Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Laiden’s Daughter by Suzan Tisdale

Published & Release Date: Self-published, 2013

Time and setting: 1344 Scotland  

Genre: Historical Medieval Romance

Length: 255 pages

Heat Level: 1 Scorching Hot Flame

Rating: 4 Gold Crowns

Scotland, 1344 
She believes men are not honorable nor are they kind-until she meets one that changes her heart forever. 
Betrayed by lies told before her birth, Aishlinn is raised by a harsh and cruel stepfather. Her life is forever changed one horrifying night when she is forced to flee England for the safety of the Scottish Highlands. Rescued by a fierce band of highland warriors, Aishlinn soon learns that honorable men do exist. She finds a strength she never knew she possessed and it will be tested to the limits when she is forced to make a heart-wrenching decision…allow the English to kill those she loves, or surrender for the crime she committed. 

She is everything he never knew he wanted in a woman…. 

As a fierce highland warrior, Duncan McEwan has survived numerous battles, bed countless women, and survived a horrific storm at sea. He has scaled mountains and even survived hand-to-claw battle with a cat-o’mountain. But none of that could have prepared him for how his life forever changed one fateful spring day when he rescued a lass from a freezing stream. He will do anything to keep her as his own and will risk everything to keep her out of the hands of the English.

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Vikki’s Musings

This is the first book I have read by Suzan Tisdale, but it will not be the last. I downloaded Laiden’s Daughter on a recommendation from Goodreads and since I could purchase the audio book for a very modest price, I took advantage of that offer as well. I am so glad I took a chance on this book. The prologue is interesting, but the first scene in the book grabbed me and I could not stop reading/listening.

Aishlinn finds herself a victim of an evil earl. After manages to escape him with the help of one of the man’s guards, she begins her journey to Scotland. After traveling several days with a bruised face and broken ribs, she can no longer continue. She come upon a band of fierce looking men and gathers enough strength to urge her horse into a gallop, but her mount stumbles, sending her flying from the animal’s back and darkness descends.

Duncan McEwan and his men are trying to locate a band of reivers who have stolen some of their sheep. When he sees the young lass thrown from the back of her horse into a stream, he hurries to her and picks up her limp body and carries her to the clearing nearby. The young woman is in a bad way. Her eyes are swollen shut from a battering that could have only come from a man’s fists. How could any man treat someone so small and defenseless in such a cruel manner?

This begins the love story between the highlander and the lass. I found Laiden’s Daughter an emotionally-charged read and loved Duncan immediately. After all who doesn’t love a highlander with a gentle heart? Duncan is a hero that will grab you and not let go. While of course, he is handsome and brawny, his tender care of Aishlinn is what makes him so special. He is a fantastic character with more depth than I would have expected to find in a debut novel.

Even though the plot is a bit predictable, it has plenty of twists along the way, which made it a gripping story. This is a fast-paced read that kept me enthralled to the end. There is plenty of action and that also kept the story moving along well. I also enjoyed the romance between Duncan and Aishlinn tremendously and was rooting for them to find their ‘happily ever after.’

I have never listened to this narrator before, but she is fabulous. Erin Jones brings all the characters to life. She adapts her tone and pitch to the different characters giving them each a distinct voice. The accent of the highlanders is incredible and, I believe her narration increased my reading/listening pleasure a great deal. I will definitely be looking for other books narrated by Ms. Jones.

Now for the reason I could not give Laiden’s Daughter 5 Gold crown. Ms. Tisdale is a wonderful storyteller. Her writing is descriptive and vividly brings the scenes to life. However, she does many of the things that can confuse a reader, such as head hopping. At times, Aishlinn’s character is inconsistent as well, but I liked her so well that I overlooked that. Unfortunately, the book needs a good editor. There are quite a few grammatical mistakes, missing words, commas in the wrong place, etc. 

Even with these issues, I thoroughly enjoyed this compelling love story and loved the ending. I plan to read the rest of the books in this series. As long as you can deal with a few problems with the writing, I believe you will enjoy this book as much I did. Happy reading!

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