My Brief Synopsis:
# of Pages (per Amazon): 352
Castle Tullymullagh, Ireland
Brianna’s world is crashing around her.
Rumor’s are running rampant around the castle that Connor, Brianna’s father, considered a king in his own right, has lost the battle. The eerie silence filling the castle has her running for the Great Hall to find out for herself just what is going on, forgetting all proprieties to which she would normally follow; her blonde hair flying and clingy fitted dress forgotten in her panic.
As she surveys the scene in front of her all her worst nightmares are coming true. Fighting to look past the leering looks of the soldiers filling her home, she sees her father on his knees in front of a man she does not recognize. He turns out to be the foreign English King Henry II, he decrees Brianna should marry one of the sons of Gavin Fitzgavin, the mercenary who defeated her father.
Determined to only wed for love, Brianna tries to outwit the king and mercenary by sending his sons on a quest: the man who can return with a gift that makes her laugh will win her hand. Thus begins The Bride Quest. Two of the brothers, Rowan and Burke (the intended husband-to-be) both depart immediately, but eldest son Luc refuses to participate.
In her attempts to persuade him to withdraw his refusal so he will leave her home, Brianna awakens both his forgotten senses as well as her innocent ones. Tending to forgotten gardens and hoping to win the seal to his childhood home, Luc’s unassuming ways begin to win over everyone living there, other than his own father of course.
Though Luc, a former knight himself, has sworn to lay down his sword forever, only he stands between Brianna, Connor (a man who redefines Luc’s definition of the word “father”), and a threat to not only the castle but all their lives as well.
Can Luc save them all before it’s too late, and who will win the spunky beauty’s hand?
What is it?
The Princess is Book 1 in The Bride Quest series
There are 6 books in the series
August 24, 2017* (See note below in review)
How I got it:
On Amazon – it’s currently $4.99
My apologies for the delay, I decided to put most of my normal activities on hold while my parents were visiting since I only get to see them a couple of times a year. This book was also a lot longer than most I review in a week and therefore took more time to read as well.
From here on out I think I’m going to do a review every other week, but will try to get an additional post in on the off weeks too. If at some point I find someone who would like to join me in reviews we’ll go back to every week.
However, for now – on with the review!
*I feel there’s an important note to begin with –
This book was sold, as part of a trilogy, to a publisher in 1997. Twenty years later the author received the rights back and made them into new editions and redid the covers as needed of the series so they all have a similar look.
So, my thoughts on this book are a little all over the place. Brianna is both endearing and annoying, though I suspect that makes her more real. A young women who was very sheltered int he safety of her world back then might behave just as she did, with the lack of understanding just how horrible some people could truly be. Gavin Fitzgavin is most definitely one of those people. He is a horrific person that it seems no action is below his morals. As Luc noted after Brianna issues her challenge then spites his father further by shutting him out of the tower, “Indeed, ’twas not often that anyone even tried, for Gavin’s lust for vengeance over the smallest slight was renowned.”
It takes a long time (and Luc) to make Brianna understand that her brazen attempts to thwart him could cost her dearly. It both drives me insane and smacks with a truth of how a young woman who has never seen adversity might behave. Sheltered and loved her entire life, Brianna has no concept of the ability of people to not act admirably until the morning the book begins.
Luc, despite his annoying habit of trying to tell himself he doesn’t have feelings for Brianna or want more than Llanvelyn, his mother’s ancestral lands, is a man I really and truly like. For reasons not revealed for most of the book he has laid down his sword with a vow to not pick it up again, and he values his mother’s history and the hard work of a job well done. Though his stubbornness makes you want to kick him sometimes, he is gentle and caring, tending to long abandoned apple trees and lonely uppity horses alike.
His attraction to Brianna is sweet, honest, surprising (to him), and honorable. Though he steals kisses, with Brianna’s consent, he refuses to take things any further with her, most importantly once he realizes just how innocent she truly is. He is impressed by her spunk and intelligence, something I also liked about her, especially considering the era in which this book takes place.
The plot is one I really liked, and there was a fair bit of suspense as well. Delacroix did a good job of keeping the reader involved with the plot as there are so many options for who could be plotting against Connor, or at least behind his back. I has suspicions, but I also questions my theories because of just how many people it could have been.
There were a couple things that drove me insane, though.
First, foremost, and the worst was the author’s massive overuse of some words. Whether it’s present or past tense, I start to not care after a while. A couple of examples of the most used words:
Flash – 53 times
Flick – 47
Dance – 38
There were others that were less egregious to me, but I literally started to roll my eyes every time some variant of those words were used. It was something I would possibly understand out of an author’s first book, but for it to not only be one that certainly had a professional editing team and has been out for more than 20 years, I expected more.
Other issues I would have expected a book at this level to not have:
There were also multiple times where a new paragraph was not started with a new speaker.
There are typos right from the beginning (“hallway down” instead of “halfway”)
Characters are named without telling who they are (I don’t want to admit how long it took me to figure out who Uther was)
All that being said, I do like how Delacroix develops the characters, and really admire that no one just jumps into bed with each other. When considering this book takes place in medieval Ireland, anything else would be largely considered inaccurate.
Despite what a terrible person Gavin is, his three sons are all good men. While this wouldn’t seem likely, none of the three were really raised by him, instead being raised by one of his two wives, Luc by his mother and Burke and Rowan by Gavin’s second wife Margaux de Monteville. After the passing of Luc’s mother he was largely raised by Pyrs, the steward of the property, and the drive to still make the man proud even after his passing speaks volumes of both Pyrs and Luc.
Will I continue the series?
The Bride Quest continues with Book 2, where one of the other brother’s is sent in search of his true love by Brianna at this end of this book.
I really do like the characters in this book, well, the brothers and most of the people of Tullymullagh anyway. I would really like to know what happens with all 3 brothers. However, the books are all $4.99 and I find that a bit high for a book with the editing problems this one had. I guess I’ll have to wait and see how the book marinates in my head over time.
First and foremost I would say whoever edited this book should find a new profession. The overuse of words throughout, combined with typos and editing errors really got under my skin.
However, the sons of Gavin Fitzgavin really grew on me, as did Brianna and Connor. The slow growth of the relationship is cute and sweet, I found it really endearing and a nice balance to how utterly horrible Gavin himself is. The threats to Tullymullagh, and indeed Connor and Brianna themselves, really gave a sense of foreboding and kept me reading. Luc is a wonderful man, and his brothers appear to be as well.
I MIGHT read the other 5 books, but it’s going to take some thinking. I really can’t stand a book coming from big publishers that have so many editing issues. I love the concept though, so I do come away with overall decent feelings about the story despite the problems.
How to find it:
Goodreads (Includes links to other sellers)
Find Claire Delacroix: