Abducted Heiress

Dangerous Lady

Hidden Heiress

Highland Treasure

Lord of the Isles

 
Lady’s Choice by Amanda Scott
(Warner Forever, $6.50, PG) ISBN 0-446-61669-9
**
Lady’s Choice is not my first choice, nor even my second or third choice. This book is part of a series and is clearly a sequel. The problem is that I didn’t read the first two books, where much of the groundwork is laid. Beyond that, it is mysterious and busy with many different characters involved, half of whom it was difficult to keep straight. By the time the secrets were revealed, I had been lost a long time.

Lady Adela Macleod is set to be married to an older sedate man, Sir Ardelve. But her younger sister, Sorcha (to be pronounced Sorah, we are told) is convinced that Adela really loves Sir Hugo Robinson, a man she mentioned having met at their other sister’s wedding. So Sorcha sends letters to Hugo telling him he better come claim Adela or she will end up married to someone else. Hugo is busy getting ready for the crowning of a new Lord of the Isles, so he cannot come. He also chose not to respond since he didn’t really want to marry Adela. But on Adela’s wedding day, four masked men steal her away and her family allows the kidnapping, thinking it was Hugo. When a few days later they discover it was not Hugo, they are way too far behind and besides, The Macleod, (their father) is a tad embarrassed and he has to attend the coronation. (Are you with me so far?) Sorcha then decides she will go after Adela. She tricks her father into letting her leave with her sister Sidony (pronounced Sidney) and rather than going home, they head out after Adela.

Meanwhile, Adela is relating her side of the story. She realizes she has been kidnapped by a bad man (but won’t reveal his name because she is afraid that will give him more power or some such). She is scared and we see through her experience that he is a villain, killing just because he feels like it. However, he won’t rape her because he thinks he is a man of God who must remain celibate on earth in order to get lots of women in heaven. (I promise I am not making this up). He is eventually revealed to be Waldron, a poor cousin of Hugo’s who is indeed an evil guy, and who we saw almost being killed in the prologue. He apparently played a role in the other novels and so his background is never revealed in this one. He is a one-dimensional crazy, and I was never able to get a clear picture of him.

Back at the coronation, Hugo starts feeling guilty and decides he needs to go after Sorcha and Adela. He is willing to sacrifice himself to marrying Adela to save her reputation. But when he catches up with Sorcha and spends time with her he finds himself falling for her and she for him. They have to fight this while they fight Waldron, who is seeking a treasure that the Knights Templar are protecting. And of course, Hugo, among others is one of the knights. Again, this whole plot line is left over and while continued in the rest of the book, it seemed a bit out of the blue when first revealed.

There is some action and one really good scene where Sorcha spies on the knights. Sorcha is a feisty vixen and at times, I really liked her. But she was also a tad too obstinate and got herself into too many fixes that could have been avoided…like the whole search for Adela. Hugo is a good man and at times is almost likable. Then he gets highhanded and acts as though her believes women are stupid and should just do as they are told. He even threatens to spank Adela all the time, leaving me with a bit of bad taste in my mouth.

What really sinks the ship, however, is the pacing and plodding. It felt at times like I imagine climbing Mt. Rainier might be like…one step in front of the other, plodding along with little breath, wishing that you would finally get to the top. I doubt the climax of the book is anything close to the exhilaration of the summit of Rainier, however. It is mildly entertaining, only to sink as we come off the peak.

Lady’s Choice is only for someone who really liked the first two books and understands the plot. By the time it was revealed in this tale, I was lost and could have cared less. That feeling never really wavered too much.

--Shirley Lyons


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