Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Scottish Brides

Scottish Brides 719

Under the Kilt by Christina Dodd
Hadden Fairchild's drive to document the oral history and excentricities of Scotland takes him to the clan MacNachtan where he meets and falls in love with their "leader" Andra. But Andra does not trust men after she has been abandoned by all of them in her life and she forces him to leave. Neither can get the other out of their head and Hadden comes back determined to win her and discover the secrets of the MacNachtan marriage kilt. When the servants take it into their heads to meddle and the two are locked in the attic with the marriage plaid and plenty of fertility figurines to help them work through their problems.

This was quite a short story where a lot of the getting to know you obviously took place before the story really began. I really did miss a lot of that, but the story did get to at least a few meaty issues such as her problem with letting go of responsibility and her issues with men. While the story ended up with a few more issues to be resolved, it worked fairly well. The sex was incredibly hot, like wow, for such a short story, but I did not like that there was a completely random out of the blue reunion between her characters from other stories.

Rose in Bloom by Stephanie Laurens
Duncan, Earl of Strathyre, has known Rose Mackenzie-Craddock her whole life and she has been quite the thorn in his side. When he heads back to his childhood home to introduce the woman who may become his fiance, he runs into Rose and discovers that she continues to push his buttons, but in a completely different way. Rose is also contemplating an engagement to another man, but neither Rose nor Duncan can resist the other. They begin a game of teasing that keeps both of them on their toes and it is not long before they both realize they can't marry someone else.

Remarkable what Laurens can do with 100 pages really as she manages to write some really great chemistry between these two. I liked both of these characters immensely and they worked together so amazingly perfectly. A great deal of the story was told from Duncan's point of view and I really liked getting that perspective in a romance. To go along with the chemistry there was a little bit of really good sex, but not enough to overwhelm such a short story. Really this story boiled down to two great characters who were just great together.

Gretna Greene by Julia Quinn
Margaret Pennypacker rushes off to Gretna Greene to save her brother Edward after discovering that he has eloped, but on her way she is waylaid by bandits. Angus Greene saves her as he hates bad guys and upon discovering she has been robbed he takes her to an inn and pretends they are married. The two spend the evening discussing Scottish cuisine, their wayward siblings, and trying to avoid ripping each other's clothes off. When morning finally arrives, they've only known each other one day, but in Gretna anything can happen.

I enjoyed the slightly contrived means by which Quinn got both our characters to Gretna as it gave them some common ground and moving on from "protecting" their siblings lent the
ir rashness some realism. At times I did become irritating with their too-cute banter and it seemed more like arguing than fun, but I still liked how well these characters fit. The sex was kind of thrown in rather willy- nilly in the end, but the story definitely still felt complete.

The Glenlyon Bride by Karen Ranney
Lachlan Sinclair is not at all pleased when the local seer predicts he will marry, and he assumes this woman is Harriet, an English lady. Janet MacPhearson is companion to Harriet and she yearns to go back to Scotland. When Lachlan shows up to scope out Harriet, he finds Janet and assumes she is Harriet. At night the two meet out by the water and it is not long before they know they love each other. But with a legend against them and Harriet using her evil influence, it may take a lot for them to find their way to Glenlyon together.

I really liked the plot of this book with the mistaken identity, but there were instances where I thought it was handled poorly. To me it was obvious that Janet was actually the woman from the legend and I wanted them to wake up and go for it. I thought that Janet and Lachlan were perfect for each other and really meshed well, with a lot of common and a lot of ways the two could help each other. Some brief sex was thrown in almost as an afterthought, but overall the story worked fairly well.

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