An English Bride In Scotland (Highlanders, #1) by Lynsay Sands
Series: Highlanders Series #1
Also in this series: Spell of the Highlander (Highlanders #7), An English Bride In Scotland, The Highlander Takes a Bride, Falling for the Highlander, An English Bride In Scotland (Highlanders, #1), Surrender to the Highlander, The Highlander's Promise (Highlanders Series #6)
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: June 25th 2013
Genres: Historical Romance
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The first in a new historical series set in the Highlands of Scotland, from Lynsay Sands, the New York Times bestselling author of the Argeneau vampire series and countless historical romances.
Annabel was about to take the veil to become a nun when her mother suddenly arrives at the Abbey to take her home… so that she can marry the Scottish laird who is betrothed to her runaway sister! She knows nothing about being a wife, nothing about how to run a household, and definitely nothing about the marriage bed!
But from the moment Ross MacKay sets eyes on Annabel, he is taken with his shy sweet bride… and the fact that she's blessed with lush curves only makes him utter his own prayers of thanks. But when an enemy endangers her life, he'll move the Highlands themselves to save her. For though Annabel's not the bride he planned for, she's the only woman he desires…
Marriage has been a consummate political tool and women the political chattal that fathers and families have used to further selfish ambition. It has also been the source of great concern when the promised bride decides to run off on her own with a groom or lover of her choice. What’s a family to do? Well, in Annabel’s case, they came and “got her” from the convent where she had lived for years, abandoned by her family, forgotten as the “plain Jane” sister who is now the only hope of her parents to salvage the marriage contract that will give them income and standing. The prospective groom has come for his bride, and Annabel is the substitute for her sister who decided she wanted her lover more than she wanted a Scottish aristocrat and laird. However, let it be noted that Annabel’s sister never did do anything anyone else wanted. Spoiled and cosseted to prepare her to be the laird’s lady, this young woman has it in her head that the Universe revolves around her. So when it comes time to wed, she is nowhere to be found.
Ross McKay little realizes that the bride with whom he is presented is not the woman to whom he was promised, but one look and he cares little. He is also unaware that by wedding Annabel he is saving himself a metric ton of upset, screeching disdain over his “poor” and less than lordly home, constant criticism of his provision for her. Instead, he has the companionship of a kind and considerate woman, one who has been given little kindness in her life even by the nuns, is incredibly grateful for every morsel of consideration he gives to her.
This is a warm and winsome love story between two unlikely lovers and the crisis is, of course, precipitated by the selfish and self-centered sister who tires of her lover and seeks to wrest the ladyship from her sister. It’s a fascinating look at life in those times when love within marriage is almost a surprise and where women’s strength is far greater than expected. Annabel does indeed begin to manifest some qualities that have never been allowed to emerge, and it is a book about her journey of discovery about herself, about her desire for this man who has come into her life, and her inward fortitude and grit in the face of her sister’s assault on her life, a life that is still a great surprise and one she considers a great gift from the gods that be.
As always, Lynsay Sands gives her readers a love story that is beautifully written, a story that flows seamlessly from scene to scene, characters that merge and then emerge once again to be individuals of gumption and grit, and stories that are based in the upheavals of which history is made. She is one of my favorite authors and this book and one that I plan to return to and re-read. It deserves to be read and appreciated for it will entertain and educate, engage the mind and satisfy that something in all of us readers that only a good book can satisfy.
I give this novel a rating of 4.25 out of 5.
You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.