Scottish Reads, Vlogs

Reading Scottish February Wrap Up

What another excellent reading month! I’ve been trying to read more books by Scottish authors and this month I read 4 books by Scottish authors. I read two books by authors I’d previously read before (one I enjoyed and one I didn’t overly enjoy), I read a classic, and a highly anticipated read.

Below I’ve popped a small summary of my feelings towards each of the books and my vlog is right at the bottom. I go into more detail in the vlog, including star ratings

This month I read:

The Panopticon- Jenni Fagan

After reading Luckenbooth I was really looking forward to reading another book by Jenni Fagan. This book had been highly recommended to me but I found it to be really distressing and upsetting to read. Not for me but I do still enjoy the author.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie- Muriel Spark

I was excited to read this Scottish Classic and it was a wonderful book. It really highlighted the important role that teachers can play in a young person’s life, not always positive. The format of this book was excellent as I enjoyed the time jumps.

Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Vampire Menace- Olga Wojtas

I had read the last book in this series and I didn’t enjoy it too much. I decided to give the series a second whirl and I really enjoyed the second book in this series. It was silly and fun and just what I needed.

A Glasgow Kiss- Sophie Gravia

I’d put this book aside with the intention of reading it in February. I found this book to be laugh out loud hilarious and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I laughed til my face hurt!

Reading Scottish vlog

Reviews, Scottish Reads

Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Vampire Menace

The intrepid librarian Shona McMonagle, erstwhile Marcia Blaine Academy prefect and an accomplished linguist and martial artist, finds herself in an isolated French mountain village, Sans-Soleil, which has no sunlight because of its topography. It’s reeling from a spate of unexplained deaths, and Shona has once again travelled back in time to help out.

Forging an uneasy alliance with newly widowed Madeleine, Shona is soon drawn into a full-blown vampire hunt, involving several notable villagers, the world-renowned soprano Mary Garden – and even Count Dracula himself. Will Shona solve the mystery, secure justice for the murder victims and make it through a deathly denouement in the hall of mirrors to return to present-day Morningside Library?

I read the first book in this series a few months ago and it was ok but I felt like I didn’t get it. Like I was missing something. I saw that the second book in the series, this one, promised vampires so knew that I just had to read it. However, I decided to read The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie since it was referenced quite a bit in the first book, as I hoped that this would enhance my enjoyment. So I don’t know if it was the reading of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, the presence of a vampire, or something else but I enjoyed this book so much more than Miss Blaine’s Prefect and The Golden Samovar. I actually couldn’t put this book down and gave it 4 stars and instantly looked for the next instalment of the series.

I really felt like I got to know Shona in this book. She was intelligent, confident, charismatic, and fearless. Yet she had absolutely zero common sense or regard for her safety. In the last book, that annoyed me but I get that this was part of her character. I accepted that the main character was going to get themselves into situations that could have been avoided by just thinking for…maybe 3 seconds. I think that coming to terms with the oblivious nature of the main character enhanced my enjoyment of this book.

In addition to Shona, she almost had a sidekick in Madeleine who was a widow that refused to believe that her husband had died. Madeleine was very similar to Shona in some ways as she was intelligent and a musical maestro. Although the main difference between the two was that Madeleine had a sense of self preservation and didn’t go around taking risks without taking precautions. I really enjoyed these two characters butting heads but learning to work together.

I also loved the two Aberdeen/Aberdeenshire references with references to Slains Castle and to Mary Garden. As I live in Aberdeen I get quite excited when there are references to Aberdeenshire.

This book was utterly hilarious! I found myself belly laughing at points. The plot included a vampire, cheese, and the French countryside which are all things that I enjoy in life (despite my lactose intolerance and fear of blood). There were so many just bizarre things that happened in this book; milk hoarding, vicious pigs, suspicious seeming officials, and missing corpses.

I had absolutely no idea how this book was going to end. I didn’t want to put it down as every time I told myself “put the book down at the end of the chapter”, something bonkers would happen so I’d have to keep reading. My experience of reading this book was just so enjoyable and I had such a smile on my face. The twists were just excellent and unexpected.

While this was the second book in a series, this book could work brilliantly as a standalone as Shona’s character was shown really well. The first chapter really laid the foundation of the premise of Miss Blaine and what was expected from her prefects. I already have a friend I plan to loan this book to as I think they’ll love it too.

The next book in this series comes out soon and I’m so excited read the next adventure of Shona. I’ve absolutely no idea what she’s going to get up to next or who is going to save her next. I’m really happy to have a new series that I’m looking forward to continuing with…and ignoring my ever expanding list of active series.

Reviews, Scottish Reads

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

At the staid Marcia Blaine School for Girls in Edinburgh, Scotland, teacher extraordinaire Miss Jean Brodie is unmistakably, and outspokenly, in her prime. She is passionate in the application of her unorthodox teaching methods and strives to bring out the best in each one of her students. Determined to instill in them independence, passion, and ambition, Miss Brodie advises them, “Safety does not come first. Goodness, Truth, and Beauty come first. Follow me.” And they do–but one of them will betray her

I finally got around to reading this Scottish Classic! I had heard a lot about this book when I was in high school as one of the other English classes was studying it but after that point, I must admit that I never thought about it again for years and years. I suppose I was too scarred from having to read Sunset Song that I felt a bit wary about reading another High School approved Scottish Classic. I read a different book a few months ago that referenced this book so heavily that I couldn’t stop thinking about giving it a read. I’m so happy that I did because this book was so enjoyable and I ended up giving it 4 stars!

The format of this book was really unusual as during the chapter there were multiple jumps through time. An event or conversation would happen and the next paragraph would be a jump in time to describe the repercussions of the event/conversation. I really liked this format as it kept the story flowing. I’m so used to books that wait until the next chapter to change the setting but I would be keen to read more books in this format.

I think I was expecting Miss Jean Brodie to be a sort of Dead Poets’ Society sort of teacher but she really wasn’t. Miss Jean Brodie was in the prime of her life and wasn’t scared to talk about it. I felt so bad for the pupils who were having their academic futures impacted by their teacher who used them as her confidantes. Miss Brodie had her favourites, The Brodie Set, and they would socialise and have preferential treatment in class. Miss Brodie really had a lot of passion and opinions and was very much trying to mould her favourites into almost little versions of her. To make them believe her beliefs, sometimes to their detriment. I think that this book would be a brilliant read for any age, I know that young me would have enjoyed the special relationship between The Brodie Set as well as their relationship with their teacher. Adult me enjoyed this also but noticed that the relationship was very inappropriate, child me probably wouldn’t have.

The entire book seemed to be told from the point of view of an omnipotent narrator. I thought that this worked really well. There were quite a few plots happening that the book sort of needed either an omnipotent narrator or multiple points of view as otherwise it would be difficult to include so many things that were important.

This book was set in Edinburgh and in the really nice part of Edinburgh. Edinburgh is such a lovely city but there’s so much more to it than the fancy schools and beautiful buildings. This book actually included references to the differences between Old and New Town as it included some of the poverty affected occupants of Edinburgh. This was brought in as sort of raising awareness to The Brodie Set of poverty and just how lucky they were.

Miss Brodie made a very big mistake which had terrible results. They were betrayed by one of The Brodie Set and the book kept me guessing with regards to who it was that betrayed her. She suspected them all and it was quite sad in parts. At the same time it showed how much her lessons had impacted the girls as they told the truth which she had told them that they must always do.

I enjoyed this book a great deal and would definitely read more books by Muriel Spark. I’m not sure which book I will pick next but I do know that there will be a next read.

Reviews, Scottish Reads

A Glasgow Kiss

There’s nothing romantic about dating…

A Glasgow Kiss [n.]
A headbutt or a strike with the head to someone’s sensitive area

Meet Zara Smith: 29, single and muddling her way through life as a trainee nurse in Glasgow. With 30 fast approaching, she’s determined to do whatever it takes to find love – or at least someone to sext! Cheered on by best friends Ashley and Raj, Zara embarks on a string of dating escapades that are as hilarious as they are disastrous. From online dating to blind dates, hometown hook-ups to flirty bartenders, nothing is off limits.

But when Dr Tom Adams, aka Sugar Daddy, shows interest, it’s a game-changing moment. Zara has had a crush on Tom since her very first day at the aesthetics clinic she works at part-time. As things heat up between them, Zara can’t help but wonder: is this it? Or is it another disaster waiting to happen?

I bought this book a few months ago and put it aside for February. My thought process was that it was a romance/erotic novel and that seemed like a February thing. I am so sad that I put this book aside as opposed to reading it straight away because this was definitely a 5 star read! I laughed, I cried, I laughed some more.

I genuinely cackled while reading this book, it was absolutely hilarious! I kept disturbing my boyfriend as I felt compelled to give him a dramatic reading of some of my favourite passages- The bit with Zara’s mother and the vampire bit each received quite the round of applause. I think that this book included a lot of concerns with modern dating. Some of the interactions were so funny that I found myself crying with laughter but in spite of that, I found this book to be very realistic!

At the start of the book I actually saw a lot of early 20 something me in Zara. Desperate to be loved and ending up with a wrongun (I found my lobster in my late 20s). Zara gave her heart quickly and often ended up getting hurt. I quickly stopped relating to Zara as otherwise we were pretty different but so many of her actions reminded me of stories that my friends told me about their dating lives! I loved her friendship with her childhood best friend and her boss who was pretty much Boss Goals.

If you’re offended by swearing, especially by the c-word (which is also a term of endearment in Scotland) then be aware that there’s a fair bitty of swearing in this book which I found to be very authentic. There were times in this book where the only realistic reaction was to swear. I’m looking at you, Mark. The interactions with him set the tone for the rest of the book and I loved it!

My old uni got a mention and so did my old gym! Little thing like this are the reason I love Scottish fiction so very much! I don’t know if I’d have loved it quite as much if it wasn’t set somewhere that I’d previously lived because the familiarity of the setting really gave me fun nostalgic vibes. It would definitely have been at least a 4 star read if the setting were different but the setting is what pushed this book into the 5 star category for me.

While this was a hilarious wee read, it also had some pretty strong themes of finding what makes you happy, believing in yourself, and the power of friendship. This book gave me way more than it promised! Yes, I managed to overthink a fun erotic novel! I loved this book and will be keeping an eye out for any more books by this author because I am always happy to read some hilarious erotica/romance!

Scottish Reads, Vlogs

Reading Scottish January Wrap Up

I’m very excited to introduce my Reading Scottish January wrap up. It felt like January was never going to end but here I am doing my first Reading Scottish wrap up of the year!

This month I read another 4 books by Scottish authors. I haven’t been aiming to read four books a month but seeing as this is the third month that I’ve read four…maybe I will aim for this amount over the coming months.

I raised my pinkie finger to detract from the bruise on my middle finger nail but it’s the thing I zone into

I felt like my picks for January were a bit wider a variety that the last few months; I had a reread, 2 contemporary fiction, and a middle grade. Even though I read two contemporary fiction novels, they couldn’t have been more different so I really felt like a had a nice selection.

Here is my vlog for this months Reading Scottish Wrap Up where I talk about each book individually. If you just fancy a wee summary, I’ve popped details of the books that I read below the vlog.

My Reading Scottish vlog where I talk about my reads

Here’s a summary of what I read this month:

Luckenbooth by Jenni Fagan. This was my reread, I last read this in November and suspected that I’d missed some key plot points. On the second read through I noticed huge plot points and I definitely missed a whole bunch of key points. I got so much out of my second read and will be giving this another read in the future. I gave 4 Stars to this book.

Scabby Queen by Kristin Innes. This was my bookclub book for my real life book club. I enjoyed this book despite not liking the main character. This was a dark and gritty look at real life struggles. I also gave this book 4 Stars as I enjoyed it despite it taking me so far from my comfort zone.

The Second Worst Restaurant in France by Alexander McCall Smith. This book was fine, it was light and silly. However I feel like very little actually happened and I think I should have chosen a different book as my first Alexander McCall Smith book. I gave this book 3 Stars.

Secrets of the Last Merfolk by Lindsay Littleson. This was my middle grade read and it was heartwarming and a lovely story about friendship and doing the right thing. This book left me feeling warm and fuzzy which was something I very much needed! I gave this book 4 Stars.

I’ve already chosen 2 of my February reads- one a contemporary romance and one a fantasy adventure. I’m really excited to see what next month holds!

Reviews, Scottish Reads

Secrets of the Last Merfolk

In a small coastal town, Finn is enduring a winter vacation with his annoying new stepmother, wishing things could go back to how they were, while Sage is enjoying her new home, wishing things would stay as they are.

Finn has seen mysterious swimmers in the sea late at night. Then, from the clifftop, first Sage, then Finn, hears an eerie song. Could the local legend of merfolk living amid the waves actually be true? When the new friends meet the magical sea-people, they are amazed and impressed, but the merfolk are hiding a secret. The two human children must put aside their own problems and help in the battle against the young merfolk’s ancient underwater enemy before the last of their kind are lost forever.

Well this book was just magical! I haven’t read a middle grade book for … a really long time, I can’t even remember how long it’s been. I originally bought this book for two of my step kids, aged 11, as I love encouraging reading and the plot of this sounded really good. January started off a little bit rough for me, book wise, and I felt I was in danger of a reading slump as I hadn’t read anything joyful. I thought that a middle grade book surely guaranteed a happy ending and joyful moments.

As a child, I would have loved this book and as an adult I also loved it!

I absolutely adored the main characters in this book! Both of the main characters were 11 years old and just adorable. Finn was struggling to deal with a blended family and was annoyed by his step mum’s existence. He was finding it hard to adapt to life with divorced parents. I found his struggles to be really realistic as while I don’t really remember my own parents being together, I remember my parents being very upset by their parents splitting. Sage was always the new kid as her family moved a lot but she was adventurous and fiercely protective when it came to her family . She stood out but also wanted to fit in. The two locked horns initially but then bonded over the merfolk. As an adult I enjoyed these characters and also think that a child reading this book would too!

As a step parent, the way that Finn felt and acted towards his step mum was so sad but totally understandable from his point of view. I thought that her reaction to his behaviour was always with patience and kindness and I loved seeing their relationship grow.

The setting of this book was magnificent! I love the sea and little island and caves are always fun to read about! The sea itself played a key part on this story. If you enjoy stories with choppy seas and mysterious beings within the sea, then this may be a book for you!

This book was such an adventurous read and it was very exciting. I would absolutely hate to swim in the Scottish sea (it’s never warm!) or even to kayak while knowing there’s something dangerous just lurking. Nope, I couldn’t do it but I loved reading about it.

The story of the mermaids was tied into the storyline surrounding the harbour renovations and I felt like the book covered a lot of important topics such as standing up for what you believe in and doing the right thing, no matter how difficult.

I will definitely be buying more books by this author, for the kids…but also for me. The story was heartwarming, the characters were charming, I got a happy ending and goodness prevailed. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads, it was a high 4, like a 4.5. I think I may be reading middle grade books more often, especially when I’m feeling a little blue and know I need something light and cheery.

In the interest of full disclosure; I don’t know the author but I am friends with one of their children. My friend didn’t know that I was reading this until I marked it as finished on Goodreads, I was not under any obligation to gush about how much I enjoyed this book, these ramblings are all my own.

Reviews, Scottish Reads

The Second-Worst Restaurant in France

Renowned cookbook writer Paul Stuart, renewed and refreshed from his time in Tuscany, has returned to Scotland to work on his new book, The Philosophy of Food in Six Easy Chapters. Writing, though, is complicated by Paul’s changed domestic circumstances. His editor and new girlfriend, Gloria, has moved in with him despite not being specifically invited, and she’s brought her two rather demanding Siamese cats. When Paul’s cousin, Chloe, suggests Paul visit her in the French countryside, Paul jumps at the chance. However, once he arrives, he finds his fortunes tangled up with the infamous local restaurant that gives the book its title. In this story about a man who prides himself on his taste finding delight in the most unexpected places, we have Alexander McCall Smith at his most witty and charming.

This book was ok, I don’t think it was the best introduction to Alexander McCall Smith (it was part 2 in a series but I was advised it worked as a standalone). I do think that this book worked as a standalone since there didn’t seem to be many callbacks to the previous book and any references were either explained or needed no explanation.

The start of this book was set in Edinburgh with Paul trying and struggling to write his second book. I am someone who has many beginnings of novels but for various reasons just never get to the first draft, so I love books with struggling authors! The events leading to Paul going to France were very odd. I don’t know why he didn’t just tell Gloria how he felt instead of expecting her to read his mind regarding the cats. Just say something! Use your words Paul. Also his actions prior to going to France were just stupid. I didn’t get the best first impression of Paul.

As the book progressed, I found Paul as a character to be fine. He somewhat redeemed himself but was also quite a weak character in that he never stood up for himself, yet offered to stand up for someone else which was very nice. He was very intelligent and knowledgeable about cuisine. While Paul was the main character, Cousin Chloe was the most interesting part of this book. She reminded me of older relatives I have that when I was young, would tell me wild stories that definitely weren’t true but were exciting to tell to a child and I believed them at the time (I believe that my very dark haired and pale skinned uncle was He-Man until I was about 12, why would he lie?). I found her stories and claims to be so fun and I’d love to have heard more of her tales. How many of her stories were true? How many husbands were there really?

The nephew in the restaurant seemed sweet, I really had hopes for him. I don’t know if there’s a sequel to this book but if there is, I hope it’s about him. Claud was such a strange character as there seemed to be more to him than we got to know which was a little annoying. He seemed to be a bit of a tyrant but that didn’t come across in any of the story that he featured in. The twins honestly could have just been one character, they were very one dimensional and just didn’t feel relevant.

A lot seemed to almost happen in this book but very little actually did. There were a lot of times where the book felt like it was going in various directions but never did. I thought there was going to be some surprise espionage or underworld connections but nothing came to fruition. It was just a nice story about a restaurant that was really, really bad.

This book was fine. It wasn’t a bad book but it wasn’t amazing and I don’t know if I’ll remember it in a few weeks. It may pop into my mind the next time I buy mussels though! I gave this book 3 stars on Goodreads as I did enjoy parts of it and I did get a few chuckles. I have friends who adore this author so I will give them another shot, I think I just made a poor choice of starter novel (it was the first one my library had available). I have some recommendations for other Alexander McCall Smith books so this book hasn’t put me off.

Reviews, Scottish Reads

Scabby Queen

Three days before her fifty-first birthday, Clio Campbell – one-hit-wonder, political activist, life-long-love and one-night-stand – kills herself in her friend Ruth’s spare bedroom. And, as practical as she is, Ruth doesn’t know what to do. Or how to feel. Because knowing and loving Clio Campbell was never straightforward.

To Neil, she was his great unrequited love. He’d known it since their days on picket lines as teenagers. Now she’s a sentence in his email inbox: Remember me well.

The media had loved her as a sexy young starlet, but laughed her off as a ranting spinster as she aged. But with news of her suicide, Clio Campbell is transformed into a posthumous heroine for politically chaotic times.

Stretching over five decades, taking in the miners’ strikes to Brexit and beyond; hopping between a tiny Scottish island, a Brixton anarchist squat, the bloody Genoa G8 protests, the poll tax riots and Top of the Pops, Scabby Queen is a portrait of a woman who refuses to compromise, told by her friends and lovers, enemies and fans.

As word spreads of what Clio has done, half a century of memories, of pain and of joy are wrenched to the surface. Those who loved her, those who hated her, and those that felt both ways at once, are forced to ask one question: Who was Clio Campbell?

I enjoyed this book but it took me a long time to be able to put it into words why. This was a bookclub book and I was so happy that I was able to discuss this book with other people before putting my review into words. Otherwise this review would just be a big brain dump! I gave this book 4 stars as I did enjoy it and I think it was a really well written and complete story. So many of my friends have read and enjoyed this book and it was well received by my bookclub.

This was a very hard book for me to read because it included a lot of tough topics and sadness with very little light. However the book wasn’t a depressing book of sadness! There was a huge variety of tough topics included: loss, neglect, miscarriages, suicide (the book started with Clio taking their own life). Some of the chapters were quite difficult for me to read.

Clio wasn’t a likeable main character and often I can find it difficult to enjoy a book when I don’t like the main character but I think that Clio wasn’t meant to be liked. I found Clio to be selfish and like a whirlwind that flew in and upturned lives without any thought of the people she left behind. It did feel like Clio did have good intentions but went around things in a way that made it seem like she didn’t care what happened, she just wanted what she wanted. However while this could make me hate a character, there were chapters that helped to provide some backstory to Clio which made her more of a tragic character and I felt sympathetic towards her. This book did a great job of showing how people aren’t just good or bad.

I liked reading about the influence that Clio had from their song and how they used this. They could have gone down a certain path but had their goals and passions that they wanted to follow. I liked that Clio continued to use her influence in any way that she could, even after she had passed

The chapters switched between narrative and decades and while this could be confusing, it wasn’t. Everything seemed to flow really well and the chapters felt like they went in some sort of order, just not chronological.

I think the book did a wonderful job of showing how nobody really knew her despite having a huge impact on so many lives. There were a lot of characters whose lives had been impacted by Clio for various reasons yet every character seemed to have known a different Clio.

I really liked Uncle Donald and Xanthe. It was very interesting that the book included a character who had basically decided to have nothing to do with Clio and I thought that their inclusion in the story was important. My heart broke for Sammi who had her life turned upside down and Clio didn’t seem concerned by this as she was so focussed on a specific goal.

This book had so many characters. I was so surprised and impressed that the characters felt so fully formed as there were a lot of them! While there were some characters that I didn’t warm towards, there were no weak character narratives.

I actually wish there were more characters in this book so that I could have gotten to know Clio a bit better but I think that was the point. This book was a bit like an obituary to a person that nobody fully knew.

The storyline with the police officer was so interesting and I would have loved a whole book on the squat. I remember the news story that I think may have inspired this part of the book. If I’m being entirely honest, I think that this book could have been developed into about 6 different books as there were so many different parts that I wanted to know more about.

I think the author did an amazing job to tie so many narratives together and to make the chapters flow regardless of character. I ended up giving this book 4 stars as I did enjoy it and thought it was such a feat of writing. It was raw and full of passion and left me in tears. If you fancy picking this up I’d a. Recommend it and b. Suggest reading something cheery before and afterwards!

Scottish Reads, Vlogs

Reading Scottish- December Wrap Up

I can’t believe another month is almost at an end and now it’s almost 2022! It still feels like it should be 2019 but here we are.

This month I read four books by Scottish authors, I didn’t aim to have the same number as November but four seems like a good amount. Four books would usually allow for quite a selection of genres and themes but I really wanted to read Christmassy/festive reads. However, after three of these books, plus my other reads for the month which were very festively themed, I felt a bit Christmassed out. So one of my reads wasn’t a Christmas read, it was set in Russia and featured snow so I’m counting that as being wintery. I worried that I’d broken the rules then remembered that this was a challenge that I’d set for myself and that the only rule was that the books should be by Scottish authors.

Reading Scottish December Wrap Up

In this video I round up my December Scottish Reads which include:

The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan
Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan
Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Golden Samovar by Olga Wojtas
Snow Kissed Proposals – The Christmas Runaway by Jenni Fletcher

This month I learned that I really shouldn’t focus on reading just one genre of book for an entire month because that got old really quickly. Next month I aim to read more of a variety of Scottish reads- two of my Bookclub books are Scottish Reads and are very different (one is a reread so will be nice to see how I get on with it second time around).

If you have any recommendations for Scottish Reads, I’d love if you shared them!

Reviews, Scottish Reads

Snow-Kissed Proposals

In The Christmas Runaway by Jenni Fletcher, willful, independent heiress Fiona MacKay impulsively runs away to a remote Scottish tower, where she’s trapped in the snow with equally headstrong, deliciously disheveled Angus Drummond.

In Their Snowbound Reunion by Elisabeth Hobbes, Amy Munroe and Anthony Matthews were cruelly parted fifteen years ago, and each blames the other. When Amy becomes Anthony’s new housekeeper, their passion is reawakened!

I pre-ordered this book as Jenni Fletcher, the author of the first story, is Scottish and I thought that this could be a fun addition to my “Reading Scottish” challenge. This was a Mills & Boon Historical Romance and while I have read a decent amount of both Romance and Historical novels, I had never read a Mills & Boon.

I must admit that prior to reading this book, my only knowledge of Mills & Boon came from my experience working in a shop where very elderly women would pick the shelves clean every time a new selection was added. So I thought that as a 35 year old lady (95 at heart sometimes!) these books weren’t for me. How wrong I was because I really enjoyed each of the stories in this book.

The Christmas Runaway was a fun romance set reasonably close to where I live which gave me an extra level of enjoyment. I always enjoy reading books set in places that are familiar to me. This book was very short so I got my bearings very quickly.

Of the two books, I actually preferred Their Snowbound Reunion as the book was less predictable. I saw the twist coming from the start but the responsible party was one of two people. So I got an extra little something out of this book because of that.

The characters in each of these books were very classic-the grumpy rich guy, the outspoken yet childish rich woman, the proud man, the cold woman…there was nothing new in the characters but they were enjoyable to read about.

The sorties were completely predictable from start to finish. I suppose in historical fiction, there is always going to be a certain type of ending which coincidentally is my least favourite kind of ending. However, based on conversations that I’ve had regarding Mills & Boon books, this seems to be the traditional ending of this collection of books. I do sometimes wonder if I’m too free with my ratings in December, I gave this book 4 stars as I enjoyed it more than the books that I’d rated 3 stars…I don’t know whether I’d have rated so highly had this been read in any other month.

While these books didn’t give me anything new, they did give me cute romances that developed over the length of the story with each character denying their feelings. I wanted to read an easy romance with low stakes and preferably no nasty meddling characters. If you want a quick and easy romance, I’d recommend giving these stories a whirl! If you want some spice from your romance, these books will not deliver.

I actually really did enjoy reading this book! I didn’t know what to expect from a Mills & Boon but I was pleasantly surprised and may pick up another from this collection one day.