Sold to a Laird
The basic set-up for Sold to a Laird is rather contrived and unrealistic. However, the story itself is surprisingly sweet with a strong romantic connection between the characters.
Lady Sarah Baines is the daughter of a duke, but a cruel and abusive one. So when Douglas Eston comes looking for an investor, her father offers him not money, but his daughter. For Sarah, the alternative is sending her dying mother to be exiled in Scotland, a journey that will undoubtedly kill her. Sarah considers marrying a stranger to be a price worth paying to give her mother a peaceful death at home, and so she agrees.
Douglas is horrified by the offer, but accepts in the hope of rescuing Sarah from her father. This is one of those love-at-first-sight situations, and Douglas feels immediately drawn to her. The two are married, for better or for worse, and together must learn to trust each other, face her father, and confront the past.
I thought both characters were refreshingly rational in the face of a somewhat illogical setup. Though the exact circumstances of Douglas and Sarah’s marriage were rather appalling, arranged marriages were not unheard of; I was glad that Sarah refrained from histrionics and tantrums over Douglas’s part in the scheme. In his turn, he was incredibly sensitive to the needs and pain that come along with a dying beloved parent. Though the back cover copy suggests an immediate consummation, Douglas is not one of those heroes that chooses inopportune times to demand his marital rights.
Though Douglas felt an immediate connection and affection (and maybe even love) toward Sarah, it was delightful to see them fall in love and learn about each other. Douglas does not have a reputable past, and there are many secrets about Sarah’s mother that are unearthed on a trip to inform her estranged family of her death. The two form a palpable emotional connection.
That said, one of the drawbacks to the story was an uncharacteristic lack of communication between the two that led to all sorts of irrational misunderstandings. It didn’t create tension; it just made me roll my eyes repeatedly at the drama caused by an ill-fitting bit of idiocy on both of their parts.
Karen Ranney is known for her Scottish romances. For much of the book, I questioned how much of the book was actually “Scottish,” and how much of it was marketing. It all did come together in the end, though. Those who enjoy Scottish romances will not be disappointed in the strength of the presence of Scottish heritage, and I think anyone who enjoys romances in general will pleased with the strength of Sarah and Douglas’s relationship.
|Review Date:||January 6, 2010|
|Book Type:||European Historical Romance|