Published by Altiora Press on February 28th 2017
Northumbria, England 1271
A thief turned reluctant protector… A countess who resents but can’t resist his presence…
Sir Geoffrey has dedicated his life to exacting revenge against those who stole his birthright. Forced to become a reiver, he steals to survive along the Anglo-Scottish border. When his uncle requests his help, Geoffrey reluctantly agrees to protect a wealthy countess. He resents the distraction until the woman he’s sworn to protect forces him to choose between vengeance...and love.
Lady Sara Caiser is appalled by her father’s deathbed request for a lawless border reiver to serve as her protector. With her betrothed coming to claim her hand in marriage and a distant cousin intent on usurping her earldom, Lady Sara has no time for a man who takes advantage of the dangerous border for his own gain. Despite her misgivings, an undeniable attraction pulls her into Geoffrey’s arms. Even as the threats against her continue to mount, Sara must decide between her people and the reiver.
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
The Thief’s Countess is the first book in The Border Series by Cecelia Mecca. It is also her first full length novel, and one I thoroughly enjoyed.
Lady Sara Caiser has recently lost her father, and knowing that he was dying, he persuaded Sara to agree to marry a nobleman, a pure marriage of convenience, she hadn’t even met the man. By marrying him her home would be safe from a distant relative who would upon her father’s death try to lay claim to it and all the other properties her father owns and which would rightfully go to Sara on his death. On his death bed he tells Sara that he has sent for two reivers who he trusts to come to the castle in order to keep her and it safe until she could be safely married. Her future husband is at least 2 weeks travel away from there.
Sir Geoffrey is one of the reivers. He is a misplaced Baron, his home being captured from him by the Scottish. His Uncle Hugh is the other reiver. Their goal in life is to capture back their home, and perhaps gain the title of Lord back for Geoffrey too. In the mean time they must do what they can to survive, and to keep Geoffrey’s siblings fed and looked after. In order to that they have become reivers. Not the most popular of people, it’s no wonder that Sara, who knows nothing of their past, isn’t pleased to have men like that in her castle. How could two thieves have the ability to keep her safer than her own men?
From the start, despite them not thinking much of each other, Geoffrey thinking that Sara was a spoiled, pampered woman, and her thinking that he was just a good for nothing thief, there was a huge attraction between them. An attraction that continues to grow and which both have to fight. Sara is betrothed and must be a virgin on her wedding night, and Geoffrey believes he isn’t good enough for her, not to mention the fact that he must put all his energies into getting his castle back and having revenge on the men that took it. He hasn’t got anything to offer a woman, especially a noble one.
Will they be able to fight their attraction to each other, and will Geoffrey and his uncle manage to keep her and her home safe from her relative, who is marching with soldiers in order to fight to take the castle as his own. If the castle is kept safe, Geoffrey knows that it’s only until Sara’s betrothed arrives and then he and Hugh (his uncle) must take their leave. Something he has to keep in mind the harder it gets to keep away from her.
This was a wonderful story of lust/love between two people who are very much opposites, at least they believe that to begin with. It’s one filled with the excitement of battle, amongst which there is treachery and deceit. It’s one that had me wondering how on earth it could end happily without any recriminations, and with everybody happy, not just Sara and Geoffrey. I couldn’t read the book fast enough to find out how things worked out.
I must admit that the end wasn’t what I expected, but I could see why it happened the way it did, and I can’t fault the author’s planning. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series, which is already released, so I will be starting on it asap.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers’ copy of this book.