On this day in in 1303, the Scots engaged the English Army at the Battle of Roslin during the First War of Scottish Independence. Five hundred years later, another battle of independence takes place in Cathy Maxwell's THE BRIDE SAYS MAYBE, Book 2 in the Brides of Wishmore series:
What happens when a bride says maybe?
She’d once been the toast of London, but now scandal has brought her down. Still, pretty, petted Lady Tara Davidson can’t believe her new fate. She had wanted to marry for love . . . but her profligate father has promised her hand to none other than Breccan Campbell, the “Beast of Aberfeldy” and laird of the valley’s most despised clan! Well, Tara may have to marry him, but Breccan can’t make her love him—can he?
What happens when the groom insists?
Breccan Campbell is nobody’s fool. He knows that Tara is trouble. Yet he’s determined to reform the Campbell name even if it means forging an alliance with the arrogant beauty. There’s no doubt that Tara is a challenge, and Breccan loves nothing more. For he’s vowed to thoroughly seduce Tara—and make her his in more than name alone.
|Schiehallion Summit with Loch Tummel|
Schiehallion overlooks Laird Brecan's crumbling
castle in THE BRIDE SAYS MAYBE.
Released to Public Domain link
I threw a wish in the well, Don’t ask me, I'll never tell.I looked to you as it fell, And now you're in my way.
- Call Me Maybe, Carly Rae Jepsen
Cathy Maxwell writes on the dedication page, “I am wealthy in my friends”. The perception of wealth is the basis of this book. The heroine, Lady Tara Davidson, is short on friends. A renowned beauty, Tara doesn’t have friends to guide her through beauty’s pitfalls. She grew up with her older sister substituting for her dead mother. Her sister married but returned home divorced from an abusive marriage, adding to the scandal that her father is a relentless gambling. Although Tara met “friends” in London during her debut, they simply envied her beauty and gossiped about her family. Tara, as a secondary character in THE BRIDE SAYS NO, walked away from an arranged marriage after she realized she stood in the way of two people finding love. She grew a heart ala the Grinch.
Maxwell recaps the events of THE BRIDE SAYS NO in the opening chapters of Book Two, THE BRIDE SAYS MAYBE. Now it’s time to test Tara’s mantle.
Image by Alister Young
Creative Commons Attribution (link)
Unlike Tara, Laird Breccan Campbell is no beauty. He grew up being taunted for his over sized hands and awkward bearing. But he was comforted by a loving mother (who has since passed away) and supported by quirky uncles (one served in the Navy - a nod to the Navy blood that runs in Maxwell's family). Breccan is mesmerized by Tara’s beauty. He buys up her father’s debts to trade for her hand, thinking Tara’s elegance will bring respect to his family. Sadly, his family is the poor relations within the notorious Campbell Clan.
Once again, Tara is forced into a marriage that she doesn’t want to a bear of a man. Still, she bargains with Breccan – she’ll give him two bairns in exchange for a life in London after she delivers. But she has to deliver living inside a medieval castle that has not been modernized to Regency standards. Likewise, she is greeted by a pack of indoor dogs who do not take kindly to her elevated status in their master’s heart. The “wedding night” is pure fun with the dogs!
Tara soon realizes that Breccan’s clan may not be wealthy with money, but they are wealthy with love. Over time, Tara and Breccan fall in love, recognizing that their shared passion is wealth enough. Of course, there are a few hurdles to jump … and a villain from a previous series makes an appearance to stir the pot.
Maxwell delivers all that I love about Scotland – the rugged majesty, the close connection with the land, the endearing characters within a family, and the realization that wealth is more than coin. I thank Maxwell for giving Tara the opportunity mature into a true Scottish lady … and rewarding Breccan with a partner who makes him feel beautiful inside and out.
Recommended read for those who enjoy Regency romance, Scottish landscape, and a “Beauty and the Beast” theme.
I posted my review on Goodreads (link) - I appreciate your "like" vote! I am giving away THE BRIDE SAYS MAYBE - winner's choice of format - to one randomly selected commenter. Let's have some fun ... over the weekend, Cathy spoke on a panel with Dr. Ruth at the Mohegan Sun Resort Big Book Getaway. Kimberly from Book Obsessed Chicks posted pictures on Facebook at this link.
1. If you met Dr. Ruth, what would say? Offer her sex tips? Trade cookie recipes? Or something else?
2. Comments are open through Saturday, March 1, 10 pm in Baltimore.
3. I'll post the winner on Sunday, March 2.
Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City