NOTE: While reading this review, it may seem like I am being snide or rude, but please know that that is not the way it is meant to come across! I am trying to be honest about the flaws that I found in it, but I am not the sort of reviewer that writes nasty hate reviews, no matter the book. As we know, sometimes a simple sentence, when written on a computer screen, can come across more than one way, often without us meaning to. If this happens with anything I say in this review, I am truly sorry!
Now, on to the review, shall we?
For the first half of this book, my opinion on the story was a bit indifferent really—many time I almost put the book down, marking it as a rare DNF. But something told me to stick with it, and that's exactly what I did, even though the journey was a bit rough and tedious at times. I can't say that I regret the decision to finish the book; while it may not have been my favorite, When A Scot Loves A Lady was a decent read, if a bit slow.
One of the main reasons that I had such a difficult time with this novel was due to its editing. Although, yes, this is an ARC of the book, and therefore uncorrected, I would like to know one thing: where were the quotation marks? Not one in the whole book, and yet there were numerous conversations, although at times you couldn't tell due to their formatting. Perhaps it is not fair to judge this flaw because of the nature of the book's format (ARC) but I couldn't stand the absence of basic editing. Trying to distinguish between story and conversation—and more importantly who was participating in said conversation—gave me a headache. And when a book causes a headache, believe me, it's hard to focus on other things—such as storyline and characters. It even made the love scenes more of a struggle to read instead of an enjoyment!
Perhaps, then, my opinion on much of this book could change upon reading the final copy. But while I never expect an ARC, or even a final copy, to be perfect, some basics, like quotations, are a necessity.
The story itself was okay, but nothing grand. I was both confused and bored by the majority of the book, though it did get a bit livelier at the end (through use of a lot of sudden plot twists). However, it wasn't anything spectacular, I am sorry to say.
The one thing (besides the gorgeous cover) that I enjoyed in When A Scot Loves A Lady is the loving. It was, no doubt about it, very fulfilling and almost made up for the other flaws in the book. It was tender at times, and rough during others. Case in point: my favorite scene, which takes place on the kitchen counters at night...pots go flying and the servants, as well as the Watch, are called out to investigate! Yet it was always very passionate and emotional; it was not just a convenient way to relieve the couple's...tensions.
I can't say much about the characters—as much as I wanted to love them, they felt a bit flat, not fully developed. I had a better grasp on Leam's character toward the end, when he stopped playing the Highland barbarian but even then I knew I wasn't seeing the full picture. Which brings up another thing: I love a Scottish hero, but spelling his words out to match how they would actually sound gave me a headache as well, as, like Kitty, most of the time I couldn't tell what Leam was trying to say. Give us other clues and hints about his accent—but please, don't use odd spellings to get the point across! I wish there had been more, to both Leam and Kitty, as good strong characters could have went a long ways towards redeeming the book.
3 STARS! An enjoyable enough read, When A Scot Loves A Lady was missing a few things, though it didn't turn out to be a complete disappointment. I wish there had been more to the story (or that it had been told in a different way) as it didn't hold my attention completely. This isn't to say I won't read more of Ms. Ashe's books or recommend them to other readers—I plan on doing both. I just might wait for the final copies of her future work and hope that some of the kinks are ironed out before it goes to print...
The phenomenal Katharine Ashe flings open the portals of the mysterious Falcon Club-the intriguing Regency address that has every gossip in London asking, "What use has society of an exclusive gentleman's club if no gentlemen are ever seen to pass through its door?" The first book in Ashe's captivating historical romance series, When a Scot Loves a Lady finds its dashing hero Lord Blackwood, an agent of the ultra-secretive Falcon Club, ready to return to his home in Scotland-but not without the scandalous lady who has captured his heart while bringing unanticipated danger into his life. Johanna Lindsey fans, this Scot's for you!