Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tuesday Review: The Bridegroom Wore Plaid

The Bridegroom Wore Plaid
By Grace Burrowes
Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: 
December 4, 2012

Ian MacGregor, Earl of Balfour, has definite ideas about what he wants in a wife—a practical, loyal, kind woman with a sense of humor and a lusty nature, preferably a fellow Scot. But as a man with a keen sense of honor, he recognizes that his title imposes a responsibility that encompasses not only his immediate family but also all those of his blood, his clan who have been ravaged by economic depression and forced evictions.  Ian accepts that the woman who becomes his countess must have only a single quality, a hefty dowry. The land and the clan must have a healthy infusion of cash if they are to survive, and exchanging Balfour’s title for the wealth a well-dowered, English bride will bring seems to be the only means of acquiring those funds. Eugenia Daniels, the oldest daughter of Willard Daniels, Baron of Altsax and Gribbony, is a likely candidate to become Countess of Balfour.

Altsax, impressed with the Balfour estate’s proximity to the Queen’s beloved Balmoral, is paying dearly for the privilege of his family’s being the “guests” of the earl. He is also determined to see Eugenia married to Balfour. Genie Daniels, however, does not share her father’s enthusiasm for the match. Augusta Merrick, the poor relation who has accompanied the Daniels family to Scotland, finds unexpected pleasure in her surroundings and in the lively MacGregor family. Initially willing to aid Ian in his courtship of the disinterested Genie, Augusta soon finds herself falling for Ian. He returns her feelings, but love won’t provide the resources he needs to meet his responsibilities. A happy ending for everyone seems impossible. It takes a threat to Augusta’s life, the revelation of villainy, and Augusta’s own determination to win over all the odds.

Burrowes creates wonderful families. The MacGregors are as vibrant and interesting as the Windhams, and the setting in Victorian Scotland adds even more interest. The author gives her readers three secondary romances, each one sweet and satisfying. The cast of characters is large, and some may find that all the matches between members of these two families stretch credulity. But Burrowes excels at creating irresistible characters. Ian and Augusta are likeable, sympathetic characters with clear strengths that include impressive integrity. I especially appreciated Augusta’s growth and her refusal to be daunted by circumstances.

The MacGregors won’t replace the Windhams as my favorite Burrowes family, but they are a wonderful addition to the work of this prolific author. I look forward to the stories of two more Scottish earls with connections to the MacGregor clan. The next one, Once upon a Tartan, is scheduled for release in August 2013. I’ve added it to my TBB calendar.

Do you like secondary romances along with the central romance? Can you recall other romance novels that include four romances in a single book?

No comments: