Book Releases

Holding On (Colorado High Country #6) —
The Colorado High Country series returns with Conrad and Kenzie's story.

A hero barely holding on…

Harrison Conrad returned to Scarlet Springs from Nepal, the sole survivor of a freak accident on Mt. Everest. Shattered and grieving for his friends, he vows never to climb again and retreats into a bottle of whiskey—until Kenzie Morgan shows up at his door with a tiny puppy asking for his help. He’s the last person in the world she should ask to foster this little furball. He’s barely capable of managing his own life right now, let alone caring for a helpless, adorable, fluffy puppy. But Conrad has always had a thing for Kenzie with her bright smile and sweet curves. One look into her pleading blue eyes, and he can’t say no.

The woman who won’t let him fall…

Kenzie Morgan’s life went to the dogs years ago. A successful search dog trainer and kennel owner, she gets her fill of adventure volunteering for the Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue Team. The only thing missing from her busy life is love. It’s not easy finding Mr. Right in a small mountain town, especially when she’s unwilling to date climbers. She long ago swore never again to fall for a guy who might one day leave her for a rock. When Conrad returns from a climbing trip haunted by the catastrophe that killed his best friend, Kenzie can see he’s hurting and wants to help. She just might have the perfect way to bring him back to the world of the living. But friendship quickly turns into something more—and now she’s risking her heart to heal his.

In ebook and soon in print!

About Me

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I grew up in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, then lived in Denmark and traveled throughout Europe before coming back to Colorado. I have two adult sons, whom I cherish. I started my writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor of two different papers. Along the way, my team and I won numerous state and several national awards, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service. In 2011, I was awarded the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism. Now I write historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense.


Seductive Musings

Sunday, January 10, 2010


I had intended to interview Kathleen Givens about this book, but fate interfered tragically with those plans. So here is my long-overdue review of Rivals for the Crown.

Some of us love historical ROMANCE. Others love HISTORICAL romance. And others just love history with a touch of romance.

Kathleen Givens' book Rivals for the Crown is the perfect read for those of us who find ourselves in the latter two categories, as well as anyone who appreciates beautiful writing and engaging storytelling.

The story opens in 1290, when the 7-year-old Queen of Scotland dies on her long journey to her coronation. The story that follows has elements that are familiar to anyone versed in the highlights Scottish history or who considers herself to be a Braveheart fan. Scottish nobles vie for the crown, while King Edward I of England has his own agenda. The story spans much of this period, including the rise of William Wallace.

Against this historical backdrop, we follow the stories of Rachel of Anjou, a young girl who, together with the rest of her family, is expelled from London by Kind Edward along with all other Jews. Wrenched from the embrace of her friend Isabel de Burke, she and her family take refuge in a Scottish border town. There, Rachel and her family try to start a new life in great hardship. Still subject to the anti-Semitism of their time, they face a threat of an entirely different kind when Kieran MacDonald, a hielan’ Scot both tall and dark, sets his gaze on Rachel.

Meanwhile, Isabel is appointed lady-in-waiting to Queen Eleanor and must thread her way through the perils of the English court, where showing mercy or friendship toward Jews is enough to get a person in serious trouble. Isabel's beauty and innocence attract the attention of several men, including Henry de Boyer, one of Edward’s nights, and Rory MacGannon, Kieran’s cousin and son of the hero and heroine of On a Highland Shore.

The two women are reunited but as the conflict between Scotland and England reaches a fevered pitch, each will struggle to find her place in the world.

I don’t want to post any spoilers so I’ll stop recounting the plot there.

I had saved this book on my TBR for months and months, planning to read it as soon as I finished writing Naked Edge. When I finally had time to sit down with the book, it was heaven. I got lost in the story, cheered for Isabel and Rachel and found it almost impossible to set the story aside.

The storytelling goes back and forth between the two friends, but also shares the two heroes’ points of view, too. In a way, it’s kind of like a double love story, and at 409 pages, there’s plenty of room to tell these interwoven tales.

For those who read On a Highland Shore, it’s bittersweet to check in with the hero and heroine of that story as their surviving children reach adulthood and head out into an unsettled world.

One thing I love about Kathleen’s writing is the sympathy with which she always endowed her characters. I came to admire and adore Rachel and Isabel and their respective men. I wanted so desperately for everything to work out for the four of them despite the obstacles of war, court treachery, and mindless bigotry.

But it’s the way Kathleen was able to weave real history seamlessly into her stories. There are plenty of romance readers who don’t care about history. I’m not one of those. History itself is what sparks my imagination when I write my books, so I appreciate the deft way Kathleen dealt with real people and real events in this story. It’s not a book to read if what matters to you is hot sex; love scenes do not dominate the story. But if you love a good historical story well told, you’ll enjoy this book as much as I did.

I don’t know if Kathleen had any other completed manuscripts before she died or whether we’ll be treated to her talent again. But if you haven’t read her stories, I recommend them highly.


P.S. I wanted to thank Jenn J for the lovely header she created for my blog. You might not have noticed it. Then again, what red-blooded female wouldn’t notice the six pack in the corner? Thanks, Jenn!

Lucy said...

I noticed the new header and love it! :) Way to go Jenn!

Debbie H said...

I noticed the header the first day it was up. How could any of us miss it? LOL

I will have to get Ms. Given's books and read them. I love a good historical.;)

Megan said...

Wow totally sold me on the book. I love good historicals. My absolute favorite is Pillars of the Earth. And, being a Braveheart fan, I can't resist something that references William Wallace!

And yes...definitely noticed the new men on your page *slurp* :)

I'm glad y'all like the new header. Jenn has a talent for creating wonderful things like this.

Debbie and Megan, if you like historicals, particularly those focusing on Scotland, you'll love this book. But start with the first one — ON A HIGHLAND SHORE. They can be read out of order, but there's more payoff if you read them in order.

Linda A. said...

The header caught my eye as well - yum1 - and isn't the cover of Rivals for the Crown beautiful? This book is definitely going on my TBR list.

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