Beautiful, spirited Alpin MacKay is both shocked and incensed to discover her lately-deceased guardian, Charles, has bequeathed his entire Barbados plantation--along with its slaves--to her childhood nemesis, Malcolm Kerr, Scots Earl of Kildalton. Orphaned as a young girl, Alpin was at first foisted upon a cruel English uncle at the Borderlands, before seeking out the secret tower rooms of Kildalton's castle for sanctuary. As she grew up alongside childhood friend Malcolm, her wildness and hellion's mischief were but guises to hide her deep hurt and anguish at being unwanted. When Kildalton's keep had finally suffered enough of her troublesome pranks, Malcolm's father arranged--to everyone's relief--that Alpin should accompany his friend Charles, and wife, to their plantation in Barbados. Now, almost two decades later, twenty-seven year old Alpin MacKay resolves to return to Scotland and if necessary, lie, cheat, steal and finagle Malcolm into returning to her possession of the plantation estate she considers her rightful home. The sugercane business which she herself managed the past five years during her guardian's constant state of bereaved drunkeness over his wife's death. Alpin also wants to insure the slaves, which she has grown to love like family, receive their freedom, as well as her protection. She doesn't realize the price of that freedom may equal the cost of her heart until she confronts the tall and darkly handsome Malcolm, Earl of Kildalton, and finds herself unwillingly drawn into his web of smooth charm and easy confidence. Distrusting him for what she considers his latest treachory, Alpin still cannot help becoming mired in memories of their past together, and a friendship that, with all its pain and mischief, was the most intimate she'd ever known... Malcolm Kerr is a little surprised and highly displeased when Alpin MacKay shows up at his doorstep. Although appreciative of her grown-up beauty and womanly charms, his admiration is tempered with angry distrust, recalling their brief childhood together and how one of her many troublesome pranks upon his person came to ruin the rest of his life. Yet even as he plots his vengeance for her, Malcolm finds himself understanding the desperate loneliness she suffered as a child, and he comes to admire the small, feisty woman who isn't afraid to challenge him. Amidst a life shrouded in Jacobite conspiracy, Malcolm is sure of only one thing: Alpin will always be his--even when she seduces from him what she wants and then tries to flee... Approximately 300 pages, Arnette Lamb's BORDER BRIDE is filled with fast-paced, snappy dialogue, humorously colorful characters and an excellent flavor of early eighteenth century Scotland. It gives a wonderful example of the human conflict, how love can easily overcome the distrust, vengeance and ardent mulishness of even the best of friends.
This is first book I have read by Arnette Lamb. Not knowing what to expect, I found well-written descriptions with lots of details (historically accurate) about daily life in the 18th century, and well-drawn characters. I admire Alpin's strength and sense of humor. She knows when to pick her battles, and never loses sight of her goal to reclaiming her home plantation, "Paradise", in the Barbados. However, somewhere in the process of tricking Malcolm Kerr, now her guardian (as she is an unmarried woman without family to protect her), she realizes that her sense of "home" has re-transferred to Kildalton Castle on the Scottish borderlands, and the Kerr family, who had befriended her when she was but an orphan wee girl. Her plans don't include falling in love with Malcolm, her childhood friend and nemesis. I enjoyed the historical details, the connections with Bonnie Prince Charlie, and the humorous by-play between Saladin, Malcolm's master-at-arms and friend, and Alpin's Black lady-in-waiting, Elanna.
If you were enchanted with Malcom and Alpin as children in the previous book "Border Lord" You will be even more intrigued with them as adults. Their shared childhood exploits add spice to their adult relationship. The author's characters are real. They are sensitive, passionate and sometimes funny. The reader will find herself identifying with the heroine in her exasperation with the hero while sharing her longing for him. The surrounding characters are no less entertaining than the main characters. If the author can keep up this calibre of writing I can't wait for more!
The title rilly disillussions pple. I find it has nofin 2 do wiff the title border bride, itz waaay 2 plain for such rich text. Itz one of those fantasy where young gurlz thatz suffered the life of cinderella finally findz happiness. My favourite part was when Alpin tries to escape and Malcolm wouldn't let her, showing how much he loves her. Itz just SOOOOO sweet and enthralling. Itz beyond your imagination, itz like the magic and perfect plot. Itz like absolutely perfect and original!