Book Review: Highland Temptation

The Highland Knights have become such an entertaining series. I love the suspense and the mystery of the stories and the romance and heat are definitely high. This one was no exception, and bonus: a damsel in distress novel is one of my fave tropes.

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I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A Highlander with his own demons helps protect a young woman who’s been abused by her father and now fears for her life. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Needing Protection
Lady Emilia is familiar with the Highland Knights because they had been hired to protect her father. Unknown to them, however, her father was abusive, so she’s managed to make herself seem meek and unassuming. When she uncovers a secret of her father’s and realizes that he might kill her for her knowledge, she seeks refuge with the Knights.

Dark Demons
Colin has some issues, namely PTSD from his fights at Waterloo. The people he killed in battle haunt him, and he can’t be alone or in the dark without having severe anxiety. However, his need to protect Emilia overpowers that, and he makes a case to take her away from London and hide her in Scotland where her father can’t find her. When his commander notes that traveling alone with the woman will compromise her, the Scot promises he won’t touch her.

Riiiigggghhht.

Bowie-disapproves

Getting Compromised
Emilia and Colin are drawn to each other right away, having felt a bit of a spark when the Knights were protecting her father. So it’s no wonder that in close proximity and with danger looming and threatening to hunt them down, there’s going to be some major groping and out-of-control desires.

Fighting the Darkness
Colin’s PTSD played a major role in the story. His issues are pretty harsh, and yet Emilia doesn’t shy away from him. Instead, she reaches out and promises to help defeat his demons. Her development is good, though she seemed much stronger than one would expect from someone who’d been abused as much as she had. Still, I liked that she became so much stronger around Colin.

The Romance Factor
Though this story has the damsel in distress, the hero was in a bit of distress as well, and I loved Emilia being his strength. Colin and Emilia were a great couple, and I liked the amount of foreplay between them before they actually got to the loving. 4/5

The Steam Factor
The Highland Knights are all pretty naughty, and Colin was no exception. Sexy times were frequent and hot. 5/5

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Final Thoughts
An enjoyable read, though much like the other series I’m reading, I’m starting to blend storylines in my head. Even with that though, I was able to remember some key elements and really get into this one.

Book Review: Her Survivor by Vonnie Davis

PTSD has become prevalent in a lot of the romance novels I’ve read, and it’s usually well done. This book spends quite a bit of┬átime talking about it, which I appreciated because I think it’s a good way to highlight and teach readers more about it. It’s not a side thing..it’s almost the main theme of the story.
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I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A man who lost his leg serving as a SEAL goes to a small town to deal with his PTSD where he meets a pretty woman dealing with secrets and trauma of her own. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Dealing With the Scars
Dustin lost his leg and gained a good deal of facial scarring from his last tour of duty, but the physical issues are nothing compared to the PTSD he’s had since getting back. When his SEAL buddy, ZQ, invites him to his quiet ranch for some rest and relaxation, he takes him up on the offer, only to find that the man has offered his architectural services to the local bookstore owner. ┬áThis pisses Dustin off at first, especially when he finds himself attracted to the woman, knowing there’s no way a woman is going to want him with all of his issues.
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Hiding Out
Kelcee loves the little bookstore she inherited and her small town, but there’s also an underlying fear that she’s going to be found by someone in her past who she knows wants her dead. Still, she’s feisty and doesn’t take crap from people, and so when her first interaction with Dustin involves a heavy dose of rudeness on his part, she lets him know it. But when Dustin calls to apologize and they start to get to know each other, he becomes the one person she feels safe with.

 

Love and Trauma
Their new relationship is a little rocky. Dustin has a lot of hang ups, but he also gets violent when he has nightmares, and it terrifies him to know he could hurt Kelcee. He’s also afraid to go out in public and it takes him awhile to realize that Kelcee doesn’t care about any of that. She just wants to be with him and help him through his PTSD as much as she can. He pushes her away, but when her life becomes endangered, he realizes how much he needs her in his life.

 

An Issue with Multiple Faces
The PTSD was shown in different forms to highlight how different people deal with it. Several of the side characters have it, including characters I believe we’re going to see in future stories. Dustin and Kelcee both have it, and it’s definitely a contrast to see how each one handles it.

 

Winning Dialogue
I enjoyed this story even though there were a few things that annoyed me. On the positive side, I really liked the small town feel of the story and most of the banter between Kelcee and Dustin. She was compassionate and caring towards him, but when he got out of line, she didn’t hesitate to tell him where to go. I also enjoyed the side characters, but they seemed to add a lot of sub-plots to the story, and at times I felt they took away from the romance between Dustin and Kelcee, which was the part I really wanted.

 

Curves For the Win
I liked that Kelcee was a plus-sized heroine, and some of her feelings about that and how people treated her were handled realistically and thoughtfully. Some people were mean, others didn’t care. Kelcee handled it well, as she’d learn to accept herself and wasn’t self conscious when things go intimate. I did get a little tired of people, including her, referring to her “teacup ass.” While endearing at first, and though I understand it was kind of one of those cute running gag things, it felt a bit overused.

 

The Romance Factor
Dustin lets Kelcee in and hopes to be able to have a real relationship with her. The fact that he tried to hide his PTSD was kind of sweet (if maybe not the right thing to do). When he pulls away because he’s afraid he’ll hurt her in one of his violent moments, the pain and conflict between the two gave me such feels. 5/5

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The Steam Factor
Though not super spicy, there are a few sensual moments between the sheets. 3/5

Final Thoughts
One thing that stood out to me was that I got a feel for the characters mostly through their action and dialogue, and though I usually like to get the inner thoughts and emotions to a higher degree, the way this book was written really worked for me. Even with minor annoyances, there were some great quirks (the older woman who reads BDSM novels was awesome) and I enjoyed the story overall. I’m looking forward to see how the other characters are handled in future novels.