The Winter Laird: Mists of Fate #1 by Nancy Scanlon with Excerpt and Giveaway

The Winter Laird: Mists of Fate #1 by Nancy Scanlon with Excerpt and Giveaway

Welcome to my introduction of The WInter Laird by debut author, Nancy Scanlon. This is the first book in her Mists of Fate series, an historical time-travel romance series.  Please read on for my review and excerpt, check out the tour stops to see what other readers thought of the title and be sure to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win one of Five Print Copies of THE WINTER LAIRD


Book Review:

Toss together a prophecy, a matchmaker, a retreat to Ireland that soon tosses the heroine into the 15th century and a fiancé in the present time who just isn’t Mr. Right and you get The Winter Laird, the debut offering from Nancy Scanlon.

As a matchmaker, Brianagh is incredibly successful, and believes that her clients all deserve, and thus get, a Happy Ever After.  She, however, isn’t convinced that more than a comfortable is good enough for now is in the cards for herself. Her long term relationship, Matthew is less than perfect, but pragmatism wins and when he proposes, she says yes. But she hasn’t really settled, or only settled about 75% because in her dreams she has found the perfect man, until she sees him killed and is convinced it is her fault.

Thinking she needs a break before her own wedding (and more of Matthew’s juvenile behavior) she heads to Ireland to commune with her roots.  When the O’Rourke clan’s story of being passage keepers for time is revealed, she thinks it quaint – and then.

Thrust back into time, she meets the man from her dreams: only to find out they were promised as children. Nioclas has spent the past 20 years searching for this woman he knows to be his – but time is passing and he worries his chances for any marriage are decreasing. And then, there she is, exactly as he pictured her.

Far less focus on the romance, while the two do find a connection and work to overcome their own hesitations and curious circumstances to build to a possible happy ending.  With a mix of past, present and future the story moves forward with a fast pace, and occasionally the frequent switches in time are dizzying, as Brianagh does NOT adjust her behavior after the time slip. This made for a few confusing passages until the present scene sorted itself out, but I was so engaged and intrigued that those moments didn’t matter overmuch.  Nioclas is a far better man and match for Bri, and his honor and faith in her and her strange story fit perfectly with his being an Irishman from his time: fae and the impossible were often far easier to believe.  Dialogue and situations blend nicely, feeling possible and plausible, and the few twists add intrigue and drama to the plot, as it all resolves neatly and satisfactorily, without feeling rushed or pushed.

A great debut offering and a wonderful start to a series that mixes time travel, history and a touch of romance in an era and a place (Ireland) that is not overly common in today’s fiction.

The Winter Laird: Mists of Fate #1 by Nancy Scanlon with Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: The Winter Laird
Author: Nancy Scanlon
Series: Mists of Fate #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Diversion Books
ISBN: 1626817251
Published on: 17 November, 2015
Source: Publisher via Tour Company
Pages: 262
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne Flame

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Successful matchmaker Brianagh O’Rourke believes in happily-ever-afters...just not her own. She’s convinced passion only exists in her dreams. When she reluctantly accepts a marriage proposal, Bri decides she needs a vacation―but she didn't expect it to be in 13th century Ireland.


Laird Nioclas MacWilliam just wants peace for his clan. The time for him to marry has come, and after waiting years for his ally to present their daughter, he’s agreed to marry another. But on the eve of his nuptials, a daring rescue brings his missing betrothed right into his arms.

And she does not want to be there.


Brianagh has to return to the future. Nioclas has to marry. He offers a solution for the both of them: She marries him and stays for three months, and they work together to convince his clan they are a love match. In return, he vows to safely return her home. But as the days turn to weeks, they both begin to see what a happily-ever-after could be. And when the time comes, does Brianagh return to the life she’s built, or does she remain in the past for a chance at true love?

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


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“The women are spying on us from under the benches,” Aidan said as he bounced on the balls of his feet, waiting for Nioclas to finish his drink. Admiring his sword, he added, “Been there for about ten minutes or so. I give them another twenty before they get cold and head back into the castle.”

Nioclas sighed. “I’m unsurprised. Does Erin still think no one knows about her forays into the lists?”

Aidan shrugged and quickly crossed swords with his brother. “Of course. I’m certainly not going to tell her. She’ll skewer me on the end of her sewing needle whilst I sleep.”

“Are you that afraid of a wee lass?” Nioclas mocked, jumping back and just avoiding the tip of Aidan’s blade. “I don’t think Donovan has much trouble with her.”

“Oh, I’m sure Donovan has complete control over his wife,” Aidan replied, and they both grinned as they hacked away at each other. “I don’t think he’s ever been privy to the full extent of Erin’s talents, though.”

Nioclas ducked and rolled out of Aidan’s path, springing back up and crossing blades once more. “I—oof—doubt he would’ve agreed to marry her, had he known.”

“Marriage. I don’t envy you, brother. Shackled for life. I hope she is worth it.” Aidan ducked, narrowly avoiding the at of Nioclas’s blade, then spun to avoid it again. “Saints, Nick, I was only—oof— is there something you care to talk about?” he asked sardonically as Nioclas’s attack intensified.

“No,” Nioclas replied curtly, swinging his arm relentlessly.

“Hmm. I believe there’s a tale there.” Aidan plunged his sword toward his brother, who leapt backward.

“None I care to tell you,” Nioclas replied, wiping the sweat off his forehead with the back of his hand.

“Well, you’re putting on quite a show for her.” They circled each other. “Mayhap this will be a love match yet—” Aidan’s sword went flying. He watched, open-mouthed, as it soared through the air. Someone called out, and men scattered as the blade went hilt-over-tip, landing about twenty feet from where they stood.

He looked at his brother in alarm. Nioclas had never bested him by forcing his sword from his hand. That was something they’d agreed long ago was unnecessary between them. War was never far, and neither wanted the other without his sword if it broke.

“Love is for fools,” Nioclas growled before stalking off.

It was a rare thing for Nioclas to lose his temper, especially in the lists. Bemused, Aidan watched him go, then threw a wink over to the source of his brother’s obvious discomfort.

Smirking at the feminine gasps, Aidan collected his sword and sauntered off.


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About Nancy Scanlon

Born and raised near Boston, Massachusetts, Nancy Scanlon wrote her first romance novel at age 16, when she realized that fictional boyfriends were much easier to figure out than real ones. In the time since, she managed to earn a degree in English, obtain a graduate certificate in creative writing from the University of Cambridge, and marry the man of her dreams (but she still holds tight to her fictional boyfriends).

Currently, she resides in Puerto Rico with her husband, two children, and two dogs. When not writing, Nancy spends her time reading, reviewing and blogging about romance novels, watching too much HGTV, and taking care of her family.


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