Kill or Be Kilt: Highland Spies #3 by Victoria Roberts with Giveaway

Kill or Be Kilt graphic

The third installment of the Highland Spies series from Victoria Roberts combines the elements of romance with a solid dose of political intrigue and history to bring the story of Elizabeth and Ian to light.  Please read on for my review and excerpt, and don’t forget to enter the tour wide giveaway where you could win a copy of MY HIGHLAND SPY.  But first,

Kill or Be Kilt

For years, Lady Elizabeth Walsingham has held ‘special feelings’ for one man, but he’s never shown the least interest.  As she’s finally determined he will never see her as more than the annoying and bothersome young girl with stars in her eyes, she’s determined to move above those feelings.  The opportunity to head to court in London, where she can seek other opportunities and begin her grown up life presents itself, and Elizabeth is off.

Laird Ian Monroe is not unaware of the young girl, but he’s not interested in a ‘child’, and he’s done everything in his power to stay out of her life. He’s avoided her for years, but a request to accompany her travelling party to London gives him new perspective. She’s no longer a child, but a beautiful young woman, sure to turn heads.

While Ian is having his own moments of realization, Elizabeth is reveling in the attentions from the new people she has met since her arrival.  Ian has been steadily refuting the worthiness of each man who presents for Elizabeth, until an actor at the Globe seems to become the leading candidate.  With members of the King’s Privy council under siege from a mysterious culprit, the ‘spy’ portion of the story heats up as the mystery and political intrigue takes center stage, pushing the romance and tentative steps toward one another from Ian and Elizabeth.

For me, there were a few elements that stood in the way of my enjoying this story as much as I hoped.  Firstly was the overuse of gaelic phrases with their accompanying definitions…I’m not a fan of writing to an accent, and while that was not the issue here, frequent insertion of phrases forced me to absorb the meaning, then reread the sentence to put it back into context for the moment.  Secondly was Elizabeth.  As a child, in earlier stories, she was rather amusing in small doses.  As the heroine of the story, she just did not, for me, develop into a full character capable of holding my interest or engendering my empathy or emotions. She was young and untried, and prone to childish moments that pulled her to the brink of annoyance.  While the mystery was rather predictable, and villains were rather obvious, the blend of history, mystery and romance leaned more to history and mystery with less focus on romance or the characterizations of Ian and Elizabeth. A solid, if not my favorite, installment in the series.

Kill or Be Kilt: Highland Spies #3 by Victoria Roberts with Giveaway

Title: Kill or Be Kilt
Author: Victoria Roberts
Series: Highland Spies #3
Also in this series: Kilts and Daggers
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402292066
Published on: 3 May 2016
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 352
Audio Length: 10 Hours (aprox)
Rated: three-stars
Heat: One FlameOne Flame

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Lady Elizabeth Walsingham pined after the same man for years. When she finally realizes the brawny Highland laird doesn't return her feelings, she decides to leave for London and start anew. It seems that her prayers are answered when she catches the eye of a charming actor at the Globe Theatre - a man who is the complete opposite of the Highlander she once loved.

Laird Ian Monroe spends his time avoiding the bothersome young girl who dreams of their union. But when he travels to London and discovers that she has a new love interest with a dishonorable agenda, his perspective changes. Ian soon realizes that Elizabeth is no longer a child with a crush, but a beautiful woman in need of his help. He may have what it takes to rescue Elizabeth from her scheming beau, but does he have the courage to reclaim Elizabeth's heart as well?

See the Highland Spies Series on GoodReads

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

HEADER - Excerpt IAI

 

Elizabeth didn’t wait for the driver’s hand and stepped down from the coach into the glade. She walked with hurried purpose, and branches cracked under her feet as she made a mad dash through the brush. It wasn’t long before a bunch of thistles attacked the hem of her skirts, and she was pulling and tugging to free her dress. As she stepped behind a bush to see to her personal needs, she yelped in pain.

She should’ve known better than to lower herself too far to the ground. Something pricked her bare bottom. Closing her eyes, she stood. She glanced over her shoulder, and the unyielding patch of nettles appeared as though they mocked her for being so careless. After reaching behind her and determining no unwanted remnants of the dreaded plant remained, she dropped her skirts and wandered deeper into the forest.

Although the summer solstice would soon be upon them, spring had bloomed in the Highlands like a sigh of relief after the long, dark months of winter. Leaves were green, blossoming flowers blanketed the fields, and the sun was shining. If she weren’t so distraught over Uncle Walter’s death or irritated by her sister, this would have been a perfect day.

Elizabeth jumped when something snapped behind her.

“’Tis only me,” said Laird Munro. “I did nae mean to startle ye. Are ye hurt? I heard ye cry out.” He gazed into the forest and, as if he was expecting some­thing to appear, uncertainty crept into his expression.

Rays of sunlight through the pine trees cast his face in contorted shadows. His long, red hair was ruffled by the wind. He looked powerful standing there in his kilt and tunic, not to mention the hand that rested on the hilt of a very large broadsword strapped to his waist. There were age lines around his mouth and eyes, but she’d barely noticed. After all these years, Ian still had a commanding way about him, but she certainly wasn’t going to answer him with the truth—well, at least not all of it.

“Nettles pricked me.”

He closed the distance between them. “Do ye want me to have a look? Ye donna want to leave any nettles beneath the skin.”

“Thank you, but there’s no need. I’m certain noth­ing remains.” An unwelcome blush crept into her cheeks as he held up a large flask.

“If ye pour water over it, the pain will lessen. Where did the wee bastards pierce your skin?”

She felt her face turn to crimson. “I don’t think I need the water, but thank you just the same.”

“If ye change your mind, lass, let me know.” Ian secured the flask on his belt. “We’re resting the horses, but ye should nae be wandering this far into the trees. Let me escort ye back.”

Elizabeth wasn’t about to defy his order. As she walked beside the laird, she silently cursed when the memory of being held in his arms in the bailey came to mind. But as quickly as the thought emerged out of nowhere, the feeling passed. She girded herself with resolve, refusing to relive the humiliation of the past.

 

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About Victoria Roberts

Victoria Roberts writes sexy, award-winning Scottish historical romances about kilted heroes and warriors from the past. Prior to ever picking up a single romance novel, she penned her first young adult novella at 16 years old. Who knew her leather-studded motorcycle hero would trade in his ride and emerge as a kilt wearing Highlander wielding a broadsword? Victoria lives with her husband and their two beautiful children in western Pennsylvania.

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