Book Review

Book Review: The Art of Victory (The Donovans #1) by Martha Keyes

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Regency Romance
Length: 290 pages
Author: Martha Keyes
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: June 15th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Diana Donovan was raised aboard a naval ship on a steady diet of war strategy, so when her orphaned friend, Lucy, is denied a perfectly respectable love match by her controlling guardian, Diana sees an opportunity to put her battle knowledge to use in service of a deserving friend.

But Marmaduke Russell is not the middle-aged curmudgeon Diana is expecting. He is a maddeningly cool, unmarried gentleman who seems uniquely able to parry her tactics—and infuse her with even more determination to win. As battle ensues, though, it becomes clear that there may be more hearts in the balance than just Lucy’s.


Oh, Duke, he might be my newest love interest fav.

I LOVE that he fell first (always a winner) and was so open about it?? What is that?! THE BEST THAT’S WHAT. He pushed Diana to open her eyes and heart to things she thought weren’t ever going to be apart of her life. I loved their chemistry from the get-go. That banter was fire and it was the perfect sentiment of rivals and angst without being true enemies or anything.

What I realize I do struggle with is when a romance book seems to center on a different characters life than the main couple. A lot of this book was turned to Diana’s friend Lucy and her love story. I wish that would have been much more minimalized because it took me out a few times when I just wanted Duke and Diana to have their moments.

All in all, this was a great start to a new series. I love this family and all of the different siblings. I can’t wait for more stories from them. Regency/Historical romances are such a nice break from other genres I read and I found them incredibly enjoyable. Martha Keyes is a reliable author in this category to bring the swoon and heart to any story.

Overall audience note:

  • Regency Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses

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Book Review

Book Review: The Widow and the Highlander (Tales from the Highlands #1) by Martha Keyes

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical Romance
Length: 290 pages
Author: Martha Keyes
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: February 27th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


She needs to be protected. He’ll take on the job…for a price.

Christina MacKinnon is secretly relieved to be a widow. She is equally desperate to distance herself from the clan of her dead husband, but as the heir to his estate—one she needs in order to support her siblings—she must first stave off both the advances and threats of the man next in line to inherit. It seems the only person she can turn to is a nearby stranger who seems inclined to help her. But he has a request…

Freshly returned from the war, Lachlan Kincaid has one aim: to see justice served to the MacKinnons for betraying his family years ago and depriving him of his inheritance. While biding his time at a nearby inn, he discovers the death of the MacKinnon laird—whose widow has inherited everything. The way to accomplish his goal is becoming more evident, but the path is murkier than he could have foreseen.

As Christina’s and Lachlan’s lives intersect, it becomes clear that their separate aims may well only be achievable if they join forces. But to do so is to court more danger, and it requires a sacrifice Christina isn’t sure she’s prepared to make.


Really though, put a book in a Scottish setting and I am drawn like a moth to a flame. I love how well written and put together this novel was.

There was a tender, unmitigated romance that I found myself getting wrapped up into. I adored the two strong leads, Christina and Lachlan. Both with vastly different backgrounds that came together in a marriage of convenience (MY FAV) to outwit some unruly family members. I even found myself okay with another trope (which has a spoilery nature so I won’t say here) that I’m generally not a fan of. Keyes wrote both characters with passion and thoughts that made sense and I could get behind even when they were upset or frustrated.

I felt transported to the highlands and saw the set-up for book two that I know I’m going to love. These characters made the story and I love the pacing and how in depth it was even at a shorter page length (under 300).

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses to closed door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: kidnapping, mentions and recounting of past spousal abuse (physical), near drowning, war injuries

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