I liked the idea of this story: an English lady traveling to meet her sister, ends up accidentally married to a Scottish gentleman. But the execution fell more than a little flat. I wasn’t a big fan of either main character. I found the story predictable. And I had essentially no emotional connection to the romance or any character in the book.
As we begin, Professor Braeden McKinnon is on his way home from Edinburgh University, when he comes across Lady Sarah and her maid. The women had been in a carriage accident and need help getting to shelter. When they all discover they’re headed to basically the same destination, the three end up traveling together. Then the maid gets sick and you can figure out where things go from there. Sarah and Braeden end up traveling alone. Inevitably, their need for two rooms can’t be accommodated and to spare herself some embarrassment, she tells people she and Braeden are married. Which by Scottish law, makes them actually married.
Braeden is obsessed with getting a letter inviting him to an expedition in Rome. Sarah is bent on returning to London to celebrate the publication of her book. These two plans cannot co-exist. Sarah recognizes that the needs of husbands are expected to supersede the needs of wives, so she gnashes her teeth a lot and tries to put some distance between herself and her husband… but doesn’t ever actually talk to him. Just as he never actually talks to her about what she might want for the future.
Every single plot development in this story centers on a miscommunication or utter absence of communication. There are no surprises. Everything you think will happen, happens. I didn’t like Sarah, who felt like a whiner who never gave her husband a real chance. I didn’t like Braeden when push came to shove, when he had to choose between his own dreams and those of his wife. I didn’t like Sarah’s sister, her brother-in-law, or her mother, who basically had no support for her wishes. The attraction between Sarah and Braeden was lackluster. And the ending was saccharine, tied up with a neat little bow.
This book has a fair number of good reviews on Goodreads, so perhaps it may be more your cup of tea. But it was not for me. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t really like it either.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
The Highlander’s Accidental Marriage
by Callie Hutton
Release Date: November 30, 2015