"The political intrigue of the time between Parliament and the British monarchy heavily informs this conflict, and similar historical flourishes add much to the story. Mansfield’s time traveling romance finds a pleasant balance between touching, humorous character moments and steamy sex scenes."– Kirkus Reviews
An agent of Fate sends a lonely teacher back in time, tasked with giving a lusty Highland lord an heir.
Beth Ann Anderson is a solitary 45-year-old history teacher, spurned by her abusive ex-husband and still blaming herself for the deaths of her two children in a tragic car accident. While on vacation in Scotland, Beth saves a child from a falling Callanish Stone, and is crushed—only to be informed by the persnickety Fate that orchestrated these events that she wasn’t the one supposed to die. Incredulously blaming her for the mistake, Fate insists she balance the scales by righting a wrong of his own, and sends her back in time to the 17th century to sire an heir with Laird Quinton MacLeod of Brochel Castle. She awakens staring up the ruggedly handsome Quint’s kilt at his impressive Scottish endowment, surprised to find she now inhabits the pert, virginal 20-year-old body of his beautiful English bride-to-be, Lady Elspeth. In their marriage bed, Beth discovers her Highland husband’s manly veneer conceals the soul of a generous lover, their instant chemistry quickly ensuring an heir. But a snooty viscount plans to assassinate Quint, a plot further complicated when Beth discovers that before taking Elspeth’s place, her pompous predecessor was a principal player in this scheme, leaving her in a difficult yet unique position to protect her new love and their unborn son. The political intrigue of the time between Parliament and the British monarchy heavily informs this conflict, and similar historical flourishes add much to the story. Mansfield’s (Tested by the Night, 2015, etc.) time traveling romance finds a pleasant balance between touching, humorous character moments and steamy sex scenes. The novel’s most erotically charged rendezvous between Quint and Beth are the story’s main attractions, and the book isn’t afraid to occasionally be crass, a nice departure from romance novels terrified to use words like “cock.” The result is an honest and intimately playful experience, raising the voyeuristic thrills the traditional “bodice-ripper” offers. The occasional appearance of the time traveling Fate, and the book’s willingness to broach heavy subjects like spousal abuse and personal loss, assure a surprise or two for those who dare to underestimate it.
A fun, sexy, and self-aware historical romance set in Scotland.
With her bodyguard-turned-lover at her side and a few magical tricks up her sleeve, a princess embarks on a quest to earn the right to rule her patriarchal society in the fifth installment of Mansfield’s (Touched by Magic, 2012, etc.) Academy Series.
This fantasy romance centers on “barbarian warrior and well-known womanizer” Talon Starkweather and his best friend Zander’s younger sister, the beautiful, pampered princess Mia Hammerstrike. Zander has given up the throne to marry a human, leaving Mia to inherit the crown someday. But as a woman, this will simply mean choosing a husband to rule—unless she can conquer Queen Adrina’s Challenge, a dangerous three-part quest that’s been completed just once in 900 years. Mia’s reasons are pure: she loves her people and doesn’t want to risk choosing a king who doesn’t care as much as she does. But nobody believes that she can overcome the challenge—not even her own brother. He sends Talon to accompany Mia on her quest and keep her safe, even if it means lying to her and sabotaging her efforts. But Mia and Talon quickly become close. With an entourage that includes a dragon, a family of kinky gnomes, and Talon’s old nemesis (who also once broke Mia’s heart), Talon and Mia set out to tackle the necessary tasks. They face ferocious creatures, tough decisions, and a growing romance that cannot be, for Talon is the descendent of a terrible traitor. In the end, readers will find that most of Mia’s quest isn’t all that difficult. Mia, with her magical gifts and knack for diplomacy, quickly—and anticlimactically—resolves everything thrown at her. Instead, the sex scenes take center stage in Mansfield’s quick-paced fantasy romance. The play-by-play descriptions are engaging, but also overwrought (with lots of “plundering” and “devouring”) and accompanied by contrived dialogue. However, although this book is part of a series, readers won’t have trouble following this story on its own.
Pleasant adventure takes a back seat to eroticism in this fantasy romance.
A student healer and a noble paladin discover their destinies after they’re paired up in a sexually charged college class in Mansfield’s (Tamed by the Fire, 2013, etc.) erotic fantasy.
At the age of 21, half-elf Briarlarn “Briar” Tumbleweed has achieved her dream of attending the Academy of Magical Arts, and she’s eager to hone her skills and become a great healer. One morning she takes a wrong turn on her way to her Healing the Soul class and stumbles on a couple engaged in a healing session. Transfixed, Briar stops to watch, aroused by the couple’s movements. When she turns to leave, she runs into fellow student Uthiel Stoutheart, a paladin sworn to protect dragons. When they finally arrive at the Healing the Soul class, its instructor pairs them up for the semester. As Briar and Uthiel learn the fine art of healing through eroticism, they soon discover a powerful attraction to each other. Despite their feelings, both have secrets: Briar is desperate to keep her instructors from discovering that she’s still a virgin while Uthiel struggles with guilt over his role in the tragic death of his first love, which prevents him from achieving sexual pleasure. Mansfield’s novel applies many of the common tropes of erotic fiction to a magical land where elves, dwarves, trolls, and gnomes cavort in all manner of lascivious couplings. For the most part, this juxtaposition succeeds because of the appealing lead characters and a romance that gives the narrative substance. The scenes depicting Briar’s tutelage under the guidance of Uthiel are tender and erotic and even laced with a good dose of humor. Mansfield surrounds her leads with a vividly imagined cast of supporting characters, including Headmistress Seychelle, a dominatrix who believes Briar could follow in her footsteps; and Leeky Shortz, a naughty gnome with the unfortunate habit of appearing when Briar and Uthiel least expect him. Despite its successes, a few minor characters seem superfluous, such as Headmistress Seychelle’s submissive, Ray, a human with an eccentric fetish.
A saucy romp whose narrative excesses are tempered by likable lead characters and a tender love story.