Another delightfully charming historical romance from the talented Lynsay Sands.
At the young age of seven Annabelle was sent away to become a nun. Of course, she sucks at it...she ate too much and wasn't very obedient...so she's still in training and even has the hair left on her head. Good for her that she gets fetched home to take her sister's place as a substitute bride.
Ross MacKay is all set to honor the betrothal his father arranged to an English woman. When he discovers that the English Lord is pulling a last minute switch he plans to walk out and go back to Scotland to marry a Scottish lassie. Then he gets a look at his intended bride and that boy is a goner. He lets the sneaky in-laws pull a fast one and takes off back to Scotland with his new bride.
Sands infused this story with her trademark brand of humor and intrigue. It got off to a calamitous start that had me chuckling out loud. The scene by the river- with Annabelle running around like a chicken with its' head cut off- was priceless. Sands' stories never fail to make me smile. The intrigue came just as fast, when a nefarious person kept trying to grab Annabelle. Now Sands kept the villain's identity under tight wrap, only revealing the surprise at the very end. I was in the dark right up until the culprit tipped their hand.
Although Sands did fall back on her ace in the hand, with the humor and intrigue, this one is also very character driven. That was the best part for me. Let me tell you a little about Annabelle. She's an "almost" nun, knowing nothing but convent life since a young age. So she didn't know anything about being a wife or running the place. I'm trying to say she was vulnerable. Afraid she'd mess shit up or she wouldn't be enough. If she messed up being a nun then how could she ever be a good wife and run a castle? So she had to find her way but she was smart and kind and brave. Geez, she didn't even remember much of her god awful parents. And for the record...they were harsh. How she forgot those people...I'll never know. Give your kid away because you don't want to feed and clothe it! Really! Just saying...I wanted to kick their ass. Enter Kate, the runaway sister, and then I saw it. The whole damn family was messed up, greedy and selfish. Lucky Annabelle-being sent away like that. I liked Ross from the beginning. Not much to say about him. A typical alpha highlander. He wanted Annabelle as soon as he saw her. He wanted her...he got her. And the intimate scenes were pretty steamy for a Sands novel. They fell in love rather quickly, and I wasn't quite so sure it was real. I'm thinking that it's more of a lust thing, but that's okay, cause Annabelle...she didn't know the difference.
The writing was flawless. The characters were wonderful and the plot engaging. When I'm into a story I get mad at people, laugh at the funny parts, and cry at the sad ones. I did all of those things while reading this one, so I guess Sands did her job.
An English Bride in Scotland was a wonderful book. Sure to appeal to readers who enjoy Highland romance. Sure to appeal to lovers of intrigue. Definitely appealing to fans of the writer. Since I fall into each category...it was a winner for me. I'll be giving this one five flying stars.
Following the success of her previous Scottish romance series, Lynsay is back with a brand-new story. Fans have clamored for her recent historical novels and are sure to love more from this period.