Christmas in Kilts – Terri Brisbin, Lecia Cornwall, Bronwen Evans, Lavinia Kent, May McGoldrick

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Time for the seventh and last review of this Christmas-themed blog tour. As with the previous books (book 1, book 2, book 3, book 4, book 5 and book 6), my thanks go out to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy in exchange for an honest review! Christmas in Kilts is actually a collection of 5 short stories by different authors. These historical romances all feature sexy Highlanders and take place in the hills of Scotland.

The first short story is entitled “A Highlander’s Hope” by Terri Brisbin. In it, a determined Highlander falls head over heels for the village harlot and is determined to make her his. When his wife died, he thought he’d never love again and never have that family he craved. So when his family pushes for him to marry again, preferably some young girl to strengthen political ties, he warms up to the idea but he refuses the proposed girl. Instead, he figures he wants the woman he’s been seeing for years, but will he be able to convince her to trust him and leave her village behind? As they spend more time together, he sees how she lives and is more determined than ever. Eventually, she confesses that she loves him too and they decide to go for it together.

The second short story is entitled “A Highland Christmas Wager” and was written by Lecia Cornwall. This story’s about a young woman named Meggie, forced to take shelter from the snow at the castle of the man she once loved and trusted but now loathes. She finds three Highlanders on the premise, her ex-lover and two of his friends. The men, bored with nothing to do because of the snow, decide to make a wager to see who will win Meggie’s heart. The brute man who she used to love but who only wanted her because of her connections and dowry, the jovial and outgoing man who is in to win the game or the quiet, serious man who stays in the background? The last man actually came to ask the first for his sister’s hand in marriage as he needs a wife. But eventually things are sorted out to everyone’s liking: the second man finds himself in love with the first’s sister, and the quiet man manages to win Meggie’s heart. And the first? He’s just happy his sister is married off! Intrigued? The prologue is available to read on Lecia’s website!

Then there’s the “Leftover Mistletoe” by Lavinia Kent. In this story, everything that can go wrong, actually ends up going wrong. James has heard that one of his roguish friends is going to marry James’ sister, so he rushes home to stop the wedding. But his horse gets stolen, forcing him to take a coach. In that same coach is Emma, who is on her way home but when their carriage broke down, her maid ran off with her luggage (and most of her money), which is how she ended up in that same coach. But then, their coach stops and when they get out, the horses and driver are nowhere to be seen. It turns out that James’ friend arranged for this to happen so that he couldn’t stop the wedding. Emma, already worked up because of her maid, is quite agitated and ends up twisting her ankle. So, they hike to the nearby cabin on the edge of James’ land and stay there until James’ friend comes to rescue them. However, when James realises who Emma is, he tells her they’ll have to get married in order to save her reputation. They spend the next few days together, getting to know each other and getting ready for their own happy ending.

The fourth short story in this book is “A Scot for Christmas” by Bronwen Evans. This story is about Emma who has forever been in love with Dougray, who broke her heart when he got married. Now, resigned to a spinster’s life, she decides to go with her brother to a rowdy Christmas party to taste passion at least once, before she hides herself away in the country. And who does she meet there? Dougray, just coming out of a 6 year mourning period over his wife. So Emma takes a chance and asks Dougray to be her lover and, unable to fight his attraction to her, he agrees. After an incredible night, Dougray gets scared because he doesn’t want to love (and lose) again. So he breaks things off, but Emma isn’t going to accept that. So she goes to him to tell him she won’t go away that easily, that their night together must’ve meant more to both of them, but then she hears him talking about his plan to marry Fiona, the laird’s daughter. She runs away heartbroken, and doesn’t hear him telling his friends he can’t go through with it since he’s in love with Emma. Luckily, he catches up to her and they set things right to get to their happily ever after.

And last but certainly not least is “Sweet Home Highlands” by May McGoldrick, a story about a pretty girl and her aunt. Freya has been raising her niece Ella for years since Ella’s parents died. But now that Freya’s father has died, her estranged mother is questioning whether Freya can care for the child properly. She has summoned Freya and Ella to her to see if the situation can continue. As Freya loves Ella dearly, she is willing to do everything to prove to her motehr that she’s capable of caring for Ella. So she has taken it upon herself to get married to her father’s heir, to provide Ella with a financially stable future and a home. She isn’t too pleased about the man and doesn’t really want to get married, but she would do anything for Ella. On their journey, Ella quickly takes a shine to the ship captain who will bring them to the heir and then to Freya’s mother. Freya and the captain have a lot of chemistry, but he has his own plans that do not involve a wife and child. Luckily, they manage to see past this as the captain is charmed by Ella and impressed by Freya. And then Ella carries out her sneaky plan to get the two of them together and get a happily ever after for all three of them!

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This collection of short stories is perfect for people who love historical romances with rugged Highlander men and a little bit of Christmas sprinkled on top. Each story is completely different and each couple goes through different trials and tribulations to get to their happily ever after. There’s love at first sight, love that’s harder won, overpowering lust, internal and external battles, bad weather, difficult families, meddling friends, and more! These bestselling authors each created their own little universe, peopled with tough Highlanders and beautiful women set in the stunning Scottish Highlands. So if you are in the mood for some hot Christmas reading about tough Scots finding love, then this is the book for you! Especially during the Holiday season.

Happy reading,

Loes M.

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