Bliss [NOOK Book]


Something had to be done. It had gone on too long, and if King Henry received one more letter from either of the feuding nobles, he'd go mad. What Lady Tiernay needed was…well, she was a beauty, but whoever married the nag would truly get a mixed blessing. And Lord Holden-could all the rumors regarding his cold heart be lies? The man certainly had sobered since the death of his first wife.

If he were smart, Henry would force the two to wed, make them fatigue each other with ...

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Something had to be done. It had gone on too long, and if King Henry received one more letter from either of the feuding nobles, he'd go mad. What Lady Tiernay needed was…well, she was a beauty, but whoever married the nag would truly get a mixed blessing. And Lord Holden-could all the rumors regarding his cold heart be lies? The man certainly had sobered since the death of his first wife.

If he were smart, Henry would force the two to wed, make them fatigue each other with their schemes and complaints. Yes, it was only fitting for them to share the bed they made-'til death did them part! Who could tell, perhaps they would even find each other suitable; perhaps Lord Holden would find in his bride the sweet breath of new life. Heaven alone knew what would happen when two foes were the last things between themselves and the passion they'd never known they wanted.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In 1173, Lady Helen Tiernay besieges King Henry with letters, demanding he do something about Lord Holden, who is mismanaging his nearby estate. Lord Holden responds with a stream of missives insisting the king do something to quiet the shrewish nagging of his noble neighbor. King Henry finds a neat solution to both problems. He decrees that Lady Tiernay shall marry Lord Holden, so that she can make her complaints directly to her husband and that he can respond without further troubling the Crown. Neither the lord nor the lady is pleased by the king's command. But, despite the lovely lady's clever strategies (including preparing flea-ridden beds and stomach-turning ale in the hope of convincing her husband to join a monastery rather than join her in their marriage bed), the avowed foes soon find they have much in common. Unfortunately, just as Lord Holden learns that his lady has humor and wit to match her beauty, he also discovers a plot that could be the death of them both. Readers will find lots to laugh about as this seemingly mismatched pair finds Bliss in the course of their romantic and perilous adventures.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062013231
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/13/2010
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 100
  • Sales rank: 34,091
  • File size: 410 KB

Meet the Author

Lynsay Sands

Lynsay Sands is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau vampire series as well as numerous historical novels and anthologies known for their humorous edge.


Born in Southern Ontario, Lynsay Sands is the New York Times bestselling author of the Argeneau Vampire series. She has written more than 34 books and anthologies since her first novel was published in 1997. Her romantic comedies span three genres—historical, contemporary, and paranormal—and have made the Waldenbooks, Barnes & Noble, USA Today, and New York Times bestseller lists.

Lynsay's books are read in more than twelve countries and have been translated into at least six languages. She's been a nominee for both the Romantic Times Best Historical Romance Award and the Romantic Times Best Paranormal Romance Award, was nominated and placed three times in the RIO (Reviewers International Organization) Awards of Excellence, and has several books on All About Romance's Favorite Funnies list.
Author biography courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers

Good To Know

1.) I started The Deed (my first romantic comedy and the first book to be published) a year after my mother's death. I was very close to my mother and the year following her death was about the most miserable time imaginable. But then I decided I was tired of being down and unhappy, and looked around for something to lift my spirits and make me laugh. When I couldn't find anything, I decided to sit down and write my own. It worked! Emmalene and Amaury's antics in The The Deed had me chuckling as I wrote.
2.) I met my husband in New York in July 2003. I was there because of the RWA conference and he was there on vacation. The first day there we kept running into each other and chatting in front of the hotel, and then he asked to join our group (it was very brave of him. He was the lone male amongst six or seven women, lol). He's a Brit and I'm Canadian and the first two months of our relationship were conducted by phone as well as over the internet. Our first date was a week in New York in September, followed by three weeks in England. He then came to Canada in both November and December, the first time to propose and the second time for Christmas with my family and then to take me back to England with him for New Years. I lived in Northern England for two years. We married in New York and now live in Canada.
3.) I was writing about my husband before I met him. Single White Vampire came out in September 2003 and I took a copy with me to England when I went for the three weeks. I walked into my now-hubby's house to find at least six months worth of mail unopened and stacked up on a shelf inside the front door. When I stopped dead, eyes going wide with shock and asked "My God. That's mail. You don't open your mail?" He looked embarrassed and muttered some explanation about bills automatically being paid by the bank so no need to open those and everything else was unsolicited and he couldn't be bothered. When I burst out laughing, he started to frown and said "What?" My response was to dig out the copy of Single White Vampire and hand it over with the suggestion he read it. The mail thing wasn't the only similarity he had to Lucern Argeneau. There are many more and when he sat down to read the book, he kept stopping and turning a rather startled and even suspicious gaze my way and muttering that this sounded familiar" or that did. I had to point out that it really was coincidence, that I had written that story at least nine months before meeting him. LOL.
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Read an Excerpt


By Lynsay Sands

Dorchester Publishing

Copyright © 2001

Lynsay Sands

All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-8439-4909-0

Chapter One

No one was more surprised than Helen when she kicked the ball.
She had only paused on her way across the bailey to watch the
children play for a moment when the ball suddenly rolled
toward her, and she impulsively kicked it. It was a mistake.
Goliath, who'd stayed dutifully by her side as always until
then, took it as a sign that they were going to play. He was
off after the ball in a heartbeat, barking gaily and running
like the wind. Helen tried to call him back, but her voice was
easily drowned out by the squeals of the children who raced
after the huge wolfhound. The dog reached the ball first, of
course. Unfortunately, he didn't understand the rules of the
game and, as a hunting animal, he did not fetch it back
rightaway. Instead, he picked it up in his massive jaws and
shook it viciously side to side. Helen couldn't hear the
material tear, but she knew it had happened when feathers
suddenly filled the air around the beast. Satisfied that he
had killed his prey, Goliath strode cheerfully back through
the dismayed children to drop the ruined ball at his
mistress's feet. He then sank to the ground and rested his
head happily on his front paws in what Helen considered the
very picture of male satisfaction. Shaking her head, she bent
to pick up and examine the damaged toy.

"My lady?"

Helen turned her attention from the slightly damp-with-dog-drool
ball and glanced at the two women who appeared
beside her. "Aye?"

"This is Maggie," Ducky said quietly. Ducky was Helen's lady's
maid, but also a friend. If she had brought this other woman
to her, there had to be something the two needed. Surveying
the slightly warty but kindly looking crone, Helen decided she
liked what she saw.

"Hello, Maggie." she greeted the woman, then tipped her head
slightly. "You are not from Tiernay." It wasn't a question.
Helen knew everyone of her people; she made it her business to
know them. This woman wasn't one.

"Nay, my lady. I come from Holden."

Helen's lips tightened at the news. It could only mean trouble
of some sort. Her thoughts were distracted by a murmur of
discontent as the children arrived to cluster around her.
Their accusing little eyes moved unhappily from Goliath to
their now mangled toy.

"I shall repair it at once," she assured them guiltily,
relieved when the promise seemed to appease them.


The order was for Goliath, who immediately got to his feet to
keep pace at Helen's side as she headed for the keep, but the
humans obeyed as well. Ducky and Maggie promptly fell into
step behind her while the children trailed at the back. The
group made a small parade as it crossed the bailey, mounted
the steps and entered Tiernay keep.

"I shall need some fresh feathers, Ducky," Helen announced as
they crossed the great hall.

"Aye, my lady." The woman was off at once, heading for the
kitchens where Cook had been plucking chickens all morning for
that evening's meal.

"You children go wait at the table. I shall have Ducky bring
you drinks and pasties while you wait." So saying, Helen led
Maggie and Goliath over to two chairs by the fire. Seating
herself in her usual spot, she gestured for the older woman to
take the other, then began to search through the small chest
nearby for her sewing needle and thread. Goliath settled on
the floor by her feet.

Helen was aware of the way the woman hesitated, then perched
uncomfortably on the edge of her chair, nervous and stiff as
could be, but she ignored it as she sought what was needed.
She had just gotten a hold of the necessary items when Ducky
appeared at her side with a wooden bowl containing the
requested feathers.

"Thank you." Helen accepted the bowl and smiled at the woman
with appreciation. "Perhaps you could have someone fetch the
children some refreshments and sweets while they wait?"

"Aye, my lady."

Helen began to thread her needle, her attention focused on the
task as she asked Maggie, "So, you are from Holden?"

"Aye." The old woman cleared her throat and shifted
uncomfortably on her perch. "I used to be in charge of the
chambermaids there."

"Used to?" Helen inquired gently. She drew the thread through
the needle's eye, then glanced up in time to note the
bitterness that flashed across the servant's face.

"Aye. I was released last Christmastide," the woman admitted
reluctantly. A moment later she blurted, "The lord wanted only
young and pretty maids to serve in the chambers."

Helen's mouth thinned. Such news didn't surprise her. Very
little could surprise her regarding the Hammer of Holden's
behavior. Hard work and service were not often repaid kindly
by the man. Cruel bastard, she thought with irritation, then
forced herself to start mending the large jagged tear in the
children's ball. After several stitches she felt calm enough
to ask, "And what have you been doing for these last six

The woman cleared her throat again. "Farmer White had been
courting me up until then. He was a widow," she explained,
blushing like a lass fresh out of a schoolroom. "When I was
released, we married. I tended his home and helped on the
farm." Her smile and blush faded, leaving her pale and weary
looking. "He died these two weeks past."

"I am sorry," Helen said gently. Glimpsing the tears that
sprang to the woman's eyes before Maggie lowered her head, she
turned her attention back to her task. Deciding she had left
just enough unsewn, she turned the ball back inside out and
began to stuff it with feathers. She was nearly done with the
chore when Maggie recovered enough to continue.

"I knew there would be trouble. I couldn't manage the farm on
my own, of course...."

"He evicted you and gave the farm to another couple," Helen
guessed quietly. Such wasn't unheard of, but to her mind it
was cruel to treat someone so shabbily when they had worked so
hard and faithfully for so long.

Maggie nodded. "He sent poor young Stephen down as usual to do
his dirty work."

Helen nodded. Stephen was Lord Holden's second, the man left
in charge of Holden while the Hammer was away. Which appeared
to be quite often. Lord Holden seemed forever off doing battle
somewhere. But while Stephen was Holden Castle's chatelain,
none of the decisions were his. Surely the Hammer kept up a
steady discourse with the man, ordering him to do this or that
- none of it very pleasant or kind - and from all accounts,
young Stephen suffered horribly from being forced to carry out
such wicked deeds.

"He had Stephen claim everything in the cottage for heriot,"
Maggie continued, drawing Helen's attention back to her. "Then
he was ordered to burn it all before me and send me on my

Helen's eyes widened incredulously. Heriot was the equivalent
of a death tax, a legal part of the feudal system. But
claiming every last possession, then burning it all ... well,
that was just cruel. And deliberately so. "Did Stephen do it?"

Maggie grimaced. "Aye. He is a faithful servant. He apologized
the whole while, but he did it."

Helen nodded solemnly as she stuffed the last of the feathers
firmly into the ball and prepared to sew it closed. Of course
young Stephen had done it. He would follow his lord's orders.

"His mother would have wept to see him forced to act so."

Helen glanced up questioningly at the woman's words and Maggie
explained. "We were friends when she lived in the village.
This would have broken her heart."

"She is dead?" she asked politely, knowing the old servant
needed the change of topic to help her maintain composure. If
talking about Stephen's mother would help her distance herself
from her recent losses, Helen saw no reason not to indulge

"Oh, nay. She is not dead. But when Stephen became chatelain
and was forced to dole out such harsh punishments ... Well, she
could not bear to stand by and watch. She left the village.
Most people think she is dead, but I think she is living on
the border of Tiernay and Holden. Stephen often rides out this
way for the afternoon. I think he is visiting her." She fell
silent for a moment, then added, "He rode out here after seeing
to burning my things. Probably went to visit her then as

Helen took in the lost expression on the old woman's face and
the way she was slumping in her seat and said gently, "And so
you came to Tiernay."

"Aye." Maggie sat a little straighter. "My daughter married
the tavern keeper in the village ten years back."

Helen nodded. She knew the tavern owner and his wife, of

"And they have offered to take me in ... but they must have your
permission first."

Helen was silent for several moments. She was responsible for
her land and everyone on it, and therefore, as the woman said,
her permission was imperative before any new tenants were
allowed to move in. Her first instinct was simply to nod and
say certainly Maggie was welcome at Tiernay. But Helen had
noted the woman's odd tone as she had spoken of her daughter's
offer. There was no doubt that Maggie had worked her whole
life. Losing her position in Holden Castle must have been
extremely demoralizing. Her marriage and position as a
farmer's wife had saved her pride somewhat, but now she was
reduced to accepting charity from her own child. Helen
suspected it rankled the old woman greatly, and now,
considering the matter solemnly, she shook her head. "Nay."

"Nay?" Maggie looked fit to burst into tears, and Helen
mentally kicked herself for speaking her thoughts aloud.

"There will be no charity for you, Maggie. You are still
strong and healthy. You can work. As it happens, I am in need
of someone with your skills."

Maggie lost her tragic look, hope slowly filling her withered
face. "You do?"

"Aye. Edwith used to be in charge of my chambermaidshere. She
died a month ago and I have yet to replace her. Ducky has had
to fill that job as well as tend to her own duties. You would
be doing both of us a service should you take Edwith's place.
It would relieve a great burden on Ducky."

"Oh!" Much to Helen's consternation, the woman burst into
tears. For a moment, she feared she had erred and Maggie
wished to stay with her daughter. Then the woman positively
beamed at her through her tears, and Helen relaxed.

"Oh, my lady. Thank you," the new mistress of chambermaids
breathed, positively glowing at the idea of being useful


Excerpted from Bliss
by Lynsay Sands
Copyright © 2001 by Lynsay Sands .
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 43 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 43 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2014




    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2014


    XD "The problem is now resolved!"

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2013

    Good not great..............................

    The beginning of the book where she is trying to avoid marrying the kings choice went on a little to long. It started out humorous and became a stale joke several chapters in. It eventually picks up though. So it wound up being an ok read.

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  • Posted November 30, 2012

    My first LS bore.

    I couldn't get through it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2001

    'Bliss' fully outrageous

    Lynsay Sands has never failed to entertain and amuse. ¿Bliss¿ is no exception to that rule. Her unique form of humor will keep any reader chuckling and turning pages into the wee hours of the morning. Now, if you are a stickler for historical accuracy, you may have a problem with modern medical terms being used in medieval England. However, I consider this poetic license and it only added to the enjoyment of the book. The antics in this book were refreshing, quick-witted, and a pure pleasure. If you don¿t enjoy this book thoroughly; you do not have a funny bone.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    beautifully crafted historical romantic romp

    In 1173 England, King Henry would prefer warring with the French rather than deal with another protest from either Lady Tiernay or Lord Holden. The two neighbors are always squabbling even if the latter has been fighting on the continent. Now both have the audacity to send letters of complaint to His Highness. Henry has enough on his plate without having to deal with this troublesome twosome. However, the clever King decides the easiest way to end this neighborly dispute is to order the two combatants to marry one another. Thus the war becomes internal. <P>Lady Tiernay rejects her monarch¿s plan. She uses a variety of ruses to force Holden to plead with King Henry to stop their marriage. Lord Holden quickly comprehends the trickery of his betrothed and tries to trump her so that she begs off with His Highness. Love blossoms so that neither one wants to entreat King Henry with repealing his edict. <P>BLISS is a refreshing tale that provides plenty of amusement to readers due to the antics of the enticing lead couple. Sub-genre readers used to medieval romances containing action-packed save the estate story lines will find this plot as a fresh change centering on an amusing battle of the sexes. Though a subplot involving subterfuge on Holden¿s estate is exciting and well written, it feels as if it does not belong with the overall humorous theme. Lynsay Sands will become a household name to those fans seeking a beautifully crafted historical romantic romp. <P>Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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