Saturday, February 4, 2012
Review: Taming the Highland Bride by Lynsay Sands (5 stars, historical)
Full Description: Amazon
Rating: 5 out of 5
Thoughts After Reading:
I'm so glad I haven't read all of Sands' historical romance novels yet, because her writing is dependably awesome. If I ever want a fun and lighthearted read to reaffirm my love of historical romance, as I did last night, I know which author to look at. In fact, it's truly a testimony to her skill as an author that she can take the same basic medieval storyline (innocence heroine is forced to marry hero, some mild and usually comedic misunderstandings at the beginning of the marriage, protagonists grow to love each other, external conflict of someone trying to kill one of the two protagonists, happy conclusion) and turn it in to a great number of fairly unique and very entertaining stories.
In this particular novel, the heroine has been burdened with running her family castle for a great number of years - ever since her mother died. The heroine's father and brothers care (at some level) about the heroine, but they are so often drunk that they are next to worthless. They get tired of her trying to stop them from drinking (locking up the alcohol, etc), so they tell her a bit of a lie and bring her to the man that she's had a arranged betrothal with since she was a child. Through a series of unfortunate events, the hero comes off looking as drunk for the first few weeks of their marriage (much to the heroine's despair). Aside from the first time they meet, however, the hero hasn't been drunk; he is being drugged. The protagonists talk reasonably about it (yes, with Sands you can even get reasonable conversations) and they agree to give their marriage a better try. The storyline moves to a journey setting, as often occurs in Sands' novels, and the couple deepen their relationship as they deal with murder attempts on the hero. The external murder conflict is eventually brought to a satisfying resolution, and everyone goes home happy. I didn't feel there was quite as much humor as is typical for Sands, but there was still a significant amount of hilarity (especially the first "wedding night"). There were also a couple of the sensual love scenes one learns to expect from Sands.
All in all, there is nothing mind-blowingly unique about Sands' Taming the Highland Bride. It's her usual production of a humorous and thoroughly delightful medieval historical romance.