Author: Diana Cosby
Genre: Medieval Historical Romance
Story Setting: Scotland, 1297
Published By: Zebra Books, Kensington Publishing Corp. (November 30, 2010)
The Only Man Who Could Save Her
Linet Dancort will not be sold. But that’s essentially what her brother intends to do–to trade her like so much chattel to widen his already vast scope of influence. Linet will seize any opportunity to escape her fate–and opportunity comes in the form of a rebel prisoner locked in her brother’s dungeon, predatory and fearsome, and sentenced to hang in the morning.
Would First Need Saving Himself
Seathan MacGruder, Earl of Grey, is not unused to cheating death. But even this legendary Scottish warrior is surprised when a beautiful Englishwoman creeps to his cell and offers him his freedom. What Linet wants in exchange, though–safe passage to the Highlands–is a steep price to pay. For the only thing more dangerous than the journey through embattled Scotland is the desire that smolders between these two fugitives the first time they touch…
My thoughts: From the first page of this exciting, well-paced, tension-filled adventure, the reader is drawn into the stench of the very bowls of Breac Castle–the dungeon where Seathan MacGruder is held, awaiting his execution. There is no hope, no way to escape. He is trapped like a feral animal. And the way it is written the reader can see and feel his frustration and desperation.
We see in Seathan a person who does not give up even when there is no hope. Yet, hope comes the night before his morning execution in the form of the lovely Lady Linet Dancort, sister of the executioner, Viscount of Tearlach. Dare and should he trust her?
Lady Linet knows the way out of the dungeon through a secret passage way. And she needs him to help her travel to the Highlands to be with her family, to escape her brother and his plans for her. The tension of being caught leaving the dungeon was palpable. It was a marvelously written scene, keeping me on edge.
Lady Linet is as desperate as Seathan, making very good bed fellows, indeed. She must escape her brother for he is betrothing her to an earl much her senior with abusive tendencies. His previous wife died by his hand. The clever woman she is, she drugs the guards to release Seathan from prison in exchange for her own freedom. Seathan agrees to help her travel to the Highlands. After all, this is his chance to escape certain death. Lots of mistrust here between the two, but they must join forces if both are to succeed.
I was whirled into an escape that almost didn’t happen. Lady Linet is in awe of the strength of will and physical strength of this battered man. They almost aren’t able to get out of the tunnel. As we know what is in Linet’s head and what she’s thinking, we also know that Seathan is astounded by this woman’s bravery, for if she were caught, she would face certain death.
Lady Linet’s brother, Fulke Dancort, Viscount of Tearlach is a cruel man, where once Linet had fond childhood memories, they have shriveled to naught. As she gazes at the man in the foul-smelling dungeon, she sees a man tortured beyond what he can endure, yet Lord Grey did not break. Yes, she WOULD foil her brother’s plans to gain favor with King Edward in killing Lord Grey. Her brother was all about power where he even sought to gain more by marrying his sister to an earl known for his abuse and brutality.
Lady Linet is petite, but has a will as large as Seathan’s. Seathan struggles between trying to protect her and throttle her. (always love that) When Lady Linet raises her voice in panic during the descent into the tunnel, he knew no way better to silence her except with his mouth. Surprise from Seathan that he enjoyed it so, forgetting his surroundings, being hunted by knights and surprise from Lady Linet that a kiss could contain so much. A nicely written scene.
It was gratifying to watch such a powerful man as Seathan find his Achilles’ heel in a slip of a woman. Yes, I use the word gratifying, for I simply love to read of the strength and power a woman can have over a man who holds the outcome of a situation through his stance in society and his physical strength.
I love the turn of phrase in the dialog. I feel very much a part of this ancient world. The story is well paced with danger lurking, continually raising the tension of the read. Diana Cosby is extremely talented with words, telling a story easily enjoyed and leaving the reader wanting to continually read to finish the novel only wanting to move to the next once complete. The next is His Destiny. Oh yes, I’m reading it, too!
Through the carved window, Lady Linet Dancort scanned the midnight sky battered by hard, spring-fed rain. She must hurry. With a steadying breath, Linet pushed back her hood and stepped into the torchlight. A slight scrape sounded as her slipper touched the stone floor.
The Scottish rebel whirled to face her.
Lightening split the sky. Thunder snarled in its wake. Lord Grey’s eyes, feral like a wolf’s, locked on hers.
A tremor rocked her as potent as the next blast of thunder. Her body commanded she retreat. Linet refused. Like the air pulsing with energy, her every sense became charged with awareness.
The urge to shield her face from his unapologetic glare stunned her. Throughout her life she’d been given the freedom to study alongside her peers. Her father had encouraged her to speak her mind. Never had a man’s presence, much less his gaze, incited her interest to a mind-spinning degree. It was illogical this prisoner could make her feel anything by a mere look.
But standing paces away, with his warrior’s dark gaze burning into hers, her body trembled. She owed her reaction to nerves. And rightly so. By the rebels formidable height, scathing look and arrogant stance, there was little safe about the Scot. And with orders for Seathan MacGruder to be hung at first light, he must be desperate.
As was she.
Head held high, she stepped to within a hand’s length of the cell door. Lightning illuminated the chamber, exposing he’d shifted his body, his feet now braced in an aggressive stance.
“I have come to set you free.” Thunder rumbled, this time closer, an ominous backdrop to her quiet offer.
The earl remained silent, his expression raw with distrust.
The rebel doubted her. She’d expected as much. God forbid if he discovered Lord Tearlach, his sworn enemy, was her brother.
A retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense. Her award-winning books are available in five languages. Diana has appeared at Lady Jane’s Salon, in NYC, and in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happily Ever After,” MSN.com, and in Texoma Living Magazine.
After retiring as a Navy Chief, AGC(AW), Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world.
Her years of living in Europe inspired Diana to write in the medieval time frame. After watching the movie Braveheart and with her passion for writing complex plots, the idea for the MacGruder brothers series was born.
Diana has many passions in life, but one that resonates in her life is that of giving. She firmly believe that each of us can make a positive difference in another person’s life. Some of the charities she supports are listed below:
The National Trust for Scotland, which acts asguardian of Scotland’s magnificent heritage of architectural, scenic and historic treasures.
Habitat For Humanity, which gives a deserving family more than a home, but a foundation upon which to build their dreams..
Semper Fi Fund , is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to help with immediate financial support for injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.
Homes For Our Troops, assists severely injured Servicemen and Servicewomen and their immediate families through various venues to aid them in building a home that allows them live a more independent life.
The Navy SEAL Foundation, provides immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare community and their families.