It’s never been a secret that I love Suzan Tisdale and all her books. She’s just a lovely person and so nice to talk to on Twitter. Seriously, she’s awesome. If you recall, she even allowed us to interview her, which you can read HERE. Anyway, I applied to be on her review team and was accepted! Be still my beating heart. And the book in question? Book two of the The Mackintoshes and MacLarens series, The Bowie Bride. I’ve read the first book, Ian’s Rose, but on my own time and I highly recommend it. Now, let’s delve into the latest in Scottish Romance…
Heat Level: ♥♥♥♥
Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers
Genre: Scottish Historical Romance
We begin our tale with a grieved Alec Bowie, his evil older brother being killed by Ian Mackintosh. Now Alec is chief of clan with a bad reputation and in need of a bride to keep the peace with his friend Ian’s clan. While the ideal of being wed sickens him, he’s the only one than can keep his clan together. But no woman is too keen on becoming a Bowie…except Leona Mackdowall.
Leona isn’t known for her ravishing beauty, as he has one olive green eye and one an ice blue, and some think she’s a witch. But Alec knows and likes her well enough to make her a passable bride. She’s a loyal woman and promises to not tether him to home and hearth, making her the best prospect Alec has. But Leona isn’t entering into this marriage out of love either, but to escape her brute of a husband. And when Alec promises her a home, children, to never flaunt his mistresses, and to never beat her, she’s ready to walk down the aisle.
It’s a good enough match, as both parties know exactly what the other requires, but Leona is mistrusting after a lifetime of ill-treatment and Alec doesn’t always have the finesse needed to put her at ease. However, they make a fine pair and learn each others ways easily enough and appear to have a good future ahead of them, especially when what starts out as a contract begins to turn to love. Except there are some mysterious accidents that seem to follow Leona. It might be that someone wants the Bowie bride gone…for good.
The first thing I adored about this book is the continuation of Ian and Rose’s story from book one. Yes, this novel was basically still about Alec and Leona, but It was nice seeing Ian and Rose again and to get a peek into how their married life was progressing. And they also added to the story, not took away from it or absorbed all the attention as in some other books. It was almost as if Ian and Rose were passing the gauntlet to Alec and Leona.
Another thing I liked was the evolution of the characters from odd, contractual understanding to love. Without giving too much away, their relationship was sometimes steamy, always sweet, and forever honest. It made them very relatable because of their imperfections, but you were still completely capable of swooning when you imagined some of the fine Scottish brogue in this book.
I highly recommend this novel, and the entire series, to all historical romance lovers, particularly ones who can appreciate a man in a kilt and the old clan ways we love. So read book one, if you’re a bit behind, then grab a copy of The Bowie Bride, the perfect summer read.