Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Black Raven’s Lady by Kathleen Harrington Book Tour


This exciting conclusion to the popular Highland Lairds Trilogy features a runaway lass and the laird who will do anything to protect her.

Feisty Lady Raine Cameron has been surrounded her whole life by gossip claiming she is not her father's daughter. Determined to find her true heritage, the dark-haired beauty boards the Black Raven under false pretenses in search of the man who she believes is her father, a man who is also a traitor to Scotland. Only the Black Raven himself stands in her way…

Laird Keir MacNeil has a reputation for being a ruthless and powerful ship captain. On a mission to apprehend Scotland's most wanted traitor, he never expected to see Raine on his ship. Keir vows to keep Raine out of harm's way and return her to her family untarnished. But as his lust for her grows, he must choose between honor and the woman he never expected to desire.

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Book 3
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June 1504

Archnacarry Manor

Western Highlands

“Come away with me tomorrow, Nina,” the dark-haired man implored. “Meet me here at daybreak, and we’ll flee together. If you love me, dearest, come with me.”

His deep brown eyes filled with tenderness, he drew the beautiful lass close and kissed her tenderly on the forehead, then used the edge of the yellow-and-black tartan pinned to his shoulder to wipe away her tears.

“My father has received an offer of marriage for me from Laird Cameron,” Nina replied, her voice shaking with fright. “Should I run away with you, Torcall, my parents might never forgive me. Perhaps, if we pleaded with them together, they would understand how much in love we are.”

“I can’t wait any longer, dearest,” Torcall said. “The king has pronounced my father a traitor and with him all our clan. I must go and help defend our home and our lands.”

Nina clutched his strong hand in both of hers and brought his fingers to her lips. Her hair, a stunning red-gold, gleamed in the forest’s dappled sunlight. “Oh, Torcall, I do love you so.”

“Don’t be afraid, darling lass,” he told her, his voice ringing with the optimism of youth. “We’ll go to Steòrnabhagh. My father’s castle on the Isle of Lewis is impregnable. We’ll be married there. One day I’ll be chief of Clan MacMurchaidh, Nina, and I will give you all the things I so long to give.”

She smiled, her blue eyes filling once more with tears. “Your love is all I need, my dear, and all I want.”

Torcall hugged her close, then bent his head to place a gentle kiss on her lips. “You’ll meet me here tomorrow, then?” he asked. “You’ll run away with me?”

Nina nodded, a smile curving her lips. “Aye, I’ll flee with you, Torcall. I’ll meet you here, right by this tall pine tree, when the sun rises tomorrow.”

In the faint light of the following morning, the glen where the couple had stood seemed to wait in hushed anticipation of the coming dawn . . .

Her heart pounding, Raine awoke with a start and stared at the bed’s canopy above her head. She’d first had the dream when she was fourteen years old. The year after her father, Gideon Cameron, had been murdered. Raine knew it wasn’t an ordinary dream. ’Twas a vision of her mother and Raine’s natural father.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Rating: 3.5 Stars

I have not read the prior books in the series, receiving this title for reviewing purposes. I do suggest that readers read this series in order, as it was difficult at times to decipher the storyline. Also, in doing do, I believe the connection a reader has to the cast of characters is stronger if they had read about the cast from page one, book one. However, my rating and review do not reflect my poor decision. I'm merely heading those off at the pass who read reviews prior to choosing their next book. Read book #1 first.

I have only read a handful of Historical Romances from this era, so I am no expert in the historical facts, area, and the information from this period of time. I will be solely reviewing the storyline content and my overall enjoyment of the read.

Black Raven's Lady is a tale that takes place primarily on the High Seas. Vividly detailed, exciting scenes of the day-to-day going-ons of a ship: what it takes for navigation. What specific parts of the ship are called. Battle scenes taking place ship versus ship, and ship versus castle. The book had a large cast of shipmates, which often at times became difficult to remember who was whom. By far my favorite of these characters were the youngsters and the ship-daddy, and I'm intrigued to learn more about the 'exotic' men mentioned.

Black Raven's Lady's hero and heroine had the characteristic that draw a reader in and capture them. Hero: all alpha male, all the time, which lends to the fact that the ship's captain will NOT listen to anyone for any reason, even if it's to save his own life. Heroine: spunky, intelligent, bullheaded, who will also NOT listen to anyone for any reason, even if it's to save her own life. The pair's personalities played off of one another well, causing their banter to be quick-witted and amusing with a fiery spark of passion.

The romance was slow-building over a long period of time for the H/h, which was a nice change from the insta-love that plagues all genres. Even though we don't get the opportunity to read their first meeting and the events leading up to this story (within this book, I suspect it might have been in earlier books) we do receive background information from the characters within inner monologue. A real, lifelike connection was forged between the H/h.

I enjoyed the folklore angle of the storyline, wishing there was a bit more, believe it or not. Not in a paranormal way, but since the heroine and her aunt, as well as a main conflict, where connected to Gallic folklore, I would have liked to explore this more heavily. The Hero was not buying this, even after time after time where the heroine's second sight was confirmed. I wanted to shake Kier- shake him!

I'm still kicking myself for not preparing myself by reading book 1 & 2 prior to this read/review title. Overall, I enjoyed the characters and their story, and I do believe I would have enjoyed it more if I had been prepared. I read the book from page one to the end in one sitting, holding my interests through a complex storyline.

What I didn't enjoy:

Two of the main conflicts would have been resolved within seconds if the H/h spoke with their mothers. Neither conflict was a misunderstanding; they simply didn't communicate with their mothers. It they would have asked instead of assumed, this thread wouldn't have been as frustrating for the reader or as life threatening for all of the characters.

The main conflict for the entire book from the H's point of view, took the reader in an endless loop of riding the High Seas, trying to capture two traitors. By book's end, the traitors are still at large, with another ship captain doing the exact same thing (presumably for another book in this story arc), so I felt other than as a means of trapping the H/h on a ship together, this was pointless. Lost time, lost life, and no progress is made, leaving this thread to end exactly where it had been at the start of the book.

The Epilogue is in another character's point of view, with a large cast of characters spotlit, leaving me to sort out who was whom and why I was reading about them. It should have been the H/h's time to shine by showing their HEA. We read the pair for hundreds and hundreds of pages, traveling their journey, only to be dropped into someone else's head for their conclusion. The 'happy news' was overshadowed by mass confusion for me, leaving me feeling disconnected and anxiety filled with the chaos. It wasn't so much anything happening per se, simply too many characters in a scene (As an introvert, I don't even like reading about environments such as these). Again, this may have been an issue with not reading the prior books so I would have known the cast. But even if I had known who they all were, it wouldn't have taken away the fact that these pages should have solely belonged to the HEA of the main characters. I believe it was setting up the next book in the series, which is nice for the next book. But I wanted to feel good, happy for the couple, and enjoy their HEA with them, and I feel short-changed.

I enjoy a faster-paced read. While Black Raven's Lady was exciting, with a good pair of protagonists, it was drawn-out and slightly repetitive.

I highly recommend this title to historical fans who love adventuring and romance.

Even though I am no expert, I feel the research of the era, the political climate, and the inner workings of a ship were used correctly, and I give the author mad props.

I would read more from this author again, and I was thankful for the opportunity to read-and-review the Black Raven's Lady.

Whilst I do not normally indulge in historical romance, I am such a fan of ships and sailing, that this attracted my attention immediately – and how glad I am that it did.

This is the third in the trilogy, and I recognise that I probably missed some of the nuance because of this, however it was a really good read in its own right. I am not an expert on the period in question, but I have visited many of the places mentioned, and have some school girl history, to support my feeling that it was done properly. I was very grateful that it was written in English with no speech in dialect – that can make reading very slow.

I liked the premise of the plot, I really liked the lead characters, a lot, and the supporting cast were wonderful. From the scimitar waving navigator to the young midshipmen, from Barrow to his Uncle, they became real parts of the adventure. The adventure elements were front and centre, just as much as the romance, and the changes in pace and issue made for interesting reading. That Lady Raine had a strong personality and a strong sense of self, made the way that she and Kier reacted when together much more appealing. There is no denying that the author gives us some seriously heated moments, and yet perfectly in context.

I was sorely disappointed when I reached the last page, especially as this is the last in a trilogy. I shall have to hope that the characters get a reprieve and appear in another series in the near future – they deserved their moment of glory too!

I'd rated it between 3 and 4 stars

This was an interesting and adventurous historical read for me. The characters were unique and easy for me to like. I regret not reading the other books in the series before reading this one because there were times where I felt like I should have already known more about the story line or characters, but that is my own fault for beginning in the middle of a series.

The ship/sea setting was intriguing and full of adventure. I loved the unique cast of shipmates. I don't know much about the ships or sea life of the era, so the detailed descriptions of navigating, ship areas, and battle scenes were a nice touch for the reader to "see" the bigger picture.

I really liked both lead characters. Keir is the fierce, stubborn, in charge, alpha-male who has a reputation. Raine is whimsical, bull-headed, and feisty. They both are strong, determined, and ready to give up everything for what they believe.

Their romance was nicely built up and not the instant head over heels love that we often see. They definitely faced many conflicts along the way, but they built a wonderfully sweet and loving bond along the way.

The only down points I can find are that the folklore was a little understated, the major conflicts could have been avoided by the main characters actually talking to their parents instead of assuming everything, and that the situation with the traders wasn't resolved. I believe that resolution may take place in a future book.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in historical romance filled with adventure and unique characters.

Also Available in the Highland Lairds Trilogy

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Kathleen Harrington, winner of the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence, has touched the hearts of readers across the country with her sparkling tales of high adventure and unending love. Her historical romances have been finalists for Romance Writers of America's RITA® Award, the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice, Virginia Romance Writers' HOLT Medallion, and the Phoenix Desert Rose Golden Quill. Her fabulous heroes have garnered the K.I.S.S. (Knight in Shining Silver) Award. She lives in Southern California.

Connect with Kathleen

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Black Raven’s Lady (Highland Lairds Trilogy #3) by Kathleen Harrington to read and review for this tour.

1 comment:

  1. I have this book on my Amazon Wish list...but I think I'm going to throw a few hints out there to a few in my family who usually get me something for my birthday (Nov. 30). A good idea, no? :-) thanks for the post. jdh2690@gmail.com


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