Disclaimer: An advanced reviewer’s copy of this novel was given to Rika’s Musings by the publisher in return for an honest review.
The Virgin of Clan Sinclair is the second Karen Ranney book I have read recently, the first was The Witch of Clan Sinclair (book two in this series, while this is book three.) Both books were BIG hits with me and I am fast becoming a Karen Ranney addict.
The Virgin of Clan Sinclair was a nice conclusion to a heartwarming series:
Ellice Traylor has a secret. Beneath her innocent exterior beats an incredibly passionate and imaginative heart. She has been pouring all of her frustrated virginal fantasies into a scandalous manuscript. But when her plans for her future are about to be derailed by her mother’s matrimonial designs, she takes matters into her own hands.
Ross Forster, the Earl of Gladsden, has spent his life creating order out of chaos. He expects discipline and calm from those around him. What he does not expect is a beautiful, thoroughly maddening stowaway in his carriage.
But when Ross discovers Ellice’s secret book, he finds he can’t stop thinking about what other fantasies the disarming virgin can dream up. He has the chance to learn when a compromising position forces them to wed. But can the uptight Earl survive a life with his surprising new wife? And how will the hero of Ellice’s fantasies compare to the husband of her reality?
As I was reading this novel, I kept thinking that Ms. Ranney must have written this one about me. Ellice is such a relatable character – with an occasionally overbearing mother (ehem…), wild imagination, sometimes horny (ehem again), and a bit of an introvert unless she’s with friends. This was a pretty close description of me, lol! And her relatability was one of the reasons this book was such a winner with me. Plus all her overly dramatic internal monologue had me laughing out loud!
“Was she taken ill?” he’d say.
“Suddenly,” the doctor said. “She called for you but you weren’t there.” The man turned and looked at Ross, eyes narrowed, mouth firmed. “Where were you, sir, that you denied your wife comfort in her hour of need?”
“With another woman, of course. Her breasts are larger and her hips wider. She didn’t refuse me.”
Did I mention that Ellice is a writer? Her imagination is very creative and comes up with the most unlikely of scenarios. As for the book that Ellice writes, The Lustful Adventures of Lady Pamela, well that’s where the fun starts.
The hero, Ross, thinks he resembles the Donald – Ellice’s fictional creation from The Lustful Adventures of Lady Pamela – too much and that others will pick up on it which can prove embarrassing for his election campaign…maybe even detrimental. Of course, he’s secretly intrigued by the novel and gets hot every time he reads it, but pretends to be a stickler in front of Ellice.
Ross was an interesting character in his own way. He wasn’t a tortured hero per say, but was getting there – he had the betrayal of his first wife, Cassandra, and his father to overcome. Luckily, however, he didn’t spend too much time moping around and I liked that he didn’t refuse to acknowledge that he loved her when asked by his mother. I was expecting a denial, but he was honest with himself and Ellice.
Honesty was a common characteristic that I enjoyed between both Logan – the hero from The Witch of Clan Sinclair – Ross, and it’s a refreshing change from the usual self-denial cliche, and I hope that the rest of Karen Ranney novels have similarly – though not 100% the same – honest heroes because, yes, I will DEFINITELY be reading more of Ms. Ranney’s books.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Virgin of Clan Sinclair and highly recommend this book to all my fellow historical romance lovers! Four out of five for this one!
(aka Book Reviewer)
Disclaimer: An advanced review copy of this novel was provided by the publisher in exchange for an HONEST review.
I read my first ever Sandra Hill novel over the weekend, and I was immediately stricken with a sense of: “Where has she been all my life?!”
No, seriously…why has NO ONE ever recommended a Sandra Hill novel to me?
But I’m so, so, so glad that I didn’t turn down the ARC for Kiss of Wrath when it was offered to me. I was about to because it was book four in a series and I, at the very least, try to read a series in order. Plus, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to understand all the nuances of the world she’s created, especially since this is book four.
But I really over-thought my decision, in hindsight I feel like I wasted precious time – time I could have been using to start devouring the world of Kiss of Wrath:
No wicked wenches or wild rampages . . . it’s been centuries since Mordr the Berserker was turned into a vangel—a Viking vampire angel—as punishment for his sin of wrath, and he’s been frustrated ever since.
It’s not so bad being stuck in modern-day Las Vegas. What better place to slay Lucipires, or demon vampires, than the original Sin City? But then Mordr Sigurdsson’s mission is expanded to a new assignment: protect lust-worthy Miranda Hart.
Miranda’s well-ordered life turned into chaos when she unexpectedly inherited her late cousin’s five children. Now, her cousin’s dangerous husband is about to be paroled, and she needs a miracle to keep them all safe.
That miracle arrives on her doorstep in the form of a very buff, handsome man with a very strange name. Mordr wants nothing to do with a red-haired wench or children. Miranda wants nothing to do with a gorgeous hunk who claims to be a Viking.
As Miranda and Mordr give in to temptation, they must decide if they fit in each other’s worlds—before their enemies close in on them.
My thoughts for this novel can pretty much be summed up in two words: “LOVED IT!” But since I know everyone is eager for a little more detail than that, I’ll also say that it was funny, emotional, and heartbreaking. The heartbreak started the second I read Ms. Hill’s dedication for the novel:
This book is dedicated to all those single parents who march on each day with the grueling task of raising children on their own. They understand best the struggle, and joy, ahead for my heroine who becomes an instant mother to not one, or two, but five children.
And this book is dedicated as well to those parents who have ever lost a child. They understand best how my hero’s grief can go on forever.
And to those who enjoy a good love story sprinkled with both smiles and tears. The best kind of all!
I was like, “Oh, s***! This is gonna be a tearjerker!” And I pretty much had tissues on hand. But the novel wasn’t as tragic as I expected. Don’t get me wrong, the hero’s got plenty of trauma in his past, but this novel was also about healing and I totally enjoyed the funny interactions between Mordr and the children, Mordr and his brothers, and Morder and Miranda.
Mordr has a lot to overcome and had difficulty interacting with the children – all of whom have an inclination towards mayhem – after his own children were killed millennia ago along with his wife. The rage and guilt he felt over the deaths of his family is the main reason he ends up becoming a Vangel (Viking Vampire Angel)…not by choice. St. Michael turned Mordr and his brothers into Vangels as punishment for their sins – each of whom is guilty of one of the seven deadly variety, Mordr’s being wrath. The brother’s have been fighting against the devil and his army of Lucipires, who harvest souls before their time.
Ms. Hill gave the novel a well thought out back story, and I liked the different hybrid aspects of the creatures. And Vangels – that is an insanely awesome name. (Kind of reminds me of Kresley Cole‘s Vemons – demon/vampire hybrids.)
And then of course, there’s the novel’s heroine, Miranda. Miranda’s a career woman who does’t want marriage or children, and at first she’s reluctant to take in her five nieces and nephews, but they have nowhere else to go and she ends up giving them a home. But, after two years of living with the children, she needs some serious backup. It took me a while to warm up to Miranda’s character. There’s nothing wrong with her, she’s nice, caring and clearly a good role model, but Mordr was such an overpowering character that it was hard for me to imagine anyone matching up to him. Miranda was eventually able to prove her mettle to me and it was hard not to like her after a certain point in the novel.
Overall, I enjoyed the uniqueness of this storyline. The characters were vivid and relatable, even to someone who’s never been in their shoes. And now that I’ve finished Kiss of Wrath, I can say that I’m glad I started with book four because now I have something to go back and read instead of waiting – agonizingly – for the next installment, Vampire in Paradise.
I give this book a solid four out of five! Best of all, you won’t have to wait very long to read it, Kiss of Wrath releases tomorrow – May 27th…happy reading!
(aka The New Vangel Groupie)
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This book will not be released until April 29th, 2014 and there may be some spoilers in this post.
Logan Harrison is looking for a wife. As the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, he needs a conventional and diplomatic woman who will stand by his side and help further his political ambitions. He most certainly does not need Mairi Sinclair, the fiery, passionate, fiercely beautiful woman who tries to thwart him at every turn. But if she’s so wrong for him, why can’t he stop kissing her? He is completely bewitched.
Mairi Sinclair has never met anyone like Logan Harrison, the perfect example of everything she finds wrong with the world. He’s also incredibly handsome, immensely popular, and impossible to resist. His kisses inflame her and awaken a passion she can barely control.
Can two people who are at such odds admit to a love that would bind them together for life?
I requested a copy of this book from Avon, after a friend of mine raved about how much she loved Karen Ranney’s novel. I’d never read anything by this author, so when I was given the chance I asked for a copy of The Witch of Clan Sinclair. This is the second book of a series that started with The Devil of Clan Sinclair.
The story is set in 1872, but I don’t think it can be defined as a Victorian romance, because it takes place in Edinburgh. The novel’s heroine, Mairi, is a very strong-willed character and a strong advocate of women’s rights. She meets the hero, Logan, when she is refused entry to a lecture she wants to attend. Why? Because she is a woman. Saying she was happy is an understatement, and she’s only more outraged when Logan also refuses to let her enter.
Logan has never thought much about women’s rights before – and, really, why would he? This story is pre-women’s lib and he’s a man. But he is fascinated by Mairi and her strong opinions on the subject. Plus, he’s in a great position to be an advocate of the movement as both Lord Provost and a politician. He is also a proven supporter of reform, so he is open to the idea of women’s rights – which in a romance hero, is a great quality.
And, our hero is not willing to lose his chance at love despite his earlier desire for a more conventional wife. Logan’s pursuit of Mairi, which leads to plenty of verbal sparring matches, also proves how well suited they are to one another. Although, Mairi is reluctant to trust Logan with her heart – especially after a bad experience with a former suitor – she slowly comes to understand Logan. Logan, for his part, remains steadfast and charming throughout the novel. Ranney embodies character chemistry in the relationship between Mairi and Logan.
Both Logan and Mairi are strong, like-able characters and their story is told with a poignancy that I have read in the works of very few authors before and I give The Witch of Clan Sinclair a rating of 4 out of 5.
(aka Book Critic)