Liviania’s review of The Bride Says No (The Brides of Wishmore, Book 1) by Cathy Maxwell
Historical Romance published by Avon 28 Jan 14
I enjoyed the Chattan Curse series, the first books I’d ever read by Cathy Maxwell, so I decided to take a look at her new series. I definitely like the title The Bride Says No, and the blurb seemed mildly intriguing. A potential public jilting, a ruined reputation — there’s quite a bit of potential drama there. And The Bride Says No really is a page turner.
Aileen Davidson is a divorced woman, which makes her a persona non grata in society. When her sister Tara comes running home to Scotland, refusing to marry her fiance, Aileen worries about her reputation but understands the danger of marrying the wrong man. Then Blake Stephens follows Tara, and Aileen begins to think that he might be the right man for herself.
Aileen and Blake really are a good match. Blake is a recently recognized bastard, so he’s spent his time on the outs of society as well. They’re both outgoing and friendly and like horses. Plus, they’re instantly attracted to each other. There’s nothing standing in their way except for the fact that Blake is supposed to marry Tara. Blake has too much pride to let himself be cast aside, and Aileen loves her sister too much to force her to the center of a scandal. The title of this book really fits, because it is all up to what Tara wants – or at least what she says she wants.
That’s the main trouble with the structure The Bride Says No. At least, I enjoy a bit of internal conflict in my romances. The only real internal conflict for Aileen and Blake is that they’re decent people. The only true obstacle to their happily ever after is Tara. You see, Tara believes herself to be in love with their horse master Ruary, but left him three years ago for greener pastures. Now she’s back, but he’s moved on and is getting married to someone else. Thus she realizes she’s made a mistake and doesn’t just let Blake go. But maybe she could convince Ruary to come back to her . . . As Aileen and Blake both realize, Tara is both immature and spoiled. It’s her character growth and romantic entanglements that drive the novel.
I sailed through The Bride Says No. It is a very easy read, perhaps partially due to the lack of conflict. But I do like the characters and wish that Aileen and Blake had gotten the chance to be more central to their own love story. I will read The Bride Says Maybe to see how things turn out for Tara. After all, she does manage to make several steps towards maturity. The small subplot about Ruary and Jane is quite sweet and worth the pages it takes up, particularly because it does have a nice bit of internal and external conflict.
What happens when a bride says no?
He is the bastard son of a duke, arrogant, handsome, a little bit dangerous, and, of course, one of the most sought-after bachelors in London. He is also about to be publically jilted by some chit of a girl! Blake Stephens’ pride isn’t about to let him be humiliated, so he charges after his bride to the wilds of Scotland, determined to bring her to the altar.
What happens when the heart says yes?
He is promised to one woman, but discovers his soul stirred by . . . the chit’s sister! Lady Aileen Davidson’s reputation was ruined ages ago, which is why she’s buried herself in the country, but her fiery spirit and bold beauty threaten to bring Blake to his knees, making him wonder if he has proposed to the wrong lass.
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: