Purchase Links: Amazon * ~ * ~ * BAM * ~ * ~ * B&N * ~ * ~ * IndieBound * ~ * ~ * Google Books * ~ * ~ * iTunes * ~ * ~ * kobo
The last place Sir David “Devil” Ormiston expected his moonlight chase of a horse thief to end with 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.
Watching Dev, Robina was grateful for his restraint. They reached the graveyard soon afterward and dismounted to look at the grave. She sensed Rab’s presence strongly as they stood there, but he kept silent, too.
“What is it, Robby? Art sad again?”
Startled, she said, “Not sad, just pensive.”
“I think you have been pensive since I arrived, or longer,” he said. “Keeping secrets, or thinking about Rab?”
Uncertain how to reply, since the truth was unacceptable, she realized that silence was just as bad. Dev would surely suspect that she was keeping something from him.
She would have liked to tell him about the jar of coins, but Rab’s warning was sensible. And, in truth, whether Dev was currently master of Coklaw or not, the money belonged to Benjy, not to Dev.
The thought was disheartening, and she wished Rab would recall that he had trusted Dev. Confiding in him should be not only safe but sensible.
Rab, however, remained as silent as his grave.
“We should head back down,” she said with a sigh.
“Keeping secrets then,” Dev said grimly. “Don’t you trust me?”
“Oh, Dev, no, don’t think that,” she said, putting a hand to his arm, shocked that he had so nearly guessed her thoughts. “I know I’ve been a bit difficult, but—” Breaking off when he grinned, she said bluntly, “Do you think that was funny?”
He shook his head and bit his lower lip.
“Damnation, David Ormiston, do you dare to laugh at me now?”
“Nay, nay, I’m striving mightily not to laugh or to say what I’m thinking.”
“Just what were you thinking?”
“That when you refuse to tell me what you are thinking and then say that I’m mistaken to suspect a lack of trust, you make me want to kiss you one minute and put you over my knee the next. But, by heaven, if you swear at me again, I’ll—”
“I won’t swear,” she said hastily. “But neither will I tell you all I think. Some things are still private, sir, one’s thoughts especially so. But if you want to kiss me again,” she added, feeling suddenly and strangely shy but determined, “you may.”
“May I?” He raised his eyebrows. “I will admit that I enjoyed your kiss when we were here before. But others would say that I’d taken advantage of you.”
“They would be wrong,” Robina said. “I kissed you first. I wanted to know how it would feel, and now I want to know if it feels the same way whenever one kisses a man. I do trust you with my virtue, Dev.”
“Do you, Robby? You should not be so trusting. Sithee, I’m not certain I can trust myself. You’re a mighty tempting wench. But there are rules.”
“Bother the rules,” she said. “Do you not want to kiss me?”
“Aye, sure, I do,” he responded, pulling her roughly into his arms.
Uncertain now, but curious, she looked up and tried to gauge his mood. But he allowed her no time for that before his lips claimed hers, hot and demanding.
As he held her close, she heard him moan quietly in his throat.
Publisher and Release Date: Hachette Book Group, March 2015
Time and Setting: Medieval Scotland
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 1
Reviewer Rating: 3 stars
Review by Susan
High-strung and headstrong, Lady Robina is a wild child who doesn’t ask for permission from family, friend or foe once she sets her mind on a course. Sir David “Devil” Ormiston, the hero in the tale, is a hardened warrior who is loyal to the core and gifted with an eagle eye that enables him to see what others miss. Devil and Robina are connected through her older brother Rab, who had been Devil’s best friend. When Rab is killed, Dev and Robina discover they share a genuine friendship and a binding attraction which blossoms into a comfortable romance. Theirs isn’t a hot and steamy passion but a soft and kindly relationship.
The author describes picturesque landscapes and creates an atmosphere that feels more like Regency England than the rugged era of the early 1400’s during the reign of King Henry IV. The period dialogue is accented with a Scottish brogue reminiscent of the lingo used in Mel Gibson’s Braveheart, but the attitudes of the characters are representative of classic Regency stories, particularly as shown in Robina’s behavior in presenting herself as a proper lady on the surface and concealing her mettle from all men but Dev. The action is meant to be lively but falls flat, often causing confusion about who is allied to whom.
The romance is comfortable, as the principals are two characters that are in agreement with each other. Secondary characters pop in and out without providing much of significance. The story concentrates on Robina and her relationships as everyone who is introduced proves to have a connection to her. It’s a story that has been told many times before about a lady who straddles the line between being proper and defined according to the dictates of polite society, and showing her true colors as a fiery warrior in her own right and finding a man who loves her for being the spirited fighter she is.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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. She is a fourth-generation Californian.