Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Blog Tour ARC Review + Giveaway: The Winter Laird by Nancy Scanlon

The Winter Laird
Mists of Fate #1
by Nancy Scanlon
Releasing November 17, 2015

Successful matchmaker Brianagh O’Rourke believes in happily-ever-afters...just not her own. She’s convinced passion only exists in her dreams. When she reluctantly accepts a marriage proposal, Bri decides she needs a vacation―but she didn't expect it to be in 13th century Ireland.

Laird Nioclas MacWilliam just wants peace for his clan. The time for him to marry has come, and after waiting years for his ally to present their daughter, he’s agreed to marry another. But on the eve of his nuptials, a daring rescue brings his missing betrothed right into his arms.

And she does not want to be there.

Brianagh has to return to the future. Nioclas has to marry. He offers a solution for the both of them: She marries him and stays for three months, and they work together to convince his clan they are a love match. In return, he vows to safely return her home. But as the days turn to weeks, they both begin to see what a happily-ever-after could be. And when the time comes, does Brianagh return to the life she’s built, or does she remain in the past for a chance at true love?

( 4 stars)

Did I just got conned into reading this book? I didn't realize it was a clean romancebecause it has a heat rating of 3! That's just mean. I think I'm suffering some seriouslady blue balls now.

This is my third time travel/historical romance. I remember loving both A Knight in Shining Armor and Transcendence. Both have modern days heroine and man from the past. I can't wait to start on The Winter Laird because I simply love this premise.

Brianagh O’Rourke is a successful matchmaker for the elite. When her millionaire boyfriend proposed to her, Brianagh decided to head to Ireland with her closest friend, Reilley to do some soul searching.

Like all other women, Brianagh dreams of her very own toe curling passionate love story and HEA, but she worried she is destine to settle for to be less because she is already successful in so many other areas.

When Reilley brought Brianagh to Ireland and then start sprouting about her legacyand destiny and time travelling, she thought they are in a Reenactment play. But then she found herself back in the 15th century with Reilley in tow and things just get seriously wrong from then onwards.

Laird Nioclas MacWilliam, the leader of the MacWilliam clan, one of the most powerful and prosperous clan in Ireland. When O'Rourke clan finally bring forth Brianagh to be his wife as promised, he was left speechless because the woman look exactly like the one in his dreams.

Brianagh was not exactly thrilled that she was thrown in 15th century and to find out she was arranged to be married to Nioclas. Despite Reilley's persuading her to stay and fulfilled her destiny, she is adamant to make her way back to her real home. Thank goodness Nioclas make a deal with her to stay married for only three months before he will let her go.

There is this instant awareness and attraction between them because they appeared in each other dreams for years. But common sense and reality was taking a front seat for Brianagh because she think she simply can't stay here for long. So is better for her not to start anything with the sinfully sexy warrior.

There is just something about these warrior brute that is so endearing. I simply love Nioclas. He's such a fearless leader and respected by all his men. If Brianagh actually give him a chance, I bet he can be a devoted husband too. Some of the romantic words he sprout honestly can only be found in his generation. For example:

"If the lass I loved married another, I would ride to the end of the world to find her. Then I would slay the fool who thought to steal her from me."

I enjoyed their interaction, the way they tip toeing around each other and sometimes Niclas will try to woo his wife. If there is actual sex scene without the whole fade to black deal, I would have love this book even more. Nancy did manage to tease me with some really hot kissing scene, but I hope she will venture into the smutt territory next. Pretty please. 

By the way, there is a villain of course. The story won't be complete without them. There are some danger and suspense towards the end with the villain wanting to take over MacWilliams clan and get Brianagh time travelling power. I love Aidan and Reilley as the secondary characters assisting in the smackdown. Can't wait for their story next.

“In my clan, when you marry for love or fall in love with your wife, you are not expected to marry once she’s dead.” At her gasp, Nioclas shook his head. “No, do not misunderstand me. I have no reason to hurt you. You wish to return to the life you’ve built in your country, and I need to marry, if only to stop ambitious sires with very young girls whom I have no interest in taking as a lover or a wife. If you agree to stay for three months, which is enough time for other clans to hear of our nuptials, and enough time for my clan to perceive us in love, I will return you to your home, unscathed. And I will arrange travel with men who will verify your status as a clan widow.” 

She considered that; he would believe that she’d need the protection of widowhood to get along in the world, and she appreciated his kindness in thinking of it. She nodded, then asked, “Do you know of Newgrange?” 

Obviously not the answer he expected. “I cannot say that I am familiar with it.” 

Brianagh flashed back to the brochure in the car and remembered reading it was “rediscovered” in 1699. She wasn’t sure about Dowth, though. “How far are we from Dublin?”

His impassive mask stayed firmly in place. “Four, perhaps five days’ ride.”

Brianagh hadn’t built a thriving company based on indecision. She had a great aptitude for assessing a situation and making executive decisions as fast as she could gather all pertinent information. And in this situation, she knew she couldn’t get anywhere near Newgrange if they were that far from Dublin. 

She would need this man’s help to get home. There wasn’t any alternative. She had no money, no transportation, and no sense of direction, as James repeatedly pointed out to her whenever she called him, lost on some back road in the suburbs of the city. 

She let out a sigh, then nodded. “If you promise to bring me to Dublin, I will agree to this.” 

She could see he didn’t understand why she wanted to go there, but all he responded with was, “As you will. And, as we’re to be married...you may call me Nioclas.” 

She inclined her head. “I’m Brianagh. But my friends call me Bri.” 
“Those closest to me call me Nick.”

“Shall I call you Nick?”

“I prefer Nioclas,” he replied dryly, “but I suppose, as you’ve accepted my hand for the next three months, you may call me whatever you wish, as long as it remains ‘my laird’ in front of any clansmen. Shall I call you Bri?” 

“I prefer ‘my lady,’” she said, fighting a smile, “but you may call me ‘my lady Brianagh.’” 

“You’re rather feisty,” Nioclas said, fighting his own smile. “I do think we’ll get along quite well.” 

“Talk to Reilly,” she suggested as they headed back to the main building. “He’ll tell you all about how feisty I am. Just don’t believe it.” Brianagh cautioned herself not to let her guard down, but she already felt her heart lighten. She just prayed he was true to his word, for she fully realized she needed someone’s help to get home. 

A fake wedding and marriage for three months? 

She was a matchmaker by trade. She knew all the signs to look for in a match. She could certainly pretend most of them to uphold her end of the bargain. It seemed a small price to pay to get back to her life. 

Born and raised near Boston, Massachusetts, Nancy Scanlon wrote her first romance novel at age 16, when she realized that fictional boyfriends were much easier to figure out than real ones. In the time since, she managed to earn a degree in English, obtain a graduate certificate in creative writing from the University of Cambridge, and marry the man of her dreams (but she still holds tight to her fictional boyfriends).

Currently, she resides in Puerto Rico with her husband, two children, and two dogs. When not writing, Nancy spends her time reading, reviewing and blogging about romance novels, watching too much HGTV, and taking care of her family.

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