If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Review: A Highlander's Passion by Vonnie Davis / @TastyBookTours @VonnieWrites

Title: Highlander's Beloved #2: A Highlander's Passion
Author: Vonnie Davis
Publisher: Loveswept
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance
ARC Received From: NetGalley
Reviewed For: Tasty Book Tours

Two of the wildest hearts in Scotland fight for their destiny in this searing-hot romance, sure to be devoured by fans of Jennifer Ashley’s Shifters Unbound series and Shelly Laurenston’s Pride Stories.

As a bear-shifter in a pack roaming the Scottish countryside, Bryce Matheson embodies brute force and untamed abandon. As a widower, he’s running scared. When Bryce attempted to open his scarred heart to another, she grew tired of waiting for him to state his intentions, and the unearthly beauty spurned him for someone who wasn’t worthy. But now that fate has conspired to set Kenzie Denune free once again, Bryce vows to finally win her love.

Kenzie is a witch who summons her powers to protect those too weak to care for themselves. After surviving an abusive husband, she swears off men—even men like Bryce, whose iron muscles make her knees weak, and who’s piercing eyes fill her with longing. Her life’s purpose is to help others. However, dark forces have different plans for her gifts. To save herself, Kenzie must team up with the shifter who has always stirred her soul—and trust in a passion powerful enough to set her blood aflame.

Other books in this series

(Please note: This story addresses domestic violence. While the abuse is in the heroine's past, it still has an affect on her present. Please take this into consideration before reading further or purchasing this book.) 

Words spoken carelessly after a passionate moment brought Bryce and Kenzie relationship to a standstill. They left Bryce lonely and sent Kenzie into the arms of another man. Bryce finally came to his senses but Kenzie wasn't willing to go down that road with him again. Two miscarriages and too many years spent as her late husband's punching bag left her wary and distrusting of men. All she wanted was to support herself and not risk falling in love with the only man who ever had her heart.

The abuse Kenzie suffered was almost always at the forefront of this story, and I loved that. Ms. Davis didn't duck away from it, painting a not-so-pretty picture of Kenzie's life as an abused wife. The aftermath of abuse doesn't go away because the abuser is gone. Ms. Davis played out Kenzie's autopilot responses to Bryce's raised voice, his suffocating anger, his increasing irritation in a way that each of her responses made me sympathetic toward her. I know, I know. I could've been annoyed as hell at her constant lack of trust and faith in Bryce, but I wasn't, which was surprising to say the least, lol. I can't tolerate cry baby heroes or heroines, and I understand if her behavior is seen as such, but she wasn't that to me at all. She was a woman trying to get past her demons but didn't know how.

And while Bryce is a bear shifter and Kenzie a witch, their abilitites/powers weren't the center of this story. Their love and Kenzie's past were. I did enjoy that twist, Ms. Davis, about Kenzie's real name and heritage. The added mystery of who she really was and all that kept me reading because I wanted to know everything about Bryce's calico-eyed woman.

I really enjoyed this story. I haven't read Book 1 yet and I just might go get it now, but Ms. Davis told an excellent story that a had a whole lot of everything I needed to escape the real world for a few hours: lust, love, the past, the present, the future, a touch of mystery and suspense, and a healthy happily ever after.

Vonnie Davis, who studied English at Penn State, likens herself to a croissant: crusty, wrinkled, flaky—and best served with strong coffee. After a career as a technical writer, she’s spending her retirement playing fairy godmother to her characters, giving them their happily-ever-afters. Six fantastic, talented kids call her “Grandma” and brighten her world in so many ways. She lives in Southern Virginia with her husband, author Calvin Davis.

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