ARC REVIEW – Her Wicked Scot (The Highland Warrior Chronicles Book 4), Christina Phillips

#HistoricalRomance #EnemiestoLovers #HighlandRomance #MarriageofConvenience


A warrior rumored to have no heart. An ice princess, who has vowed never to love again. A forced marriage that could break them both…

Sent into Pictland to discover the identity of a desperate assassin, Ewan MacKinnon fights his fascination with the aloof princess, Briana. Although he wants nothing more than to take her into his arms, he won’t taint her with the curse that has blighted him all his life.

After her first disastrous marriage, Briana is determined to dedicate her life in service to Pictland and her beloved goddess. But her goddess is elusive, sending only visions of a splintered future–a future that is tied irrevocably to the one man she fears could shatter her heart forever. The enemy of her people, Scots warrior Ewan MacKinnon.

Coerced into a marriage of convenience, Briana and Ewan battle both duty and desire as political intrigue tightens its noose around them. But with the assassin edging ever closer they must forsake the shackles of their past and risk their fragile love for a chance of surviving an ultimate betrayal.

My Review

Delicious Enemies to Lovers Historical Romance with a hint of magic! 5 stars

Christina Phillips weaves a delicious enemies-to-lovers romance full of passion, political powerplay and danger in Her Wicked Scot, number 4 in her Highland Warrior Chronicles.

Highland warrior Ewan MacKinnon and Pictish princess Brianna are unexpectedly thrown together by the political machinations of their time. Scarred by past events in their lives they both have their own internal battles to overcome before they have any chance of their union leading to a HEA. I loved how their relationship unfolds and also how the author portrays the danger swirling around them, a danger that Brianna, touched by the goddess, perceives in visions, visions which she struggles to comprehend but which tie her to Ewan, the enemy of her people. The path to their future is not an easy one.

I enjoyed the undeniable attraction the couple have for each other, illustrated in their words and actions, not to mention the passionate scenes they enjoy together. I particularly loved how protective Ewan is of Brianna and how she, although mistrustful, slowly places her faith in him. The way the author portrays their growing feelings for each other is both realistic and moving. Yet trust is fragile as events and the actions of others test them at critical moments in the story.

Just who is the real Ewan MacKinnon? Can Brianna trust him or will he betray her and her heart? As for Ewan, can he protect Brianna from danger, even if he feels the greatest danger is himself? Just what is the meaning of the goddess’ visions?

I was glued to my Kindle throughout as the story unfolded, enjoying reading about how Brianna and Ewan grew both as individuals and as a couple, against the wider political issues at play. The book can certainly be read as a standalone, as each book in the series feature a different couple, but I feel the reader will gain more from reading the series in order. I am very much looking forward to future books in the series.

Please note, a copy of the book was given to me by the author and I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Author Links




~*BLOG BLITZ*~ The Tycoon’s Reluctant Bride, by Jenn Roseton*~

We are just SO HAPPY to be one of the hosts for the super Blog Blitz for Jenn Roseton’s awesome new read The Tycoon’s Reluctant Bride! The hero in this novella is not only a city tycoon, but a part-time cowboy – excuse me while I swoon! Scroll on down to find out more, including a peek at the cover and the book blurb, purchase links, a sexy excerpt and author bio and links. Tina 🙂

reluctant bride updated  


Title – The Tycoon’s Reluctant Bride

Series – BBW Romance – Billionaire Brothers 2

Author – Jenn Roseton

Genre – Sexy contemporary romance

Publication Date – May 1, 2014

Length (Pages/# Words) – Approx 25,000 words

Publisher – Jenn Roseton

Final Cover TycoonsReluctantBride  


When city tycoon and part-time cowboy Alex Trask proposes to curvy Laura, she thinks he’s crazy. After all, they’ve only met once and haven’t even kissed! But when he offers to help her company solve its cash flow problems and stave off bankruptcy, what other choice does she have?

Since he’ll only assist her if she agrees to marry him, Laura becomes a whirlwind bride. Since one of Alex’s conditions is they have a real marriage, she risks her heart by falling in love with the enigmatic billionaire.

But will she ever discover the real reason Alex proposed? Could he ever fall in love with a curvy girl like her?




“The bed’s comfortable.” A sexy grin rumpled the corners of his mouth. “I come here whenever I can get away from the city.”

Alone? Laura wanted to ask, but didn’t, in case she didn’t like the answer. A sudden thought occurred to her. What if … what if their definitions of marriage differed?

“Alex.” She licked suddenly dry lips, barely aware that he’d caught the small movement and turned all his attention on her. “When … when you said a real marriage …” she paused. This was so awkward. Why on earth hadn’t she thought of this before she’d married him?

“I meant a real marriage.” He pulled her towards him, until there was barely an inch of space separating their bodies.

Finding it hard to think, let alone breathe, Laura tried again. “Yes, but what about … other people?”

He scowled. “There won’t be any one else in our marriage, Laura,” he said firmly. “Just you and me.”

Relief flooded through her. “Okay,” she whispered, allowing herself to relax in his embrace.

The next instant, he tightened his arms around her. “I hope we’re clear on this point,” he growled.

“Very,” she managed to utter, before he kissed her.

His lips claimed hers, his tongue demanding immediate entry. Surrendering with a small sigh, Laura curled her arms around his neck as he deepened the kiss.

Tycoon - Author Photo



Jenn Roseton believes that romance and happy endings go together. When she’s not writing, she indulges in delicious gourmet chocolate.

Although she’s spent time in Wyoming, unfortunately she didn’t meet a sexy cowboy of her own.




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101 Nights Series (#1 To Have and To Hold and #2 Reluctant Rapture), by Kellyann Zuzulo

101nights_tiny[1]Sassy and Sexy Marriage of Convenience!

To Have and To Hold 75 pages and Reluctant Rapture 102 pages

If you haven’t yet entered the world of Kellyann Zuzulo’s sexy and suspenseful tales of genies and the humans that fall in love with them, then you are in for a treat! The author’s The Zubis Chronicles, are a fantastic mix of paranormal romance and romantic suspense, (scroll down for links to our reviews). In the 101 Nights series, the tables are turned and the heroine is a genie and the hero a human, in a sassy and sexy marriage of convenience set in the New Jersey suburbs, with echoes of ‘Desperate Housewives.’ The first two instalments, To Have and To Hold  and Reluctant Rapture are full of sensuality and suspense, with the future of the human world and Jinnistan, home of the genies, at stake not to mention the hearts of hero and heroine.

In To Have and To Hold, hot-tempered ambassador Amani Zarin agrees to leave Jinnistan and marry the human scientist, Dr Jason Masters, in a last ditch attempt to save her beloved homeland. Energy is disappearing from Jinnistan, energy which enables the genies to thrive and survive. Without it they are doomed and many, including Amani’s own parents have already died. Dr Masters, who works for a large corporation called Covalink, headed by Warren Westcott, believes he has found a way of isolating and harvesting the energy released by genies, energy which can be captured and used to sustain their world. The more the couple touch and the more intimate they become, the more potent the energy…..

Of course all is not simple. Amani resents her marriage of convenience, in which her body is being used in this way and feels like a lab rat confined in their New Jersey home. Moreover, she harbours only revulsion and distrust of Covalink’s owner, Westcott, and suspects his motives, fearing that the energy harvested will be used for more sinister means. If her fears prove true, she has the power to call upon genies opposing this alliance with the humans, led by her an ex lover and rebel, Sumer, to call a halt to the proceedings and invade and lay waste to the human realm. Amani also has conniving board members, hostile ex-lovers and nosy suburban neighbors to contend with and an instant and intense reaction to Dr Masters she did not expect, which unsettles her especially as she thinks that he views her merely as a science experiment. Just what is a desperate genie to do when her heart and the future of her race are on the line?

After reading Kellyann Zuzulo’s The Zubis Chronicles, I wondered how this series was going to compare. The tale is very different, but I was drawn into it from the first few pages. I enjoyed learning more about Jinnistan and Amani is a fascinating character, a warrior, who sits on the Tribal Council of Jinnistan and who cares deeply for her people. She has lived for many millenia and experienced so much, some of her experiences leaving her vulnerable, although above all she is a strong individual. Jason is not the geeky scientist she imagined having to get intimate with – instead he is a real hottie and Amani knows that she must guard her heart against the attraction she feels for him, as he seems to view her merely as an object to be studied.

Jason is equally surprised at the pull Amani exerts over him and knows that it is best for the project if he keeps an emotional101nights_no2_reluctant-rapture[1] distance as he cannot risk falling in love. There are many misunderstandings between them. Jason is committed to his work and Amani is left in the house for many hours each day and due to her dislike of being cooped up and her natural curiosity decides to get out and about, which creates some interesting situations. At times I wanted to give them both a good shake, but especially Jason as I felt he was not as sensitive to Amani’s emotional needs as he perhaps should have been. However, like Amani, he certainly did not expect to find his heart involved in a science experiment!

There is plenty of sexual tension between the couple and many yummy sensual scenes, as Amani and Jason navigate their marriage of convenience. Although the series is above all a love story, with elements of suspense, I also adored the many humorous moments, as Amani struggles to come to terms with the human world and at one point in Reluctant Rapture I found myself laughing out loud at one scene! The villain of the piece, Westcott, is suitably slimy and I suspect that his true motives will be revealed as the series progresses.

I am very much looking forward to the remaining instalments of the 101 Nights Series series the next one being entitled The Ties That Bind, as well as the author’s future forays into the world of genies. I recommend this series to readers who like their romance to dabble in the paranormal and magical realm, with a fair bit of suspense.

A copy of Reluctant Rapture was provided by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Digital edition created by Maureen Cutajar

Kellyann Zuzulo’s post on ARR Blog entitled The Truth About Genies.

Our review of The Genie Ignites, #1 of The Zubis Chronicles

Our review of The Genie Smolders, #2 of The Zubis Chronicles

Kellyann Zuzulo’s blog

Boroughs Publishing Group   Amazon UK   Amazon US

A Handful of Blossoms, by Lara Biyuts

14759447[1]An Unorthodox Marriage – Historical Literary Fiction 

Contains paranormal elements

A Handful of Blossoms is a beautifully written, original and engaging work. The novel is not a standard romance book, although it contains significant reflection on the nature of love. It is also one of the most character driven and literary books that I have read in a long time.

It is written in the form of a diary, kept by Constance, a young European princess who in 1764, a year after the Seven Year’s War, has just joined in a dynastic marriage with a European Prince, Constantine, who is much older than her. He is a man who she finds worldly, intellectual and somewhat alluring, but a man who soon makes it clear that he has no interest in requiring her to fulfil her wifely duties as he prefers the favours of men.

Constance soon finds that she is banished from the main dwelling, a gothic like castle, to a small adjacent mansion, in which she is kept company by her maid and a cook. Her life revolves around trying to come to terms with her strange marriage, immersing herself in nature and the rich local folklore and attending the occasional audience with Constantine where the development of their unorthodox relationship drives the plot forward. Constantine maintains an all male household where he is free to indulge his sexuality, although there are no explicit homosexual love making scenes, much being left to the reader’s imagination. The novel does contain reference to one non consensual scene of a sexual nature, but this does not in itself directly involve Constance or Constantine in the act.

There are many references to tales of European folklore, recounted by various characters, and these are recorded by Constance in her diary alongside accounts of daily events and her emotional reaction to them. She also records her relationship with members of Constantine’s household, notably his steward. In addition, there is a mysterious man from Constantine’s past, who has a major part to play in the development of the plot which contains a number of paranormal and gothic inspired scenes, which are recounted in vivid detail.  The ending is pendent.

I found myself having much sympathy with the heroine, who finds herself in the position of being both attracted to and repelled by her husband. She is attracted to his persona and intellect, yet is disgusted by some of the actions that others attribute to him and is oftentimes upset by his attitude to her on account of her being a woman. She is a strong character despite her youth. Constantine is a fascinating character, not least due to his esoteric and intellectual interests, and I felt some degree of sympathy with him in that he felt compelled to enter into the dynastic marriage, despite his sexual preferences. However, I was not always convinced that he had his wife’s best interests at heart.

The language used in the novel is lush and intricate and reminded me of a rich tapestry which the viewer needs to take time to savour to appreciate fully. The descriptions of the natural environment are truly beautiful. I found the novel whimsical, literary and full of allegorical tales and narrations, at times it is almost didactic in style as the heroine learns the lessons life presents her with. Here is a quote which is indicative of the tone and content of the novel:

Misty morning outside the window. The shades of rosy and blue are wet with dew. The air is filled with silent stillness. Senses awake……….. I muse about the indifference of beautiful things and their perfection.”

I was completely drawn into the world described in the tale and recommend it to readers who like to explore the nature of love in all its forms, intellectual and esoteric pursuits and society’s expectations. The novel will also appeal to those who enjoy reading about paranormal events and European pagan folklore. The author’s latest novel, Silver Thread Spinner, also contains a paranormal character who appears in this novel.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of the novel was provided by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Self-published at
Lara Biyuts – Author Bio

_av_edited2-2Translator and writer, living in Russia, I write in English. A self-published author of 8 books of fiction, 2 books of essays and 2 books of poetry.

“Every kingdom has three pillars: Poet, Sword and Law.” (Lara Biyuts)

The Vampire Viscount, by Karen Harbaugh

17183031[1]-001Vampire seeks willing Virgin

I came across this romance the other day, attracted by its title and the cover but especially the book blurb. I love to read both paranormal and Regency romances and I really like historical novels with an arranged marriage theme. The story centres on the Viscount St. Vire, a vampire who tries to invoke a magic spell to restore his humanity and prevent his slow but sure descent into madness due to his vampire state.

In The Vampire Viscount, reclusive Nicholas, St. Vire, has found that he needs to marry a virgin, who will come willingly to him and after a year he will be human again. Fate plays into his hands when he fleeces a drunk and impoverished Mr Edward Farleigh at cards and for payment accepts the hand of his virginal daughter, Leonore in lieu of this and other debts. Leonore at first resents being ‘sold’ in such a way, preferring to continue with her life as a governess. However, she acquiesces to the match in the hope that she can secure a better future for her mother and sister. She also believes that Nicholas is seriously ill and does not have long for this world, his wan complexion and need to avoid the sunlight bearing testimony to some sort of wasting disease and she feels pity for him. Leonore and Nicholas have a whirlwind courtship, where he seduces her with his wit and charm.

Once they are married Leonore willingly gives herself to him and falls hard for him as he is all that is attentive and kind and they appear to share a mutual attraction. She suspects nothing of his true nature, which is kept well hidden and Nicholas eagerly awaits a time when he may be human again. All is well until Leonore suspects that Nicholas has secrets that he is not willing to share with her and she begins to lose trust in him. This trust is severely put to the test when a mysterious woman, the widow Lady Lazio, appears. The unfolding tale contains elements of jealousy, deception and murder.

The storyline flowed smoothly and I enjoyed the central romance and the supporting characters. I liked both the hero and the heroine and enjoyed their witty repartee. There are some sweet lovemaking scenes, and St. Vire is a very cheeky viscount indeed as he pushes the boundaries of what is acceptable in Regency society during their courtship! Leonore does not trust easily due to her experiences with her drunk and abusive father. However, she is no shrinking violet and speaks her mind. Nicholas, although jaded by his vampire state, appears thoughtful and charming and has a great sense of humour. Although he is clearly using Leonore for his own ends, he does develop strong feelings for her. My only concern was that perhaps more could have been made of the dark side of his nature. However, this is perhaps not surprising as Nicholas is a vampire who values his humanity and tries to control his vampire urges. Also this book was first published in 1995 and as the author explains in a preamble to the book, the melding together of vampires in a regency romance was unheard of then! Overall I thought  this novel was a really enjoyable read and I liked the fact that it helped pioneer the paranormal sub genres that I love.

Although there is much romance in this book, there is less emphasis on the world of vampires. If you are looking for a Regency romance with strong paranormal elements, this probably is not the book for you. However, if you’d like to read a Regency romance with an innovative paranormal twist then this fits the bill perfectly.

Author Karen Harbaugh’s website