by Valerie King

July 2003
ISBN: 0-8217-7483-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Valerie King brings us another delightful romp through the English countryside.

When wealthy Scotsman, Sir Roger Mathieson, buys an ancient broken-down castle in Sussex, he isnít greeted with open arms by the local villagers. To them, he is nothing but an intruder to their little social community. Determined to fit in, he decides to take a bride and after finding Miss Madeline Piper day dreaming among the castle ruins, he decides that she will do perfectly. But when he asks for her hand in marriage, she laughs in his face.

Some time later, Madeline learns that her fatherís financial circumstances have changed and the Scotsmanís proposal no longer seems so distasteful. When she approaches him with a proposal of her own, that she will marry him; but that it will be for his money only, Roger has another proposal of his own. He insists that Madeline introduce and make him accepted into the Sussex social world.

Convincing her provincial neighbors into accepting Sir Mathieson will not be easy, but, she must do something to save her family from ruin. What she doesnít expect to happen is falling in love with the Scotsman and wondering if he will ever feel the same thing for her.

This story is sweet, but not very sensual, so if thatís the kind of story that you are looking for, then look no further. Roger Mathieson is a proud man, who may be Scottish, but his mother was English and he abhors the bigotry that these provincial people feel towards him. Madeline is the Belle of the social community. A little conceited and also of the understanding that the Scottish people are to be treated as scum. The one thing I liked about this story is that although Roger is slandered by these people, he never really loses his temper, except when his mother is insulted by a remark. He teaches everyone that it doesnít matter where you come from; youíre still human with feelings. After a fashion, these two characters grow on each other and fall in love, but not without many bumps along the way.

Reviewed in May 2004 by Debbie.

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