Series: Unexpected Circumstances #1
Genres: Historical Romance
Also in this series: The Seduction, The Consummation, The Shortcoming, The Concubine
Also by this author: Caged: Takedown Teague, Trapped, Released, The Seduction, The Consummation, The Shortcoming, The Concubine
In a bold political move, Sir Branford claims a handmaid as his bride instead of the expected princess in an attempt to spark a war. Poor Alexandra knows little of how to behave as the wife of a future king and knows nothing of the man who is suddenly her husband.
Alexandra knows she is being used as a pawn and must do her best to avoid scheming noblewomen and the scorned princess, accept her position as her husband ascends to the throne, and overcome her fears of the man with whom she now shares a bed.
Sir Branford is determined to have it all – the kingdom, a wife of his choosing, and the revenge he seeks for the death of his father. He doesn’t expect the naïve handmaid to become more important than he ever could have foreseen.
The Handmaid (Unexpected Circumstances)
The Handmaid is everything I love about books. If you are a hardcore romance reader like me, you probably remember sneaking Harlequin books from a family member and reading them in your room at night with a flashlight (it can’t just be me, right?!?). It also reminded me of the Jude Deveraux historicals my roommate got me hooked on in college (Thanks, Amy!) Well, The Handmaid reminds me so much of those days! There is the virgin heroine who is just so normal and unsure; the commoner. Then you have the soon to be king hero that didn’t plan to love her but does. Throw in the customs of the Court, the jilted princess, the scheming ladies of the court, and you have a perfect historical romance of old! I instantly loved Alexandra. She is a simple handmaid to the princess and she doesn’t have designs on more. When she is chosen to be Sir Branford’s wife, she is confused, lost, insecure, and terrified. Since the story is told entirely in her POV, you get to know all her feelings about everything that is happening to her. I am starting to like Branford. I mean, they are married and he still hasn’t taken her virginity because he can tell she isn’t ready. Noble and sweet. The book also manages to still be steamy even without sex. All he does is kiss her collarbone and run his fingers over the top of her breast. Thats it and its still hot!
But, there is a scene where Alexandra overhears him talking with a lady and it appears that he will be getting his rocks off with another while waiting for his wife to be ready. He has also mentioned that he had no plans of being faithful. I hope that the scene was just Alexandra misconstruing what was actually taking place and I hope that he will be faithful. Otherwise, I will be SUPER PISSED. Yes, thats right, SUPER PISSED! Do you hear me, Shay Savage? I am trusting you not to screw this up for me!
- POV: 1st (Alexandra)
- Tears: No
- Trope: historical, virgin, fish out of water
- Triggers: none
- Series/Standalone: book 1 in a serial
- Cliffhanger: yes
- HEA: ??
Shay Savage lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her family and a variety of household pets. She is an accomplished public speaker, and holds the rank of Distinguished Toastmaster from Toastmasters International. When not writing, she enjoys science fiction movies, masquerading as a zombie, is a HUGE Star Wars fan, and member of the 501st Legion of Stormtroopers. When the geek fun runs out, she also loves soccer in any and all forms – especially the Columbus Crew, Arsenal and Bayern Munich – and anxiously awaits the 2014 World Cup. Savage holds a degree in psychology, and she brings a lot of that knowledge into the characters within her stories.
From The Handmaid:
My husband, whom I knew so little about, was about to claim my body as the final act solidifying our union. I had only the very basic understanding of what was to come. I was absolutely terrified but trying desperately not to show it. Remembered words of pain and blood scurried through my head as we approached a pair of large, wooden double doors.
Sir Branford reached out and pulled on the handle of the door leading to the last chamber. His eyes traveled up and down my body before he placed his hand on the small of my back, and we walked through. I heard the clang of the latch as the door shut behind us, sealing us in for the night.
Without warning, my back hit the inside of the door. Sir Branford’s hands were on my head, quickly removing my wedding veil and tossing it to one side. He combed his fingers through my hair, letting it flow loosely around my shoulders. Again, his eyes roved from my face to my feet, then back. I looked into his hooded eyes and startled at the way he stared at me before his mouth crashed onto mine.
This was not like the first kiss, when we were pronounced man and wife. It was not like the gentle touches of his mouth to my hand, lips, or neck while we danced. This kiss was hard and fast and filled with urgent need. He grasped the sides of my face with his hands and tilted my head sideways. I felt his tongue as he traced the slight parting of my lips before he pushed it inside my mouth.
At first I was shocked. I felt my body go rigid from the sudden intrusion. The feeling of his tongue in my mouth was not unpleasant but strange and unexpected. I could taste the wine he had consumed after the feast, combined with a simply indescribable flavor that must have been solely his own. I could hear and feel his rapid breaths against my mouth. My heartbeat quickened, and my breathing might have followed if I could have caught my breath at all.
I placed my hands on his wide shoulders, not knowing where else I should put them, and held on while he ran his tongue along mine, touching and tasting me. He dropped one of his hands to my shoulder and then down my arm until it reached my hip. Slowly, he moved his hand around and grasped my backside, lifting me slightly off the floor as he pulled me against his body. I could feel the tip of something long and hard press against my navel.
There was no way…it just wasn’t possible…he couldn’t possibly fit that…that…
I gasped into his mouth, and he released my lips only to travel to my neck, covering my throat with hot, wet kisses. My skin was left warm and tingling. He lowered me back to my feet and moved his hands up my sides, his thumbs brushing the sides of my breasts, causing me to gasp out loud. He continued his movements up and around the back of my shoulders, then quickly up and down my back as his lips covered every area of skin they could reach. He continued his effort with his eyes when his hands left me. I watched him reach down and pull off his belt and sash, dropping them in haste to the ground. With his trousers loosened, he pulled the ends of his shirt out before reaching for my hand and pulling me closer to him. His hands moved up and down my back again, searching.