Monday, January 16, 2006

Review: Stealing Sophie

Disclaimer: I am totally ignorant of Scottish history, other than a vague idea the kilt as we understand it wasn't seen until the seventeenth century. So, apologies to Maili in advance for being blisssfully unaware of any ignorance displayed in this story. One issue, given the poverty of this setting, would the tenant farmers pay tithes or taxes or whatever it was to both the English overlord & to their 'rightful' Scottish lord as well? Out of loyalty to the rightful Scottish heir as opposed to any legal requirement. I have serious doubts, but then again, not enough to actually research. This is Sarah Gabriel's debut title. Published in 2005 by Avon.

The first positive item, Stealing Sophie isn't written in some wretched made up brogue. HUGE positive in my opinion. Written out dialect (regardless of type or locale) is a major peeve. Minor curiosity, Connor (the hero) is an Irish name. Odd choice for a proud Scottish patriot hero.

Second positive item: the heroine on the cover actually matched the description of her in the text, including the color of her gown! I nearly died of apoplexy. The hero, naturally, has man titty galore plus a sword not actually used in the story, but, who am I to quibble when the art department obviously got Sophie right?

Third, their wedding night was the funniest & yet so true to life scene I've read in a very long time. Let us say simply that after a long & trying day running from the red coats (was that term actually used?) and Sophie's family plus a rushed wedding service Connor and Sophie have had a bit of whiskey. Therefore neither will own up to forgetting their wedding night. Did they do the deed or not? Sophie is pretty sure, but not completely. Connor, being a man & all, refuses to confess to a) having consumed too much whiskey and b)not remembering what happened & c) is amazed to realize that neither does Sophie.

The plot is as follows: Connor has promised Sophie's brother he will marry Katherine Sophia in order to prevent her arranged marriage to Sir Henry Campbell. Rob (Sophie's brother) then disappears and is feared imprisoned & gravely wounded. Honoring his promise, Connor kidnaps Sophie & marries her under duress after a long & exhausting run through the hills. They return to the ruins of one of Rob's castles & set about getting to know each other & their families' situation in respect to the English occupation & Campbell's powerful position as magistrate of the region. Who exactly is Sophie anyway? Why did Rob write out one sister's name & then ensure Connor kidnapped the other one? What role, if any, did Connor play in Rob's injury and capture? Can kidnapped brides truly find love even in trying circumstances?

So there you have it folks. An afternoon's worth of love, family loyalty, hot sex in the heather & dastardly villains. Throw in a fairy curse, a fiddle playing ghost & you're all set. Very heartwarming, but not a keeper. I intend to keep an eye out for other Sarah Gabriel titles.

1 comment:

Jenster said...

"Man titty galore"?? LOL!!!