Click here for Amazon link, Where Roses.. is easier to get as an ebook (£4.46), Kiss the Bride is only available in used paperback form (£0.24).
I found these two at a local car-boot sale! Before the amazing Meg Cabot (author of YA sensational Princess Diaries series) became famous, she wrote romances under the name Patricia. And they are sooo good! My favorite is Educating Caroline. I also have review of A Little Scandal and An Improper Proposal. They have all recently been re-printed in digital form, so the hard copies require some digging up on Amazon.
These two books are good-old regencies, which has as much bodice and frills you desire, as well as adventures in the Scottish highlands. Where Roses.. was her first ever book so I was deeply keen. It felt so familiarly Meg Cabotish, that I was not disappointed. She has a way of story-telling that makes readers feel warm and comforted. There is a humor in how she presents her characters (main and secondary), that I find endearing and memorable.
Where Roses.. is about a loaded and selfish Lord Rawlings who has no desire to become head of his family’s estate. This would mean giving up on spending endless days partying with his mistress. So when he finds out that his recently deceased brother had a long-lost child, he jumps to the opportunity of restoring the rightful heir (all in the name of what is right). However, this child is living in the middle of nowhere in Scotland with an aunt who refuses to have anything to do with the aristocracy.
When he goes all the way to confront the ‘liberal spinster’ (radical haha), she turns out to be a beautiful young woman who rightly puts him in his place. The relationship is very electric, fast-paced and physical. Its a fun read- especially when Pegeen (I know such a cute name) relents to accompanying Lord Rawlings back to London, upending his debauched lifestyle with his mistress and friends. There are also secrets about Pegeen’s family that are later revealed.
Kiss the Bride is about orphaned Emma, raised in London society by the charity of her relatives, but then runs off with an Earl to get married in a tiny village in Scotland (got to love those highlands). Stuart, who Emma admires for his desire to become a priest and help the needy, dies and leaves her penniless. His cousin, rich and haughty Earl of Denham, comes to visit her after hearing about the death. She hates him because he didn’t support her marriage, despite being like an older brother growing up.
James plans to the honorable thing and bring her back to London to stay with his mother. He is also secretly in love with her and always has been- so that makes things complicated. She is constantly pursued by men for marriage, because the situation of Stuart’s death has lead to a hefty inheritance. However, an incredibly sexist Judge has ruled she cannot get the money until she marries. So they have no choice but to marry! But James makes sure that this time she doesn’t get away, even if it means having to change his selfish lifestyle. This is helped by the way Emma finds herself uncontrollably drawn to him. I liked this better than Where Roses.., because even though it was just as physical, it was more wooey.