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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • Sexy and fun historical romance

    I devoured this, quickly—it’s super sexy and delicious and sweet. This is more of a lovers-to-in love type narrative, and I appreciated that aspect (I would say one of Stainton’s strengths here is in her sex scenes). The social aspects and the ending might be a little bit tidy for my tastes, but at the same time I wasn’t really looking for real angst (nor did I find any). In the vein of Cat Sebastian and KJ Charles, for sure. I look forward to more of Stainton’s work!

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  • lots and lots of steam

    This book - well, I don't know if I'd really like this one or not. At first I thought maybe I'd just read too many historical romances set in Scotland and needed to take a break from them. But the more I read, the more I decided, that wasn't it. To be honest, there really isn't that much story here. This isn't a relationship or a romance. It's a ton of steamy time with the odd thing going on here and there. Seriously, if you take all that out, there isn't much book left. I don't mind a good steamy scene, or a few good steamy scenes, but after so many, it's just repetitive and feels like it takes the place of actual relationship building and plot. I reached a point when I finally started skimming those parts in search of something, anything else. I was hoping for a good story to start a new series, but this was just disappointing and doesn't bode well for what's to come in my opinion.

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  • tender and sweet and scary

    I will publish this review to my blog on July 31, 2020 -=-=-=- Dr. Ainsley Graham claims he speaks to ghosts… but when he does that in an academic setting his life begins to unravel. Joachim Cockburn travels up to Scotland to meet Dr. Graham armed only with his skill in psychology and a description from Dr. Graham’s brother. Ainsley is “a certified genius with no sense of self-preservation, whatsoever”. When Cockburn arrives at Dr. Graham’s house, there’s some amusing confusion. Dr. Graham thinks that Cockburn is someone sent to him to sort out whether or not he too is gay… this results in a rather flirtatious scene that is quite humorous. Once the two men sort out who each other are, Ainsley agrees to show Joachim some ghosts. He is game to convincing someone else they exist not knowing that Joachim is only there to study him for his final dissertation. I suppose if I had to choose a theme for this book it would be overcoming the challenges that we all have in our lives. Those challenges may be considered a “disability” by some but that doesn’t mean we have to accept them as such. We all need different things in our lives, different people, to give us the support we need to live a full life. There’s a special place in my heart for Dr. Ainsley Graham. He has spent his entire life dealing with ADHD during a time when awareness of it was almost non-existent. I can’t begin to imagine what an uphill climb that would be. In addition to being neurodiverse, Ainsley is also gay. Simply living his life could result in him ending up incarcerated. That would be a problem for most people, but Ainsley lives without the self-preserving filters that most people rely on. The author did a wonderful job of writing Ainsley. What I enjoyed the most was that he didn’t seem to think of himself as differently-abled in any way. he acknowledged that he was different, but he is who he is and that’s all there is to it. I can’t really describe it any better than that, but I adored him. He was brave and strong and dealing with a lot of emotional weight from the things that had happened in his past. The novel is set in Scotland in the 1920s. I didn’t get a real feel for the time… I can’t say that I noticed a lot of a difference in terms of language or grammar. I could imagine Ainsley’s Scottish accent, but my Dad is from Edinburgh and there were certainly some phrases and mannerisms that I felt were missing from Ainsley’s speech. There are some really steamy sexual encounters in the book. Ainsley is a very free spirit, but I loved the internal push and pull as he struggled to battle with himself over what he wanted. Very enjoyable read!

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  • Awesome Historical

    Playful, heart-warning, witty, sexy, charming , very well written and crafted , funny, captivating, entertaining comes to my when I think about Best Laid Plaids, the debut novel by Ella Stainton. Set in gorgeous and breath taking Scotland in the 1920's , you feel transported to the era , it's society and way of life. This book made me feel happy and relaxed. And that folks, is all I ask , when reading a Romance Book. Re-read: Yes Recommend: Yes I just reviewed Best Laid Plaids by Ella Stainton. #BestLaidPlaids #NetGalley #ReadOn2020 #BooksILove

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  • Great characters, great narration.

    Audio Review: Overall – 5 Performance – 5 Story – 5 Great characters, great narration. Best Laid Plaids is the first book I've read by Ella Stainton and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I started out reading this book but then I found a copy of the audiobook in my library's digital catalog so I decided to listen to it. I believe that it's also the first book I've listened to by Cornell Collins (although I do have others by him in my Audible library). I want to start out by saying that I really loved what the author says after the dedication to her grandmother but before the actual text of the book starts. You can see it if you use the "look inside" feature available at some online book sellers. The story was so good. It's an early 1900's historical with just a twist of paranormal – there are ghosts involved. But it really is just a love story between two men who constantly seem to fight their feelings for each other. They don't communicate all that well except when they are getting it on (if you know what I mean). Both of them have unresolved issues in their pasts that have caused them to feel tremendous guilt. I loved the two main characters of Ainsley, who can hear ghosts, and Joachim who is out to prove that ghosts don't exist. The rich cast of secondary characters, including the ghosts, made this a very interesting story. It held my attention right from the beginning and I hated when real life intervened and I had to put it aside without finishing it in one go. Cornell Collins did a fantastic job with his performance of the audio. He used voices for the various characters that were easy to understand and easy to distinguish who was speaking. I will definitely be listening to more of his work. I am also looking forward to reading the next book in this series, Where There's a Kilt, There's a Way, which should be available sometime in the first quarter of 2021. A review copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley but this did not influence my opinion or rating of the book.

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