{Review} The Handmaid by Shay Savage


FicCentral received a free copy of this book from *the author*.
{Review} The Handmaid by Shay SavageThe Handmaid by Shay Savage
Series: Unexpected Circumstances
Cover Art: Mayhem Cover Creations
Publisher: Shay Savage LLC (Self-Published) on May 31, 2016
Genre(s): Historical Romance (Adult)
Pages: 128

Our Rating

5 Stars

In a bold political move, Sir Branford claims a handmaid as his bride instead of the expected princess in an attempt to spark a war. Poor Alexandra knows little of how to behave as the wife of a future king and knows nothing of the man who is suddenly her husband.

Alexandra knows she is being used as a pawn and must do her best to avoid scheming noblewomen and the scorned princess, accept her position as her husband ascends to the throne, and overcome her fears of the man with whom she now shares a bed.

Sir Branford is determined to have it all – the kingdom, a wife of his choosing, and the revenge he seeks for the death of his father. He doesn’t expect the naïve handmaid to become more important than he ever could have foreseen.

This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.

The Handmaid by Shay Savage


The Verdict:  Alexandra has led a simple and somewhat sheltered life.  Orphaned as a very young child, she was raised as the servant companion to Princess Whitney, and her years haven’t been particularly enjoyable, she’s been comfortable with her lot in life.  But all that changes when a neighboring prince chooses her to be his bride.

The Handmaid starts off with the kind of entertaining and dramatic flair that Shay Savage seems to have mastered.  One moment, Alexandra is sitting in the audience at a jousting tournament, doing some sewing and trying to ignore the violence of the sport, and the next moment, she’s being carried away by Sir Branford, a stranger who’s just claimed her for his bride.  A few seconds and a strange twist of fate were all it took to remove her from the only life and home she’d ever known and place her in a strange kingdom, beside a strange man, and in a role she never imagined.

Alexandra’s introduction to her new husband seems to go well enough.  He’s at least considerate enough to ask her to marry him before he hauls her in front of the priest.  But it’s not much of a choice, given that his selecting her has made her an enemy of the princess she once served, and returning to her role as a handmaid seems impossible.  So before she knows it, she’s married and off to meet the family.  And that’s where it all begins to go wrong.

Alexandra has only ever been a handmaid, and while she may have witnessed the lives of royalty, she’s certainly never learned the details of their behavior in a way that would benefit her now.  To make matters worse, she knows nothing of the customs in her new husband’s kingdom, and it seems she makes a wrong move at every turn.  Add in some catty women, a curious court, and a husband whose temper is easily blown, and she’s completely lost.

The Handmaid by Shay Savage is the beginning of the ultimate bodice ripper historical romance.  Alexandra is sweet and so pure of heart that you can’t help but love her.  And Branford, for all his faults, soon realizes just how dependent she is upon him for any happiness.  He’s proud, willful, and at times violent, but he’s in love before he’s anywhere close to admitting it, and he’s determined to protect her and provide for her the way only the best historical romance heroes do.

While reading, I couldn’t help but stop and compare The Handmaid to its fanfiction predecessor, and I quickly saw that it’s not a find/replace job.  All the most loved scenes are intact, but in transitioning to an original story, Savage put some work into fleshing it out and explaining bits that fans of borrowed characters take for granted.  Though, to be honest, it was pretty perfect to begin with.  Those looking for historical accuracy will be searching in vain, as nothing is mentioned of time or a real place in history, but that’s half the fun of it.  Rather than accurately recite historical facts, Savage gives us a damsel in distress, a knight in shining armor, and plenty of political intrigue.  Fans of bodice-rippers will love the steamy and delightfully indulgent journey to a time of castles, kings, and unexpected romance.  Now to wait the two weeks for the next part in this seven-book series…

The Breakdown
Cover Design
5 star rating
Plot & Pace
5 star rating
5 star rating
Style & Editing
5 star rating
Story Conclusion
5 star rating
Overall Rating 5 star rating


About Shay Savage

Shay Savage lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, two children, 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 and loves soccer in any and all forms - especially the Columbus Crew, Arsenal and Bayern Munich - and anxiously awaits the 2014 World Cup. Savage holds a degree in psychology, and she brings a lot of that knowledge into the characters within her stories.​


Author: ysar

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1 Comment

  1. I really liked her book, Transcendence. It was very unusual and kept me hooked from the start. I was unsure at first since it sounded so different from my typical read but I am really glad I did read it.

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