Lady Madeleine Castleigh was tired of being sought after for her hefty dowry. Maddie wanted freedom to be able to participate in the many causes she championed, going against her overbearing and overprotective father’s wishes. Seeing a chance to escape the clutches of the boring sops that pawed her at every social event she attended, and get out from under her father’s thumb as well, Maddie decides to elope with a mild mannered widowed professor she met at one of her meetings. With her cousin Ashley’s aide, Maddie steals away from a party at another cousin’s residence. After Ashley manipulates Maddie into taking her along, the trio heads off to Gretna Green. Not far into their trip two noblemen on the run from an enraged duke, commandeer their carriage and one glance at the one who sits down near her and Maddie knows her heart is in trouble!
Jack Martingale, Marquis of Blackthorne is enjoying his morning paper at a local coffee house when his rogue younger brother, Nicholas, storms up to his table and starts a very loud and very physical fight with Jack. Just when the two brothers call a truce, an old enemy of their family, the Duke of Bleven, arrives with his goon squad gunning (literally) for Nicholas and Jack. Running for their lives the two spot a carriage and after dispatching the driver, Nicholas takes over that duty while Jack joins the unsuspecting occupants inside. When Jack takes in the sight of the luscious Lady Madeleine and her outspoken companion Ashley, Jack begins to sense that he and Nick picked the wrong carriage to hijack! Pursued by both Maddie’s and Ashley’s outraged fathers, some ticked off villagers they anger along the way, and the duke and his flunkies, makes for a wild ride to Scotland! Things get even more complicated when a drunken priest inadvertently marries Maddie and Jack making her Blackthorne’s Bride! Can this get any crazier?
Shana Galen’s latest in her Misadventures in Matrimony series is Blackthorne’s Bride featuring Maddie, the third in the foursome of cousins who swore (famous last words) they would stay single forever! I laughed out loud as will you at the zany antics of Maddie and Jack paired with Nicholas and Ashley. This was a hoot!