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Jane Shoup
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In the summer of 1746, Sara Anne Aldridge makes a daring escape from South Carolina and the suitable marriage arrangement being forced upon her. She flees to family in the north of England and then embarks on a venture into Scotland to tour estates forfeited to the crown after the failed rebellion of ’45, but the party is set upon, and the women are abducted for ransom. Sara Anne poses a complication, but a solution is quickly arrived at. She is placed in the custody of a maddeningly handsome highlander, Adrian McGoldrick, and it becomes his responsibility to transport her to the nobleman willing to pay to acquire her. It is the journey of their lives as they go from lowlands to highlands and from being adversaries to reluctant friends to a love so deep that they will each offer the ultimate sacrifice to save the other.

April, 1746

It was a virtual ballet of death. It ought to have gone smoother, given the number of rehearsals involved—battles both won and lost, but one’s part became confusing in the furious action and the deafening noise of cannon fire.

Blood sprayed, and men screamed and dropped as Adrian McGoldrick ran flat out toward the enemy. With a two-handed grip on his broadsword, he cut into a charging man. The man sank to his knees, an incredulous look on his face; his eyes lost focus and he mouthed or perhaps said something. It was impossible to know, given the noise.

A thundering roar warned of a fresh assault and Adrian looked up to see a wall of iron moving upon them; solid rows of men on foot and on horseback, shields up, inhuman looking. It had to be a thousand or more men and Adrian was not alone in gawking at the great and terrible sight. An eerie silence—a single, momentary lull as the mind stopped processing, was followed by a flooding sense of fear and dread and an escalation of noise so deafening, he thought his head might explode. To be in that moment was to know the inevitability of defeat. Worse than defeat—slaughter. And yet, mere seconds later, terror morphed into resentment and then into defiance. Ah yes, they would all die, but they would die well—fighting the hated enemy.

The manic resurgence took the English by surprise and the Highlanders held their ground. Every man present, on both sides of the conflict, was gifted with brute strength fueled by the rush of adrenalin, but they also knew confusion and the staunch, unmistakable smell of death.

Adrian McGoldrick never saw the blade coming. It came down, slicing through the man in front of him, severing that man’s left arm from his body, and catching Adrian in the chest, just below the heart, ripping downward to his hipbone. The wounded man fell back on top of him, screaming, blood gushing from the stump, and the English soldier, unaware he’d cut two men in one fell swoop, positioned himself to drive his sword down through the armless man to finish the job. A Lochaber axe stopped him. It landed between his shoulder blades and cut through his body, exploding his heart. He arched forward and then fell atop his victims.

Wounded and under the weight of both men, Adrian slowly turned his head and stared at the blood-drenched soil, suddenly recalling the words of his grandfather. The soil is alive and we must care for it and give it what it needs. Adrian closed his eyes and found himself at home. His lodge was in the distance, as was his grandfather. The joy on the old man’s face was sweet to behold and Adrian wanted to go to him, but his feet held firm. He looked down to see that he was sinking into a thick, bubbling, red puddle.

Alive. The soil is alive. Alive because of all the blood? Adrian felt his own blood soaking his shirt. He would soon be in the ground, feeding it. Of course. Why had he never seen the cycle before? Men feed the soil, which, in turn, feed men.

He missed his grandfather. Twelve years the old man had been dead. Adrian thought of his sisters, who would be widowed now, and of their children. He would never see them again. He would never see his home again. How would they manage? He forced his eyes open. How would they manage?

He couldn’t breathe and it suddenly mattered. It mattered more than the pain. He drew his arms back, his fingers dug into the earth, and he attempted to pull free of his encumbrance. His progress was minimal, but he struggled for breath and tried again. Inch by inch, gasping for air, he pulled and scooted until he was free of the dead men. He looked around the carnage-littered field, searching for the cover of trees. It was some ways off and he would have to scoot to it a few inches at a time. The chance of actually reaching it was remote as the enemy—the victorious enemy—was circling and finishing off the wounded.

This is a very impressive novel. There is action, suspense, violence, and . . . passion. If you want a good, clean romance that is in no way watered down, this would be perfect for you. by G Killgore


HOPE . . . reminds the reader how very little say women of that time had in the course of their life. Sara Anne is likable, courageous, and brave in the face of adversity. Jane Shoup does not disappoint. Rating: 4 (Excellent)
-Jennifer Harden, The Romance Reader's Connection


"The Telling is a great story. The characters are unforgettable. I loved the hero. He made me remember what romance novels are for- giving readers the warm-fuzzies."


HOPE was one book I couldn't take my eyes from. Jane Shoup has really mastered the art of making the reader truly care about the characters. I would caution readers that there are potentially disturbing scenes of domestic abuse/violence. I look forward to reading more from Jane Shoup. Rating 4.5 -ECataromance

Fiction Books :: Romance Books :: Historical Books

ISBN: 1593746814
ISBN(13-digit): 9781593746810
Copyright: 2008
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Binding: Perfect
No. of Pages: 308
Paper Weight (lb): 13.0

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The Wooden Nickel              Jayden's New People              The Homesteader             
Alisha Paige Sherry Derr-Wille Mary Jean Kelso

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