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Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Scottish Love by Karen Ranney

A Scottish Love by Karen Ranney
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length(264 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Bittersweet

Shona Imrie should have agreed to Gordon MacDermond’s proposal of marriage seven years ago—before he went off to war and returned a national hero—but the proud Scottish lass would accept no man’s charity. The dashing soldier would never truly share her love and the passion that left her weak and breathless — or so she believed—so instead she gave herself to another. Now she faces disgrace, poverty, and a life spent alone for her steadfast refusal to follow her heart.

Honored with a baronetcy for his courage under fire, Gordon has everything he could ever want—except for the one thing he most fervently desires: the headstrong beauty he foolishly let slip through his fingers. Conquering Shona’s stubborn pride, however, will prove his most difficult battle—though it is the one for which he is most willing to risk his life, his heart, and his soul.

A Scottish Love is a book impossible to put down once started. Ms. Ranney’s novel hooked me from the start and kept me interested and engaged with the characters even after I’d reached ‘The End’

The story has two clear main characters: Shona and Gordon. From the first page, I felt the tension and the attraction between them. As the story develops, their feelings unfold, past mistakes are brought to light and the characters begin a path of growth and improvement.

Shona reminded me a lot of Margaret Mitchell’s character, Scarlett O’Hara. Like Scarlett, Shona faces many hardships in life. She is a woman who does what needs to be done to get through and she does it without shedding a tear even though she’s dying inside. Shona is frustrated, sad, and lonely, but she holds back her tears. I am not so strong and more than one tear seeped through my eyes at her circumstances.

Gordon is much like Shona. Strong when he needs to be strong, charming, handsome, and a good man altogether, but like Shona he has a major flaw which keeps him away from happiness: his pride. Too much pride on both characters' part creates setbacks both in their lives and in their relationships. Gordon is better at hiding his pride, and is perhaps not even aware, that he shares the same amount of pride she does. Shona on the other hand, is prideful through and through and that hinders her and keeps her away from Gordon and away from happiness. Besides their pride, both characters are also terribly stubborn. It was extremely frustrating. More than once, I felt like locking them up in a room and not letting them out until they solved their issues.

Throughout the story emotions run raw, painting a vivid picture of hurt and pain between the characters. It was excruciating to read through each of their encounters and their past and hope for them to reunite; that one of them would give in to the love that was so palpable between them.

Finally, it is important to mention the other interweaving stories that play throughout the novel. Craft fully introduced, snippets of past ghosts tell the tragic tale of the Weeping Ghost and the Piper. Woven into the story, Shona’s brother Fergus and the nurse Elizabeth also find love and demonstrate that if you’re willing, love doesn’t have to be as bittersweet as Shona’s and Gordon’s (though Fergus and his nurse also go through their share of pain).

With memorable characters, a bittersweet story that captivates your heart and leaves behind a message of hope (mistakes can be fixed), A Scottish Love is a book worth reading time and time again.