If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Friday, May 29, 2015

Excerpt: A Match for Marcus Cynster by Stephanie Laurens / @TLCBookTours

She sighed; her luscious lips twisted in a grimace. “I’m the only one holding the clan together—if I hadn’t been there to elect as lady, the clan would have fragmented. I didn’t realize how near a thing it was, but Sean and Ferguson both eventually told me.” She halted and looked down as if studying the flagstones. After a moment, she went on, “Papa gave his life to the clan. He held it together, and I can’t, in all conscience, not make the best attempt I can to do the same.” She raised her head and met his gaze. “And given I’m a female, that means not marrying, because any man I marry will expect to replace me as head of the clan, and if such a thing occurred, the clan would almost certainly break apart.”

He held her gaze while he considered that conundrum. The challenge had just become even more challenging…What was he thinking? He honestly wasn’t sure, and with her pacing back and forth within arm’s reach, he wasn’t at all confident his normal mental prowess would return any time soon.

Niniver sensed him drawing back; she couldn’t have said how—she simply knew. And while casting about for arguments with which to sway him, she’d just had the most hideous thought. Too hideously awful to think about now; she bundled it to the back of her mind, but its mere existence only underscored her need—her escalating desperation to secure Marcus’s help. Before she lost her courage, she baldly asked, “Will you help me?”

He didn’t reply. After a second, he glanced away from her.

And her temper slipped its leash.

Sorely tried by the day’s events—poked and pricked by the confrontation in the stable yard, fueled by the realization that she couldn’t deal with the escalating situation by herself and truly had to plead for help, spiked by the sudden thought of what might occur if she didn’t secure effective help and successfully dissuade her would-be clan suitors, and now scraped raw by the understanding that all she’d pushed herself through to be standing where she was—having revealed all she had—had gained her nothing…her temper spiraled out of her reach.

Her lips set. With a furious swish of her skirts, she turned and paced away across the fireplace. The sound of her boot heels striking the flags testified to the emotions roiling inside her.


She halted. He’d sounded weary. Bored? And resigned.

Facing away from him, she filled her lungs and raised her head. He was going to refuse to help.

Her temper boiled over.

She looked up and raised her hands to the ceiling. In a voice that shook, she implored, “Can I count on no man at all?”

She whirled, intending to look scornfully back at him—

Her hand, swinging down, powered by the violence of her turn, collected a tall candlestick that had been sitting on a small shelf projecting from the mantelpiece. The candlestick went flying.

She was still turning when she heard a solid thunk. She came fully around as the heavy candlestick clattered on the stone floor.

Marcus, eyes closed, sat slumped in the chair.

“Oh, my God!” Had she killed him?

Heart thudding, she rushed to his side. His head lolled; grasping his shoulders, she tried to press them back, but his weight was too great for her to shift. Hauling aside her skirts, she crouched by the chair and tried to look into his face.

He didn’t look dead. She was fairly sure he was still breathing.

Fighting back panic, she pressed her fingers to her lips—then reached out and wriggled her fingers beneath his neckerchief, searching for a pulse…


Strong and steady, his pulse throbbed beneath her fingertips.

She exhaled and, slowly, drew her fingers free.

She remained crouched beside the chair, waiting for him to stir…but he didn’t.

Tipping her head, her gaze tracking over his face, examining his unresponsive features, she frowned.

After a moment, she straightened and rose to her feet.

She stood looking down at him for several more seconds. Eyes narrowing, lips compressing, she debated whether she dared…

She decided that she did—that she would.

Turning, she headed for the door.

Title: A Match for Marcus Cynster
Author: Stephanie Laurens
Publisher: Mira
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Genre: Historical, Romance

Duty compels her to turn her back on marriage. Fate drives him to protect her come what may. Then love takes a hand in this battle of yearning hearts, stubborn wills, and a match too powerful to deny. New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens returns to rugged Scotland with a dramatic tale of passionate desire and unwavering devotion. 

Restless and impatient, Marcus Cynster waits for Fate to come calling. He knows his destiny lies in the lands surrounding his family home, but what will his future be and with whom will he share it?

Of one fact he feels certain: his fated bride will not be Niniver Carrick. His elusive neighbor attracts him mightily, yet he feels compelled to protect her—even from himself. Fickle Fate, he’s sure, would never be so kind as to decree that Niniver should be his. The best he can do for them both is to avoid her.

Niniver has vowed to return her clan to prosperity. The epitome of fragile femininity, her delicate and ethereal exterior cloaks a stubborn will and an unflinching devotion to the people in her care. She accepts that she cannot risk marrying and losing her grip on the clan’s reins to an inevitably controlling husband. Unfortunately, many local men see her as their opportunity.

Soon, she’s forced to seek help to get rid of her unwelcome suitors. Powerful and dangerous, Marcus Cynster is perfect for the task. Suppressing her wariness over tangling with a gentleman who so excites her passions, she appeals to him for assistance with her peculiar problem.

Although at first he resists, Marcus discovers that, contrary to his expectations, his fated role is to stand by Niniver’s side and, ultimately, to claim her hand. Yet in order to convince her to be his bride, they must plunge headlong into a journey full of challenges, unforeseen dangers, passion, and yearning, until Niniver grasps the essential truth—that she is indeed a match for Marcus Cynster.

New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens originally began writing as an escape from the dry world of professional science. Her hobby quickly became a career; she has been writing historical romance novels for more than 20 years. Currently living outside Melbourne, Australia with her husband and two cats, she spends most of her days writing new stories in her signature ‘Errol Flynn meets Jane Austen” style.


  1. Thanks for the chance to win such a great prize! I love Stephanie Laurens' books!

  2. I've read all of Stephanie's books. I get so excited when I know a new one is coming out. I set aside a whole to devote to reading it and doing nothing else. Thanks for the giveaway.