The Concubine by Shay Savage: Review

Posted July 16, 2016 in review Tags:

The Concubine by Shay Savage: ReviewThe Concubine by Shay Savage

Series: Unexpected Circumstances #5
Genres: Historical Romance
Also in this series: The Handmaid, The Seduction, The Consummation, The Shortcoming
Also by this author: Caged: Takedown Teague, Trapped, Released, The Handmaid, The Seduction, The Consummation, The Shortcoming

Royalty requires sacrifice.
As King Camden’s health declines, the need for an heir becomes crucial, impossible to ignore. With no other viable choice, Alexandra must stand stoically by when Hadley comes to the court of Silverhelm as Branford’s concubine. The queen’s edict of duty echoes through Alexandra’s mind as she accepts the loathsome conditions for the sake of the kingdom. The only person more devastated by the circumstances is Branford himself.
As Branford spurs Alexandra’s affections, and King Edgar continues press his post-war advantage, all seems lost to the young couple. Treachery still lies deep within the castle of Silverhelm, and the revelation of the traitor will come from the least likely of sources.

The Concubine
Shay Savage

Well, if you really don’t what to know what happens, STOP READING NOW. Let me take a deep breath before I start my rant…

If you don’t know, I have a bachelor’s degree in History. Eventually I turned that into a teaching degree but that is besides the point. I know history. I enjoy reading nonfiction on historical events. I don’t read romance for its historical accuracy. I’m sorry, if I wanted historical accuracy, I would read about REAL kings and queens. I read romance because I am not okay with history sometimes and I want the dream. Sigh….I get it-you are being historically accurate and this is what happened back then; you’re being true to your characters, blah, blah, blah. Let me reiterate: If I wanted historical accuracy, I would have picked up nonfiction.

Why am I so upset about this you may ask! You might be thinking “Calm the hell down Samantha, its just a book”. And, you’re right, it is just a book. But, I was in LOVE with this series and Savage just crushed me. Cheating, even when it is sanctioned by the government and your wife, is not romance to me. Its just not. And I held out hope that he wouldn’t go through with it. And that hope was SQUASHED like a bug.

As a woman, I will always be that girl who screams at the TV “How can you go back to him” when a woman is crying on Dr. Phil about her husband/boyfriend cheating. Because to me, this is my hard line no. My mom once said to me that every woman decides what she will accept and what she won’t. And, its different for every person. Some people have their hard line at hidden credit card accounts, or lying; but, they might be willing to put up with things that some people wouldn’t. So, my point is this: cheating, no matter the circumstance, no matter this times, no matter the necessity, is always a hard no for me. Now, as a reader, I have no respect for Branford or Alexandra. Can I understand why he did? Of course. That doesn’t mean I have to like it as a reader. I don’t need someone to tell me that this had to happen because of the need for an heir or because its the way things were during this time. Again, I have a bachelors degree in History. I know that. I’m not reading a FICTIONAL ROMANCE for those reasons. And, the people who keep pointing out the historical accuracy just make me crazy. Like, STARK RAVING MAD crazy. You are missing the point-we don’t want it to be historically accurate. We want it to be better than history.

Books like this are why I have trust issues as a reader. Many people complain about the synopsis stating that “This book contains no cheating, OW/OM drama, and has an HEA”. I get that some people don’t want to know. I NEED to know. I won’t take a chance on SO many authors because of this fear of them crushing me. I read to be uplifted and entertained. Things can be sad, characters can go through rough patches or have horrible things happen to them, but in the end, my hard line is fidelity. And in my world, there is no grey area in fidelity.

So, thank you Shay Savage for reminding me why I have trust issues with books. Thanks for taking something I enjoy and turning it into something that I haven’t been able to stop ranting about. Thanks for taking away my entertainment and reminding me that reality is harsh and life sucks for some people. Its not like I don’t get reminded of that enough….

Let me also say that its pretty powerful for an author to make people feel this much. So, there is that…


  • POV: 1st
  • Tears: I’m actually crying just having to type this…
  • Trope: cheating!
  • Triggers: cheating (which, as you can see from my rant, is a trigger for me)
  • Series/Standalone: series must be read in order
  • Cliffhanger: yep…
  • HEA: series isn’t finished yet…
trust issue meme

About Shay Savage

Writing has always been a love of mine, and I wrote my first full-length novel in the eighth grade. Like most fiction written by fourteen year olds, it was nothing I would ever want anyone to read now. However, since no one ever said “hey – you should be a writer!” I went into the technology field, where I spent many years practicing the art of poking the blinking buttons.

With the success of my first couple of eBooks, I quit the day job and now write full time. I love doing it, and I love the reactions people have shared with me about the stories I have written. I like the raw, the gritty, and the dirty side of people’s emotions, psyches, and relationships. I also believe it is a writer’s duty to provide the reader with a strong emotional experience – whether the emotion is considered “good” or “bad” isn’t necessarily of consequence. My intent is to make you feel.

I don’t make any guarantees about what’s going to happen in a story. If you have made it this far, I have probably at some point made you feel something. I may not have made you happy – you might be angry, or disappointed, and you might even be a little sad, but at least I made you feel. That’s my goal. I strive for unpredictable characters, and hope I achieve that as well, which leads me outside most conventional lines of fiction.

Remember all you brave, trusting souls – keep your seat backs and trays in the upright and locked positions. There will be turbulence on this ride.

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6 responses to “The Concubine by Shay Savage: Review

  1. Ugh ugh ugh.
    I remember you mentioning you were worried about this one in your review for the previous book and oh gosh. I’m so sorry. I HATE this without even reading. What a ridiculous book. And I totally get you. With romances I definitely want to know that the main couple is solid. This is why I hate romance series. I’m always afraid of stupid drama like this.
    I need brain bleach now …

    • I knew you would understand!! I am just so frustrated!!! I don’t want my romances to be tainted with reality!!! Ugh…I am seriously in such a funk now. I am grabbing all your Lisa Kleypas recommendations and going on a binge!!

  2. This book is getting so much hate on GR I don’t even want to think what will happen when it gets published. I’m one of the few that loved it just as much as the rest – cheating is not really a hard limit for me but I’m not going to get into that, everyone has preferences. I hope you continue with the series though, these two were just pawns in someone’s cruel plans and the rest is too good to miss.

    • I think that maybe I could finish the series…at a much later time. For me, this is just one of those things that I cannot read about. Maybe in time the anger and sadness will abate and I can finish but it will take some time! I need to read some fun stuff for awhile. Oddly enough, I was just chatting with Scott Hildreth online about cheating in books and how much we both despise it. Its just one of those topics I never want to think or read about!

  3. Summed up everything that I feel as a reader and who hates cheating in the stories. I do not accept cheating in the novels. I run away from reality in the books and want to have the illusion of a better world. I get angry when the woman accepts the cheater back and forgive everything

    • Oh I am so glad I’m not alone in my feelings about this one! I just don’t want to read about the crappy real life things that happen. I want the fantasy world! Thanks for stopping by!

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