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Review: Highland Bride by Hannah Howell

7 Aug

Highland Bride by Hannah Howell
Kensington (August 2011)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $8.99
ISBN: 9781420114805

Favorite Lines: “And, weel, to tell the truth, I can ne’er fully forget that I’m sticking my precious pintle into a well-used vessel.” (p. 133)

Though she has yet to be courted by any man, spirited Gillyanne Murray decides the time has come to visit the dower lands gifted to her by her father’s kinsmen. She arrives to find the small keep surrounded by three lairds, each one vying for her hand. . .and property. Though resolved to refuse them all, the threat of battle on her threshold forces her to boldly choose a suitor: Sir Connor MacEnroy, a handsome, daring knight of few words. As his wife, Gillyanne is stunned by his terse, cold distance—and her own yearning to feel passion in his arms. Now, bringing her healing touch to a land and a keep ravaged by treachery and secret enemies, she dares to reach out for the one thing she fears she may forever be denied. . .her husband’s closely guarded heart.

Do you love Hannah Howell’s Scottish romances? If so, you will be thrilled to hear Highland Bride, originally released in 2002, is being re-released in August. It has a new cover, but is filled with the tasty goodness of the Murrays’ Highland series.

This book is a classic romance set in Scotland. There is no deep story line or mystery to figure out, but there is something to be said about a good, old-fashioned, girl is coerced into marrying boy, and falls in love type of story. That’s what this is.

Highland Bride is part of a series, but it reads as a stand alone. The heroine, Gillyanne, is loveable and giving. She is intelligent and willing to risk herself for others. She doesn’t go out of her way to find trouble, but as the mistress in a home that has not had a “real” mistress in years; not since almost all of the men were killed in a battle. Connor, the hero, wears a hard facade. He had to in order to assure his family survived the devastation of a feud which killed his family. Now, he has a chance at love but he might miss it because he doesn’t know how to show his feelings.

Lately it seems like I haven’t loved both the main characters in the books I read. That is not true with Highland Bride. I loved how Gilly was spirited without being TSTL.  I enjoyed reading about Connor’s misconceptions and watching them change as Gilly taught him the correct ways to do things. He didn’t fight. He understood she had something to offer in the relationship and gladly accepted her aid.

In the end I’m so very glad I read Highland Bride. It’s a comfort book for me. It’s right up there with Garwood’s old, Scottish romances. It’s not as funny, but I smiled as I read the book. It made me happy and I’ll be rereading it often over the years.