Can an English Bride Break a Scottish Curse?
It’s always fun when a romance starts with a curse! In fact, this book starts with a curse that impacts all men of the McLarin line; they will not live to see their firstborn draw his first breath.
This curse has held for five generations. The current last of the male line has been very restrained in his approach to women. He knows he cannot have a family and children like most men, but he is able to find comfort with a widow who is barren.
Our heroine is hightailing it to Scotland on the heels of ruin. She consciously set up her ruin in order to evade marriage to a man whom she was discovering was cruel. Rolland states he will not let her go, so the only thing she can think of to tell him is that she is pregnant with another man’s child. She isn’t, of course. She removes to Scotland to live out her days with her brother.
Her brother, Marcus, let’s Hunter McLarin know about his sister’s downfall, and immediately the laird offers marriage. It seems an ideal circumstance for him, as he can have a wife and a child. We the reader know she’s not really with child, and Clara does grapple with whether she wants to marry this man at all, whom she first saw brawling in a pub, and then if she wishes to deceive him in order to marry. Her companion and brother think she should marry and not disclose that she is not really pregnant until after the marriage; none of the English group believes in curses and can’t quite believe that the Scot does. Only Marcus’s wife has qualms about Clara marrying before full disclosure.
They do marry, and he quickly discovers that she is not pregnant; the laird is NOT pleased. Honestly, this is the only part I did not enjoy the book. McLarin is a complex, broody, careful, and thoughtful man, but his response to finding out about this seems counter to the man we had come to know in the earlier part of the book. He does become more like himself again, but after his response to her after their wedding night, I almost stopped reading the book because I so disliked his reaction to it. I never like it when the hero acts cruelly to the heroine right after marriage consummation.
From their one time together, of course, Clara becomes pregnant. The rest of book deals with the emotional aftermath of this, as Hunt falls victim to small accidents that put him in peril, putting all on edge about the possibility that the curse has merit. The book does have a satisfying, HEA resolution.
Except for the one part I didn’t like, I found a book to be well written. The book starts with Clara as she is heading to Scotland from London, now a ruined woman. The author does a good job of only telling us what we need to know as we need to know it. For instance, the author only reveals at first that Clara is ruined, but we don’t know why or how. Even as the book goes along, we only learn a little at a time about the entire situation that transpired between her and her former betrothed. The book has solid plot turning points as the story unfolds.