Border Bride

Arnette Lamb, Author
Arnette Lamb, Author Pocket Books $6.5 (336p) ISBN 978-0-671-77933-7
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-4391-5459-5
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In 1735 Alpin MacKay's uncle dies and leaves the Barbados plantation she has run for years not to her but to Malcolm Kerr, a Scottish nobleman and the childhood friend with whom she played ``kiss-the-freckle.'' Alpin returns to Scotland to seduce him with the help of her maid Elanna's ``come-to-me sauce'' and then trick him out of the plantation, but Malcolm has his own agenda: ruining Alpin's reputation. When she was six Alpin opened a jar of hornets under the toga Malcolm wore to impersonate Julius Caesar and the insects stung his testicles until they were ``as big as the blacksmith's fists.'' Believing himself infertile and Alpin the cause of it, Malcolm ``handfasts'' himself to her, meaning that they will sleep together but only marry when she becomes pregnant. Veering from the ridiculous to the incomprehensible, Lamb ( Border Lord ) writes cryptically about Scottish politics and blithely introduces contemporary mores and habits. Malcolm's former mistress was using a contraceptive sponge and at one point he claims ``in our culture we value our women for more than childbearing. We give them freedom.'' Alpin is equally ahead of her time. She only wants to possess her uncle's plantation so that she can free the slaves who toil there. (Sept.)
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