Friday, 21 June 2013

The Laird's Forbidden Lover, Amelia C Gormley

“Nay,” Tavish said shortly. “I could never promise before God to worship a woman with my body. The thought makes me cold. ‘Tis ye I want in my bed, wee Iain. Ye and none other.”

-Review by Kazza K

The Laird's Forbidden Lover by Amelia C. Gormley
Lovely Cover.
Iain Munro and Tavish MacIntyre are distant cousins and have known each other since children. Iain always followed his older cousin around and by thirteen had a crush on sixteen year old Tavish. But Tavish tells Iain he's being a pest because Tavish is trying to impress another boy, Rabbie. Two years on, and Rabbie is getting married when Tavis sees Iain again. And what's more fifteen year old Iain is now looking very much the attractive young man. He is also discreetly looking at men in kilts giving Tavish great hope. When Tavish re approaches Iain, he is not over the slight about being a pest but some of the attraction is still there and Tavish is nothing if not charming when he chooses -

"Then 'tis sorry I be, wee Iain Munro, for having offended ye so grievously when last ye were a guest at Creachann-Dubh ...he rose and executed a bow..."I was a self important-arse..."

Iain accepts the apology and from here, over the next four years, the cousins get together  - to go "hunting," when Ian stays over and helps out, and for the yearly harvest festival, each time they use to be together and to be more and more sexually involved as well as building deeper feelings .

The books does jump back and forth in time, culminating in the present day. It does come together really nicely. I found the writing very strong, the characters so endearing, that I had no problems with the style adopted. It gave me an opportunity to see why there was more to the relationship than just lust. Iain is a very grounded young man with strong principals and Tavish more adventurous. They balance each other well You also get both MC's POV which helped the reader see what both MC's  were each thinking -

Was there a time when he 'd considered Iain a pest, Tavish wondered wildly as he held Iain pinned against the tree and tried to grab every part he could reach a at once.

"Aye, I've missed ye." Iain's panting breaths burst against his mouth. Lord, even four years after that first kiss in the stables, it was sweet , the way Iain's tense reserve melted one they touched. Their hard pricks bumped together through layers of soft wool.  

Tavish MacIntrye is to be Laird of Creachann-Dubh and is of higher social standing than his cousin Iain. And that is always in the background, that men who desire other men cannot be together. That expectations are that you marry a female and have heirs. In Tavish's case you carry on the role of Laird, and for Iain you keep the family in check after the death of your mother and help your father tend the family farm. Things go well for their relationship when they can be together but there is change when it seems people become aware of the fact that there is more to Tavish and Iain's relationship than just familial friendship. Tavish's mother attempts to separate the lovers. Iain is pragmatic about it, Tavish is upset, he doesn't feel he has the wherewithal to be the Laird, nor does he want to lose the love of his life, Iain.

There is some delicious banter in this novella between Tavish's  and is sister, Aileen, who  continually resists all attempts by her mother to fix her up with likely young suitors. At Rabbie's wedding, brother and sister get into some verbal jousting with  Aileen letting Tavish know she's aware of his orientation -

"Och, I dinnae ken young Davie's sight was so sorely afflicted that he cannae tell the difference between a fine, gentle filly and a broken-down nag."
Aileen's jaw dropped, but Tavish barely had time to savour his victory before she rejoined with a smile, "Aye, and Rabbie no doubt saw all too well who's the true filly of Creachann-Dubh - the one masquerading as a stallion. Had he any notion ye wanted him to cover ye? Now that's the question." 

Aileen is smart as a whip and a woman before her times. In fact, Tavish and Aileen's mother runs the affairs of the household because there is no husband to do so. So the woman in the family are strong women. I liked that.

All the characters around the MCs come to know that Tavish and Iain share more than just friendship.
I love a man who wears a kilt....and no undies
Everyone reacts differently. Iain is resigned to the fact that Tavish will have to wed to provide children for the family line and that his role will be Laird of Creachann-Dubh, the family estate. That means no Iain and Tavish once they get to a certain age. Iain understand it but doesn't want it to happen -

It had to end. They could never tell the truth, so their only choice would be to stop. But how could he ever possibly stop? He'd sooner quit breathing. It seemed nothing he did helped him take the final step and resolve not to see Tavish again. He'd tried already, but he hadn't been able to stand firm. No matter what his best intentions, all Tavish had to do was come near, and Iain was lost.

There were a lot of things I liked about this book, the dialogue - it was witty, sweet, sharp - the romantic and passionate words between the two MC's, loving, not saccharine, seemed so real and appropriate. The sex was well written including two young lovers not knowing how to go about anal sex, once they worked that out it was face-meltingly sexy. I also appreciated the use of the Scottish brogue, I felt like I was in the era - I really don't like contemporizing historical reads. I also liked that the women were strong, even though I may not have liked Tavish's mother, Lady Morna, she was portrayed well and Aileen was definitely one with a head for political machinations and a love for her brother; she's a good sister. If you like historical M/M, and you don't mind a shorter read, with brogue and some beautiful writing, then I can't recommend The Laird's Forbidden Lover highly enough.

4.5 Kilt Loving Stars
This book was supplied to me through NetGalley by Riptide Publishing in return for an honest review.


  1. Great review. This looks like a really good book... something I could really get into.

    As always, great pics. ;)

    1. Thanks Cindi. I do love a kilted man. Yes, I do! It's the Scottish heritage I think :) I'm amazed I got this review done...I'll keel over now :(