Author: B.J. Scott

Review: Highland Homecoming by BJ Scott

Posted December 27, 2013 by Ginny in Historical Romance, Reviews / 0 Comments

Review: Highland Homecoming by BJ Scott
Highland Homecoming by B.J. Scott
Series: Fraser Brothers #3
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Soul Mate Publishing on December 13, 2013
Format: eARC
Pages: 224
Source: Author, Tour Host

Purchase Links: Amazon
Book Links: Goodreads
Overall Rating:

Book Description:

Book Description:
The last thing Alasdair Fraser expects to find on an isolated beach along the coast of northern Scotland is a beautiful, unconscious lass. Unable to turn his back on someone in need, he delays his journey and tend so her injuries–an act that has him questioning his plans to rejoin Robert the Bruce and the fight for Scotland’s independence.

Will he drop the shield that guards his heart or will the secrets she fails to reveal, a king-sanctioned marriage to another man, and his own stubbornness keep them apart forever?


Good Quote:
“Mayhap a Selkie had washed up from the ocean’s depths,” he muttered and nudged her foot with the toe of his boot.

Ginny’s Review:
… I’m going to be honest with you all, this book made me a little frustrated and angry. This review may become a rant. You’ve been warned.

With the above quote, and the setting of Scotland, I was really prepared to like this book — and for quite a bit of it, I did.  But there were just too many small issues that I found which eventually piled up enough to make me dislike the book — and I really hate disliking books. Around 87% of the way through the book, I wrote up a list of things that bothered me. I’m going to share a few of these things with you now:

First off, I don’t have curly hair, but I’m fairly certain that if a woman is “soaking wet”, her hair does not still maintain perfect, beautiful curls. Especially if she’s washed up on shore after being thrown into the sea during a storm. You’d have more of a huge, tangled mess, and water usually weighs down the curls, flattening them just a little.

When Alasdair comes across the mystery woman on the beach, it takes him a page or two to even give her a blanket for warmth — yes, she’s unconscious, but I actually wrote a note in my Kindle saying, “For God’s sake, man! The woman’s lips are blue! Give her your tartan and stop staring at her breasts through her night rail!”

One of my biggest issues with this book stems from the fact that the woman’s family thought her to be dead, as she was thrown into the sea during a storm.  (Small spoiler warning!) — What happened was that she was trying to defend herself against a man trying to rape her, and she ran out onto the deck of their ship during the storm and was tossed overboard. Later in the book, the would-be-rapist escapes from her father’s dungeon and seemingly plunges to his death when he falls off the cliff into that same body of water, and they all assume he’s dead. Now, normally I’d be ok with this as a huge fall into icy depths of ocean and rock would be cause to think someone was dead… But they JUST GOT HER BACK AFTER THINKING THE SAME THING!!! Why not be more on guard? Why act so incredibly surprised when he shows up again to finish the job?! Come on, people! I think it was the absolute surprise on everyone’s behalf of this guy showing back up that made me toss my hands in the air.

Finally, Alasdair continually mentions going back to fight the war with Robert, the Bruce. Over and over and over again… Then, towards the end, there is a battle. Just one that seems to only last for a few hours…. and is oddly only a few hours ride from where he was…. This makes no sense to me. From everything that had been said previously in the book about where this battle was to take place, it certainly seemed that it would take them more than a few hours on horseback to get there. The battle almost seems like it was just tossed into the mix of this book to make it count as “historical” and to tie up some loose ends (I won’t say what, because I dislike spoiling more). It just seemed too convenient and not well thought-out.

I really wanted to like this book, and I really dislike giving out bad reviews, but I was so exasperated with this one that I just couldn’t say it was any better than a 2.5 out of 5.  It makes me sad, really. The characters were flip-floppy.. The female character I wanted to just shake and tell her to grow a pair… though upon her killing her would-be-rapist (sorry, spoiler) — THAT I cheered for. So there ARE some redeeming qualities here.  It’s just difficult having to force yourself to finish a book.

My Favorite Christmas Recipe & Giveaway: Highland Homecoming by B.J. Scott

Posted December 3, 2013 by Sherri in Author Spotlight, Giveaways / 32 Comments

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My Favorite Christmas Recipe

by B.J. Scott

One of my favorite treats at Christmas, or any time of the year is shortbread cookies. Often reserved for special occasions such as Christmas, Hogmanay, or weddings, these butter shortened morsels have been part of Scottish tradition for centuries. There are some who say the shortbread cookie, also known as ‘Petticoat Tails’ flavored with caraway seeds was a favorite of Mary Queen of Scots in the sixteenth century, but they have actually been around since before the twelfth century. Made in rounds and consisting of three ingredients—flour, butter and sugar—the shortbread was cut into wedged to resemble the fabric pieces used to make petticoats during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.  In Shetland festively decorated shortbread is broken over the bride’s head before she enters her new home.

Making ‘Biscuit breads’ as they were once called began in medieval times. Left over dough from bread was dried at a low heat until it hardened. Gradually the yeast in the bread was replaced by butter and shortbread was the end result. The tradition of eating shortbread on Hogmanay/New Year’s Eve goes back to pagan times and eating yule cakes which symbolized the sun. A Viking Custom.  In Scotland it is traditionally offered to or by the ‘first footer’ the first visitor of the New Year. He brought with him gifts of wood or coal, so the family will have warmth through the winter, shortbread or black bun so the family will have food and coins so they will not want for anything.

Shortbreads come in three shapes. A large round cut into triangles, small individual mounds or in a slab cut into fingers. One of the best things I have added of late to my kitchen is the clay shortbread pan seen below.

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Traditional Recipe:

1 cup Flour

1/2 cup of Butter

1/3 cup of icing sugar

 Cream together the butter and sugar. Then add the flour. Mix together but do not knead too much.

Grease a short bread pan and press the dough into the pan. Prick the back with a tooth pick and back at 300 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and cut the wedges.

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Highland Homecoming
by B.J. Scott
Series: Fraser Brothers Trilogy #3
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Published September 17th 2013
Genre: Historical Romance
eBook, 224 pages

Book Description:

The last thing Alasdair Fraser expects to find on an isolated beach in Northern Scotland is a beautiful, unconscious lass. Unable to turn his back on someone in need, he delays his journey and tends to her injuries–an act that has him questioning his destiny and his plans to rejoin the fight for Scotland’s independence.

Will he drop the shield that guards his heart or will the secrets she fails to reveal and his own stubbornness keep them apart forever?

Purchase Links:  Amazon  |  Add to Goodread

Excerpt

Perched on a stool by the fire, he watched her sleep, wondering how he was going to ever let her go. She was by far the loveliest woman he had ever seen, and she did not seem to be put off by his size, awkwardness, or lack of manners. But duty dictated that they part ways.

After tossing a log on the fire, he spread a pelt on the floor in front of the hearth, then lowered himself to the ground. He pulled the tunic over his head and tossed it on the stool, then did the same with his trews and boots, before settling beneath a length of plaid.

The last thing he wanted to do was lie on the floor and go to sleep. If truth be known, he wanted to slip beneath the covers, take Lauren in his arms, and make her his own. But that would not be right or proper. They were not betrothed and despite what people might think of him, he was a man of honor.

The women he’d bedded in the past had all been of questionable repute and none had been untried maidens. If Lauren was not already married or spoken for, he held enough respect for her that he would wait until their wedding night. But then again, if she did not get her memory back, he might never know for certain.

He slammed his fist on the floor. What the hell was he thinking? He was never going to take a bride. Especially one with no past. He was a warrior. There was no future for them, something he best not forget. He tucked the plaid around his shoulders and dozed off.

An ear-piercing scream disturbed his slumber and Alasdair jolted up with a start. Wasting no time, he climbed to his feet and raced to the pallet.

About B.J. Scott

With a passion for historical romance, history in general, and anything Celtic, B.J. always has an exciting work in progress. Each story offers a blend of romance, adventure, suspense, and, where appropriate, a dab of comic relief. Carefully researched historical facts are woven into each manuscript, providing a backdrop from which steamy romance, gripping plots, and vivid characters—dashing alpha heroes and resourceful, beguiling heroines you can’t help but admire—spring to life. A member of RWA, World Romance Writers, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, and Savvy Authors, B.J. also writes contemporary, paranormal, time travel, and romantic suspense.

C.S. Lewis first captivated B. J.’s imagination in the fourth grade, and her desire to write sprang from there. Following a career in nursing and child and youth work, B.J. married her knight-in-shining-armor, and he whisked her away to his castle by the sea. In reality, they share their century-old home in a small Canadian town on the shore of Lake Erie with three dogs and a cat. When she is not working at her childcare job, on her small business, or writing, you will find her reading, camping, or antique hunting.

Tourwide Giveaway

B.J. will be awarding a $50 Amazon gift card, Scottish shortbread cookies, can cooler and mouse pad (US/CANADA ONLY) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

We encourage you to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

Good luck everyone!

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