Title: THE IRISH WARRIOR
Series: Norman Conquest #3
Author: Ashley York
Published: September 30, 2015
ISBN: ASIN: B01593SYQO
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Source: Contest win
Rating: 3 1/2 Wine Glasses
Outcast and alone, Thomasina MacDonell is hell bent on finding her brother, the only person who can thwart their father's latest scheme to offer her as payment for his gambling debts. Disguised as a lad, she defiantly sets off on foot to locate him—never expecting to find a handsome, Irish warrior riding her beloved horse. The warrior's offer of help and unsolicited advice on how to be manlier sparks an intimate desire to reveal her more feminine side.
Rejected by the love of his life, Sean O'Cisoghe wants simply to return home and heal his broken heart. When a young "lad" steals the horse out from under him, he discerns the spirited woman may be in way over her head against her ruthless father. Finding her brother while keeping her would-be betrothed at bay, Sean must confront the fact that Thomasina has stolen his heart. Will Norman soldiers out for his blood and shifting clan alliances cut short their growing passion?
"Have I told ye how much I admire yer lovely arse?...
This fine arse," he grasped her bottom as he spoke, "filled my dreams even before I caught ye in the woods, baring yer bottom..."
"So ye did see my naked bottom?"
He groaned, pulling her in tight against him leaving no doubt what he was feeling. "Yea. It damned near killed me and seeing ye in those trews, outlining each rounded cheek....
"I lusted after ye, Thomasina. Something fierce."
THE IRISH WARRIOR by Ashley York is an enjoyable historical romance that begins with Roana, a horse. Combine the steed with romance, danger, deceit, betrayals and the bad blood between the Normans and Saxons, and what results is a captivating, very entertaining read! This is the first book that I've ever read by this author, but I do not plan on it being the last. Even though it's the third book in the author's Norman Conquest series, it works very well as standalone if that is your preference. This is the story of Sean O'Cisoghe and Thomasina MacDonell.
I liked both the hero and the heroine. Their romance is sweet and hot. As the story opens, the hero has attended the wedding of the love of his life and now only wants to return home to wallow in the pain of his broken heart. He had paid to use a horse while there. Unbeknownst to Sean, that horse actually belonged to a young woman named Thomasina. Her father, who imbibes too much and owes many debts as a result, had sold her horse to pay one of his debts. Even worse, her father has also betrothed Thomasina to an old lecher to pay a debt. Thomasina refuses to accept this. Disguised as a young lad, Thomasina unsuccessfully tries to reclaim her horse from Sean and their adventure begins.
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from this read:
...It suddenly seemed of the utmost importance that she taste whatever he was drinking. She was not much of a drinker. Her father imbibed too often and too much. She preferred not to be like him. This seemed different somehow. The need to win this stranger’s acquiescence pushed her.
His eyes pierced hers. She felt the jolt down to her toes and she couldn’t explain it. As he moved forward to pass her the skin, his eyes never wavered. They held hers as if in a trance. His warm fingers brushed her palm. Lightning shot up her arm.
“Thank ye.” Her voice sounded breathy.
She glanced at the glistening, pink lips just visible through his heavy beard. His eyes remained on hers. She took a sip.
Sean took a few steps into the woods, allowing his eyes to adjust. The shadowed figure of the mounted animal became discernible. It whinnied and backed further into the darkness.
"Hold!" Sean said. He struggled not to let his anger be heard. "Ye've bested me. Steal the horse, but I'm for the coast. I need my things."
"Tis not stealing if it's mine."
I found this novella to be a pleasurable read. You will definitely want to read it in one sitting. I would recommend THE IRISH WARRIOR to anyone who enjoys historical romances featuring swoon-worthy heroes who voice a sexy brogue.
Suggested Reading Order:
THE SAXON BRIDE (Book #1)
THE GENTLE KNIGHT (Book #2)
THE IRISH WARRIOR (Book #3)