He Made Her An Offer…
Life has thrown Christel McClellan some experiences that could have devastated a less determined woman. Beautiful, self-assured and fiercely independent, she is trying to forget the loss of her stillborn child. But is the child alive?
She Couldn’t Deny…
Life is carefree for Ryder MacLaren who loves to see what is on the other side of the sunrise. Laird of Clan MacLaren, he is wealthy, handsome and happily unencumbered…until stunning Christel McClellan enters his life. When he hears her story, he believes the child she thought dead has been sold to a wealthy buyer.
Christel inhaled a long deep breath and with unsteady legs descended the long stairway to the first floor. Ryder sat in the library reading.
For the longest time, Christel stood in the doorway, wondering how to proceed. Aiden gave her a tiny push. “Go on, he’s not going to bite.” Ryder must have heard them. He rose and set the book on his desk a smile forming on his handsome face. “Christel?”
The moment froze in time, and as she walked toward him, everything moved in slow motion. “Ryder.”
“I’m glad to see you’re feeling better. Were you sick?”
“In a way. I…”
“Come sit down.” Ryder pulled out a chair for her.
“Can you tell me what I did wrong?” Does love sickness count? “I believed that after I told you what happened you thought less of me and left.” Honesty? Is it always the best course of action?
At his sides his fists clenched then loosened. “I had errands. But when I returned that evening, you were nowhere to be found.”
“You put me in my room when I was sleeping. I thought you didn’t want to be with me.” Her stomach rolled and the lightheadedness that consumed her made her reach for the arm of a chair to steady herself. The floor beneath seemed to undulate in waves.
“There was too much scandal associated with you. I didn’t want the clan to think I was using you. Your reputation is important to me. If you were found in my bed…”
“Thank you. Aiden said you sent a letter to my father for help. What do you need assistance with?”
“Finding Richy. I’ve heard he is in the area. I want to make sure you are protected.” Ryder sat on the corner of the large desk. His gaze riveted on her.
Her emotions frayed, her heart fluttering in her chest, she smoothed the folds of her dress. “You promised you wouldn’t do anything stupid.”
“Leaving Richy Rathen to find you would be stupid. Christel, he wants you, perhaps needs you would be a better word and will stop at nothing to get you.”
Publisher and Release Date: Rogue Phoenix Press, December 2013
Time and Setting: Regency Period
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Rating: 2
Reviewer Rating: 3 stars
Review by Susan
Christine Young crafts an idyllic romance between a Scottish Laird and an English Lady in her offering Highland Sunrise. The couple’s romance has an airy quality as though the celestial bodies in the sky had orchestrated their union, but the drama which brings them together has a real world feel, fraught with impending danger and exposure of a dark secret. Operating along the fringes of their affair is a nasty villain scheming to split them apart and take the lass for himself.
Young protects Christel McClellan’s dark secret through most of the story. After having endured a violent rape at the hands of Lord Richy Rathen, Christel hides away in a convent where she gives birth to a child. She is told by the nuns that the baby had been a girl and died at birth. Years later, she discovers that the baby had been a boy and the nuns ferried him away to be raised by Rathen’s father, an earl.
The services of Laird Ryder MacLaren are utilised by Christel’s grandmother, the Duchess, to protect Christel from Rathen who continues to attempt to trick Christel into marrying him. The reader is told by MacLaren that Rathen is a lecherous wastrel on the verge of being disowned by his father and seeks the lands and wealth he can acquire through a marriage with Christel. While under Ryder’s protection, a tenderness is inflamed between the couple. They find themselves falling in love. Ryder formulates a plan with the Duchess to obtain Christel’s son Liam from Rathen’s father, motivated by his love for Christel.
In the first few chapters, Young establishes the vulnerable damsel Christel, the chivalrous hero Ryder, and the villainous antagonist Richy. They are the recipe for a riveting romantic story, but Young falls short of developing Ryder’s and Christel’s characters fully, though Richy strikes the reader as the genuine article of a repulsive miscreant. Ryder and Christel have a superficial feel even as the reader goes through Christel’s dramatic situation. She does not act like a woman who has endured a violent rape and mistrusts men or suffered the grave loss of a child, which enables the author to keep the character’s dark secret through most of the story.
Set in the early 1800s, the characters have a 21st century style of speech and use modern expressions such as “a penny for your thoughts” which hurts the story’s credibility as an historical romance. On the positive side, the author brings to life a world where chivalry is rewarded and romance thrives.
GIVEAWAY:CHRISTINE IS GIVING AWAY A $25 AMAZON OR BARNES & NOBLE GIFT CARD AND A COPY OF HER BOOK DAKOTA’S BRIDE TO ONE LUCKY COMMENTER, DRAWN AT RANDOM FROM ALL THE STOPS ON THE TOUR. TO ENTER, LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW, AND DON’T FORGET TO INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS!
About the Author
Born in Medford, Oregon, novelist Christine Young has lived in Oregon all of her life. After graduating from Oregon State University with a BS in science, she spent another year at Southern Oregon State University working on her teaching certificate, and a few years later received her Master’s degree in secondary education and counseling. Now the long, hot days of summer provide the perfect setting for creating romance. She sold her first book, Dakota’s Bride, the summer of 1998 and her second book, My Angel to Kensington. Her teaching and writing careers have intertwined with raising three children. Christine’s newest venture is the creation of Rogue Phoenix Press. Christine is the founder, editor and co-owner with her husband. They live in Salem, Oregon.
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christine-Young/350132315013316