July 25, 2017
ISBN 10: 978-0062019615
No one blends humor and sensuality like New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands in this captivating story of feuding nobles forced to marry…and destined to fall in love
Love thy neighbor, ’tis said. A fine idea, except when the neighbor in question is Lord Holden. Lady Helen Tiernay has complained frequently about his treatment of his people. Too frequently perhaps, for the king intends to curb their constant bickering by ordering them to wed. Helen can’t refuse a royal decree, but she’ll do everything possible to drive away her devilishly attractive husband-to-be.
Holden has faced all manner of horrors on the battlefield. But marriage to “the tyrant of Tiernay” is still a worrying prospect—until he glimpses Helen in the flesh. What flesh it is…soft, lush, made for his touch. If she weren’t so intent on thinking up devious ways to prevent consummating their bond, Helen would see how perfect they are together, and that a marriage begun as enemies can turn to absolute pleasure.
I was feeling kind of cranky here and looking for an excuse to do mean and
abusive things to a hero, LOL. I found it, and oh what fun I had. It was very
good therapy. Really! Then, of course -- to be fair -- I had to let him get his
own back a time or two. But, oh well, I do like to be fair. Such is life.
Average 4 star rating on Goodreads.
BLISS is a reissue of a 2001 book, and if I'm not usually crazy about the idea, it seems in Lynsay Sands' case, it's been a winning tactic, because this is an excellent book, and in my case, I had missed it the first time around. BLISS, in spite of Helen's and Hethe's initial shock, starts out all nice and lovely, and that's when Lynsay Sand's genius strikes full force! Ms. Sand's incomparable sense of humour is at its apex, and by the end of chapter 2, when Helen and Hethe first meet, I was laughing so hard it made reading difficult! I was really laughing out loud, and that was not the only time. Their hijinks were not at all what I anticipated, they were not mindlessly silly shenanigans, but extremely creative, ingenious, and so very, very funny! Only Lynsay Sands could write so beautifully something so hilarious! There are even funny sex scenes, which are also tender and sweet. Reviewed by Monique from FreshFiction.com.
This is an interesting and fun story! There was villainy, murder attempts, some judicious tincture usage, fabulous arguments and revelations that bring out the good in some and the true nastiness in others. The twist at the end caught me unaware and I enjoyed that. Ms. Sands has created wonderful characters that I hope to see more of. Helen’s supporting cast of characters were a treat bringing more humor, some outrageous ideas and explanations, and helped to bring out the tenderness in Hethe. Helen provides the balm to soothe the wounds of Hethe’s past and he helps her to feel cherished and wanted. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and look forward to more from Ms. Sands. Given 4 stars by Lisa at BuriedUnderRomance.
This book was so much fun to read. It combines laugh out loud scenes, a strong heroine and a hero that will make you swoon. I’ve been leery of Lynsay Sands ever since I read one of her paranormal books and wasn’t impressed but she has really won me over with her historical books. So far I’ve enjoyed every one of her historicals I have read.The story itself was clever and I enjoyed the determination and strategizing Lady Helen did to try and avoid marriage to Lethe. It was so much fun to watch and then when Lethe started to get in on the scheming well watch out! Lynsay Sands is now on my must read author for historcal romance! Reviewed by Debbie from DebbiesWorldOfBooks.
Bliss was a hilarious enemies to lovers historical romance with a forced marriage, prank wars, and a bit of mystery to top it all off nicely. Well, in addition to the heat between our hero and heroine, as you would expect from a book written by Lynsay Sands. The characters and the spot of mystery was what held my attention in this story. Usually it’s the romance, and that was definitely fun and passionate, but the cast Sands created here amused me and had me intrigued to no end. Looking for some lighthearted medieval fun? This reissue of Bliss, originally published in 2001, is sure to fit the bill and will likely leave readers laughing and sighing dreamily with its lovely HEA. Reviewed by Sara at HarlequinJunkies.
"Damn!" King Henry crumpled the scroll he had been reading into a
ball and threw it to the floor with disgust. He spent a moment muttering about
the soft hearts and interfering ways of women, then sighed with resignation and
held his hand out to Templetun. "You may as well give me Lord Holden's message,
The older man's eyebrows flew up in amazement at the request, a touch of fear
mingling with suspicion in his eyes. "How did you know-?"
"It is not conjuring or anything, Templetun. It is simply experience.
I never receive a complaint from Lady Tiernay, that I do not receive one from
Lord Holden as well. Besides, I saw his man ride in earlier and knew he would
have a message from his Lord Holden. Hethe has been taking care of some uprisings
in Normandy . They were minor skirmishes, really. He has probably taken care of
them by now and written to tell me so.”
"Ah." Relaxing, the older fellow handed over the document in question.
Henry opened the scroll a bit irritably, displeased at having to explain himself.
Templetun had only worked in the capacity of his chaplain for the past couple
of days- his usual chaplain was ill- but already Henry was wishing for the latter’s
speedy recovery. His replacement was entirely too nervous, superstitious, and
seemed far too eager to lend credence to Henry’s reputation of being the
“Spawn of the Devil”. Shaking his head, Henry focused his attention
on the parchment he now held. A moment later, it was a crumpled mass on the floor
not far from the first, and Henry had leapt up to pace before his throne.
As he had expected, Lord Holden had cleaned up the little revolts in Normandy
and was on his way home. But he had also added a complaint or two about his neighbour.
It seemed his chatelain was harassed mightily by the Tyrant of Tiernay and was
beleaguering Hethe with letters regarding the woman and, in his turn, the Hammer
of Holden had respectfully requested that his King do something about the woman...or
It had sounded very much like a threat. Henry wasn’t pleased to be threatened
by one of his vassels. In fact, if Hethe weren’t such a valued warrior and
had not aided him so often these last ten years, he would have seen him punished
for it. But, unlike his father before him, Hethe had been helpful.
Henry grimaced at the thought of Hethe’s father. Born the second son,
Gerhard Holden had expected to be allowed to join a monastery and live out his
life amongst the musty old papal teachings he loved. He had not been terribly
happy when his elder brother had died, forcing him to abandon those plans in favor
of marriage and producing an heir. He had taken out that displeasure on his son.
The man had been a touch mad in Henry’s opinion. Fortunately, his son did
not show the same predilection. Unfortunately - for Hethe at least - he had not
shown the same love of learning either and his father had hated him for it. That
hatred had driven the boy from his home and straight into Henry’s service
as soon as he had earned his spurs.
Ah well, Gerhard’s loss had been his gain, Henry decided and turned his
mind back to his present problem. "What the Devil am I to do with those two?"
"I am not sure, my liege. What appears to be the problem exactly?"
Templetun asked tentatively. "I do realize they are both complaining -and
from your reaction, I would say quite frequently- but about what, exactly?"
Henry turned to scowl down at him, opening his mouth to explain rather acerbically
that his question had been rhetorical, when he changed his mind. Instead, he said,
"Each other. Lady Tiernay writes to 'warn me' of her neighbor's cruel and
abusive behavior to his serfs and villeins because she ‘knows I would not
wish to see any of my subjects so sorely mistreated’."
"Ah." Templetun said again, biting back a smile at his king’s
sarcastic imitation of a woman's high-pitched voice. "And Lord Holden?"
Henry gave a short laugh. "He writes to say that Lady Tiernay is a nosy,
harping busybody who makes his life hell."
"Hmmm." The new chaplain was silent for a moment, then murmured,
"Did not Lord Holden's wife die several years back?"
"Aye. Ten years ago. In child birth. Hether has been my best warrior since
then. Always ready to fight, always away on campaign for me."
"And did Lady Tiernay's husband not die four or five years ago as well?"
"What?" Henry scowled briefly, then his expression cleared. "Oh,
nay. That was her father. Lady Tiernay is not married and has not been. Her father
neglected to see to that ere his passing."
"She is of marriageable age, then?"
"Oh, aye. She is beyond old enough to marry, I should think. Why she must
be- " Henry paused, doing the math in his head. "I think she may be
twenty or thereabouts." Groaning, he walked over and wearily rested his hand
on his throne. "And there is another problem. I shall have to marry her off
soon. How the Devil am I expected to find a husband for a harping wench like her?"
Again, he began to pace.
"Perhaps you already have one, my liege," Templetun offered with
some trepidation. When the King turned on him sharply, he shrugged. "Mayhap
the solution would be to have Lord Holden marry her. It would solve both problems
at once. She will be married, and they will be forced to work out their difficulties
"They will kill each other within the week!" Henry predicted with
"Mayhap.” Templetun paused innocently. “But still- both problems
would then be solved, would they not?"
Henry considered him with frank admiration. "Damn, Templetun," he
finally breathed. "You have an evil mind." He rushed back to his throne
and threw himself excitedly upon it. "You shall write two messages in my
name...and take them forth yourself!" Then he turned to the chaplain with
a dangerous look in his eye. “And Templetun,” he added. “Do
not fail me.”
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