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Bride of the MacHugh
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Bride of the MacHugh

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  198 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
This is the story of Elspeth Lamond and the MacHugh. Elspeth is a provocative and feminine lass who lived in a turbulent time in Scotland's history, a period crowded with romance, intrigue, battles and characters that are memorable for their vitality and charm, their lust, strength and willfulness. Alexander MacHugh was head of one of Scotland's mightiest clans when the re ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 312 pages
Published January 1st 1978 by Avon Books (first published 1954)
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Duchess Nicole
"She had never thought her name lovely until she heard him say it, his warm Scots voice lingering softly over the word."

Fair warning: I am going to ramble like a loony bin in this review. I could give this five bright shining stars on one hand, or three grumpy stars on the other. I'm settling for four because the writing and the overall tone for this story are outstanding and far outdo many of the modern books that I read today. I've rated this based on a mix of literary merit and on my enjoy
Mar 20, 2013 Willow rated it really liked it
Before I start my review, I have to admit something. I loathe most Highland romances. It’s the hokey dialogue. All those ‘dinna noes’ and ‘oches’ drive me up the frickin’ wall. Every time I have to interpret what the supposedly, sexy Scott said, it pulls me right out of the story and makes me want to toss the book against the wall. I’m a firm believer that you can hint at a sexy, Scottish brogue without adding ‘dinna’ to everything the hero says. I also find most of the covers for Scottish roman ...more
Jun 08, 2014 Dorcas marked it as did-not-finish
So I wanted to like this. Scotland, warrior hero, atmosphere, intrigue, what's not to love, right? but I kept thinking to myself while I was reading, all the books I would rather be reading, and well, at the halfway mark I just couldn't force myself to finish it. It does nothing for me, what else can I say?

I didn't like the characters, therefore I didn't really care what happened to them, so that's never a good sign. I did feel something for Gavin, the scarred younger brother but alas, he was no
Regan Walker
A Highland Classic and an Absorbing Love Story from 17th Century Scotland!

My friends on Goodreads recommended this book to me, and I was happy to find it. A bestseller when it was first published in 1954, it has been off the market for some time. The edition I read was published in 1978, available used. It’s worth obtaining a copy, trust me. If I could give this novel more than 5 stars, I would. It’s a keeper and so well written it would be a good model for authors today. Even though there are n
Feb 23, 2010 Hannah rated it liked it
I'm really torn on this one, as I usually love historicals with more history and less romance, but for some reason this book didn't fully deliver for me.

All the elements were certainly in place for a five star book:
- good writing style
- a writer who seemed to have a grasp of the political situation of Scotland during the early 17th century
- well fleshed characters (especially the swoon-worthy hero)

However, by the end, I couldn't rate it higher then 3 stars because it ultimately didn't "click" wi
Another just okay read for me. I can't seem to shake this reading funk.

I really enjoyed My Love, My Enemy by Speas and I can't say I was technically disappointed by Speas in this one either. The writing is just really well done. It's so...pretty.

The first twenty pages in (as the heroine is being kidnapped by who I thought was the hero) I was so excited! I thought this was going to be a 5 star read for me.

However, it went downhill from there.

The hero turns out to be someone else and I just di
I almost DNF this book with only a hundred pages left to its conclusion. I am happy I gave it a chance. While it did not blow my mind and certainly will not become one of my favorite re-reads, it ended with quite a bang. Some pretty nifty plot twists and turns, an accelerated pace, and a quite satisfying conclusion almost made up for the very snail-paced, dry, ambivalent tone of the first two thirds of the book.


(view spoiler)
Diane Lynn
Wow, what a wonderful book. I am so sad it is over. I will definitely be reading this one again, just wish I owned a copy. I read the 1954 edition at open library.

I would call this a Scottish historical romance. There is hand fasting, reiving, receiving the letter of fire and sword, being put to the horn, ballads, clans and their families and castles. There are many clan and family names to keep track of. All of this rich Scottish history is brought into the story in a very natural way. There is
Jan 16, 2015 Adrianna rated it liked it
I've been digging the Highlander novels lately, and I came across this old one from the 50's. They didn't have it at the library, and the reviews were good, so I took a chance on a used copy from Amazon.

I started out really liking it. The story jumped right into action and intrigue, without a long buildup. The hero was arrogant and swaggering, the heroine feisty and defiant. All good, so far.

But then the romance got completely mired in Scottish/English politics and inter-clan warfare. Some of it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 19, 2014 Lede rated it it was ok
I wasn't impressed by the stereotypical characters; innocent virgin, the Man and the wicked mistress...sigh! I wanted bad things to happen to the h and H; arrogant, sanctimonious twits!

Delicious(thanks Jacob Zuma, can't help but think of u every time I say that word!) cover art.
Jul 11, 2014 Jeri rated it it was amazing
I read this book when I was in high school (in the 70's), and re-read it at least a dozen times!!! This was the book that started my love of Scottish Historical novels (I'm there at Barnes & Noble the day that the next Monica McCarty Highland Guard book is released!!). Wish I could find a copy in good condition - I think I'd even breakdown and get this in e-format if I could find it!! Loved this book!!!!!
Oct 04, 2011 Lory rated it it was amazing
This was/is my all time favorite love story. I still have a tattered hard bound book on my shelf and bring it out ever so often to read it again. I've been reading it since high school and it still satisfies my yen for a love story.
Aug 19, 2014 Lorelle rated it it was amazing
Loved this back in the day!
Jul 14, 2011 Sherron rated it it was amazing
Shelves: keeper
4.5. This was great.
Claudia Foglein-Goins
Oct 23, 2016 Claudia Foglein-Goins rated it it was amazing
Have read and reread this book . I love it and its pretty clean .
A pleasant read which failed to fully develop its political themes and romance despite the fine prose. I finished the book feeling dissatisfied with the short screen-time Alex and Elspeth spent together. I could feel the chemistry between the two, but think more passion and angst could have been added in. To be fair, the amount that existed is in line with the conservative time period the novel was written in. My other dissatisfaction lay with the lack of explanation for the clan warfare. The re ...more
Bride of the MacHugh, originally published in 1954, is one of those books marketed as romance, but which is actually well-written historical fiction that also happens to contain a love story. I suspect the covers chosen for the book were responsible for this erroneous pigeon-holing--the saying don't judge a book by its cover definitely applies here.

Original cover artwork for the 1954 William Morrow & Co hardback publication.

Cover art for the 1978 Avon paperback publication.

(I'm not including
Sep 06, 2013 Mary rated it liked it
Recommends it for: history fans
Recommended to Mary by: author's other book
Shelves: romance
She is a spectacular author. I can't remember where I managed to find this book, but I was thrilled to get it. If you want a book about the ultimate alpha hero, this is the book for you. I've never read a more powerful male hero than this book. The reason I didn't rate this higher is that I want to know what's going on, I don't want to have to guess, and often in this book I felt like most of the action was going on off stage and I was supposed to just know. But that doesn't take away from the a ...more
Ellis Vidler
Feb 24, 2012 Ellis Vidler rated it it was amazing
Great story. The Scottish Highlands are always magical. Set in 1614, Bride of the MacHugh takes place more than 100 years before the Battle of Culloden (1745), but it gives a good picture of the conflict between the Highland Scots and the English. The history is worked skillfully into the story, never boring or slow. The characters are strong and appealing; the MacHugh is a proud and honorable warrior, and Elspeth is a fitting mate.

It's time for this book to be republished. It was first printed
This was my first novel by Jan Cox Speas, but I'll have to be honest. While it certainly did not dissapoint me, I could not've given it 5 stars because I'd hoped and expected something much more spectacular. Bride of the MacHugh is a beautifully written book, no doubt but I'd found the pace of the story to be very low for me. I usually prefer more fast-paced romance novels. But Jan is such a great writer no matter and the story itself is fascinating, although there was a lot of Highlandish polit ...more
Jul 27, 2007 CLM rated it it was amazing
When Elspeth arrives unexpectedly in Scotland and is abducted by orders of the "Black MacHugh," the handsome laird of clan MacHugh, she takes him to task for his arrogance, and a spark ignites between these two strong-willed people.

An old fashioned and breathtaking historical romance by a talented author.
Jul 22, 2015 Tiffany rated it liked it
This was my first ever bodice-ripper. Pretty tame stuff, thank goodness. I'm a light-weight. Well-written, I think. Like another reviewer mentioned, it's more historical than historical romance. An emphasis on the male characters and their political as well as physical battles. Nothing earth shattering but keeps the pages turning.
Oct 11, 2010 Faeriefolk15 rated it it was amazing
I read this book as a teen and loved it, and over the years I've re-read it several times and it has never disappointed. Romance and historical fiction are not usually my genres, but this one is one of my favorites.
Gloria Lorraine
Jan 20, 2014 Gloria Lorraine rated it it was amazing
I read this book when I was just 14-years old and have never forgotten how much I enjoyed it! I am thrilled to have found it once again after 60 years. I have read literally thousands of books but remember very few as I remember this one! Am looking forward to rereading it very soon!
Mar 11, 2015 Suzume rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hot-hero
This is an oldie but a goodie. One of my favorite books of all time. Just a classic romance that sweeps you away. I actually have 2 copies! One is a backup incase one gets damaged or lost. Crazy I know, but I need this book!
The writing was excellent. (view spoiler) 4/5 stars
Apr 29, 2012 Laylah rated it really liked it
Beautiful prose. A good blend of history and romance without delving deep in both. A pleasurable read that doesn't leave me any thrill.
May 31, 2009 Kelly rated it really liked it
This cover may make it look like a Harlequin romance, but trust me it was very clean. A good quick, historical romance, though. A fun read which was recommended by a friend.
May 07, 2010 Jerelyn rated it it was ok
I read this book as a teen, and remember loving it. Reading it again I didn't find it all that compelling.
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From here:
Jan Cox Speas was born November 5, 1925 in Raleigh, North Carolina. She attended the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina (women could not go to UNC-Chapel Hill until junior year) from1942-46, where she studied creative writing under Hiram Hayden. UNC had a special association with Jan's family: her mother, Francis Howard Cox, who had studied as a high schooler at home in
More about Jan Cox Speas...

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“The honor a man carries in his heart cannot be explained, lass," he said slowly. "Nor can you measure the courage of a man who will not betray his friends, even though he faces disaster himself. We've no right to question, unless we have known the same dilemma and acquitted ourselves with the same integrity.” 1 likes
“Dreams were frail things, when all was said, and loneliness the only certainty.” 1 likes
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