‘The Reluctant Highlander’ by Amanda Scott

trh asSTORY: Ordinarily, Lady Fiona Ormiston wouldn’t think of forming an alliance with an ungroomed, barbaric Highlander, despite the protection he offers. But now, by request of the king, Sir Adham MacFinlagh, a brazen stranger and outsider unlike anyone she has met before, is to be her husband. Torn from solitude and the comfort of her family to make a home with the rugged knight, Fiona surrenders to Adham’s powerfully passionate—and shockingly tender—touch, only to discover her new husband’s family ties may lie with an enemy of the king.

A sense of duty may have brought Adham to the marriage bed, but it’s his powerful feelings for his beautiful, willful wife that will be his undoing. Ultimately, the bold knight will have to decide: Does his allegiance lie with his blood ties to the man who hopes to bring down the king or with the bride who has stolen his heart?

REVIEW: I said it before and I’ll say it again. Amanda Scott is welcome to pull me out of my regency world anytime she damn well pleases. With her meticulous research and wonderful prose, she brings Highland’s history and politics to life and immerses me into her tales of intrigue and romance with an ease.

There’s a lot to like about this story, aside of being well written and researched. I found the story sweet and heartwarming. The couple was engaging and their story compelling. Fiona was sweet as much as she was strong and adventurous. She was a perfect match for Adham, an Alpha male warrior with shades of Beta hero tendencies.

What I found fascinating was the political plot to this story. I loved the history and intrigue of the setting and if you’re into that sort of thing, I think you’ll gobble it up.

I really liked this story and highly recommend it for its history and suspense as much as for action and romance.

Melanie for b2b

Gift copy provided by the publisher for an honest review

Spotlight on Amanda Scott and ‘Devil’s Moon’!

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Today we are spotlighting one of my favorite authors and asking her to tell us her Top 5 book to film/series adaptations.

I’m not a movie fan, so this one is hard, but I’m assuming that you’re asking what favorite books I have that have been made into great movies. I’ll give it a shot. 

1. Actually, the first movie that comes to mind is Into the Woods because I was utterly fascinated by the way all my favorite fairy tales were woven into the story.

2. To Kill a Mockingbird. I knew when the first scene of the movie opened which house belonged to Atticus Finch, and I thought the movie brought that so-excellent book alive.

3. American Sniper

4. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

5. And I loved all the Sean Connery James Bond movies

dm asSTORY: A Warrior’s Promise

The last place Sir David “Devil” Ormiston expected his moonlight chase of a horse thief to end was in a lady’s bedchamber. He is shocked to find that the raider he has pursued is no man, but a defiant beauty in disguise-and the woman he’s vowed to protect at all costs. Face to face with a girl Dev thought he knew, the ever confident, marriage-resistant knight may learn that he is defenseless against the desirable woman she has become.

A Lady’s Secret

Lady Robina Gledstanes will do anything to keep her family’s land out of the hands of her greedy kinsmen-except willingly submit to the handsome, cocksure Devil Ormiston. Dev’s help may be just as dangerous as the threats lurking outside her castle. But when enemies scheme to steal the castle’s treasure, Robina must risk losing something even more precious-her heart.

BUY LINKS: Amazon / BAM / B&N / IndieBound / GooglePlay / iTunes / Kobo

TEASER:

Prologue

Coklaw Castle, the Scottish Borders, July 1403

The night was black. Not a star shone, and the damp, clinging mist was as cold as mid-November. The castle’s tall, square keep rose above its outer wall, although the two appeared as one solid density against the night sky.

Armed with a shovel and dirk, the thickset man known as Shetland Jamie felt his way to the crest of a low rise thirty yards southeast of the wall. He thanked God for the darkness and blessed the mist that hid him. He heard no sound from the wall walk above.

The siege laid by Henry Percy, the powerful English Earl of Northumberland, had been in effect for fifteen days, but his men had not attacked for a sennight, so the Scots inside the castle no longer feared an assault. Doubtless, the earl meant to starve them out.

Jamie had worried about his shovel making noise, but yesterday’s misery-making rain had softened the ground, so the rain had been good for something beyond easing the siege army’s stink. Moreover, the heavy mist had muffled the night bird’s call he’d heard a short while ago, so it would doubtless muffle any sounds he made.

Jamie had studied the rise from the day he’d first recognized the stunning opportunity that had presented itself to him. Now, following an image in his head of what he had seen earlier, he soon found the pile of rocks he’d left to mark his spot.

Cautiously resting his shovel on a shrub, he gently set down the crockery jar that held the most precious part of his burden, out of the way but where he could find it again.

Dawn remained distant, and the English tents and siege fires lay to the south, beyond the crest of a nearby hill. Northumberland’s tent was the finest, of course. The Percys were wealthier than God, and Shetland Jamie’s family was poorer than dust.

But God knew all and willed all, did He not?

Jamie believed that God had provided this chance and had willed the idea into his head. A wise man recognized opportunity when it came his way, and he knew that he’d have had to be blind not to see this one. The others had left him alone, guarding that fine tent for just a few minutes, but that had been enough.

It would mean hanging if they caught him, but if they didn’t, he’d be far better off than he was now. God had paved the way for him tonight, too, with the darkness and mist.

As he pictured numerous possibilities that the future might hold for him, he quietly shifted the pile of rocks out of his way. He would bury his treasure for the nonce and take good care that no one suspected what he’d done.

To continue reading more of Prologue & the entire Chapter 1, go here.

Amanda ScottAUTHOR BIO: Amanda Scott is the author of over 62 romance novels and the recipient of the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA Award.  She lives in Folsom, California, outside of Sacramento.

Amanda is a fourth-generation Californian, who was born and raised in Salinas and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in history from Mills College in Oakland. She did graduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, specializing in British History, before obtaining her Master’s in History from California State University at San Jose. She now lives with her husband and son in northern California.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook /Twitter / Goodreads / Pinterest /

‘Devil’s Moon’ by Amanda Scott

dm asSTORY: A Warrior’s Promise

The last place Sir David “Devil” Ormiston expected his moonlight chase of a horse thief to end was in a lady’s bedchamber. He is shocked to find that the raider he has pursued is no man, but a defiant beauty in disguise—and the woman he’s vowed to protect at all costs. Face to face with a girl Dev thought he knew, the ever confident, marriage-resistant knight may learn that he is defenseless against the desirable woman she has become.

A Lady’s Secret

Lady Robina Gledstanes will do anything to keep her family’s land out of the hands of her greedy kinsmen—except willingly submit to the handsome, cocksure Devil Ormiston. Dev’s help may be just as dangerous as the threats lurking outside her castle. But when enemies scheme to steal the castle’s treasure, Robina must risk losing something even more precious—her heart.

REVIEW: With this second book, Paula Quinn continues her Border Nights series and once more takes me back in time of Scotland of long ago.

It’s worth repeating and reminding my bookworms that reading Ms. Scott’s stories are an adventure in itself. She never fails to have me immersed into her world so much so, that I’m having a hard time coming out of it. The reason behind it is her immaculate research of the world she creates for me and for my pleasure. And trust me. It is pure bliss to let myself go and for a few hours a day just be one of the clansmen.

My heart went out to our heroine, Lady Robina Gledstanes who had such strength, such courage after she had to step up and be the “Laird”, only until her younger brother can reach his majority, of her clan after the deaths of her parents and her twin brother. I can’t even imagine how hard this was for this young woman, especially for the time that she was living in.

The hero, Sir David “Devil” Ormiston, had been in a battle and his best friend saves his life and dies. That is something he feels guilty about and is having a hard time with, especially because that friend is none other than Lady Robina’s twin brother. He gave his word to his friend that he’ll protect the two and now he must do it no matter the cost to his heart.

I loved the way both of them had to adjust their opinion of each other as they slowly realize that no matter how long they’ve known each other, they never really “saw” one another for what they were.

As usual, the plotting is intriguing, the action rampant, and romance sensual and sweet.
This story is one shop-stop when it comes to romance, historical events and fiction. It’s all here and masterfully woven together, just like the tartan’s of old.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Moonlight Raider’ by Amanda Scott

MR ASSTORY: A man of his word…

Border Lord Walter Scott of Rankilburn, grief-stricken after burying his father, goes to the forest seeking solace. Instead he finds a half-naked young lady fleeing pursuit. Wat offers his protection, but honor demands that he return the golden-eyed beauty to her rightful husband – even though the last thing he wants is to see her in another man’s arms.

A runaway bride…

Molly Cockburn has fled her home, family, and the brutal scoundrel she was forced to wed. Her pursuers are closing in when the powerful new Lord of Rankilburn bravely intervenes, then promises to help prove her marriage unlawful. Though fiercely loyal to her family, Molly fears they might harm the man she is coming to love, and now she must decide whether to remain faithful to her blood… or to her heart.

REVIEW: This story starts Amanda Scott’s new Raider series and I loved every minute spent reading this book!

It’s no news to Ms. Scott’s fans when I say that she weaves her tales with wit, action and passion. She has yet to disappoint her faithful readers and we all are always ready to be immersed into the Scottish Highlands she’s creating for us.

I was fascinated by Molly Cockburn and Walter, the new Lord or Rankilburn, as they slowly but surely followed their hearts into love and passion.

Molly was one strong and determined woman as she navigates the peril she unwittingly puts herself and Wat’s family through. Wat was such a perfect hero. I was much impressed with his character and his demeanor as well as his determination to do the right thing and follow his gut instincts when it came to Molly’s situation.

This story is as much complex as are our main protagonists. There are many hurdles to overcome before these two can come together, and the least of those is her marital state.

If you are a fan of the ‘marriage of convenience with a twist’ in which the author weaves her story with a wonderful historical background, then this story will be just perfect to curl up to.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘The Warrior’s Bride’ by Amanda Scott

as twbSTORY: Man On A Mission
Robert MacAulay, heir to the influential Baron of Ardincaple, will risk everything to help his father and his clan. But when Rob becomes involved in a legal tempest stirred by an irresistibly maddening lady, his mission is threatened before it begins . . .

Reckless Lady

Lady Muriella MacFarlan is impulsive, mercurial, and sometimes illogical. She is a spinner, not just of yarns and threads but also of stories. She can gild the lily or tell a half-truth. When her active imagination lands her in the suds, she’s forced to turn to the ever truthful and blunt-spoken Rob for help. Their destinies now entwined, Rob and Muriella may discover that love is one truth that cannot be denied . . .

REVIEW: ‘The Warrior’s Bride’ is the third book in Ms. Scott’s Lairds of the Loch series and it’s Lady Muriella ‘Murie’ MacFarlan’s story. She is youngest daughter of Andrew MacFarlan, and a woman like her sisters, blessed with a ‘gift’ of her own.

Once more I find myself taken back in time of King James I, and an intricate story expertly weaving facts of history with fiction so close to it, that I’m buried deep within its threads.

Once more Ms. Scotts Scottish Highlands and Highlanders come to life with such vivid detail that I find myself hard pressed to leave them and face my 21st Century…

I adored this young woman who had big dreams for herself in a time in which not many dared to dream. 

As for the hero, Robert MacAulay, our heroine couldn’t find a more perfect match if she tried! Rob was a perfect Yin to her Yang [or is it the other way around? I never know with these yangs!] and the saying that ‘opposites attract’ was never truer than with these two.

As I find myself reluctantly saying goodbye to The Lairds of the Loch trilogy, I’m also making sure to load up my Kindle with the first book, which I missed and am glad that I’ll be staying in the world of these strong men and women for just a bit longer.

*Melanie for b2b

*Book provided by the publisher through NetGalley

‘The Knight’s Temptress’ by Amanda Scott

as tktSTORY: When Lady Lachina “Lina” MacFarlan of Tùr Meiloach and her new sister-in-law, Elizabeth, are captured by seditious villains who have seized the royal burgh, harbor, and castle of Dumbarton, the two young women unknowingly throw a hitch into the plans of Sir Ian Colquhoun, the daredevil knight of the realm who is on his own secret mission to recapture Dumbarton for the King of Scots.

Instead of securing Dumbaton, Ian must first rescue the women and return them to Tur Meiloach. Their journey will be perilous—especially because Ian has long admired the lovely Lady Lachina, and for the first time she seems to show signs of returning his attentions. But for Ian duty must come before desire. The fate of the King of Scots and Lina’s own father rests in his hands. He cannot afford to be tempted by anything—even the promise of Lina’s love.

REVIEW: Amanda Scott is welcome to pull me out of my regency world anytime she damn well pleases and this Scottish historical did just that. It pulled me in and didn’t let go until I read the last page.

This is the second story in “The Lairds of the Loch” series, and although it can be read as a standalone, I really wished to have read the first book, ‘The Laird’s Choice’ which was Lady Andrena MacFarlan’s and Magnus “Mag” Galbraith’s story.

I loved this story, especially Lina and Ian. Watching these two create love from a forced marriage was pure joy. The steady pace of their relationship gave time for their love to grow and the chemistry between the two set of sparks that you could feel it through the pages.

I have to say that once I finish reading one of Amanda Scott’s books, I feel somehow smarter [STOP laughing! I’m serious!]. She seamlessly weaves history with fiction and has me eating up the story that is fast paced and filled with action and adventure. She has me craving more history, more knowledge of the world I can only imagine ever living in.

If you’re looking for all that, then this is a story for you. Try it and you’ll see what I mean.

*Melanie for b2b

*Book provided by the publisher through NetGalley