Instead of taking the veil as planned, Annabel is whisked away from the convent and ordered to marry Scotsman Ross MacKay, her runaway sister’s intended groom.
Since being sent to a convent as an oblate before she was 10 years old, Annabel has known a stern, joyless existence. Now, just weeks before she’s meant to take her vows, Annabel’s mother shows up to bring her back home, forcing her to marry the man her sister, Kate, has been betrothed to since birth. But Kate has eloped with a servant, and her parents, desperate for the dower, pass Annabel off in her place. After two decades in a stifling religious environment, Annabel’s enthusiasm for her newfound freedom and a thousand new experiences is irrepressible, and Ross MacKay, her new husband, is captivated by her charm and spirit, despite the realization she is not his intended bride. Settling into his home and her place as wife of a clan laird, Annabel falls in love with her new life—and her husband—but she has been warned by her mother to keep her convent existence a secret, a detail which rests uneasily beside her honesty and straightforward nature. Navigating her new happiness against a wealth of secrets becomes even more complicated when an unknown enemy seems determined to harm Annabel; Ross must protect and defend the English wife he never knew he wanted but now finds he cannot live without. With humor, wit and compassion, Sands spins the touching tale of a lonely outsider who is rescued from the jaws of a bleak future and finds emotional and physical happiness through a marriage that was never meant to be. Ross is Annabel’s perfect hero, allowing her to come into her own and standing up for her in quiet, powerful ways. Watching Ross and his clan fall in love with Annabel is touching, and Ross’ prowess at maneuvering the church’s “bedding laws” and Annabel’s entrenched religious obedience are highly amusing.
A sweet, sexy, fun romance, with clever accents of suspense and entertaining dollops of humor.