torn Afghanistan, Germany, and colonial Virginia, Quinn isn’t just reconstructing the life of a long-dead woman, but her own reality as the puzzle pieces of her past fall into place.

    The historical work Shapiro puts into her writing is always fantastic. People have the idea of colonists who went to the New World as happy families who grew corn alongside the indigenous people and loved in cozy cabins. The truth is messier with colonial aggression, “main order brides,” and a history that paints the settlers in a less than flattering light. Then there’s this bit about the lost colony of Roanoke that had me going down a research wormhole, something I always enjoy.

    On the question of the Native Americans (Side note, I use this term as this is what my husband and his family describe themselves as. Others may dislike this term and we should take individual wishes into consideration.) described in this book, I always hold my breath when someone is introduced. Since going to college and marring my husband, I’ve learned more about tribal culture and the backstories of forced relocations and “re-education.” So I’m always a bit annoyed with how some books “fetishize” the Native experience. But Shapiro didn’t do that. The ones seen in the book were written as actual people with real struggles. The added conversations surrounding the differing religions and social hierarchies was also true to form, and I really appreciate the added depth.

    Overall, I thought this book was amazing. Between the narrative talent of Wendy Wolfson, the sweeping storyline, and the twist near the end that left me reeling, this installment was another hit.

    Royally Abandoned

    It’s finally time for us to reveal the cover for our first joint romance novel, Royally Abandoned. Now available for preorder, this sweet, holiday romance will go live on October 1st, just in time for Christmas.

    A seat on the throne or a place in her heart?

    Greyson Montgomery dreams of a simple life, but as the crown prince of Aldora, simple is not in his future. Before ascending the throne on Christmas Eve, Greyson is given one month to explore how the other half lives. Armed with a few hundred dollars and a fake backstory, Greyson flies to Savannah, Georgia, to see if he has what it takes to chase the American Dream.

    Scarlett Calhoun is a Southern Belle with a heart as big as a Georgia peach. When she meets the charming construction worker, Greyson, it isn’t long before she is embracing the holiday cheer. Soon, she’s teaching him how to cook, falling for his exotic accent and soulful eyes, and joining him on picnic lunches where they talk for hours.

    With Christmas Eve nearing, Greyson must fly back to Aldora and either abdicate the throne, or take his rightful place as king. Will he ignore his birthright to remain with Scarlett or will she be royally abandoned?

    • Amazon Kindle: click HERE

    Join the fun on Facebook by clicking HERE!


    Remember, a book is better when you have someone to share it with.

    Burnout

    Once again, a big thank you to Kelsey for allowing the Calhouns to take over her blog 😊.

    Kees with Roger Penske, owner of Penske Racing

    Hello readers,

    I hope you’re enjoying the Calhoun Custom Garage series so far. I’d love to hear your feedback, so please do leave a review on Amazon, Kobo or Goodreads if you’ve read Overdrive and Fast Lane. All reviews are welcome.

    Today I’m going to tell you about Mason Calhoun, the hero of book 3, Burnout. He’s a complex character. Moody, deeply troubled, and a whole lot guilty as he comes to terms with the accident that killed his little brother. He’s spent the last six years in self-imposed exile, trying to find his way back to hisfamily. But he is struggling to forgive himself for what happened that day, even though he has come a long way since we met him in book 1, Overdrive.

    Cue the arrival of Paige Drew in town. She’s the girl he’s always loved, also carrying some of the guilt over Mitch Calhoun’s accident. But Paige has even bigger problems as her arrival in town sets off a sequence of events that uncovers a scandal within her own family ranks. These two souls work very hard to reach their happy-ever-after with many speed bumps along the way.

    I would recommend that the books are read in order of release as you will meet Mason throughout the series in the lead up to his story in book 3. Burnout is due for release a little later in 2019. Happy reading!

    Excerpt:

    Pain, guilt and punishment had etched hard lines into his face. The eyes that looked at her—through her—were equally as hard. Hazel eyes, a shade of greenish brown, like the volcanic rock pebbles that edged the shore around the lake. Beautiful eyes a girl could lose herself in that changed color with his mood.

    A neatly trimmed beard edged his jaw. It suited him, added to that broody look he owned so well. Aged him a little in the nicest way. Made her want to reach out and hold his face in her hands when she couldn’t.

    The last time she’d seen him, he’d been clean-shaven. The Mason she’d left behind had been little more than a young adult, testing the boundaries of life, dealing with the consequences. The broken man behind the wheel of his father’s truck still wore the scars.

    His lips tilted. In a smile or a sneer, the movement had been too fleeting for her to decide. Her feet took an involuntary step forward, her heart lodged in her throat. And in that small window in time, his gaze locked on hers, his eyes softened, and her world rocked like a leaky boat.

    With love comes a little overhauling …

    Ex NASCAR race king, Marty Calhoun, has built a legacy for his family, and now it’s time to round them up and bring them home to claim it. Each of his five children have hearts in need of overhauling. They all have hard lessons to learn. The one thing Marty wants most is to see his children find happiness and love at Calhoun Customs Garage.

    BURNOUT

    When Paige Drew loses her job at the track, she takes it as a sign to come home to Bigfork and make peace with the past before she takes the next step in her life. She’s been on Trinity Calhoun’s pit crew ever since that fatal night that changed her life forever. She’s hidden behind the scenes at the racetrack for too long, ignored by her family for causing a scandal in their otherwise perfect lives. But coming home means she has to confront Mason Calhoun, the reason she ran in the first place.

    Mason Calhoun is still trying to shrug off the label of bad boy, even though he’s proved his worth to the town. But his penchant for fast cars and Harleys makes it difficult for the town to forget the accident that killed his youngest brother, Mitch. It’s hard for him to forget when the girl responsible for him losing his head is back in town, hotter than ever, swinging spanners at his father’s garage, Calhoun Customs.

    Release Date: TBA 2019

    Finding love and hope in small towns with dark secrets …

    Juanita escapes the real world by reading and writing romance novels with elements of suspense, Fantasy Paranormal and small-town stories. Her romance novels star spirited heroines who give the hero a run for his money before giving in. She creates emotionally engaging worlds steeped in romance, suspense, mystery and intrigue, set in dusty, rural outback Australia and on the NASCAR racetracks of America. When she’s not writing, Juanita is mother to three grown boys and has a passion for fast cars and country living.

    Juanita loves to hear from fans and would love for you to share her writing journey:

    On the Web

    http://www.juanitakees.com

    Twitter:

    https://twitter.com/juanitakees

    Facebook:

    https://www.facebook.com/juanitakeesauthor

    BookBub:

    https://www.bookbub.com/authors/juanita-kees

     

    Kiss of the Red Scorpion

    It’s no secret I’ve been a fan of Suzan Tisdale’s for years. In fact, her book Laiden’s Daughter inspired my love of Scottish historical romance! So when I got the chance to read her contribution to the whirlwind Kiss of the Red Scorpion, entitled In the Echo of a Kiss, I jumped at the chance.

      Genre: Historical Fantasy
    • Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

    Rory loved Lasair since they were children in the MacCaerill clan. They grew up together, inseparable until the day they met with the clan’s seer, Magdara, and were allowed to marry. Before long, they even took in a pair of orphan boys named Quinn and Tornan. But one day, the young boys went in search of the legendary treasure of Dagda.

    Dagda’s sword and the scorpion necklace was supposed to be their little secret. But Quinn is haunted by the unknown and the specter of a golden-eyed woman whispers in his ear. There’s black magic afoot and the golden-eyed woman is loving every second of it. But as she digs her claws deeper into the boy, more than just his life will be at stake.

    I had no idea what to expect with this book, but with the names Suzan Tisdale, Genevieve Jack, Kathryn Lynn Davis, T.M. Cromer, KC Bateman, and Sara Whitney on the cover, I knew I was in for a treat. While I only got to sample Tisdale‘s work, the way she set up the tale to include ancient treasures and an Egyptian goddess gave me a taste of the larger fantasy world within.

    To be honest, I wish her part in the book was longer. I want to know more about Rory and Lasair, the history of the clan, the wisdom of the seers in Magdara’s family, and more about Dagda. But we all can’t get what we want and I know that’s the mark of a good short story.

    Overall, I really liked this tale and encourage fans of light fantasy and sweeping time novels to pick up a copy. It’s only $0.99 right now, so click HERE!