2021 Book #7 – Highland Treasure by Lynsay Sands

Title: Highland Treasure
Author: Lynsay Sands
Date finished: 1/15/21
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: January 26, 2021
Pages in book: 366
Stand alone or series: #9 in the Highland Brides series
Where I got the book from: Edelweiss
NOTE: I received this book for free from Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

A Buchanan brother finds a love to treasure in this scintillating historical romance from New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands…

After escaping from the English soldiers who attacked her home and imprisoned her in a dungeon, Lady Elysande de Valance is grateful for the rugged Scots who are escorting her to safety in the Highlands. Even with danger dogging their every step, she hadn’t expected to welcome the strong comforting embrace of their leader, Rory Buchanan. They say he’s a healer, but she finds the heat of his touch does so much more…

Let his brothers get married—Rory is too busy tending to the sick to be bothered with wooing a bride. But when he is tasked with accompanying a family friend’s “treasure” to the Highlands, he is surprised to learn the treasure is a beautiful woman on the run—and even more surprised to discover bruises hidden by her veil. Rory makes it his mission to tend to her injuries and protect her, but the thought of losing her makes him realize that perhaps it is his heart that is most in need of healing…

My rating:  3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

This book really kicked off with an intense start. Intensely tragic obviously but it also really captivates the reader right from the beginning and really makes the reader want to see how Elysande is able to survive this. There was a lot of set up involved in her story though and it almost took some away from the romance because we don’t even get to the romantic side of things until like half way the book. Which is interesting because the development of the story started out really strong for me in the first half but then it got a little slow for me and somewhat repetitive. I think it was just that there was so much detail included that it started to feel slow at some points just with the amount of details. Overall though it was a good book. I didn’t want to put it down as I was really intrigued by the plot – just not the romance plot.

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2015 Book #117 – The Virgin’s Spy by Laura Andersen

51UOqq57y1LTitle: The Virgin’s Spy
Author: Laura Andersen
Date finished: 11/22/15
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: November 10, 2015
Pages in book: 369
Stand alone or series: Tudor Legacy Trilogy #2
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Queen Elizabeth I remains sovereign of England and Ireland. For the moment, at least. An Irish rebellion is growing and Catholic Spain, led by the Queen’s former husband, King Philip, plans to seize advantage of the turmoil. Stephen Courtenay, eldest son of Dominic and Minuette, Elizabeth’s most trusted confidantes, has accepted a command in Ireland to quell the unrest. But the task will prove dangerous in more ways than one.
The Princess of Wales, Elizabeth’s daughter, Anabel, looks to play a greater role in her nation, ever mindful that there is only one Queen of England. But how is Anabel to one day rule a country when she cannot even govern her own heart?

My rating: 4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book tells the story of a variety of people actually. We were introduced to most of the characters in Book #1 (The Virgin’s Daughter) in the series when Lucette Courtenay fell in love with Julien LeClerc. This book picks up not long after the end of Book #1, but this book focuses more on Lucette’s younger brother, Stephen. The book also continues the stories of Lucette’s twin siblings, Kit & Pippa, as well as Queen Elizabeth and her daughter Anabel. In this book, Stephen becomes a spy for the English crown to exact some personal revenge. Along the way though, he falls in love somewhere entirely unexpected and actually ends up (technically speaking) becoming a traitor to the crown. We’re left a little in limbo with his story. I had expected him to end up married and happy as Lucette did in the first book but (***SPOILER ALERT***) that doesn’t happen. This book doesn’t end up with Stephen’s happily ever after but with Stephen in prison, which surprised me but also intrigued me.
Overall I enjoyed this book and the continuation of the series. The book reads almost like a war manual to me, all strategy and cunning insights and plotting and revenge. The main drawback for me with this books was that it felt like it ended in a cliffhanger, which I personally don’t particularly enjoy. I like series books to be able to stand alone as a story on their own, but with this book there was a distinct lack of resolution for me in all the story lines currently in process at the end. It didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the book at all, but I get so frustrated with cliffhangers because now I have to wait months for resolution to the story! Other than that this was a great book with a well-paced story line, interesting characters, and an intriguing historical background.

The bottom line: I would recommend this book to people who like historical fiction, especially those who are interested in novels about the Tudor family. Great book, though I’m anxious to find out what happens next!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page