Highland Sword (Royal Highlander: Book 3) by May McGoldrick

Highland Sword: A Royal Highlander Novel by [McGoldrick, May]

3 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date of publication: March 31st, 2020

Genre: Romance

Series: Royal Highlander

Highland Crown—Book 1 (Review Here)

Highland Jewel—Book 2 (Review Here)

Highland Sword—Book 3

Where you can find Highland Sword: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

A VOW FOR VENGEANCE
Fleeing to the Highlands after her father’s murder, fiery Morrigan Drummond has a score to settle with Sir Rupert Burney, the English spymaster responsible for his death. Trained to fight alongside the other rebels determined to break Britain’s hold on Scotland, she swears to avenge her father’s death—until a chance encounter with a barrister as proud and principled as she is presents her with a hard choice…and a bittersweet temptation.

A PLEA FOR PASSION
Aidan Grant has never encountered another woman like dangerous beauty Morrigan—and he has the bruises to prove it. Yet she could be the key to defending two innocent men, as well as striking a death blow to the reprehensible Burney. Convincing Morrigan to help him will take time, but Aidan is willing to wait if it means victory over corrupt government forces and freedom for his people…and Morrigan’s hand in marriage. Can two warriors committed to a cause stand down long enough to open their hearts to a love fierce enough to last…forever?


First Line:

The afternoon sun cast a golden glow over the high walled garden beside the keep.

Highland Sword by May McGoldrick

My Review:

I was excited to read Highland Sword. I was excited because this is Morrigan’s book. I wanted to see who would be brave enough to tame her. I also wanted to know more about her. She was rarely mentioned in Highland Crown. In Highland Jewel, she was mentioned, and she did have a couple of scenes that showed how strong she was. Highland Sword more than delivered on that.

Highland Sword is the 3rd book in the Royal Highlander series. It cannot be read as a stand-alone book. You do need to read Highland Crown and Highland Jewel to understand the different backstories in the book. Also, Cinead’s story is fully explained in the first book. The author does explain it here, but it goes more into depth in Highland Crown.

Highland Sword has two, sometimes 3, POVs’. The book is split between Morrigan and Aidan, with Cinead and sometimes his mother’s POV thrown in. The transition between Morrigan and Aidan’s POV’s was wonderfully written. I had no issue following the book went it went back and forth between them.

I loved Morrigan, but I did wonder why she was so standoffish with people. I liked that she didn’t care about going against what was considered the norm for that era. She was independent, and she was handy with just about any weapons, including her fists. I wondered what made her that way. I got my answer and I was horrified. It was then that I understood why she was the way she was.

I liked Aidan. I wished there was more focus on him being a barrister. Seeing how the law worked back then fascinated me. I wanted to know more!! There were points in the book where I thought he was a pushover, but, in hindsight, he wasn’t. He allowed Morrigan to do what she wanted (well, except the last thing she did), and he made sure she was safe.

I wasn’t a fan of how Aidan and Morrigan met. But I wouldn’t say I liked how it was escalated. A knockdown fight between a man and a woman? Nope, not my cup of tea. The romance angle of the book was super slow in getting started. And even after that, I was left halfway wondering if they would break out into a fight again.

I was disappointed to read that Highland Sword was going to be the last book in the Royal Highlander series. There were a few people who I wanted to see get their happy ever afters. But, in the author’s note, there was a hint about more books in that world. I will be anxiously awaiting those.

The end of Highland Sword was sweet. I liked that Aidan and Morrigan got their happily ever after. The epilogue also saddened me.


I would give Highland Sword an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Highland Sword. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Weekly Wrap Up: February 16th through February 22nd 2020

Books I’ve Read:

Shorefall

In Her Shadow

Truths I Never Told You

The New Husband

A Bad Day for Sunshine


Books with Pending Reviews:

A Bad Day for Sunshine—Review coming April 7th, 2020

Odriel’s Heirs—Review coming March 1st, 2020

Highland Sword—Review coming March 31st, 2020

The Last Human—Review coming March 24th, 2020


Books with Published Reviews:

Lily for My Enemy—Review Here

The Borgia Confessions—Review Here


Author/Publisher Requests:

Big Summer—Atria Books request

Tales from Ara: Valentine’s Special—Author Request

Tales from Ara: Lost Dimensions—Author Request

Hello, Summer—St. Martin’s Press request


NetGalley Requests:

Gone with the Rogue


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz/Cover Reveal:

The Borgia Confessions—Blog Tour


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Weekly Wrap Up: February 9th through February 15th 2020

Books I’ve Read:

Odriel’s Heirs

Highland Sword

The Last Human


Books with Pending Reviews:

You Are Not Alone—Review coming March 3rd

The Borgia Confessions—Review coming February 20th

Lily for My Enemy—Review coming February 21st

A Highlander in a Pickup—Review coming February 25th

Wild, Wild Rake—Review coming February 26th

All the Best Lies—Review coming February 11th


Books with Published Reviews:

All the Best Lies—Review Here

Been There, Married That—Review Here

Foul is Fair—Review Here


Author/Publisher Requests:

Don’t Look for Me


NetGalley Requests:

Devolution—wish granted from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Ray


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz/Cover Reveal:

Foul is Fair—Blog Tour

The Mocking Man—Book Blitz


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday: February 12th, 2020

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Bookish Update:

Another week and again, I didn’t get through last weeks What I Think I Will Read Next list. I read one book out of the six I posted. Oh well. I am hoping I can catch up this week. But, with the way my week has been going, I doubt it.

I broke my NetGalley ban. Saint Martin’s Press had a 48 hour thing going on where several of their books were Read Now. Well, all of those books were parts of series I was reading, soooo I got them. Yeah, I know, bad but I did shut myself off right after.

I haven’t made any progress on editing my past posts. I got busy the last half of last week and the beginning of this week and pushed those back. I’m hoping, since my youngest is home sick today, that I can start to work on them again.


What I am currently reading:

The Last Human

The last human in the universe is on the run from a godlike intelligence in this rip-roaring debut space opera.

Sarya is the civilized galaxy’s worst nightmare: a Human.

Most days, Sarya doesn’t feel like the most terrifying creature in the galaxy.

Most days, she’s got other things on her mind. Like hiding her identity among the hundreds of alien species roaming the corridors of Watertower Station. Or making sure her adoptive mother doesn’t casually eviscerate one of their neighbors. Again.

And most days, she can almost accept that she’ll never know the truth–that she’ll never know why humanity was deemed too dangerous to exist. Or whether she really is–impossibly–the lone survivor of a species destroyed a millennium ago.

That is, until an encounter with a bounty hunter and a miles-long kinetic projectile leaves her life and her perspective shattered.

Thrown into the universe at the helm of a stolen ship–with the dubious assistance of a rebellious spacesuit, an android death enthusiast on his sixtieth lifetime, and a ball of fluff with an IQ in the thousands–Sarya begins to uncover an impossible truth.

What if humanity’s death and her own existence are simply two moves in a demented cosmic game, one played out by vast alien intellects? Stranger still, what if these mad gods are offering Sarya a seat at their table–and a second chance for humanity?

The Last Human is a sneakily brilliant, gleefully oddball space-opera debut–a masterful play on perspective, intelligence, and free will, wrapped in a rollicking journey through a strange and crowded galaxy.


I recently finished reading:

You Are Not Alone

You probably know someone like Shay Miller.
She wants to find love, but it eludes her.
She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end.
She wants to belong, but her life is so isolated.

You probably don’t know anyone like the Moore sisters.
They have an unbreakable circle of friends.
They live the most glamorous life.
They always get what they desire.

Shay thinks she wants their life.
But what they really want is hers.


What books I think I’ll read next:

Highland Sword (Royal Highlander #3)

A VOW FOR VENGEANCE
Fleeing to the Highlands after her father’s murder, fiery Morrigan Drummond has a score to settle with Sir Rupert Burney, the English spymaster responsible for his death. Trained to fight alongside the other rebels determined to break Britain’s hold on Scotland, she swears to avenge her father’s death—until a chance encounter with a barrister as proud and principled as she is presents her with a hard choice…and a bittersweet temptation.

A PLEA FOR PASSION
Aidan Grant has never encountered another woman like dangerous beauty Morrigan—and he has the bruises to prove it. Yet she could be the key to defending two innocent men, as well as striking a death blow to the reprehensible Burney. Convincing Morrigan to help him will take time, but Aidan is willing to wait if it means victory over corrupt government forces and freedom for his people…and Morrigan’s hand in marriage. Can two warriors committed to a cause stand down long enough to open their hearts to a love fierce enough to last…forever?

Odriel's Heirs (Odriel's Heirs, #1)

The brave, burning with fire, harnessed the Dragon’s Rage….

As the Dragon Heir, seventeen-year-old Kaia inherited the power of flame to protect her homeland from a godlike necromancer’s undead army. But after centuries of peace, the necromancer has faded to myth, and the Dragon Heir is feared by the people. Persecuted and cast out, Kaia struggles to embrace and control her seemingly useless gift while confined to her family’s farm.

But when the necromancer’s undead terrorize the land once again, Kaia runs away to join the battle.

With the help of her childhood rival, the handsome Shadow Heir, and a snarky, cursed cat, Kaia must figure out how to control both her fire and her confidence in time to save Okarria. If she fails, she will sacrifice her family, her new friends, and the enchanting world she has only just begun to see.

And time is running out.

A Bad Day for Sunshine (Sunshine Vicram, #1)

Sheriff Sunshine Vicram finds her cup o’ joe more than half full when the small village of Del Sol, New Mexico, becomes the center of national attention for a kidnapper on the loose.

Del Sol, New Mexico is known for three things: its fry-an-egg-on-the-cement summers, its strong cups of coffee—and a nationwide manhunt? Del Sol native Sunshine Vicram has returned to town as the elected sheriff–an election her adorably meddlesome parents entered her in–and she expects her biggest crime wave to involve an elderly flasher named Doug. But a teenage girl is missing, a kidnapper is on the loose, and all of it’s reminding Sunny why she left Del Sol in the first place. Add to that trouble at her daughter’s new school and a kidnapped prized rooster named Puff Daddy, and Sunshine has her hands full.

Enter sexy almost-old-flame Levi Ravinder and a hunky US Marshall, both elevens on a scale of one to blazing inferno, and the normally savvy sheriff is quickly in over her head. Now it’s up to Sunshine to juggle a few good hunky men, a not-so-nice kidnapping miscreant, and Doug the ever-pesky flasher. And they said coming home would be drama-free.

The New Husband

Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you know them.

Nina Garrity learned that the hard way after discovering that her missing husband, Glen, had been leading a double life with another woman. But Glen’s gone–presumably drowned while fishing on his boat–so she can’t confront him about the affair or any of his other misdeeds. A year and a half after the accident, Nina considers herself a widow, even though the police never found a body. Following a chance encounter with Simon Fitch, a teacher from her daughter Maggie’s middle school, Nina finds love again and has hopes of putting her shattered life back together.

Simon, a widower still grieving the suicide of his first wife, has found his dream girl in Nina. His charm and affections help break through to a heart hardened by betrayal. Nina’s teenage son, Connor, embraces Simon as the father he wishes his dad could have been, but Maggie sees a far darker side to this new man in their lives. Even Nina’s good friends wonder if Simon is supremely devoted–or dangerously possessive.

But Nina is committed, not only to her soon-to-be new husband but also to resuming her former career as a social worker. Before she can move forward, however, Nina must first clear her conscience that she’s not making another terrible choice in a man. In doing so, she will uncover the shocking truth: the greatest danger to her, and her children, are the lies people tell themselves.

WWW Wednesday: February 5th, 2020

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Bookish Update:

I didn’t quite read all the books I wanted to last week. Not for a lack of trying though!! I had a lot of kid related things to do and that meant my Kindle got shoved to the back burner. And by the time it was time for bed, I was beat. Since this week is less crazy, I am hoping that I can catch up on some reading.

I have been keeping to my no reading/blogging on the weekends. Surprisingly, it has been easy to do. I just don’t turn on my computer. I have found that on Monday, I am ready to start blogging. I have also found that my memory of the books are better. I don’t find myself putting anything off. I am loving it.

I am still working on editing my past posts. I have a goal of at least 5 a week and so far, so good. I’m hoping that I am able to get this finished by the summer.

I am also still on my NetGalley ban. Well, somewhat. If I see a book by an author I like, I will request it. And I have been accepting invited emailed to me. But, I am not going crazy with requesting.

I did something different this weekend. I have 3 tbr shelves on Goodreads. I have waiting to be reviewed, tbr, and want to read. I decided to go through my tbr and get rid of any books that were not on Amazon anymore. Then I went through my want to read and downloaded (and in some cases, redownloaded) books that were on there. I added about 50 to my tbr shelf. I also took off about 100 books from there too. I know, confusing…lol. I had to reread that last sentance to make sure I wrote it write…haha.


What I am currently reading:

The Borgia Confessions

During the sweltering Roman summer of 1492, Rodrigo Borgia has risen to power as pope. Rodrigo’s eldest son Cesare, forced to follow his father into the church and newly made the Archbishop of Valencia, chafes at his ecclesiastical role and fumes with jealousy and resentment at the way that his foolish brother has been chosen for the military greatness he desired.

Maddalena Moretti comes from the countryside, where she has seen how the whims of powerful men wreak havoc on the lives of ordinary people. But now, employed as a servant in the Vatican Palace, she cannot help but be entranced by Cesare Borgia’s handsome face and manner and finds her faith and conviction crumbling in her want of him.

As war rages and shifting alliances challenge the pope’s authority, Maddalena and Cesare’s lives grow inexplicably entwined. Maddalena becomes a keeper of dangerous Borgia secrets, and must decide if she is willing to be a pawn in the power games of the man she loves. And as jealousy and betrayal threaten to tear apart the Borgia family from within, Cesare is forced to reckon with his seemingly limitless ambition.

Alyssa Palombo’s captivating new novel, The Borgia Confessions, is a story of passion, politics, and class, set against the rise and fall of one of Italy’s most infamous families–the Borgias


I recently finished reading:

A Highlander in a Pickup (Highland, Georgia, #2)

Iain Connors is the poster boy for the strong and silent type. Growing up a loner at Cairndow Castle in Scotland with only the cliffs and moors for company, it’s understood Iain will assume the mantle of Cairndow groundskeeper when his father is ready to relinquish it. But his stint in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces has opened up a whole new world—and now, rather than settle down, he accepts an invitation to travel to the States to take charge of the Highland Games. After all, he’s led men into battle, how hard can planning a party be?

Anna Maitland is ready to step up for her best friend Isabel Blackmoor, who can’t run the Games in their hometown this year. Surely Anna, a dance instructor with boundless energy, spirit, and charm, is up for the challenge? What she doesn’t anticipate is a man in a kilt who turns up claiming he’s the one in charge. What’s worse about this Iain? He’s so infuriatingly handsome that she can’t help but fantasize about him whispering sweet-nothings in her ear in his rumbly, sexy brogue. . .


What books I think I’ll read next:

You Are Not Alone

You probably know someone like Shay Miller.
She wants to find love, but it eludes her.
She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end.
She wants to belong, but her life is so isolated.

You probably don’t know anyone like the Moore sisters.
They have an unbreakable circle of friends.
They live the most glamorous life.
They always get what they desire.

Shay thinks she wants their life.
But what they really want is hers.

The Last Human

The last human in the universe is on the run from a godlike intelligence in this rip-roaring debut space opera.

Sarya is the civilized galaxy’s worst nightmare: a Human.

Most days, Sarya doesn’t feel like the most terrifying creature in the galaxy.

Most days, she’s got other things on her mind. Like hiding her identity among the hundreds of alien species roaming the corridors of Watertower Station. Or making sure her adoptive mother doesn’t casually eviscerate one of their neighbors. Again.

And most days, she can almost accept that she’ll never know the truth–that she’ll never know why humanity was deemed too dangerous to exist. Or whether she really is–impossibly–the lone survivor of a species destroyed a millennium ago.

That is, until an encounter with a bounty hunter and a miles-long kinetic projectile leaves her life and her perspective shattered.

Thrown into the universe at the helm of a stolen ship–with the dubious assistance of a rebellious spacesuit, an android death enthusiast on his sixtieth lifetime, and a ball of fluff with an IQ in the thousands–Sarya begins to uncover an impossible truth.

What if humanity’s death and her own existence are simply two moves in a demented cosmic game, one played out by vast alien intellects? Stranger still, what if these mad gods are offering Sarya a seat at their table–and a second chance for humanity?

The Last Human is a sneakily brilliant, gleefully oddball space-opera debut–a masterful play on perspective, intelligence, and free will, wrapped in a rollicking journey through a strange and crowded galaxy.

Highland Sword (Royal Highlander #3)

Scottish pride, persuasion, and passion—this is Highland romance at its breathtaking best. From USA Today bestselling author May McGoldrick comes Highland Sword, the third book in the Royal Highlander series.

A VOW FOR VENGEANCE
Fleeing to the Highlands after her father’s murder, fiery Morrigan Drummond has a score to settle with Sir Rupert Burney, the English spymaster responsible for his death. Trained to fight alongside the other rebels determined to break Britain’s hold on Scotland, she swears to avenge her father’s death—until a chance encounter with a barrister as proud and principled as she is presents her with a hard choice…and a bittersweet temptation.

A PLEA FOR PASSION
Aidan Grant has never encountered another woman like dangerous beauty Morrigan—and he has the bruises to prove it. Yet she could be the key to defending two innocent men, as well as striking a death blow to the reprehensible Burney. Convincing Morrigan to help him will take time, but Aidan is willing to wait if it means victory over corrupt government forces and freedom for his people…and Morrigan’s hand in marriage. Can two warriors committed to a cause stand down long enough to open their hearts to a love fierce enough to last…forever?

Odriel's Heirs (Odriel's Heirs, #1)

The brave, burning with fire, harnessed the Dragon’s Rage….

As the Dragon Heir, seventeen-year-old Kaia inherited the power of flame to protect her homeland from a godlike necromancer’s undead army. But after centuries of peace, the necromancer has faded to myth, and the Dragon Heir is feared by the people. Persecuted and cast out, Kaia struggles to embrace and control her seemingly useless gift while confined to her family’s farm.

But when the necromancer’s undead terrorize the land once again, Kaia runs away to join the battle.

With the help of her childhood rival, the handsome Shadow Heir, and a snarky, cursed cat, Kaia must figure out how to control both her fire and her confidence in time to save Okarria. If she fails, she will sacrifice her family, her new friends, and the enchanting world she has only just begun to see.

And time is running out.

A Bad Day for Sunshine (Sunshine Vicram, #1)

Sheriff Sunshine Vicram finds her cup o’ joe more than half full when the small village of Del Sol, New Mexico, becomes the center of national attention for a kidnapper on the loose.

Del Sol, New Mexico is known for three things: its fry-an-egg-on-the-cement summers, its strong cups of coffee—and a nationwide manhunt? Del Sol native Sunshine Vicram has returned to town as the elected sheriff–an election her adorably meddlesome parents entered her in–and she expects her biggest crime wave to involve an elderly flasher named Doug. But a teenage girl is missing, a kidnapper is on the loose, and all of it’s reminding Sunny why she left Del Sol in the first place. Add to that trouble at her daughter’s new school and a kidnapped prized rooster named Puff Daddy, and Sunshine has her hands full.

Enter sexy almost-old-flame Levi Ravinder and a hunky US Marshall, both elevens on a scale of one to blazing inferno, and the normally savvy sheriff is quickly in over her head. Now it’s up to Sunshine to juggle a few good hunky men, a not-so-nice kidnapping miscreant, and Doug the ever-pesky flasher. And they said coming home would be drama-free.

The New Husband

Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you know them.

Nina Garrity learned that the hard way after discovering that her missing husband, Glen, had been leading a double life with another woman. But Glen’s gone–presumably drowned while fishing on his boat–so she can’t confront him about the affair or any of his other misdeeds. A year and a half after the accident, Nina considers herself a widow, even though the police never found a body. Following a chance encounter with Simon Fitch, a teacher from her daughter Maggie’s middle school, Nina finds love again and has hopes of putting her shattered life back together.

Simon, a widower still grieving the suicide of his first wife, has found his dream girl in Nina. His charm and affections help break through to a heart hardened by betrayal. Nina’s teenage son, Connor, embraces Simon as the father he wishes his dad could have been, but Maggie sees a far darker side to this new man in their lives. Even Nina’s good friends wonder if Simon is supremely devoted–or dangerously possessive.


But Nina is committed, not only to her soon-to-be new husband but also to resuming her former career as a social worker. Before she can move forward, however, Nina must first clear her conscience that she’s not making another terrible choice in a man. In doing so, she will uncover the shocking truth: the greatest danger to her, and her children, are the lies people tell themselves. 

Weekly Wrap Up: December 8th through December 14th 2019

Books I’ve Read:

The Angel of Evil

The Wrongful Death

The Die of Death

Seven Letters

The Woman in the Mirror

Follow Me


Books with Pending Reviews:

The Woman in the Mirror—Review coming March 17th, 2020

Follow Me—Review coming February 25th, 2020

Foul is Fair—Review coming February 11, 2020


Books with Published Reviews:

The Die of Death

The Glittering Hour

Seven Letters

Unmanageable

The Dead Girls Club


NetGalley Requests:

Highland Sword


Author/Publisher Requests:

Shorefall (Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Ray)

The Impossible Castle (Author request)

Wager for a Lady’s Hand (Author request/not on Goodreads yet)


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz/Cover Reveal:

Cover Reveal: Beautifully Broken

Book Blitz: Off the Record

Cover Reveal: Born to Fly

Book Blitz: The Enforcer

Book Blitz: Lessons in Love

Book Blitz: The Last Virgin in Texas


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Weekly Wrap Up: September 29th through October 5th 2019

Clicking on titles under Books I’ve ReadNetGalley Requests,and Author/Publisher Requests will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on titles under Books with Pending Reviews and Books with Published Reviews will take you to Amazon.

Clicking on titles Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz will take you to that specific blog post.

Clicking on links under Giveaways I’ve Entered will take you to that giveaway

Clicking on the links under Weekly Posts will take you to that specific blog post.


Books I’ve Read:

Naked Mole Rat Saves the World

Delicious Disasters

Amy’s Square

Demons at War

Highland Jewel


Books with Pending Reviews:


Books with Published Reviews:

Highland Jewel—Review Here

Demons at War: Urban Fantasy—Review Here

Amy’s Square—Review Here

What Rose Forgot—Review Here

Shantallow—Review Here


NetGalley Requests:

The Woman in the Mirror

Follow Me

Unmanageable

Alone in the Wild


Author/Publisher/Blog Tour Review Requests:

The Professor of Immortality—Delphinium


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz/Cover Reveal:

Starlight—Cover Reveal

Beg for Mercy—Cover Reveal

Bohannon—Cover Reveal

Johnny—Book Blitz

Perfect—Cover Reveal

The Memory Thief—Book Blitz

A Baby for the Bratva—Book Blitz

When Love Simply Is—Book Blitz

Alien Love: Ella & Krian—Book Blitz

Marrow Charm—Book Blitz

Prince Poison—Book Blitz

Knight Rising—Book Blitz

Unintentional Obsession—Book Blitz

Chasing Beverly—Book Blitz

To Kill a Fae—Book Blitz

Shantallow—Blog Tour

Out of Bounds—Book Blitz


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Highland Jewel (Royal Highlander: Book 2) by May McGoldrick

Highland Jewel: A Royal Highlander Novel by [McGoldrick, May]

5 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date of publication: September 24th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: Royal Highlander

Highland Crown—Book 1 (review here)

Highland Jewel—Book 2

Highland Sword—Book 3 (expected publication date: March 31st 2020)

Where you can find Highland Jewel: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

The next book in the new lush Scottish historical series from USA Today bestselling author, May McGoldrick.

Maisie Murray is the picture of docility, quiet and compliant in the eyes of her family. To her activist friends, however, she’s a fearless crusader for women’s rights. In the wake of the Peterloo Massacre, Maisie and a friend found the Edinburgh Female Reform Society, and she carries the banner for universal suffrage.

Niall Campbell, a hero of the wars, a decorated officer of the Royal Highland Regiment, is battle weary and searching for stability in his life. A fierce warrior by training and a poet at heart, Niall walks away from the shining career that lies ahead of him, to the dismay of his superiors. In saving his sister when a protest turns violent, he meets Maisie. Their relationship begins as one of experience versus idealism, of scars versus hope. Soon, however, he finds in Maisie the heart he longs for.

When Niall’s sister is arrested and disappears, he quickly realizes his life is not his own, for the British authorities have a mission for him to accomplish in exchange for his sister’s freedom. Overnight, Maisie loses Niall, her friend, and her home. And the wake of the riots that sweep through the cities of Scotland, Maisie’s own sister Isabella is branded a traitor to the crown, and the family must flee to the Highlands. Here in the heart of the Highlands, Maisie runs into Niall again. He has a new name and carries a message of hope―but Niall has a task to complete―and their future rests on their ability to overcome the forces that divide them, or―for the future of Scotland―she must stop the man who owns her heart.


First Line:

Caroline stared down at a carriage that had been brought around from the stables.

Highland Jewel by May McGoldrick

My Review:

Highland Jewel has been on my must-read list since I read Highland Crown. I usually don’t get excited for 2nd books in series. They can be used as a filler book, or the characters aren’t as good as book 1. I have very rarely read a series where book two not only keeps up the pace from book one but exceeds it. Highland Jewel did that.

Highland Jewel’s plotline was fast-paced and well fleshed out. There was no lag in the plotline, which surprised me. There was also no dropped storylines, which thrilled me to no end. What I liked is that the author took the storyline back to before the events in Highland Crown. She was able to make a believable storyline for Maisie while keeping true to the events in Highland Crown. I loved it!!!!!

Maisie surprised me. The picture the author painted of her in Highland Crown was turned upside down. I would have never expected her to be a crusader for women’s rights. What stunned me even further was that she was doing this in an era where women had zero rights. Her passion for what she did carried off the pages. I didn’t understand why she didn’t come clean to her sister and her husband with what she was doing. It puzzled me for most of the book. But a crucial scene with Archibald answered that for me.

I loved Niall. I liked how he had an open mind. When he opened up to Maisie and explained that his parents raised him like that, I started to love him. For a man in that time to think as he did was amazing. He might not have agreed with what Maisie and his sister did, but he supported them. I did feel bad that he was pressured to do what he did. But, he ended up getting the last laugh in the end. Loved it!!

The romance between Niall and Maisie was bittersweet. I loved watching them fall in love. That scene in the coffee house was terrific. Just two people talking and getting to know each other. Their forced separation brought tears to my eyes. What Maisie had to endure, and because of what Niall was forced to do, it made their reunion bittersweet.

While Highland Jewel can be read as a stand-alone book, I would advise reading Highland Crown first. That way there is no confusion when the book goes back to eight months previously, right before the events of Highland Crown.

The storyline with Cinaed was continued into this book. It is essential to keep that storyline in mind because everything that happens in the latter half of the book centers around it. Cinaed’s mother is discussed more, and the real reason she sent Cinaed away is revealed.

The storyline involving Fiona was intriguing. She was part of the same feminist movement that Maisie was. I did raise my eyebrows when she was arrested and held. I had a feeling why, and my feeling was right.

The end of Highland Jewel was exciting. I loved how Niall and Maisie’s storyline ended. Talk about giving me a heart attack at one point. I almost hyperventilated!! The storyline with Cinaed and his mother took an exciting turn, as did the storyline with Fiona. The lead into Morrigan’s book was excellent!! I can’t wait to read it.


I would give Highland Jewel an Adult rating. There is sex. There is no language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Highland Jewel. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

WWW Wednesday: October 2nd, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What I am currently reading:

Amy's Square by [Schunker, Dominic]

The world continues to let children die every day from thirst and starvation, poisoned water and disease, and the world continues to let the Earth die.

A man, destroyed by the desertion of his wife, comes out the other side and finds a mission. It’s bold. It’s crazy. He’s not totally sure what’s at the end of it but he has to follow it. It’s a terrifying leap away from his world but it ends up being a mission to rescue the very substance of life.

From the ancient Aztecs to the Moroccan desert, Spanish highways to the remote fields of Russia, clues appear, people die and someone gets ever closer to him.

The children, the generation who must eventually find the answer, silently guide him to the truth.

And it’s a truth that will change everything.

I started Amy’s Square last night. Honestly, the book did get off to a rough start. But I am beginning to like it!!

Amy’s Square is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review within the next few days.


I recently finished reading:

Highland Jewel: A Royal Highlander Novel by [McGoldrick, May]

The next book in the new lush Scottish historical series from USA Today bestselling author, May McGoldrick.

Maisie Murray is the picture of docility, quiet and compliant in the eyes of her family. To her activist friends, however, she’s a fearless crusader for women’s rights. In the wake of the Peterloo Massacre, Maisie and a friend found the Edinburgh Female Reform Society, and she carries the banner for universal suffrage.

Niall Campbell, a hero of the wars, a decorated officer of the Royal Highland Regiment, is battle weary and searching for stability in his life. A fierce warrior by training and a poet at heart, Niall walks away from the shining career that lies ahead of him, to the dismay of his superiors. In saving his sister when a protest turns violent, he meets Maisie. Their relationship begins as one of experience versus idealism, of scars versus hope. Soon, however, he finds in Maisie the heart he longs for.

When Niall’s sister is arrested and disappears, he quickly realizes his life is not his own, for the British authorities have a mission for him to accomplish in exchange for his sister’s freedom. Overnight, Maisie loses Niall, her friend, and her home. And the wake of the riots that sweep through the cities of Scotland, Maisie’s own sister Isabella is branded a traitor to the crown, and the family must flee to the Highlands. Here in the heart of the Highlands, Maisie runs into Niall again. He has a new name and carries a message of hope―but Niall has a task to complete―and their future rests on their ability to overcome the forces that divide them, or―for the future of Scotland―she must stop the man who owns her heart.

I loved this book and feel bad that I didn’t get to it sooner. I kept putting it off. But, once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. It was that good!!

Highland Jewel is currently available for purchase. Look for my review to be published within the next couple of days.


What books I think I’ll read next:

The Devil's Apprentice: The Great Devil War I by [Andersen, Kenneth B., Andersen, Kenneth Bøgh]

Philip is a good boy, a really good boy, who accidentally gets sent to Hell to become the Devil’s heir. The Devil, Lucifer, is dying and desperately in need of a successor, but there’s been a mistake and Philip is the wrong boy. Philip is terrible at being bad, but Lucifer has no other choice than to begin the difficult task of training him in the ways of evil. Philip gets both friends and enemies in this odd, gloomy underworld—but who can he trust, when he discovers an evil-minded plot against the dark throne?

The Devil’s Apprentice is volume 1 in The Great Devil War-series.

The Earl of Smugglers' Cove: Regency Romance: An Exciting Tale of Romance and Smuggling in Regency Cornwall by [Carteret, Kate]

AN EXCITING TALE OF ROMANCE, MYSTERY, AND SMUGGLING IN REGENCY CORNWALL FROM AMAZON BEST-SELLING AUTHOR KATE CARTERET.

When Sir Edmund Tate dies, he leaves his daughter in the care of his old friend, The Earl of Northcott. He is a kindly guardian, one whom Clarissa grows very fond of. But he’s a man with a secret, and that secret sent his youngest son to live in the house on Smuggler’s Cove.

When the Earl hints at the secret in his last days, Clarissa wonders if she will ever discover the truth behind the rift which made father and son strangers for so many years and turned one brother against the other.

Left in the care of Philip Ravenswood, the successor to the Earldom of Northcott, Clarissa finds herself drawn deeper and deeper into a secret friendship with his handsome but unconventional brother, Felix, visiting the beautiful Smugglers’ Cove more and more. She is a little afraid of his reputation, but cannot stop herself falling for him.

When smugglers return to the old cove, dangerous men determined to keep Cornwall’s old tradition alive, can Clarissa find the truth and stop suspicion falling upon Felix. And can she uncover the biggest secret of them all to lift the veil from the lie the Northcott Estate has sheltered beneath for so long?

A tale of love, excitement, and mystery on the rugged, beautiful, and sometimes unforgiving Cornish Coast.

Lethal Nights: A Brute Force Novel by [Leigh, Lora]

Ilya Dragonovich is no stranger to the dark side. As a safe-house owner for security agency Brute Force, Dragon knows that the battle line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man―and, sometimes, a beautiful woman…

Emma Jane Preston needs help. After her marriage crumbled, she believed she could get back to a normal, happy life. But her ex-husband moved among some shady characters, and now she needs the kind of protection that comes at a cost―one that only someone like Dragon can provide. But can Emma Jane trust this handsome, undercover operator to keep her safe when she is in danger of falling into the arms of the deeply seductive, fiery Dragon. . .and never letting go?

 

Cilka's Journey: A Novel by [Morris, Heather]

From the author of the multi-million copy bestseller, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, comes the new novel based on an incredible true story of love and resilience.

Her beauty saved her life – and condemned her.

Cilka is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, in 1942. The Commandant at Birkenau, Schwarzhuber, notices her long beautiful hair, and forces her separation from the other women prisoners. Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly given, equals survival.

After liberation, Cilka is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sent to Siberia. But what choice did she have? And where did the lines of morality lie for Cilka, who was sent to Auschwitz when still a child?

In a Siberian prison camp, Cilka faces challenges both new and horribly familiar, including the unwanted attention of the guards. But when she makes an impression on a woman doctor, Cilka is taken under her wing. Cilka begins to tend to the ill in the camp, struggling to care for them under brutal conditions.

Cilka finds endless resources within herself as she daily confronts death and faces terror. And when she nurses a man called Ivan, Cilka finds that despite everything that has happened to her, there is room in her heart for love.

Christmas in Harmony Harbor: Includes a bonus story by [Mason, Debbie]

Fans of RaeAnne Thayne and Debbie Macomber will love this USA Today bestselling author’s latest holiday romance about enemies-to-lovers who fall for each other in a small Massachusetts coastal town.

Evangeline Christmas will do anything to save her year-round Christmas store, Holiday House, when high-powered real-estate developer Caine Elliot uses his money and influence to push through his competing property next door. When her last desperate attempt to stop him fails, she gambles everything on a proposition she prays the handsome, blue-eyed player can’t refuse.

Caine agrees to Evie’s bargain because how hard can it be to fulfill three wishes on the Angel Tree at Holiday House? The wishes have him reliving the Christmases of his past and taking part in the holiday festivities of Christmas present. But just when he begins to believe Evie might be his Christmas future, dark secrets from his past are revealed.

Will the last wish on the Angel Tree be enough to give Caine and Evie the happy ending they deserve?

Delicious Disasters by [Anderson, Isabella Louise]

When Tessa Markham’s bookstore gets bought out, she is forced to face an uncertain future. After her best friend challenges her to start baking, she accepts—even if the last time she baked wasn’t what she would call a delicious success.

After a small kitchen fire, Tessa’s life begins to change. She finds encouragement from a sexy fireman, agrees to a questionable ruse to help another business owner with a complicated situation, and needs to be there for her best friend now more than ever.

Can a delicious disaster lead to a new future and a successful baking career?

Naked Mole Rat Saves the World by [Rivers, Karen]

Can Kit’s super-weird superpower save her world?

Kit-with-a-small-k is navigating middle school with a really big, really strange secret: When she’s stressed, she turns into a naked mole rat.

It first happened after kit watched her best friend, Clem, fall and get hurt during an acrobatic performance on TV. Since then, the transformations keep happening—whether kit wants them to or not. Kit can’t tell Clem about it, because after the fall, Clem just hasn’t been herself. She’s sad and mad and gloomy, and keeping a secret of her own: the real reason she fell.

A year after the accident, kit and Clem still haven’t figured out how to deal with all the ways they have transformed—both inside and out. When their secrets come between them, the best friends get into a big fight. Somehow, kit has to save the day, but she doesn’t believe she can be that kind of hero. Turning into a naked mole rat isn’t really a superpower. Or is it?

Small-Town Secrets (Door County Book 1) by [Watson, Margaret]

KENDALL’S IN FOR A SHOCK. TWO, ACTUALLY.

Gabe Townsend has a lot of nerve to show up after seven years and book in to her B and B. It hadn’t been easy for Kendall Van Allen to move on after her husband was killed. But she’d persevered, picking up the pieces, running a successful business and raising two girls on her own. She’s put aside the guilt over her part in Carter’s death. But she’ll never forgive herself … or Gabe.

And Gabe hasn’t even told her the whole truth. But the more he’s around Kendall and the children, the more he grows to love them and want what’s best for them. Can he really tell them the truth?

WWW Wednesday: September 25th, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What I am currently reading:

Snowfall on Cedar Trail: Two full books for the price of one (Sweetwater Springs Book 3) by [Rains, Annie]

From a USA Today bestselling author comes a heartwarming holiday romance between the a small-town florist and the handsome chief of police. Includes a bonus novel by Miranda Liasson!

Last Christmas was tough for Halona Locklear and her seven-year-old son Theo, who hasn’t spoken a word since his father’s death. This year, Halona wants nothing more than to give him a good holiday and to hear his sweet voice again. Enrolling him in the Mentor Match program might help, but when Theo gets matched with Sweetwater Springs Chief of Police, Alex Baker, Halona realizes that the handsome hero might know secrets about her past that she is determined to keep buried.

Chief of Police, Alex Baker, re-opens his father’s hit-and-run cold case every December, hoping to finally solve it. This year, his plate is full with being a Mentor Match to a young seven-year-old boy as well. His biggest obstacle, however, is fighting his attraction to the boy’s mother, Halona. As Alex gets close to solving his father’s cold case, he learns that those closest to him may be in danger — including Halona. Alex has already lost one of the most important people in his life; he isn’t about to lose her too, even if it means walking away to keep her safe.


I recently finished reading:

What Rose Forgot: A Novel by [Barr, Nevada]

In New York Times bestselling author Nevada Barr’s gripping standalone, a grandmother in her 60s emerges from a mental fog to find she’s trapped in an Alzheimer’s Unit in a nursing home. How does she convince anyone that she’s not actually demented? Her relatives were the ones to commit her, all the legal papers were drawn up, the authorities are on the side of the nursing home, and even she isn’t sure she sounds completely sane.


What books I think I’ll read next:

Highland Jewel: A Royal Highlander Novel by [McGoldrick, May]

Maisie Murray is the picture of docility, quiet and compliant in the eyes of her family. To her activist friends, however, she’s a fearless crusader for women’s rights. In the wake of the Peterloo Massacre, Maisie and a friend found the Edinburgh Female Reform Society, and she carries the banner for universal suffrage.

Niall Campbell, a hero of the wars, a decorated officer of the Royal Highland Regiment, is battle weary and searching for stability in his life. A fierce warrior by training and a poet at heart, Niall walks away from the shining career that lies ahead of him, to the dismay of his superiors. In saving his sister when a protest turns violent, he meets Maisie. Their relationship begins as one of experience versus idealism, of scars versus hope. Soon, however, he finds in Maisie the heart he longs for.

When Niall’s sister is arrested and disappears, he quickly realizes his life is not his own, for the British authorities have a mission for him to accomplish in exchange for his sister’s freedom. Overnight, Maisie loses Niall, her friend, and her home. And the wake of the riots that sweep through the cities of Scotland, Maisie’s own sister Isabella is branded a traitor to the crown, and the family must flee to the Highlands. Here in the heart of the Highlands, Maisie runs into Niall again. He has a new name and carries a message of hope―but Niall has a task to complete―and their future rests on their ability to overcome the forces that divide them, or―for the future of Scotland―she must stop the man who owns her heart.

Amy’s Square by Dominic Schunck (Not on Goodreads or Amazon yet)

Followers: A Novel by [Angelo, Megan]

An electrifying story of two ambitious friends, the dark choices they make and the profound moment that changes the meaning of privacy forever.

Orla Cadden dreams of literary success, but she’s stuck writing about movie-star hookups and influencer yoga moves. Orla has no idea how to change her life until her new roommate, Floss―a striving, wannabe A-lister―comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they so desperately crave. But it’s only when Orla and Floss abandon all pretense of ethics that social media responds with the most terrifying feedback of all: overwhelming success.

Thirty-five years later, in a closed California village where government-appointed celebrities live every moment of the day on camera, a woman named Marlow discovers a shattering secret about her past. Despite her massive popularity―twelve million loyal followers―Marlow dreams of fleeing the corporate sponsors who would do anything, even horrible things, to keep her on-screen. When she learns that her whole family history is a lie, Marlow finally summons the courage to run in search of the truth, no matter the risks.

Followers traces the paths of Orla, Floss and Marlow as they wind through time toward each other, and toward a cataclysmic event that sends America into lasting upheaval. At turns wry and tender, bleak and hopeful, this darkly funny story reminds us that even if we obsess over famous people we’ll never meet, what we really crave is genuine human connection.

Lethal Nights: A Brute Force Novel by [Leigh, Lora]

Ilya Dragonovich is no stranger to the dark side. As a safe-house owner for security agency Brute Force, Dragon knows that the battle line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man―and, sometimes, a beautiful woman…

Emma Jane Preston needs help. After her marriage crumbled, she believed she could get back to a normal, happy life. But her ex-husband moved among some shady characters, and now she needs the kind of protection that comes at a cost―one that only someone like Dragon can provide. But can Emma Jane trust this handsome, undercover operator to keep her safe when she is in danger of falling into the arms of the deeply seductive, fiery Dragon. . .and never letting go?

Shantallow by [Martin, Cara]

Tanvi isn’t the girl of Misha’s dreams; she’s the girl from his nightmares. She has appeared in his chilling dreams before he even meets her; when he DOES meet her, he falls for her.

Their relationship turns stormy, bordering on abusive, and takes a dramatic turn when they are held captive by a group hoping to extract money from Tanvi’s wealthy family.

But there is something more sinister at work, and the kidnappers and their victims find themselves struggling for survival as a supernatural force from Misha’s nightmares makes itself known in the real world.

Her beauty saved her life – and condemned her.

Cilka is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, in 1942. The Commandant at Birkenau, Schwarzhuber, notices her long beautiful hair, and forces her separation from the other women prisoners. Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly given, equals survival.

After liberation, Cilka is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sent to Siberia. But what choice did she have? And where did the lines of morality lie for Cilka, who was sent to Auschwitz when still a child?

In a Siberian prison camp, Cilka faces challenges both new and horribly familiar, including the unwanted attention of the guards. But when she makes an impression on a woman doctor, Cilka is taken under her wing. Cilka begins to tend to the ill in the camp, struggling to care for them under brutal conditions.

Cilka finds endless resources within herself as she daily confronts death and faces terror. And when she nurses a man called Ivan, Cilka finds that despite everything that has happened to her, there is room in her heart for love.

Diamond City: A Novel by [Flores, Francesca]

Welcome to Diamond City, where secret magic could save your life or get you killed.

Meet Aina Solís, whose wit is as sharp as her blade.

At twelve years old, Aina Solís was pulled off of the streets she slept on and trained to be one of the most feared assassins in Sumerand, a kingdom founded by immigrants and built by magic―and in recent years transformed by an industrial revolution. When Aina is given the most lucrative and dangerous job of her career―killing a wealthy industrialist named Kouta―she knows it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to leave her impoverished roots in her past once-and-for-all: the payout is enough to free her from under her boss Kohl’s thumb. But when the job goes wrong and Kouta escapes, she is left without a penny to her name and in the crosshairs of Kohl, who is eager to show the world what happens to those that fail him.

With Kohl on her heels, Aina is running out of time to find Kouta and finish what she started. But the closer she gets to killing him, the more she begins to ask the questions assassins are never meant to ask: who wants Kouta dead? And why? In a city full of half-constructed subway tunnels, hidden magical dens, secret weapons markets, and wolf-sized spiders, Aina discovers a conspiracy that could rewrite her city’s history and―if it isn’t stopped―sink her country into a catastrophic war.

Ice Hard: A New York Nighthawks Novel by [Goodwin, Tracy]

Nick: As one of the New York Nighthawks, I’ve got it all: fame, success, wealth, plus I’m handsome as hell.
As for my relationships? They could be better.
I know how to do one-night stands, but I’m starting to crave something more.
Then I meet Camille Benetti.
She’s sexy, smart, sarcastic—totally my kind of girl.
The only problem? Cami doesn’t date hockey players.
But she’s never met me. . . .


Cami: Nick George is impossible to resist. Not only is he scorching hot, he’s kind, he’s funny, and he wants me bad.
But I learned my lesson the hard way: no jocks.
So why do I agree to be Nick’s date to the wedding of the year?
One night . . . that’s our deal.
He is the best man, after all.
But Nick is crystal clear about his intentions. He wants a relationship.
And he’s tempting me to break all my rules. . . .

The Devil's Apprentice: The Great Devil War I by [Andersen, Kenneth B., Andersen, Kenneth Bøgh]

Philip is a good boy, a really good boy, who accidentally gets sent to Hell to become the Devil’s heir. The Devil, Lucifer, is dying and desperately in need of a successor, but there’s been a mistake and Philip is the wrong boy. Philip is terrible at being bad, but Lucifer has no other choice than to begin the difficult task of training him in the ways of evil. Philip gets both friends and enemies in this odd, gloomy underworld—but who can he trust, when he discovers an evil-minded plot against the dark throne?

The Devil’s Apprentice is volume 1 in The Great Devil War-series.