Title: An English Bride in Scotland (Part 1 of the “Annabel” Highland series – Series title my own creation)
Author: Lynsay Sands
Publication Date: June 2013 (Kindle Edition)
I should start this out by saying I’m a huge fan of Lynsay Sands, so reading this was no hardship. My sister had read them and suggested that I start to read her historical novels set in Scotland since both of us have been huge fans of her Argeneau series for years. (possibly even more than a decade now, ) So I bought the book on my Kindle and settled down to read.
This book is not one of her best, but it was still enjoyable. The issue is mainly that there are so many straight-out unlikable characters that you spend most of your time not really invested in the romance but just feeling sorry for the main character, Annabel. The book starts out with Annabel as a novice awaiting to take her vows as a nun. She is stunned however when her mother, who had basically shoved her away in the convent when she was quite small, shows up to tell her she’s coming home. It appears Annabel’s older sister, Kate, has run off with the stable boy and now they must have their only other daughter fulfil a marriage contract with a Scottish Laird. So Annabel remains quite baffled as she goes from one abusive home (I don’t understand how this Mother Superior managed to make it to being a nun) to another (her parents perpetually comment on how she is not what they wanted, ugly, fat etc. NOt like her sister, so her to be husband might just run). So the first couple chapters is just wishing Annabel could just get to somewhere where people won’t pick on her.
And she does, as Ross MacKay’s home in Scotland is full of interesting characters who really want the best for Annabel. However, things seem to follow Annabel around. She is attacked by a mysterious man in a kilt several times, and then her sister arrives hoping Annabel will take her in, having been abandoned by her stable boy. Or so she says. Annabel isn’t sure what to believe.
This wasn’t a terrible read, but I really didn’t feel any connection with the characters other than sympathy for Annabel, and later Grant, Kate’s Scottish husband. The minor characters were interesting, and since this series has four more books at least (well, 3 with one coming in January), I hope to see a few of them again. It was just the pacing and depth of character that I expect from Lynsay Sands wasn’t completely there with this novel.
I gave the book a A- because as I said she’s a favorite author of mine, the book was enjoyable though not great, and I didn’t find anything that particularly annoyed me or made me want to throw the book out the window.