To Marry a Scottish Laird (Lynsay Sands)

Overall Response

This book is fine. It's an average read. That's not to knock it -- it's like any other book Lynsay Sands writes. A reliable author who may not blow your mind but will always entertain you is worth its weight in gold. I know my money is always well spent. The characters are fun to read about, the murder mystery is engaging, and this book works well to set up the next four in the series with a series of female characters who didn't blur together. I was especially looking forward to Saidh and Murine's stories. What did distract me is a few typos--Cam refers to Joan as Annabel later in the book (that's her aunt) and there's also a mistake earlier in the book (Cam says the name MacKay before Joan reveals that's where she's going). I imagine that only gets noticed once you've read a few times.

That being said, it's a good book. It serves more as the introduction to the series than An English Bride in Scotland as Joan is the niece of Annabel and Ross rather than a contemporary, and the rest of the series takes place with Joan and Cam's generation.

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Beautiful Gifts (Catherine Anderson)

This novella was released as part of an anthology entitled The True Love Wedding Dress, in which Catherine Anderson wrote the prologue, the epilogue, and the final story. Other authors included Connie Brockway, Casey Claybourne, and Barbara Metzger.

Overall Response

Anthologies are really one of my least favorite types of books to buy. Best case scenario, you love all the stories in the books and you might even find a new author to follow. My usual experience has been one or two of the stories are fine, and then there are two more you'd be happy to never read again. This anthology is one of the better ones, somewhere in the middle of those two scenarios.

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After the Wedding (The Worth Saga #2)

Note: Received as ARC in exchange for a review. For order links, see Courtney Milan's website.

Initial Thoughts & Hot Take

I thought the book got off to a slow start. The first few chapters threw a lot of information at me about Adrian's background and family, so it took me a minute to get into the story. That being said, once it got going, I couldn't put it down and I finished it in a few hours. We'd waited a while for the follow-up to the cliffhanger ending at the end of the first book, Once Upon a Marquess, and I definitely felt like After the Wedding delivered.

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Lucky Penny (Catherine Anderson)

Overall Response

So I like this book a lot even though there are a lot of reasons I shouldn't.  This book has some major red flags, particularly in the way David treats Brianna early on and I really don't think I was satisfied with how it worked out in that respect. That being said, Catherine Anderson does everyone a service in that once her initial lie is exposed, Brianna goes to great pains not to lie to David again, even when he is particularly unkind to her about that honesty. I liked the subplots and supporting cast, and I think the overall resolution was fine. I'm just not sure I'm sold on the romance. The characters and the story itself save a lot of it.

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Keegan’s Lady (Catherine Anderson)

Overall Response

I've always liked this book. It has one of my favorite romance tropes -- a marriage of convenience -- and the hero and heroine are relatable, flawed people who give me something to root for. In addition, the plot itself is interesting and the supporting cast is strong enough that readers clamored for Catherine Anderson to write stories for the brothers. That being said, as much as I like this book, one this re-read there are aspects that bother me more now than when I first read it a decade ago. It's a good story, but I wouldn't put it in my top ten.

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