The Bride Says Maybe is the second book in The Brides of Wishmore series by Cathy Maxwell. My main complaint about the first book, The Bride Says No ,was that it was all over the place as far as POVs and the woman who was supposed to be the main character, Lady Aileen, took such a backseat to her bratty sister that it turned me off. I didn’t believe the romance and was too focused on the decisions and actions of someone other than the heroine to really enjoy myself. To be blunt I wasn’t a big fan of Lady Tara when I finished the first book. Like, at all. But I was intrigued about how exactly Cathy Maxwell would redeem her character and turn her into a viable love interest after her childish, ridiculous actions previously.
Now that her sister has married her intended and her childhood love has left her behind and married another Lady Tara is in a hard spot. She doesn’t realize how hard until her father calls her into his study one evening to tell her that they’re bankrupt. Done in. Broke. The only choice he has is to marry her to the man who purchased all of his debts and the marriage will take place that very evening. Her husband to be? The Black Campbell himself.
Breccan Campbell is Laird of his clan. A big, brute of a man with a gentle heart who wants to do what is right and take care of his people. He has ideas that if they pay off will secure the futures of everyone who depends on him. Breccan hasn’t spent a lot of time in Tara’s presence, but he knows she’s beautiful and he wants her desperately. Enough to spend money he doesn’t have buying off her father’s debts in order to obtain her. Having spent his entire life being reminded of his enormous size, he wants Tara for her beauty and grace. But Tara isn’t about to be pushed into an unwanted marriage where she has no control over her future. So they strike a deal, she will marry him and stay long enough to birth him two babes, then she will be off to London where he will support her in a way she feels she deserves.
The Bride Says Maybe picks up immediately where the first book leaves off. Tara still comes off as a selfish, hard-headed woman when she agrees to marry Breccan. This may be why I had my doubts going in, in fact after the first couple of chapters I was sure that Tara would never be believable as a love interest for such a wonderful, likable hero. Because Breccan grabbed my attention from the very beginning and the more I read the more I adored this big, hulking gentle giant. I simply love this type of hero.
Then something happened. Tara started to change.
When Tara gets to her new home she is taken aback by how crude and barren it is. There’s even a pack of dogs that run around inside like they own the place. Her husband is a stranger and she is a little scared of what is supposed to happen in the marriage bed. As Tara adapts to her new life she quickly learns that while her new family might be short on funds and manners they are big in heart. That’s when readers are finally clued in to why Tara thinks and acts the way she does. She may be beautiful, but she’s lonely and everyone who she’s ever loved has left her behind. It’s not until she feels safe and respected that she grows up and becomes much more likable heroine. Tara and Breccan’s romance builds and unfolds very slowly . There is a lot of time spent getting to know each other before they fall into bed and I very much appreciated that.
There are plenty of misunderstandings, humor and shenanigans and this book is definitely more sweet than sexy, but I have to say I ended up reading it in one sitting. Which is something I can honestly admit I did not think I would do after being introduced to these characters in the first book. I had a few issues with the conflict at the end and how abrupt the ending was, but overall I found this to be another enjoyable historical romance by one of my tried and true authors. Final Grade- B-
Yes, love. She was falling in love.
And love surprised her. She’d returned to Annefield and the valley because she believed she loved Ruary.
But now, she wondered if she’d ever loved before.
Breccan was the one. One life; one love.