#5OnMyTBR: L-O-V-E!

Hello Mondays, welcome back to #5OnMyTBR, a meme created by the wonderful E @ The Local Bee Hunter’s Nook. This bookish meme gets us to dig even further into our TBRs by simply posting about five books on our TBR! You can learn more about it here. You can find the full list of prompts (past and future) at the end of this post!

This week’s prompt is: Love.

Read More »

Mini-Reviews: Oh, Those Highland Lords!

So… Who loves a fast-paced, chemistry-laden and steamy romance featuring headstrong and outspoken ladies and burly Scottish Highland lords? Apparently, I do! 🙋🏻‍♀️ You might’ve notice that I’ve recently got into historical romances and so I thought I’d share more mini-reviews for two of the books I read in the Lords of the Highlands series by Amy Jarecki. I read these completely out of order although they can definitely be read as standalones, but these two do have closely connecting characters (they’re siblings)! I actually read #8 before #5 but I decided to share the reviews in reading order.

The Highland Renegade (Lords of the Highlands #5)
Genre: Historical Romance
Panda Rating:

She is the daughter of his sworn enemy.
Famed for his fierceness, Laird Robert Grant is above all a loyal Highland clan chief. But when redcoats capture his rival’s daughter, he sets aside their feud and races to her rescue. Aye, Janet Cameron is beautiful, cunning, and so very tempting, but a Cameron lass is the last woman he should ever desire.

He is her one hope of happiness.
Janet refuses to meekly surrender, not even when surrounded by foes. She takes every chance to escape, first from the English soldiers and then from the wickedly handsome Robert. Yet with each day they spend together, his unexpected gallantry chips away at her reserve little by little. As danger and treachery loom, can she trust him enough to choose love over vengeance?

This is my second taste of historical romance set in the Scottish highlands and I’ve really enjoyed how Jarecki brings that era to life. While the romance is obviously the main plot, we still learn a great deal about society, as well as the increasingly tense political situation between Scotland and England.

Robert and Janet were great characters! Robert is definitely of the ‘gruffer’ and domineering sort and while Janet comes across as very prim most times, she also has a delightful rebellious streak that makes her so much fun to read about! There’s a long history of feuding between their clans, so it was very much a forbidden-lovers romance, which upped the stakes and added a touch of angst to the story. They initially deny their chemistry but once they give into it… Oof, lemme tell ya! That was some sizzling chemistry and it ended up being even steamier than I expected!! I loved how well they complemented each other, brought out the best in each other, but also allowed the other to flourish in their own way without setting expectations on each other.

TL;DR: I’m definitely looking forward to trying the other books in this series because I’m really enjoying them so far! There’s lot of fast-paced action, steamy connections, characters you really come to care about and romances that will leave you swooning!

The Highland Laird (Lords of the Highlands #8)
Genre: Historical Romance
Panda Rating:

Emma Grant has been sheltered and underestimated her entire life. Her blindness may set her apart, but she’s just as fierce and loyal as any of her clansmen. So when she catches word that her brother’s best friend is in jail, she doesn’t hesitate to race to the brawny Highlander’s rescue.

Laird Ciar MacDougall is on a vital mission for Scotland when he witnesses a murder—and then is blamed for the death and thrown into a Redcoat prison to rot. He never thought he’d be broken out by a slip of a lass and her faithful hound. But now they’re outlaws on the run. And as their enemies circle ever closer, he will have to choose between saving his country or the woman who’s captured his heart

I’m a big romance fan but I don’t read many historical ones, and this was also my first taste of a historical Scottish romance. You can definitely say I’m sold and I’ve already got another one of these books lined up to read soon! It was full of action and adventure, not to mention the chemistry between our hero and heroine was pretty damn fire 🔥 It got pretty steamy too and I’d put this at close to 4/5 on the steamy scale.

I really liked Ciar and Emma! They were wonderfully written characters who complemented each other so well! Ciar was known as a ‘beast’ thanks to his stature and gruff looks but you wouldn’t know that considering how gentle he is with Emma. I swooned at how supportive he was of her and how he was still able to look out for her, without smothering her need for independence and adventure. He really understood her and unlike others who defined her by her lack of sight, he didn’t do that. I absolutely adored Emma’s character. She’s young and there’s a natural naïveté about her but it doesn’t come across as annoying. I love her passion for life and how she really doesn’t let her disability keep her from experiencing it in her own unique way, despite being raised under her overprotective brother’s charge. In all the years they’ve known each other, Cair always treated her kindly and didn’t make her feel like she wasn’t capable of doing anything she wished, which is really all she wanted. So it was especially heartwarming to see them come together and get a HEA! They really brought out the best in each other and their characters fit together so perfectly.

TL;DR: There was plenty of fast-paced action, sweet flirtations, and a surprisingly steamy romance, all set against an interesting historical backdrop. Cair and Emma were wonderful characters who stole my heart and who absolutely deserved their HEA.

Is there something about men in kilts… or is it just me? 🙈
Do you like Scottish Highland romances? Have you read this series? If you’re a fan of highland romances, I’d love to hear your recs! 😉

Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp [26]

We’re back with another Sundays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve been you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

This Sunday I spent the day in bed with Faker by Sarah Smith. When I heard about this romance earlier in the year, I was super excited to get my hands on it because it’s an enemies-to-lovers romance, plus I’m always keen to see more diverse characters in this genre (the female MC is half Filipina). Have you heard of this one before?

Emmie Echavarre is a professional faker. She has to be to survive as one of the few female employees at Nuts & Bolts, a power tool company staffed predominantly by gruff, burly men.
From nine to five, Monday through Friday, she’s tough as nails–the complete opposite of her easy-going real self. One thing she doesn’t have to fake? Her disdain for coworker Tate Rasmussen. Tate has been hostile to her since the day they met. Emmie’s friendly greetings and repeated attempts to get to know him failed to garner anything more than scowls and terse one-word answers. Too bad she can’t stop staring at his Thor-like biceps… When Emmie and Tate are forced to work together on a charity construction project, things get…heated.
Emmie’s beginning to see that beneath Tate’s chiseled exterior lies a soft heart, but it will take more than a few kind words to erase the past and convince her that what they have is real.

What are you currently reading?

I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S SUNDAY. HOW?! I’ve literally spent this weekend tucked up in bed because I’ve been whacked by the red wave out of the blue and I’ve been suffering from more pain than usual. I’ve been feeling so nauseated and dehydrated since Saturday despite drinking almost 2L of water a day, and this tropical heat isn’t helping at all! 🙁Why must we suffer so?! ANYWAY. That’s probably TMI so we’re moving on from this uneventful weekend news 😅

In other news, my bestie who I haven’t seen in four years is arriving tonight and will be staying with me in my shoebox flat for a week! Our friendship is the kind where we can pick up where we left off and I’m so glad that she’ll be visiting me because not only am I really looking forward to the time off I’ll be taking, but I think we both could really use some BFF time. This will mean that I’ll be pretty MIA on the blogosphere for a week or so, but I’m going to try to post as much as possible (and maybe even schedule some posts in advance?)!

Reading & Blogging Recap

I’ve been basically reading non-stop since Friday and managed to finish two books this weekend. If it isn’t obvious from my weekly check-ins and reviews, I’ve been on a little bit of a contemporary romance kick lately! There are books I feel like I “should” be reading right now but all my heart really seems to want is some romance 🤣Mariana Zapata style romance in particular–oh, those epic slow burns are just so damn good! Safe to say that I have been bingeing her books this week and despite them usually being over 650 pages on average, I always finish them in one night because I just CAN’T STOP READING! Aren’t those kinds of books the best? 😊

It’s been a week friends but WordPress is telling me that I’m on a 55-day posting streak so, woo me! But seeing as next week is gonna be hectic I’ll probably end up breaking this streak 😕 Hopefully not but we’ll see. I noticed that I’ve really not been posting reviews lately–I’ve been reading so much but just haven’t felt motivated to write reviews? EEK. I have quite a few to catch up on but I will get back to it. Also, I just wanted to apologize that I’ve been so MIA with engaging with all your wonderful posts. I’ve been feeling a cave-ish lately and have been trying to push out of that mindset, but it’s been a struggle, friends… Thank you all for not deserting me and continuing to engage with me on my blog though! Mad appreciation and love to you all 💜For now, here’s a wrap up of all the posts I did this week, in case you missed them:

Top 5 Saturday: Books that Cast A Spell On Me!
#Blogtober: Witchy YA
Friday Favorites: Childhood Favorites (Pt. II)
First Lines Friday: 11 October
Review: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
The Netgalley Book Tag!
#Blogtober: Reading Challenge Update
eARC Review: My Life as Marlee by Victoria Anders
WWWWednesday: 09 October
#TopTenTuesday: Falling in Love with Book Characters!
eARC Graphic Novel Review: Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker, Wendy Xu
Down the TBR Hole – 03
Goodreads Monday: 07 October

I’m leaving you with one of the tracks that has been on constant repeat for me this week. YEBBA’s voice is MAGIC. Not only does her sultry tone suck you in but her range and power is incredible! And honestly I’m just a sucker for Mark Ronson 💚

How has your week been? Hope everyone has/had a great weekend!
Let me know how you’re doing in the comments and let’s chat, friends 🙂