The Countess (The Bride Quest #4; The Bride Quest II #1) by Claire Delacroix
Synopsis: “Be mine for a year and a day and I will possess your heart forevermore!”
Driven from her late husband’s estate, Countess Eglantine de Crevy fled to wildest Scotland to claim a castle, only to find a ruin — and a clan chieftain standing guard. Kinbeath was hers, she declared, vowing to rebuild the manor and launch a bride quest so her daughters could marry for love. But Duncan MacLaren had devised a bride quest of his own, swearing to win the land — and the fiery countess — in a war of sweet seduction…
Eglantine declared she would never be captured by this barbarian. Yet Duncan awakened passions she had never known before. She promised to fight him with every weapon at her command even as he vowed to woo her for a year and a day — and make her his pagan bride.
Each thought Kinbeath the prize the most desired, a prize to be won at any price. Until passion turned to love, and the chieftain found himself fighting for the heart and hand of the woman he was born to possess.
Review: Eglantine has just buried her second husband and comes to find out that her second husband has gambled everything away, including her home that he did not have the right to gamble away. Eglantine finds out that he did own a run down piece of property in Scotland and she decides to take her three daughters there to get away from a man who wants to marry her daughter. He is a man 3 times her age and reminds Eglantine of her first husband. She was 14 years old, same age as her daughter, and she married a man 3 times her age. She does not want that for her daughter so they run to Scotland to start anew. When they arrive, they find a band of “barbarians” led by a man named Duncan MacLaren who claim ownership of her land. The moment they meet the chemistry is clear, though she refuses to give into her desires. Duncan refuses to give up his claim on the land and he decides the best way to keep his claim is to woo Eglantine. Somewhere along the way he falls in love with her and then works to truly win her trust and love. Their adventure was enjoyable to watch and passionate. I love Eglantine, she is such a strong character with a will of iron. Duncan is a great match for her and ends up showing her that not all men are like her first two husbands. I enjoyed their story and look forward to reading book 2 in the Bride Quest II series.