STORY: Douglas Sherbrooke, Earl of Northcliffe, is a man besieged. He must have an heir. Thus he must first provide himself with the requisite bride.
Alexandra Chambers, youngest daughter of the Duke of Beresford, has loved Douglas Sherbrooke since she was fifteen. Unfortunately, it is her sister, the incomparable Melissande, he wishes to wed. But life never ladles out what one expects, and Douglas finds himself wed to the wrong sister. If having an unwanted wife isn’t enough, he is also plagued by The Virgin Bride, a ghost that is reputedly seen in the countess’s bedchamber.
REVIEW: A couple of months ago I’ve read “The Valcourt Heiress” by CC, and my disappointment was so profound, that I gave that book a very scathing review, which brought forth a very lively discussion on Amazon, as well as with some of my personal friends. Some people agreed with me (http://regencyera.net/2010/09/28/review-the-valcourt-heiress-by-catherine-coulter/), and others not so much. In rereading my review of that book, I admit to being a bit harsh; however I still stand behind my words.
This was her first novel in the Bride Trilogy. “Hellion Bride” (Ryder’s story) followed and “The Heiress Bride” (Sinjin’s story, the VERY controversial book with a spousal rape scene) was originally supposed to finish up the trilogy of the Sherbrooke’s brood, but we still had Tysen, so I guess a few years ago CC decided we should catch up with him also, ergo a “Scottish Bride”. I understand that there are a few more stories of their children, but I have not read any.
First book introduces us to all Sherbrooke’s, but it’s the story of Douglas Sherbrooke, Earl of Northcliffe. This was one arrogant, crude, rude, and utterly loving tyrant of a man. He is one of those heroes that we hate to love and we try very hard to put up with all his rude, autocratic behavior only because deep down in our hearts we know that only love motivates this man to put up with all the weirdness and antics this family dishes up for him. Only love for his brother Ryder would motivate our hero to put up with their quarterly “bastard meetings”. Only love would keep him from not murdering his cousin Tony for taking the only woman he EVER considered marrying. Douglas in the end of the book becomes, or grows I should say, into a fully fledged hero we knew him to be from the beginning.
Alexandra Chambers is a sweet, loveable albeit plain, and yet very strong young woman who loved this man since she was fifteen. From the beginning of this story, I was frustrated with her meek behavior and I rooted for her to stand up and fight her man-for her man! And just when I thought she’s down for the count, she picks herself up, and boy does she come up swinging! I greatly anticipated Douglas’ downfall! Oh, and he did fall! BIG TIME!
In rereading this story, I got reminded about why CC’s books appealed to me. The book is very well written with rich and engaging three-dimensional characters. A good dose of humor and a little intrigue added to it, and viola, we have a first-rate romance novel!
Some might say that the sex scenes were graphic, but to me they were entertaining and tastefully written. I got a kick out of Douglas’ loss of control of his passion for Alex. It’s nice to see a man lose control once in a while, don’t you think? All in all, a very good read.
As I neared the end of this book, I decided to go ahead and reread all four of the Bride series and I was so glad I did. It surprised me also to find out that this time around, I liked Ryder’s story most of all, and I understood Sinjin’s story and the controversy of spousal rape better than I did the first time I read it. At the end of the series, I felt like visiting long-lost family members, and yet I was glad to go home after a short visit.
If you never read this author, please find her earlier titles. She used to write well. I’m not sure what happened to her writing lately, but as of now my disappointment still stands. I hope to change my mind, but I’m not holding my breath. I would love to hear from all of you about CC and her books. ALL opinions are more than welcome!
Melanie for b2b