by Claire Delacroix
Series: The Jewels of Kinfairlie #1
Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 12 hours and 56 minutes
Genres: Historical Romance
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 4.5 cups
More cherished than gold are the Jewels of Kinfairlie, and only the worthiest may fight for their love...The Laird of Kinfairlie has unmarried sisters, each a gem in her own right. And he has no choice but to see them all wed in haste. Lady Madeline's heart is not for sale - especially not to a notorious outlaw like Rhys FitzHenry. Yet Madeline's hand has been sold, to none other than this battle-weary warrior with a price on his head. A more dutiful maiden might cede to the Laird's command and meekly accept her fate, but Madeline has never been obedient. She decides to run away, though she never dreams that Rhys will pursue her. She does not expect this taciturn man to woo her with fanciful stories, much less that each of his enthralling tales will reveal a scar upon his shielded soul. She never imagines that a man like Rhys could imperil her own heart while revealing so little of his own feelings. When Rhys's past threatens his future, Madeline takes a leap of faith. She dares to believe him innocent - and risks her own life to pursue a passion more priceless than the rarest gem
It has been quite some time since I have read a medieval era romance. I was delighted for the chance to listen to The Beauty Bride by Claire Delacroix. This is the first novel in her Jewels of Kinfairlie series featuring unwed sisters and a brother who must marry them off post haste. Fairies, a stranger, danger and deceit had us racing across the countryside and falling for Rhys FitzHenry.
Coffee dates with The Beauty Bride
First date: Lady Madeline is the oldest unwed sister of Alexander, the new Laird of Kinfairlie. The coffers are running low and he must see them all wed. Madeline is refusing even though her beloved is believed dead. She holds out hope for his return and asks for more time. Alexander arranges of all things an auction to sell the first of his rarest gems to the highest bidder. Men he believes worthy have been invited to bid for her hand. Oh lordy, Madeline is none too happy. We see a little magical element here as the youngest sister sees a fairy and I immediately found her to be a kindred spirit. Rhys FitzHenry an uninvited guest manages to win the bid. Madeline is drawn to him but fearful and quickly decides to run away. Accompanied by her groomsmen she flees in the middle of the night.
Second date: At dawn, all hell breaks loose as we learn Madeline’s long lost love has returned and that she and Rhys are missing. Things are about to get interesting. Delacroix shares another relationship in the castle and I am curious to know more. I adore how her female characters are strong, and speak their mind. Madeline is in great peril but thankfully unbeknownst to her Rhys isn’t far behind. Rhys is not a trusting soul and keeps his emotions in check. It is obvious he has a thing for Madeline despite his declarations that he needs her to secure his keep. The man is sexy but rough around the edges and lordy is he stubborn. His use of stories to communicate his feelings was sweet and I loved when he spoke in his native tongue. *swoon* Kidnapping, king’s guards, secrets and quibbles had me listening intently. Ruined, Madeline takes a leap of faith.
Third date: Ah, I want to bash the man’s head in. Rhys needs to let down his guard and trust Madeline. I understand as the author has done a splendid job of sharing his past with us. As they make their way across the countryside, they get to know each other and I could not help but laugh at their bickering and wicked banter. These two have no problems communicating while lying down but put some clothes on them and they get stupid. I enjoyed the way Delacroix allowed the relationship to build slowly as they began to understand each other. This final date has them being pursued as they make their way to his keep in Wales. Twists, betrayals, confession and revelations had me entranced as we made our way towards happily ever after.
The Beauty Bride followed familiar tropes but mixed in strong characters and twists, and I found myself swept up in the story. Saskia Maarleveld did a fine job with the narration, although I struggled at first getting use to Rhys’s voice. Her accent added to the story and I loved her interpretation of Madeline. The Rose Bride and the Snow White Bride will feature the other sisters of Alexander. I look forward to their adventurousness romances.