The Fraser Bride
This book had a myriad of problems. Would you want to spend your life with someone who lied to you from the moment you met? This is the heroine with whom the reader is asked to identify. Combine her with a ghost, a curse/prophecy, an orphan child, a mysterious warrior, two brothers who wanna be Laurel and Hardy but aren’t, a sort of (but not really) nasty villain, and lots of over-the-top prose, and you can begin to see why I had problems finishing this book. It may be just me, because author Greiman has received three B level grades from us in the past, but then again, it may not.
Anora Fraser is attempting to flee her destiny. When we meet her, she is galloping her horse through a dark forest when a mysterious warrior attacks her and knocks her unconscious. She is found by Ramsey MacGowen of Dun Ard and his two brothers. Ramsey’s brothers decide she is stunningly beautiful and they must try and win her hand, even though she is out cold. While their bantering is meant to be humorous, I thought it fell along the lines of Dumb and Dumber. They take her back to Dun Ard to let their parents, the lord and lady of Dun Ard, decide what must be done. Their parents, Lady Flanna and Roderic, were obviously the protagonists of another book (Highland Flame).
Anora is in need of help, but instead of asking the lord and lady for assistance, which they could have given her, she lies about her name (she says it’s Mary), her home, her clan, and so on. The MacGowens don’t want to let a single woman roam the countryside by herself, so Ramsey and his brothers set out to escort her to her supposed home. She attempts to escape, is ambushed again by the mysterious warrior, and Ramsey saves her.
Ramsey is no idiot. He knows that Notmary, as he calls her for most of the book, is lying to him every step of the way, but she refuses to tell him anything about her identity. He spends most of his time thinking that he has been wronged by his beautiful ex-girlfriend, and that he should not be falling for Anora. However, Anora is so beautiful that he has to think about this perplexing problem every other paragraph.
Ramsey is written as a nice guy. He is patient, calm, understanding, and rather a doormat. He does have that “She done me wrong” syndrome about women which should have driven him in the opposite direction right away. Why he could stand Anora, who continues to lie and keep secrets through most of the story, seems beyond comprehension. Anora has an ugly history of her own, and comes across as cold and heartless, while truly believing she is helping her clan. When they are almost at Anora’s destination, some of her deception becomes clear as Ramsey’s life is threatened. He still has no idea of the depths of her lies, however, and to reveal them to you would constitute spoilers because they were not revealed until the book had passed the halfway mark.
The language of the story is full of descriptions which give feelings and emotions to things that do not have feelings and emotions, like “bosoms swelling with lively enthusiasm,” “hair roguishly sliding,” and the mattress that “sighed happily beneath her tight little bottom.” This is also the first time I’ve ever seen the word “wick” used in relation to male body parts, and does Ramsey think about his “wick” a lot. It’s very unruly. All of these very expressive inanimate objects made me want to laugh.
Part of the story involving the mysterious warrior is left completely unresolved, and by the time I finally finished this book, I truly didn’t care about him or any of the other characters. There might have been an interesting story in here, but I only caught brief glimpses of it because of all the other problems I encountered. Even though Lois Greiman has been well received by my colleagues at AAR, I’m not inclined to give her another try.