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New Release Review! WICKED PASSIONS by Nicola Davidson (Highland Menages #2)

Wicked Passions cover

Bold and wild, Lady Isla Sutherland disguised herself as a lad to hone her gift of sword fighting. But when she is discovered and dragged to court for punishment, it is decreed she must wed at once. To gain time and a chance at finding love, Isla proposes a royal tourney—to the victor her richly-dowered hand in marriage—and the king agrees.

After constant raids, laird Callum MacIntyre’s small but prosperous clan is now on the brink of ruin. His only choice is duty; to set aside his private desires and secure an alliance with a powerful Highland family. Winning the week-long tourney would solve all his problems…if only he was a warrior not a scholar.

Squire Alastair Graham yearns for a wife and children, yet he cannot forget one torrid, forbidden night in his laird’s bed, unspoken of since. Alastair dreads losing his closest friend, but meeting the beautiful Isla is a revelation. She offers to train Callum in secret, and when sword lessons lead to scorching passion for the trio, both men know Isla is the unconventional woman of their dreams.

But the battle for her hand is fierce…and their enemies will do anything to win…

Please note this book contains explicit sexual content and language.

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Review:

I am loving this series!

Lady Isla, fresh from her scandalous session at ( Scandalous Passions ‘s) Sir Lachlan’s sword fighting school (where she excelled, of course, while dressed as a boy–the horror! ;)) must redeem her reputation by marrying, something she has zero interest in but even less choice about. When King James decides that her suitor will be picked via a royal tourney, it feels like a reprieve of sorts. Maybe the victor will at least support her passion for sword fighting?

She is drawn almost immediately to the scholarly Callum–and to Alastair, his brawny squire. Interestingly enough, they are drawn to…each other and quite taken with Isla as well (who could have seen that coming? :)) James chooses some unusual competitions for his tourney, and a few of them just happen to be among Callum’s strengths. But sword fighting? That isn’t one of them…

You see where this is going, yes? Secret sword fighting lessons for Callum and Alastair, in exchange for lessons of a whole other sort for Isla? 😉 Each session is more successful–and more steamy–than the last, but each one also pushes them closer to discovery. And of course, Callum’s competitors in the tourney are formidable. Can there possibly be an HEA for the three of them in the end? Or are there too many obstacles?

I mean, of course there’s going to be an HEA–it’s a romance! Plus, the name of the series is a teensy bit of a giveaway here–it will ultimately be an HEA for three. What I am really enjoying about this series is the relationships, between the members of the menages as well as their relationships with the others who care about them. Even though they can’t be as open with their relationships as they deserve to be able to, it is heartening to see that the people that love them are completely accepting of them.

And the–ahem!–swordplay isn’t too shabby either. 😉

Wicked Passions is the second book in Nicola Davidson’s Highland Menage series. It could be read as a standalone, but why not read them both? If the series name is a draw for you, you won’t be sorry!

Rating: 4 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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