TWO LAIRDS ONE LADY
Unfortunately, the novel has such problems with consistency, contrivance and credibility that it needs major revisions to be readable. I give it two stars and hope that it is revised so all readers can enjoy the plot ideas. Six years separate Thayer and Elspeth's first encounter from their engagement, and after having seen battle, Thayer is not interested in making another widow. So he comes up with the brilliant plan to have his twin brother stand in his stead as the groom. Thayer figures that after about six months, he and Faolin can come clean with their mother.
She'll see how great Faolin and Elspeth are together and won't cause a ruckus. The switch is made, and then Thayer begins to get jealous, finally promising his fiefdom to Faolin if he'll give Elspeth up. Then Elspeth's castle is taken by the English, Faolin and Elspeth's brother imprisoned, and drama ensues. From the beginning, the story is bogged down by minutia, leaving the reader wondering if the story will ever pick up.
Unfortunately, the story never does, and until the end holds onto its daunting pace. The book ends nearly pages after the climactic battle. While I appreciate a book that doesn't rely solely on narration to move the plot along, here, many of the dialogue driven scenes can be trimmed down to ease the flow. Also, stories in which two characters change places are classic, but it is important that the misconception is kept consistent.
There were many places where Faolin's name was used where it should have been Thayer's, and vice versa. Even at the end, the big reveal only happens to one person.
"Become a Laird or Lady" - from Gift Republic
Salmon farming requires the river to be in spate, and was in long-term decline until the dedicated efforts of Walt Kindness whose introduction of smolt has brought about a tenfold increase in numbers accompanied by encouragement for anglers to put their catches back. Forestry was dominated by subsidies encouraging growth of lodgepole pines for pitprops, but with the disappearance of coal-mining the emphasis now is on replacing them with native broadleaved species in association with development of hydro-power and re-establishment of red squirrels.
Holiday cottages have been accompanied by local long-term lettings : gone are the days when an advertisement in the Sunday Times would suffice, and with every third home in Lochcarron now a holiday cottage, the Estate has been finding Airbnb effective in attracting especially French holidaymakers. Attadale Gardens have expanded from opening one day a year under Scotland's Garden Scheme to daily opening from Easter to October.
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Lochcarron Weavers draw in some visitors, the Hebridean Princess calls six or seven times a year, there are four ScotRail trains each weekday in either direction and the Royal Scotsman comes by but its customers must alight at Plockton owing to the short platform at Attadale. Springwatch parties have come by train, and admission is free for local residents. The Royal Horticultural Society has declared Attadale a partner garden, and the success of Inverewe provides inspiration.
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One Night with the Laird
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