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4.0 out of 5 starsGood story.
Reviewed in the United States on May 19, 2018
I really liked this book. The relationship between H and h was great. Good dialogue, very believable, kept !e wanting to read more. Three were two things I didn't like. The original plan as for how Anne came to be married was dumb. I'm not sure what Philippe was thinking; maybe bride switching happened often back then, but I've never read anything about it in any other book, so I feel like it was just dumb and made no sense. Gridlock also requests that Anne call him by name several times, by he rarely called her by name, he just called her lass. I realize he knew her as Mary, but still, we should have heard more of him calling her by name, in my opinion. Other than those two things, this was a good book, and I will be buying the next in the series.
I really enjoyed re reading this erotic and sensual love story. Great characters and a very mean evil villain who meant harm to our lead female character Anne but it turned to her good.
Philipa the Countess of Warwickshire's daughter Mary has been betrothed to the Scottish Earl Brodick McJames the Earl of Alcaon. Mary doesn't want to marry she is a spoiled old spinster who just want to stay at the court of Queen Elizabeth Tudor. Philipa has refused her husbands bed after she gave birth to Mary 26 years ago She does not want to have anymore children and she doesn't care for the marriage bed. Henry the Earl won't rape or force her to his bed. So the Earl takes a mistress name Ivy and they have many children over the years. Anne our heroine is the eldest daughter. The only problem I had with the story was the Earl leaving his wife in control of the household and his mistress Ivy and her children left subject to her whims. This didn't make sense. Henry the Earl is in love with his mistress and loves all his sons and daughter by her but he sits back an let them be ill treated. This part of the story didn't work for me although Philipa gets her just deserts in the end.
Philipa makes Anne take her daughter place as Brodicks wife. The marriage was done by proxy. Brodick has never seen Mary. Anne must return home to Philipa once she had conceived and have the baby there and give it to Mary. Now this didn't make sense either becasue wouldn't Brodrick know is own wife? Brodick and Anne fall in love and his no the wiser that she isn't his legal wife. They have some very erotic sex Hot!! and they learn to trust and respect each other. They do get there HEA this was an excellent ending to the story. I highly Recommend In Bed With A Stranger, by Mary Wine. I really enjoyed it. This could have easily been a 5 star review but the foolishness of the Earl of Warwick, Anne's father all those years. Just didn't sit right with me. Why leave the family you love under the thumb of his evil wife.
4.0 out of 5 stars4 and 1/2 stars - Beguiling Tale of a Scot's True Love!
Reviewed in the United States on May 29, 2011
First, I just gotta say that I cannot see anyone calling this story boring, so I do not agree with the one and two star reviews. Just ain't so.
Set in 16th century England and Scotland (mostly Scotland), this is the first in the McJames trilogy. It is a very clever and well told tale. Like other Wine romances, her dialog is believable and truly well crafted, her characters multidimensional, the history seamlessly woven in (and accurate) and the story fast paced. I do wish she would describe the characters' physical features a bit more and remind us of what the hero is thinking about the heroine. But, oh well, I digress.
This first story tells of Anne Cooper, the acknowledged bastard daughter of the Earl of Warwickshire. The Earl would never have taken a mistress if his unloving wife hadn't spurned his bed for fear of dying in childbed after having a difficult first birth with her daughter Mary. But his wife refuses to relent, and in time, the Earl comes to love his mistress and their children and takes care to have the children well educated. Though Anne was raised as a servant in her father's house (think Cinderella), and is resented by the Earl's wife, Anne has become a young woman of grace and intelligence. When her father marries her legitimate half sister Mary (by proxy) to the Scottish Earl of Alcaon, Brodick McJames, Mary and her mother plot to send Anne to Scotland instead of the spoiled and selfish Mary so Mary need never bear a child. The plan is for Anne to get pregnant and then return to England and substitute Mary for Anne. Anne resists the deception that she knows is wrong, but is persuaded to go along with it when her mother and siblings are threatened. Once in Scotland, Anne finds she respects Brodick and his clan. Their physical relationship becomes quite special....and they fall in love.
You will love this story of two wonderful people falling in love in a time when James VI, son of Mary Queen of Scots, ruled Scotland. It's a triumph of love over legitimacy. I recommend it.
5.0 out of 5 starsIn Bed With A Stranger (McJames)
Reviewed in the United States on March 7, 2014
I like the book even though the reasoning for sending Anne in place of her half sister Mary was stupid. Did they really think that Brodick would not notice the difference between Anne and Mary or would think he would just accept a different woman? I also thought it was really stupid of the Anne's father to leave his mistress and their children under the care of his wife since he loved them. Did he really think the wife would not retaliate? There are a few other problems with the story as well. Based on those things the plot was stupid, however even with that said I still really like the rest of the book, so I gave it 5 stars. I liked Brodick and Anne both. So if you like both a perfect story, and one without sex, or crude sex talk, this is not for you. Personally I really liked Brodick and his crude talk.
I would have liked to have know what happened to Cameron Yeoman, as I would have been delighted to know that Brodick and his men gave him want he deserved, even though the other 2 got what they deserved.
I love this story, the pictures created by words of the clothing the buildings people and time are perfect. Add to that a wonderful love story and it makes this one of my favourites ever. I've read and reread it and am sure to read it again.
4.0 out of 5 starsnice story but better research needed for the background
Reviewed in Germany on August 24, 2018
The story is nice, the characters likeable. As this is Mrs. Wine's first novel it is by far not as well researched as the later ones. Warwickshire has never been at the Scottish borders, there is no Clan McJames, Stirling (not Sterling) Castle belonged to the Scottish kings until the late 1600s and a horseride from Stirling to Perth and back was not made in 1 day. I have read most of the author's later books and could not find so grave faults as in this one. If you enjoy spicy novels with Scots in kilts Mrs. Wine is definitely an author to choose!