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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

LitConnect Blog Tour: When a Laird Takes a Lady by Rowan Keats (Excerpt, Review + Giveaway)


Welcome to my stop on Rowan Keats' blog tour. This tour is brought to you by LitConnect, one of my favorite tour companies. Today I have an excerpt and my review of When a Laird Takes a Lady PLUS a chance to win one of eight copies of the book itself!

About Rowan Keats:
Rowan Keats pens historical adventures involving hot Highland heroes and the women they claim. Both TAMING A WILD SCOT and WHEN A LAIRD TAKES A LADY have earned 4 1/2 star reviews from RT Book Reviews, which labelled her "a rising star of medieval romance."

When not writing, Rowan can frequently be found in a dark movie theater indulging in a large bag of popcorn, or watching the sunrise with a mug of steaming coffee wrapped in her hands. She lives in Central Canada with a goofy black lab, a very talkative cat, and a daughter whose own creative talents awe and inspire her every day.

Find Author:
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I love Scottish heroes. They maybe a little rough around the edges, but they fight for what they believe in...and that usually involves the heroine. Any Scottish warrior is worthy of a sigh, but a Scottish laird—especially a medieval one—can truly make your heart pound. What makes a Scottish laird so interesting?

He will find his woman even in a blinding snow storm...

Excerpt
     They set off again, hobbling through the drifts. The wind tore at Isabail's cloak, sapping what little warmth she had left. She supported Muirne’s weight, and they made slow and steady progress, right up to the moment they ran into a snow-plastered standing stone. Wet snow had encased the stone’s grey fa├žade completely, making it impossible to see against the background of white drifts.

     Isabail’s heart thumped with excited fervor. They were indeed close to the bothy. A little to the left and through the trees and they would be there. Her legs strengthened. “I can see the door, Muirne. Don’t falter now.”

     They pressed on.

     It look longer than Isabail could’ve imagined to bridge the gap, but they eventually arrived at the door. Isabail unlatched the door and they fell inside. The bothy was a primitive one-room abode with a dirt floor and no bed, but Isabail viewed it with a huge grin. Against all the odds, they had made it.

     But the struggle had sapped Muirne’s last reserves. She collapsed just inside the door, sinking to the floor without uttering another word.

     Isabail shut the door against the blowing snow and checked to make sure Muirne still breathed. To her relief, the woman was alive, just bone weary. Brushing the snow from her clothes, she tried to make Muirne as comfortable as possible. Then she took stock of their surroundings.

     A table, two chairs, and a fieldstone hearth. Some blankets, and an iron kettle, but no food and no kindling. When her brother had been earl, the bothy had been well provisioned because he enjoyed the hunt and spent every spare moment in the saddle. Archibald took more interest in political affairs and spent much of his time in Edinburgh. A fact Isabail bitterly resented at that moment.

     No fire, no food, no water. The sorry truth was, although they had succeeded in reaching their goal, they were as likely to die here as they were in the snow. Only slower.

     Isabail gathered the blankets and a small pile of rabbit pelts. She covered Muirne with most of them, but kept two for herself. Unfortunately, the snow had left her clothing damp, and the chill in her flesh remained in spite of the extra layers. In desperate hope that she would find some forgotten tidbit, Isabail searched every corner of the bothy, every box and every tin.

     Nothing. Not even a crumb.

     She sat on a chair and glared at the empty hearth. A cruel twist of fate to be so tantalizingly close to safety. A few logs and a piece of flint would have worked a miracle.

     Muirne murmured something unintelligible, shifting beneath the blankets. Some color had returned to the older woman’s cheeks, but the tip of her nose remained bone white. Isabail knew basic healing remedies, such as willow bark tea for pain and mint for nausea, but her skills did not extend to treating severe cold. She had a sense she ought to do something more for her maid. But what? She felt so helpless. Not a common feeling for a woman who typically had three dozen gillies at her service.

     She was forlornly contemplating her very limited options when the door to the bothy burst open. A very large, snow-covered figure stepped across the threshold, nearly filling the room with his broad shoulders. He shoved back his hood and stared silently at Isabail.

     She swallowed.

     Dear god. It was MacCurran. And judging by the fury glittering in his eyes, cold and hunger were the least of her problems.








Format: Bound copy (Provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Release Date: May 6, 2014

In the Highlands of Scotland, honor and loyalty are worth more than life itself. But when a haunted woman meets a wronged warrior, love will prove more powerful than anything they have ever known.

Isabail Grant has had to be strong all her life. Over the years, she has lost everyone close to her, and now she’s seeking justice for her brother’s murder. But en route to Edinburgh to petition the king, she is kidnapped by a fierce warrior—and is shocked to find herself irresistibly drawn to her captor.

Aiden MacCurran is an outlaw. The laird of a small clan, he’s been falsely accused of killing the king’s courier and stealing the Crown’s property—and the key to clearing his name and redeeming his clan lies in Isabail’s memories. But Aiden and Isabail must first weather deceit and treachery before they can find the truth and claim the love that’s growing between them....

It’s been a long time since I read a Scottish romance novel, let alone a good one like When a Laird Takes a Lady. It was a long time coming but I’m glad that at the last minute I asked to review this book. I missed the previous book and I didn’t want to pass up the chance to check out new to me author Rowan Keats.

Even though it’s a historical romance, it leans heavily on the themes of honor and loyalty and I really enjoyed that because it gave more depth to the overall story and gave the lead characters a bigger obstacle to overcome.

Falsely accused of murder and theft, Aiden MacCurran is determined to clear his name and the reputation of his clan. The only way he feels he can do this is by kidnapping Isabail Grant. Her memories are the key to Aiden and his clan’s salvation. Unfortunately for him, Isabail isn’t easily manipulated or forced to do anything she doesn’t want and the two butt heads continuously.

Both Aiden and Isabail believe in doing what’s right, though after they meet it starts to become clear that neither one of them has all the facts to back up their claims. They start off butting heads and disliking each other but as the story unfolds, they develop an uneasy truce/friendship that holds an intense attraction. Both characters are kind but stubborn and it was interesting to watch them learn to compromise and learn to trust one another.

I liked the plot, it was interesting and strong enough to support a believable mystery and romance. I didn’t get lost and am grateful that author Rowan Keats didn’t decide to give Aiden a thick Scottish brogue as I’m sorely out of practice in reading it. Along with the romance, there was plenty of action and battle scenes that were described so well that I felt like I was watching a movie in my mind, yet they didn’t drag on and on into boredom.

Final Verdict: When a Laird Takes a Lady should be read by historical romance fans and especially Scottish Romance fans who like a big strong Scotsman who is loyal, loving and honorable and a lovely lady who has her own ideas about justice and honor.

Book Rating:

Heat Rating:


* Purchase Links:
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* Using the purchase links on this blog allows me to see a small percentage of the sale. It will help sponsor future giveaways.




Rowan is giving away eight copies of When a Laird Takes a Lady! Just fill in the rafflecopter below! US/Can entries only!

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4 comments:

  1. Oh this does sound right up my alley :)

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  2. I'm definitely going to have to pick this book up! :)

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  3. Oh now that sounds good. Love Scottish romances. Most of my historicals lately have been Regencies though. Thanks for the heads up!

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  4. Oh my stars, this excerpt had my heart pounding as I read the last bit. I could just tell from the heroine's reaction to The MacCurran suddenly bursting into the hut that it was going to be a rousing romance with plenty of action and adventure! (swoon) I'm so glad I've "discovered" another medieval authoress to feed my reading habit!! jdh2690@gmail.com

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