To Marry a Scottish Laird
by Lynsay Sands
This is the second book in her series “An English Bride in Scotland”. I gave the first book 3 stars because while I thoroughly enjoyed the light fluffy story line, the romance, and the mystery (despite the fact that Sands seems to be recycling plots like nobody’s business), but I didn’t like one very gratuitous aspect of the ending.
Joan meets Campbell Sinclair when he saves her, and then she saves him in turn, from some bandits. Joan is on a quest to fulfill her deathbed promise to take a scroll to Lady and Laird MacKay, and is dressed like a boy and brutally beaten, so Campbell initially doesn’t realize she is female. This is a common trope that I am not typically fond, but here Campbell’s confusion only lasts long enough for him to learn to like and respect Joan, and the secret only lasts long enough for a few humorous moments. From then on, it is all heaving uncontrollable lusts, with the one addition that BOTH of the characters think about contraception. (pro-tip, it turns out that wild carrot seeds actually are and were used as a natural form of contraception). However, they get to MacKay and all the secrets come out, so naturally they have to get married, despite the fact that neither of them thinks the other wants to. When they get to Sinclair’s, awkwardness and hi-jinks ensue until the mystery is finally solved.
This is a fun read full of pratfalls and misunderstandings and a bit of mystery. There were two twisty secrets, and I’ll be honest, I didn’t see either of them coming. I enjoyed both Joan and Campbell and I enjoyed getting to read about past characters. So, altogether I really did enjoy this book, and recommend to anyone who likes reading humorous and even slightly ridiculous historical romance, but it isn’t going to be making my re-read shelf so I am giving it 3.5 stars.
Also, while this is the second in a series, it should work well as a stand-alone as there is no overarching story arc.