Surprisingly I really enjoyed this one! Why was I surprised? Firstly, Lisa Berne is a relatively new author….this is her second book and it’s not often I like newer authors, as I seem to prefer the writing style of older romances. Secondly, it was full of historical anachronisms….yeap all throughout the book and this is a massive pet peeve for me, but the story had already drawn me in so I didn’t seem to care and lastly, I liked the H/h almost instantaneously. It’s nice to be surprised in a genre you have been reading for over 10 years!
Alisdair Penhallow, the Laird of Castle Tadgh has a reputation and not a very good one! The Lowlands and the Highlands have heard rumours of his rakish ways, but this all comes to a sudden stop on the day of his thirty fifth birthday, where clan law decrees that if the Laird is thirty-five and unmarried, he is required to marry within thirty-five days or be hanged, quartered and beheaded as a warning to others, that he did not perform his duty of producing an heir. To escape his potentially gruesome fate, Alisdair pens letters to all corners of Scotland where eligible daughters of other Lairds are invited to meet with Alisdair and spend time with him and potentially get chosen to be his bride.
Fiona has loved and lost before and she doesn’t plan on giving her heart away ever again. As a spinster at twenty-seven, she has attended a multitude of weddings and none of them her own. She is ordered to travel to Castle Tadgh by her parents and try her hand at becoming a bride. Fiona reluctantly travels with her cousin into Castle Tadgh purely to satisfy her parents’ wishes and demonstrates no interest in getting to know Alisdair. Annoyed by her nonchalant attitude, Alisdair writes her off as a potential bride right from the beginning but is too respectful to dismiss her immediately. Fate had other plans for them. Finding themselves married to each other is a destiny neither of them wanted or predicted, but have to accept. To their surprise, the more they learn about each other they realise that they are suited for one another after all IF they can both see past their stubbornness!
The Bachelor style scenario was quite interesting and I was wondering how long this would have continued within the book…Thankfully it was tastefully done and interesting enough! Alistair and Fiona were characters with pasts that won’t let them let their guards down so it was good to see them happy at the end! I wouldn’t call this a light hearted read even though it can be deceptively perceived as one. There are things that happen that are quite serious but are dealt with in a light hearted tone, so the book doesn’t come across as too intense but I did find myself surprised at the tone regardless of the seriousness of some events. All the characters were likeable right from the beginning and I also think this is due to Lisa Berne’s writing style. The secondary characters were also quite likeable and had their own little ending which was also lovely. The book was effortless to read and had a really good flow which I normally struggle to find being a slower reader. I would recommend this story for a time when you are in a slump and looking for something different and don’t want something written in an intense and emotional manner! Don’t underestimate the book though as I found myself quite touched from this sweet tale.
*Thank-you Lisa Berne, Edelweiss & Avon for the ARC.