Alright, let’s agree right from the start that if you’re here to learn what the Bride is about and if the book has some literary value, you might be disappointed. But if you insist… There’s a bride, and because it’s a 1989 book, there’s a groom too. It’s Scotland and 1100 (or 1200, but as I read it I was not a stickler for historical accuracy, for reasons I’ll explain). There’s a marriage, and what romance pros call HEA. Whether it’s an open-door or a closed-door one, I’m no pro but it’s rather open and the level of spiciness being totally subjective, I would say low-to-medium. Your mileage may vary.
Now that the bare minimum is established, I’ll tell you how I got to this book. I bought this romance back in January on a whim (or more precisely, on an evening of give-me-whatever-to-escape-Omicron-pandemic-surge online shopping) and finished while my husband was in isolation in our bedroom with Covid. I wanted some romance, no, I needed some sugary sweet page turner with some spice in it.
Why this one in particular you would say? Julie Garwood is not the most recent, fashionable, and yes, the most progressive feminist romance writer. You might prepare yourself for some eye roll because gendered cliches are numerous, consent doesn’t exist as such (not that it was a thing in the Middle Ages anyway), and the idea of a spunky heroine is that she will engage in funny banter with her lover but does not preclude that she will act stupid.
You see, Julie Garwood is the author who introduced me to romances back in the 1990s as I should have been cramming for exams instead of daydreaming about barely-dressed Scottish Middle-Age lairds. The funniest is that her books were at our disposal on the shelves of the common room of a Catholic female students home! 🤣 (the nuns did not speak or read any English, obviously). The memory is fuzzy but I think I read The Prize.
In short, it’s not so much a case of Covid-made-me-do-it, rather than nostalgia-made-me-do-it. Compared to other experiences where I re-read as an adult old childhood favorites, this one didn’t disappoint, especially because it was a lot funnier than I expected. Now that I’ve satisfied my sweet tooth, do you have any other historical romance you’d recommend?