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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Tasty Book Tours: The Highlander Takes a Bride by Lynsay Sands (Review, Excerpt + Giveaway)

Good Tuesday everyone! Who loves Highland romances? Are you used to the way some authors write their characters' dialogue? It took me forever to learn that "You ken" meant "You know" and don't get me started on the other little phrases. Slowed me down some but I still enjoyed the book!

About Lynsay Sands

LYNSAY SANDS is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historicals and anthologies. She’s been writing stories since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career out of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there’s occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus. Please visit her on the web at www.lynsaysands.net.

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Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Avon Romance
Release Date: July 6, 2015

Sword fighting, swearing, and riding astride come naturally to Saidh Buchanan. Simpering and holding her tongue-definitely not. Raised alongside seven boisterous brothers, Saidh has little interest in saddling herself with a husband…until she glimpses the new Laird MacDonnell bathing naked in the loch. Though she’s far from a proper lady, the brawny Highlander makes Saidh feel every inch a woman.

She has an angel’s looks, a warrior’s temper, and seeks out his kisses with wanton eagerness. Little wonder that Greer is intrigued by his comely guest. When reckless desire overtakes them, he’s more than willing to make an honest woman of her. But Saidh is the target of a hidden enemy, and Greer faces the battle of his life…to safeguard the woman he wants above all others.

Saidh Buchanan is no simpering, whimpering damsel in distress. Swearing, sword fighting and riding are more her style, as is being brutally honest. She has no interest in settling down with a husband any time soon, until she stumbles upon the new but reluctant Laird MacDonnell in all his glory bathing in the loch.

Fascinated by Saidh’s combination of passion, honesty and beauty, Greer can’t find much reason to complain when he finds himself married to a woman that is more warrior than homemaker. The two find an undeniable passion between them even as they try to get to know one another. When Saidh becomes the target of an unknown and brutal enemy, Greer must step into his role as Laird to protect her and his family.

As tough as it was for me to read through the Irish dialogue all the characters had, I thoroughly enjoyed The Highlander Takes a Bride by Lynsay Sands. Granted, I don’t read Highland romances that often so anyone who does won’t have an issue with the dialogue.

I wonder if it was because Saidh was a Highland woman or because author Lynsay Sands knows the value of a strong and intelligent female character but my love of The Highlander Takes a Bride was due in large part to this warrior like woman. She was an invaluable part of the story not because she was the heroine but because she actually brought something to the story. She wasn’t a damsel in distress but rather a fierce fighter. She never lost that streak of independence, not even after she was married to Greer. She pulled her own weight in the story and gave me as a reader something to look forward to every time she was in a scene.

As strong a character as Saidh was, it also takes a confident and strong man to fall in love and appreciate a woman like Saidh. Greer was definitely that man. What may have been offputting, even shameful in a woman was exactly what attracted Greer to Saidh in the first place. He was this rough and tough Highlander yet he valued honesty in those around him. He had me falling in love with him in a matter of pages. He may have been a reluctant Laird but he didn’t turn away from the people who depended on him for protection and leadership. I loved Greer’s combination of raw power, wry humor and compassion. He made a very dashing Highland hero to me.

Then there was the villain of the story. At first it seemed like everyone was a suspect. I loved the mystery of the villain and that there were no solid clues to that person’s identity. However, about the last ¾ of the book, it became blaringly obvious who it was and while it was not who I had thought, I was hoping that the author would keep it a secret until the very last moment. Still though, it was pretty shocking to find out the who and the whys.

Until now I hadn’t had a chance to really sit and read a Lynsay Sands novel and I must say it was an overall entertaining experience. I think I need to get some more practice in reading that Irish dialogue that does make things sound more authentic in my head but that also slows me down a bit because I stumble with the meanings of some of those words.

Final Verdict: Score one for Lynsay Sands, I'm going to be checking out her backlist pretty soon.

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“A lady does no’ climb trees.”

“Ye’ve told me that three times now, lad,” Saidh responded dryly, shifting her foot up to the next branch and hauling herself upward.

“Aye, but ye’re still doing it, so I thought mayhap ye had no’ heard me,” Alpin said sharply. When she didn’t respond to that, he added, “I could climb up there to pick the apples and throw them down, ye ken.”

“Then there would be no one to catch them,” Saidh pointed out.

“I was thinking mayhap ye could stay below and catch them, as a lady should,” he said, sounding much put upon.

Saidh plucked the apple she’d been climbing to and glanced down to see where the boy was before dropping it in his direction. Once Alpin had caught it, and set it with the others they’d already gathered, she started to climb down and asked, “Just how old are ye, Alpin?”

“Nine,” he said proudly.

“Hmmm,” she muttered, easing down another branch. “Ye act ninety.”

“Laird MacDonnell says the same thing,” Alpin announced with disgust.

“Then we are in agreement,” Saidh said cheerfully, easing down another branch.

“I suspect the two o’ ye would agree on a lot o’ things,” Alpin said sounding annoyed.

“I suspect yer right,” Saidh said with a laugh and jumped to the ground. She took a moment to brush her hands together, then released her skirt from where she’d caught it up and stuck it through her belt for the climb, then beamed at the boy and said, “Is that no’ nice?”

“Nay,” Alpin assured her heavily. “I’m thinking ’tis a bad thing.”

Her eyebrows rose in surprise. “Why is that?”

“Because ye both just go about doing as ye wish with little regard fer how a laird or lady should behave,” he said firmly. “Someone needs to take the two o’ ye in hand and teach ye—What the devil are ye doing now?” he interrupted himself to ask with dismay when Saidh moved over to the apples, caught her skirt up and knelt to begin placing the apples in the bag-type affair she’d made of her skirt.

Grand Prize is a Print Set of All Three Highlander Romances and Winners Choice Scottish Stole. Five (5) Runners Up will receive a Print Set of AN ENGLISH BRIDE IN SCOTLAND and TO MARRY A SCOTTISH LAIRD. (ALL US ONLY)

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