THE LAIRD'S CHOICE – Amanda Scott
Lairds of the Loch , Book 1
Grand Central's Forever
The Scottish Highlands near Loch Lomond, 1425
Andrew Dubh MacFarland, the true laird of the clan, lost his sons and much territory to a usurping cousin. He's lucky in his women, though. His wife and three daughters have senses greater than normal, though they differ amongst each other. Lady Andrena, the eldest of the three, can sense other people's thoughts and feelings and knows when they are sincere. Dree, as she is called by her family, also has a way with animals. She reads them as well, and they watch over her when she roams the land and its forests. On a day after a fierce February storm, she observes odd behavior in the birds of prey near the river that marks their southern boundary. Concerned about unwelcome strangers, this fearless lass sets out to investigate. She soon senses intruders and comes upon three men who claim to be hunting an escaped prisoner. After some “discussion” the hawks and a large osprey attack and drive the men off. Oddly, Dree fails to sense the man in the tree above her.
Magnus Galbraith, a younger son of a neighboring laird, was captured by Laird MacFarland's cousin's men and kept as a galley slave. The storm offered him a chance to escape, and he took it gladly, for he's learned of a plot to assassinate King James. The king recently returned from imprisonment in England, and his family does not want to give up the powers they've long enjoyed. Dree brings Magnus back to the tower where he hopes to enlist her father's aid in reaching the king. The laird has long planned to marry his eldest daughter to a warrior who would adopt the MacFarland name and help in winning back his lands and people.
What follows are exciting adventures and intrigue, but best of all the highly entertaining interactions between Dree and Magnus. Mag frustrates Dree to no end, for she cannot read him nor easily convince him she knows when people mean what they say. He does, at least, let her accompany him on his quest to find and aid the king. Along the way, they meet friends and potential allies while eluding the enemy as best they can. (In one instance, Dree senses hidden danger no one could possibly see.)
The plot of THE LAIRD'S CHOICE is rich. History comes alive under Amanda Scott's talented pen, and so do her characters. Magnus is strong and very masculine, while Dree is clever and headstrong. The sparks fly when they are together.
Two other sisters have stories to be told; perhaps some of the interesting men from this novel will play important parts? I highly recommend getting in at the beginning of this new series with THE LAIRD'S CHOICE. Ms. Scott also has an extensive backlist well worth investigating here: http://www.amandascottauthor.com/books.htm .