Review of “The Laird Takes a Bride” (The Penhallow Dynasty #2) by Lisa Berne

Berne, Lisa. The Laird Takes a Bride. New York: Avon Books, 2017. ISBN-13: 978-0-03-245181-1. Print List Price: $7.99

3 stars

Despite finding Lisa Berne’s first book, You May Kiss the Bride, lackluster, I picked up the second book in the series. And I found that I had the same reaction to this one. And while it had its good points, the romance wasn’t really “there” for me.

I think the first mistake was having this book be about Alasdair, who I don’t even remember being a big part of the first book, than about Hugo, who interested me much more. And with his character, I didn’t get the sense there was anything new being brought to the table, as he’s just another angsty, broody hero, who won’t fall in love because he was heartbroken over the woman he loved marrying his brother, and then losing his parents, brother, and sister-in-law after they drowned in the loch. And with Fiona, while I did feel bad for her, as she had such a difficult life at home, I had a hard time believing that she would fall in love with Alasdair, especially since these two ADULTS have constant miscommunications.

I did enjoy that Berne endeavored to immerse us more fully in Highland culture than any other book I’ve read before, setting the book entirely in Scotland with an entirely Highland Scottish cast of characters, imbuing what their perspective might have been at the time. And though I don’t know a lot about clan history and relations, I found the concept of the Tome and the laws within intriguing.

And despite my two disappointing experiences reading Berne’s work, I do hope to see what she produces in the future. From what I have heard from her about Hugo and his book, he is someone who is funny and lighthearted, and much more my speed.

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