by Suzanne Enoch
Series: Scandalous Highlanders #1
Pub. Date: Nov. 26, 2013
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Narrator: Anne Flosnik
Length: 9 hrs 23 min
On a mission to rescue his runaway sister from the lure of flowery compliments and a useless lot of satin-clad scalawags disguised by their snooty titles, Ranulf MacLawry, Marquis of Glengask, has roared into British society like a storm across the Highlands. But he's about to find out that satin has its appeal, especially when it covers the curves of Miss Lady Charlotte Hanover—whose tongue is as sharp as her skin is soft…
Lady Charlotte Hanover has had her fill of hot-headed men, having lost her fiancé in an utterly unnecessary duel. When did brawn ever triumph over brains? And yet there is something solid and appealing about the brash Highlander who's as dangerous in the ballroom as in battle. Sometimes bigger reallyis better…
So I am reading this series out of order, having started with Some Like it Scot. After starting with that book, I was predisposed not to like any of the MacLawry family, as I didn't care for how the siblings treated Bear and Catriona. But with the covers and fun titles for this series, I could only see them on my shelf for so long before I had to get my grubby little hands on them.
This story is about Ranulf MacLawry, eldest sibling and laird of Clan MacLawry. Ranulf is serious, bossy and strict, as you can imagine any laird would be. But as one of the last and largest remaining Highland clans who have not turned their land to sheep pasture, Ranulf has to rule the MacLawry Clan with an iron fist and make sure other clans perceive no weakness in their defenses. When his sister goes against his decision and runs away to London, Ranulf sets off to bring her back home, by force if necessary. But we quickly see that Ranulf is a caring brother with a soft heart for his sister, even though his hotheaded behavior keeps those around him from seeing the way of it. Ranulf was a good hero... I liked that he was decisive and went after what he wanted. Once he decided that Charlotte was the one for him, he didn't hesitate trying to become a man she desired, even when it was to his detriment. While some of his decisions were foolish, I liked that he was wiling to try, but also that he wouldn't make the ultimate sacrifice of his clan/family for the whims of an uninformed woman.
Lady Charlotte Hanover goes head to head with Ranulf when he shows up at Hanover House trying to drag Rowena back to Scotland. At 25, Charlotte did not plan on being on the shelf but, after losing her betrothed to a senseless duel, her seasons seem to have passed her by. I actually liked that Charlotte was a bit older, and I liked that she wasn't afraid to stand up to Ranulf. Unfortunately, that is about all I liked. I hated the way she emasculated Ranulf without understanding why he had to be willing and quick to take action in the face conflict with his enemies and other clans. I also hated that she didn't stick up for Ranulf when here own family was putting him down for being a Scot. She was quick to take Ranulf to task over distrusting the English... but she wasn't willing to take up for him when her family spoke as if he were little more than a heathen. It made me lose a lot of respect for her.
Despite all of the above, the relationship unfolded at a nice steady pace, and there were several minor plot conflicts the helped to move the story forward. I liked the tight-knit MacLawry brothers in this installment. In Some Like it Scot, the family was at odds more than they were supporting one another... so it was nice to see the brothers in a different role in this first installment. Obviously all the men were clueless when it came to their young sister, but that is not surprising. I felt bad for Rowena, being the only female sibling to three very alpha and protective brothers certainly puts a kink in your social life. I will be interested to see how Rowena's story turns out in Mad, Bad, and Dangerous in Plaid.