‘The characters were lively and the pace fast’. Rosie’s #Bookreview of #ContemporaryRomance Highland Games by Evie Alexander @evie_author

Highland Games (Kinloch Series, #1)Highland Games by Evie Alexander

4 stars

Highland Games is a mix of romantic comedy and hot contemporary romance.

Zoe gives up her safe life as an accountant in London and heads to a cabin in Scotland that she has just inherited. Little more than a shack, it has no electricity, no running water and no door. It also comes with a grumpy employee of the landlord who wants to get rid of her.

Rory had plans to move into the derelict cabin himself, but he couldn’t refute Zoe’s right to be there. Despite his attempts to encourage her departure, she begins to get under his skin.

The first half of this story was sprinkled with comedy, whereas the second half moved towards the hot romance theme. The host romance was fine, but I was never convinced that the two sub-genres of romance melded together in a believable way.

Having said that, it was quite readable; the characters were lively and the pace fast enough to keep me interested and I found myself reading late into the night. This is book one of a series and there promises to be more Scottish romance in the future.

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Welcome to Kinloch, and the hottest winter Scotland’s ever seen.

Zoe’s always played it safe, just as her parents wanted. But when her great-uncle dies and leaves her a ramshackle cabin in the Scottish Highlands, she decides it’s time to change her life.

Upping sticks seems like a good idea in her cosy London flat, but the reality is very different. There’s no electricity or running water, the roof leaks and there’s no front door. If that wasn’t bad enough, she’s moved up in the depths of winter and her scorching hot neighbour wants her out.

Rory’s got a fifty thousand tonne problem. If he can’t make Kinloch castle profitable, he’s out of a job. He needs a clear head, but there’s someone living in the cabin he saw as his own and she’s turned his world upside down.

Rory needs Zoe out of Scotland, and out of his life. The trouble is, she has no intention of leaving.

Let the games begin…

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Rosie’s #Bookreview of #Mystery OUT OF SHOT by D.S. Joyce

Out of Shot: A Claire Armstrong MysteryOut of Shot: A Claire Armstrong Mystery by D.S. Joyce

3.5 stars

Out Of Shot is a mystery set in the Highlands of Scotland. The story mainly takes place in the remote village of Kylecraig and revolves around journalist Claire Armstrong who is spending a year making a film in the hope of helping to save the village school. Claire spends much of her time either filming in the school or the surrounding hills and shoreline.

During that year, drama comes to the village when one of the school children goes missing and Claire questions whether she should continue to film the villagers; shock waves move through the community. For much of the time Claire is desperately lonely; she does befriend the new school teacher, but when he abruptly leaves she’s left alone once more.

I thought that the author did a good job of portraying the isolation in a remote setting; Claire’s first cottage and the wild beach come instantly to mind. However, I did struggle to warm to Claire. I wanted her to have a more realistic range of emotions; she came across as angry far too often.

Some of my favourite parts were the scenery and the traditional village gatherings. The film-making element was very interesting, too; the author’s knowledge and experience in this shone through. The mystery didn’t work for me, which is a shame; it got a bit lost, becoming more a piece of journalism than a fully engaging mystery story with gritty suspense and danger.

Overall I enjoyed the setting and I understood the isolation, but the mystery needed more of a boost to give it a chance in this popular genre.

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A remote Highland village. Two outsiders. One missing child. And a guilty secret….

Film-maker Claire Armstrong has swapped city life for a remote coastal community in the Highlands, where she is making a documentary.

Claire is drawn to the mysterious new arrival, Jackson; but even as their friendship deepens, he won’t share any personal information about himself. And why does he choose to live in a van on the beach in the dead of winter?

When a local child goes missing, the village is swamped by journalists and TV crews. Suspicion and anger turn to hatred, as some locals are convinced that Jackson is the prime suspect. He is driven from the village – or has he run away?

And will Claire be able find out the truth, before somebody stops her?

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