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An English Bride in Scotland
by Lynsay Sands
(Avon, $7.99, PG-13) 978-0061963117
Annabel Withram has always felt like a failure. She was shipped away to an abbey when she was seven feeling rejected by her parents. Now at age 21 she has failed to become a nun like everyone around her. Just trying to survive and not mess up in her daily life, she is suddenly swept away by the mother who she hasnít seen in fourteen years.

Ross MacKay is on his way to pick up his bride to be, Kate Withram. The two fathers were warriors together and many years prior had struck the deal for the arranged marriage, though Ross has stalled on enacting the agreement for as long as he could. Upon his arrival, he knows something is amiss. He learns through stable gossip that the elder sister, Kate, has run away with another man, essentially negating the deal. Heís surprised when the Withrams present Annabel as the elder sister, but is intrigued by her at first sight. She isnít the typical lady, but heís willing to see where things go for now.

Annabel canít believe what has happened to her in less than 24 hours. She went from spending her life in an abbey to marrying a laird. Sheís only lived around women and has never learned the functions of running a house or maintaining a marriage. She doesnít even have clothes except for what sheís wearing. After their quick marriage, she goes with Ross to his home and plans to just make the best of the situation and do as best she can.

A strange man keeps showing up in the oddest places and, while first thought to be a coincidence, Ross and Annabel soon realize that someone is out to get them. Unaware of who or why, Rossís focus is on keeping Annabel safe, which is proving to be a hard task.

An English Bride in Scotland is an easy read. It flows well and the characters are likable. The story though, is a stretch in the believability category. Annabel seems to adjust surprisingly well and perhaps too well. Sheís nice and funny, but not very smart when it comes to her safety. Who in their right mind would travel alone to the town when you know someone is out there trying to harm you?

While An English Bride in Scotland is entertaining, its plot is sometimes improbable.

--Nichole Howell

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