Guest Review: Guess What Washed Up On My Shores . . . “The Laird’s Choice” by Amanda Scott

Posted December 20, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Please welcome my mama to Tracy’s Place.  Some of you know her as Judith, some as Dr. J, some as a guest reviewer on Book Binge and some not at all.  I just know her as Ma.  However you know her, or don’t, just know she writes great reviews and will be hopefully be writing a few more for my blog in the future.  
Bound . . .
Andrena MacFarlan has been different since the day she was born. Possessing the
power to sense others’ most intimate desires, she knows her duty is to marry
the man who will take the MacFarlan name as his own and help her father regain
the chiefdom of their clan. But her unique gifts don’t prepare her for the day
when a mighty warrior suddenly enters her life. The attraction between them is
undeniable — and insatiable.

Desire Unleashed . . . Hunted
by brutal enemies, the wounded Magnus Galbraith washes up on MacFarlan land
where he is rescued by a laird’s lovely daughter. Andrena is like no one Magnus
has ever known. She has the uncanny ability to both calm and enflame him in
ways he never dreamed possible. But she has other unknown-and dangerous-powers.
Now, as Magnus seeks to avenge a brother and protect a king, the young beauty
could prove his greatest ally-or his ultimate undoing.

Historical novels aren’t
for everyone.  There are lots of
different kinds of history-based novels that are far less intense than those
written by Amanda Scott but I, for one, happen to like the heavy nature of her
writing.  She is an author that does lots
and lots of research and leaves no doubt in the minds of readers that she knows
this time period backward and forward. 
That being said, this particular novel is set in a time when  Scotland was being torn asunder by political
and clan rivalries, when the reign of Scotland’s king was on the brink of
coming to an end, when the characters in this story were caught in a clan and
family battle for power and position within the Clan Farlan (as it was then
called).    The Lady Andrena’s father,
the rightful Laird, was hopeful that with the marriage of his oldest daughter
he could secure the kinship and loyalty of a strong son-in-law, hopefully a
warrior, and one who would not feel threatened by taking the Clan Farlan’s
family name as his own. 
Thus the stage is set for
the romance of Andrena and Magnus, two very strong people who had learned to
survive under very difficult circumstances. 
Magnus had been taken as a prisoner of war during a clan conflict that
had caused his brother’s death—a death for which his father blamed him and had
essentially disowned him.   For two years
he survived as a galley slave until  he
found opportunity to escape during a timely storm.  He was literally “washed” into Andrena’s life
and when she brought him home—wet, bedraggled, and seeking sanctuary from those
who would again imprison him, the clan laird saw his future son-in-law standing
before him.  Curiously, Andrena predicted
that such would be her father’s response to Magnus’ appearance in their keep.  And so their relationship begins. 
This is a very involved
historical novel and I have to say that if the reader is one who likes a little
history mixed in with their romance, this is probably not the novel for
you.  This story reeks of history and
there were times I felt that the historical content overwhelmed the
romance.  Yet thinking back on that
reading experience, it was the history that made their relationship possible
and which constantly shaped the experiences in which their relationship grew
and matured.  Certainly the marriage was
consummated.  Arranged marriages and
especially those of political necessity never depended on love or romance.  Yet Magnus was a man of his time in many
respects and yet he was one who was attracted to Andrena, recognized that there
were facets of her personality that were, to say the least, mysterious.   Her willingness to fit in with her father’s
plans, to see the rightness of what needed to happen and to accept Magnus’
presence in her life as husband testify to the way she was raised and to the
fact that her father had treated her as a person of worth, not just a female
handy for breeding. 
It is a credit to this
author that she found a way to feature the relationship between these two very
different people in the midst of a historical context that was so convoluted
and mired with war and conflict.  The
characters in the story are both real and fictional, but all are merged
together in a literary tapestry that is seamless so that the reader, especially
one not really knowledgeable of this era, cannot distinguish one from the
other.  It is a novel that testifies to
the fact that even arranged marriages were successful, whether deeply loving or
just grandly respectful  didn’t matter.  In Andrena and Magnus’ case, what began as
political reality and burgeoning respect, gradually grew into a passionate love
affair that gave both these people an opportunity to be loved and cherished
beyond their expectations.
I want to comment also,
that I don’t think the publisher’s blurb is quite as accurate as I would
like.  This romance didn’t begin, to my
way of thinking, with that electric spark or thunderous awareness of deep
potential passion.  I think it started
with a quiet attraction, a set of possibilities that gave Magnus a new start and
Andrena the possible home and hearth she craved, but it was a marriage/romance
that grew quietly and steadily into a grand passion for them both.  Now don’t get me wrong.  They certainly found ways to light up the sheets
almost from the beginning.  But perhaps
this story is more about how their arranged union grew from political necessity
and physical consummation into a bond that made their marriage a true and
loving one.
Ms Scott is a prolific
writer and she just keeps on gracing her readers with some beautifully written
stories.  I, for one, am deeply
grateful.  We all know there are lots of
romance fiction writers and there are lots of levels of expertise and ability
“out there.”  It is a grand thing to
encounter novels that not only tell and really good story but which educate the
mind and memory as well as entertain the soul. 
This is one of those books.


give it a rating of 4 out of 5

Amanda Scott 

If you’d like to read more of Judith’s reviews you can check out her blog Dr. J’s Book Place

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One response to “Guest Review: Guess What Washed Up On My Shores . . . “The Laird’s Choice” by Amanda Scott

  1. Welcome Dr. J. 🙂

    Great review. Like you, I love to read involved historical romances once in a while. I have a few books by Amanda Scott in my TBR and am going to check to see if this one is there.

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