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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Lachlan's Revenge by R.L. Syme ♥ Spotlight & GIVEAWAY ♥ (Historical Romance)

Lachlan MacLeod survived an English dungeon. He held his own under torture and brutality. He survived the death of his wife and alienation from his family. He managed to take back his ancestral home and restore his son’s inheritance. But the English threat has never truly abated. According to his nephew, invasion is immanent. Tired of being subject to the whims of the English, Lachlan will take control of his own destiny. By any means necessary.

Lady Evangeline, daughter of an invading English earl, has been raised to privilege and the expectation of an advantageous foreign marriage. She is as eager to escape her father’s manipulations as Lachlan is eager to kidnap her. The secret she holds could have deadly consequences–not only for Lachlan, but for his entire clan, not to mention her pride. But this is one secret she cannot wait to spill…
December 1303 – Assynt, Scotland

Dark shadows rippled across the snowy mountains and the first of the Highlanders came into sight. Two at first. Running at top speed out of the shadow of Ben More Assynt. Three more, and a woman with a satchel on her back. Then another.

A man on horseback came racing through them all, foam gathering at the edges of the beast’s mouth. Kensey Sinclair stood on the turret, watching the scattered remnants of her clan seek the protection of their laird.

After months of preparing, Effingham had returned.

Kensey held her skirts and ran down the stairs to find her father. He sat in the library with a pipe, gazing at the rough shelves full of books, quiet in repose.

“Papa! Come quickly. There’s a rider.”

Lachlan didn’t budge. “I know.”

Kensey paused at the door, having been just about to run to the kitchens and warn the cooks. She took in the scene of her father’s calmness in the face of an obvious invasion.

He hadn’t been the same since her mother died. They’d spent years with the Sinclair family, alternately taking Assynt House and having it taken. Each time, Lachlan would raise a slightly larger army, then Effingham would be gone to England and they would take the house. Then, when either his duty to the King’s army was fulfilled or he got bored of waiting for Lachlan to die, Effingham would gather a larger force and invade.

Lachlan had held his home for three brief periods in the last four years, and it surprised her to see him so nonchalant about Effingham returning again. He simply sat in his high-backed chair and continued to smoke his pipe.

Footsteps sounded in the hallway and suddenly, behind her, Kensey smelled horse and wind. She turned to see Reyf, her father’s steward, clomping toward them.

He did not meet her eyes and instead hurried into the library.

“My lord.” Reyf bowed quickly.

“Reyf.” Lachlan dragged out a breath on the pipe, a strange contrast to Reyf’s panting and urgency. “You have news for me?”

The stocky Scot slid his eyes to Kensey. “Should I wait, my lord?”

“Kensey,” her father said, “Do you have anything else for me?”

She stood in the door, her mouth hanging open. No witty retort came to mind and it was all she could do not to publicly berate her father for his attitude.

Instead, she backed away, bowed, and snuck around the corner, hoping to listen in. Reyf began to tell her father about the crofters and farmers and their families who ran toward the high walls of the castle, but just as he reached the culmination of the purpose for his ride, the door closed.

Kensey fisted her hands and kept her ear near the door. Their voices were low and she couldn’t make out most of the conversation. She only heard the words found and tower and Avelyn.

That name sent her nearly into a frenzy. There was only one woman she knew who had the name Avelyn and she happened to be the daughter of the Earl of Effingham.

She pounded on the door and without waiting, burst into the room and narrowed her gaze on her father. “I may not be the mistress of this house any longer, Papa, but I am the wife of your neighboring clan’s laird and I demand you tell me if I really just heard what I think I heard.”

Her father and Reyf stared at her with angry eyes and open mouths, but neither spoke.

“Kensey, this is none of your affair.”

“Papa.”

“Kensey.” Lachlan’s voice rang deep and warning through the room. “Let me repeat. This is not the place for your nose.”

“Papa.” Kensey put her hands on her hips. “The entire future of the clans of Caithness could rest on the answer to this question, so I want you to be frank with me.”

Lachlan raised one eyebrow skeptically.

“Did you or did you not just kidnap the daughter of one of the most powerful men in Northern England, friend of the king, and leader of the Northern English army, and are you or are you not currently holding her hostage in our tower?”

Crickets.

Kensey groaned and ran from the library. She had to find a horse and ride immediately for Castle St. Claire.

Her father had lost his mind.
     
   
 

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Born and raised in the Last Best Place, R.L. Syme (Rebecca) currently resides in Bozeman, Montana—the intersection of creativity, outdoor recreation, and contemporary rural living in Montana. She has worked with kids in various nonprofit settings that involve music, theater, dance, food, and after-school fun. She holds membership in RWA, SCBWI, and NINC, and is very active in special interest chapters of RWA. A former communications director and consultant, she holds an undergrad degree in English and an advanced degree in Leadership and Theology. Of course, her life followed a natural progression into writing kissing books. She writes contemporary romantic suspense, young adult romance, and historical romance.

She is the author of many published works including the historical Highland Renegade series and the contemporary Chick Tales series, Somewhere, Texas.

Rebecca was nominated for a Genesis Award in Contemporary Romance and has won several writing contests in historical romance, young adult romance, and contemporary fiction. She has taught classes in food writing, world building, social media, newsletters, leadership transitions, and writing techniques, and has held chapter leadership positions in multiple RWA chapters. True to her Montana roots, Rebecca’s heart will always be on the farm.
       

Win a signed print copy of Lachlan's Revenge! (USA Only)
***This prize is being provided by R.L. Syme***

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1 comment :

  1. Great excerpt! This sounds like a wonderful series of books.

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