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The Highlander's Sword
Cover of The Highlander's Sword
The Highlander's Sword
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A quiet, flame-haired beauty with secrets of her own...She's nothing he expected and everything he really needs
Lady Aila Graham is destined for the convent, until her brother's death leaves her an heiress. Soon she is caught between hastily arranged marriage with a Highland warrior, the Abbot's insistence that she take her vows, the Scottish Laird who kidnaps her, and the traitor from within who betrays them all.

Padyn MacLaren, a battled-hardened knight, returns home to the Highlands after years of fighting the English in France. MacLaren bears the physical scars of battle, but it is the deeper wounds of betrayal that have rocked his faith. Arriving with only a band of war-weary knights, MacLaren finds his land pillaged and his clan scattered. Determined to restore his clan, he sees Aila's fortune as the answer to his problems...but maybe it's the woman herself.

The Highlander Series:
The Highlander's Sword (Book 1)
The Highlander's Heart (Book 2)
True Highland Spirit (Book 3)

Praise for Amanda Forester:
"This clever combination of wit, romance, and suspense strikes all the right notes." -Booklist, Starred Review on A Wedding in Springtime
"Plenty of intrigue keeps the reader cheering all the way." — Publishers Weekly
"Passionate and spellbinding!" — Mary Wine, acclaimed author of Highland Heat

A quiet, flame-haired beauty with secrets of her own...She's nothing he expected and everything he really needs
Lady Aila Graham is destined for the convent, until her brother's death leaves her an heiress. Soon she is caught between hastily arranged marriage with a Highland warrior, the Abbot's insistence that she take her vows, the Scottish Laird who kidnaps her, and the traitor from within who betrays them all.

Padyn MacLaren, a battled-hardened knight, returns home to the Highlands after years of fighting the English in France. MacLaren bears the physical scars of battle, but it is the deeper wounds of betrayal that have rocked his faith. Arriving with only a band of war-weary knights, MacLaren finds his land pillaged and his clan scattered. Determined to restore his clan, he sees Aila's fortune as the answer to his problems...but maybe it's the woman herself.

The Highlander Series:
The Highlander's Sword (Book 1)
The Highlander's Heart (Book 2)
True Highland Spirit (Book 3)

Praise for Amanda Forester:
"This clever combination of wit, romance, and suspense strikes all the right notes." -Booklist, Starred Review on A Wedding in Springtime
"Plenty of intrigue keeps the reader cheering all the way." — Publishers Weekly
"Passionate and spellbinding!" — Mary Wine, acclaimed author of Highland Heat

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Excerpts-
  • From the book

    Excerpt from the Prologue
    Gascony, France, 1346

    If they caught him, he would hang. Or perhaps, he mused with the detached calm born of shock, he would be eviscerated first, then hung. Best not to find out. Sir Padyn MacLaren ran through a throng of shocked ladies-in-waiting to the tower stairs before his fiancée screamed in fury. Or rather his ex-fiancée, since the lovely Countess Marguerite had just made it clear she intended to marry Gerard de Marsan. The same de Marsan who had tried to slit MacLaren's throat and now lay on the floor-dead. Soldiers from the floor below rushed up the stairs to their lady's aid. MacLaren wiped the blood from his eyes. The slash down his face was bleeding something fierce, but he gave it no mind. He needed to get past the guards, or his bloodied face would be the least of his troubles.
    "Hurry!" MacLaren said to the first man up the stairs. "Gerard de Marsan has attacked the countess.
    To her, quick! I will fetch the surgeon." The guards ran past him, and he dashed out the inner gate before the alarm sounded and soldiers poured from their barracks. MacLaren raced toward the outer gate, but the portcullis crashed down before him. Turning toward the stone staircase that led to the wall walk, he ran to a young guard who looked at him, unsure.
    "Who attacks us?" MacLaren asked the young man, who stammered in response.
    "Go ask your captain. I'll keep watch." MacLaren ran past the guard up the stairs to the battlement.
    Without stopping to think or break his stride, he ran through the battlements over the embrasure and into the air. For a moment he was suspended in time, free without the ground beneath him, then he plunged down the sheer drop to the moat below. The shock of cold water and muck robbed him of breath, and he struggled to the other side. MacLaren scrambled up the embankment and crawled into the brush, bolts flying toward him from the castle walls. Rushing through the thicket to the road, he pulled a surprised merchant from his horse and rode for cover.
    MacLaren raced from Montois castle without looking back. Along the road, a dusty figure of a knight rode toward him. MacLaren drew his sword and charged. The knight reined in and threw up his visor. It was Chaumont, his second in command.
    "Marguerite has betrayed us to the English,"
    Chaumont called. "She told me that herself," growled MacLaren, pointing to his cut face. "We need to get to camp and warn the men, or they will all be put to the sword."
    Chaumont nodded. "I got word of her betrayal shortly after you rode for Montois and commanded the men to pull back to Agen."
    "Ye've done well." MacLaren exhaled.
    "Indeed I have. Nice of you to notice."
    The thundering riders approaching cut short their conversation. They abandoned the road in favor of an overland route through dense forested terrain in which they hoped to lose the pursuing soldiers. They traveled many hours into the night, until they finally felt safe enough to stop by the shores of a small black lake.
    "You need tending, my friend," said Chaumont.
    "Have ye a needle?" MacLaren asked grimly. MacLaren stood without flinching while Chaumont stitched the gash on his face. MacLaren focused on the dark water before him, unbidden memories of the day's events washing over him. He had faced the English to protect Marguerite before they could reach her castle at Montois. The hard-fought victory had been won, but his closest kin had been lost.
    "Patrick died for nothing." MacLaren's voice shook as he struggled with the words. "What an utter fool I was, trusting that deceitful wench. I should be dead on that field, not him." MacLaren clenched his jaw, holding back emotion....

About the Author-
  • Amanda Forester holds a Ph.D. in psychology and worked for many years in academia before discovering that writing historical romance novels was decidedly more fun. Whether in the Highland hills or a Regency ballroom, Forester's novels offer fast-paced adventures filled with wit, intrigue, and romance. She lives with her supportive husband and naturally brilliant children in the Pacific Northwest.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 4, 2010
    Against the backdrop of 14th-century Scotland, the talented Forester has constructed a highly entertaining debut romantic comedy of miscommunications and misunderstandings. Highlander Sir Padyn MacLaren stopped trusting women after his French fiancée betrayed him to the English, but when he agrees to marry Lady Aila Graham and guard her clan and Dundaff Castle, he discovers that some women have true honor. Strong-willed Aila has spent her whole life preparing to be a nun, but she gives it up to protect her clan. As Aila and MacLaren humorously struggle to find a time and place to consummate their marriage, they learn to trust each other, uncover a traitor, and discover the joys of love. Though the long-awaited sex scene doesn’t justify the buildup, entertaining secondary characters and plenty of intrigue keep the reader cheering all the way.

  • Publishers Weekly "Talented Forester has constructed a highly entertaining debut romantic comedy of miscommunications and misunderstandings. "
  • Night Owl Romance "A sweet story."
  • Romance Junkies "The Highlander's Sword will keep you on the edge of your seat and unable to stop turning the page until the very end."
  • Yankee Romance Reviewers "A surprisingly radiant gem from a debut author."
  • Fresh Fiction "I completely enjoyed the clever events... well-written and interesting. "
  • The Long and Short of It "You get the romance, the tension, and a story you'll enjoy from beginning to end. "
  • The Book Lush "The budding romance between Aila and MacLaren is beyond sweet and seeing them not only get to know each other more but also themselves was fun to read."
  • Anna's Book Blog "A lighthearted page-turner. I had a hard time putting the book down. "
  • My Overstuffed Bookshelf "A great new addition to the romance genre."
  • Wendy's Minding Spot "Romance, humor and a Highland mystery all rolled into one. I'm looking forward to reading more from Amanda Forester. "
  • The Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell "A sweet book that made me wish I could visit Scotland. "
  • Romance Junkies "Forester will capture the hearts of readers, especially fans of anything Scottish, intrigue and historical romance in general."
  • The Romance Dish "The Highlander's Sword is the perfect read if you're in the mood for a little escape. Aye, the Highlands are calling."
  • Queen of Happy Endings "Refreshing... A fantastic debut for a first time author."
  • Books Like Breathing "Anyone who is looking for a good, not to graphic romance novel should really pick this up."
  • Smexy Books "The flow and ebb of The Highlander's Sword holds you enchanted till the last page."
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