Name: The Beauty Bride
Author: Claire Delacroix
Genre: Historical fiction, Romance
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In this wonderful story, Lady Madeline’s elder brother, Alexander, is the newly appointed Laird of Kinfarlie. Unbeknownst to Madeline and her sisters, Kinfarlie has fallen on hard times. Alexander tries futilely to convince them to marry wealthy men with plenty of coin to spare. They refuse, much to his annoyance.
So Alexander comes up with an idea: a raffle. The highest bidder wins the Jewel of Kinfarlie, aka Madeline’s hand in marriage. Enraged by her brother’s betrayal, she shows her true character–an intelligent, sharp-tongued woman who doesn’t take crap from anybody. (Love her!) She’s ultimately bought by Rhys FitzHenry, a mysterious man with a large price on his head.
But Rhys has a reason for buying Madeline. Though he enjoys her wit and good looks, she may also be the key to his mission in life. Reluctantly, Alexander accepts the payment and hands over his sister. Her reaction, as you can imagine, isn’t very calm:
“Cur!” she cried, her scorn matching Rhys’ own. Rhys turned to her, his breath catching at the fury that lit her expression. “Take it then, Alexander! Take it, for whatever debts you have, and reject whatsoever loyalty Papa might have thought you owed to your siblings.”
This isn’t a mindless romance, as the book cover above suggests. It’s nonstop suspense; I couldn’t put it down for days. I seriously, seriously recommend it for anyone who enjoys romance books set in the Medieval era. There are a few sex scenes, but they’re not too detailed and could easily be skipped over without losing any vital information.
And I absolutely love the characters! They’re all quick-witted, sassy, and independent. There are no annoying damsels in distress, but self-motivated women with the guts to achieve their goals.
Plus, The Beauty Bride is the first in a series. The sequels are all romances between Madeline’s siblings and their prospective spouses. I’ve added them to my ever-growing list of books I need to buy.