Ashley York

Review – Daughter Of The King (The Derbfine Series #3) by Ashley York

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A mistaken identity. A gruesome murder. Was it self-defense? Or Regicide?

Trained as a warrior, Brighit of Clan Cruadhlaoch despises the trappings and demands of womanhood…

Selfish dreams need to be set aside for the good of the clan, but a shocking murder only causes more turmoil. Especially as she stands accused. With no one else to turn to, can Brighit find escape in the arms of her new husband or will he require she reveal her inner most secrets?

Darragh of Clan MacNaughton is expected to follow his father into kingship but has little desire for the coveted title…

His willful wife is another matter. He has great desire for her. Despite her denial, he sees her womanly virtues and it sets him afire to know her, both body and soul. Will she resist his overwhelming need to possess all of her?

Firstly, I have to say this is why I love to read Medieval Romances, this is simply marvellous! York has a gift – I can grant you that – a gift for bringing to the world timeless, exhilarating and hugely romantic stories that bring to life a time where men were real men is the third book in The Derbfine Series, and it’s a scorcher. There is an arranged marriage with an very reluctant wife – who wants to be one of the boys – a murder mystery and blackmail all tied up with a very romantic bow.

A marriage between Brighit of Clan Cruadhlaoch and Darragh of Clan MacNaughton would unite their two clans, bring peace and secure peace with the other clans too, Darragh knows that marrying fiery tom-boy Brighit is going to be an interesting affair but he knows his duty and he knows just how important this truce is going to be for their kin but more than that he is inexplicably drawn to the little fiery temptress. Only thing is that this particular temptress has other ideas of what she wants – and it’s not him!

…When he finally broke the intoxicating kiss, he was breathing hard. “Oh Brighit. Never believe I would compare ye to another . Ye will not be found lacking because I will teach ye the only things ye need to know.”“Ye will teach me ?”

Brighit was raised by her father; Sean, the King of Clan Cruadhloach as a warrior, she has always had the opportunity to do exactly what she wished, her father pandered to her every whim that is until she reached maturity and she began to be treated with kiddie gloves because she was a woman. Being the daughter of the King, she knows that one day she would have to what is required of her, that day comes far to early for her liking with animosity rife amongst the clans the best way to bring peace is for two of the most powerful clans to unite which means that she now has to marry the very man she loathes.

Brighit decides that if she is to be chained to that man for the rest of her life she wants her last chance of freedom, she persuades her uncle to take her along on one of his legendary raiding parties. Only for what should have been an easy – and in Brighit’s mind, fun – mission turns sour and dangerous when they are unexpectedly set on and thing’s turn very nasty indeed, when someone of import is killed – leading to event’s that changes everything for all parties.

When I first met Brighit I thought she was extremely spoilt, she has had everything she has ever wanted and when someone says no to her she gets mardy and starts doing what a lot of toddlers do and has a tantrum. But the more I got to know her I saw her in a different light, I think she is a bit of a lost, confused little girl who is wanting everyone’s approval – but especially her father’s. Yes, she is very impulsive she runs in to things with eyes shut and without thinking, which always gets her into trouble it’s not until her life is actually at risk that she starts to realise that she has been going about things all wrong.

The relationship – or lack of it –between Brighit and Darragh is very one sided, Darragh does love her he wants to do the best for her and he genuinely wants to be a good husband. He knows he will never be King in his own right, and that does pray on his mind especially she Brighit comes from that world. I think under that roguish warrior’s pride there is a sensitive and very real man who just want to settle down.

…..Breaking the kiss, she seemed to purr in his ear. “I have wanted ye something fierce…..”

I do like Darragh, he isn’t what I would have thought of a warrior he is a lot calmer and serene than most men in his role, he is wants to live a very simple life – get married, have children and maybe have his own farmstead but obviously his position as a ri’s son makes that dream difficult for him and he definitely never thought he would want all that with Brighit.

They haven’t even been married twenty-four hours before thing’s take a deadly turn, when Brighit is embroiled in a blackmail attempt because of what happened, dare she finally put aside her distaste for her husband and tell him everything? In the meantime, while she is making herself sick with worry, Darragh is slowly becoming more and more frustrated by his wife’s lack of civility towards him. It is only due them getting stuck in a storm while she is ill, that he finally learns her feeling towards him. They are an odd couple at first but soon her feelings for him grows into something other than hate, and into something earthier, more natural and it is then that the story becomes a lot hotter – sizzling hot! 😉

“A moment,” Darragh kept hold of her hand, though he moved it to his heart, when she would have stood. “Ye cannot know what ye mean to me.” Her breath caught…

I will admit that at first, I wasn’t taken with Brighit, she came across as a pampered, spoilt princess, she was a slow burner for me and I did at first think that luscious, lovely Darragh deserved better, but I was proven wrong. Thanks to York’s remarkable writing my view on Brighit was replaced by awe for this incredibly brave woman. This has everything I have come to expect from Ms York, a stonking great story that grasp’s your imagination and takes you on a thrilling journey in another time with her usual flawless and signature passion for the era, her excellent knowledge and gift for drawing the reader in to a story that has depth, intrigue and above all York’s distinctive and impressive romance throughout.

I do love this series, and this one is wonderful.

  

Daughter of The King is to be released 17th March and can be pre-ordered now on Amazon.

This was an ARC copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.

Exclusive Cover Reveal – Daughter of the King (Derbfine Series #3) by Ashley York

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I have the great pleasure of hosting an exclusive cover reveal of Ashley York’s up and coming release; Daughter of the King which is book three in the Derbfine Series.

A mistaken identity. A gruesome murder. Was it self-defense? Or Regicide?

Trained as a warrior, Brighit of Clan Cruadhlaoch despises the trappings and demands of womanhood…

Selfish dreams need to be set aside for the good of the clan, but a shocking murder only causes more turmoil. Especially as she stands accused. With no one else to turn to, can Brighit find escape in the arms of her new husband or will he require she reveal her inner most secrets?

Darragh of Clan MacNaughton is expected to follow his father into kingship but has little desire for the coveted title…

His willful wife is another matter. He has great desire for her. Despite her denial, he sees her womanly virtues and it sets him afire to know her, both body and soul. Will she resist his overwhelming need to possess all of her?

Daughter of the King is to be released 17th March 2018, and is available for pre-order at Amazon.com / Amazon UK

For more details of this series Amazon / Website

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Award-winning author Ashley York writes historical romance full of passion and intrigue set in 11th and 12th century Ireland, Scotland, and England where life was wild and survival was never guaranteed.

Whether it’s in the mysterious ring forts of Ireland, the Scottish Highlands, or the battle fields of Hastings, her characters fight hard and play hard. Good or evil, primary or secondary, they’ll yank at your emotions and make it hard to put her books down.

Passionate about history and research, York may tweak some historical facts (like the location of the Baron’s Rebellion) but the flavor of the time is undeniable. With heroes and heroines you’ll want to read about again and again, her stories are fresh and unpredictable but still finish with a satisfying HEA.
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon

Release Day Blitz, Eyes Of The Seer; The Derbfine Series book 2 By Ashley York

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Welcome to the Release Day Blitz of Eye of The Seer, The second book in the new Derbfine Series by Ashley York is released today, so I have a special release day post. We have a bit out Eye of the Seer, a bit about Ashley and my review of book one Curse of the Healer. 

In ancient Éire, men and women take to the legends for answers. Different-colored eyes are the mark of a Seer, it is said, and those who can see the future are in league with the devil. They cannot be suffered to live.

He wishes to prove himself…
Marcán of Clonascra bears the bloodline of Brian Boru, the legendary high king, and his prowess as a warrior has earned him great respect. But he was born with different-colored eyes, and there are some who would have him suffer a Seer’s fate. His fiercest adversary is Beibhinn, mother to Diarmuid, his close friend and king, and Astrid, the woman who holds his heart. If Astrid ever showed him any interest, he would fight Beibhinn and any army to wed her.

She is desperate to escape…

Astrid is sick of her mother’s belittling, but her brother is in no hurry see her married, so she decides to see to her own match-making. The man she approaches quickly reveals his lack of honor, but her overbearing mother pushes her to wed him anyway. When Astrid discovers Marcán’s love for her, she realizes that what she wants has been in front of her all along. True happiness awaits them, but only if they can put a stop to her mother’s plans.

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Curse of the Healer by Ashley York Descendants of the High King series (Derbfine Series) Book one.

After the death of Brian Boru in 1014, a legend arose of a healer so great she could raise a man from the dead, with a power so strong it could make any warrior the next high king of Éire…and to steal it away from her, he need only possess her.

Fated to be a healer…

Aednat has spent her entire life training to be the great healer, knowing she must remain alone. When she meets Diarmuid, the intense attraction she feels toward him shakes her resolve to believe in such a legend. If she gives in to the passion he ignites in her, can she settle for being less?

Destined to be his…

Diarmuid of Clonascra is renowned for his bravery in battle. Only one thing daunt’s him: the prospect of taking a wife. The safest course would be to keep his distance from Aednat, the bold, headstrong healer who’s far too tempting for his peace of mind. But his overking orders him to protect her from a group of craven warriors intent on kidnapping her to steal her power.

What starts as duty for Diarmuid quickly transforms into something more. Aednat’s power might be at risk, but so is his closed-off heart.

My View

This is first book I have read by Ashley York and I can absolutely say it will not be the last, what an absolutely wonderful way to be introduced to York’s writing. This is such a thrilling and intelligent tale that entwine’s myths and legends so effortlessly with an original love story.

In 1014 came a legend that stated a healer who had the greatest power a man would know, a healer who could raise the dead and make warriors into kings and if any man wanted her power and be the most powerful King of Eire all they had to do possess her and take her virtue.

Aednat is a healer in the making who as a child she was booted out of her clan by the then Chief – her grandfather none the less – for having a disability, a club foot and she was sentenced to a living as an outcast in the woods with the other people who had some sort of disability. Once her grandfather had passed away and her cousin became the new chief she was allowed back into her clan under the protection of her cousin Sean. Sean never did like the way Aednat was treated by her grandfather and the clan but at the time he couldn’t say anything to help her as he would have been severely punished for it. So when he becomes Chief he personally goes and collects his cousin, who becomes the jewel of his family. Sean knows just how special she is and just how much danger she could be in.

So he does what any protective head of the family does, he sends word for her protector.

Diarmuid is chief of Clonascra, another Clan and also a well renowned and powerful warrior in his own right. He s good friends with Sean and when he gets an urgent message from his friend to come quickly as he had a special mission for him, Diarmuid goes to his friend’s aid.

But what is it exactly Sean that wants of Diarmuid?

Sean is gathering all of the chiefs of the mighty clans in the area and asking them all to come together and to try to protect their people from invaders not just from foreigners but from danger much closer to home. Obviously Diarmuid believes that this is why he has been summoned, to help his friend with this alliance. But Sean has other ideas especially where Aednat is concerned.

Sean knows that because of her being a well-known and skilful healer in the making she is in very serious danger. Once the rebels and rival clans fin out about her, they will want her. She could be taken, abused and killed for her healing power and so Sean asks the only person in the world who he trusts to guard her – his best friend Diarmuid.

When the village is attacked by rebels Aednat is shocked to find out that they wanted her, and because of a legend that the rebels believe about possessing her and getting her healing powers they will stop at nothing to get her. There is only one way that she will have a chance of her being safe and only one person who can protect her; Diarmuid!

“Ye need to take her in hand.”Sean scoffed. “No one takes Aednat in hand. She’s a will of her own, and no man will bend her to his.”

Aednat is a great young woman she has ideas and opinions that for the time would have come across as witchery and evil, but in actual fact she is just a free thinking, opinionated woman who knows what she wants out of life. She knows she doesn’t want marriage, she hates the idea of becoming a mans object for the rest of her life. She is so much happier living on her own, but she’s not naive to think that is actually going to be able to happen.

After growing up in the dangerous outer skirts of the village, she knows how perilous life can be for her, not just the fact that she is just a woman, but she is a talented healer with a disability. Even with her powerful cousins protection she is still looked upon with scorn and fear, that is until she meets Diarmuid who looks on her with something that unsettles her.

Diamuid is a monosyllabic, brusque warrior and he is a hugely proud and honourable man who hates injustices. He is a good warrior and takes his duties very seriously, so when he finds out that Aednat is in danger he is the first to come to her rescue. As much as he would deny it he is a really good man and highly protective to this he cares about.

As soon as he knows the full details of how much danger she is in he knows full well that the safest place for her is by his side, yes he might growl and moan but deep down he has a heart of pure gold and from the moment he saw Aednat he was drawn to her and there is no way in hell that anyone is going to touch her, she is his and has been since the day he set eyes on her. He will protect her with his last breath.

“I will not let them have ye. Rest assured. Ye’ve been entrusted to me, and I care for what is mine.”

Diarmuid reminds me of a wild wolf, leader of his little wolf pack. He is wild, viscous when he needs to be, caring and loving a natural-born leader but he is also so very normal. I especially love how he makes fun of himself when not on guard he has a lovely wit, and when he wants to be he can be really charming, especially when he doing what we all do and have a moan about his family. Joking with Sean about his demanding mother and free-spirited sister Astrid.

When they first meet she thinks he is nothing but an angry, arrogant and egotistical brute. Who because he is this feared this feared warrior he can do and say what ever he likes, he thinks of her as a spoilt little brat who needs her arse slapped. That first meeting between them is highly amusing, they don’t hide how they really hate each, when they are bickering they feed of each others emotions that makes their arguments really get going and it even gets to stage where she gives him a well deserved slap.

They are both such opinionated and passionate people who obviously when together there is fireworks in one way or another, yet beneath the bad-tempered words they both have genuine feeling for each other, but can both of them get past the fact that they have been forced to endure each others company and see that they are both good, kind-hearted and sensual individuals who needs love in their own way?

“I wanted ye to be happy with a woman, Diarmuid. Someone to warm yer bed when ye’ve returned from battle. Is that so bad? I thought she could be the one.” Clearly Sean had a great blind spot where Aednat was concerned. A wife like her would never give him peace.

This is really very interesting I love the mixture of love story and legend, which intricately entwine’s throughout the story. It is a smart and mesmerizing tale and you become completely submerged in the era.

I genuinely really love this it is an intelligent and enjoyable read, York has created a beautifully written atmospheric, mysterious love story. I cant wait to read more of this series, especially Diarmuids right hand man Marcan, who is a seductive Rogue who could charm the birds from the trees with his gorgeous of Eyes and cute as a button wit.

I cannot recommend this enough, this can be enjoyed by any Historical Romance reader, it has everything Medieval Romance, Myth’s and Legend’s and a game of cat and mouse.

Fabulous!

Curse of the Healer is out now and can be found at Amazon.

This was a complimentary copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Meet Ashley

“Two things you should know about me right up front. I’m a hard-core romantic! And I love history!

I believe true love does exist and once found, can transform your life from a solitary journey into a passionate adventure. Easier said than done sometimes but writing about the infinite number of possibilities, working out the exact when and where, and developing the character’s personal journey to get there, thrills me to no end.

I love history with larger than life heroes, chivalrous knights, lords and ladies, castles, manors, battles and conquests. These are the foundations for passionate, historical romance novels. That’s what I write.  There is nothing like the intense emotions sparked between a driven, hard-working medieval warrior and a feisty damsel in  a quandary, often not of her own making.

It only makes sense that I use my MA in History and all those research techniques to create romantic characters from the past. Although I’m writing fiction, I like to incorporate authentic places, events, and people, embellishing the past. I use real history but with an artistic flare.  I love research, especially from primary documents, and could get lost in them! You’ll discover a world of fiction wrapped around historical people and events in my stories. Some events you may recognize, some you may recognize but a little different than you remember, and some are just from my imagination.

I’m fascinated by the High Middle Ages in Scotland, England, and Ireland. There are so many world-changing events taking place here from their participation in the Crusades to the Battle of Hastings that permanently connected the islands to the continent. Before the Declaration of Arbroath, before William Wallace, before the Doomsday Book, the area was ripe for great events and they never failed to deliver. It is on this combustible backdrop that I create characters with the same desires and motivations as we have today.

When I’m not writing, I enjoy cooking. It’s relaxing and I always like to find something new and easy. On Fridays I occasionally share simple recipes with Foody Friday. Sometimes entrees. Sometimes desserts. Sometimes snacks. Always delicious.”

If you want to find out more about Ashley’s work check out her Website and connect with her on Twitter : @AshleyYork1066 and Facebook