January 15, 2014
Selkies and Tannaisg and Ceasg, oh my!
This is a truly whimsical tale. We have our hero, aka spy for the Hanoverian King of England, Alexander, or at least that's what he is trying to be. He's trying to ingratiate himself into Scottish society. In some very convoluted thinking, he arrives at the conclusion that because he has won a Scottish title and castle, he will also be able to move through Scottish society. Well, as anyone who has ever read a book taking place in Scotland will know, some grudges go on for a lonnnngggg time and no self-respecting Scot likes a Sassenach. But that doesn't stop Alex! He's out to find the trouble makers and maybe stop the English ruler from being assassinated. However, none of that really matters, because all of that is just a reason for Alex and our heroine, Lucinda, to be together.
Oh, yeah...I forgot Lucinda. You see, not only did Alex win an estate and a title in the card game, but a fiancée as well. The fiancée, Lucinda, wants to get married, she wants to be loved, and she wants a family. Besides, this marriage to whoever is the Lord of Bonniebroch castle has been arranged forever and she must do it. Now, Lucinda comes with a bit of baggage. First of all, she has a ghost she talks to. She's been talking to Brodie the ghost since he found her crying her eyes out when she was six. So, Brodie the ghost and Lucinda have a close relationship; he's almost like a father to her. He advises her, keeps an eye on her, and watches out for her when she's in the arms of any rakes. And, in this book that would be Alexander, who can't seem to keep his hands off of her, even though he wants to, because he doesn't want to get married.
As luck would have it, in one of those moments when they just can't help themselves they are caught and forced to wed. So, Lucinda and Alexander are off to Bonniebroch with Lucinda's ghost, who Alex has not seen. However, Alex has seen another ghost, who came through the mirror while he was shaving. This other ghost is from Bonniebroch and evidently ghosts can travel through mirrors. Oh, and by the way, there is a curse awaiting our newlywed, inconvenient, I-don't-want-to-be-married couple when they get to the castle. Only Alex can save the castle and the inhabitants from the curse, but he doesn't know how. The ghost does, but he can't tell, merely drop hints around the place. I actually had a lot of fun being introduced to the wonderful spirit world Ms. Marlowe has created.
I enjoyed both the love story and the ghost story. They were fun, fast-paced, and fanciful. In fact, I found myself getting back up in the middle of the night to finish it. Now, was this a Pulitzer prize-winning story full of angst and drama? Nah, but it was a delightful book and a pleasure to read. I'm looking forward to the next installment in the Spirit of the Highland series and a look at where this new world Ms. Marlowe has created will lead us.
Time/Place: "Regency" Scotland