3 and a half out of 5 stars
This book was not what I was expecting it to be! I was surprised (and not pleasantly so) to see that there were quite a few sexually graphic scenes. In fact, there were many more than "a few". It was like the two "protagonists" (???, I'll get to that later on) of the story were engaging in physical contact every few pages. It got tedious after a while. That was one of the numerous flaws of this book.
Jamie, an Englishwoman, one of the main characters of the book, is wed to a Scotsman. In the book, there is a great hatred between both peoples, as I imagine was the case in real life long ago. Anyway, as a sign of peace between the two kingdoms, the Kings of England and Scotland arranged for two tribe leaders to each marry an Englishwoman from a pre-chosen household. The two men, Alec and Daniel choose their brides, Jamie, the step-daughter of a prominent Englishman is wed to the former and her step-sister Mary, is given away to the latter.
To say characters of this book-with the exception of Jamie-are sexist would be putting it mildly. I don't tolerate group discrimination, so, as you can imagine, this book was quite hard for me to get through. However, considering that was the shared perspective of virtually every culture in the world at time was some consolation. This is the first medieval romance I read, as far I can remember, or else I would be accustomed to the degradation of women.
On that note, I've come to the realization that I cannot critique the story itself without bias because of the aforementioned issue. But, I can certainly critique the writing. Julie Garwood is a fairly decent writer and fairly decent is pretty good in my book. So, I think three and a half stars is sufficient.