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The Scot Beds His Wife is the next lush, captivating Victorian romance in the Victorian Rebels series by Kerrigan Byrne.
They’re rebels, scoundrels, and blackguardsdark, dashing men on the wrong side of the law. But for the women who love them, a hint of danger only makes the heart beat faster.
Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne, is a notorious Highlander and an unrelenting Lothario who uses his slightly menacing charm to get what he wantsincluding too many women married to other men. But now, Gavin wants to put his shady past behind him...more or less. When a fiery lass who is the heiress to the land he wishes to possess drops into his lap, he sees a perfectly delicious opportunity...
A marriage most convenient
Samantha Masters has come back to Scotland, in a pair of trousers, and with a whole world of dangerous secrets from her time spent in the Wild West trailing behind her. Her only hope of protection is to marryand to do so quickly. Gavin is only too willing to provide that service for someone he finds so disturbingly irresistible. But even as danger approaches, what begins as a scandalous proposition slowly turns into an all-consuming passion. And Gavin discovers that he will do whatever is necessary to keep the woman he has claimed as his own...
About the Author
Kerrigan Byrne has done many things to pay the bills, from law enforcement to belly dance instructor. Now she's finally able to have the career she'd decided upon at thirteen when she announced to her very skeptical family that she was going to "grow up to be a romance novelist." Whether she's writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, Kerrigan uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in almost every story.
Her novels with St. Martin's Press include THE HIGHWAYMAN and THE HUNTER.
She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast.
Read an Excerpt
Gairloch, Wester Ross, Scotland, Autumn 1880 Twenty years later
"So, it's true. The Earl of Thorne made a deal with the devil." The unique Scots-Irish brogue slid through the night like a sharp dirk through supple skin.
Even on the Sannda Mhòr, the wide swath of beach leading down to Strath Bay, Gavin St. James recognized the deceptively light footfalls of the large man behind him before he'd spoken.
"Wouldna be the first time," he retorted mildly as he clasped Callum Monahan's sturdy forearm in welcome. "Willna be the last. The devil has been many men to me. Here is only one more."
Even by the dim light of the fire, Callum's swarthy, sun-weathered skin contrasted with eyes so golden, they shone with an otherworldly luminescence. They matched the irises of the falcon perched on his left forearm as they studied him from beneath a woolen cowl. "Despite everything we've been through, you've not the look of a man who's dealt with many demons."
"And yet ..." Gavin summoned his signature rakish grin, letting his insinuation drift into the shadows. Callum knew Gavin's demons were darker than the black waters between Isle of Longa and the shores of the Sannda Mhòr. That Gavin's immediate family — all half brothers — consisted of a hanged traitor, the king of the London Underworld, and a certain Mackenzie Laird all the empire had literally termed the Demon Highlander.
"Ravencroft might actually see you hanged this time, if he discovers us." The man the locals christened the Mac Tíre joined Gavin in scanning the moonless night for a sign of the incoming cargo. Mac Tíre in the old language meant Son of the Earth. Master of Beasts.
Gavin thought of his brother. Liam. Now the Laird Ravencroft. He'd not only inherited their father's title, but his temper and proclivity for violence, as well. "One of us is like to kill the other before long. Seems to be the fate of the Mackenzie men." Gavin made an ironic sound, and crouched to add another log to the fire. He idly wondered what it would do to the Demon Highlander to have to witness one more brother kicking at the end of a rope. "Ravencroft never ventures this far north. He gives Inverthorne Keep, the village of Gairloch, and all of Strath Bay a wide berth. He may be the Mackenzie Laird, but this is my land. And well he knows it."
"Which makes it a perfect cove for smuggling." Callum's raptorlike eyes shone with the gleam of a man looking forward to the sin he was about to commit.
"Aye," Gavin agreed. "So it does."
In the unnatural stillness of the night, the unmistakable sound of oars sluicing through water announced the arrival of a longboat.
"Speak of the very devil." Callum strode to the edge of the tide, nearly beyond the glow of the fire. A gentle wind stirred his dark cloak and kilt like shadows around his body until he seemed more specter than man. "The Rook approaches."
"How he can navigate this craggy cove in such darkness boggles the mind," Gavin remarked. "Most use a lantern, at least."
Callum slid him a mysterious look over his shoulder. "The land has its demons, and so does the sea." The Mac Tíre whispered something to the falcon, and released it into the air with several powerful beats of its wings. "I trust that Sannda Mhòr is secure, but Manannan Mac Lir will alert us to an unwelcome presence all the same."
Gavin nodded and drew up next to his oldest friend as the gentle surf stole some of the sand from beneath his boots. He lifted the lantern he'd been holding, and signaled a welcome in the direction of the approaching vessel. "What I canna ken, is why a hermit who lives in a cave and sleeps with sheep has a connection to the most notorious pirate since Sir Francis Drake."
"It's more a shieling hut than a cave," Callum protested. "And I defy you to tell Angus and Fergus to sleep outside." At Gavin's droll glance, he continued. "I met the Rook some time ago in Tangier. I assisted him with the movement of some exotic animals for a wealthy local warlord, and in return he ... helped me recover something I'd had taken from me."
"'Tis a good thing ye're not vague," Gavin muttered.
"'Tis a good thing you're not your brother." Callum chucked him on the shoulder.
"Amen to that."
Callum took a flask from his cloak and knocked it back before offering it to Gavin. "To Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne. The profligate black sheep of the Mackenzie Clan."
Gavin drank deeply, welcoming the burn of the Irish whiskey Callum favored to ward off the chill seeping in from the sea. He silently thanked the gods that it wasn't Ravencroft Scotch. He'd had enough of that to last a lifetime. Returning the flask to the man he'd known since they'd romped about the Highland moors of Wester Ross as wild children, he said, "It occurs to me that to be labeled a black sheep in my family, ye'd ironically have to be a good man."
"I see no good men here." A dark, cultured English voice, more menacing than the night surrounding them, hailed over the sound of the lapping water as the tide delivered the boat onto the Sannda Mhòr.
"And ye'll find none," Gavin replied.
"This pleases me, as I have no use for them."
A shadow in a long black coat jumped from the bow with a handful of men, and assisted Gavin and Callum as they dragged the burdened boat farther onto dry sand. That accomplished, they gathered at the fire to conduct their business.
As the son of a notoriously violent man, Gavin had perfected the skills of observation and obfuscation well and early. He could read any man in a matter of seconds. He could tell if they were dangerous, armed, afraid, or compensating, and just how much rope he had to hang himself with. He knew which buttons to press to cause a volcanic eruption, or which levers to pull to release steam and defuse a situation.
As he studied their conclave of criminals, his entire being focused on only one man.
Here stood the kind of chap that sent Gavin's hand inching toward his dirk. It wasn't the Rook's size or height that put him off, as Gavin sensed he easily matched him in strength and stature. Nor was it his menacing scars or the palpable vibrations of danger seeming to throw shadows over the firelight.
It was his eyes. His eerie black eyes.
They were not wild like Callum's, nor skillfully indolent and impassive, like his own. They conveyed no greed, no rage, no approbation, nor scrutiny. They held neither devilish gleam nor demonic malevolence. And what Gavin could read in the pirate's eyes had him reassessing his dealings with the man.
They were dead.
Gavin stood convinced they were not the eyes of a man, but a shark.
The Rook was a creature of the sea, after all. A consummate killer known for his powerful, lethal precision and no natural predators. All the armadas of all the governments in the world had tried to best him.
Yet here he was.
Gavin could tell any that stood before him were not men, only meat.
I see who ye are, he thought. I have yer measure. But ye doona see me.
No one did. No one ever saw him. Never knew him. Not his fears or his flaws. His thoughts or his needs. Not his motivations or desires.
And they were legion.
Though the Rook's empty, unblinking stare disturbed Gavin, his own gaze never wavered. He knew the pirate caught his meaning before any word was exchanged between them.
This is dry land, my land, and ye're not alpha predator here.
After a moment spent taking the other's measure like titans on an ancient Olympian battlefield, the Rook finally addressed him. "The Earl of Thorne, I presume?"
"Aye." Gavin nodded. "Welcome to Gairloch."
"You've pretty features, for a barbarian lord."
"I wish I could return the compliment." Gavin smirked at Callum's hastily indrawn breath. The Rook was obviously not a vain man, and so this was neither censure nor challenge. It was a language men like him spoke fluently. Quid pro quo.
Gavin wouldn't have called the pirate unsightly, per se. The strange disfigurement reaching from beneath his collar marred a great deal of the right side of his face, but didn't hide his strong, broad features bladed by sharper, almost aristocratic lines. The Rook had midnight hair and eyes to match.
In fact, he reminded Gavin of a Mackenzie.
Though where Gavin was handsome, and Callum savage, the Rook was nothing more than arresting. Striking. Remarkably so, and the scars surely added to his menace, and thereby his appeal as the terror of the high seas.
The corner of the Rook's mouth twitched with the ghost of amusement. "I must say, noblemen rarely rouse themselves to meet me during nocturnal escapades. They generally send a servant to collect their thirty pieces of silver."
"What happens on my land is my responsibility. Also, I require proof the cargo is not human as I'll have no part in that."
The Rook pulled back the heavy canvas to reveal several stacked, unmarked square crates, each too small to hide a person, even a child.
Appeased, Gavin nodded. "This way."
Loading the cargo into the carts was backbreaking work, and it impressed Gavin that the Rook matched him burden for burden, load for load. The dark silence of the moonless Highland night pressed upon them like a shroud as they took the old road along low sea cliffs to Inverthorne, and stored the crates in the old Jesuit caves beneath the keep.
This finished, the Rook declined Gavin's offer of a conveyance for his men back to the beach. He made a gesture, and one of his crew stepped forward with a bag of coins for Callum, and a larger one for Gavin, as the cargo was to be stored on his land for a very specific amount of time.
"I'm rather new to pirating, but is the exchange still the doubloon? I'd assumed currency had changed since the eighteenth century." Gavin shook the heavy bag of coins, wondering if the Rook was unaware of the rather less weighty pound paper note.
The Rook seemed neither perturbed nor entertained. "In your hands is pure undetectable gold coin. It can be claimed by no government, trade organization, nor even traced to a mine. It is not bound to any certain economy, nor do you have to worry about an exchange rate."
"In that case, it's a pleasure doing business with ye." Gavin nodded.
"I'll return in one year's time to collect my cargo."
Calum turned to Gavin. "What are you going to do with your share, I wonder?"
A blood-chilling cry sounded from above, before Manannan Mac Lir dove to reclaim his place on Callum's forearm.
"We're not alone." Callum pulled a pistol from beneath his woolen cloak just as a copse of elms and ash trees rattled nearby.
Gavin counted the clicks of seven gun hammers behind him, each pulled a hair slower than his own. He hoped to be spared the indignity of a death in the dark by friendly fire.
"Show yerself," he commanded the interloper, and was instantly obeyed.
By a brindled long-haired Highland heifer who noisily waded from the underbrush to nose at some tender clover.
A release of the instant tension was followed by a discharge of pistol hammers and a few relieved grunts and chuckles.
"There's yer answer." Gavin smiled. "That's what I'm doing with my share."
"Highland cattle?" Callum snorted. "Tell me you're joking."
"Nay. I'm going to sell my part of Ravencroft Distillery to my brother, and buy the abandoned Erradale Estate and its bounty of cattle from the late Mrs. Ross's daughter, the one raised in America."
"Alison Ross, ye mean?" Gavin could feel more than see Callum's dumbfounded expression in the darkness. "It'll be the greatest land acquisition the Highlands have seen in centuries."
"That's rather the point."
"But ... the Mackenzie have never been cattle folk."
Gavin noted that the Rook and his men had already melted into the night, and his hand tightened around the gold in his grasp.
"Nay," he agreed. "The Mackenzie have never been cattle folk."
But as soon as he could, he'd no longer be a Mackenzie. Not only would he have the St. James surname, a non-Mackenzie title, and an income all his own, but after the crown granted the emancipation he'd requested, the bulk of his land would no longer be considered the purview of Laird Mackenzie of Wester Ross.
He'd be free of the Mackenzie clan once and for all. Among all his numerous desires, that one burned the brightest.
Union Pacific Railway, Wyoming Territory, Fall 1880
Samantha Masters squeezed the trigger, planting a bullet between her husband's beautiful brown eyes.
She whispered his name. Bennett. Then screamed it.
But it was the woman in his grasp she reached for as he fell to the ground.
Though they'd known each other all of twenty minutes, she clung to Alison Ross as though the younger woman were the most precious soul in the entire world, and they sank to their knees as their strength gave out.
Alison's hold was just as tight around her, and their sobs burst against each other's in a symphony of terror, shock, and abject relief.
What in the hell just happened?
Not twenty minutes ago, Samantha and Alison had been no more to each other than amiable fellow passengers on an eastbound train, chugging across the wintry landscape of the Wyoming Territory.
What were they now? Enemies? Survivors?
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry." Samantha repeated the words with every short, sobbing exhale. Though she couldn't have said who the apology was to, exactly. To Alison? To Bennett? To whoever had been shot on the other railcars?
This morning she'd been the irate, disillusioned wife of a charming and dangerous man. An insignificant and unwilling member of the outlaw Masters Gang.
This afternoon, she'd been the new acquaintance and confidant to Alison Ross, commiserating over childhoods spent on secluded cattle ranches.
This evening, because of what she'd just done, of what they'd all just done ... chances were good that she'd be hanged.
This train job was supposed to be like any other. Each of the Masters boarded on the last platform for miles and miles. To avoid detection or suspicion, Bennett, Boyd, and Bradley Masters would each take a seat in separate passenger cars.
Samantha would be placed in the least populated car, usually first class, as it was also the least dangerous. Once civilization completely fell away, the signal was given, and the men would strike, rounding up all passengers into one car.
This was done for the safety of the passengers as much as the Masters brothers themselves, as the gang didn't generally rob people. Cash, jewelry, and personal items were never as valuable as actual cargo. The Union Pacific Railway didn't only deliver citizens across the vast American continent. It delivered goods, sundries, and often ... federal funds.
Even in these modern times, when it seemed all the gold had been mined from the rich hills of California, American currency was still minted in the east. Which meant everything from company payrolls, to government bonds, to cash and precious metals were transported by transcontinental railways.
And the Masters brothers, aspiring entrepreneurs, had decided that if the government wouldn't allow them land, nor the banks grant them loans ... Then they'd take what they needed.
This was supposed to have been their fifth and final train job. It was supposed to have gone like the others.
No one harmed or robbed. Merely a bit inconvenienced and perhaps a little shaken. The Masters brothers would escape with a few bags of money that the government could simply print again, a "frightened" female hostage as played by Samantha herself, and the papers would have an exciting story to publish in the morning.
The signal, both to each other and to the passengers, was one shot, fired at the ceiling, and then a command to disarm, get moving, and a gentle promise that all this would be over before they knew it. Samantha's job was to act like any other passenger, and incite them to obey. Then, if necessary, act as the hostage to force compliance.
"People are sheep," Boyd had always said. "They'll follow a sweet thing like you to their doom."
On this job, Samantha had been more comfortable than any other. At this time in October, with winter settling in but Christmas still a ways off, travel wasn't foremost on the mind of the average American.
Her railcar had only two occupants other than herself. Alison Ross, a lively, bright-eyed San Franciscan socialite, and a well-dressed businessman more interested in his paper than conversation.
At first, Alison's friendly overtures had vexed Samantha, as she found it hard to concentrate on responses when her blood sang with equal parts anticipation and anxiety. But, she realized, to not engage would be suspicious, and before long she'd found herself enjoying Alison's company.
She'd not known many women her own age, least of all friendly ones.
Samantha imagined that in another life, she and Alison could have, indeed, been friends.
Had she not been about to rob the train.
Excerpted from "The Scot Beds His Wife"
Copyright © 2017 Kerrigan Byrne.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was an exciting story! I really enjoyed this book! I just found a new author to follow!
Mixing up the trope a bit, we have the middle brother, Gavin and the newly introduced Samantha – both with troubled pasts and secrets they wish to hide. With a Kerrigan Byrne title, the character development can take a bit of time, and there are many places where the story winds off-track, giving that sense of background and providing information that those who haven’t read the previous books may need. In each title that I’ve read from Byrne, the same applies, the story doesn’t start to solidify and show the author’s talents for witty dialogue and action-forward until past the midpoint. This holds true for this book as well, but you will find some interesting twists here that I’ve not seen in other of this genre. Samantha was raised in the Western Territories of the United States, and had quite an interesting, if harrowing upbringing. From moving about frequently to no real friends, she’d robbed trains, hidden her past and dreamed of a new and different life. Gavin, middle brother with a horrible father and constantly engaged in strife with his brothers also wants a new life, but he believes the only way is to move away from where people know his father and start his own life. The key to this is his purchase of the Ross lands, held one newcomer, Samantha. Back and forth we go as the two battle off with strong will meeting strong will, and Gavin’s charm not making one whit of difference – the two are equally matched in skill and daring. But Samantha has a mouth like a sailor – and prefers to hold onto her secrets far too long. Gavin hit that point of immaturity with me- rehashing and arguing with his brother Liam, like two children in the sandbox – and refusing to move past churlish and childish moments. For the two together, this marriage of convenience was neither convenient nor smooth, and each played a huge part in their miscommunication. I’m of two minds with this story: when it picked up and actually wasn’t bogged down with wordiness to the detriment of a clear path to the conflicts, communication and cooperation, the story was engaging and clever. And far different portrayals of a woman’s place – as Samantha was foul mouthed, outspoken and unfortunately felt a bit too modern. But, that made her shockingly memorable in this story, and the stronger of the two despite familiarity with Gavin from earlier titles. Fans of Kerrigan Byrne or this series will certainly love this book. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
The Scot Beds His Wife is a captivating historical fiction romance. I was enthralled with the story and the characters right from the start. This is the fifth book that I have read, in the Victorian Rebel Series, and I loved it. Samantha Masters is leaving Wyoming for good and starting a new life in the Highlands. She didn’t really want to shoot her outlaw husband between the eyes, but Samantha just couldn’t allow him to kill, another innocent person, in cold blood. Alison Ross was the young woman whose life had been spared by Samantha’s actions. Thankful to Samantha, Alison Ross offered her sanctuary in the Highlands. She had left Erradale, years ago, when she was thirteen-years-old, and never went back. Alison didn’t think that anyone would remember her. So Samantha agreed to take on Alison Ross’s identity and begin a new life in Scotland. Samantha was sure that her brother-in-laws wouldn’t find her in the Highlands, but she planned to stay under the radar just in case. Keeping to herself, though, was proving to be a difficult task. Her neighbor, Lord Gavin St. James, was constantly in her face. He wanted to buy Erradale, and no matter how many times Samantha told him no, he’d come back and try to convince her again and again, just the same. He was a notorious rake, charming, and sinfully handsome. He was also incorrigible and infuriating, and Samantha found herself falling for him. Then, when she least expected it, Lord Gavin St. James, offered Samantha something that she just couldn’t refuse. Samantha felt like a monster taking advantage of the very people she had come to care for. She thought that she would be strong enough to handle any fallout from the lies that she told. But, she was wrong, and she only had herself to blame for it. I was completely engrossed in this perfectly paced historical fiction novel. The characters, dialogue, and situations are so meticulously crafted, that I was brought deep into the hearts and minds of Samantha Masters and Gavin St. James, and that’s where I stayed, until the end of the book. This novel is a thrilling blend of love, romance, and danger. It’s very much worth the read. Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy!
Having read hundreds of romance books, I have to admit that it has become rare to find stories that not only intrigue me, but also entertain me. Julie Garwood was one of the writers who made me fall in love with romance. Her historical fictions and especially her highland romances have been unforgettable for me and I have read them over and over again. I am always in search of writers who evoke the same feelings in me that Garwood’s earlier work once did, so it was a great delight to read Kerrigan Byrne’s work. I didn’t want to put it down, yet also didn’t want it to end. Absolutely loved every second of it! Gavin St. James has had a very traumatic childhood. With his brutal and sadistic father, he has seen first hand what true evil looks like and has vowed to never turn into him. He wants nothing to do with the Mackenzie name and is living the life of an infamous rake who is living life to the fullest with all its many delights and vices. All he wants now is the bordering estate and herd cattle and cut himself from his brother and the Mackenzies forever. He just needs to convince the heir, Allison Ross, to sell it to him. And even though, he is offering a more than fair price for the dilapidated estate, the feisty heir is determined to never sell her family’s estate to the man who killed her father. Samantha Masters is wanted in America. So when the woman whose life she saved offers to pay her back by letting her take her place and travelling to the highlands to deal with her family’s estate in her stead, she is more than willing to take the deal and start a new life. All she has to do now is protect the estate that everyone believes is hers and resist the irresistible highlander that can’t seem to keep his distance from her. But has she completely left her past in America behind or will it catch up with her? A delicious, sensual, witty romance that you just can’t get enough of. Can’t wait to read more from Kerrigan Byrne and this amazing series! What a truly unforgettable delight! Thank you Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Absolutely loved this story! My first time using audible. So it was even better to be able to listen to it! Kerrigan just gets better and better! Absolutely adore this lady! Samantha/Allison is my sister from another mister! We are so alike. I really loved her. Gavin is intriguing. But, I will definitely have to side with Sam!
WOW just WOW! What a delightful, intriguing and unique book. The author does a superb job of writing a story where the wild west meets the highlander. Her skill at combining these two vastly different lifestyles was handled to perfection. Shock and heartbroken is what I felt when I read the Prologue and I calmed down somewhat when I got to chapter one but I wasn't surprised what the next twenty-four years did to form Gavin's character. How he could take his childhood and create a life that makes sense to him is the center part of this book and it brought to mind the saying "two sides of the same coin". This saying fits both Gavin's and Samantha's characters. Meanwhile, chapter two creates a solid basis for Samantha's character which expands to a woman with a multi-faceted personality that will delight the reader. Her hard exterior is balanced by a softness that most people never get to see so this makes her the perfect balance for Gavin darkness. Gavin's brother, the fearsome Lieutenant Colonel Liam MacKenzie and wife, Mena play a key part in this story. Their story is in The Highlander (#3) and it was as dramatic and well written as this story. This book is full of people making wrong decisions but finding redemption and love while experiencing forgiveness. For this reason, I give it 5 STARS. Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Bryne hits it out of the park again!! Samantha is running from the law and hoping that she can start over in Scotland. She didn't count on being attracted to the man that is trying to take her property. Gavin is running from is own issues and thinks the only way to move on with his life to to get a hold of the land that belongs to Samantha. I loved watching Sam and Gavin interact with each other. Both of them hiding things from their past that they don't want the other to know caused some issues between them that kept the story intriguing and me not wanting to put the book down. But alas, I have to sleep... I see that Bryne has two more books listed in this series. There are two characters from this story that I hope get their own books, fingers crossed!!
Love this series! Always looking forward to the next book.
Samantha is looking for a place to hide, and fate comes her way. She has had a harsh life and gets a taste of something better, one that makes her happy. Her love of horses and caring for others had me interested in how her story would end. Gavin also had a rough upbringing and dreamed of his one way to break away. As the truth from their pasts and the present comes out, Sam and Gavin forge a strong bond. I enjoyed also the return of previous characters. I received a copy of this story through Netgalley, and this is my unsolicited review.
Kerrigan Byrne ‘s The Scot Beds His Wife From the American Wild West, Samantha Masters has taken on the identity of Scottish heiress Alison Ross. They met during a train robbery when Samantha’s husband was going to murder Alison. Sam shoots and kills her husband. Now both the gang members and law will be on her trail. But Alison thankful for Sam’s intervention and saving her life has a solution. Alison has a property in Scotland that she will have to forfeit until she lives on the property for one year. Alison persuades Sam to take on her identity and live on the property. Gavin St. James is the Earl of Thorne. He wants to break away of his notoriously, cruel family. A player with a reputation, he needs the Ross land to raise cattle and farm to be able to change his living style. He never expected Alison (Samantha) to return to her property. Now she is back and he is totally unprepared for the woman who returns. There is immediate undeniable chemistry between the two but stubbornness seems to prevail. An interesting historical Victorian fictional story with deeply filled characters filled with childhood horrors trying to break free of the past to be able to walk without baggage into unknown future. They both want to be loved for themselves but will they be able to overcome the deceitful set back life has thrown their way. A well created plot with sexual tension and a cast of well developed, colorful secondary characters. This is book # in the Victorian Rebels series. It was the first one I read. I had no trouble following the characters as the author wove the past and present together effortlessly. I volunteered to read The Scot Beds His Wife. Thanks to St Martin’s Press via NetGalley for the opportunity. My opinion is my own.
The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne is the highly original, romantic and tumultuous tale of a brawny Scottish Highlander and a sharp-shooting American outlaw. This is the first book I’ve ever read by Kerrigan Byrne. I’ve never read anything remotely similar and I found myself utterly mesmerized. Even though it is the fifth installment in the author’s Victorian Rebels series, it works quite well as a stand alone read. The Scot Beds His Wife is the story of Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne, and Samantha “Sam” Masters. The story opens literally with a bang amidst a train robbery in the American Wild West. Sam is on that train and working as an accomplice to an outlaw gang consisting of her husband and his brothers. She has been in conversation with and befriended a woman, Alison Ross, in her rail car. Something goes terribly wrong and gunshots ring out. The next thing Sam knows is that her husband is holding a gun to her new friend’s head saying that she must die. Something in Sam rebels and she kills him instead, saving Alison’s life. Grateful to Sam for saving her life, Alison offers Sam sanctuary in Scotland at an estate that Alison inherited but that she doesn’t want. To make this work, Sam will need to assume Alison’s identity. Given that Sam’s looking at either hanging from a noose or being captured and tortured by her husband’s brothers for her complicity, she acquiesces. Alison has only one condition: that Sam keeps her Scotland inheritance from falling into the hands of the MacKenzie clan. Brawny Highlander Gavin Thorne has fostered a womanizing reputation as a coping mechanism for his dark childhood as demonic Hamish MacKenzie’s middle son. He wants nothing more than to sever his connection with the MacKenzies. To that end, he covets Scottish heiress Alison Ross’ lands as they would give him the financial means to cut his MacKenzie ties once and for all. When he learns that the heiress is arriving in Scotland to finally claim her inheritance, he devises a plan to coax her into accepting his generous offer for her lands by sweeping her off her feet with his manly wiles. To his surprise, he finds that Alison Ross - who is really Sam - is impervious to his charms. Sam’s childhood was no cakewalk. The upside of Sam’s hard upbringing was that Sam became talented with animal husbandry and the myriad other skills needed to operate a ranch – talents which come in mighty handy as she takes control of Alison Ross’s estate. Sam is deceitful and a part of me wanted to penalize her for lying especially when she continues her subterfuge even as she develops feelings for Gavin. But, I could not. At first, the two main characters seem to be polar opposites albeit with strong chemistry. But, as the story progresses, it soon becomes apparent to everyone but them that they actually had much in common and, indeed, they bring out the best in each other. Would betrayals and deceit circumvent any chance they have to find long-lasting happiness? This action-packed romance is painted with gloriously vivid imagery and packed with passion, danger and humor. Nail-biting suspenseful moments abound! While the plausibility of a sexy Highlander and an Annie Oakley American meeting and falling in love seems ludicrous, the author makes their story conceivable. If you enjoy well-plotted historical romances that will give your heart-strings a major workout, I’d encourage you to check out The Scot Beds lHis Wife!
gavin st. james has spent his entire adult life battling his childhood demons, mainly by raising hell and other general debauchery. his family is a mess. his father an evil tyrant. his mother killed by his father's hand. his brothers seemingly awful replicas of their dad. it makes sense that he meets his match in strong-willed sam. there's a wildness in him that is matched by a wildness in her. the scot beds his wife throws gavin and sam together when sam comes to the highlands to lay claim to some land. land that she's been charged to keep away from the mackenzies. you see, back in america she did a stranger a favor and in return was asked to take that stranger's place in scotland. the fact that sam is in scotland under false pretenses becomes one of those secrets that we know that the other main character doesn't know for a huge chunk of the novel. this adds to a sense of dread, because you know things will just happen to fall apart spectacularly. and they do, and part of the joy is seeing them put it al back together. even if it's frustratingly rushed. this is the fifth book in the series and it does stand alone. at the same time when you are this far into a series it feels a bit weird to be only just picking it up. **the scot beds his wife will publish on october 3, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/st. martin's press (st. martin's paperback) in exchange for my honest review.
What an intriguing historical romance this proved to be! Starting in the Wild West with a train robbery and shooting, moving on to impersonation in the Highlands of Scotland this story has a very feisty, determined heroine, Samantha Masters. As for the hero - well he had an abusive father, a loving mother and has used his menace and charm where appropriate but is determined not to be like his father. He is Gavin St James, Earl of Thorne and he wants the land that Sam is determined to keep. This sets them up for some interesting interactions, especially when their secrets lead them into further trouble. With gun-toting outlaws searching for Sam, feelings between Sam and Gavin developing and so many revelations to be made, this is a fast paced, action packed historical romantic suspense that I enjoyed escaping into, especially in the second half where the dialogue has added sparkle. There are family rifts to be healed, another romance to be encouraged and dilemmas to be resolved. There are also additional secondary characters - especially Callum, Alison Ross and The Rook - who I presume will have important roles in future stories in this series. I’ll certainly look out for more in this series in future! I recommend this story to anyone who enjoys reading of rebellious Victorians, with secrets from their past to overcome, danger, intrigue and the opportunity to move on to a future together. I requested and received a copy of this novel, via NetGalley, with no obligation. This is my honest review after choosing to read it.
This has all of the elements that make the perfect historical romance: A hot Scot (Gavin can put his boots under my bed anytime!), a spitfire leading lady, action, suspense, danger, romance and sizzling chemistry. Both Samantha and Gavin are emotionally scarred from things that happened in their past, and that is part of what makes them such endearing characters. Their story has such depth and substance. And, once they quit fighting their mutual attraction ... Ooo La La! ... Passion abounds! It is easy to see why Kerrigan Byrne remains a leader in this genre. I look forward to her next book with great anticipation. *I received a complimentary copy of this story from NetGalley and St. Martin's Press in order to read and provide a voluntary, unbiased and honest review, should I choose to do so.
Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne, is a notorious Highlander and an unrelenting Lothario who uses his slightly menacing charm to get what he wants—including too many women married to other men. But now, Gavin wants to put his shady past behind him...more or less. When a fiery lass who is the heiress to the land he wishes to possess drops into his lap, he sees a perfectly delicious opportunity... A marriage most convenient Samantha Masters has come back to Scotland, in a pair of trousers, and with a whole world of dangerous secrets from her time spent in the Wild West trailing behind her. Her only hope of protection is to marry—and to do so quickly. Gavin is only too willing to provide that service for someone he finds so disturbingly irresistible. But even as danger approaches, what begins as a scandalous proposition slowly turns into an all-consuming passion. And Gavin discovers that he will do whatever is necessary to keep the woman he has claimed as his own... Review: A marriage of convenience and false identity start this 5th story in the Victorian Rebels series. This like the other stories in the series is dark and light, gritty and romantic. All those juxtapositions make an interesting and exciting story. The book definitely starts out on the dark and gritty side as Sam kills her bank robbing husband and saves an heiress. Even though Sam rescues in the end she is rescued too. Then as the story builds she goes an assumes the heiresses identity in Scotland and helps her protect her land. There she is meets Gavin, Earl of Thorne. Both are passionate and quite at odds to begin when they first meet and Gavin tells her he wants her land. Then because of danger there is a marriage of convenience between the spunky American and the dashing Scot. All the while the romance builds between Gavin and Sam, their passion is incredible and a joy to read. Sam is one of my favorite heroines so far this year. Without giving away more important story points. The ending is full of drama, excitement, action and had me crying at one point. I am so loving this series. The writing is first rate and this Author is on my auto-buy list. 4,5Stars *I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book provided by the publisher.*
I liked this historical read. The story is fact paced with loads of drama, suspense and deception. I liked both Gavin and Sam and they had great chemistry. I found the story to be intriguing as Sam isn’t some innocent Miss that Gavin can just seduce. An interesting story line and an entertaining read.
I had the privilege to read an ARC of The Scot Beds His Wife. This is a story of a Wild West outlaw meets a Highlander. I wasn't sure the author could hide a frontiers woman in Victorian nobility. However, by choosing the wilds of the Scottish Highlands, our heroine just comes off as eccentric. Both of the main characters are flawed, and it just makes them more interesting. They overcome their fears and insecurities to trust each other and find a soulmate. Overall, a very satisfactory read.
When I first read The Highwayman I was blown away by the depth of the story. It was so much more than your typical historical romance novel. It didn't shy away from tragedy and pain and the dark, gritty side of life. The rest of this series has been just as amazing. I was a little more cautious going into The Scot Beds His Wife since the Hero has a reputation of sleeping with every female he sees ( I really hate manwhores). Ms. Byrne was able to make the reader see him as more than a lothario but as a man who hides behind this vice. Someone who is so desperate to hide his pain and his shame from the world that instead of being turned off by his licentious ways I empathized with him. I loved Sam and her "foul mouth". It is so refreshing to see a strong, independent heroine who is NOT some perfect virgin. I loved that she swore and could shoot and ride as well as any many. Ms. Byrne is an amazing author. She gives you flawed, damaged characters who are so deeply drawn that you find yourself swept away in their stories and invested in their path to redemption, love, and happiness.
This is the first book by this author I have read and I picked it up through Netgalley. I was a bit worried when I realized I'd be diving into the middle of a series but I wasn't disappointed. This was such a fun adventure with gun slinging smart-mouthed women and broodingly arrogant men who think they are God's gift to women but tout they have no heart to give. From the moment she falls into his orchestrated trap at the train station and doesn't act like the spoiled rich debutant, I knew this was going to be a fun read. I loved it. Every single second of it was full of witty banter, tense emotional moments, great adventure, and just overall an awesome plot and characters. I will go back and read at least Liam and Mena's story being they played a big role in this one. Totally a great read.
Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne has built quite a reputation in the Highlands over the years. He has been making a name for himself to separate himself as far away from his demon of a father as possible. He has one last thing he needs to complete to achieve everything he’s been working for. When the opportunity drops into his lap, he just can’t resist. I absolutely LOVED this story. Samantha was probably one of my favorite female characters in a historical book ever. I loved the inner workings of Gavin’s character and the interactions with Samantha were spot-on. My only problem is the repeated mentioning of Gavin’s being a rake. I don’t particularly like it when authors make one of the main characters a rake anyways, but this was brought out a lot throughout the entire book. However, it didn’t deter from the main story. I highly recommend. **I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
'The Scot Beds His Wife' by Kerrigan Byrne is Book Five in The "Victorian Rebels" series. This is the story of Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne and Samantha Masters. Gavin has issue with people getting close to him and does allot of things to break bonds that might build. When he sets his site on getting a piece of land that is Alison Ross, he goes to forward with trying to get it from her. Sam happens to meet Alison Ross on a train that Sam's husband and his gang were robbing. When Sam saves Alison life they two quickly form a friendship. Alison wants to help Sam start fresh and help her get away. Sam is pretending to be Alison to help herself stay safe and also to help the real Alison with an issue she is facing. So this secret goes on for a while as Sam and Gavin start to actually get to know one another. Gavin is clear with his past and with what he does trying to keep from forming that bond with Sam. Sam too with her secrets is trying to not bend but they can't help but be with each other. This book is hard to review because I am sure I am giving away to much. But just know that Ms. Byrne writes some great stories and this was one of them! "My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
This was a roller coaster of a book for me. There were a lot of interesting elements that were unique to this series. I have read every one of these books, and Kerrigan keeps finding ways to make them feel fresh and not formulaic. I liked that we begin to see some of the history of the American West. As in some of the previous books, the prologue starts off with an emotional punch. But even though this books starts with high intensity, emotion, and drama, the two characters' stories were so different, the beginning also felt disjointed for me. But by about 40%, I was all in. Everything was connecting and working for me, the relationships were intense, and I was loving the direction the characters and couple were headed. I do have to say, I had my own frustrations with the heroine at times. Certain secrets were kept for too long into the book. I usually don't mind this, but I think the heroine pushed it too far. Kerrigan is the author who first made me realize I could love this genre. While this wasn't my favorite of this wonderful series, I still enjoyed reading it. Also, the developments toward the end had me excited for several possibilities for the future books. I can't wait for the next one!
I loved this book from the start. Samantha is an American spitfire with plenty of wit and determination, used to do whatever necessary in order to survive. When trouble arises in America she sees no other choice but to travel to Scotland. There Gavin awaits for her, and true to his rakish reputation, he will attempt anything even seduce her if that would sway her to relinquish her land to him. So one thing that had me laughing – and rolling my eyes- at the beginning was the fact that she would not stop admiring his good looks. It was paragraph after paragraph of her mentioning how well sculpted and how “magnificent” he was. She even called him a Celtic god! I just thought goodness, it’s this how it’s going to be? Thankfully it wasn’t. Sam proved to be no push-over. She took the reins of her new life and show no fear in the face of trouble. I specially loved that even though she was a foreigner in a new land, she easily made new friends, knew who to contact, where to go, and what to do. She was a woman with a mission and was determined to see it through. Gavin was a little on the obstinate side. Not that that was a bad thing, I mean, who can say no to a Scot’s charm, am I right? But when a man kisses a woman without asking permission first, then let’s just say I was verra happy that said woman always carried her precious guns with her *happy face* I loved how Sam put him in his place every time he wanted to be all charm and temptation. When someone from her past attacks her, Gavin offers to marry her in order to protect her but also to gain access to her land. They do marry but their relationship was complicated to say the least, what with Gavin’s reputation, his infamous father and family, and the initial enmity between them. They want to see their nuptials as a business transaction only so they really don't want to confide each other with their dark pasts. As the story unravels and they get to know each other better, Sam understands why her husband has led the life of the notorious libertine and affable womanizer he’s always been. And then she wishes to tell him everything because she’s only told him bits and pieces of her life but not the entire truth. And the one time she had the chance to tell him EVERYTHING… she discloses another secret but not what he needs to hear! It was kind of frustrating, actually. And Gavin feels there is still so much in her heart that's yet to be to discovered but is afraid to ask because he believes it may have to do with him, his flaws, his past, his own desires, and AGHHHH! In the end so much grief would have been avoided if a hard but simple truth was told when they had the chance. So generally speaking, I still think this was an awesome read because despite my peculiar dislikes I thought the romantic arc hit all the right cords. All the characters were very well defined from start to finish, from the rambunctious old couple of Calybrid and Locryn, who sort of became Sam’s two right hands, and who had me laughing at their bickering and and inappropriate comments, to Gavin’s own mother, who grew out of her shell with Sam and other loving character’s help. All in all it was a lovely read, which can be totally read as a standalone, and I absolutely recommend it. ** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***
Beautifully Captivating! Oh how I love historical Scottish romance stories and this one is just so captivating from the beginning to the end. As with all of her books, the story pulls you in, leaves you a little breathless, and keeps you in its grasp until the end, not wanting to come up for air. Gavin St.James Earl of Thorne had seen and experienced terror and cruelty as a child by his father that left scars, not only on his body, but also his mind and heart. He promised that he would not be like his father or like a Mackenzie, ever, and it was that promise that led him to want to purchase the estate next to Inverthorne Keep, to be rid of the Mackenzie hold on him. Samantha Masters squeezed the trigger and shot her husband between his eyes, the woman in his grasp she reached for before she fell to the ground. She had only met Alison Ross twenty minutes ago, but she clung to her as she was the most precious soul in the world. That morning she had been the irate, disillusioned wife of a charming and dangerous man. A unwilling member of the outlaw Master’s gang. This afternoon she had been the new acquaintance and confident to Alison Ross talking about their childhoods spent on cattle ranches. What had she done? Nobody was suppose to die on this job and now she would probably be hanged. When these two cross paths as Samantha poses as Alison, when she gets off the train at Strathcarron Station, in Scotland, their attraction is shockingly captivating. But, Alison is not willing to give up the land that Gavin is so forcefully trying to get from her. Especially after her friend has been so kind to let her flee to, and stay on her property, as long as she wants to stay. She will need to make the most of her situation especially with a bounty on her head and her husband’s brothers out for possible revenge and may be after her. But the attraction between the two is hard for Gavin to ignore, and what better way to get what he wants but to marry in to it. But it will take danger and a lot more, for Alison to agree to his terms. Alison has more secrets than Gavin can even imagine. But will he find out to late to save his own heart? You will need to read this to find out. These two are incredibly sweet together and I loved their chemistry. I was expecting a much more rough around the edges type of man, but who I got was so incredibly kind and generous. I totally fell for Gavin and so will you. Received an ARC through the publisher via NetGalley and voluntarily wrote an honest review.
Alison Ross returns to the Highlands of Scotland to save her family's stead from Gavin, Earl of Thorne. Going by Sam, and using subterfuge to conceal her true identity as Samantha Masters with the full support of the real Alison Ross, she has the skills to run a ranch. The Earl wants the Keep and will do almost anything to have Sam surrender the land to him, and to have her, too, is not beyond his needs. Sam's cowgirl and outlaw past is about to catch up to her, with her life on the line and that of her baby, she decides to take the protection offered by Gavin by marrying him and unintentionally passing the pregnancy as his child. Together they find love and passion, and for once Gavin has a reason to open his heart which has been closed since childhood. Eventually, the truth will out, and the fury of Gavin combined with the danger she's in, will divide this couple. They will have to overcome a lot to find a way back to each other--but have too many lies from the past come between them? This passion-driven novel is unputdownable! A must-read! **received ARC from publisher through NetGalley**