An entertaining yet frustrating introduction to an extended family of lovelorn Highlanders.



When a Scottish laird rescues a woman from a rival clan in 1452, the pair’s connection is immediate. But the secrets she carries could lead to war sooner than anyone expected.

Darach MacKenzie is a good laird. Fostered at a young age to a wise laird from another clan, he learned how to take care of his people and his land. He's determined not to take a wife, though, thanks to having been betrayed in his youth, a betrayal that led to many deaths. But when he rescues Caitlin MacInnes, who's unconscious and bound to a horse, from the rival Fraser clan, he begins to question that decision. Caitlin is young, innocent, and impulsive, and Darach vows to let no one hurt her as long as he is able. Caitlin herself immediately bonds with her savior as the combination of injury and infatuation makes it impossible for the two to be separated—except when Caitlin is playing Disney princess with the animals of the forest. Unfortunately, scorned lovers, family secrets, and tribal warfare make it hard to keep promises in a world where a lack of the correct information can lead to death. In the first of five books of the Sons of Gregor MacLeod series, McLayne (The D’amici Mistake, 2016, etc.) introduces readers to a world of castles and clan warfare, setting up the other four heroes for their own stories in the process. While compelling, the book is a frustrating combination of historical detail and creative license. Perhaps as a reminder that the setting is the Scottish Highlands, overwrought Scots vernacular is used in dialogue ("I doona rightly know") even though it's been indicated that everyone is speaking in Gaelic, not English. And yet, the story still lacks a sense of place that might have added to the compelling love story and warfare.

An entertaining yet frustrating introduction to an extended family of lovelorn Highlanders.

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-5450-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

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The much-loved royal romance genre gets a fun and refreshing update in McQuiston’s debut.

Alex Claremont-Diaz, son of the American President Ellen Claremont, knows one thing for sure: He hates Henry, the British prince to whom he is always compared. He lives for their verbal sparring matches, but when one of their fights at a royal wedding goes a bit too far, they end up falling into a wedding cake and making tabloid headlines. An international scandal could ruin Alex’s mother’s chances for re-election, so it’s time for damage control. The plan? Alex and Henry must pretend to be best friends, giving the tabloids pictures of their bromance and neutralizing the threat to Ellen's presidency. But after a few photo ops with Henry, Alex starts to realize that the passionate anger he feels toward him might be a cover for regular old passion. There are, naturally, a million roadblocks between their first kiss and their happily-ever-after—how can American political royalty and actual British royalty ever be together? How can they navigate being open about their sexualities (Alex is bisexual; Henry is gay) in their very public and very scrutinized roles? Alex and Henry must decide if they’ll risk their futures, their families, and their careers to take a chance on happiness. Although the story’s premise might be a fantasy—it takes place in a world in which a divorced-mom Texan Democrat won the 2016 election—the emotions are all real. The love affair between Alex and Henry is intense and romantic, made all the more so by the inclusion of their poetic emails that manage to be both funny and steamy. McQuiston’s strength is in dialogue; her characters speak in hilarious rapid-fire bursts with plenty of “likes,” “ums,” creative punctuation, and pop-culture references, sounding like smarter, funnier versions of real people. Although Alex and Henry’s relationship is the heart of the story, their friends and family members are all rich, well-drawn characters, and their respective worlds feel both realistic and larger-than-life.

A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-31677-6

Page Count: 432

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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On the day her fiance came out and left her at the altar, Faith escaped to the West Coast, where she’s had a thriving...


When Faith Holland was abandoned at the altar three years ago, she left her hometown for San Francisco to regroup; coming home to Manningsport, she’ll have to confront her past and Levi Cooper, the disturbingly handsome chief of police she blames for ruining her life.

On the day her fiance came out and left her at the altar, Faith escaped to the West Coast, where she’s had a thriving professional life and a comical romantic life. Summoned home for a few months to work the harvest at her family’s winery and help with some crisis management, Faith realizes that some things in her small town will never change—for the good or the bad—but she knows the time has come to establish a new reality with her ex, her family and maybe even Levi Cooper, the best man who forced Jeremy to be honest with her and himself on their wedding day. It’s so much easier to blame and despise him; if she lets down her guard, she might have to deal with their short but profound shared past and her own guilt and secrets from a long-ago tragedy that has haunted her for most of her life. Higgins’ newest heart-tugging romantic comedy juggles a spectrum of emotionally powerful elements, including the death of a mother, the abandonment of a father and a sigh-worthy high school romance gone awry. With her typical engaging voice, compelling storytelling and amusing dialogue, Higgins keeps the audience flipping through pages as quickly as possible, but it is her spot-on ability to make her characters at once funny, authentic and vulnerable—vulnerable to the point of breaking, so they can heal, stronger and better and more able to love—that is her true genius and guarantees most romance fans will both laugh out loud and get teary, sometimes at the same time. Another sweet, touching must-read for Higgins fans and anyone who enjoys a perfect combination of humor and romance.

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-373-77792-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harlequin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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