Reviewette: Winter Heat by Dawn Halliday

Reviewette: A HIGHLANDER CHRISTMAS Anthology, "Winter Heat" by Dawn Halliday

Available NOW!

For centuries, a mystical family heirloom–the MacDonald clan pin–has been passed down through the generations, helping each owner find her heart’s desire.

WINTER HEAT: A lost beauty melts the cold heart of a Jacobite warrior…

Stranded in a blizzard, Maggie MacDonald is rescued by Highland warrior Logan Douglas. But a tempest of another kind brews when Logan discovers that Maggie has been promised to a cruel suitor.

Summary from Dawn Halliday's website

Genre: Historical Romance

Cover Thoughts: I love this cover. I'm a big fan of castles on romance covers and this one looks so mystical enveloped by the clouds. It has the promise of both grandeur and magic.

Single Title/Series: "Winter Heat" is a single title novella.

Why I read it: I was offered an Advanced Reading Copy by Sophie Renwick

My Review:

Dawn Halliday is fast becoming a much beloved author of Scottish romances where she not only captures the sheer ruggedness of the highlands but also brings to life the sultry erotica that's added so liberally to her stories.

For years Innes Munroe has pursued Maggie MacDonald after the death of her husband. Stubborn and independent, Maggie has never needed a man prior to nor after her husband's death and the last person she wants to be shackled to is filthy Innes. But when the rejection apparently becomes too much for him, Innes forcefully takes Maggie from the sanctity of her home and races off into the snow covered mountains. Maggie, knowing Innes and his disgusting intentions, soon escapes the brute's clutches but not without her fair share of cuts and bruises. Exhausted from her ordeal, but preferring to freeze to death in the winter snow rather than being raped into submission, Maggie hides beneath a stone outcropping to wait out the vicious winter storm before making her way back home.

Wounded and having lost his brother - the last of his immediate family - in battle, Logan Douglas treks resolutely through the snowy highlands towards home and his duty. Once comfortable as the second son with no obligations to hold him down, Lucas now finds himself the guardian of his brother's wife and children and a clan that's awaiting his leadership. There's comfort to be found though in his new obligations for the urgent need to make it home to his people is all that drives him in his hard and painful journey. But when the glittering of a forgotten clan pin within the snow catches his eye and leads him to a near frozen woman, Lucas is overcome by a new duty.

The opposite sex has always been a source of great discomfort for Lucas. Women are a complete mystery to him, except for in the physical sense of course, and Maggie proves to be the most confusing woman he's ever encountered. She burns hot and cold, and when he wants to be gentle she's crying out for rough. Then when he berates himself for hurting her, she's moaning to him her pleasure. But trying to figure out Maggie has made Lucas come alive.

Holed up in the cabin high above the village, Maggie basks in her new found love with Lucas but she also knows that when the storm blows over, reality will come sweeping back, jerking her towards a marriage that she's loathe to be committed to.

Lucas, having been temporarily derailed from his journey is now feeling the desperation to reach his clan again and he hopes to take Maggie with him. But first they must deal with Innes for they both know that his hunt for Maggie won't come to an end until he finally possesses her and that's something that Lucas will never allow to happen.

"Winter Heat" had a lot of promise and the makings of a great story but I had a little trouble with both the heroine and the hero.

Maggie was strong and independent but her stubbornness lent a bit of frustration to my overall reading experience. She's a total tease and it's no wonder that Lucas was hesitant to indulge in his baser urges. One minute Maggie was reaching for him and the next she's flinching away in fear. I understand that she just experienced a terrible ordeal with Innes but that's soon forgotten and yet she still rapidly jumps from hot to cold where her feelings are concerned.

I experienced the same general frustration with Lucas. He's a confident man who knows and understands people. He's also very protective of women and I loved how he immediately felt the killing need when he hears what Innes attempted to do with Maggie but he's conversely very confused when it comes to everything else about her. I suppose I'm just so used to the arrogant hero prototype that I was thrown a bit through a loop with Lucas. I wanted him to be more aggressive where Maggie's teasing was concerned. Then again, as a woman, we just want men to be able read our minds right? We don't want to tell a man what we want, we just want him to know.

Although the overall story really was amazing, I felt that without the above mentioned, I really could have loved this novella.


Coming Soon:


Releases April 6, 2010

Determined to put his roguish past behind him, the Earl of Camdonn arranges to marry the proper Lady Elizabeth. But when an accident lands the Earl in the expert hands of a beautiful Highland medicine woman, all well-laid plans are thrown to the wind- and, just as in the old days, his passions run high...

Ceana MacNab has terrible luck with men. Resigning herself to the healing arts, she has steeled her heart against love. Then fate sends Cam her way. Even though he's a well-bred Earl-and Ceana a low-born Highlander-their all-consuming passion may lead the way to lasting bliss.

Summary from


Barbara said...

Hey girl!! I skimmed. you know me, my new name is "slacker" when it comes to my reading, but I willbe getting to this one so I don't want spoilers.

Wow, that was such a run-on sentence, lol!!! No,but really, I have had zero time ot read lately.

Anyhow,I'm in love with the dude on this cover....prrrrr... Maybe even more so than my darlin' Nathan ;)

Elizabeth Jules Mason (AKA "MsMoonlight") said...

Hi VFG!! This sounds good and I really love the cover. Men in stuff!!



Smokinhotbooks said...

Dear god I love a man in a kilt. I've been looking for some new Highlander historicals to add to my book shelves - great review VFG.

VampFanGirl said...

Barbara! More than Nathan? Seriously? That's sacrilege right there. ;)

Hugs, VFG

Hey MsM! Oh, I'm definitely for the covers of men in kilts. I asked my husband if he'd wear one for me and looked at me like husbands do when they think their wife has lost her mind. lol!

;) VFG

Hey K.C.!

Dawn Halliday is definitely an author to check out if you're looking for some steamy highland romances. Her debut, HIGHLAND OBSESSION, was super hot.

;) VFG

Donna [Fantasy Dreamer's Ramblings] said...

Nice review! I feel the same as you when the heroine yo-yos with her feelings. I like seeing she knows what she wants and sticks with it. I'm still loving this cover. :)

VampFanGirl said...

Thanks Donna! Yeah, the yo-yoing gets frustrating and it's almost more intensified when the hero feels frustrated as well. I'm still lovin' this author though and I'm looking forward to HIGHLAND SURRENDER.

;) VFG

Site Design for Lovin' Me Some Romance by Barbara.
Graphics by Maroka323 were manipulated with permission from the artist.