Betting the Scot

Betting the Scot

by Jennifer Trethewey

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781986699662
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 03/21/2018
Series: Highlanders of Balforss , #2
Pages: 360
Sales rank: 1,051,968
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.80(d)

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CHAPTER 1

Spring 1817, Wick Harbour, the Highlands of Scotland

Declan Sinclair would have called to his wife, but he didn't know her name. They hadn't met. Not yet. Nevertheless, the pretty blonde seated on the far side of the tavern was his wife. Or would be. Soon. She was the wife in his dreams, and his dreams never lied.

A steady stream of people seeking shelter from the spring storm poured into the Crown Tavern. Declan and his two cousins had stopped here for the night before heading home to Balforss. Boisterous shouts of welcome and calls for whisky echoed through the hall. The place smelled of peat smoke, wet wool, and roasted meat. He should eat his lamb stew before it got cold, but all he wanted to do was marvel at the lass seated across the room.

In his dream, his wife was surrounded by gowans, the flowers the English called daisies. Her long yellow hair hung loose down her back, and her arms spread wide to touch the tops of the white petals circling her body. Each time, the dream would end the moment before she turned to reveal her face. Now, wide awake on a rain-drenched night in this crowded tavern, he was positive the lass seated at the corner table was the same woman in his dreams, his wife.

Declan jabbed his cousin Magnus in the arm. "That's her." He chucked his chin at the object of his affection.

Magnus twisted his massive torso around in his chair. "Where?"

"The lass sittin' in the corner. The one with the yellow hair and the green frock."

"Oh, aye. What about her?"

"She's the one I dreamed. The one I'm to marry." His heart stumbled when he said the word "marry."

"Go an' boil your head," Magnus said. "You never seen that woman before in your life."

"I have in my dream. It's her. I know it."

Cousin Alex flopped into a chair next to Magnus, his fat head blocking Declan's view.

"Move, move. You're in the way." Declan flapped his hand sideways.

Rather than move, Alex looked over his shoulder. "Why? What's amiss?"

"The numpty thinks he's spotted his bride." Magnus rolled his eyes and returned to his stew.

"What? Yon bitty lass in the corner?" Alex asked.

"I said move aside. I cannae see." Declan kicked Alex under the table.

Alex feigned an unnecessary show of injury before he scooted his chair sideways. "There. Better?"

Much better. He could see her again. She wasn't a dream. She was real. Declan consumed every detail of her face — the curve of her cheek, the fullness of her lips, the freckles sprinkled on her nose. How fortunate that he should have such a bonnie wee wife.

"Why do you think she's the one?" Alex asked.

"He dreamed her," Magnus said without looking up from his bowl.

Alex turned back to the lass. "Oh. I see."

They scoffed, but Alex and Magnus believed in Declan's dreams, even if they pretended not to. He had saved their lives more than once during their time in the army. His dreams foretold future events with accuracy. Like at Salamanca. The 42nd Foot might have been outflanked by the French that day in July, but Declan had dreamed of the battle the night before, and they were ready for the enemy.

No. His dreams never lied.

Declan leaned forward with interest. His future wife's brow had crinkled with concern. What was the trouble? A woman shouldn't be left alone without a companion, without a guardian. He should go to her and offer his help, but what would he say?

He'd made two attempts at romance in the past — the kitchen maid at the Latheron Inn, and the butcher's daughter, Gertie MacDonald — but they hadn't been for him. He had all but resigned himself to being a bachelor when one night three years ago, right around the time Alex had met and wed Lucy, he'd dreamed of his wife-to-be, and everything had changed.

Declan had prepared for married life straight away by building his own whisky distillery. He'd also built a house for his future wife — not a cottage, a big house — one she would be proud of. In fact, he'd come to Wick to collect a lady's bathing tub he'd purchased from a trader who dealt in goods imported from France by way of the Netherlands.

The increased frequency of his dream had signaled their meeting was fast approaching, so it was no shock to find her sitting across the tavern from him this evening. What did have his heart beating in his throat was her bonnie face. He hadn't expected one so pretty and so dainty. He could tuck her inside his coat and carry her home like a kitten.

As he considered the best way of conveying his new bride back to Balforss, she turned her head his way and their gazes locked. His chest seized, and his heart forgot how to beat. But she didn't turn away. Neither could he. To his delight, there was no reproach or indifference in her blue eyes. Quite the opposite. She continued to look upon him with equal interest as if she had expected to discover him here at the Crown. Had she dreamed of him as well? Did she recognize him just as he recognized her?

She looked away for a moment. Should he call to her? Win her attention again? Then her eyes flickered back in his direction. His heart stuttered back to life, and he smiled. The ghost of a smile formed on her lips, her pretty pink lips.

A man carrying two bowls of stew approached the lassie and shattered Declan's trance. He tensed, an overwhelming sense of possessiveness taking hold of him. The man set the bowls down and took a seat at her table. Declan got his legs under him, ready to spring, but Alex laid a hand on his forearm.

"Easy, man. Bide awhile. Looks like the lass is taken."

Alex's low rumble carried with it sincere regret. Declan didn't like hearing his cousin's words. He didn't want to believe that, having finally found his bride, he'd lost her. Then, after watching the exchange between his wife and the stranger, Declan eased back into his chair.

True. To see the man and woman together, their familiar way, one might assume they were a couple. But he knew better. His dreams never lied. Hadn't his vision of his own whisky business come true? And hadn't he been right when he dreamed Alex and Lucy would have a girl child?

"That's no' her husband," he announced.

"How do you ken that?" Alex asked.

"Because I'm her husband," he said with newfound certainty.

"Excuse me for pointing out the obvious, man," Magnus said. "But dinnae ye have to meet the lass first?"

* * *

Every time the tavern door opened, another blast of cold wet air swept over Caya Pendarvis. She clutched her reticule closer. It held six shillings, all she and her brother Jack had left to their names. If Mr. O'Malley didn't meet them tomorrow as planned, they might not have the means for another day's room and board.

She wished Jack would return to the table. The tavern was loud, and there were three men who kept looking at her. One dark-haired man in particular had been staring ever since she sat down. His intense gaze made something flutter inside her stomach. Didn't he know it was ungentlemanly to stare at a lady? Though she knew it was unwise for her to return his look, she found it difficult not to stare back at him.

Her heart beating at a frightening tempo, Caya tore her gaze away and searched for a glimpse of Jack's blond hair. Wherever he was, she hoped the food he purchased from the tavern maid would be edible. She was hungry. They'd been nine long days aboard the ship from Cornwall to Wick Harbour. Like most passengers, she hadn't been able to keep anything down because of rough seas. When she had mustered the courage to eat, the food had been unidentifiable.

She spotted her brother and exhaled her disquietude. "There you are."

"Lamb stew." Jack plunked two steaming bowls on the table. "Doesn't smell too bad." He pulled spoons from his coat pocket, handed one to Caya, and tucked in.

She polished her spoon on her sleeve — Lord only knew what else lived in Jack's pocket — and cast a furtive sideways glance across the room at the dark-haired man. "I'm not sure I like this tavern. Are you certain this is the one Mr. O'Malley recommended?"

Jack shoveled a large chunk of meat into his mouth, then huffed and waved a hand to cool it. Twenty-two years old and he still forgot to test his food first. The silly incident would no doubt sour his mood.

He blinked back tears of pain. "What the devil's wrong with this place? I checked the rooms like you asked. They're clean. The food's good."

She ignored his petulance and leaned in. "Don't turn around now, but there's a man at the table over there who keeps looking at me. I said, don't —"

Jack looked anyway. She winced. What if the man mistook Jack's glance as an invitation to come over to their table and chat? She didn't like talking to strangers. And everyone in Scotland was a stranger.

Eyes dull and mouth twisted, Jack said, "What would you have me do? Demand they stop looking at you?"

"No."

"Do you want me to start a fight with one of them?" Jack jerked his chin at the three Scots. "They look like ruffians. I'd probably get my teeth kicked in. Would you like that?"

"Of course not." Caya felt her own temper rise. Jack was tired and hungry. Well, so was she. There was no reason for him to take his frustration out on her. "Forget I said anything," she said, putting an end to the conversation. She knew what he was like. Arguing in the middle of this crowded tavern in front of those suspicious-looking men would be unwise.

After a silence, she prodded Jack with an innocent enough question. "Tell me again what Mr. O'Malley is like."

Jack lifted his head as if it took great effort. "I only know what the solicitor who arranged the marriage contract told me," he said wearily. "O'Malley's a herring merchant. Out at sea most of the year."

"But did the solicitor say anything about his nature? Is he a kind man?"

"Why?"

"Because I'm to marry him, of course." She reined in her frustration and added calmly, "I appreciate that you've found a suitable arrangement for me. I do. But what if, when we meet him tomorrow, he's nothing like what the solicitor said? I can still decide against the union, can't I?"

"No." Jack dug his spoon into the stew. "The contract is signed and money has exchanged hands."

"But you told me —"

"I told you what you needed to know and no more. I received half your marriage payment upon signing and I'll receive the other half tomorrow."

"I see." Caya's appetite ebbed. Somehow, everything had happened so fast, it was hard to believe it was real. She'd agreed to marry O'Malley at a time when Jack was desperate for money. When Jack's creditors had threatened him with debtors' prison, he'd used the last thing of value he had left: her. He'd met a solicitor who, for a small fee, arranged marriages. The solicitor knew a man named Sean O'Malley, a herring merchant, who would settle Jack's debts in exchange for a wife. All Jack needed to do was deliver Caya to O'Malley in Wick Harbour, Scotland, by the first week in May, and their problems would be solved.

She'd swallowed her anger and asked him, "Why? Why should I do this for you after what you've done?"

"Marry him, Caya, and I promise on Mother's grave, I will never gamble again."

She had wanted to tell him damn it and to hell, but of course he would remind her of the promise she'd made to their mother to take care of him. This was her brother, her only family. She loved him. How could she let him go to prison?

What choice did she have?

"I'm doing this because Mother and Father would wish it, and because I love you. But if you break your promise to stop gambling, we're quits, Jack. Do you understand?"

Despite her fear of traveling so far from home, despite her aversion to marrying someone she'd never met, Caya had agreed to the union. So, here she was, three weeks later, sitting in a crowded pub surrounded by rowdy Scots, waiting to meet and marry a stranger named O'Malley.

Caya felt an emptiness in her heart, a wanting for something different, something more than home and family. Was it comfort, security, love? Or something she dared not name? She glanced across the room at the man with the black hair. He was still staring. There was no hint of menace in those dark eyes, nor did he make any rude overtures. Yet, he held her captive with his unwavering gaze, so warm, so familiar, and so ... full of longing. Was he yearning for the same thing as she? Her heart tripped an irregular beat inside her chest. She should turn her back, ignore the stranger. But she couldn't look away.

* * *

Jack used the tip of his little fingernail to tease a few stray bits of lamb from his teeth. He let his gaze roam around the room. Dock workers, fishermen, farmers, and merchants, the peasantry of Scotland. He was not likely to find his own kind in this establishment. His sister clapped a hand to her heart and gasped. What had frightened her this time? She'd been on edge the entire voyage, jumping at every sound.

"What's the matter now?"

"That man. He's still staring."

"Perhaps if you stop returning his look, he'll stop staring at you."

"I can't help it. He looks at me as if he knows me, yet I'm sure I've never met him." She tore her eyes away from the stranger. "Do you recognize him?"

Jack stole another glance at the dark Scot who was troubling his sister. Given the size of the fellow and the intensity of his gaze, he understood her concern. "Never met him before in my life. I can tell by his dress he's a man of no consequence, a Highlander of lower stock. Pay him no mind." That should assuage his sister's fears. He needed her calm when they met O'Malley in the morning. He didn't want the flighty girl spoiling the deal he had with the man.

Caya's brow loosened. "It's late. I think we should get some sleep."

"Give us a coin and go on ahead without me. I'll have a brandy before my bed."

She narrowed her eyes at him.

Devil take her. Why had he agreed to let her hold the money? "You have a few coppers left. One brandy, Caya. I'm restless."

"You promised."

He knew damn well what he'd promised. He'd promised to find her a suitable husband, but did she thank him? No. Criticism was his only compensation for all his efforts.

"One damned brandy." If he ground his teeth any harder, they might crack.

She tossed two coins on the table. "There. Enjoy yourself." Her words sounded as if she'd snipped them off her lips with garden shears.

Caya shot to her feet, triggering a sudden chain reaction. Chairs scraped and clattered as patrons rose and tensed. In an instant, the entire tavern fell deadly still like a herd of cattle sensing danger. All focused on the three Scots standing like towers of stone, hands on the hilts of their knives, glaring at Jack. What? More accusations?

A room full of wary eyes darted from Jack to the tall trio, back to Jack. He assured himself no one would dare harm a man of his station. No cause for alarm. He rose cautiously and turned to his sister, frozen in place like a rabbit. "Good night, my dear." He brushed a kiss on her cheek.

The hum of the tavern patrons resumed, the one kiss having altered the atmosphere. He waited until Caya disappeared up the stairs, then approached the monoliths. After all, one must constantly remind the lower class of their place.

"How do you do, gentlemen?" He gave the slightest bow. "My name is Jack Pendarvis. As you probably deduced, my sister and I are new to Wick."

All three giants relaxed the grip on their knives. An odd exchange took place between the redhead and the black-haired one who had been staring at Caya.

"I'm Alex Sinclair," the red-haired one said and added, "These are my cousins, Magnus and Declan Sinclair."

The one introduced as Declan said, "Pleased to meet you, Mr. Pendarvis."

Of course, he was. Commoners were always pleased when gentry like himself took an interest in them. A glimmer of an idea formed in the forefront of his mind. "Jack. Please call me Jack. I was about to order a brandy. May I join you?"

"Thanks. We'll have a wee dram," the one named Alex said.

It was cheeky of the bastard to assume Jack had offered to pay, but he had to admire the man's gall. Alex was the tallest of the three and, as he acted the spokesman, perhaps the most astute. Magnus, the fellow who resembled a bear, looked like a dimwit. Though sharp-eyed, the one called Declan was likely a simpleton as well. He'd been warned most Highlanders inherently lacked intelligence.

Jack signaled the barmaid and ordered a brandy and three whiskies. All four sat at once.

The simpleton, Declan, grinned at him like a fool. "Where ye frae?"

Was the dullard incapable of speaking proper English? "I beg your pardon?"

"Where are you from?" Alex interpreted.

"Ah. Cornwall. I've brought my sister to Wick to be married."

The simpleton's smile faded. Jack sighed. Mingling with the rabble was a mistake. He should finish his drink as soon as possible and excuse himself from their company, but the promise of easy money was too much for him.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Betting the Scot"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Jennifer Trethewey.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
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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Betting the Scot 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous 18 days ago
Anonymous 29 days ago
Humorus
LisaLickel0 More than 1 year ago
Trethewey’s Balforss house books are a delight to those who adore hunky historical bawdy but fun and fairly clean romance. I know, I needed to hide the cover from my hubs, too. There’s just no comparison. As mentioned in the description, it’s a family saga of stand-alones, tied by setting and characters. Who doesn’t love a guy who buys a bathtub for a wife he has only dreamed about? I admit I fell for Declan in the first book, his sweetness and cluelessness, but braver than brave and true-hearted beyond belief. At a time period where women, even those who’ve reached the great age of twenty-five and orphaned but under the “care” of a destructive sibling, Caya is at the bottom of the well of opportunity. She seems pretty resigned to her fate, the truth of which is only hinted at through her naiveté. The horror of it comes at a terrible price and sets up the next story beautifully, which makes me yearn to read it. In the meantime, first sight of an eager and yummy dark-haired Scot who keeps staring at Caya with a too-familiar ogle makes her look back. And again. And so begins a truly epic love affair, pirates and all. Held at bay by wise Uncle John, Caya and Declan weather issues such as unbearable longing, accusations of witchcraft, and a quasi-amorous vicar contending for Caya’s hand. While it might have detracted from the romance, I would have been interested to see more of the effects of the gossiping nearby villagers after Caya performs a heroic task. Nevertheless, the Sinclairs are a lovely family and a few hours in the Highlands with men of virtue and their dynamic lasses is truly a delight.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in The Highlanders or Balforss series. I didn't read the first one, but had no trouble reading this book and following the story. I will go back and read the first story just because I enjoyed this one so much. It is the story of Declan Sinclair, the nephew of Laird John of Balforss. He has dreams and they come true. He has dreamed about the woman he will marry, now he just has to find her. While in Wick, Scotland, Declan and his two cousins stop at a local inn. From across the room, Declan sees his wife. As the evening progresses and Caya has retired for the evening, Jack Pendarvis challenges the highlanders to a card game. By the end of the night, Declan has all Jack's money, his mother's ring and Caya's hand. Now Caya Pendarvis, is a lovely yet shy woman from Cornwall. Her brother has betrothed her to a herring business man in exchange for enough money to pay off his gambling debts. When he tries to sneak out of the Inn in the middle of the night with his sister, the highlanders are waiting. Caya agrees to go with them. However, what will her brother do when her husband to be turns up to collect his bride? How will he repay his debts now? This is a highly entertaining read, a brilliant historical story with humour, suspense and romance. There is also plenty of action, several twists and turns, accusations of witchcraft, kidnapping, whisky, danger and more. There's even another rival for Caya's hand in marriage. Don't worry, it does not become a love triangle. I enjoyed the strength of the women of Balforss and the backbone that Caya develops while living with the Laird. The men may be warriors, but they are gentle and loving as well. Declan is very persistent and it pays off eventually. Family means everything to them. I read this book very quickly and enjoyed it much more than I expected. I do not usually read historical romances, but this was recommended by a blogger I follow and she was not wrong. Get yourself a copy of the first two books in this series and enjoy them before the third one comes out. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
Sam1219 More than 1 year ago
I am voluntarily submitting my honest review after receiving an ARC of this ebook via NetGalley. Betting the Scot is the second in the Highlanders of Balforss series. I did not read the first book in the series, but had no trouble following the plot of this second installment. That said, perhaps I might have enjoyed this book had I read Lucy and Alex's story first. Despite an interesting story line, likable characters and an enchanting setting, this was not one of the better novels I have read. The main problem is in the story's pacing. After a promising start, the middle of the story really drags, and then rushes on to a fast and furious finish. Perhaps a little less dithering about whether Declan and Caya should or should not be courting and more time spent getting to know each other's backgrounds would make the middle more interesting.
Sam1219 More than 1 year ago
I am voluntarily submitting my honest review after receiving an ARC of this ebook via NetGalley. Betting the Scot is the second in the Highlanders of Balforss series. I did not read the first book in the series, but had no trouble following the plot of this second installment. That said, perhaps I might have enjoyed this book had I read Lucy and Alex's story first. Despite an interesting story line, likable characters and an enchanting setting, this was not one of the better novels I have read. The main problem is in the story's pacing. After a promising start, the middle of the story really drags, and then rushes on to a fast and furious finish. Perhaps a little less dithering about whether Declan and Caya should or should not be courting and more time spent getting to know each other's backgrounds would make the middle more interesting.
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
Jennifer Trethewey's second book in the Highlanders of Balforss series, Betting the Scot is a fast paced Scottish romance that will have readers swooning. Main character Declan Sinclair has a way with dreams. When he sees the woman he's been dreaming about for three years in a public house, the adventure begins. Readers looking for a good rollicking Scottish love story will find this one captivating. With everything from pirates to witchcraft and a bit of healthy competition for a woman's heart, Betting the Scot is a great "bet" for a good read. What I liked: Oh for the love of highlanders! I love a good story set in Scotland and highlanders are always fun to read about. Declan Sinclair is no exception. This hero is a warrior, a dreamer, and a darn good card player. Betting the Scot starts out with Declan seeing his dream bride for the first time and then winning a bet in which she is the prize. He's been dreaming about this girl for three years, preparing for it even. He's such a sweetheart of a character. I enjoy a good alpha male character, and Declan has those characteristics but he also has a softness about him, a shyness that is so endearing. Trethewey, gives readers a different sort of Scottish hero and that was quite a surprise in a very good way. As with the first book in this series, Tying the Scot, Trethewey continues to wow with her smooth style and powers of description. The Scottish way of life is often portrayed in a barbaric sense, but Trethewey really captures the essence of family and Clan and what that means with this novel. I loved the parts of the story where Caya, Declan's intended, is becoming a part of the way of life that Declan grew up in. When Declan's Uncle and Laird refuses to let them marry right away because Caya is English, it gives her time to learn the lay of the land and understand what she's getting herself into. I found this aspect of the book very nice. The romance between Declan and Caya is not an easy one. First, he practically wins her in a card game. That's not a good start. She's upset with her brother for basically handing her over because of gambling debts and drinking and she doesn't have the best of self esteem because she doesn't feel anyone values her. It's interesting to see how she reacts to Declan and how he sees her, wants to protect her and cares for her. She makes a few blunders and there is another man interested in her. There are some bad decisions and the relationship is a bit rocky until the end. But the chemistry between Declan and Caya is honest and sweet and readers will find it enjoyable to read. What I didn't like: You guys know how I am about Scottish historicals. Having a Scottish background myself, I'm fairly hard on authors of this subgenre. I want to see a story that is based in historical fact. It's not necessary to make a romance a good read, but it is more authentic and more realistic as it relates back to history. There were a few missteps in this area of the book. It did not take away from the story, but it stood out to me. Not everyone is going to be bothered at all by it, but some of you will. So keep it in mind. I loved Declan as a main character. He was everything I wanted in a hero. But Caya wasn't my cup of tea. I like a good romance between a highlander and an English lass and that angle was a good. But she kept making these judgement calls and mistakes and outright bad decisions. I thought Declan deserved a better heroine. Caya had is
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
This is a highly entertaining read, a brilliant historical story with humour, suspense and romance, one that was a real page turner that I really enjoyed and have no hesitation in highly recommending. It is the second book in a series and I haven't read the first but still found this a superb read and have to say it works well as a standalone. Caya Pendarvis has been brought to Scotland by her brother who has arranged for her to marry someone she's never met, a sailor who has agreed to pay him enough to settle his gambling debts. They stay in a Inn to await the arrival of her husband to be and, whilst dining there one of the other diners keeps looking at her and is obviously discussing her with his two compatriots. They both find the other attractive, but haven't even spoken. The man is Declan Sinclair, a Highlander who has dreams which usually foretell what will happen - and little does she know that she has featured in his recent dreams, dreams in which she becomes his wife! When she retires for the night, her brother challenges the three Highlanders to a game of cards. He accrues a decent pot but then loses it all. Desperate, he gambles his sister - and Declan wins. Now, winning Caya like this was easy but now he needs to win her heart and this is something he has no experience of, he's going to need to learn to court Caya for his dreams to come true. However, what will her brother do when her husband to be turns up to collect his bride? How will he repay his debts now? My advice is go grab yourself a copy of this book and get ready for a story with a plethora of great characters, plenty of action, full of twists and turns, accusations of witchcraft, kidnapping, whisky, peril and so much more! There's even another rival for Caya's hand in marriage! There are plenty of misunderstandings and danger along their journey to their HEA and Declan is an endearing, hard working, reticent but determined suitor and a real sweetheart, too. I'll definitely be looking out for more by this talented author in future! I requested and was given a copy of this novel, via NetGalley, with no obligation. This is my honest review of the book after choosing to read it.
FizzaYounis More than 1 year ago
It's a great story, which starts with a dream and ends with it coming true. I quite enjoyed it, it's entertaining and thrilling. I loved the story as well as the characters. Also I thing the ending was just perfect. Declan's dreams often come true. So when he dreams about his wife he just starts preparing to get married soon. Then quite by chance he met the woman of his dreams, however, things get complicated because of her brother and their circumstances but maybe things will work out for them. Caya is tired of taking care of her brother so when a handsome Scot offers his help she is more than willing to take it. She will finally get a chance to have someone who takes care of her. Although, she does not trust him entirely but she is willing to bet on him. I think this book is perfect for historical fiction lovers. It's well-written and keeps you intrigued.
georgia1 More than 1 year ago
The Highlands of Scotland, 1817 Can a man really see his future bride in a dream? He can if he is Declan Sinclair whose dreams always come true and his clansmen know it. Declan has been dreaming of a lass that will be his bride for three years but the dreams have started to come closer together. Sitting in a tavern with his cousins he looks over and sees Caya Pendarvis, the girl of his dreams down to her yellow hair!! What Declan does not know is that she is with her brother Jack ,who has already sold her off to a merchant to pay his gambling debts and they are waiting to meet her betrothed the next day. Caya and Declan lock eyes several times and there seems to be a spark. As Caya goes up to her room for bed, Declan walks over to Jack and introduces himself. Well one thing leads to another and a card game ensues with the prize being beautiful Caya! How could Jack lose the game when Caya is already promised to another! Of course Declan wins! When Caya finds out what happened, Declan gives her a choice of waiting to marry her merchant or go with Declan to his home. She does pick him but Declan intends to woo her so she will want to be his wife. I loved this story with the adventure and the braw hero who is really a little shy but has a wonderful smile with a twinkle in his eye. Can Declan win Caya who only wants to be loved for herself and feel worth something? Jennifer Trethewey again tells a wonderful story of two people who were meant to be. I mean it is not everyday a man dreams about his future wife and that dream comes true!! Lori Dykes
georgia1 More than 1 year ago
The Highlands of Scotland, 1817 Can a man really see his future bride in a dream? He can if he is Declan Sinclair whose dreams always come true and his clansmen know it. Declan has been dreaming of a lass that will be his bride for three years but the dreams have started to come closer together. Sitting in a tavern with his cousins he looks over and sees Caya Pendarvis, the girl of his dreams down to her yellow hair!! What Declan does not know is that she is with her brother Jack ,who has already sold her off to a merchant to pay his gambling debts and they are waiting to meet her betrothed the next day. Caya and Declan lock eyes several times and there seems to be a spark. As Caya goes up to her room for bed, Declan walks over to Jack and introduces himself. Well one thing leads to another and a card game ensues with the prize being beautiful Caya! How could Jack lose the game when Caya is already promised to another! Of course Declan wins! When Caya finds out what happened, Declan gives her a choice of waiting to marry her merchant or go with Declan to his home. She does pick him but Declan intends to woo her so she will want to be his wife. I loved this story with the adventure and the braw hero who is really a little shy but has a wonderful smile with a twinkle in his eye. Can Declan win Caya who only wants to be loved for herself and feel worth something? Jennifer Trethewey again tells a wonderful story of two people who were meant to be. I mean it is not everyday a man dreams about his future wife and that dream comes true!! Lori Dykes
Lorizen More than 1 year ago
I'm new the this genre and this book just bowled me over. I loved the story. The plot wound and twisted it's way from a slimy brother selling is sister, only to lose her in a a game of cards to the Scot, Declan. Caya is an innocent. She knows her brother's got problems and not just with gambling. Declan has dreams, many of which come true and he's been dreaming about this woman he knows he's to marry, but never sees her face. But that night in the pub when he sees her, her back first he knows. When she turns to look at him, he knows. That's why he played cards with the brother, along with his anger of any man who'd wager his sister in a card game. Declan and his two cousins make the long journey back home to the northern coast with Caya in tow. She's fearful but not so much. There's much she doesn't understand. What she's met with when they arrive back in Declan's uncle telling him she's to stay with them, until such time as whomever deems them fit to marry if at all. Declan is upset but has no choice but to go along. This book has so many plot twists, you have to play attention to keep up. Things seem to being going along ok until Caya's no good brother shows up again only to set a chain of events in motion that shift the whole story. It was great! I loved it all. The kilt scene... wait for it. All the secondary characters were great. I hope we'll see another book with Declan's cousin and Virginia. This one is a winner. Truly a story of romance. advanced copy from NetGalley and Entangled for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
FromTheSouth More than 1 year ago
Who would have bet an alpha protective but teddy bear hearted hero would steal the show in this second release by a relatively new romance author. Declan did exactly that, folks. I absolutely loved this sweet, shy, inexperienced around women, hero and his awkward bungling moments as he was completely besotted and mesmerized just by looking at Caya, the heroine. He did so, by the way, all without compromising his manliness. This handsome Scotsman didn’t just follow his heart but his dreams, as well. You see, having dreamed of Caya before meeting, Declan knew she was it for him. It simply took fate and a game of chance to deliver her into his caring, loving hands. Yep, they were as good as married the moment she came into his line of vision. Now he just has to wait patiently for others to step out of the way and let their destiny begin. About mid-way through, Caya surprisingly kept becoming their biggest obstacle. Though well rid of her brother, she stupidly kept making knucklehead decisions because of misplaced loyalty and overall stupidity. Allowing another man even the chance to win her affections wasn’t a plot twist I overly appreciated added to the mix. At least he was a good, respectable fellow. So as not to give away spoilers, let me just say that is also when the storyline started to feel overly drawn out and this unresolved relationship became rather exhausting. Declan deserved so much better. Ultimately, my heart ached for him and my head declared Caya a complete simpleton who was too timid and wishy washy to embrace the gift of love right in front of her. With quite a bit of life-threatening, traitorous drama, the spotlight is taken off the romance and subplots set in. Of course, all eventually ends well. The atmosphere at Balforss and the great cast of returning characters from book 1 certainly added to my enjoyment. I just wasn’t expecting the conclusion and the tail end of this romance to be so exhausting. Ms. Trethewey is definitely a Scottish romance author that pulls you into this genre. Though I loved the first half of this book, the second half at times was frustrating and not nearly as heart melting romantic, despite a lot of events unfolding. Declan was my favorite part of this entire book. Title: Betting the Scot, Series: The Highlanders of Balforss (Book 2), Author: Jennifer Trethewey, Pages: 200, alpha protective hero with teddy bear heart, sweet but wishy-washy, simpleton heroine, virgin main couple, some violence, even hero starts to have doubts, HEA, brief love triangle. Book 1 - Tying the Scot (Alex & Lucy), 11/27/17, Pages: 387 Book 2 - Betting the Scot (Declan & Caya), 4/23/18, Pages: 300 (I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not given any payment or compensation for this review, nor is there any affiliation or relationship between this reviewer and the author/publisher/NetGalley.)