July 18, 2014
Lairds and Tartans and Brogues..oh my!
Dinna fash yerself. Yes, this is a deep-in-the-highlands-of-Scotland story and yes, there's
lots and lots of Scottish brogue; however, Bride of a Scottish Warrior, by Adrienna Basso, hit the right spot. It was actually quite refreshing and a lot of fun to read a Scottish romance again. I suspect a lot of this was due to Ms. Basso's prose. Bride of a Scottish Warrior was a fast, easy read with no surprises. If you're looking for a light-weight Scottish tale, this book is for you.
There's a gentle heroine, Grace, a widow but not a virgin widow. There is a big, big, strong, brawny hero, Ewan, who is one sexy guy. And big. He also happens to be illegitimate, however, because he fought for Robert Bruce he has been rewarded a home of his own - way up in the highlands. When he gets to his new home he finds the castle is falling apart and his people are starving - but he's our hero, he's got a plan. He starts the long process of rebuilding. While all of his hard work sees results it isn't enough for anyone to survive the winter. Following his dominating mother's strong encouragement, he's off to search for a bride with money. He goes hither and yon searching for a bride, but all the nobles turn him down because he's illegitimate. Feeling depressed, he stops at the stronghold of his friend Douglas McKenna. Och! As luck would have it the non-virgin widow Grace is Douglas' sister and she has taken refuge there.
Why has she taken refuge there, you may ask. Well, her first husband has died under some mysterious circumstances (or not so mysterious) and there is a fight going on as to who should be the next laird. Grace has decided to seek refuge with her brother first, but then go to a convent, and she has no intention of ever getting married again. Of course we know that's just silly thinking on her part; this is romance, after all. After some sneaky maneuvering by her brother, Grace and Ewan are soon on a road trip to the convent. A very long road trip.
This book is loaded with a bit of everything. We have a road trip, a wild boar attack, a convent under siege, an evil brother-in-law, brawny sweaty men without shirts, a mother-in-law from hell, witchcraft accusations, monks, priests, and the scourge. All packed into 200 pages or so. This book isn't any heavy-duty angst filled story. There is nothing new, nothing ground-breaking; there are no surprises. However, I still enjoyed every minute of it and even though it is a standard Scottish yarn, the hero was a wonderful hunk who would have done anything for his lady love. This was a refreshing story that made me happy. It was as if I was with a trusted old friend.
Time/Place: Scotland 1314