Thursday, September 16, 2010

Review: The Bride by Julie Garwood ★★★

The Bride (Lairds' Fiancees, #1)
I have to admit, I enjoyed this book quite a bit more than I thought that I would. I am not a romance reader by nature. I do enjoy romance in the stories I read. I just don't go for books in which the romance is the central plot or point of the story. Give me soul-crushing tear-jerkers about human suffering, or horror, or a classic, or, really just about anything else first. But I agreed to read at least 5 romance books for a friend's blog activity for September, so here I am, reading and surprisingly enjoying romance.

The basic premise here is that a 12th century Scottish laird is ordered to take an English wife by his king, and an English Baron is ordered by HIS king to marry one of his daughters to him. Oh, the atrocity! Those Scottish are barbarians! The English are cowards and weak! Ack! Hiss! Boo!

So the marriage takes place, and all of a sudden Alec Kincaid, Laird of the Kincaid clan, is saddled with a feisty and not at all thrilled to be married Jamie (who has a man's name).

Hilarity ensues (at least to me) when their personalities clash. Oh my goodness, I found their disagreements and misunderstandings and attempts to rile each other extremely funny. In fact, I spent a good 3/4 of the book giggling to myself like a crazy woman. I think that it was this aspect, more than anything else that caused me to like the book. True, the lurvin' was pretty steamy, but it was admittedly a little repetitive too, as were certain conversations disagreements arguments between husband and wife.

On top of this, there was a secondary mystery plotline, which was meant, I'm sure, to ratchet up the suspense: Just when things are getting cozy, there's an attempt on Jamie's life! But the way that it was written felt awkward and out of place. There would just be a random paragraph from the Mystery Murderer at the end of random chapters, in italics, and in 1st person narrative.

So he thinks to take an English wife. Well, she's no match for me. I hope he loves her. It will make it all the sweeter when I watch her die and challenge him. MWAHAHAHAHAHA!

Yep, like that. Well, maybe without the maniacal laughter. That may have been an embellishment on my part. But I did hear it in my head every time I read one of these little sections!

There was very little that was historically accurate in the book. I mean, the big stuff, like the King and the clan feuds and that stuff, sure, but the devil is in the details, and it just felt a bit modern. The dialogue was definitely modern, but after a while I just got used to it. But I still wanted to mention it.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. It was a quick read and provided me with some laughs, so maybe I'll look into more of Garwood's books in the future. ;)

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