An English Bride In Scotland by Lynsay Sands
Series: Highlander Series #1
Published by Avon
Publication Date: June 25th 2013
Genres: Historical Romance
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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…
When Annabel was seven years old her parents took her to an abbey and left her there. She was not cut out to be a nun but eventually became an oblate and was looking forward to becoming a nun. When her mother suddenly shows up unannounced Annabel is shocked as she hasn’t seen or heard from anyone in her family for 14 years. Her mother rushes her off to their family estate and prepares her to marry. You’re thinking WTF, right? Yeah, I was too.
The father saved the life of a Scottish Laird at one point and they became friends. Eventually they decided that the Laird’s eldest son and the English Earl’s eldest daughter would be contracted to be married when the time was right. Unfortunately things didn’t work out the way either family had planned.
The Laird MacKay died and his eldest son, Ross, was challenged by his cousin for the position of Laird. Then family members became mixed up in the challenge and four years passed before Ross felt it was safe to leave his clan temporarily and go get his bride.
The Withram family had had their own share of troubles. The eldest daughter, Kate, had fallen in love with the stable masters son and had run off with him not two days before Ross was to arrive at their home. Kate had been disowned so that made Annabel the eldest and the families last hope to save them.
Annabel doesn’t have a clue what’s going on and when she does figure it out she’s freaked out, to say the least. Ross is about to leave as it’s taking so long for the bride to be to see him but then Annabel comes down the stairs and Ross is smitten almost from first sight. They marry and as Ross doesn’t like Annabel’s parents they leave the next day for Ross’s castle.
Annabel isn’t anything like Ross thought she would be – little does he know she’s REALLY not what he thinks – but she soon wins over even the grumpiest of clan members. Annabel has a hard time at first and she’s not sure she can be what she’s supposed to be as she was never raised to take care of a home but she does her best. During this time Annabel is hurt, so is Ross, by an attacker that is very persistent; they get a visit from Annabel’s sister that is completely unexpected – an unwanted after they get to know her; and they fall in love.
I have to say I love reading Sands’s historical novels. She always writes such great characters and puts them in situations that are completely believable and could have actually happened but that are almost ridiculous in nature…and pulls it all off. She’s got such a great sense of humor and it really shows in her historicals.
In this one I loved Annabel’s innocence. She made some bad decisions, sure, but she did it with such a good heart that it was hard for me to dislike her for some of them. It turned out that her family had done her a huge favor by sending her to the abbey – even though it was sometimes torturous (literally) – as we see when we meet the very, very, very spoiled sister, Kate. My God that woman was a piece of work. Even I wanted to climb into the book and throttle her! Annabel had the patience of a saint but even she could only take so much of Kate. lol
Ross was a great hero. He was kind and grumpy and possessive and lusty and he loved Annabel to bits. His patience with her was a testament to his upbringing and I loved seeing the strong, capable man treat his wife with care and not lose any of his masculinity.
In the end it was a very good story and I can’t wait to see what the next book in the series brings.
Rating: 4 out of 5