Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Once Upon a Highland Christmas (Scandalous Scots, #0.5) by Sue-Ellen Welfonder

Title: Once Upon a Highland Christmas
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Historical Romance
File Size: 1049 KB
Print Length: 149 pages
Publisher: Forever Yours (December 3, 2013)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group
Author's Website: http://welfonder.com/
Notes: Received an eARC loan from the publisher

Once upon a time a clan renowned for its generosity and festive Yule celebrations lost its Christmas spirit. The once thriving MacNabs fell upon hard times as illness and hardship took hold. The biggest blow, however, was when the castle fell to Ralla the Victorious who took the lives of many before the castle was regained. Grief and sorrow cloaked the devastated clan and Archibald, the aging MacNab chieftain declared there would be no celebration and not a single sprig of holly could be found.

Breena and Grim are making it there mission to bring some much needed holiday cheer to the castle and attempt to heal a little of what was lost within.


A charming introduction to a new series called the Scandalous Scots by Sue-Ellen Welfonder. This novella sets the scene for what looks to be a marvelous new series. As I read the prologue, I smiled because although there was a lot of information to take in, it was done in the fashion which reflected stories of old, which made me feel that the 'Once Upon a Time' fairy tale type title was entirely appropriate though the phrase itself was never used within the text.

Breena O'Doherty is a fun character who has secretly admired Grim since she was rescued from her captors. Originally from Ireland, she doesn't think she's good enough for him because she's not of noble birth and is a former slave. In a raid on her village in Ireland, she was kidnapped while her entire family was killed. Taken in by the Scottish clan who rescued her, she's seen both Grim's fierce and savage warrior side and his gentler, more tenderhearted side that makes sure the older hounds within the clan are fed. The combination draws her to him.

Grim Mackintosh is a warrior who knows he doesn't have the prettiest of faces. That guy on the cover, yeah, that's not Grim--he's a large, fierce man whose beard has rings interwoven made from the steel of the swords of the warriors who've fallen to him in battle. He knows he tends to intimidate most woman and can't imagine a small, petite, spirited lass like Breena could return his feelings.

Overall, I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. A sweet read that left me with a contented grin on my face. I enjoyed, for once, seeing a couple fall for each other complicated only by their personal fears. There was twist at the end which could have changed everything, but ended up enhancing the magic of the story. I loved the contrast within Grim--the way he could be fierce in battle but have a kind and gentle disposition off the battlefield. Additionally, I admired how Breena was still willing to give love a chance after all that happened to her. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, I gave this one a FAN rating--the temperature in the room seems to have suddenly gone up a couple of degrees and a fan would be nice.

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