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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Scotsmen Prefer Blondes by Sara Ramsey

Scotsmen Prefer Blondes by Sara Ramsey
Publisher: SpencerHill
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (316 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

She never wanted marriage…

When a friend is forced to consider a marriage of convenience, Lady Amelia Staunton is determined to rescue her. But her plans trap her in an illicit seduction, and Amelia must marry him herself. Malcolm’s all-consuming kisses and devilish humor might make up for her lost freedom, but she believes he will force her to abandon the Gothic romances she yearns to write. Since she can’t escape him, she must distract him from her secret…

He isn’t looking for love…

A powerful autocrat with a well-hidden rebellious streak, Malcolm MacCabe doesn’t need another beautiful mistress – he needs an obedient wife. Obedience is not one of Amelia’s virtues. But he’s too enthralled by her wit and passion to let her go – even if it means risking the political reputation he is building to save his clan.

Their hearts can’t survive the scandal…

Despite their intentions, every wicked embrace binds them together. But as their conflicting desires combust into insatiable hunger and unavoidable ruin, they must decide whether to pursue their personal destinies alone – or fight for the love that could destroy them both.

‘The best laid plans’ suffer a fatal blow when Lady Amelia Staunton’s scheming and meddling to help her friend Prudence goes awry. Late at night in the old Scottish castle library, Malcolm MacCabe, Lord of Carnach, kisses Amelia at a fateful time. Not only Prudence, whom Malcolm had planned to offer for, but also Alex, Amelia’s brother, sees the kiss. Now, as Granddad would say, “the fat’s in the fire”. No shrinking violets in this cast of characters, and what an exciting vicarious experience they invite the reader to enjoy.

Amelia and Prudence’s friendship in severely strained if not totally broken; Prudence’s plan to marry for financial security is dashed; Amelia’s plan for independence and freedom to write her novels is in jeopardy; Malcolm’s plan--to marry an obedient wife to bear his heir, be a perfect hostess to promote his plan to gain power in Parliament and to use that power to help his people--takes a direct hit. What a mess all over ONE kiss!

Amelia can be “propriety deluxe” with icy perfection, constrained, contained, unattainable, and “unconquerable”, but only for so long because in truth, she, and most everyone else, knows she's headstrong, meddlesome, too witty, opinionated, sarcastic, independent, certainly not obedient; and even though she has a good heart she has a bad temper plus secrets that could ruin her and make Malcolm the laughingstock of London ton. Oh, yes, she is a delicious heroine.

Malcolm tells himself that “duty and fidelity” is first and distractions are not welcome, but Amelia is a distraction that heats his blood. He would have fit right in with his ancestors who fought other clans and the English. He's a warrior and an autocratic at times, but has a hint of ”reiver” in him. All his stern talks to himself about duty first seems to fall on deaf ears when it comes to the misfit for a wife—Amelia—she has really mucked things up. She has his mind, heart and other parts on full alert. But does he have the right to the joy she gives him rather than using his all to help his clansmen?

Sara Ramsey makes Scotsmen Prefer Blondes throb with life. The sparkling humor, sensual, sizzling love scenes (my gracious, do they rev up the heart rate!), dialogue that keeps the reader on full alert, the undercurrent of suspense, compelling descriptions of people and places, plus characters so strong they almost jump off the pages with energy and determination keeps one turning pages.

The secondary characters help propel the action along at a breathtaking pace at times. If you have read the first book in this series Heiress Without a Cause, You will recognize many of the characters. They all have their own secrets, flaws, and foibles that help make Scotsmen Prefer Blondes intriguing. This one is a keeper, just as is the first novel. I’m looking forward to the next one entitled The Marquess Who Loved Me. Sara Ramsey’s characters captivate and are fun to spend time with.