I haven’t read any of Karen Ranney’s books, but I had this one in my TBR box and thought I’d give it a try. It was definitely different than I’d expected and this is something that happens from time to time. One thing the reader should know going into this story is the title is horrible. It does nothing to describe any part of the story and that does take away a little bit of what the story could have been about.
Douglas Eston is a self made man, but he’s also cautious. So he decides to seek some supporting funding from the Duke of Herridge. What he doesn’t expect is the Duke’s daughter to come in demanding compassion for her mother, the Duke’s wife. The Duke then gives his daughter to Douglas as a wife for agreement to fund Douglas’ business venture. Douglas didn’t expect to get a wife, but he knew he needed to protect the one he suddenly has.
Lady Sarah doesn’t like the fact that she’s been sold as a bride, but she feels safer now out of her father’s sphere of control. When her mother does die, she is at a loss for everything. She has spent her life caring for her mother, following her mother’s example and shielding her mother from her father’s wrath. Sarah now needs to find out who she is.
Sarah then requests to go to Scotland to tell her grandfather of her mother’s death. The journey and stay does help Sarah find out who she is, but it is different than she expected. She also gets to know her husband and finds that he is better than any other she could have asked for. Some of her ideas do make her a snob, but they are more defense mechanisms against her father than anything else.
Douglas never hid his nature from anyone and the conflict over his life and character seems to be a minor part of the story. In fact, Sarah’s issues tend to overwhelm anything else in the book, including her hero. Douglas is an alpha male, but not in an aggressive sort of way. But he doesn’t need to change, as Sarah does, and that relegates him to a lesser part of the story.
The other thing I found out from Karen Ranney’s website is the fact this is the first in a trilogy. They’re all supposed to be tied together because of the Tulloch mirror. This surprised me, as the mirror didn’t seem to have that much to do with the story and was introduced in the second half of the book. I don’t know if I’m interested enough to find out.
Lady Sarah Baines was devoted to her mother and her family home, Chavensworth. Douglas Eston was devoted to making a fortune and inventing. The two of them are married when Lady Sarah′s father proposes the match and threatens to send Lady Sarah′s ill mother to Scotland if she protests.
Douglas finds himself the victim of love at first sight, while Sarah thinks her husband is much too, well, earthy for her tastes. Marriage is simply something she had to do to ensure her mother′s well-being, and even when her mother dies in the next week, it′s not a sacrifice she regrets.
She cannot, however, simply write her mother′s relatives and inform them of her death. She convinces Douglas – an ex pat Scot – to return to Scotland with her, to a place called Kilmarin. At Kilmarin, she is given the Tulloch Sgàthán, the Tulloch mirror. Legend stated that a woman who looked into the mirror saw her true fate.
Douglas and Sarah begin to appreciate the other, and through passion, Douglas is able to express his true feelings for his wife. But once they return to England and Douglas disappears and is presumed dead, Sarah has to face her own feelings for the man she′s come to respect and admire.
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: