Return to Clan Sinclair: Clan Sinclair #3.5 by Karen Ranney with Excerpt and Giveaway

Welcome to my stop for Return to Clan Sinclair. Be sure to visit the other tour stops, and don’t forget to enter the tour wide giveaway where you could win a $50 eGift card to retailer of choice.

Book Review:

In a twist from the more usual historical romance tropes, we have Ceana, youngest of the Sinclair siblings, now a widow with two daughters.  Her husband Peter has passed, and his brothers are requesting that Ceana stay in Ireland, and under their control, a situation that she finds completely untenable. 

I loved Ceana and her strength, being away from her own family for so long, but to take a chance and return to Scotland to escape their demands and find a life that makes her happy. Her escape to her brother Macrath’s castle, and meeting his children also brings a new man into her life in Bruce Preston.

Bruce is bold and protective, with none of the ‘polish’ that society expects, something that Ceana is not used to, but finds intriguing.  Once she learns how he relates and teases, she starts to relax more in his company, and their relationship becomes a more comfortable companionship.  An American, there is a touch of the ‘foreign’ about him, and layers of depth that are hidden beneath his good-natured banter. And banter they do! The conversations and interactions are fast paced, laden with meaning and little hints to intention and history.

Surprisingly, for a rather quick courtship, this relationship didn’t feel rushed or hurried: there was a solid sense from both Bruce and Ceana of their attraction, and the underlying sadness that they both hold close from their losses: she of Peter and he of his family in the war. These two found healing and hope in one another, and a wonderful connection as a couple.

Adding in the family interference, the children and their antics, and a brief check in with all the characters from earlier stories gave a solid sense of family, love and continuity. A wonderful installment in the series.

Return to Clan Sinclair: Clan Sinclair #3.5 by Karen Ranney with Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: Return to Clan Sinclair
Author: Karen Ranney
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Avon Impulse
Published on: 23 December, 2014
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Pages: 150
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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The stunning follow-up novella in New York Times bestselling author Karen Ranney’s beloved Clan Sinclair series.

It’s true love in the Scottish highlands. When Ceana Sinclair Mead married the youngest son of an Irish duke, she never dreamed that seven years later her beloved Peter would die. Her three brothers-in-law thought she should be grateful to remain a proper widow. After three years of this, she’s ready to scream. She escapes to Scotland, only to discover she’s so much more than just the Widow Mead.

In Scotland, Ceana crosses paths with Bruce Preston, an American tasked with a dangerous mission by her brother, Macrath. Bruce is too attractive for her peace of mind, but she still finds him fascinating. Their one night together is more wonderful than Ceana could have imagined and she has never felt more alive.

But when the past reaches out in the form of an old foe, Ceana’s life is in danger. Now Bruce fights to become her savior-and more-if she’ll let him.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Tasty Excerpt

 

July, 1880

Drumvagen, Scotland

Her driver slowed to a halt, no doubt getting an eyeful of Drumvagen and the Scottish coast. Ceana would wager a goodly sum that by the time the week was out, he would have posted a report of everything to her brothers-in-law. The same intransigent, annoying, and beloved brothers-in-law who were trying to render her as dead as her poor husband, Peter.

She’d been a widow for three years now, during which they’d been her guardians. She couldn’t escape them. Wherever she went, one of the three brothers was there.

“Do you need anything, Ceana?”

“Can I fetch anything from town for you?”

“Shall we order something from London?”

“You’re looking a little peaked, would you like to take the sun with me?”

They’d offered their arms, their interest, their help, and their eternal interference.

So she had done what any self-respecting Scot would do when faced with three Irish brothers-in-law: she’d run away from home.

She dismounted from the carriage, standing there staring in awe.

Granted, Iverclaire was a lovely place, an enchanted castle in Ireland, quite a forbidding yet beautiful structure. But Drumvagen, this had been created by her own brother.

They’d been so poor once upon a time, but Macrath had taken his dream and made it come true. Because of him, she’d had a season in London and had married the son of a duke.

Yet she always thought she had something to do with his happiness as well. Her friendship with Virginia had led them to be introduced at numerous events. When Virginia and Macrath were finally married after her first husband died, she wasn’t the least surprised.

Nor was she the least surprised when Alistair, Virginia’s first child, looked just like Macrath.

The seabirds called a greeting to her, swooping down on air currents blowing the scent of the sea to her.

For days, she’d been alone in the carriage, encased in a bubble of silence. Other than speaking to the driver first thing in the morning and when they stopped for a meal, she hadn’t talked to another person.

At first she’d missed her daughters terribly. Then she realized the time was her own, to think, to mull, to remember. When she went home, she’d be a better mother to Darina and Nessa.

She stood at the base of the steps, staring upward. Virginia had told her about Drumvagen, but even her description failed to convey just how impressive the house was.

Built of gray brick sparkling in the sunlight, it was four stories tall with rows of windows reflecting both the sun and the sea to her right. But most impressive of all was the twin staircase beginning at the broad front doors and curving down and around like arms reaching out to enfold her.

She took the right staircase and, with her left hand gripping her skirt, placed her right on the broad stone banister, slowly ascending the steps.

At the top, she stopped and turned and looked at the ocean. Far off in the distance was the North Sea. Drumvagen and its neighboring village, Kinloch, was the perfect place for Macrath to live. From here he could simply sail away to anyplace in the world he wished to be.

She glanced down at the carriage and her driver, standing at the head of the horses with his cap in his hand. Thomas was a good man, but he was a toady to all the Meads. He was going to tell them everything they wanted to know, which was a pity. The man had a good memory, and she’d no doubt already erred in some manner.

Her lips twitched at the brass knocker on one of the big broad doors. Macrath had evidently had the refrigeration machine’s likeness made especially for Drumvagen. She picked it up and let it drop, hearing the echo in the foyer.

A moment later the door was flung open. A body slammed into her, arms gripping her waist, pulling so tightly on her dress her train almost toppled in a flurry of fabric. She found herself falling, only righting herself by gripping the door frame.

“Save me! Please! Don’t let her get me!”

Ceana stared down at her niece. The poor girl was trembling and she had splotchy color on her cheeks.

“Fiona?” She reached down, enfolding the girl in a hug. “What’s wrong?”

“It’s Brianag, I’ve done something terrible and she made the sign of evil over me just like a witch. I’m going to get sick and die, I know it.”

Who was this Brianag who was tormenting the poor child?

“Aunt Ceana.”

She looked up at the sound of the composed voice, blinking at her nephew. Alistair was only fourteen but already had the height of his father, not to mention his demeanor.

As she stood on the doorstep, he extended his hand to her.

“How nice to see you again Aunt Ceana,” he said. He glanced down at his sister dismissively. “You must pardon Fiona. She’s a silly little thing.”

“I am not silly. I’ll tell Brianag you broke her jar of spices.”

To Ceana’s great surprise, Alistair paled.

“That wouldn’t be well done of you, Fiona. You know as well as I do it was your carelessness that made the jar fall. Father always says we have to deal with the consequences of our actions.”

“Where are your parents?” Ceana asked. “Where are Macrath and Virginia?”

“They’ve gone to Edinburgh, they have,” a voice said. “Leaving me to deal with their spawn.”

She looked up past Alistair and—God help her!—took a step back toward the steep stairs.

Fiona was more correct than she had assumed.

Drumvagen did have a witch.

 

 

 

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About Karen Ranney

I’m a writer who’s been privileged to have attained the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller Lists. I write romance under Karen Ranney and romantic suspense and mysteries under my pseudonym, Katherine Storm.

I believe in the power of the individual, the magnificence of the human spirit, and always looking for the positive in any situation. I write about people who have been challenged but who win in the end.

 

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