Cris Reads: THE WINTER LAIRD by Nancy Scanlon


Successful matchmaker Brianagh O’Rourke believes in happily-ever-afters...just not her own. She’s convinced passion only exists in her dreams. When she reluctantly accepts a marriage proposal, Bri decides she needs a vacation―but she didn't expect it to be in 13th century Ireland.

Laird Nioclas MacWilliam just wants peace for his clan. The time for him to marry has come, and after waiting years for his ally to present their daughter, he’s agreed to marry another. But on the eve of his nuptials, a daring rescue brings his missing betrothed right into his arms.

And she does not want to be there.

Brianagh has to return to the future. Nioclas has to marry. He offers a solution for the both of them: She marries him and stays for three months, and they work together to convince his clan they are a love match. In return, he vows to safely return her home. But as the days turn to weeks, they both begin to see what a happily-ever-after could be. And when the time comes, does Brianagh return to the life she’s built, or does she remain in the past for a chance at true love?

This novel pulled me in right from the get-go with a smart, thoughtful modern heroine who dedicates her life and livelihood to finding the perfect mate for other people. She truly believes that love and passion are out there, she just doesn't see them in her future. The only time she feels that level of intense desire is every night when she is reunited with her dream lover in her sleep. Little does she realize that she is about to embark on an adventure leading her six hundred years into the past where her dream love is actually her flesh-and-bone betrothed. 

Brianagh and Nioclas are just so great together! Neither one of them ever expected love in their future but they find that person who sparks their desire and makes them feel at home. These two really heat up a room when they get together (even when surrounded by the whole clan) but I wouldn't call the love scenes erotic. You could definitely feel the passion rolling off of them but I would classify this romance as spicy but clean. Although I usually love dirty talk in my romances I didn't really miss it because I felt like the novel offered so many other layers to the romance and narrative. I was just so focused on the actual story and where it would go next. This novel just kept me guessing at parts where I thought I knew what would happen next. Nancy Scanlon really created an amazing book by using time travel and the twists and turns it can weave to add layers to the story. 

I feel like I was really able to grow to love not only Nioclas and Brianagh, but also so many of the secondary characters. They were all well developed and you really got a sense of their humor and heart. I'm so excited to see in which direction the series is going to go and how it will continue to use shifts in time to keep us on our toes. I'm just dying to find out what's going to happen to Aidan and where fate will lead him, but I'm really jonesing for the Doc-sporting Collin to find his love soon as well. 

In terms of tropes and themes that I love, this novel features a ton. There's a take-charge heroine, a strong medieval laird, time travel, dream lovers and an arranged marriage that becomes so much more. If only Brianagh had a matchmaking cat that brought her and Nioclas together my life would have been made (though that might be a bit much). 

I can't express how much I loved this novel. Honestly, if you love a good time-travel romance or a sexy Irish laird (c'mon, who doesn't?) THE WINTER LAIRD is an absolute must-read. This story will really pull you in and leave you craving more. Do yourself a favor and put Nancy Scanlon on your 'Authors to Watch' list because I have a feeling she's going to write some amazing things. 

Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions shared are my own.

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Born and raised near Boston, Massachusetts, Nancy Scanlon wrote her first romance novel at age 16, when she realized that fictional boyfriends were much easier to figure out than real ones. In the time since, she managed to earn a degree in English, obtain a graduate certificate in creative writing from the University of Cambridge, and marry the man of her dreams (but she still holds tight to her fictional boyfriends).
Currently, she resides in Puerto Rico with her husband, two children, and two dogs. When not writing, Nancy spends her time reading, reviewing and blogging about romance novels, watching too much HGTV, and taking care of her family.

1 comment

  1. Thank you for hosting THE WINTER LAIRD and for sharing your wonderful review!