Tuesday, April 15, 2014

2 for 1 by Cathy Maxwell

Today, I have the first two books in the "Brides of Wishmore " series by Cathy Maxwell.  As you will see, so far, I am about 50/50 on the series.

The Bride Says No
Publisher: Avon
Date of publication: January 2014

Lady Aileen never thought she’d be in this position—falling in love with her sister’s betrothed! Of course, her sister did run away rather than marry him, and he doesn’t seem to be all that interested in her sister either, but even so, such a match is impossible...isn’t it? 

Aileen is certain she must turn away from the man she loves in order to protect her sister’s reputation. However, he’s not one to give up without a fight, and now that he’s met a woman he wants to marry, nothing on earth could convince him to let Aileen go.

After reading the synopsis, you would think that this book was a romance between Aileen and Blake Stephens.  I was expecting a romance between the two, but it just wasn't there for me.  After reading the book, I can't say I blame Aileen or Blake for falling in love with each other.  There was never any feelings between Tara and Blake as it was an arranged marriage so I found it didn't bother me as much when they got together.  That's not to say that their love story was anything to really write home about.   While Blake and Aileen do eventually get a HEA, I felt like the relationship fell flat and was a little forced. I would have liked to see more.

The main issue that I had with the book was that the story seemed to be more about Lady Tara, then about Aileen.   Tara was more center stage with her manipulations and selfishness.  I really didn't like her character at all.  I was hoping she would redeem herself in the end and was pleased to see that she did do the right thing.  But, I still didn't feel too badly for her that she lost out in the end.  She kind of deserved it.  So I won't say this is a bad book.  I just ended up being an OK read for me.

The Bride Says Maybe
Publisher: Avon
Date of publication:  February 2014

She'd once been the toast of London, but now scandal has brought her down. Still, pretty, petted Lady Tara Davidson can't believe her new fate. She had wanted to marry for love . . . but her profligate father has promised her hand to none other than Breccan Campbell, the "Beast of Aberfeldy" and laird of the valley's most despised clan! Well, Tara may have to marry him, but Breccan can't make her love him—can he?

Breccan Campbell is nobody's fool. He knows that Tara is trouble. Yet he's determined to reform the Campbell name even if it means forging an alliance with the arrogant beauty. There's no doubt that Tara is a challenge, and Breccan loves nothing more. For he's vowed to thoroughly seduce Tara—and make her his in more than name alone. 

I had a such different reaction to The Bride Says Maybe than I did to the first book.  I found I really enjoyed Tara's story.  I detested her in the first book, but she goes through a major transformation in this story and I found myself liking her.  As I got to know her character's background more, I could see how she ended up the way she did and felt bad for her.  Her beauty tended to have people dismiss her and it's no wonder she turned out to be a brat.  

She and Breccan were a great match for each other.  I loved him and even though his reasons for marrying Tara weren't the greatest, he ends up really respecting her.  Their first love scene was pretty funny.  In fact, there is a lot of humor in this story.  Something that was lacking from the first one.  I do recommend this one as it's the better of the two.  I almost feel like this one could be read as a stand alone novel since some of the ground from the first book is gone over in this one.  The next book, Groom Says Yes comes out on September 2014.  I look forward to reading it.

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