Perfect Strangers by Rebecca Sinclair
In 1603, Gabrielle Carelton was a lady in Queen Elizabeth’s court for 6 years. Black of hair, green of eye, heavy of weight, Gabrielle sees herself as a plain looking, plump woman. While she will devoted to her queen and her country, she is not afraid of speaking her mind when occasions warrant it. After the Queen compares her to a stuffed goose, she suffers even more from insecurities about herself.
When Queen Elizabeth calls a meeting with Gabrielle to take place in the early morning, Gabby is worried, very worried. Queen Elizabeth is not an early riser so Gabby knows that it can’t be good news. When Queen Elizabeth tells Gabby that she is to wed a Scotsman, she is shocked, when she discovers the Scotsman is Colin Douglas of the Douglas clan, she is horrified! Queen Elizabeth will not take no for an answer and Gabby, who has always been loyal to the Queen, knows that she will have to accept what she has been ordered to do.
The Maxwell clan and the Douglas clan have been enemies for decades. Gabrielle with her small drop of Maxwell blood is perfect for the Queen’s plan. Not only will it hopefully settle some of the strife on the borderlands by uniting the 2 clans, but it also rids the Queen of Gabby, who rumor has it, has been friendly with Robert Devereaux whom the Queen looks on as her special suitor. The only way Gabby can get out of this is if she goes against the Queen and that she will not do.
On the border, Colin Douglas’ twin Connor, known far and wide as The Black Douglas, devises a plan that will get him payback against his twin, and help to settle some of the unrest on the border. His plan includes kidnapping and then marrying Gabby, begetting a son, and having her die due to the harsh and uncompromising weather on the border (he believes that all Englishwomen are frail, helpless beings).
When a feverish and sick Gabby first lays eyes on Connor, she is instantly attracted. Little does she know, but Connor also sees something in her, something he wasn’t expecting. Gabby is slowly getting better and getting to know Connor. Things heat up when a kidnapping is carried out in Connor’s castle. Will he go after the kidnappers? What will happen to Gabby when she finally meets Colin? And if the rumor is true and the Queen is dead, is Gabby still obligated to marry?
Great scenes, good descriptions, and fun characters all make for an entertaining read. I enjoyed the historical facts that were incorporated into the story. A great historical romance novel.