Review: Hot Highlanders and Wild Warriors anthology

Hot Highlanders and Wild Warriors edited by Delilah Devlin
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Cleis Press
Pages: 227
Source: book provided by the publisher for review

 

 

Men devoting themselves to their true love through the art of courtly love is the ultimate in romance. Hot Highlanders and Wild Warriors is filled with wild knights and Scottish warriors whose courage on the battlefield is outmatched only by their ardor for their ladyloves! Readers will unleash their fantasies of olden days where men wearing heavy armor or thick tartans sent a spirited young maiden’s (or lonely widow’s) heart fluttering. These bravehearts were prized for their physical strength and men were judged for their fierce loyalty and unshakeable honor. Highlanders, Normans and Saxons, Britons and Vikings, a Samurai and hunky Mongols astride stallions in search of adventure and love all populate the pages of this steamy read.

 

Review: This bevy of stories contained a lot of new authors for me. Some I really liked and others were lukewarm. Some stories I enjoyed immensely and others fell flat or a little short for me. But, there is definitely something for everyone’s taste within these pages.

Pleasure in Surrender by Delilah Devlin-Lady Edwina is a woman that has no problem handling her own in a man’s world. Grimvarr wanted an equal someone to share things with. Not only did he get an equal out of the bedroom but also in the bedroom. It was pretty steamy and full of passion when these two had sex. Equals all around works for me.

Wicked by Susannah Chapman-In Wicked, Lachlan and Isobell had a thing for each other since they were young. I am always a sucker for Beauty and Beast themed stories; Lachlan had whispers and stares because people thought he was a time bomb ready to explode. Isobell saw past what others thought and took a chance and the lead in the bedroom. A bit over the top for me but, I liked that Isobell took the lead.  WARNING! Contains dom/anal sex…

Keeper of the Keys by Axa Lee-A lot of times marriages were for convenience due to the fact that lands needed to be saved/or protected (sometimes they were actually for love). You hear the word barbarians and you think the worst in this case the barbarian although at times acted like one he was rather gentle or as gentle as he could be. These two became friends then lovers. This was one woman that liked having a man in charge. Someone to take care of… He actually told her he wanted to give her pleasure as well as get pleasure. That is a real man. He couldn’t be a barbarian. I loved the way this story unfolded because although the sex was hot it was equally fun to see the marriage become real.

The Maiden’s Kiss by Layla Chase-This is more of a coming of age story between Jorunn and Enar. These two make oral sex sensuous. First touches and feelings, wishes are granted. Because of the gentleness that Enar took with Jorunn he opened her up for a whole new onslaught of feelings and wanting so much more. I like this okay but there wasn’t a lot to do when dealing with virgins.

My Loveliest Vision by Renee Luke-I loved the connection between Lena and Seth. The story was different because we are shown a sensuous side to making love when you can’t see what the other person looks like. Your other senses come into play making it seem more sensual.  Being blind didn’t stop Lena she was strong and wasn’t afraid to stand up for her land and home. When she realized it was Seth intruding whom her father had betrothed her to she seemed somewhat relieved. I loved how Lena was willing to stand her ground and fight for everything, her blindness never hindered her. This was just such a lovely story I would have enjoyed more of Lena and Seth.

The Invasion of Nefyn by Lizzie Ashworth-Nefyn and Bedwyr married war separates them. Their lovemaking is gentle yet fierce as if it is the last time they may be together, hot, intense sex with a bit of heartbreak thrown in. It was easy to envision these two now with one or the other going off to war. This was just okay for me. Not a favorite.

The Promise of Memory by Regina Kammer-This is one that wasn’t one of my favorites there were just to many things that I just didn’t like about the story and the couple themselves. Aelia and Austrud were married. Aelia was abandoned by her husband ten years prior. She ends up working for the Empress in Rome. She is drawn to the Knight Manius who also works for the Empress. Aelia listens as he services the Empress. She finds herself wanting him…she becomes wet/heated. She finally gets to have Manius in her bed only to find out… There is a lot of missing history. I know this is a short story but there were a lot of questions that I needed answered.

On My Honor by Beatrix Ellroy-Headstrong Hedda butts heads with Sir Cephas whom she has taken in to nurse back to health. She was drawn to him as they bickered. Hey after all she is a woman first and a widow second. Vows kept him from taking her but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a sinful night without going all the way. Passion is just that passion. There are ways without having relations that can fulfill the arousal and leave one satisfied. Strange way to end this story but we shall see…Can’t wait to find out what happens next.

A Falcon in Flight by Connie Wilkins-Ardzvik a wealthy warrior…and she’s a she; left quite an impact on Yul a Mongol General. It seemed that Ardvik was not the genteel pretty sister. She didn’t shy away from things as she was looked upon as strong with an almost ice princess quality which tends to put men off. She was perhaps a little headstrong. But, I think this thing between her a Yul works. He wanted a partner who happened to be smart, gutsy, and able to hold her own. I liked that she wasn’t afraid to take charge which made for even hotter sex because she knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to go for it.

To Love a King’s Man by Emma Jay-Evanna loved Conal forever. Conal was her brother’s best friend. He didn’t think of her in the way she would have liked. She was always a little sister to him until…
Pure Seduction…Then they are both doomed. Evanna is someone that I liked because she was widowed she was about to get married off again but, she wanted someone that gave her butterflies…knocked her socks off…rocked her world and the only one she wanted was Conal. She was determined to make sure she got what she wanted this time. I liked to see the initiative that she took and boy it was worth the wait…Conal simply out of this world hot. But, there is a down side which gives Evanna the courage to speak up. I really enjoyed this story and will look for more from this Ms. Jay.

The Bodyguard by Jacqueline Brocker-Another gusty woman with a bit of fire…Misato is being protected by a Samuri named Saitou. While he was supposed to be watching over her they couldn’t help but go almost all the way. This was another virginal story. Still very sensual showing that there is a way to get around going all the way and yet still get fulfillment. Oops! We got caught now what? They did have chemistry and an equality match despite one being the help. This couple was of Asian descent which isn’t often found in romance stories which is on the plus side but the whole virgin yet still getting fulfilled just doesn’t quite work for me. It is missing something.

Broken Vows by Anya Richards-It can be really tough when you have to get remarried for whatever reason you are falling in love with him and he doesn’t seem to reciprocate the feelings. This is a rather strange one. Gareth seemed to like Mary but there was something seemingly wrong. The more they talked and got things out in the open the better is was for everyone. Not only did things pick up in the bedroom but life was a little more bearable. This was just a little too weird for me.

Poetry and Amber by Axa Lee- This is one of those stories that jump from the present to the past just so that we are given a little background. I liked the background because it told the somewhat bazaar story of how a king fell for a witch/oracle. He left all behind to be with his witch. A strange love story if you want to call it that. Hot F/F/M and just F/M… This was a little too short for me I would have liked a little more.

The Squire by Cela Winter- Sir Godfrey needed a new squire he had just lost his to an illness. Wulfric needed someone to take him in and care for him. Godfrey found it hard to sleep or just be around Wulfric. Wulfric stirred something within Sir Godfrey that brought him to life. Wulfric was having the same problem.  She was drawn to him sexually. Yes, she not he. They had chemistry from the beginning. I really enjoyed this story I loved the strong characters, the story and all the twists that kept you guessing. I thought that it was going one way only to find out the secrets. Bravo, Ms. Winter I can’t wait to read more of your writings.

Overall this wasn’t a bad anthology. I really liked most of the stories. Some I had issues with but they weren’t that bad.  A sucker for men in kilts I found that the title was a little bit misleading. I thought all the stories would have Highlanders or at least hotness in kilts. But, there were a few stories that I felt just didn’t fit. But, there is as I said before something for everyone.

This has a lot of quick reads to get you all hot and bothered you may need to grab a cool beverage.