Friday, August 28, 2015

Review and Blog Tour: Scotsman of My Dreams by Karen Ranney

Scotsman of My Dreams 
by Karen Ranney
Series:  MacIain #2
Pub. Date:  Aug. 25, 2015
Publisher:  Avon
Pages:  384
Format:  eARC
Source:  Edelweiss

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

In New York Times bestselling author Karen Ranney's second novel in her breathtaking series, an unconventional woman and a former scoundrel embark on a daring mission of desire.

Once the ton's most notorious rake, Dalton MacIain has returned from his expedition to America during the Civil War— wounded and a changed man. Instead of returning to his old haunts, he now spends his time at home. But Dalton's peace is disturbed when Minerva Todd barges into his London townhouse, insisting he help search for her missing brother Neville. Though Dalton would love to spend more time with the bewitching beauty, he has no interest in finding Neville, whom he blames for his injury.

Minerva has never met a more infuriating man than the Earl of Rathsmere, yet she is intrigued by the torrid rumors she has heard about him . . . and the fierce attraction pulling her toward him.

Dalton does not count on Minerva's persistence, or the desire she awakens in him, compelling him to discover her brother's fate. But when danger surrounds them, Dalton fears he will lose the tantalizing, thoroughly unpredictable woman he has come to love. 

When I was getting ready to start reading Scotsman of My Dreams, I realized that it was the second in the series. I am trying to stay on schedule with my reviews, so I didn't have time to go back and read the first book, In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams. But I got along just fine and didn't feel lost. There was only a small amount of crossover in the characters, so if you are in the same boat as I was, you should do fine. (I will definitely go back and read the first book now.

I totally loved the leading man in this story, Duncan MacIain. Duncan was a renowned rake who, on a wild hair, decided to go to America to join the Civil War. I had no idea the British joined the Civil War until I read this book (or maybe I learned it in school but it wasn't told in such an interesting way so I just forgot). Anywho, Duncan is severely injured in America and loses his sight, so now he has returned home and is a recluse. Ranney's imagery with Duncan's plight was excellent. She did a good job detailing what he was going through and feeling, and it created an excellent emotional connection with his character.

The leading female, Minerva Todd, was unique for her time. She enjoyed archaeology, digging in the dirt, studying the past, even sewed her skirts to create voluminous trousers. Minerva believed her brother (Neville) to be a sycophant of the renowned rake, and Neville foolishly followed Duncan to American to join the war. Now Neville has not returned and Minerva vows not to leave Duncan alone until she can find out what happened to Neville. Minerva was quite unlike any woman Duncan ever met. She was very practical, honest to a fault, and somewhat shocking in her candor. I liked Minerva very much as well. She was a modern woman for her time, and I liked that she wasn't one of the young debutantes out on the marriage market.

The characterization for this story was excellent - Duncan, Minerva and Mrs. Thompson particularly jumped off the page for me. The title was a tad misleading as the story takes places in London and Duncan is not particularly Scottish (though he is descended from a line of Highlanders). But I enjoyed it nonetheless and I think you will too.

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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About the Author

Karen Ranney began writing when she was five. Her first published work was The Maple Leaf, read over the school intercom when she was in the first grade. In addition to wanting to be a violinist (her parents had a special violin crafted for her when she was seven), she wanted to be a lawyer, a teacher, and, most of all, a writer. Though the violin was discarded early, she still admits to a fascination with the law, and she volunteers as a teacher whenever needed. Writing, however, has remained the overwhelming love of her life.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads



 “Of course not. I just don’t want to kiss you.”
“Not at all?”
“Not one little bit. Not an iota.”
“No curiosity about what it might be like to kiss the man Queen Victoria said was most certainly the worst rake in all of London?”
“You’re fibbing, Minerva.”
“I’m not.”
He lowered his head, brushed his lips over her heated cheek. To his surprise, she didn’t move away. Slowly, he traced a path to her lips, breathing against them before placing his mouth on hers.
A kiss should be an appetizer. A kiss was a prelude, strings being tuned in an orchestra pit, dawn on an important day.
A kiss was not a feast. A kiss was not an explosion of the senses. But this one was.
He could smell her, that hint of earthiness mixed with her new perfume. Her skin was warm against his fingertips, her cheek heating as he inclined his head slightly to deepen the kiss.
Her mouth opened slightly on a gasp.
He wanted to banish her sorrow, the pain Neville had caused her. He wanted to change the tenor of her thoughts, give her something to replace her dread.
He could give Minerva passion. That’s the gift he could give her.

MacIain Series