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Book CoverSandy M’s review of Secrets to Seducing a Scot (Highland Knaves, Book 2) by Michelle Marcos
Historical Romance published by St. Martin’s 2 Aug 11

I’ve obviously had this book for a while.  🙁   For some reason I just didn’t pick it up until recently. While it’s not a story that wows you to no end, it is an intense, somewhat sweet romance between a very unlikely pair who pull you into their lives during a time of uprising in Scotland.

Serena Marsh is the toast of London with her daily column in the local newspaper. Society hangs on to her every word about who’s been at what ball and all the goings-on that happened. She’s privileged, sheltered, and pampered. Though in the beginning she may seem selfish because of her upbringing, Serena eventually learns a lifetime of lessons in a very short time span while in Scotland, where her father is trying to negotiate terms between rebels and English crown.

Having lost his family at a young age, Malcolm Slayter has been on his own since the age of twelve, an outcast from his clan, a “slaighteur” for the perceived traitorous actions of his family. He and his surviving siblings are branded, literally, his brother and sister now captives of those who have taken everything from them. Malcolm is left for dead. But that doesn’t keep him and his need for vengeance down. A man now, without family, home, or country, Malcolm is, basically, a bounty hunter for hire. It matters not which side anyone else stands on, Malcolm will do what is required for the coin. There’s nothing else in his life worth anything.

But when threats are made against Serena, her father hires Malcolm to protect her. At this point Serena does get on the nerves a tad. She doesn’t take the threats seriously and does what she wants when she wants, despite warnings from both her father and Malcolm. You’d like to shake her to wake her up, but, of course, these things are needed to teach the girl a lesson. After treating Malcolm with a high-and-mighty attitude, never listening to his instructions, then fighting an attraction to him and finally succumbing to it, Serena goes one step too far and ends up in the hands of rebels intending to use her against her father.

Of course, it’s Malcolm to the rescue. Especially since acknowledging his love for her. Serena isn’t the only one to change throughout the book. The hardened, uncaring man he’s become slowly dissipates and a new Malcolm emerges. He’s not the man who would have come along if his life hadn’t been so radically and violently altered, but I think it’s safe to assume this man is close, all due to the love he’s now found. That’s what I like best about this character as he comes alive, along with his love for Serena, in this book. You can see his hard edges slowly recede, see a different person take the place of all the anger and hurt that’s resided inside of him for years. He learns to be romantic and loving while still retaining the steel needed to now survive not only for himself but also for Serena.

While you’ll get some intense love scenes, you won’t get those eye-popping events that keep you reading. What you do get is a gradual alteration of people who have to change their outlook on life as they’ve always known it. Even Serena’s father doesn’t go unscathed in this regard. I kept reading because I wanted to see the changes in Malcolm and how he handles them. I initially picked this book up wanting a dose of a Scottish hero. I got that and a lot more.

SandyMGrade: C+

Read Ash’s review here.


A Diamond in the Rough

Torn from a pampered life of luxury and thrust into the midst of a Scottish revolution, Serena Marsh is shocked to meet the brutish man who has been assigned to protect her from the rebels trying to kill her—Malcolm Slayter, the most rugged, most dangerous, and most undeniably attractive man she’s ever encountered…

The Knave of Hearts

Malcolm has no loyalties, no country, and no sense of propriety. Hired by her father, Malcolm agrees to protect the lovely lass for a fee. But when Serena challenges Malcolm’s authority—and engages him in a risky flirtation—all bets are off. When the battle heats up, it’s anyone’s guess as to who’s seducing whom…and who’ll surrender first.

Read an excerpt.

Other books in this series:

Book Cover