A romantic tale set in the medieval era, The Beauty Bride by Claire Delacroix has a strong plot and is a fun ride. Lady Madeline of Kinfairlie is still grieving for her lost beloved when she is auctioned off by her brother to save the family estate. The winning bid goes to a nefarious outlaw Rhys FitzHenry who turns out to be much more than Madeline can handle.
Alexander, Laird of Kinfairlie, is trying to keep his estate above the water after the sudden death of his parents. Having a bunch of strong willed sisters does not help. They are all opposed to marriage and doing their best to make Alexander’s life impossible. Rhys Fitzhenry has come to Scotland on a personal quest, trying to trace a long lost cousin. His quest takes him to Kinfairlie and to Lady Madeline’s auction. What is Rhys’s motive behind asking for Madeline’s hand?
Rhys takes Madeline’s large family in stride, including a sister who sees fairies, a spirited aunt and overbearing uncle. Madeline is making plans to act docile and flee when she gets a chance. Rosamunde, her aunt, presents her with her legacy, a large diamond that changes color to indicate what is to come. Rhys and Madeline set off for Wales. Will Madeline succumb to the charms of her new husband? What kind of fate will befall them?
The Beauty Bride is an enchanting story with many parallel plots. It is easy to get lost in the tale. There is a lot of fun/ humor which was unexpected. I am glad this book is part of a trilogy, because the Jewels of Kinfairlie have me smitten. This is a book I have read more than once, and enjoyed some nuance of it every time. Go for it, romance lovers!