Kimberley Richards has just lost her mother and her fiance, her father wants her married off so that he can remarry and she is happy to leave his home. Her father, an earl, calls in a favour from a duke and she is sent to his manor where the duchess is going to help her find a husband. It's there she meets Lachlan, the Laird of Clan McGregor. The attraction is instant but how can Kimberley ever love a man who loves someone else?
This book annoyed me from the very first page. The first scene of the book is Lachlan with his cousins who are all Scottish. When reading a Scottish character I don't mind if they use Scottish words or slang, as long as I can understand what they're saying I think that's fine, it makes it feel more authentic in my opinion. What bugs me is when words are adapted to make them sound the way they're pronounced. Like missing off the g on every word that ends in ing. However, if an author is going to do that, annoying as it is, it should be consistent. And if an author cares that much about making Scottish characters seem authentic I wish she would put the same effort into the English characters. Modern slang and Americanisms are my pet hate in historical romances and this book is full of them.
This is quite possibly one of the most historically inaccurate historical novels that I have ever read. Even someone with only a basic knowledge of history could spot them. The attitudes are very modern. I can understand one or two relatively modern thinking characters but every character in this book is portrayed as being incredibly enlightened to the point where it isn't at all believable. Kimberley's father hates Scottish people and the other characters in the book are all shocked by this. This seemed like a fairly modern way of thinking, at the period when this book was set a lot of people had prejudices against Scottish people so even if the other characters weren't anti-Scottish people I really doubt it would have been a shock that he was. Everyone in this novel seems to agree with sex before marriage and not only agree with it but talk about it. Characters have names like Kimberley and Tiffany, both seem to be unlikely first names during this time period.
However, I have enjoyed historical romance novels that are historically inaccurate before so although these things do annoy me they are not the reason why this book is one star. There is nothing good about this novel.
The characters are awful, completely two dimensional. Lindsey avoids writing about any emotions that might be a little bit complicated and simplifies them by having the characters not care. Kimberley apparently feels nothing about the fact that her father doesn't care about her and never has. For someone who gave up her fiance so that she could mourn her mother she really doesn't seem to care about that very much either. Lachlan is portrayed as being little more than a savage Scot while Kimberley is the prim and proper English woman.
It's difficult to write a romance with two characters who have no substance but it's even more difficult when one of them is a rapist. The first "sex" scene in the book is Lachlan sneaking into Kimberley's room while she's asleep and raping her while she's sleeping. Kimberley doesn't know what's going on when she wakes up, she's quite tipsy and then enjoys it. Lachlan later claims that he assumed she wanted it because she had been flirting with him and the only thing that Kimberley sees wrong with the situation is that he doesn't ask her to marry him. Honestly, it could have been written by one of those pro-rape idiots who claim that women get raped because they were asking for it. It's like Lindsey took every excuse people make for rape and decided to make it into a romance novel. "She was asking for it, she shouldn't have been drinking, she'll enjoy it in the end." It was sickening. At that point in the book I was a little bit bored, a little bit annoyed with the constant dinna's and wouldna's but it was readable. As soon as that happened I felt a little bit ill. As I read on I kept hoping that somehow she would redeem herself and show how awful what Lachlan did was but of course she didn't. The more I read the worse it was because the only thing that was portrayed as being bad about it was that Lachlan hadn't proposed right away and hadn't loved Kimberley when he did it.
After that the romance went back to being dull and uninteresting. There's something wrong with a romance book when the only strong emotion it makes you feel is disgust.
Lindsey introduces a lot of subplots that she never bothers to explore which was a bit annoying but I just wanted to finish the book as quickly as possible so I'm glad she didn't pad it out with all of her subplots, each one more far fetched and ridiculous than the last one. One subplot involves a forced marriage which everyone insists is really what the woman wants. By this point I wasn't shocked.
This is the second book in the series and Lindsey spends about as much time on the couple from the last book as she does on Lachlan and Kimberley. This would have annoyed me even if I had read the first book.
This book was awful. At it's best it was simply boring, at it's worst disgusting.