Saturday, December 7, 2013

"Rules of the Heart" by Gabriella Mahoney (Historical Romance)

Genre:  Historical Romance, Scottish Romance

Summary:  Book 1 of the Heart of the Highlands Series.

Years of war and occupation have left the MacKinloch clan in ruins. The old laird is dead and Alec is left to inherit little more than a broken down castle and a marriage contract to a woman he has never seen. So long as his wife knew her place and didn't fuss when he claimed his husbandly rights Alec would consider it a good arrangement. Little does he realize that that his new bride has some ideas of her own...


Lara didn’t even so much as flinch when two screaming boys tore through her room in the midst of a wooden sword fight. Frankly, she was glad of the distraction as it kept her from thinking too hard about the fact that she was going to be married to a complete stranger in just a few hours.

As she put the finishing touches on her hair she could hear her father outside hooking up the cart that would take her to the chapel. Her mother bustled about with the energy of someone half as young and not eight months pregnant. Lara had no idea how her mother managed but she supposed that after four miscarriages and eight living children the woman was more used to be being pregnant than not.

Even though Lara was terrified over the prospect of leaving home she kept these fears to herself since she knew her family, especially her mother, was absolutely thrilled over the match. More than once she had overheard an uncle or a cousin bragging to any random merchant that would listen that the Thompsons would be forming an alliance with the MacKinlochs. They would be related by marriage to a laird.

It was all well and good for them to brag. They didn’t have to share a bed with man that could be twice her age for all she knew. Lara tucked and plaited the MachKinloch plaid that was to be her wedding dress. The dark reds and blues flattered her fair complexion and seemed to make her eyes appear even more intensely green. At least something had worked in her favor that day.

Her mother came over and helped her to straighten the plaits. “Oh, my dear, you are truly a bonnie lass. The laird is a lucky man to be marrying you.”

Lara gave a thin smile. She loved her family and she knew her mother would miss her. But she also knew it would be a great relief to have one less mouth to feed, especially with a new little one on the way. Her brothers stopped fighting for a split second to express their admiration. “You look like a fairy princess!” the youngest one exclaimed.

Lara genuinely grinned at that. “A fairy princess that can still beat your arse in a wrestling match!”

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