C2’s review of A Scot in the Dark (Scandal and Scoundrel, Book 2) by Sarah MacLean
Historical Romance published by Avon 30 Aug 16
Ah faithful reader, it’s hard to be a woman in today’s world, amirite? So imagine the difficulties for women two hundred-ish years ago! No real rights, always under the control of some dude – who probably has zero interest in her health and well-being – just a hostessing, baby-making machine (if you’re lucky!). Bleh.
In Sarah MacLean’s latest, A Scot in the Dark, we see what happens to an unmarried woman when she is caught in a compromising situation and has no manly-man to lend any support or defend her from the wolves of the press (and the wolves of society, either). Intrigued??
Miss Lillian Hargrove has been alone most of her life. She was orphaned as a little girl and became a ward to the Dukes of Warnick. I say dukes because there have been several – they’ve had a run of bad luck, recently. Neglected but well cared for, Lillian never really had her society debut because no one cared enough to bother. She has no real friends and exists almost ghost-like in one of the dukedom’s many houses. So, when she meets Derek Hawkins, a popular artist and performer, and he shows an interest in her, Lily is overwhelmed. As their relationship progresses, she agrees to pose nude for him – she is under the impression they are to be married. Obviously, he’s a weasel who has no intention of marrying her – but he does decide to debut the portrait at the huge royal exhibition. When Lily discovers his plan, she is heartbroken and trapped. Her only hope is to take the inheritance she is supposed to get on her next birthday (conveniently the same day the portrait is to be shown) and flee. Her only obstacle is…
Alec Stuart, who is the current Duke of Warnick. Alec has no interest in being a duke. He lives in Scotland and has holdings to take care of there. He also has a long-held, deep loathing for England. When his English solicitor arrives on his doorstep to tell him of the scandal brewing around his ward – the ward no one told him existed – he reluctantly agrees to go to London and deal with the situation. Alec does not expect his ward to be an adult – and especially doesn’t expect her to be beautiful and intelligent. All he wants to is to resolve the situation and get back to Scotland. And she should appreciate his efforts and be grateful. Right?
Both Lillian and Alec have issues that keep them from believing they are relationship material and those issues are dealt with in a realistic way, over the course of the story, as they work separately and together to find a way out of Lillian’s situation. Also, we see that crazy tabloid journalism has been a thing for a very long time – people love scandal and they always have. And things that ruin women don’t even impact the lives of the men in the same situation…if anything, it might enhance their reputations (at least with a certain crowd).
I enjoyed this book. The characters are a bit different than those we usually find in a historical. It isn’t so unusual to find a Scot who loathes England, but the reasoning behind the loathing is different. And it isn’t unusual to find a ward trapped by circumstances, but Lillian’s reactions to the situations she finds herself in are different. Those of you who have read Ms. MacLean’s other books know what I’m talking about. She tends to give characters an interesting spin.
So, does this book stand alone? It mostly does! Sure, I encourage you to read the series, but if you don’t want to, you won’t be completely lost. (I’ll just be over in my corner, weeping. But don’t mind me.)
Lonesome Lily Turned Scandalous Siren
Miss Lillian Hargrove has lived much of her life alone in a gilded cage, longing for love and companionship. When an artist offers her pretty promises and begs her to pose for a scandalous portrait, Lily doesn’t hesitate…until the lying libertine leaves her in disgrace. With the painting now public, Lily has no choice but to turn to the one man who might save her from ruin.
Highland Devil turned Halfhearted Duke
The Duke of Warnick loathes all things English, none more so than the aristocracy. It does not matter that the imposing Scotsman has inherited one of the most venerable dukedoms in Britain—he wants nothing to do with it, especially when he discovers that the unwanted title comes with a troublesome ward, one who is far too old and far too beautiful to be his problem.
Tartan Comes to Town
Warnick arrives in London with a single goal: get the chit married and see her become someone else’s problem, then return to a normal, quiet life in Scotland. It’s the perfect plan, until Lily declares she’ll only marry for love…and the Scot finds that there is one thing in England he likes far too much…
No excerpt available.
Other books in the series: