Hi Lynsay and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, The Chase!
Please summarize the book for the readers here:
Seonaid has no intention of giving in and allowing her betrothed to just cart her off to England when he’s ten-years-late in retrieving her. He obviously doesn’t want to marry her in the first place so why would she bother going along quietly with a farce of a marriage? Instead, Seonaid and her skilled cousin Aeldra decide to escape in the hopes the Sassenach might leave her be.
Lord Blake Sherwell does not want to get married. Known for his good looks and his ability to charm any woman he encounters, he’s satisfied with life and doesn’t want to settle down anytime soon. However, the King has put down his fist, insisting Blake live up to his promise and retrieve his betrothed. He even sent his own man to escort Blake to Dunbar Castle and be sure the deed gets done. Only problem is his betrothed, Seonaid Dunbar, fled before he even got there. Now forced to wear the Dunbar clan colors for safety’s sake, Blake and his men must pursue his disgruntled and somewhat hostile bride-to-be across Scotland.
Please share your favorite line(s) or quote from this book:
“’Twas by no will of God Seonaid Dunbar was sent here.” She slammed one flat hand on her desktop. “’Twas the devil!”
Sister Blanche’s eyes widened, her worry deepening. “Oh, surely not!”
“Aye.” The abbess nodded firmly. “She is the spawn of the devil, I tell you. Sent to trifle with our goodness, and lead us unto temptation.”
“Temptation?” Sister Blanche didn’t bother to hide her doubt.
“Aye. To break one of the commandments.”
“Which of the ten commandments, my lady?”
“Thou shalt not kill.”
Please share a few Fun facts about this book…
- Lord Blake Sherwell, or “Angel” as he’s called in court, is a bit of an ass. Although he is quite attractive and has a way with words that makes women swoon wherever he goes, Seonaid is not impressed. (This is his teaching moment! LOL)
- Little George, Blake’s good friend and fellow knight on this journey, is Blake’s exact opposite. Where Blake is light, George is dark; where Blake is handsome, Little George has the face of a bulldog. And at 6’11” tall and good 3’6” across at the shoulders, Little George is a giant whereas Blake is more of a tall, lean warrior.
- Lord Rolfe describes Seonaid as beautiful but a bit “rough around the edges,” which Blake mistakenly assumes means being a little lacking in manners. Blake is in for a rude awakening as the meaning behind it was more to do with Seonaid’s ability to hold her own in combat.
What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?
When Seonaid first recognizes the man she’s fighting as being her betrothed, Blake Sherwell, she sees why he’s called the “Angel”. In her mind he’s a “fine specimen of a man, and fair-haired and as handsome as an angel”, but she shakes off her wayward thoughts when she’s reminded that this was also the man that hadn’t bothered to come for her for over ten years.
When Blake first sees his betrothed coming at him with a sword he recognizes her by her ice-blue eyes, glorious black hair and her well-formed physique. But it’s only after she discovers who he really is and has the audacity to reject him as her betrothed that he decides that he doesn’t NOT want to marry her after all. He’s instantly fascinated by the only woman who’s ever rejected him.
Did any scene have you blushing, crying or laughing while writing it? And Why?
“How do you plan to get her out of the abbey?”
Blake gave a shrug of unconcern. “The moment she sees me she will come out.”
“She will?” Rolfe sounded dubious.
“I see.” He pondered the idea briefly. “Then why ever did she flee to the abbey in the first place?”
“She had yet to see me and had no idea what I looked like,” Blake responded promptly.
“Ah.” Rolfe nodded. “So, as soon as she sees your fair visage—”
“She shall drop to the ground like a ripe plum and prostrate herself at my feet.”
“Of course, she will,” Rolfe agreed with amusement.
“Women have always reacted with favor to my looks.”
“So I have heard.”
“’Tis a curse, really.”
“Hmm. You have my sympathies,” Rolfe said dryly, then added, “There is just one thing that concerns me.”
“How is she going to see your fair visage and be overcome? She will be within the abbey walls, and we without. Only holy men are allowed past the gate.”
Blake scowled. “I do not yet know. I have been thinking on it since we left Dunbar Castle, but—” He shrugged before glancing at the man riding beside him. “‘Tisn’t really my problem anyway. You are the one who was supposed to arrange everything. I was simply to travel to Dunbar for the execution.”
Rolfe lips turned up in amusement. “An execution, is it?”
“It might as well be.”
“’Tis sure I am Amaury thought ’twas something similar he was travelling to as well,” Rolfe said with a shrug. “Yet look how happy he is. He was sure Emma would be a hag. Did you know?”
“Aye. He swore her first husband killed himself rather than go home and perform his duty.”
Rolfe sounded irritated. Glancing at him sharply, Blake noted the tightness around his lips and reminded himself the man was little Emma’s cousin. “Of course, that was afore he set eyes on her. Once he saw how pretty she was, he was fair relieved. Howbeit, that was Amaury and Emma, Lady Seonaid is hardly the same tankard of ale.”
Rolfe rolled his eyes. “You have not yet even met her.”
Blake shrugged. “She is a Scot. And a Dunbar,” he added tightly. “’Tis all I need to know.”
Readers should read this book….
Because it’s really funny. I had a great time writing this one and forgot how funny it was until I reread it again. Seonaid Dunbar is not a woman to trifle with and Blake Sherwell is about to learn that in spades.
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have in the works?
Historical reissue, The Chase, is now out on bookstore shelves!
Argeneau book #35, After The Bite, comes out on September 27th. Valerian is one Argeneau character that’s been around right from the start. We first heard of him in Lissianna and Greg’s story, A Quick Bite, and he’s appeared here and there ever since but we haven’t got to know him… until now. And it takes place on a golf course of all things! Anyone up for a little night golf?
Highland Brides Book #11, In Her Highlander’s Bed, comes out on Jan 31st, 2023. This is Allissaid and Calan’s story and it takes place directly after Claray and Conall’s wedding. What happened to Claray is nothing to what our poor heroine, Allissaid, goes through. But her steel and resolve in the face of unsurmountable obstacles is a true testament to this woman’s character. However, her unsuccessful attempt to steal a plaid ends up bringing the attention of the Campbells down on her. Lucky for Allissaid, they are no friends to the MacNaughton.
What I’m working on now…
I just finished up some edits on In Her Highlander’s Bed and am taking a brief break before starting on the next Argeneau story.
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: Two signed copies of The Chase of course! (International)
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: If you met someone that was drop dead gorgeous and charming as hell but had an ego the size of Greenland, would you still continue with the date?
Excerpt from The Chase:
“Wake up, sleepy heads.”
Seonaid came awake with a start at Helen’s call, her body and mind immediately alert. Sitting up, she glanced sharply around and spotted the Englishwoman approaching from the river. Seonaid gaped. Morning had dawned, there had been no attack, and she’d fallen asleep. Worse yet, so had Aeldra, she saw with dismay, as the other woman sat up beside her and frowned around the clearing.
“How the devil did ye slip by us?”
Helen’s eyebrows rose at the question. “I stepped over you. You were sleeping so soundly, I did not wish to wake you.”
“Ye stepped o’er us?” Seonaid asked with disbelief, then glanced toward Aeldra. “She stepped o’er us.”
“A fat lot of good we would have been had we been attacked,” Aeldra muttered, getting to her feet. “Why didn’t they attack?”
“Who?” Helen asked wide-eyed as she reached them.
“I’d be thinkin’ she means us.”
All three women whirled toward the deep baritone voice. Seonaid and Aeldra both grabbed for their swords, but they sagged and sighed when they saw who it was.
“Gavin!” Seonaid snapped as she set her sword back down. “What’re ya doin’ here?”
“Makin’ sure the Sassenach doesna get hissel’ killed.”
Her eyes narrowed. “Is he with ye?”
For answer, Lord Blake stepped out of the trees and into view. Seonaid shook her head with disgust. “Ye could have let yer presence be known last night. Then we wouldna have had to stay awake the night through thinkin’ we were about to be attacked.”
“It looked to me as if ye slept jest fine,” Gavin commented with amusement. “An’ so ye should have; ye were watched ower thorughout the night.”
“Not the whole night,” Lord Rolfe corrected, joining the other two men. “We only arrived a couple of hours ago. We stuck to the woods to avoid disturbing your rest.”
Seonaid frowned, her gaze moving to Aeldra. The other woman appeared just as worried. They were convinced someone had trailed them all day. They had felt that presence as they had settled down here for the night. Yet Lord Rolfe claimed the men had arrived only hours earlier.
“Why are you looking so worried?” Blake’s question drew Seonaid’s gaze back to her betrothed. He did not look overly pleased to have found her. Truth to tell, he looked about as cranky as she felt on the little sleep she’d had. Not that she’d expected anything else, but still it rubbed her pride the wrong way.
Gavin saved her from having to comment by giving a harsh laugh. “‘Cause she kens we’re no’ the only beasties in these woods.”
Before either Englishman could ask what he meant, the Scot pursed his lips and released a piercing whistle. Seconds later the bushes on either side of the men rustled as two Scots slid out into the open. Both of them were from Dunbar. Gavin nodded, then explained, “I left them to trail Seonaid an’ Aeldra while I returned to fetch ye.”
Seonaid glared at her father’s soldier as he made the admission, knowing now who to blame for her betrothed finding her. Turning, she fixed another glare on the Englishman. “What do ye want?”
“What do you think?” he snapped back.
“I think ye want to go home an’ forget ye ever heard me name,” she admitted. “An’ since that’s what I’m wantin’ as well, why don’t ye do it?”
Blake blinked at her surly words in confusion. “What?”
“Ye heard me. I don’t want to marry you an’ you don’t want to marry me, so go home an’ leave me be.”
Blake gaped at her in astonishment. Her mettle amazed him. The women he knew, and he knew a lot of them, did not often speak so bluntly. They would have mewed and sighed and hinted, but would never have said something so unpleasant straight out. He couldn’t believe she’d done it. And had he heard her correctly? Many women had begged Blake to marry them, and still others had threatened to kill themselves for love of him. He supposed in his mind he’d imagined the chit—if he’d ever thought of her at all—pining away the years, wondering when he would come to claim her and praying nightly to God that he should. This was not wholly because of the way women threw themselves at him; it was also because a life of spinsterhood could be so unpleasant. Yet here she claimed to desire nothing more than to be left to that sad state. It must be an act, he decided, and actually smiled at the realization. Women often played games to attract his attention, and—Amazon or not—Seonaid Dunbar was still a woman. Relaxing as he regained some of his confidence, Blake tossed her a charming smile, “Careful, my lady; one would almost think you were not pleased to see me.”
“One would think correctly.”
Blake’s gaze narrowed. “If you expect me to believe you have not been pining away these last ten years—”
“Pinin’?” Seonaid interrupted with a harsh laugh. “Do I look the sort to pine? No, indeed, m’laird, I’ve been quite enjoyin’ my freedom… in many an’ diverse ways.”
Blake’s eyes widened, and then his face flushed angrily at the suggestion behind her words. “You—”
“Enough,” Lord Rolfe interrupted sharply. “We have wasted enough time. Let us head back to Dunbar and see the deed done.”
“Go ahead,” Seonaid muttered, turning toward the horses. “Aeldra an’ I’ll meet ye there after we go to England.”
“England!” Rolfe and Blake echoed the word as one.
“Aye, England,” Seonaid said firmly. “We promised.” She gestured toward Lady Helen, taking in the nun’s habit with new eyes. “We promised the sister we’d see her home to England. She wishes to visit her family. We promised we’d see her safely there.” She turned to peer at them sweetly. “Ye’d not wish us to break our word to a woman of God, would ye?”
Blake frowned at his betrothed, suspecting her sweet smile and the veracity behind her words. Rolfe’s interruption, however, caught his attention.
“That is impossible. It would prolong the ordeal by at least another week, perhaps two.”
As Blake absorbed the truth of his words, Seonaid turned on him bitterly. “What do ye propose? Shall we just leave her here in the woods to make her way alone, unattended.”
“Nay, of course not,” Blake murmured suddenly cheerful. “We shall have to see her home.” When Rolfe turned on him with dismay, he shrugged. “Well, she gave her word, and as my betrothed, her word is my word. And a promise is a promise. We can hardly force her to break her word.” When Rolfe continued to glare at him, too angry to speak, Blake shifted uncomfortably and turned back to Seonaid more sternly. “We shall see her home as you promised, howbeit that is all I will agree to.”
Seonaid relaxed and even smiled at him. “’Tis all I ask, m’laird.”
Blake blinked. She really had a charming smile. Quite charming. Why had he not noticed that before? Because she hadn’t smiled at him before.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
In this charming historical romance classic from New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands, a Highlands hellion flees the handsome “English devil” she’s been promised to, and he realizes that his enchanting prize will be much harder to win than he imagined.
Seonaid Dunbar had been trained as a Scottish warrior at her father’s knee, and she would rather fight than flee. But running away to an abbey was preferable than marrying Blake Sherwell. No, she’d not dutifully pledge troth to anyone the English court called “Angel.” Fair hair and eyes as blue as the heavens hardly proved a man’s worth. There was no such thing as an English angel; only English devils. And there were many ways to elude a devilish suitor, even one that King Henry ordered her to wed.
The next Countess of Sherwell was not sitting at home in her castle, embroidering, peacefully waiting for Blake to arrive. No, she was fleeing to a new stronghold and readying her defenses. Swords and sleeping drafts, Claymores and kisses. This battle would require all weapons–if he ever caught her. And the chase was about to begin.
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Meet the Author:
My name is Lynsay Sands and I’m the author of the Argeneau series and many hysterical historicals (as my readers tend to call them). I have written over sixty-six books and twelve anthologies, which probably tells you I really enjoy writing. I consider myself very lucky to have been able to make a career out of it.
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