Best Selling Romance
Historical Scottish Romance
The Key in the Loch by Blanche Dabney
The Key in the Loch*
Time Travel Romance with Unbelievable Conflict
In this time travel romance, the heroine, Rachel, is a young English woman who is preparing for her Masters in medieval studies. After her adoptive mother dies, she receives a strange gift to that she cannot open without a key, which was luckily found by her brother when going through things at the adoptive mother’s house. When opened, the gift reveals a necklace, which when touched transports Rachel back to Scotland in the 1100s. She is immediately involved in a predicament that some clansmen believe will require human sacrifice.
Will she be sacrificed? Will the laird, in whose bedroom she initially appeared, become wrapped up in the drama or will he’ll be able to control his clansmen? Will the attraction between Rachel and the Laird come to anything?
This book did not sit right with me. The crux of the conflict is based on the idea that ancient Celts or druids performed human sacrifice. Nowadays, it is not believed that this happened. I do understand that this is fiction, but at least the historical Scotland part should have some basis in Scottish reality.
Also, I thought that the book spent too much time relating feelings and events in contemporary time that didn’t matter in the Scottish part of the story; only what was relevant should have been laid out. The book has some of the common issues with grammar, punctuation, and usage, but this is not overly distracting.
The cover had two pet peeves of mine. First, the heroine is said to have fiery red hair; she is very dark haired on the cover. Second, a bare-shouldered style of dress more typical of modern Mexican restaurant waitresses was not favored in medieval Scotland.
If you enjoy time travel Highlander romance and can buy into the human sacrifice aspect, you might find this an enjoyable read.
This Scot of Mine by Sophie Jordan
This Scot of Mine*
Can an English Bride Break a Scottish Curse?
It’s always fun when a romance starts with a curse! In fact, this book starts with a curse that impacts all men of the McLarin line; they will not live to see their firstborn draw his first breath.
This curse has held for five generations. The current last of the male line has been very restrained in his approach to women. He knows he cannot have a family and children like most men, but he is able to find comfort with a widow who is barren.
Our heroine is hightailing it to Scotland on the heels of ruin. She consciously set up her ruin in order to evade marriage to a man whom she was discovering was cruel. Rolland states he will not let her go, so the only thing she can think of to tell him is that she is pregnant with another man’s child. She isn’t, of course. She removes to Scotland to live out her days with her brother.
Her brother, Marcus, let’s Hunter McLarin know about his sister’s downfall, and immediately the laird offers marriage. It seems an ideal circumstance for him, as he can have a wife and a child. We the reader know she’s not really with child, and Clara does grapple with whether she wants to marry this man at all, whom she first saw brawling in a pub, and then if she wishes to deceive him in order to marry. Her companion and brother think she should marry and not disclose that she is not really pregnant until after the marriage; none of the English group believes in curses and can’t quite believe that the Scot does. Only Marcus’s wife has qualms about Clara marrying before full disclosure.
They do marry, and he quickly discovers that she is not pregnant; the laird is NOT pleased. Honestly, this is the only part I did not enjoy the book. McLarin is a complex, broody, careful, and thoughtful man, but his response to finding out about this seems counter to the man we had come to know in the earlier part of the book. He does become more like himself again, but after his response to her after their wedding night, I almost stopped reading the book because I so disliked his reaction to it. I never like it when the hero acts cruelly to the heroine right after marriage consummation.
From their one time together, of course, Clara becomes pregnant. The rest of book deals with the emotional aftermath of this, as Hunt falls victim to small accidents that put him in peril, putting all on edge about the possibility that the curse has merit. The book does have a satisfying, HEA resolution.
Except for the one part I didn’t like, I found a book to be well written. The book starts with Clara as she is heading to Scotland from London, now a ruined woman. The author does a good job of only telling us what we need to know as we need to know it. For instance, the author only reveals at first that Clara is ruined, but we don’t know why or how. Even as the book goes along, we only learn a little at a time about the entire situation that transpired between her and her former betrothed. The book has solid plot turning points as the story unfolds.
Lady of the Glen by Michelle Deerwester-Dalrymple
The Lady of The Glen***
Simply Stunning Scottish Historical Romance
Our feisty and brash heroine, Elayne, starts off the book in a most dramatic way, trying to get her clan’s priest to declare the new wife of the man Elayne hoped to wed a witch! She soon realizes the errors of her ways, and both she and her father, the laird of their clan, agree that perhaps she needs some time away.
Opportunity comes by way of Declan, newly returned from serving The Bruce and the new laird of his clan, aptly name the Beast Clan by its neighbors. Having seen other clans while with The Bruce, Declan is determined to civilize his own. And that means he needs a wife, as the civilizing influence of women has been long lacking in his male-dominated stronghold. He saw Elayne in a village as he was returning from war and was immediately drawn to her strong, commanding presence…this could be the woman to help him!
Declan is a sweet swoonworthy hero; how can you help but love a hero who fully supports his future ladylove on the first night they meet in the face of his rather ornery clan? And Elayne…oh, my gosh! What can I say about her? She’s a spitfire all right, with strong ideas of the way things should be… but she is also caring and vulnerable… Both the hero and heroine have past scars (and in a way they mirror each other), and they remain vulnerable even after they marry. There are some very sweet little “awwwww” moments. Some scars take a while to heal…
They act as a team from Day One, and it is fun to see the way they truly listen and support each other. Elayne likes to jump in and defend herself… even getting physical with some who act against her. Declan not only lets her lead in these matters, but he also backs her up fully and adds his own response. I adore brave but vulnerable couple.
They need to be a team, as there are greater plots against them… both close to home and tied to the history of Scotland at the time. But I’ll let you discover that yourself.
If you like Scottish romance, you can’t go wrong with this one. If you like ANY historical romance, you will most likely enjoy this book as well.