SOS Aloha's Reviews > The Bride Says No

The Bride Says No by Cathy Maxwell
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Jan 04, 2014

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 are not quite who they seem to be. Lady Aileen thinks she is immune to love after a scandalous divorce. Lady Tara believes she must the center of attention to validate her being. Blake seeks society’s acceptance despite his own financial success. Yet their lives interest in Kenmore, Scotland – a picturesque village on Loch Tay. Ah, the Highlands. Maxwell’s characters are not immune from Alba’s magic as they find themselves wishing for more in this new series about the Wishmore Brides.

Maxwell takes advantage of every scene to create her own magic. For example, Blake’s valet unveils his Scottish brogue once they are ensconced in the country house. When Blake comments that he did not realize the valet was Scottish, the valet responds that coming home brings out the best in him.

I find it appropriate that Maxwell sets up the love triangle(s) in Kenmore, Scottish Gaelic for “big head”. Several characters indeed have large egos that are ultimately humbled by a Corinthian, er, a verse from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Maxwell shines as she humbles her characters – characters who come all varieties: gentry, villagers, beautiful, plain, successful, and disgraced. In one particular scene after Sunday service, Blake scans the church yard and observes the local folk. It is then he realizes that the trappings of London have no effect on the content residents of Kenmore.

Nuances like these are Maxwell’s strength as she challenges readers to consider who is the hero in THE BRIDE SAYS NO.

Getting back to the quote, the film HERO opens with the journalist (Geena Davis) accepting an award. She pulls out an onion, peels it at the podium, and demonstrates that no matter how much she peel away the layers, she find nothing new. The scene mocks the public's serach for something that may not be hidden but facing them in plain sight. The characters in THE BRIDE SAYS NO also peel back the onion, hoping to find the comfort that eludes them. Yet it takes several lessons in humility for them to realize that love is within their reach. Thank you, Cathy Maxwell, for this endearing adventure.

Recommended read for fans of heartwarming romances. And, of course, readers who appreciate Scotland’s mystique.

I received an ARC from the author for my honest review.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
January 4, 2014 – Shelved

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