Like a lot of romance readers, I started the journey with Julie Garwood's early highland romances in my youth. And like most romance readers, I loved her and I still do.
I have not, however, re-read any of my old-time favorites from her in a long time. Kindle helped me "rekindle" (no pun intended) my love affair with her books and I downloaded a bunch of them just like that. I remember them all well and the Bride is one of them.
I still enjoyed re-reading the Bride, even though I will admit to mild boredom. Like most cases, I take issues with the heroine. Jamie, a woman with a man's name, is the said heroine. She was apparently beautiful with violet eyes and had her husband Alec wrapped around her pinky, even though he would not admit to it. It is all good. But I thought Jamie's character a little silly and I wonder why no reviewer has TSTLed Jamie. She is "innocent", that is fine. But the way she was written makes her look like a naive little girl being kept by a bear of a highlander. It seemed a little perverse at some point to me. She was young, she was naive, she was bossy, she was daring, she challenged her husband, the laird, repeatedly and openly, which was apparently supposed to make her look really brave, she created conflicts with people because she believed things should be done a certain way aka her way (and of course she was ALWAYS right, because she was so pure in heart and all), she wanted to buy her husband a weapon because of course as niave as she was, she didn't think a warrior like Alec would have any weapon. I mean, for someone so naive to be so bossy.....it is good to know what you are doing and can manage a household. I get that she is very capable. But her "innocence" grated on my nerves. I expect a little more finesse and grace in my heroines. Jamie did not measure up in my book.
And I do recall, this is exactly how I felt when I was 16, reading the Bride for the first time. Even back then, in my youthful eyes, Jamie seemed TSTL. I thought: there is naive, and there is naive. (It sounds stupid but if you have read the Bride, you would think what I just wrote really smart. hahahahahahaha) And I don't mean it the positive way like Beak did in the Bride. I mean it in the "holy crxp just how naive (stupid) can you be" kind of way.
I am giving the book 4 stars because Julie Garwood wrote it and I do love her other books. The Bride was her first book (I think) and I do adore her later heroines. If I was rating the book on its own merit, it would have gotten 3 stars from me.