Publication date: October 1, 2013
Published: Sourcebooks Casablanca
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Amanda Forester’s new trilogy features the Campbell sisters, whose brother is the hero in The Highlander’s Heart, as they each fall in love on a special May Day celebration.
Elyne Campbell is betrothed to Grigor Grant, laird of the Grant clan. Unlike her romantically inclined sister, Effie, Elyne believes in sensibility and doing her duty before love, which she believes to be a nuisance. She is thankful to her brother for arranging a suitable match, one that will allow her to be chatelaine of her own keep. However, in spite of the confidence she exudes to her family, she is unsure of her betrothed’s character, and even more of her future. Thus, when she meets a charming and pleasant Grant clansman at a clan gathering, she feels happy knowing her future husband will be such a kind person…except he is the wrong Grant.
Tavish Grant is cousin to Grigor Grant, laird of their clan. Unlike Grigor, Tavish had grown up with a loving and supportive family and with no expectations, allowing him to become a man of cheerful disposition and an adventurous spirit, good-hearted and humorous. He is intrigued by Elyne Campbell’s intelligence and determination, yet he knows she will never be his. But when they are unwittingly forced to take refuge in an abandoned castle during a siege, might romance blossom between them?
A sweet and chaste story, Highland Bride’s Choice is a light-hearted novella with sincerity and an enchanting set of protagonists. The journey for Elyne’s falling in love was believable and sweet; she not only found a friend in Tavish who enjoys her company, but also a partner who appreciates her constancy and sensitivity. Tavish was a free-spirited adventurer with a thirst for knowledge and travel, yet the more time he spends with Elyne, the more he wants to settle down with her. He had never experienced love, as travel had always been more enjoyable in his life, so it is exactly that he had fallen in love with Elyne after so short a period which makes this novella slightly unbelievable, albeit very romantic. In some ways, at the core of this romance is the theme of opposites attract, as Elyne who had always been the dutiful man, worrying about her clan, hating the English for their claim on Scotland, is matched with Tavish who lives as he pleases and cares not for politics, but for living a good life. In other ways, it is clear how this romance developed, because Elyne needed a caring and dependent man who can take away her burdens, and Tavish needed someone sensible and practical to tone down his vagabond spirit. In the end, these two make a perfect couple amidst the peace and war of medieval Scotland.
Of note is that Tavish is the ancestor of William Grant, hero in Forester’s A Wedding in Springtime. Her next novel, Midsummer Bride, features the Regency descendant of the Effie’s love, so I’m highly anticipating both reads!
Rating: 4 tulips
*Review copy from the publisher via Netgalley