Review: Unexpected Circumstances by Shay Savage

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Book 5: The Concubine



Royalty requires sacrifice.

As King Camden’s health declines, the need for an heir becomes crucial, impossible to ignore. With no other viable choice, Alexandra must stand stoically by when Hadley comes to the court of Silverhelm as Branford’s concubine. The queen’s edict of duty echoes through Alexandra’s mind as she accepts the loathsome conditions for the sake of the kingdom. The only person more devastated by the circumstances is Branford himself.

As Branford spurns Alexandra’s affections and King Edgar continues to press his post-war advantage, all seems lost to the young couple. Treachery still lies deep within the castle of Silverhelm, and the revelation of the traitor will come from the least likely of sources.

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“I am a coward,” he whispered.

“Branford…no.”  I took a step toward him.

“I am,” he said.  “I’m a coward and an idiot.  Alexandra, please…hear me out.”

I closed my eyes for a moment and nodded.

“I have hurt you,” he stated.  “It was not my intent, yet it happened anyway.

“You barely spoke to me,” I replied as I turned my head and closed my eyes tightly.

“You would not have wanted me here,” he said quietly.  “I have been…”

He stopped and sighed heavily, approached me, and dropped back to his knees.  I looked down to see him once again and reached out to touch his rough cheek.

“I wanted you here,” I said.  He shook his head.

“I am…”  Branford paused, and when my fingers brushed his face, I could feel his jaw clenched tightly.  “I am afraid.  Afraid for you.  I brought you into my world to insult King Edgar, and insult him I have, but he does not intend to take the insult out on me and my army.  He plans to take it out on you.  I have put you in terrible danger out of arrogance and lust for revenge.”

He grasped his thighs as he looked up into my eyes.

“I never should have brought you here,” he whispered vehemently.  “You are in peril, and it is my fault!  I am to blame!  How can you look at me, knowing I did this to you?  Now that you know what he will do if I do not have an heir soon or if I refuse Whitney next month—he will not just…just kill you.”

He stopped speaking abruptly, and I could sense the pounding of his heart in his chest and see the panic in his eyes.

“I did not want you to hear him speak such things,” he said.

“He has said worse,” I said, presuming.

“He has.”  I saw and felt his anger blaze in his eyes.  “I will not allow you to be touched, my wife.  I would…I would sacrifice my kingdom before I would allow that to happen.”

“Branford, you cannot—”

“I can!”  His eyes blazed.  “I would sacrifice all of them before I would let him touch you!”

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shay savage
Shay Savage lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her family and a variety of household pets. She is an accomplished public speaker, and holds the rank of Distinguished Toastmaster from Toastmasters International. When not writing, she enjoys science fiction movies, masquerading as a zombie, is a HUGE Star Wars fan, and member of the 501st Legion of Stormtroopers. When the geek fun runs out, she also loves soccer in any and all forms – especially the Columbus Crew, Arsenal and Bayern Munich. Savage holds a degree in psychology, and she brings a lot of that knowledge into the characters within her stories.

Stalk Shay Here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


As always a thanks first to Shay Savage and Lit Slave for providing us with a copy of this book so that we could bring you this review.

Ok so this book made me cry from pretty much the first page until the last. Though I was lucky enough to read this once before and knew it would be a hard set of chapters to read, I didn’t quite prepare myself for the heartache. My heart broke over and over for Alexandra and what she has to endure, but not only that it also shows her strength. She at no point throughout this ordeal did she waver in her love for her husband and the sacrifice that she needed to make to keep him close. Though that didn’t mean I didn’t want to go into the book and throttle Branford. Even if I do understand that he was dealing with so much guilt and that is why he acts the way he does it doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard to see his actions hurt Alexandra so much. I can’t wait for the next book and find out what is going to happen next.

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