Title: The Highlander’s Accidental Marriage
Author: Callie Hutton
Series: Marriage Mart Mayhem #6
Genre: Regency Romance
Length: Short novel
Available: Nov 30th
She never intended to take a husband…
The Duke of Manchester’s sister, Lady Sarah Lacey, always abides by the rules of etiquette. Fate, however, has no such confines. On a journey to the Scottish Highlands, Lady Sarah is set upon by misfortune-leaving her without carriage or chaperone, and left to the mercy of a kind and handsome gentleman. Whom (in order to secure a room at an inn) she announces is her husband.
When she proclaims they’re married in public, Professor Braeden McKinnon can’t bring himself to correct the lovely Lady Sarah. After all, her reputation would be ruined. Nor can he tell her that her proclamation is not only legally binding in Scotland, but sharing a room is considered to be an act of consummation…
Now they are bound together until death do they part-even if Sarah has no intention of becoming any man’s wife.
Here Be Spoilers!
(But admit it, you’re curious as to why I only gave it 1, aren’t you?)
Source: ARC from Entangled: Scandalous via NetGalley
This book sadly did not work for me. I’m new to this series, so that might have had something to do with it, but right from the start I disliked Sarah. She’s extremely bossy and snobbish, which isn’t entirely unusual for a duke’s daughter, but it meant I didn’t like her much. The whole idea of her needing to be in London to do interviews and sign her books in 1817 struck me as completely ridiculous. Not even Byron did any of that. Also, the constant twittering about her being a romance author… I don’t think that was the term of the time. A novelist, perhaps.
Then there’s the journey, where anything that can go wrong does go wrong. It got a bit much after a while. I think it was about the time the maid fell sick that my attention wandered off and never really came back. It takes far too long for the accidental marriage to occur and by then I didn’t care much about Braedan keeping it a secret.
Ah, yes, Braedan. I wanted to like him, but he was rather dull. A genius in both literature and mathematics, who somehow ended up as a Classical archeologist (for some reason that struck me as odd, I’d have expected science, especially in Edinburgh), he’s also a bruising rider and a crack shot. A fine physical specimen, in fact, which is rather remarkable for a man who’s also a professor at twenty-eight. There were times when I wondered if all these accomplishments were intended to replace his personality, because there really isn’t much development of character here.
As for the romance – nope, sorry, not buying it. I can’t see what the two of them have in common, apart from the attraction, which Sarah spends most of the book fighting off. She doesn’t want to get married, she doesn’t want children, so she sleeps with him and risks a child even before she knows that they are married, and then gets on her high horse when her brother-in-law insists. Since she was Miss Propriety when she and Braedan first met, why is she surprised? Even without the accidental marriage, there are plenty who would call her ruined. Then she makes assumptions about how Braedan will react to her special secret authorial powers – but she never actually talks to him about it, she just assumes and pushes him away.
Not that Braedan gets off lightly here, because nope. He knew Sarah went to Scotland to visit her sister, and since he’s staying on a neighbouring estate, why doesn’t he stay with her? It’s not like he’s even spending the time with his family, since he seems to avoid them completely. When she has a head wound, does he play the doting husband not wanting to move her for fear of a relapse? Nope, he waits for her to fall asleep then moves her because he’s the husband and she must obey! And what the hell was that road trip about anyway? And why is Sarah in Scotland for so many months? As for the Rome debacle, he just expects her to follow because that’s what wives do. Nice. What a prince he turned out to be.
So, I didn’t like the heroine, I found the hero boring, until he turned patronising and overbearing, the road trip was a farce of calamitous proportions, and the romance was lacking any chemistry. I don’t think the two of them would even have made good friends, let alone survived a marriage. Basically, I didn’t like it. There were several times when I almost gave up, but I persevered in the hopes it would improve. It didn’t. I’m sadly disappointed.
The Highlander’s Accidental Marriage is out November 30th.
Visit Callie Hutton for more details.