Monday, December 17, 2012

Day 17 - AVON ADDICT BLOG HOP: Review of THE SCOTTISH WITCH, a Chattan Curse novel by Cathy Maxwell

Welcome to DAY 17 of the AVON ADDICT BLOG HOP! I'm pleased to join my Sister Alums and my new Avon Addict Sisters, the second group of super readers for Avon Romance, in this 24 days of fun & fabulous Giveaways!

On Friday, I reviewed LYON'S BRIDE, a Chattan Curse novel by Cathy Maxwell and I told you that in order to appreciate the next book, THE SCOTTISH WITCH by Cathy Maxwell, you had to read the first. Well, I'm going to give my honest and unscripted review of THE SCOTTISH WITCH and then I'm going to give someone the chance to find out for themselves and read both books. More on that later.

Blurb for THE SCOTTISH WITCH:

Every woman has her dreams
Portia Maclean believes she is beyond love and marriage. Then one moonlit night, while attempting a daring masquerade in a desperate bid to protect her family, she finds herself swept off her feet by a powerful stranger. His very touch makes her long for much more. But what will he do when once he discovers she has betrayed him?

Every man has his demons

Harry Chattan is fighting for his family-their honor and their lives. For two hundred years the Chattan men have been destroyed by love.and now he's come to Scotland on the hunt for a witch who can break the legend's curse. Instead he finds himself bewitched by the tantalizing Portia. Determined to right legendary wrongs, Harry has vowed to fight the demons that torture him.
But will that battle destroy her as well?


                     *                          *                        *                        *                        *

Colonel Harry Chattan is a warrior who never backs down from a fight and right now he's in a fight for his brother's life and possibly some day his own. He never plans to fall in love so he doubts he will ever be faced with the consequences of the Chattan curse but he needs to find a way to end it to save his brother and sister. However, if he needs to he will offer himself up in place of his brother, Neal - Lord Lyon. He's traveled to Scotland in search of someone or something to end the curse set upon his family before his brother succumbs to it now that he's happily wed and expecting his first child.

Portia MacLean is the oldest of two sisters. It's her place to take care of her mother, her sister and ensure that they keep a roof over their head. When money becomes tight and the threat of being put out of their home becomes imminent, Portia connives another way to make sure they survive. When she learns that a Chattan has arrived in Glennfinnan to find a witch to remove the curse he believes haunts his family and is willing to pay well for it, she decides to lead him to believe she's that witch using an old book of recipes and home remedy cures she found in her attic. Complications ensue when he catches her before she has a chance to disguise herself, he begs her to help him, then she runs away with the promise to meet him again only to not show up. When Harry decides to stay in the village until he finds the witch he believes is Fenella of the Macnachtan reincarnated unaware that she is, in truth, Portia, she does her best to stay out of his way yet finds herself drawn to him in a way she can't explain.

Magic surrounds this story from the beginning, with a second remembrance of the story of the curse from Rose's point of view to Portia's discovery of Fenella's book of spells to the appearance of a strange cat, named Owl, who appears, disappears, then reappears mysteriously. Owl, the cat becomes a very intricate part of the story and the mystery. We soon discover that only Harry and Portia seem to be able to see it - and Monty's dogs!

Whereas LYON'S BRIDE alone was only good read, it was a great setup for this novel. Having read it, I thoroughly enjoyed THE SCOTTISH WITCH, the second book in the Chattan Curse series by Cathy Maxwell because of the history known of the story and having already met Harry. Not only is the relationship between Harry Chattan and Portia MacLean much more vibrant and magical, in that I got the definite impression that Owl might very well have a lot to do with their instant and passionate attraction to each other, but because I had already found myself attracted to Harry from the first book. After he meets Portia, who I so very strongly related to, Harry brings her alive and as she does him. The pair are wonderful together, charming and endearing. Harry is a good man with a loyalty that cannot be struck down by the meanest curse and when he extends that loyalty to Portia, you just want to embrace the man and wish him for your own.

THE SCOTTISH WITCH by Cathy Maxwell is fast-paced, character rich, and leads the reader into an even greater mystery with a teaser end that will have clamouring for the next installment. We are definitely left with an I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT yearning to read the next book in the Chattan Curse series, THE DEVIL'S HEART - which won't come to us until April - darn it!!

I do have one problem but it's very inconsequential, except maybe to me -  I do have to question the idea of a Scottish fold cat being in existence at this time in history. I suppose it's possible but the genetic anomaly wasn't even noticed until the 20th Century. I am, however, very pleased that Cathy decided to make this mysterious and bewitching cat white instead of black. Black cats, throughout history, immediately conjure a strong negativity among some people, which I truly wish they would get over. Black cats are beautiful and they are just cats but that's a rant for another time and place.

I highly recommend THE SCOTTISH WITCH by Cathy Maxwell, if you've read LYON'S BRIDE. If you haven't then do and get yourself caught up in this series. It's truly bewitching!

Now, since I just declared that everyone should read this series from the beginning and on through, I'm going to give one of my wonderful readers a chance to do just that. In celebration of the AVON ADDICT BLOG HOP, I am giving away a print copy of each of these Chattan Curse novels. Simply tell me this:

Have you ever read a novel with a character that you strongly related to and if so, who was the character?

GIVEAWAY PRIZE:  One print copy each of LYON'S BRIDE and THE SCOTTISH WITCH by Cathy Maxwell.
Feel free to click on the title to read my review of LYON'S BRIDE

GIVEAWAY RULES:

** This Giveaway is OPEN TO U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY (void where prohibited)

** To qualify for entry in this Giveaway, you must leave a comment and a valid email address. Remember the magic formula to be entered:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!

** This Giveaway will run until 11:30 PM EST, Wednesday, Dec 19, 2012 when one lucky commenter will be chosen at random to win both of these books.  The winner will be notified by email and announced in a special post on Thursday but if the winner fails to answer back by end of day, Monday, Dec 24, 2012 - I will be forced to run the randomizer again and give the prizes to someone else.

Good luck and Happy Reading Everyone!

THE SCOTTISH WITCH, a Chattan Curse novel by Cathy Maxwell, Avon Romance, available now in print and ebook formats.


                                       

25 comments:

Kim in Hawaii said...

Aloha! Just hopping over to support my fellow Avon Addict. My specific addiction is Cathy Maxwell. Love this series - Harry almost stole the story in Lyon's Bride and he steals my heart in The Scottish Witch. Your review is spot on. Looking forward to reading Margaret's adventure in The Devil's Heart (April 2012).

Penni Freels said...

I love Avon Books! This is a great blog hop :-)
fantasy_angel381(at)yahoo(dot)com

Elizabeth H. said...

Let's hear it for these great Avon Addicts!! Thanks for the great giveaways!!
Happy Holidays!!

ehaney578 at aol dot com

Lexi H said...

Cathy Lyon, another great Avon author.
I seem to find something I relate to with every character I read. I think that is a sign of a good author, when they can give you a real conneciton with the character. Pulls you into the story on a deeper level.

Nicely written review!

eyesofblueice (at) gmail

Bridget Keown said...

Hello there, fellow Addict! Terrific post! Cathy Maxwell's a new author for me, but I've been loving the chance to get to read her work :)

erin said...

Thanks for such a fun post and giveaway event! I've just acquired some Cathy Maxwell books for my Kindle since they were on such an awesome sale and I can't wait to get started :)

efender1(at)gmail(dot)com

Blithely Bookish said...

What a great, fun post!

Cathy Maxwell said...

Hi, Amy--Thanks for the review! A bit on the Scottish Fold. You are right, the breed itself wasn't formally developed until 1964 when a breeder discovered a cat already with the abnormality in a barn in Scotland. The folded over ears had to be in the genetic line and had existed before the formal breeding much like polydactyly or six-toed cats. I am very careful in the book to not use the Scottish Fold breed name. However, please keep this bit of information in mind for Margaret's story THE DEVIL'S HEART(MAY /13)

Amy Valentini said...

Hi Cathy! Thanks for coming by. I do apologize because, indeed, you never do call Owl a Scottish Fold and since Owl does appear to be a magical kitty, it's very possible for her to have all sorts of uniqueness. Correct?
So, Owl IS important to the rest of the story. Can't wait to read THE DEVIL'S HEART!! May! Sounds even further away!! : )

Lily B said...

I think almost every book that I enjoyed I could related to a character in some way. Thought I have yet to read one where I can relate to them deeply. I have not yet read those books, but they look amazing <3 thank you for the giveaway I hope you enjoy your holidays!

Chrisbails said...

Great post. What a fun hop. I am a big fan and reader of Avon books. Lots of great authors. Trying to follow along with the hop.
I don't think their is one specific character that I resemble, but feel that I do see myself in the books that I read. I like Olivia Bellemy in Susan Wiggs Summer at Willow Lake.
Thanks for the awesome giveaway.
Have only read one of Cathy's books before and loved it. Will have to check out some more.
christinebails at yahoo dot com

kipha said...

No, I haven't found a book that I could relate too but I would be surprise if there even was one. LOL Thanks for the Awesomest Giveaway Ever!! Love Avon~

kp_kazamei(at)yahoo(dot)com

Ashlea said...

I still expect to grow up to be Lizzie Bennet

ashleaharvey @ yahoo.com

pamerd said...

Hi

This series is on my list to read. I am looking forward to enjoying the stories.

Thanks for the chance
Pam
tpibrew@msn.com

Julie H said...

Just wanted to say thanks for doing this blog hop! It has been so much fun finding new blogs to follow and new authors to try. The romance community is a great one!

Oh, please don't enter me in the contest - I already have one of these books, so I don't want to take away someone else's chance to win it! Good luck, all!

bn100 said...

No, I haven't.

bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

brbalways said...

Not so much in the historical novels, but I have come across a few modern heroines that reminded me of myself. Can't actually call who/when but do remember the thought at the time.

Love AVON books and would love to give Cathy Maxwell a try since I haven't got my hands on hers yet.

Thanks for the chance!!
Merry Christmas
brbalways(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

Leah Weller (leahluvsmedieval) said...

I'm just stopping by to wave at ya. :) since I have both of these on my TBR pile. My "thing" for next year is to try like a madwoman to get my TBR stack down.

Amy Valentini said...

I'm so glad everyone is so excited about this new series! : )

Hi Leah! *waving*
Hope you get some quiet time this holiday season to get some of that reading done. It's a great gift to give yourself. : )

Kamla L. said...

I always find a bit of me, sometimes a little and sometimes a lot, in the heroines of my favorite books especially books in the romance and fantasy genres. It's not always the me who exists in the here and now. Sometimes it's the fantasy me I create. Being able to relate to the characters this way is what helps to endear the books to me.

Cathy, I recently discovered you when I hijacked The Earl Claims His Wife from a pile of books a friend of mind was taking way too long to get around to. I loved the story and probably won't be returning the book. I know I'm bad like that:) I'm really looking forward to the other books in you Scandals and Seductions series . Your new series The Chattan Curse sounds just as irresistable.

Kamla L. said...

Oops! Got so excited I forgot to leave my email

kaladata2(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Grandmareads said...

I have enjoyed Cathy Maxwell's books for many years. Her stories are filled with romance and plenty of action. You will devour the book.

Amy Valentini said...

Kamla, we all get excited sometimes but that's okay. Got your entry!

Grandmareads - you are soooo right! Thanks for coming by, it's always a pleasure! : )

Queen of Books Sue said...

Anything written by Cathy Maxwell is a sure winner. What's not to love by reading anything by Avon authors. Thanks for giveaway/contest.

Di said...

I guess I relate to the ones who love animals - tho they are often more adventureous than I am.
sallans d at yahoo dot com

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