The Scottish Bride
by Catherine Coulter, historical (2001)
Jove, $7.99, ISBN 0-515-12993-3

This concluding book to the Sherbrooke series, which by the way, I haven't read, features a proper vicar as hero. Is it just me or all vicar heroes have to be really screwed up inside? I mean, Tysen Sherbrooke, treats his wife as if she is Jezebel crossed with the serpent of Eden at times, and I am supposed to forgive him because he's a vicar? If I put up an ad, it will go like, "Desperately seeking vicar with a sense of humor, baggage-free, and knows how to have fun."

Someone call the surgeon and remove that baseball bat out of that dull and pigheaded Tysen's you-know-where.

Tysen inherits an estate in Scotland, so off he goes with his daughter stowing away. He meets Mary Rose Fordyce, who is one of those perenially and cloyingly sweet women born on the wrong side of the sheets (only in romance novels) who plays Mary Poppins to his daughter and Sexy Venus to him.

Then they go back to England as man and wife, and Tysen finds that everyone he knows mocks and ridicules his wife. Never mind that he hates the way the Scots mocks and reviles him for his Englishness, these English sneering at his wife are members of his flock. So he abandons her to the wolves.

I'm not too pleased with the lack of good grovel here, but then again, many romance novels are too timid to even admit that their heroes are jerks, so I won't pick on that. But really, the stereotypical Stuffy Vicar, the stereotypical Virtuous Heroine and her Oh How Piteous Hard Life, and don't get me started about that daughter. Or the number of annoying eccentric secondary characters and characters from previous Sherbrooke novels who talk in some pretty odd way incessantly. These latter distractions only make an already very so-so read even more so-so.

Well, let me say it again: Desperately seeking vicar with a good sense of humor and knows how to kick back and relax. Former rakes who have seen the light welcome. If you look like Michael W Smith, you're more than welcome.

Rating: 63

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