Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Review: It Happened in Scotland

It Happened in Scotland (Kilts and Quilts - Book 6) by Patience Griffin

Publication Date: 1/3/2017
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Imprint: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384

(Received for an honest review from Berkley)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, itunes

Patience Griffin on the WEB: WebsiteTwitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series:

Kilts and Quilts

1. To Scotland with Love
2. Meet Me in Scotland
3. Some Like it Scottish
4. The Accidental Scot
5. The Trouble With Scotland
6. It Happened in Scotland 
The Laird and I (novella)

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from It Happened in Scotland, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature


From the author of The Trouble With Scotland—a charming new romance set in the beautiful Scottish Highlands.
Christmas in the sleepy Scottish fishing village of Gandiegow this year is a time for quilting, patching up broken hearts, and rekindling an old flame...
After pulling herself out of a three-year fog of grief over the loss of her husband, Joe, Rachel is bringing their five-year-old daughter to see his hometown of Gandiegow and visit with his grandfather. But Rachel wasn’t planning on running into Joe’s cousin, the man who made her have second thoughts at the altar...

Brodie has come home to help his grandfather’s fishing business, but he’d prefer not to see Rachel. Although she did break his heart six years ago, the grip she has on him hasn’t faltered. If they can stop butting heads long enough and learn to overcome the past, they may find new love in the new year...


Patience Griffin continues her series about love in a small Scottish town with her sixth book, It Happened in Scotland. Fans of the series love the quirky characters, authentic setting and the aura of romance that surround Griffin's books. Readers get everything from stubborn hero's to a little bit of mystery in this one. A great new book, in this heartwarming series.

What I liked:

This series is a favorite of mine and Patience Griffin never disappoints. Contemporary romance is a genre that had to grow on me a bit. I started out reading historical romance and it took me a while to branch out to other areas of the romance genre. With this series I get a little bit of both. Scotland is of course near and dear to my heart. And finding an author who is able to bring the highland spirit and customs into the present day is a rare find. Griffin has created a town in Gandiegow that rivals the real thing. I want to go live there. LOL!

Rachel is more than just an average character. She has a past with this village and these people. She took away one of their native sons and returned without him. The sad part is she didn't really marry him because she loved him. She married him because of her mother. She was in love with his cousin all along. It gives a whole different meaning to her reasons for bringing her daughter to meet her father's family. I liked Rachel. She knew what she wanted and she wasn't afraid to fight for it, but I also felt like she knew when enough was enough. She didn't back track but she understood her limits and that was refreshing in a heroine. 

Brodie nearly drove me crazy. And I thought I was stubborn. I realize that Rachel burned him in the past and it's to be expected that he would not want to make the same mistake twice. However, he took it a bit too far. His issues with his own family didn't make it any easier and his distrust of women, was down right insulting at times. He did however find redemption in the end. This was really a story about forgiveness and the affects of holding on to grudges as well as, a love story.

My grandmother's were both quilters. That was one of the things that originally drew me to this series as well as my own Scottish ancestry. The Quilter's Cottage is just a place of inspiration where characters in the story learn to quilt, but readers are not overwhelmed by too many terms and techniques. I like the subtle way Griffin uses the theme but doesn't go overboard with it. I always feel like I learn something about quilting and those who do it every time I read one of these books. Romance might be the main crux of the story, but there's a lot of other stuff going on in this little village.

What I didn't like:

There were several secondary stories playing out within this book. If readers are new to the series they may have a bit of a harder time seeing where all of these little things fit into the overall story. They may seem somewhat disjointed or unnecessary to some. To those of us who have followed the series from the git go, it was nice to see old friends and characters that we have read about before. So, it's not really what I didn't like, but something some readers might not.

Bottom Line:

Once again Patience Griffin took us back to Gandiegow and as I reader I wanted to stay. Griffin's characters were believable and easy to relate to. Rachel was a girl after my own heart. Determined and understanding. Brodie was not really my cup of tea, but in the end he complimented the heroine well and provided the overall theme of forgiveness. It was probably not my favorite of the series, but there are just so many good ones, you just have to read them all. A wonderful, heartwarming gem of a tale!

It Happened in Scotland is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Patience Griffin is the author of the Kilts and Quilts novels, including The Trouble with Scotland, The Accidental Scot, and Some Like It Scottish. To Scotland with Love, her first book in the series, was a double RITA® Award finalist. She grew up in a small town along the Mississippi River and spends her days writing stories about hearth and home and dreaming about the fictional small town of Gandiegow, Scotland.

Review: Blazing Hot Cowboy

Blazing Hot Cowboy (Smokin' Hot Cowboys - Book 2) by Kim Redford

Publication Date: 1/3/2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Imprint: Casablanca
Genre: Western Romance
Pages: 384

(Received for an honest review from Sourcebooks Casablanca)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, itunes

Kim Redford on the WEB: WebsiteTwitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series:

Smokin' Hot Cowboys

1. A Cowboy Firefighter for Christmas
2. Blazing Hot Cowboy

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from Blazing Hot Cowboy, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature


"This tale will melt even the iciest heart." -Publishers Weekly, STARRED review for A Cowboy Firefighter for Christmas

He's all the heat she'll ever need.
Lauren Sheridan's return to Wildcat Bluff after the death of her husband is bittersweet. Thirteen years have passed since she set foot in the place that's always held her heart...and the sizzling memories of her high school sweetheart.

Kent Duval has it all. A proud rancher and volunteer firefighter in the small town of Wildcat Bluff, he's missing only one thing from his life: passion. Kent last saw Lauren Sheridan when she was sweet sixteen and they were head-over-heels in love. Now she's back, spunky daughter in tow, and he no longer knows which way is up. As the heat between them builds, Kent can't help but wonder if past flames can be rekindled and second chances really do exist.


Smoking hot cowboys and firefighters to boot! What more could a reader ask for? Kim Redford's latest book, Blazing Hot Cowboy certainly hits the spot for readers looking for some heat and a great second chance love story. Redford's North Texas setting is vivid and detailed. She know's her cowboys and they way they interact with the world. This one has a little something for everyone from the firebugs to the cat lovers. 

What I liked:

It is easy to tell that this author has some experience with Texas. Redford's use of setting shows her careful attention to detail. Readers will easily be able to feel the authenticity of this author's connection to the land and those who live there. The town of Wildcat Bluff comes to life with a vividly drawn past and a cast of characters that make the reader believe in community and unity. This is the kind of place I always dreamed existed in the West and Redford does a wonderful job of making readers want to come back for more.

I'll have to say that the idea of a cowboy firefighter really drew me to this one. I liked the idea of that for some reason. It was intriguing to see another aspect of the lives of these ranchers. It wasn't all about ranch and home. It was about community and being a part of something bigger. I thought the author did a great job of making the fire fighting scenes believable and essential to the plot of the book. It didn't have that secondary feel or something that was just thrown in to draw a bigger audience. It was realistic and thoughtfully handled. 

Lauren is a spunky lady. She's been through a lot in the 13 years she spent away from Wildcat Bluff. With her return she brings her daughter and a different perspective on love and family. I liked the fact that Lauren was a physical therapist. The use of horses in therapy for disabled patients has always been an interest of mine and I enjoyed the way the author used this in her writing. It gave Lauren a more layered personality and worked with within the confines of the story.

Kent was exactly what I expected in a rancher/firefighter hero. He was strong and courageous and was a deeply caring man. He had some issues when it came to his love life, but don't we all? lol I thought he complimented Lauren well and he certainly pulled off the second chance romance vibe I think the author was going for. His interactions with Hannah, Lauren's daughter were believable and heartfelt. A very nice hero!

What I didn't like:

Everybody knows your first love never really dies. You always have this place in your heart reserved for that person, that idea of what love was in the beginning. The author relies pretty heavily on the idea that, that feeling never really goes away. When Lauren and Kent meet again their past becomes the catalyst to their future. I'm not against that idea at all, but it was one of those stories that maybe needed a little something more. Insta-love isn't really my thing in romances. Even with a shared past they needed to get to know each other again and build on that. But these two just kind of pick up where they left off and the reader is denied that process of falling in love which often makes the book. I wanted a little more for these two. Both had, had some bad experiences you don't often jump back into the fray without being a bit gun shy.

My other issue is probably a little petty. They didn't use condom's in this story. The author gave them reasons to not use them but I wasn't quite buying that. In this day and age, even in the west, and even with someone you knew for years gone by, a little bit of safety wouldn't hurt. She just lost her husband and even though she might have wanted to have a child with Kent in the past, maybe a little time should have passed before they went that route. Just saying.

Bottom Line:

This was a good book. I learned a new word: covergasm! Yeah this book definitely had a good cover. Loved the setting and the characters. Lauren was spunky and liked what she liked and Kent came across as a very good man with morals and a code. I loved little Hannah and Lauren's aunt adds some color and comedy to the story. I enjoyed the banter between the hero and the heroine but I had to suspend a lot of believablity when it came to them falling back in love in an instant. Don't get me wrong love at first sight does exist. I've seen it but it's rare and often not quite as instant as you'd think.

Blazing Hot Cowboy is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Kim Redford is an acclaimed author of Western romance novels. She grew up in Texas with cowboys, cowgirls, horses, cattle, and rodeos for inspiration. She divides her time between homes in Texas and Oklahoma, where she's a rescue cat wrangler and horseback rider-when she takes a break from her keyboard. Visit her at