Thursday, 22 March 2012

Book Review: Love is a Battlefield by Tamara Morgan

Title: Love is a Battlefield
Author: Tamara Morgan
Series: Book #1 in the Games of Love series
Release Date: 14 February 2012
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Source: ebook review copy provided by author
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's WebsiteAmazon, Samhain, Barnes & Noble

Grade: 3.5 stars

Novellus bonus!

Goodreads appetizer: It takes a real man to wear a kilt. And a real woman to charm him out of it.

Games of Love, Book 1

It might be modern times, but Kate Simmons isn’t willing to live a life without at least the illusion of the perfect English romance. A proud member of the Jane Austen Regency Re-Enactment Society, Kate fulfills her passion for courtliness and high-waisted gowns in the company of a few women who share her love of all things heaving.

Then she encounters Julian Wallace, a professional Highland Games athlete who could have stepped right off the covers of her favorite novels. He’s everything brooding, masculine, and, well, heaving. The perfect example of a man who knows just how to wear his high sense of honor—and his kilt.

Confronted with a beautiful woman with a tongue as sharp as his sgian dubh, Julian and his band of merry men aren’t about to simply step aside and let Kate and her gaggle of tea-sippers use his land for their annual convention. Never mind that “his land” is a state park—Julian was here first, and he never backs down from a challenge.

Unless that challenge is a woman unafraid to fight for what she wants...and whose wants are suddenly the only thing he can think about.

Product Warnings: The historical re-enactments in this story contain very little actual history. Battle chess and ninja stars may apply.

My Thoughts: I'm a huge Austen fan and there is nothing I love more than Scottish men (and if they are in a kilt all the better), so when I read the blurb of Love is a Battlefield I felt spooked that somehow Tamara Morgan got inside my head and read there my secret fantasies. ;-)

Love is a Battlefield is a very funny and unique romance story, the likes of which I'm sure you haven't come across yet. Kate is a Jane Austen re-enactor, dreams of Regency gowns, balls and men who still knew what behaving in a gentlemen-like manner meant. She is in charge of organizing the society's annual big tea party and has not only just found the perfect place for that but also the perfect man! 

Enters Julian Wallace a charismatic and handsome Highland Games athlete, whom - thanks to his quiet intensity and natural sexiness - Kate can't resist. The sparks fly between them from the beginning and a budding romance is developing when suddenly they realize that they both want the same venue for their own important event on the same date! And then romantic dates are forgotten and war is declared.

And from then on Kate and Julian torture each other with a set of pranks and mischievious attacks, which not adult at all were very entertaining. ;-D

Julian was a wonderful hero, a true Highlander hero (despite being from Chamarro origin). He was fierce, passionate, loyal and honourable. He had integrity and drive.

Unfortunately Kate was a heroine I didn't really like most of the time. She kept saying that she always did what others told her to do and this was the only time she wanted to rebel, the one time when her reasons were childish and selfish compared to Julian's, so when she said:

"... want me to find a new venue. And you’re absolutely correct. It would be the right thing to do—the fair thing to do. You’ve been here for years, and your claim is older than mine. You’ve got more people coming to your event than I do."

and also because his family depended on his success on landing the sponsorphip, so I was "err yeah, pretty much!"

Tamara Morgan's love for historical re-enactment shines clearly through the lines, her passion for these set ups, costumes, games brought the descriptions to life. The battle chess scene was a lot of fun to read (and I bet to write as well), I loved reading about the characters/pawns' theatrics and dramatic fake deaths, and how seriously they all took the game, it was a scene I would have loved to see in real life or in a movie.

One of my favourite quotes of the book is related to Jada, Kate's loud-mouthed and bold best friend:

And there Jada stood, brazenly sporting a tight pink T-shirt that proclaimed, I may have lost my virginity, but I still have the box it came in.
Cracks me up every time I read it! :-D LMAO

Verdict: Love is a Battlefield is a very entertaining and unique story full of fun with all the sparring matches and mischief between Julian and Kate. I enjoyed their battle antics and getting a glimpse into re-enactment societies and the people who are part of them, I just think Love is a Battlefield could have done with a bit more of romance, as the romance storyline didn't seem to be the main one, somehow it took a backseat to the rivalry and mischievious pranks (the first kiss takes place very late and the first and only time of smexiness was at 80% of the story).  

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 7/10
Writing: 8/10
Ending: 6/10 - I didn't like that Julian was the one giving up when his goal and passion were important not only for him but his family as well
Cover: 6/10 - I would have loved to see that giant battle chess board featured on the cover with the characters in their costumes. Well one can dream... ;-)

Buy it:

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