Moonstruck Madness was Laurie McBain’s second book. This swashbuckling romance remains a beloved classic among retro and old-school fans.
Illustrator: H. Tom Hall
Book Series: Dominick #3
Published by: Avon
Genres: Historical Romance, Georgian Era Romance
Format: Audiobook, eBook, Hardcover, Paperback
Buy on: Amazon, AbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader
Lady Sabrina Verrick
Moonstruck Madness begins as the heroine, Lady Sabrina Verrick, watches from a distance as the Scots lose the bloody Battle of Culloden Moor.
Sabrina doesn’t know what the future fold in store for her and her people. The eldest daughter of a deceased Scotswoman and an itinerant English Marquess, she and her family are now without resources. She’s wholly responsible for herself and two younger siblings.
Sabrina decides to pack her family off to England and reside in their absent father’s run-down estate.
Her father is more interested in his young Italian bride than being responsible for his children. It’s up to Sabrina to figure out a way to support her family.
His Grace, the Duke of Camareigh
The golden-haired hero is Lucien Dominick, Duke of Camareigh. When we first see him, he’s challenged to a duel by a young hothead. At dawn, he makes quick work of his opponent, displaying his remarkable sword-fighting talents.
Lucien’s face bears a dashing scar—a scar not obtained in a duel. One of his twin cousins had cut his face as a child.
Speaking of Lucien’s cousins, they share a strange quasi-incestuous relationship. Brother and sister are the very obvious villains of this book. They connive to have Lucien done away with in order to obtain Camareigh and the Dukedom.
Meanwhile, Lucien’s grandmother wants to see him married. Lucien seems resigned to seeking out a wife—but certainly not fidelity for love.
So Sabrina decides on the wild idea of becoming a highwayman. With the help of two burly locals, she puts on a mask and dons a tam-o’-shanter, deepens her voice into husky timbre, wraps herself in a tartan, and takes on the identity of “Bonny Prince Charlie.” As Charlie, she holds up the rich nobles who travel the dark country roads in their coaches.
Of course, one of her victims turns out to be the Duke himself. After being humiliated when the Bonny Prince robs and then taunts him, Lucien snares a trap to catch “him.”
I love how Sabrina and Lucien have a sword fight, Lucien gets the best of her, as there is no doubt he is the better swordsman. Upon wounding Charlie, Lucien tends to the wounds and discovers her feminine truth.
They engage in tender lovemaking—there is no force, no dominance, but a meeting of equals. I’ve said before, Laurie McBain might have been old-school, but she was never a bodice-ripper author.
When her father arrives home and discovers Sabrina is pregnant, the Marquess is enraged. He whips her mercilessly, only for Lucien to put a stop to the brutality. He then carries his bride-to-be off in his rescuing arms.
That’s more or less the first one-half to two-thirds of this book.
Unfortunately, in the second half, Sabrina and Lucien are at odds for much too long.
However, it does pick up and get exciting towards the end. A search for hidden treasure in the Highlands brings them back together.
Final Analysis of Moonstruck Madness
I thought Moonstruck Madness by Laurie McBain was the most perfect romance novel—the first time I read it. The second time was a decade later when I was a more jaded reader. So I found a few flaws to nitpick. Still, I found it a thrilling read.
As said before, the end falters a bit because the two stubborn hotheads are at odds for too long. Nevertheless, this story was an entertaining, action-packed romance.
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She’s one thing by day, something else altogether by night…Moonstruck Madness by Laurie McBain
After escaping the slaughter of her clan at a young age, Scottish noblewoman Sabrina Verrick provides for her siblings by living a double life, until the night she encounters the Duke, and her secret and all she holds dear is threatened…
He’s so disillusioned, he’s completely vulnerable…
With his inheritance at stake, Lucien, Duke of Camareigh, sets a trap for the Scottish beauty with the piercing violet eyes, never imagining what will happen when the trap is sprung…
As their lives become irreversibly entangled, Lucien and Sabrina become each other’s biggest threat, as well as their only salvation…