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The Bride Says No

(The Brides of Wishmore #1)

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  1,617 ratings  ·  162 reviews
Lady Aileen never thought she’d be in this position—falling in love with her sister’s betrothed! Of course, her sister did run away rather than marry him, and he doesn’t seem to be all that interested in her sister either, but even so, such a match is impossible...isn’t it?

Aileen is certain she must turn away from the man she loves in order to protect her sister’s reputat
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Avon
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3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,617 ratings  ·  162 reviews

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Duchess Nicole
I listened to the audiobook version.

I thought at first that I would really enjoy this book. It was my first by Cathy Maxwell, and it seems as if she is a fairly prolific HR writer, so I hoped for the best. The reason I only give this two stars is because the hero and heroine of this book get just as much, if not less, face time as the secondary characters. There was very little face time between the two. Definitely not enough time to build some kind of bond. Maybe a titillating affection, but no
Madison Warner Fairbanks
The Bride Says No by Cathy Maxwell

Forced to follow society rules? No thank you.
But it’s Scotland in the times of arranged marriages and absolute levels of proper society. Tara agreed to marry Blake but runs away to be with the horse wrangler. But he’s already engaged to someone else. Aileen, Tara’s sister, and Blake then fall in love but Tara won’t release him from his promise. Not to mention the bride price that her father has already received.
What a mix up.

Sweet and entertaining.
It took un
Feb 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
Disappointing offering from a usually great author. So much is wrong with this book I don't know where to start. First off you don't steal your sister's fiancé. I don't care how badly Tara treats him. I don't care how little she wants him. I don't care if she's straying herself. It is beyond the pale.

And yes you can't help who you fall in love with. But you sure as heck can control who you open your legs to!

So there is no excuse for Aileen sleeping with Blake while he's still promised to marry
Melanie A.
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio, library
Audio: 5 stars
Story: 2 stars

Once again, narrator Mary Jane Wells gives a wonderful performance! But YIKES, this is quite possibly the most unromantic romance novel I have EVER read.

It wasn't all bad. It is a traditionally published book after all.
"God knows I've made terrible mistakes in my life, but they have brought me to the woman I am today. And I rather like her."
But the few shining moments couldn't make up for the overwhelmingly dishonorable characters and their dishonorable actions.
FV Angela
Review originally posted at

I usually start my reviews with a summary in my own words and then move on to how I felt about the romance, plot, characters, etc. I’m going to do things a bit different with this review.

Blurb from Goodreads:

Lady Aileen never thought she’d be in this position—falling in love with her sister’s betrothed! Of course, her sister did run away rather than marry him, and he doesn’t seem to be all that interested in her sister either, b
Jan 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
Terrible. There was no romance here. It was just people wanting other people and backstabbing each other to get with the person they really wanted.

A lot of fighting, and bratty behavior, and just plain nastiness. Don't waste your time.
The Bride Says No (The Brides of Wishmore #1) by Cathy Maxwell is a 2014 Avon Publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Lady Aileen never thought she’d be in this position—falling in love with her sister’s betrothed! Of course, her sister did run away rather than marry him, and he doesn’t seem to be all that interested in her sister either, but even so, such a match is impossible...isn’t it?

Aileen is certain she mu
Francesca the Fierce (Under the Covers Book Blog)

3.5 Stars

Forbidden and scandalous romance, here we come! Aileen falls for her sister’s fiance! Did that catch your interest yet? As much as that caught my interest and I was sort of …. intrigued by the execution. I think this could’ve been a little more.

This book does something different in comparison to other traditional historical romances. There are several POVs in the story and the main couple is not necessarily the main focus of the story. Some may think that there’s too much else going o
Aug 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: library, romance
This book was nuts. It was kind of Insta-lovey, and none of the characters are decent human beings. Tara was the absolutely worst, and I am not sure if I'm going to continue with this series.
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very complicated relationships in this story. Aileen left home with high hopes of finding a man to love and who would love her. Instead, her father married her to a man who turned out to be cruel and abusive. She faked an affair in order to obtain a divorce, and is now back in Scotland living a quiet life. She has no intention of ever getting involved with a man again. Meanwhile, her younger half sister went to London and is engaged to the wealthy bastard son of a duke. Three days before the wed ...more
Lover of Romance
Lady Aileen has suffered from being married, to a man who was conceited and selfish and a brute. She has no wish to even come close to that type of suffering ever again. Now that her sister is engaged, she is happy for Tara even though Tara can be selfish and full of herself. Then suddenly her sister comes back home saying she has decided not to marry after all. Then her betrothed comes after her, and somehow Tara decides to commit herself back to her fiancee. Aileen knows that Tara is almost ac ...more
Jess the Romanceaholic
I’ve long been a fan of forbidden romance, and though this had hints of a love triangle (which is not my usual fare), I thoroughly enjoyed the angst caused by the fact that Aileen was a “fallen woman” and Blake was so determined to be proper and never cause a scandal due to his illegitimate status.

That’s not to mention the instant dislike/lust that they both found themselves in from the start, and the chemistry between them was delicious.

One thing that really stood out about this story for me wa
Rachel Blom
Aug 21, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: romances
I like romances, especially historical ones set in Victorian England. This one however was very disappointing. It's supposed to be a love story of a man (Blake) who agrees to marry a woman (Tara), only to fall in love with her sister (Aileen). Except, the story wasn't about Blake and Aileen, it was a bout Tara being in love with the horse trainer, who was engaged to someone else, who discovered her fiancee kissing Tara, etc. So, I had two big issues with the book. The first was that I HATE story ...more
Jun 07, 2015 rated it did not like it
Ahhhh awful book. Not the worst I've read but near. I don't know where to begin so I think I will just list the thinks :
- no chemistry between the main characters
- and no romance. There wasn't time for that. They knew each other all of a week and they fell madly in love
- the main heroine although not a bad character was way too self sacrificing
- and the awful awful spoiled little brat that was the sister. I can't even explain how much that character annoyded me. She almost drove me insane. And t
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When jilts her groom and comes home to Scotland she has lots of growing up to do. When her groom, Blake comes after her and meets her sister he falls fast. I really enjoyed having all the different perspectives from all the characters, including the horse master Tara came home to be with and his fiance. Obviously, there is lots of broken-hearted moments to go around but I thought it was realistic in that life is often very messy and not clearcut. Looking forward to the next book with excitement.
I'm not going to continue with this one anymore. There is barely a romance and the so-called Heroine's sister is the worst kind of spoiled brat. Nothing engaging to this story and a quick skip to the end shows me I'm not missing anything worthwhile in between. Very disappointed in this author.
I did not like Tara and I'm not looking forward to her book. She was a very spoiled and selfish brat.
Dec 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
Characters who might have had potential at the start careened downward and lost all my sympathy by the end. Aileen sets off for London to snare a rich husband and thus save herself and her sister from poverty and a jerk gambler father. Things don’t turn out well and even her later calm divorcee life is destined to be upset. EVERYTHING is about ownership and the bride price of these girls, and they (and their suitors) have internalized that.

Modern characters, historical lite setting, glorificati
Amanda Winkworth
Great characters who I wanted to read about, an enjoyable read.
Feb 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Review posted: Happily Ever After - Reads
Blog rating: C

Lady Aileen left her country home and the younger sister she’s raised after their mother died giving birth to her to live her life and find a husband in London. Her father pretty much sells her to the highest bidder, a mean man who abused Aileen. But her name is the one that’s dragged through the mud during their divorce. She’s finally free of him and has now moved back to her family’s country home to settle into a quiet, lonely life. Her si
SOS Aloha
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I think there's a hero in all of us. - John Bubber

The above quote comes from the 1992 movies with Geena Davis, Dustin Hoffman, and Andy Garcia, portraying a journalist, con man, and homeless veteran, respectively. Their lives interest after Davis’ plane crashes, Hoffman rescues the passengers, but Garcia (as Bubber) is hailed the hero.

How does a contemporary movie relate to a historical romance? Cathy Maxwell delivers an emotionally satisfying love story with characters, like those in HERO, who
Under the Covers Book Blog

Forbidden and scandalous romance, here we come!  Aileen falls for her sister's fiance!  Did that catch your interest yet?  As much as that caught my interest and I was sort of .... intrigued by the execution.  I think this could've been a little more.

This book does something different in comparison to other traditional historical romances.  There are several POVs in the story and the main couple is not necessarily the main focus of the story.  Some may think that there's too much else going on

Nov 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
My Rating: 3.5/5

This book reminded me very strongly of a certain quote: "Oh, what a tangled web we weave." There was certainly a very tangled web trapping all of the characters in this book. And that turned out to be a wonderful historical romance. I really enjoyed reading this book, tangled web and all.

Aileen was a lovely heroine. She was a bit of a shrew at first, but she had reason to be bitter with her cruel ex-husband and society's scorn at her for being a divorced lady. Underneath that, t
Jul 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: library
I also say no. I understand attraction. When it exists it is too powerful to ignore. Aileen has never felt it before so she is a debutante despite her experience being married. She has been through a scary situation with a verbally and physically abusive husband. She’s intelligent as she was able to manipulate him into divorcing her. The divorce stigmatized her socially but she feels safe living away in Scotland. Despite that show of inner strength she’s showing her weak side in this story. She ...more
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
I had high hopes for this book. The plot sounded like it had some great potential. Sadly there was too much of the characters thinking and observing their surroundings and not enough talking to each other for me. Also, The amount the Heroine and Hero were actually together on the page wasn't often enough for me to get to feel their chemistry. The story shifted more about Tara (the Heroine's sister) than I would have liked. As well as other secondary characters more so than the leads at some poin ...more
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was ok

A decent read - Aileen and Blake were nicely suited and enjoyable to read. However upon reflection I would probably say that the first half of the book was more engaing. I felt like the second half lacked the same depth and whilst I liked the side plot between Ruary and Jane there was just a bit too much hysterics for my liking. I would have actually been inclined to rate the book slightly higher had it not been for Tara. Oh, Tara. It's been a while since I've come across such an annoying,
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book #1 in Cathy Maxwell’s Brides of Wishmore series.

This book is delightfully read with a lilting Scottish brogue by Mary Jane Wells. The narration is crystal clear and easy on the ears, and her nuances and inflections were spot-on; her higher pitched voice for Tara is perfect as is her sluggish, drunken reading of the wastrel Lord Tay. And the lower, deeper, and austere voice for Blake is quite seductive.

Cathy Maxwell is a new-to-me author who has written quite a few historical romances. As I
Michele Summers
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
I LOVE Cathy Maxwell. Somehow she always manages to suck me in and make me fall in love with her hero and heroine. She gets the "love" part of a romance every time and for that, I will always be a fan. She's also witty and funny (heard her speak at a conference!) The Bride Says No is not a typical romance as Cathy explores several secondary characters and their love lives, but I quite liked reading about the different people on the pages. I wasn't a big fan of Aileen's younger sister, Tara becau ...more
Jennifer Hendzlik
Sep 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, rl
Well, then. Lady Aileen has a ruined reputation. Mostly because her war hero of a husband turned out to be an abusive dick and the only way out of the situation was to have an affair and get caught. Retreating to the quiet life in Scotland she is surprised when her younger sister bursts onto the scene when she is meant to be marrying a wealthy son of a Duke, like now. Tara, it turns out, is in love with someone else. Surprise! With a father who has no interest in his daughters other than selling ...more
Sherreka Burton
Jun 25, 2014 rated it liked it
This was a weird little romance. I only say that because there wasn't one character that I rooted for, which is just plain weird for me. Aileen was sleeping with her sister's fiancée right up to the day before the wedding; Tara was a spoiled brat; Blake wasn't man enough to make his own call; and, the Earl was just a gambling idiot. I mean then only reasons this one got this high of a rating was because it made me feel some type of way and I liked Ruary and Jane's romance, though a small role it ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 06, 2015 07:12AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #3,4, & 10 The Brides of Wishmore by Cathy Maxwell 1 3 Jan 25, 2015 12:05PM  

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CATHY MAXWELL spends hours in front of her computer pondering the question, "Why do people fall in love?" It remains for her the mystery of life and the secret to happiness.

She lives in beautiful Virginia with her children, horses, dogs, and cats.

Other books in the series

The Brides of Wishmore (3 books)
  • The Bride Says Maybe (The Brides of Wishmore, #2)
  • The Groom Says Yes (The Brides of Wishmore, #3)