Lady Madeline's heart is not for sale - especially not to a notorious outlaw like Rhys FitzHenry. Yet Madeline's hand has been sold, to none other than this battle-weary warrior with a price on his head. A more dutiful maiden might cede to the Laird's command and meekly accept her fate, but Madeline has never been obedient. She decides to run away, though she never dreams that Rhys will pursue her. She does not expect this taciturn man to woo her with fanciful stories, much less that each of his enthralling tales will reveal a scar upon his shielded soul. She never imagines that a man like Rhys could imperil her own heart while revealing so little of his own feelings. When Rhys's past threatens his future, Madeline takes a leap of faith. She dares to believe him innocent - and risks her own life to pursue a passion more priceless than the rarest gem.
Madeline is a heroine that is easy to love. She is graceful, daring, charismatic, and speaks her mind with dialogue that will leave the reader laughing out loud as she banters with the other characters in this novel. She has recently lost her betrothed, a kind hearted musician, who died in battle in France after being pushed to go to war by his father. Broken hearted, she has determined not to wed. After nearly a year of morning however, her prankster brother, Alexander, has decided to take matters into his own hands. Eager to ensure a good match for Madeline and money to support the younger siblings, he decides to auction her off to a carefully selected group of bachelors. When the situation goes awry and Madeline finds herself wedded to a tall, mysterious stranger, she takes matters into her own hands and flees into the night.
Rhys Fitzhenry has a dangerous reputation. Marked as a traitor by the king, he must run for his life from the King's men. Eager to protect the land he feels is his, he steps out from behind the walls that keep him safe to claim a bride and sire an heir to keep his kingdom. When he hears of the auction for the jewel of Kinfairlie, he cannot resist.
Rhys is humble, protective, strikingly handsome, and can tell a tale with extraordinary skill. He is an excellent match for the beautiful and quick witted Madeline.
The writing for this novel is exceptional. The details make the scenes come to life and fairly jump off the pages. The characters have depth with realistic flaws and strengths that make them memorable. I was especially impressed by the creativity in the tales Rhys tells. From the witty dialogue, to the intriguing side characters, to the plot that makes this novel impossible to put down, The Beauty Bride is a must read!
I listened to the audio version of this book, narrated by Saskia Maarleveld. Her range of voices is impressive. The reading is smooth, the flow is even, and her skill with both narration and dialogue add to the novel. The audiobook version is outstanding!
For any readers who enjoy historical romance, Claire Delcroix is a must-read author and The Beauty Bride is a novel you'll remember long past the final pages!
NARRATED BY: SASKIA MAARLEVELD
LENGTH: 12 HRS AND 56 MINS
RELEASE DATE: 9/24/14
PUBLISHER: DEBORAH A COOKE