Tracy’s rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Series: Besotted Scots, #2
Release Date: September 17, 2019
Lady Juliana Bernard is in a bind, he father is dying and thanks to the interference of a spurned suitor, has changed his will, Juliana will only retain custody of her orphaned niece Grace if she is married, if not Grace’s guardianship will be given to Lord Cowden. Having let her betrothed go so he could marry for love and desperate to make sure Cowden doesn’t get custody, Juliana writes to her dearest friend and former betrothed, Fitzwilliam “Fitz” Vaugh, the Duke of Blackmore. When her letters go unanswered, Juliana sets out to find him in Scotland.
After days of travel, they finally make it to the Scottish border in Gretna Green, weary and filthy Juliana is stunned to see Fitz at the inn – but closer examination reveals that it is not Fitz and when the man asks if she is alright, it is clear he is Scottish, but he looks exactly like Fitz and she decides he must be related and follows him. 3 days later, she is sure she is right when he stops at the inn that she sends her letters to Fitz – and watches in horror as the man reads her letter and then burns it! Then as he is leaving she hears him telling the innkeeper that if an English lady shows up, to send her back to England. Furious, Juliana follows him to the castle. He realizes he is being followed and is shocked to learn she is the woman who has been writing to Fitz.
Logan Blair is Fitzwilliam’s younger twin brother, when their mother died giving birth, their uncle claimed Fitz as his heir and returned to England – Logan did no see his brother for 28 years, but once his uncle died, Fitz made his way to Scotland to be reunited. Logan has acted as Laird for years since their father died and is worried that Fitz will do what so many English landowner have done and “clear’ the lands – for years Logan has been working to protect his people, by relocating them. And when Fitz came to the castle, Logan encouraged him to become betrothed to a local girl, Emilia – thinking that he would be less inclined to evict people if he was married to a Scottish girl – so he has been burning Fitz’s letters from Juliana, he wants nothing to interfere with his plans. But when she shows up he has no choice but to take her to see Fitz.
Fitz is appalled when he learns what Logan has done and offers to marry Juliana. But Logan tells Juliana that Fitz is already betrothed and his future wife is pregnant – leading Juliana to inform Logan that she will have to marry him instead, a solution that Logan is vehemently opposed to – leading Fitz to have to get involved.
This was a well written, fast read, but I can’t say that I loved it, it was OK, but I really didn’t like Logan at the beginning, I understood his motivation, but his refusal to marry her after interfering and burning their letters was a complete jerk move and then later jumping to conclusions and seemingly forced misunderstandings just really dimished my enjoyment in the story. This is the second book in the series, but it can easily be read as a stand-alone title.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*