The Highlander’s Crusader Bride by Cathy MacRae-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

THE HIGHLANDER’S CRUSADER BRIDE ( Hardy Heroines #3) by Cathy MacRae (& DD MacRae)-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

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Hardy Heroines #3
by Cathy MacRae
Release Date: October 24, 2017
Genre: adult, historical, Highlander, romance

The Highlander's Crusader Bride / / / /

About the Book: Release Date October 24, 2017

Born in the Holy Land only a few years after the Third Crusade, half-Armenian, half-Scot Arbela MacLean is a true daughter of the desert, beautiful and untamed. Trained to be a warrior to avoid her gentle mother’s fate, Arbela has honed her skills with Turkish bow and arrow, sword and throwing darts—and dreads the day her father choses a man for her to marry.

After more than thirty years in the Holy Land, Donal MacLean, Baron of Batroun, is recalled to Scotland, the last son available to take up leadership of clan MacLean. He brings with him knights, treasure, trade—and a daughter of marriageable age.

Caelen MacKern, known as the Bull of the Highlands, is cynical about women. His first marriage formed an alliance, and he did not grieve when his spoiled, immature bride passed away. He has agreed to marry again—against his better judgement—for the men, means and coin to recover from a devastating pestilence that all but wiped out his clan.

Though more than a little resentful at finding himself forced to remarry, Caelen’s proposal to Donal MacLean’s headstrong daughter nevertheless piques her interest. Each will receive what they want most from life—the ability to live as they please without interference from a meddling spouse. But their marriage of indifference will soon change to one of passion that neither Arbela nor Caelen could have predicted.


REVIEW: THE HIGHLANDER’S CRUSADER BRIDE is the third instalment in Cathy MacRae’s adult HARDY HEROINES historical, Highlander romance series. This is half-Armenian, half Scot Arbela MacLean, and Caelen MacKern’s story line.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Caelen and Arbela) THE HIGHLANDER’S CRUSADER BRIDE is a stand alone story line that follows the marriage of convenience between half-Armenian, half Scot Arbela MacLean, and Laird Caelen MacKern, leader of Clan MacKern in the Western Highlands of Scotland. Death and disease has ravaged the MacKern Clan, and with it comes the struggles to feed and support the numerous bodies within the Keep. To add insult to an already suffering Clan, Laird MacKern’s former father in law seeks revenge against the Laird for the untimely death of his daughter, Caelen’s first wife, plundering small herds and burning down the outlying crofts. Enter Laird Donal MacLean, who offers up his twenty year old daughter Arbela MacLean in exchange for provisions, repairs and additional security. What ensues is the marriage of convenience between the independent and warrior-trained Arbela MacLean, and Laird Caelen MacKern, and the potential fall out as Laird MacGillonay demands custody of Caelen’s only son attacking the Clan and the woman with whom Caelen is falling in love.

Arbela MacLean is half-Armenian, half-Scot, and royalty by birth, but our heroine is unlike any of the Scottish woman Caelen has ever met or seen. Warrior trained in both the defensive and offensive ways of war, the head-strong but beautiful Arbela is a one-woman army unto herself. Darker skinned with an attitude to match, Arbela will become the victim of racist slurs and savage attacks that accompany her marriage to a Scottish Laird. Five years earlier Caelen MacKern’s wife died leaving our hero a single father with a one-year old son. Discouraged by his first marriage Caelen vows never to remarry as he battles to maintain control of his struggling Clan. A marriage of convenience will aid in the resurrection of the MacKern Clan but a marriage that is doomed to fail as both Caelen and Arbela refuse to accept anything beyond a marriage in name only.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters. Not everyone is true to the MacKern Clan-there are traitors in the midst, some closer than others. The introduction of Bram MacKern softens our heroine’s heart as she grows to love the child as her own.

The relationship between Arbela and Caelen begins as an arrangement. Arbela had no plans for marriage; and Caelen refuses to enter into a marriage with another unhappy wife. Their unwritten agreement to keep separate lives is quickly extinguished when their palpable sexual attraction is heightened by threats against the people they love. The $ex scenes are intimate without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.

THE HIGHLANDER’S CRUSADER BRIDE mixes historical facts with fiction creating a wonderful story line about two people pulled together by circumstance and love. There are moments of betrayal and devotion, hatred and friendship, discrimination and acceptance, romance and love. The premise is entertaining, revealing and engaging; the characters are real, colourful and charismatic; the romance is passionate and slow to build. Cathy MacRae adds another dimension to her Hardy Heroine’s –a series of strong, independent and beautiful women who find the courage to live and love.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
Highland Escape
The Highlander’s Viking Bride
The Highlander’s Crusader Bride

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

About the Author

Cathy MacRae lives on the sunny side of the Arbuckle Mountains where she and her husband read, write, and tend the garden—with the help of the dogs, of course.

You can visit with her on facebook, or read her blogs and learn about her books at . Drop her a line—she loves to hear from readers!


DD MacRae enjoys bringing history to life and considers research one of the best things about writing a story! With more than 35 years of martial arts training, DD also brings breath-taking action to the tales.

You can connect with DD through It’s always exciting to hear from readers!


Goodreads: Cathy:   DD:

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The Highlander’s Viking Bride by Cathy MacRae-Review, Giveaway & Excerpt Tour

THE HIGHLANDER’S VIKING BRIDE (Hardy Heroines #2) by Cathy MacRae-Review, Giveaway and Excerpt Tour

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Hardy Heroines #2
by Cathy MacRae
Release Date: May 22, 2017
Genre: adult, historical, Highlander, slightly paranormal, romance

The Highlander's Viking Bride / / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo /

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About the book: Release Date May 22, 2017

Calder MacGerry, laird of an impoverished clan, has resolved to end the bitter feud between the MacGerrys and Sinclairs. He jumps at Laird Sinclair’s offer of marriage to his only daughter, Katja, to seal the agreement between their clans—only to get more than he bargained for.

Katja’s chance to escape her father’s harsh treatment appears to be too good to be true. But becoming Lady of a clan that despises her because she’s a Sinclair, doesn’t make her life any easier. When the attacks turn deadly, she fights her way out, making a dangerous passage to the Shetland Isles for refuge with her Viking family.

Calder and Katja’s marriage, built on mistrust, rushes quickly into disaster. As Calder seeks to repair the damage, Katja discovers not another enemy, but a husband who pledges a new beginning.


REVIEW: THE HIGHLANDER’S VIKING BRIDE is the second installment in Cathy MacRae historical, slightly paranormal HARDY HEROINES romance series. This is Laird Calder MacGerry, and Katja Sinclair’s story line. THE HIGHLANDER’S VIKING BRIDE can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Calder and Katja) THE HIGHLANDER’S VIKING BRIDE follows Laird Calder MacGerry as he must make peace and end the feud with Clan Sinclair upon the death of his father. Without food or supplies for the upcoming winter, the new Laird is desperate for find provisions for his suffering clan. When Earl Sinclair offers a truce, the truce comes with a caveat-a proviso of sorts-Calder MacGerry must marry the Earl’s only daughter, and in doing so would be granted the woman’s dowry and everything that comes with. Enter Katja Sinclair, the mysterious and only daughter of Earl Sinclair, and the woman with whom Calder will fall in love. What ensues is the tepid but growing relationship between Calder and Katja, and the struggle for Katja to trust the man who has all but destroyed her heart and her soul.

THE HIGHLANDER’S VIKING BRIDE is a story of romance, betrayal, revenge and mistrust. Calder never thought about taking a bride but with his clan in total disrepair, Earl Sinclair’s offer is something he could not refuse. Katja is an independent young woman who has struggled all of her life to find a place in her father’s heart only to be rejected time and again. Her marriage to Laird Calder MacGerry comes with a promise of love but a love that will be threatened by sins of the past. The $ex scenes are intimate and seductive without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.

THE HIGHLANDER’S VIKING BRIDE, like many of Cathy MacRae’s previous Highlander tales finds our couple apart for a good portion of the building story line. Katja believes she is better off, away from the Laird and his clan, and finds herself on the run, searching for family she hasn’t seen in years. Meanwhile Calder MacGerry must go in search of his wayward bride. More time together would have increased my enjoyment of the overall story. The premise is entertaining and passionate; the characters are colorful, strong willed, and charismatic; the romance struggles in the face of mistrust and threats against the heroine’s life. THE HIGHLANDER’S VIKING BRIDE is a dramatic and energetic story where a young woman finds happiness against the odds.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy


(Katja meets Calder)
Katja reluctantly heeded her father’s summons to the great hall. She much preferred taking meals in her chamber, as constant criticism and scorn from her father made for poor company. Her only regret was not spending the time with her brothers. She remembered the days before her amma died when mealtimes were pleasant, even enjoyable. She did not remember the days when her ma was alive.
Everyone in the keep knew guests had arrived—rumored to be the hated MacGerrys. Her father would likely use the opportunity to dangle her as bait again for some sort of alliance, her hand in marriage as part of the bargain. She grimaced. The MacGerry laird was as old as her sire—as were all the men her da had presented as prospective husbands.
“I willnae marry a man thrice my age. Why does he keep bringing such old relics about, Freki? Has the man not made the acquaintance of anyone younger than two score?”
Her companion did not answer.
Katja hurried to the great hall with Freki at her side. If she allowed her sire to wait too long, he would add to her humiliation by displaying her like a freshly caught trout in front of his guests. Much as she disliked appeasing him, flaunting her disdain was far worse.
When they reached the door to the hall, she raised a hand, whispering a command for her companion to wait outside the door as she perused the people seated in the great hall. Pale auras of color surrounded each man, giving the room a festive look were it not for the unsettling tale each told her. The reds of anger and lust, the brown of dishonesty, gray and sulphur of dark thoughts and pain. From long practice, she ignored the pale green of pity she knew were aimed at her.
Skirting the red auras, Katja moved silently into the room, attracting no attention. Years of avoiding her father gave her the skill to move about the castle like a ghost, finding tremendous value in being invisible when the need called for it. It wasn’t until she stood near the foot of the lower tables that anyone noticed her. Laird Sinclair’s eyes gleamed.
“Ah, here is my daughter. Katja, meet the new MacGerry Laird.”
The sight of a young man instead of the old laird she expected startled Katja. Tall, lean of muscle with dark brown hair and fair skin, his deep blue eyes were the color of sapphires or perhaps the ocean on a calm day. A high forehead, strong jaw and full lips made for a very handsome face. Lips which curved into a kind smile at her.
His eager blue eyes stared at her, as if caught in a pleasant dream. Katja’s stomach twisted in a way she’d not experienced before. Heat scorched its way from her head to her shoulders, tingling along her breasts and descending lower. She didn’t recognize or understand the strange awareness. Her breathing picked up its pace as her heart beat tripled. How could one look from a man inspire such a reaction?
She averted her gaze in an effort to wrestle her body and emotions under control. Inhaling deeply, she raised her eyes again only to find the same sensations slamming into her anew. She needed a distraction.
Use the sight. It doesnae lie.
Looking past her normal ability to see, she glanced first at her father. The darkening gray aura surrounding him reflected his greed, his nature growing more corrupt with time. A band of deep brown layered on top of the gray was new today. She knew it as a sign of deceit and wondered what he was up to. Scanning the rest of the table, the light blue surrounding her brothers Bjorn, Christer and Patrik reflected

About The author

Cathy MacRaeFollow Cathy: Twitter / Goodreads / Website / Facebook

Cathy MacRae lives on the sunny side of the Arbuckle Mountains where she and her husband read, write, and tend the garden—with the help of the dogs, of course.


You can visit with her on facebook, or read her blogs and learn about her books at Drop her a line—she loves to hear from readers!


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The Highlander’s French Bride by Cathy MacRae-a review

THE HIGHLANDER’S FRENCH BRIDE (The Highlander’s Bride #5) by Cathy MacRae-a review

The Highlander's French Bride / / /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date November 27, 2015

Heir to a lairdship, Kinnon Macrory is driven to prove his worth by fighting the English on the battlefields of France. His dreams of heroic valor are destroyed by the realities of war—the atrocities visited by fellow soldiers on the very people he is sworn to protect. Three years in a French prison for a crime he did not commit leave Kinnon longing for the one thing of beauty in his war-torn life—a young woman of great kindness and wisdom named Melisende.

Melisende de la Roche struggles to stay one step ahead of soldiers who would imprison her for helping an injured Scotsman wrongly accused of treason. She finds refuge in her uncle’s shop—until a chance encounter sends her fleeing into the unknown once again, haunted by the beguiling friendship with the troubled young Scotsman she is certain she will never see again.

Determined to find the woman of his dreams, Kinnon returns to France, only to discover a trail of clues to Melisende’s whereabouts. Their reunion will open the doors to passion, but half-truths and lies from the past could destroy the one thing they both are willing to fight for—each other.


REVIEW: THE HIGHLANDER’S FRENCH BRIDE is the fifth installment in Cathy MacRae’s THE HIGHLANDER’S BRIDE historical romance series. This is Scotsman and heir to the Macrory Lairdship Kinnon Macrory, and French woman Melisende de la Roche. Kinnon is Gilda Macrory’s brother-first introduced in The Highlander’s Tempestuous Bride. THE HIGHLANDER’S FRENCH BRIDE can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty.

Told from third person point of view THE HIGHLANDER’S FRENCH BRIDE follows Kinnon Macrory onto the battlefields of France and into the lives of French sisters Melisende and her younger sister Lucienne. For weeks, Kinnon travelled to the sisters’s farm in search of food for himself and his men, but war soon came to the small village, and Melisende found herself trapped in town aiding the wounded and dying while her sister played nursemaid, back home, to an equally wounded Kinnon. When Kinnon is charged with treason and abandoning his post, Melisende and her sister become embroiled with the soldiers only to find themselves on the run with no place to go. Years would pass before Melisende would set eyes on the man with whom she had fallen in love, but not before Lucienne embarks on a journey for herself.

THE HIGHLANDER’S FRENCH BRIDE follows two paths that will intersect years later when Kinnon is reunited with the woman he loves. Upon his release, Kinnon needs time to heal from his debilitating wounds, but is determined to search for Melisende and her sister knowing that one or both could have been captured by the British soldiers. The relationship between Kinnon and Melisende is very slow to build as the majority of the storyline sees the leading characters separate and in different countries. The reader has a front row seat as Kinnon searches for the woman he lost; and Melisende is constantly on the run –one step ahead of the price on her head.

Cathy MacRae has admitted taking liberty with the historical accuracy and honestly I would not have noticed the timeline anomalies. Because the storyline traverses France and Scotland, we get a little bit of the Scottish brogue and the French language of love. Each of Cathy’s storylines features an animal or close pet. The premise is entertaining with a myriad of subplots and twists; the characters are colorful and animated-Lucienne’s personal story is heartbreaking and intense; Melisende and Kinnon’s life experiences add maturity and resolution; the $ex scenes are intimate but mostly implied. The romance and sexual tension between Melisende and Kinnon is sorely lacking due in part to the long separation throughout most of the storyline. I will add that the ‘long separation’ between leading characters is a regular feature of Cathy’s storylines.

Copy supplied by the author.

Reviewed by Sandy


Highland Escape by Cathy & DD MacRae-a review

HIGHLAND ESCAPE by Cathy MacRae and D.D. MacRae-a review

Highland Escape / /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 9, 2015

Fleeing the English army that murdered her family before her eyes, Anna Braxton rescues two young women, kidnapped by a barbaric Highland clan only to find herself unjustly imprisoned by the clan she aided. Disgusted by her treatment, she counters their belated offer of friendship with anger and distrust. But she does not count on the unexpected effect the laird’s son has on her heart.

Duncan MacGregor does not understand his da’s command to imprison the young woman who saved his sister’s life. He is more than intrigued with Anna’s skill with a bow and sword—in fact, he is fascinated by everything about her, in spite of her lack of feminine wiles. Straightforward and with a deep-seated sense of honor, Anna Braxton disrupts his entire notion of a suitable woman.

Trained as a warrior and unwilling to be any man’s chattel, Anna shuns the idea of marriage—until Duncan coaxes her into a world of acceptance and passion she never knew existed. He wants her as his wife. She will agree, but only on her own terms—conditions Duncan is not sure he can accept.


REVIEW: HIGHLAND ESCAPE is an historical, Highlander storyline that follows Lady Anna Braxton –of both English and Scottish descent- who must flee to Scotland following the murder of her father and brother Edrick at the hands of the English army. What ensues is the capture of Anna by the MacGregor Clan and the potential for disaster when Anna attempts an escape from the prison in which she is being held. Anna’s only sin was to save two young women from potential assault-not knowing one was the Laird’s daughter. The Laird is determined to protect Anna from those wishing to do her harm by placing her in the care of his eldest son. Not only is the MacNairn Clan looking for Anna but some of the Laird’s men are not too happy with the Clan’s latest English acquisition.

Anna Braxton is not the typical fifteenth century female heroine: she has been trained in the Chinese martial arts; sword and knife fighting; hand to hand combat; and the healing herbs; in this, she is a force unto herself. But Anna has caught the eye of the Laird’s son-Duncan MacGregor-and a relationship builds as Anna attempts to find a place within the MacGregor family dynamic. Duncan MacGregor fell in love the moment he set eyes on Anna Braxton but the beautiful English/Scottish Lady was not what he had expected. Jealousy threatens his relationship when he is unable to come to terms with Anna’s independent nature, and the hand to hand combat training she does with the other men.

The relationship between Duncan and Anna begins acrimoniously although Anna is not aware of Duncan’s attraction, to her. She believes she is being held prisoner because of her English descent, and expects to be sentenced to death for crimes against the Scottish people. When Duncan’s well meaning sister Nessa, and mother Mairi take Anna under their wing, the truth about Duncan’s attraction to Anna will be revealed.

HIGHLAND ESCAPE is a storyline with a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including the MacGregor family, the Clan, and the people in the surrounding village. We will be introduced to Anna’s only remaining family, an uncle and her Grandfather Elliott, but in this, we learn very little about Anna’s early years with her father and brother. I would have liked more background information about Anna’s history and the family in which she grew up.

HIGHLAND ESCAPE is an engaging storyline; a fast paced, lively and enjoyable read with an independent, strong willed, inspiring heroine, and a swoon worthy hero who has eyes only for the Lady Braxton. The $ex scenes are seductive, sensual and romantic but limited in number as Duncan hopes to keep his bride-to-be chaste in advance of their wedding night. The premise is imaginative; the characters a unique mix of amusing, evil, and tragic; the romance intimate and heartwarming. My one complaint is the ending which appears to be a rush to the altar and a happily ever that we know nothing about. There is a potential story building for Duncan’s sister Nessa, and I hope that Duncan and Anna’s story will continue to unfold in a future tale. There is also an addendum that references some factual history that has been blended throughout the novel.

Copy supplied by the authors.

Reviewed by Sandy


The Highlander’s Outlaw Bride by Cathy MacRae-a review


the Highlander's Outlaw Bride / / /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 6, 2015

Thrust into the role of laird upon his father’s unexpected death, Connor MacLaurey returns home to learn his cousin has usurped his lands and title. Furthermore, his betrothed–a lass he barely knows and certainly did not agree to marry–is hunted by the sheriff, accused of stealing cattle. His plan is to petition the king for clemency for the foolish chit, break the betrothal, and take his castle back from his treacherous cousin. Marriage is not in his plans.

Brianna Douglas has no use for men. Widowed young, berated daily for failing to give her husband a child, and sent home in subsequent disgrace, she devotes her life to holding her family’s land for her young brother as their sotted father drowns his sorrow in whisky over their mother’s death. Raiders have hit her clan hard, and to save them, she finds herself betrothed to Laird MacLaurey’s absent son to seal a pact of protection with the MacLaurey clan.

Forced into a marriage neither wants, it will take a king’s edict and sacrifice from both to discover what love means. But can they accept their losses and learn from their mistakes before Brianna marries another?


REVIEW: THE HIGHLANDER’S OUTLAW BRIDE is the second installment in Cathy MacRae’s The Highlander’s Brides historical, romance series. This is Lady Brianna Douglas and Laird Connor MacLaurey’s storyline. We were first introduced to Connor in book one-The Highlander’s Tempestuous Bride wherein Conn fell in love with his best friend’s wife. Although THE HIGHLANDER’S OUTLAW BRIDE is the second book in the series, it can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty.

The premise follows Brianna Douglas as she and her guards are sentenced for ‘stealing’ cattle. For two weeks, Brianna has stood by and watched as thieves have stolen livestock from the neighboring lands and farms. Unwilling to sit back and do nothing, Brianna attempts to take back what rightfully belongs to the others and in doing so finds herself facing the hangman’s noose. When presented before the King, Brianna announces her royal lineage and the King soon promises Brianna’s hand in marriage to Laird Connor MacLaurey, the man who rescued a fallen Brianna, after her escape from custody. Brianna is unwilling to fall under another man’s command, and does everything possible to prove to Connor that she is the wrong woman to become his wife. There is also the possibility that someone wants Brianna out of the way, and will go to any length to ensure Brianna’s head in a noose.

The relationship between our couple begins as a one-night stand following Conn’s rescue of an injured Brianna wherein our heroine does not reveal her true identity. Throughout the storyline Brianna continues to push Connor away in the hopes that he dissolves their betrothal, anointed by the King but a good portion of the storyline finds our couple separated when Connor must return home and claim his rightful position as Laird of Morven. When Conn fails to appear for his wedding to Brianna, Brianna ensures that Conn will never again, have any chance to break her heart. The $ex scenes are mostly implied and the building romance suffers when the couple are no longer together.

The secondary and supporting characters include Brianna’s family: her long suffering and grieving father the Laird of Wyndham, five year old brother Jamie and their Uncle Willie. We are also introduced to Brianna’s warriors and guards including Gavin-a long time friend who has fallen in love with Brianna Douglas. Connor MacLaurey’s men include friends and fellow guards Bray and Gillis, as well as his cousin Malcolm who has set his own eyes on the MacLaurey Lairdship.

THE HIGHLANDER’S OUTLAW BRIDE is a quick read; a fast paced and engaging storyline of revenge, betrayal, family and love. The characters are animated and control a good portion of the premise. The conversations are rich in Scottish brogue, and you can almost smell the clean, fresh air of the Highlands.

Copy supplied by the author.

Reviewed by Sandy


The Highlander’s Tempestuous Bride by Cathy MacRae-a review

THE HIGHLANDER’S TEMPESTUOUS BRIDE (The Highlander’s Bride #3) by Cathy MacRae-a review

the Highlander's Tempestuous Bride / / /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date November 11, 2014

Returning home after a ten-year absence, Ryan Macraig falls for a fiery, red-haired lass from the wrong side of the firth. He can’t ignore his need to see her again, even knowing she must be a hated Macrory.

Gilda Macrory trespasses Macraig land, but haunting memories of the young man she once met there draw her to the forbidden place. Learning he is Laird Macraig’s son threatens her dreams, for her father would never agree to a marriage between his daughter and their enemy’s son.

With pirates raiding the coast, bad blood between the Macraig and Macrory clans could cost Ryan and Gilda their love—and their lives.


REVIEW: THE HIGHLANDER’S TEMPESTUOUS BRIDE is the third installment in Cathy MacRae’s The Highlander’s Bride historical romance series. Advancing the series approximately twelve years, THE HIGHLANDER’S TEMPESTUOUS BRIDE focuses on Ryan Macraig and Gilda Macrory. Gilda is the daughter of Laird and Lady Macrory whom we met in book two-The Highlander’s Reluctant Bride.

The storyline focuses on the simmering feud between the Macraig and Macrory Clans. When Laird Ranald Macrory calls a meeting of the local Lairds to deal with the recent threats by pirates and thieves, it does not go unnoticed the attraction between his daughter and that of his enemy’s son. What ensues is a hastily arranged personal and private declaration between two young lovers whose actions put into motion the growing animosity between father and son, and the neighboring clans. An attack by pirates against the Lairds and their villagers, finds Gilda caught between two families and yearning for the love of a man she had only known for a very short time.

The relationship between Gilda and Ryan is quick to develop. While each has been betrothed to another, Gilda and Ryan ensure that their future belongs to one another. The sex scenes are passionate but mostly implied.

The secondary and supporting characters include Gilda’s parents Ranald and Catriona, her younger siblings as well as Ryan’s family and best friend Conn. Ryan’s father wants nothing to do with his son’s choice for a wife but circumstances will change when the families go to war against marauding pirates and thieves.

Cathy MacRae continues to build upon the Highlands of Scotland, the stormy seas of an unforgiving ocean and the backdrop of Scottish castles and thriving villages. Her continued use of Scottish brogue and text brings the foothills of Scotland onto the pages of The Highlander’s Bride Series.

My only complaint is the quick resolution and reveal as it pertains to a major plot point in the story. The building animosity and mistaken beliefs were quickly remedied within a short period of time. There are moments of heartbreak and presumed betrayal that barely merited a mention but ones that could have aroused painful and intense feelings of anger and hurt.

THE HIGHLANDER’S TEMPESTUOUS BRIDE is a compelling and seductive addition to Cathy MacRae’s The Highlander’s Bride historical romance series. The breathtaking and stunning grounds of the historical Scottish Highlands stirs the imagination and startling wonder of times long ago.

The Highlander’s Accidental Bride
The Highlander’s Reluctant Bride
The Highlander’s Tempestuous Bride

Copy supplied by the author.

Reviewed by Sandy


The Highlander’s Reluctant Bride by Cathy MacRae-Review, Interview and Giveaway

The Highlander’s Reluctant Bride by Cathy MacRae-Review, Interview and Giveaway

The Highlander's Reluctant Bride banner

The Highlander’s Reluctant Bride
by Cathy MacRae
Release Date:
Genre: Highlander, historical, romance

The Highlander's Reluctant Bride / /

THE HIGHLANDER’S RELUCTANT BRIDE (Highlander’s Bride #2) by Cathy MacRae

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 15, 2014

Determined to keep the Macrory clan holdings out of the clutches of the Lord of the Isles and marauding pirates, King Robert II sends his man, Lord Ranald Scott, to hold Scaurness Castle. There, Laird Macrory lies dying, awaiting word from his son who is missing on the battlefields of France. If the son is not found before the old laird dies, Ranald will take over as laird–and marry Laird Macrory’s headstrong daughter.

Lady Caitriona sees no reason she cannot rule the clan in her brother’s stead, and is bitterly disappointed with the king’s decision to send a man to oversee the castle and its people. Not only is Ranald Scott only distantly related to the Macrory clan, but he was her childhood nemesis. She has little trust or like for him.

Her disappointment turns to panic when the king’s plan is completely revealed and she realizes she must wed Ranald. Pirates, treachery, and a 4-year-old girl stand between her and Ranald’s chance at happiness. What will it take for them to learn to trust each other and find the love they both deserve?


REVIEW: THE HIGHLANDER’S RELUCTANT BRIDE is the second instalment in Cathy MacRae’s Highlander historical romance series. This is Lord Ranald Scott and Lady Riona Macrory’s story. Following the death of Laird Macrory, King Robert sends Ranald to Scaurness Castle to secure and assume the position of Laird. To establish ownership, Ranald is ordered to marry Lady Macrory and is not surprised when she denies any claim of marriage. The two have a prior history that goes back a number of years.

The premise focuses on the building relationship between Ranald and Riona as well as defending the castle from would be claimants-a one time friend of the former Laird: and the head of the Laird’s guards. When treachery and treason is suspected Ranald must ensure his position of authority or lose control of the castle and the men.

The relationship between Ranald and Riona began as children but neither had seen one another in years. Their attraction to one another is immediate although both deny feelings or their emotions. But Riona hides a secret that she believes will push Ranald away and in doing so will discover that her past has come back to claim what he believes belongs to him. When Riona chooses her past over her present Ranald knows that the future he promised was never going to happen.

The world building continues with the inclusion of Laird Eaden Scott (Ranald’s brother) from the first storyline. With the backdrop of Scottish castles and the salt water ocean you can feel the moisture and dew on the misty shores. The secondary characters include family, friends and enemies all carefully placed who reveal bits and pieces about the history of the family and the guards.

Cathy MacRae pulls the reader into a romantic storyline of struggle, betrayal, heartbreak and love. The Highlander storylines are always a favorite genre for many romance readers and THE HIGHLANDER’S RELUCTANT BRIDE is the perfect romance read for love in the afternoon.

Copy supplied by the author.

Reviewed by Sandy

Interview orange:black

TRC: Hi Cathy and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the recent release of THE HIGHLANDER’S RELUCTANT BRIDE.

Cathy: Thank you so much! It’s great to be here today. The Highlander’s Reluctant Bride is just shy of its two month birthday.

Cathy MacRaeTRC: We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Follow Cathy: Twitter / Goodreads Website / Facebook

Cathy: Well, like other writers, I love to read and cannot remember a time when I didn’t have a book in my hand- two or three in my desk at school as a kid, books in my car (before ereaders) for downtime while kids were at one practice or another. When I decided to start writing Scottish historical romance, a fellow writer challenged me to enter a writing competition, and the genre has stuck with me. I love it! And, really, it’s not hard to appreciate men in kilts. **J I was fortunate enough to take a trip to Scotland two years ago and will definitely go again!

TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?

Cathy: My local writing group was my first support group. **J My current critique group is awesome and of course, there are numerous authors in my genre whose stories I love.

TRC: THE HIGHLANDER’S RELUCTANT BRIDE is the March 2014 and second release in your historical Highlander Brides series. Would you please tell us something about the premise?

Cathy: It is a stand alone book, but if you read the first one, you would recognize the hero in this book, Ranald, as the brother of the hero in The Highlander’s Accidental Bride.The Highlander's Reluctant Bride

In The Highlander’s Reluctant Bride, King Robert II has received an urgent request from Laird Macrory to send someone to help hold Scaurness Castle, a strategic site overlooking the Firth of Clyde. Both the Lord of the Isles and marauding pirates would love to claim it for their own.*

The king sends Ranald and sets three mandates. First, secure the castle in the name of the king. Second, take over as laird if the old laird dies before his son can be found and returned from France’s battlefields. The third mandate hinges on the second. To strengthen his claim on the Macrory clan (he is distantly related), he must marry the old laird’s headstrong daughter. Unfortunately, Ranald remembers her as an annoying child he didn’t like very much. Their story revolves around their early dislike of each other as well as a few unexpected obstacles they must overcome in order for them to learn to trust and then love one another.

TRC: How many books do you have planned for the series? Can each of the books be read as a stand alone?

Cathy: I currently have two more in queue for the series, with a couple more possible. Each will be a stand alone, but of course it is fun to recognize characters as they weave in and out of each other’s stories.

TRC: What challenges or difficulties (research, historical, logistics,background) did you encounter writing this particular story and series?

Cathy: The logistics of the time period are always challenging. There is the basic clan feuding to build around, but I want to include some of the issues of the time. Who was king? What were his policies? Did he support the highland clans or intrigue to keep them fighting each other? What were other notable wars/treaties/upheavals going on at this time?

TRC: Do you believe that fictional historical storylines should adhere to the ‘real history’ of the time period in the book(s)?

Cathy: To a degree, yes. I’d be happy reading something that was not historically accurate as long as the author was clear about it from the beginning.

TRC: What are your thoughts on writing a series and ending an installment with a major cliff hanger?

Cathy: I like my cliff hangers inside the book. **J There is a lot to be said about enticing readers to eagerly anticipate the next installment, but I don’t know if I’d write that way or not. I’m happier with an emotionally satisfying ending.

TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?

Cathy: One of my favorite things about writing is I’m never quite sure how the story will progress. The characters definitely direct the story for me.

TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writer’s fail in this endeavor?

Cathy: I think a good writer must engage the reader’s empathy for the hero and heroine and keep them true to their character. If a writer changes the heroor heroine’s reaction to a situation (except for an expected character change as the story progresses), the story will lose its believability. Characters with real, understandable flaws are wonderful. I think books are better with a hero and heroine who are just as fallible in the book as people would be in real life. I want to believe, no matter what happens in a person’s life, there can be a HEA.

TRC: Writer’s Block is a very real phenomenon. How do you handle the pressures and anxiety of writer’s block?

Cathy: Usually, when writer’s block is staring me in the face, I have written a character into an unbelievable situation. It might take some rereading of the story up to that point to see where it went wrong. Occasionally I just jump to another chapter and keep writing. I can usually backtrack and fix the ‘dead spot’ later.

TRC: Many authors bounce ideas and information with other authors or friends and family. With whom do you bounce ideas?

Cathy: My DH loves to hear my plots and is great at helping me find information. He usually does the first edits on my chapters. I often bounce ideas with my critique group, too. They are a HUGE help!

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Cathy: In The Highlander’s Reluctant Bride, a 4-year-old named Gilda is introduced. My next book is her story- twelve years later, of course. It is called The Highlander’s Tempestuous Bride.

TRC: What three things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?

Cathy: I am entering the arena of self-publication and career as a full-time author. I’m not sure I have time for anything else, lol! But if I do, I would love to take another trip to Scotland.

TRC: What is something that few, if any people, know about you?

Cathy: A few people know I worked as a tour guide at George Dickel Distillery for about a year recently. I absolutely loved the job! I met people from all over the world and learned a lot of amazing things, both about whisky and life in general.I suppose if I hadn’t moved, I’d still be there.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Cathy: Writing is such fun for me. I love interacting with readers, too. Readers can find me at my Website on Facebook or my author page at Cathy MacRae Author.


Favorite Food- shrimp

Favorite Dessert- anything chocolate or ice cream (preferably Ben & Jerry’s
cookie dough)

Favorite TV Show- NCIS

Last Movie You Saw– Robin Hood with Russell Crowe

Favorite Musical Group- The John Scofield Trio (funky jazz)

Dark or Milk Chocolate- Milk chocolate

Secret Celebrity Crush- George Clooney

Last Vacation Destination- Eureka Springs, AK

Pet Peeve- poor grammar

TRC: Thank you Cathy for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on the release of THE HIGHLANDER’S RELUCTANT BRIDE. We
wish you all the best.

Cathy: Thank you for having me here today! I’m so glad to get a chance to chat with you!

Giveaway Black and Orange

Cathy is offering the following prize package at The Reading Cafe.

-one commenter will receive the coconut soap and bookmark
-one commenter will receive a signed copy of THE HIGHLANDER’S ACCIDENTAL BRIDE
Cathy MacRae prize

1. Please register using the log-in at the top of the page.

2. If you are using a social log-in such as Twitter or Facebook, please post your email address with your comment.

3. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

 4. LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

5. LIKE Cathy MacRae on Facebook for an additional entry.

6. Giveaway open to USA only

7. Giveaway runs from May 16 to May 21, 2014


The Highlander’s Accidental Bride by Cathy MacRae-a review


the Highlander's Accidental Bride


ABOUT THE BOOK: RELEASED February 27, 2013

Chaos reigns between the Scott and Barde clans in 14th century Scotland. To end the generation’s long feud, King Robert II of Scotland decrees EADEN, LAIRD SCOTT, and Lady Miriam Barde wed with all haste. When marriage negotiations break down, King Robert threatens Eaden with the loss of lands and title. Forced to take matters into his own hands, the laird kidnaps his bride, only to find the young woman he mistakenly drags to his marriage bed is not Laird Barde’s daughter, but her lady companion.

MARY MARSH fights for her freedom from the laird and the unwanted marriage, refusing to accept her new life as Lady Scott. Realizing his error, Laird Scott develops an attachment to the feisty young woman he has accidentally married. Can he win her heart and convince her she is more than just a ‘duty’ to him? Or will the bond forged between the lady’s companion and the laird be destroyed by secrets and the feud that will not be laid to rest?


REVIEW: THE HIGHLANDER’S ACCIDENTAL BRIDE by Cathy MacRae is a storyline written in the highlander historical romance genre. The story begins as Laird Scott and the woman he presumes to be Lady Miriam Barde are forced to wed to ensure Scott retains possession of his lands. But when the Laird discovers that the woman he kidnapped and to whom he is now married is not the Barde’s daughter, the couple must endeavor to keep secret their accidental marriage or fight one another for freedom at all costs. If the truth is revealed the Laird will lose everything including the woman with whom he is falling in love. The anguish and heartbreak of knowing she is not the woman to whom the Laird was supposed to wed, will force Mary into a lifestyle she has only experienced from the sidelines in her former life.

The reader is taken on a journey with two people wanting something in their lives but neither one knows where to look. As the storyline develops we watch as Laird Scott softens towards the woman he now calls wife, but in doing so places his new wife at risk for retaliation by his former lover. And Mary will soon discover that a woman she wants to call a friend will set plans in motion to separate Mary from the Laird on a permanent basis.

Mary and Eaden’s (Laird Scott) relationship is one built on need as well as forced circumstances. When the Laird approaches the King for a divorce, he becomes suspicious when the King refuses his requests and demands to meet the new Lady Scott. Something about Scott’s new wife is familiar to the King. Laird’s only alternative is to seduce his young bride as only a husband knows how but when betrayal forces Mary to seek out a former friend, a declaration of war will pit Laird Scott against the man Mary once considered family.

The Highlander’s Accidental Bride is a wonderful story of heartbreak and loss, love and hate. Cathy MacRae gives us a fascinating peek into the lives and loves of the historical highland warriors. If you are a fan of historical highlander storylines, The Highlander’s Accidental Bride is the perfect read.

Copy supplied by the author

Reviewed by Sandy