Review: The Bride Says No by Cathy Maxwell

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.


Lady Tara fell in love with the Horse Master when she was younger. She left him, however, to go to London to see the greater world and have a season, leaving her love, Ruary, devastated. Now it's 3 years later and Tara is engaged to marry the bastard son of a duke. She decides 3 days before the wedding that it's really Ruary she wants and escapes London to head to her hometown in Scotland. Unfortunately things don't work out like she planned. She gets home only to find Ruary engaged to another woman but she feels sure that he will choose her over the other woman. Then there's her fiance, Blake Stephens, who follows her to Scotland along with her father. The father insists on the marriage taking place but Tara just wants Ruary.

Her sister, Aileen, is a divorced woman who lives at home. She's happy she's divorced as her husband was a angry man and beat her regularly. When Tara shows up at home she's upset but determined to force their father to to let Tara be and get her out of the marriage contract. Unfortunately Tara changes her mind suddenly and now the wedding's on again. Another unfortunate is Blake and Aileen falling in love and Tara not willing to let Blake off the hook. Yowza.

I've only read a few of Maxwell's books but I've liked what I've read so far. This one was on par with the others but I did have some issues with it.

First what I liked: I really liked the characters. They were well written and I enjoyed reading about almost all of them. The story about Ruary and his fiance, Jane Sawyer was a good addition to the overall story and I very much liked that portion of the book.

What I didn't like: Tara I really didn't like. The next book is hers and I'm not sure that I liked her enough by the end of this book to read her story. I also didn't really care for the romance between Aileen and Blake. While it was great that they fell in love it almost took a back seat to everything that was going on with Ruary and Tara. I didn't feel like we got enough of their falling in love to feel the true emotion of their predicament. This felt more like Tara's book than Aileen's.

Despite my issues with the book I thought it was a good read overall. I'll have to see how about Tara when it comes time for her romance.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Cathy Maxwell


E.L. F. said...

Wow, sounds complicated! Thanks for the review.

nath said...

Jeez, simply from your summary, I don't like Tara! Would love to throttle her... Wonder if Ms Maxwell will be able to redeem her.

It seems like a lot of the story is about Tara?

Tracy said...

ELF - A little bit. :)

Nath - OMG Tara drove me more than a bit nuts. I wanted it to be more about Aileen and Blake as I already knew that Tara would eventually get her own romance. It was a bit disappointing.

Rowena said...

Another review that I absolutely agreed much as Tara annoyed me in this book (and I did NOT like her), I still liked this book. Weird.