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The Handmaid

(Unexpected Circumstances #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  788 ratings  ·  132 reviews
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
Published May 31st 2016 by Shay Savage, LLC
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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Jennifer Kyle
Jun 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
4 "My...Branford" Stars

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I found this first book of a seven book series to be a light, easy to follow and very enjoyable story. I was worried being a historic romance that I would have trouble following the plot since we are dealing with handmaidens, lords and kings. However, this was an easy story line and interesting enough to read on to propel me forward into the series.

The hero, Sir Branford of Silverhelm attends and wins a joust in a neighboring kingdom. He then shocks the King
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"I choose her."

The Handmaid is the first book in the Unexpected Circumstances Series. Shay Savage has blown me away once again with this romantic historical saga of Sir Branford and the lovely Lady Alexandra. With intrigue, romance, and undeniable passion, this trip back in time is one that you will not want to miss!
Alexandra has spent her entire life as a handmaid for Princess Whitney. As a servant, she lives to serve the nobles in the castle and take care of their every whim and desire.
Shay Savage
May 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Sometimes, you just need a good, old-fashioned, bodice-ripper...Savage Style!

I'm so glad this is FINALLY going to go live! It has been a long time coming! Knights in shining armor, a beautiful young maid out of her comfort zone, back-stabbing noblewomen, and the rumblings of war.

Hope you all enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Claire Robinson
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shit-hot-series
4 - "I will always keep you safe..." Stars!

Amazon US:
Amazon UK:
Amazon CA:

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Shay Savage’s writing, it doesn’t matter what trope, genre or theme she is writing about
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
It had been a long time since I picked up a historical romance and I'm surprised Shay Savage had decided to treat us to a seven part series with Unexpected Circumstances. Game on!

With this first part, The Handmaid, we are headed to a great start. This was told entirely from the heroine, Alexandra's POV. She is a young handmaid of who is innocent and naive and live a simple life serving the princess. When Sir Branford, heir to the throne, chose Alexandra to be his new wife, she was more than
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: four-star-reads
The Handmaid (Unexpected Circumstances, #1) is book one in Shay Savage's new historical romance series. I was surprised to find this book fairly engaging and enjoyable since I picked it up on a whim.

The story is told entirely in Alexandra's POV and begins with a tournament of Knights. When Branford, is deemed the winner he comes forward to claim his prize.
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“Sir Branford, good knight of the neighboring realm of Silverhelm, we are honored today by your presence and your bravery! Come forth and
Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-s-2016
Ah..a Historical romance. A short and enticing story, that gives the dreamers hope for a better tomorrow.

Shay Savage has done an amazing job, in getting me back into reading. I've been in a slump for this year. And after starting this book, I simply couldn't stop and couldn't wait for the other instalments.

A truly romantic tale of a handmaid, turned noble, through marriage. When Sir Branford chooses Alexandra, a handmaid, as his bride; over the titled Princes Whitney. The Royal uproar created
Mg ♥ The Bookishmedialite
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was my first Shay Savage and I LOVEEDDDDDD IT.

It was short and it left me wanting more? YASSS.
Do I care? NOOOOO
Why? Because it was lovely!!! I really enjoy reading Historical Romance books and this was swoon-worthy!!

Loveeeeee Alexandra since the beginning. She was young, very young but she wasn't childish, her innocence was what drew me in. She was so pure. And I wanted to protect her from the bitchy Princess.

Sir Branford, OH LORDY, I Love himmmmmm. I want him to take me to his castle
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fuck. So three years ago I read my first historic/period type romance. It was Worth by Shay Savage. Fast forward a few years and I read a few sci-fi type romances, again... Shay’s doing. This woman keeps pushing me out of my comfort zone and every time she proves that if the writing is solid, the story has a hook, the reader (no matter how convinced it isn’t their thing) will love it.

The Handmaid is the first in a seven part serial series called Unexpected Circumstances. But don’t fear the
The Romance Book Disciple (Samantha)
May 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-s
Ugh now I have to wait for part 2! So freaking good! This is like the classic historical romances I used to sneak out of my grandma's room and read at night. SO GOOD! Full review on The Book Disciple
Red Cheeks Reads
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Once upon a time a long long time ago I went to my first book signing and there was this lady there with crazy colored hair and she was all like I wrote a romance about a caveman and you should totally read it and I was like uh, I’ll pick it up on kindle and give it a try. And then I went home and got said book. But it took me forever to read it. When I finally got around to reading that book I could not put it down. Transcendence was one of the best books I have ever read. It was so original ...more
I love my historical stories and I loved Shay's books, that's no secret.
But "THIS"?????

A doormat spineless heroine with an over the top chauvinist cheating asshole as a hero, no way I'll recommend this to my friends !

Sure Alexandra was a shy virgin and all, and he's proudly announced to her he has shares his lots of princesses in his bed to her and cheated on her with someone on their second wedding night is beyond me. And demanded her to do what a handmaid's job as his wife?
Not to mention
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites

** 4-4.5 STARS **
May 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
I received an ARC via the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!

Argh! I already want bk2!! The Handmaid had me on pins and needles with intrigue and sexual tension. Lord Branford seems like a kind and considerate prince-- well, aside from his notorious past of womanizing-- he seems to be changing and evolving with his interactions with Alexandra. You can see that there are many faucets and more than meets the eye when it comes to him and his motives which include choosing a
So utterly disappointed ! I expected so much of it after reading the UFO that was Transcendence, that I preordered it ! At times like this I am so happy that I am an e-reader and that I can have the book refunded... It is so out of question that this piece of whatever it is supposed to be stay on my bookshelve even if it is only a virtual bookshelve !

This book is so wrong I do not even know where to start !

1. The "hero"

This guy is a thorough asshole and the most disgusting hypocrite ever.

Elle aka Leftie aka Shoebelle
*ARC received as part of blog tour*


I don’t often read HR but I figured it’s Shay. This is an interesting start to this historical serial.

Branford is a knight who, to not give any one the satisfaction, picked a handmaid, Alexandra, for a bride. Right from the start, Alexandra is at a disadvantage because of her status. She’s like a fish out of water in this new world that she found herself in; so much insecurity and doubt, poor Alexandra. And she’s so naïve, barely a knowledge outside of her
May 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Unexpected Circumstances is a 5 Star read!

THIS. BOOK. THIS ENTIRE SERIES! OMG, the angst!!! I felt everything single emotion from being totally pissed to crying from the heartache to feeling such joy.

I can't recommend it enough. It blew me away with it's depth of plot and characters. Y'all know I only recommend books that I truly believe in. Hell, I give a lot of low ratings when books don't meet my standards and I DNF a lot too with no apologies. I expect top notch storytelling and a high
May 31, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have every intention of explaining my low rating. Laters.
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
The Handmaid is a part of a serial series.

What this story entitles is a handmaiden named Alexandra who has to take care of Princess Whitney to be ready for her engagement to the man who wins a joust from a neighboring kingdom.

Only, when Lord Branford comes, he chooses Alexandra to wed over Princess Whitney. Sir Branford chooses Alexandra-the handmaid over Whitney is to make a political statement against Princess Whitney and her family.

Now, wed Alexandra has to move with Branford to his home and
WARNING:(view spoiler)

It had been awhile since I had enjoyed a Shay Savage romance. I was so sick of the usual prostitutes and OW she would throw in the story that I had given up on her books. I'm glad I
Lina's Reviews  ❥Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ❥ღೋBook Blogღೋ ❥Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ❥
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ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review.

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Title: The Handmaid (Unexpected Circumstances #1)
Author: Shay Savage
Category: Historical Romance
POV: Heroine's POV
Characters: 4
Plot: 3.75
Scorching Level: 3.5

It's been a while since I've read historical romance and this was a smooth transition to it!
What happens when a Prince decides to wed a handmaid on a whim?
Alexandra is Princess Whitney's handmaid. When a handsome prince chooses her as his bride in order to use her as a
Well, fuck. Here I am getting in the thick of things with an EXPENSIVE serial from one of my favorite authors. So, after reading this first one, I bought the second one and then I just had to buy all seven which came to a total cost of $21 for basically an extended length novel. Was the series great? yes! Is this author worth the price? Yes! Can I budget in $21 for basically an extended length novel? Nope! Yeah, this is just too expensive for me and I doubt I'll be spending that in the future ...more
Debbie "Buried in Her TBR Pile"
simplistic, harlequinesque, anachronistic - Should not be 3 books. 3-3.5 stars. Maybe my rating will change after reading the trilogy?

(view spoiler)
May 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Don't know what to think. A little boring????
The entire premise and plot was strange at that.
On top of that the extremely understanding and gentle knight/prince/deflowerer-of-princesses, decides to give his virginal 16 year old handmaid/bride/virginal-wife three nights of getting to know each other in bed.
First night - KISSING!
Of course the first "book" stops before they even get to the second night. If I follow the pattern in the third installment they finally have sex - THE END!!!
This story
If you’re reading this book, then by now you must be familiar with Shay Savage’s writing style. More closely: her style of romance writing. Take that and add a historical story and kings, knights, lords, and princesses and it creates…
See where I’m going here?
I am a sucker for historical romances. I love Shay’s stories. The mixture of the two is just perfect.

I find the book starts out a little abruptly. Alexandra, a princess’s handmaiden is
Kei • fiction court •
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-copy, 2016
4 stars!

“I will always keep you safe.”

Sir Branford & Alexandra

Yes! Ahhh so good, such an amazing story, I can't even put it in words. Shay Savage is back with an epic series and I'm there, all the way!


I've been waiting years to see this little gem published and finally, here it is! As most of Shay's book if not all of them I've read them as fanfiction back in the days and this was by far one of my favorite stories, along with so many others of hers likeTranscendence and the Caged series!
Veronica LaRoche
May 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absolute love this book. Sir Branford wins his tournament and is offered a prize, the King wants Sir Branford to choose his daughter but he chooses an unlikely woman the handmaid. Everyone is furious with Sir Branford's decision but he stands by his decision to wed Alexandra. Alexandra is out of her element and feels she is not doing anything right, can Alexandra be who Sir Branford needs or will Alexandra just be a pawn in Sir Branford's plan? I can't wait to read more of Alexandra & Sir ...more
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.25 Stars
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm not a huge historical romance reader, but given that Shay Savage has a way of making each genre her own, I knew her Unexpected Circumstances series was one I wanted to read, and book 1, The Handmaid, has already drawn me into her world of nobility, power, and ulterior motives.

As Alexandra finds herself as a pawn in one man's quest for revenge, readers take that journey with her, and as she works to understand her new position as the wife of a future king, we become willing spectators,
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Shay Savage is an independent author from Cincinnati, Ohio, where she lives 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. Her hobbies include off-roading in her big, yellow Jeep, science fiction in all forms, and soccer. Savage holds a degree in psychology, and she brings a lot ...more

Other books in the series

Unexpected Circumstances (7 books)
  • The Seduction (Unexpected Circumstances, #2)
  • The Consummation (Unexpected Circumstances, #3)
  • The Shortcoming (Unexpected Circumstances, #4)
  • The Concubine (Unexpected Circumstances, #5)
  • The Apprehension (Unexpected Circumstances, #6)
  • The Devastation (Unexpected Circumstances, #7)
“It was brief.  It was chaste.  And it completely took my breath away. His” 0 likes
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