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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

RELEASE DAY TOUR REVIEW: The Handmaid: Unexpected Circumstances by Shay Savage

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Review, Excerpt + Giveaway: UNEXPECTED CIRCUMSTANCES by Shay Savage

BOOK 1: THE HANDMAID


SYNOPSIS
In a bold political move, Sir Branford claims a handmaid as his bride instead of the expected princess in an attempt to spark a war. Poor Alexandra knows little of how to behave as the wife of a future king and knows nothing of the man who is suddenly her husband.
Alexandra knows she is being used as a pawn and must do her best to avoid scheming noblewomen and the scorned princess, accept her position as her husband ascends to the throne, and overcome her fears of the man with whom she now shares a bed.
Sir Branford is determined to have it all – the kingdom, a wife of his choosing, and the revenge he seeks for the death of his father. He doesn’t expect the na├»ve handmaid to become more important than he ever could have foreseen.

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Excerpt:
“Parnell, I’m only going to say this to you once.” Branford’s voice turned cold. “Regardless of your feelings regarding my marriage, Alexandra is my wife now, and you’ll not speak of her with any disrespect. I will not have you refer to my marriage as ridiculous. Am I clear?”
“Yes, sire,” Sir Parnell responded, the tone in his voice switching quickly from jovial friend and cousin to properly chastised servant. “Forgive me.”
I felt Branford’s hand through my hair again, nearly lulling me into true unconsciousness. The carriage bounced through a rough section of the road, then continued on as the driver called out to the horses. The rain lessened, and the pattering sound on top of the carriage became softer.
“Something has changed, has it not?” Parnell said quietly.
“Perhaps.”
“What is it, Branford?”
There was a significant pause before Branford responded.
“Parnell,” he said, “when I came up with this plan, I thought I was considering everything. Edgar would be angered but impotent to react since he brought it on himself. Whitney would be insulted, and between both those reactions, one of the next blows would lead to war. At the same time, it gets Camden off my back about finding a wife. Sunniva holds her tongue about wanting grandchildren, and I get it all—the kingdom expanded when we invade, the crown, an heir, and nothing else changes. At home, I have someone who can take care of me and my needs. I didn’t have any intention of being faithful, so it’s not as if my life away from home would change with the introduction of a wife.”
“I thought I had gone through all possibilities,” Branford said, continuing. “The woman who would be the catalyst was always nameless and faceless. It didn’t matter who she was as long as she wasn’t Whitney. I decided on one of her handmaids while I was out on the field because they sat close to Whitney, and it would be more…visually dramatic. I could walk up right in front of her and turn away at the last second. It would also anger her intensely, which is exactly what I wanted. There must have been a half dozen of them, and I didn’t care which. They would all be skilled in matters of the home, which keeps me from having to employ any servants whose loyalties are questionable. I only picked Alexandra because she looked at me early on, when I was first declared victorious, and she blushed when her eyes met mine. The color on her cheeks was simply lovely, and she has beautiful eyes.”
“Now your bride is no longer nameless and faceless,” Parnell said.
“No, she is not,” Branford replied. “When I took her up to my room, I had every intention of bedding her. I had been staring at her in that dress all evening, and I was ready to see what was underneath it.”
“And was she lacking?” Parnell asked. “You can still annul since you haven’t consummated the union.”
“She’s a commoner, Parnell.” His voice turned hard and callous. “I could open the doors of this carriage in the middle of a busy marketplace, take her in front of a dozen witnesses, declare her a lousy fuck, and still have the marriage annulled.

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PURCHASE LINKS:
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Book #2 PRE-ORDER LINKS ($0.99!) Release 6/14/2016
shay savage
Shay Savage lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her family and a variety of household pets. She is an accomplished public speaker, and holds the rank of Distinguished Toastmaster from Toastmasters International. When not writing, she enjoys science fiction movies, masquerading as a zombie, is a HUGE Star Wars fan, and member of the 501st Legion of Stormtroopers. When the geek fun runs out, she also loves soccer in any and all forms - especially the Columbus Crew, Arsenal and Bayern Munich. Savage holds a degree in psychology, and she brings a lot of that knowledge into the characters within her stories.

Stalk Shay Here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Sonja's Review



I've been meaning to read Shay Savage forever and when the chance came to read the first book in her new historical Unexpected Circumstances series, I immediately jumped on it! I was excited to read The Handmaid not only so I could finally cross Ms. Savage off my New Authors To Read list but also because I love historical romances and neither the writer nor the writing let me down. The Handmaid was excellent and I had a good time reading it! 

Alexandra might not be the strongest of heroines yet, but I wouldn't say that she is totally weak either. She's gone through a major change and even though she shows her vulnerability, I couldn't be frustrated or annoyed with her. Alexandra is completely genuine, innocent, and definitely naive, but she's so kind and sweet that it was impossible for me not to like her. I truly can't wait to see how she grows in each book and who she becomes at the very end of her journey! 

The Handmaid might be short on length but it is not short on quality. It will suck you in, keep you engaged, and make you want to continue turning the pages to find out what comes next. Historicals are not easy to write but I think Ms. Savage nailed it - she has the right feel and atmosphere without it being slow at times or hard to connect to. The Handmaid was a great start to the series and I can't wait to read more! 

~ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Stars

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