Bride of Lochbarr
1235: Lady Marianne leaves her convent education to join her brother in Scotland, where the king has been granting land to Normans. She is unhappy that Sir Nicholas has betrothed her to a hateful old man. The Scots resent the foreigners being forced upon them. Adair MacTaran, son of the local clan chief, is nevertheless smitten with the beautiful foreigner. He helps her escape her brother’s castle, and marries her to save her honor. But other members of the MacTaran clan object to his alliance with the enemy, and challenge Adair for clan leadership after the death of his father. Can Marianne prevent clan warfare and save her husband’s life?
As is the norm in many historical romances, the plot is merely an excuse on which to hang the romance. History and characterization are sketchier than they would be in a mainstream novel. Some of the couple’s conflicts seem to be there because of the genre’s meet-fight-make up rules, rather than for logical plot purposes. It is refreshing, however, to have the hero and heroine marry early in the book, which leads to several enthusiastic bedroom scenes. And Marianne is a proactive heroine who doesn’t passively wait to be rescued. Romance fans will like this book.