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.
The historical re-enactments in this story contain very little actual history. Battle chess and ninja stars may apply.
Title: LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD
Author: Tamara Morgan
Series: Games of Love, book 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Year of release: 2012, February 14
Source: Received an e-ARC from the author for review
What the ballroom lacked in authenticity, it more than made up for in effort.
– the male strippers at the re-enactment > I laughed out loud at this scene
Kate Simmons is a bookstore manager who enjoys her Jane Austen reenactment group and just lives her life the way she wants to. Though she’s very down-to-earth she is also strong-willed and has a snarky sense of humor that flares up regularly. I loved that she wouldn’t back down from challenges, on the contrary, she thrived on them.
Julian Wallace is a construction worker and Scottish/Highland Games athlete. He’s very gentlemanly and honorable but he’s also stubborn and competitive. There were moments where he got on my nerves a bit but then the next moment he would say or do something sweet and honorable and I’d let it slide. Kudos to Tamara Morgan for writing characters that have their annoying traits yet manage to charm me.
The romance was set up very slow and gradually. The conflict between Julian and Kate messed up the heated moments a few times… and we all know how I feel about interrupted sexy times. However, it didn’t bother me so much with this story as it made sense in the setup of the romance. I really liked the way Kate and Julian challenged and teased each other.
From the blurb I was expecting a bit of a rom-com funny contemporary but I didn’t get this in the beginning. It read more like a very serious contemporary. The humor came mainly from the secondary characters such as Jada and Michael. Jada was a hoot! She’s unapologetic and a party girl to the bone. The opposite of Kate and this made the friendship between them work so well. Michael was so cute and funny. I hope to see him back as a hero in a book of his own.
I liked the writing, it wasn’t very fast-paced but it flowed easily and fluently. I cannot say it immediately grabbed me though as it took me a while to warm up to the story. As I’m used to fast-paced, cut-to-the-chase contemporary romances (I read a lot of contemporary erotic novellas). It felt like a historical romance disguised as a contemporary romance. This is absolutely not a bad thing because I also enjoy historical romances. I was just expecting something different than I got. And it once again made me realize I sometimes need to keep my expectations under lock and key more and just go into the books with a more open mind.
Despite the trouble with the historical feel and the slow build-up of the romance, I do look forward to read more by this author, at least would love to read Jada or Michael’s stories as I really liked her writing style and subtle humor.
The grin on Julian’s face spread as he reached for Kate’s foot. The appendage acted of its own volition, gliding into his waiting hands like the wanton traitor it was.
“Allow me,” he said in a low voice, his other hand slipping up along the back of her calf, his fingers tracing a pattern that seemed somehow programmed to compel her body into a state of liquid complaisance. He cupped the sole of her shoe, pulling it off her foot at the heel and working toward her toes.
She decided it was best to leave—the mature thing to do, surely.
But then Julian emerged from his tent, wearing nothing but a pair of athletic pants. Her vision tunneled like she was in an Alfred Hitchcock movie, and she found her legs didn’t work quite as well as they used to. She already knew he was strong, that his chest was a hard-packed surface of muscles that radiated heat. But seeing, in this case, was more than believing. It was swooning, drooling, falling to the ground in a pool of hormonal bliss.
“That woman who almost ripped Mikey’s balls off the other night will probably be here. You want to get in a pillow fight with her?”
Peterson sighed and put a hand over his heart. “Hell yes.”
Julian tossed an empty beer can at him.
“What? You forget I’m a single dad. The only action I see these days is what Barbie’s giving up to Ken. And let me tell you, that chick is one big prude.”
“[…]. You’ve got all your dreams contained in little ordered boxes, and you think keeping them there is your source of power. But your real power is right in front of me. You have such a soft, gentle presence, people think you’re easily swept aside— you think it, too. But there’s steel in there, and you have no idea how strong that makes you. Believe me, I’ve been trying to bend it for weeks without any luck. And I’m a pretty strong man.”