24 June 2014
To Marry a Scottish Laird (An English Bride in Scotland #2)
New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands returns to the Highlands of Scotland in her hottest new historical romance yet!
Highlander Campbell Sinclair is no stranger to battle, so when he sees a lad attacked by bandits, he jumps into the fray. He didn't count on being stabbed. Grateful to the boy for nursing him back to health, Cam offers to accompany Jo safely to his destination. But when he accidentally comes across the lad bathing in the river, Cam discovers that Jo is actually Joan...with the most sinful of curves.
Joan promised her mother that she would deliver a scroll to the clan MacKay. But traveling alone is dangerous, even disguised as a boy. When a Scottish warrior lends his aid, she is more than relieved...until he surprises her with lingering kisses and caresses that prove her disguise hasn't fooled him. As their passion ignites, will the secrets of the scroll force a wedding...and lead to a love she's never known?
Hot, kilted man rescues a boy. Boy turns out to be an attractively-shaped woman. Man and woman have lots of (hot) sex. Plot causes them to marry. Things get crazy with jealousy, murder, and lies to get in the way of happily ever after.
Thus, we have a Lynsay Sands historical set in the Scottish Highlands (it’s not a spoiler that there’s a marriage – but why the marriage comes about is so I’m going to avoid that bit). These are my favorite Sands historicals. Do I think these are the best-written historicals? No, the language and vocabulary are full of anachronisms (i.e. “great” is used in its modern form), but the plots are fun and To Marry a Scottish Laird seems to borrow much less from her previous books (unlike An English Bride in Scotland which has bits from many of her previous books). Cam and Joan are interesting characters who are both disillusioned with the practicalities of having children: Cam’s first wife died in childbirth so he does not want to put a woman through that again and Joan has seen enough women die in childbirth that she never wants to have children herself. They are both agreed that they will avoid having children (Cam has brothers so it’s not like the Sinclair clan won’t have any heirs). Now, the way this detente is resolved isn’t quite the best-plotted idea and is actually skipped in the narrative so we miss out on our hero and heroine working out this problem. But Cam and Joan are very sweet together and I liked them very much. The Sinclair and MacKay families are both a riot. Some of the most enjoyable parts of the book were scenes with Annabel and Ross from An English Bride in Scotland who are now 20 years older and still themselves. I would have liked to see Joan demonstrate more of her healing skills as the book went on – we are told she’s a very good healer, and the other characters are told that she’s a very good healer, but after she treats Cam there aren’t any other chances for Joan to show those skills.