Barbara’s Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Series: Besotted Scots #3
Publication Date: 2/18/20
Number of Pages: 320
This was an enjoyable, but perhaps perplexing read. I enjoy the author’s writing style and I liked the premise of the story, but I didn’t care for the resolution. I LOVED that we got three romances for the price of one. I didn’t feel that the two additional romances detracted from the main romance at all since they mostly took place in the background. You knew they were happening, but they weren’t “in your face”.
We first met the Ramsey family in the final book of this author’s Somerset Sisters, More Or Less A Temptress. Three siblings, Lachlan, Isla, and Ciaran had to flee their home in Scotland when Lachlan was falsely accused of murder. At that same time, their mother told them that they had a brother, Finn, in England – and he is the Marquess of Huntington. As she lay dying, their mother urged them to flee to England and find their brother. Since then, we’ve seen Isla find her HEA in The Wayward Bride, and now, finally, the match I’ve been waiting for, Ciaran.
Of the Ramsey siblings, the one who was most affected by having to leave Scotland was Ciaran. In the year since they left, he has only half lived. He’s been listless, restless, bored and unhappy – especially since his siblings wed and they now have lives of their own. Ciaran longs to return to Scotland and to see if he can reunite with his betrothed who jilted him before Ciaran had to leave. His siblings have just encouraged him to accompany a couple of older ladies to Brighton to assure their safety. Little does he know that his life is about to be turned upside down.
Lady Lucinda (Lucy) Sutcliffe is the daughter of the Earl of Bellamy. Her father developed a neurosis after his wife was killed by a highwayman and everybody thought him mad. Basically, he walled himself and Lucy off from the world. Lucy had lived in isolation until her father passed away and she transferred into the care of her Uncle Jarvis. Lucy isn’t wild, exactly, she’s just exuberant to be out of isolation and to be able to enjoy the world. In her enthusiasm, and naivete, she finds herself in a couple of situations that lead someone else (read that Ciaran) to believe that she needed rescuing. She didn’t, she had a plan, but you can’t argue with someone who is the size of a house. And, actually, she does need rescuing, she just doesn’t know it yet.
I loved their first meeting. It was entertaining and funny and sets the pace for many of their interactions. I loved how smart and resourceful Lucy was – with one minor blip when she did the required TSTL action. However, she soon overcame that and was back to her resourceful self – and rescued herself.
What didn’t I like? Well, as I mentioned earlier, I didn’t like the resolution. There was a very, very, vile villain – I mean despicable (just wait until you read all he does) – and he gets absolutely no, none, nada, zip, zilch punishment. Actually, it felt to me as if he were rewarded. At the very least he could have had to flee to the continent – but – I would have preferred that someone hang him upside down from a tree with his nose in a red ant bed – then dribble him with honey and let the ants take care of the rest. Sorry, did I mention he was vile?
The thing that perplexed me was how Jarvis came to be her guardian. Her father was an earl, and whoever inherited the earldom would have been her nearest male relative. So, why wasn’t the new earl her guardian? Jarvis didn’t inherit the earldom, so how could he be her nearest male relative? Jarvis could have been her mother’s brother I guess, but, still, things just don’t run through the mother’s side. If nobody inherited the title, the estate would have reverted to the crown, so how would she have inherited Bellamy House? Maybe Bellamy house was a smaller, unentailed property, but it was where she and the earl lived, so I can’t imagine it being unentailed. It was just that that particular scenario didn’t make sense to me. No real explanations were provided.
All-in-all, it was an enjoyable read with delightful characters, witty moments, tense moments, and a lovely romance – or three.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.