Kilts and Catnip

The Shrouded Isle Book 1

Fiction - Fantasy - General
338 Pages
Reviewed on 01/23/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

As a child, Zoe Tasia idolized Barbara Eden, star of I Dream of Jeannie, however, she would have ditched the astronaut and married Captain Kirk. She can’t blink and make magic nor did she wed a Starfleet officer. Instead, life had something better in store for her. She explores her imagination as a writer, is married to an understanding Greek, has two grown sons, and a crazy cat that thinks it’s a dog. Zoe grew up in Oklahoma and lived over seven years in Scotland. Now she resides in the great state of Texas, where everything’s bigger and better, or so she’s told by the natives. When she’s not giving her make-believe friends full rein, she enjoys the opera, ballet, well-chilled champagne and reading, lots and lots of reading. Her first book is Kilts and Catnip (The Shrouded Isle Book 1.)
She co-writes books with Minette Lauren under the pen name Zari Reede.
Daisy Dukes ‘n Cowboy Boots, a funny romance
Blinked, a zany fantasy
Sins of the Sister, a psychological thriller

    Book Review

Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite

Kilts and Catnip by Zoe Tasia is the first book in The Shrouded Isle series. After her husband's death, Becca decides on a fresh start for her and her two daughters by taking them on a dream vacation to Scotland. Their ideal vacation takes a strange turn when her younger daughter Tate disappears in the middle of the night after being lured into the forest. A mysterious man, Greg Gillie, saves her and guides them out of the forest. According to her eldest daughter, a creature has attached to Tate, but Becca hasn't seen anything, only Tate is acting strange. Wherever they go, they seem to encounter wolves yet no one seems bothered by the wolves' presence. Everyone tells her to stay away from the forest but no one will tell her the full reason why. As Becca slowly uncovers the secrets of her neighbors, a hidden magical world slowly wakes up and her connection to Greg continues to grow.

Zoe Tasia brings magic to a tale of romance, family, and heart. Becca starts a new life for her and her daughters in Scotland, and stumbles upon legends come to life. Becca's journey consists of moving on after her husband's death to a potential new home and romance, and her role as a mother and protector of her family. Her husband is never met but his death is consistently felt throughout the story as it influences Becca and her daughters. While she's ready for a new start, she's struggling with making a new life without her husband. Her daughters have their own struggles as Tate seems to stumble into one magical creature after another and the oldest, Jessie, struggles with growing up and seeing her mom moving on with life.

The friction between the two sisters is typical as with any bickering siblings, but Becca also has plenty of friction with her daughters as the three adjust to a new life which has a clear absence. While honoring their loss, Tasia also maintains a great deal of heart and love. At first the magical touches are ominous and mysterious as Tasia slowly builds up clues until she gets to the magical reveal. The blooming romance between Becca and Greg is sweet and slow building, which makes it feel genuine because it works in her not quite being ready to date though finding a strong connection with him. Several legends are explored with plenty of mischievous fairy creatures to meet and shape shifting fun to be had from wolves to mysterious cats, with magical mischief and more delights in Kilts and Catnip.

Kim Anisi

Kilts and Catnip is book one in The Shrouded Isle series by Zoe Tasia. As the name suggests, the story takes places on a Scottish island – and cats are involved. It’s not a cheesy romance novel, but an adventurous fantasy novel with some Scottish folklore and a dash of romance thrown in. But really just a dash as the author lets relationships develop naturally, which adds to the charm of the story. Becca, an American who lives in Scotland, is the main character, and she plans to spend only a few weeks on the island. Her two daughters accompany her, and one of them immediately finds trouble and gets pulled into the forest by someone or something mysterious. Fortunately, a Scot named Greg Gillie returns her. Becca soon finds out that Greg is surrounded by mysteries himself, and some people in the little town have a bit of a problem with him. For some reason, more and more strange things happen in Becca’s life. Strange beings are drawn to her, including a stray cat. The longer Becca stays, the more she gets drawn into a world totally new to her: the world of fae and magic.

After reading Kilts and Catnip by Zoe Tasia, I was disappointed that it was over. It was a delightful read with interesting characters (I love the cat). What I enjoyed a lot was that the plot never seemed rushed, and there never seemed to be too much packed on a page. It was a comfortable, yet exciting read. There is plenty happening, but it is happening at a pace that makes reading the story fun. I was able to dive into the story, be part of it, and truly enjoy it. I also liked that the relationships between the various characters developed in a realistic manner, e.g. the daughter’s reluctance to accept Greg in the family’s house. It is a great read for people who love fantasy, but who don’t need it to be overly erotic, violent and gory. Zoe Tasia shows that fantasy is great without displays of naked flesh and horrendous descriptions of various mutilated body parts. It’s always nice to see someone who can create tension and excitement in a “clean” manner.