Upon arrival, she finds that Aidan has little knowledge of the marriage and no desire to see it made fact!!
A brooding, historical which I really enjoyed!!
There is no clearly defined reason why Anne and Aidan, both exceedingly nice, yet two-dimensional people, shouldn't be together. The conflicts that keep the couple from willingly falling into each other's arms amount to little more than this being the author's intention.
The Scotts versus English issue of the period fuels the most exciting situations and gives the characters something to do. But overall, the story telling is too simplistic, the writing style too elementary. The Marriage Contract reads as a young adult novel (albeit with one or two lackluster sex scenes) without challenging the more sophisticated literary palate of today's romance audience. Author Cathy Maxwell might do well to apply her solid, but take-no-chances writing ability to a different genre, one that caters to a preteen readership.
Anne is forced to marry by proxy some obscure Scottish lunatic, Mad Earl Tiebauld, Aidan Black, whose sister arranged the marriage. Anne travels to her new home only to receive a very unfriendly welcome by her spouse, who not only rejects her, but he wants her back in London. However, the English transplant ignores the irritable Scot and soon her actions gain the respect and support of his clan. To her chagrin, Anne also captures Aidan's black heart just as she now loves him too, but will he wisely keep her at his side or madly cling to his notion she belongs in England?
THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT is an amusing well written Regency romance starring two charming and not so mad (except in love) lead characters. When the story line stays with the main plot the battle of the sexes, it is an absolute delight that will provide fans with a powerfully pleasurable read. However, a political subplot, though cleverly inserted and actually tied back to the prime theme, will feel intrusive because the convincing main tale is so good and so much fun. Cathy Maxwell shows why her historicals are so well received by reviewers and fans with this fabulous Regency novel.
As you can see, the beginning of THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT is action-packed. We soon are introduced to the main characters and their personalities are revealed clearly and efficiently by the end of chapter 1.
As is expected, Aiden does not want a wife, especially one he marries sight-unseen. Although he is attracted to Anne from the start, he tries to send her back. No, Aiden is not the kind of tortured hero who mistreats the heroine. But he does resort to some tactics to make Anne-the-Stubborn-English-Gentlewoman want to return to London of her own accord--he asks,for example, Anne to cook breakfast for a large group of ravenous guests, and wants her to clean the manure in the stable (reducing his lady to what, a servant?).......Aiden stikes me as one-dimensional: when he's not trying to drive Anne out, he is busy having the internal struggle of whether he should side with his Scottish friends in the up-coming rebellion or not. (Aside from this, Aiden seems to be just acting like Sir Bannor the Bold from Teresa Medeiros's CHARMING THE PRINCE--the two bear many similarities)
Frankly, Anne is the only character that keeps me reading THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT. Compared to Aiden, she is much more likable. She stands her ground and is quite reasonable ALMOST all the time (although it escapes me why, in one episode, she gets angry with Aiden when he buys her hair pins--could it be that she thinks he's just implying his disapproval of her messy hair---oh, come on!!) I finish the book mainly to see what happens to her in the end.
Overall, THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT is a book that "flows," albeit awkwardly at times. I get the impression that this is the last of a trilogy by Cathy Maxwell, for near the end, out of nowhere, two of anne's best friends come to visit her and the three talks about some things they've done together, about which I haven't the faintest clue......and so you know, this book should not be read alone. The plot and characters probably will not stay with you for a long time, but if you have nothing else to read and don't want to get stuck with some "wall-bangers", you may want to try this book.
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