Type: Historical Romance
My Copy: Edelweiss
Rose MacIain is a beautiful woman with a secret. Desperate and at her wits’ end, she crafts a fake identity for herself, one that Duncan MacIain will be unable to resist. But she doesn’t realize that posing as the widow of the handsome Scotsman’s cousin is more dangerous than she knew. And when a simmering attraction rises up between them, she begins to regret the whole charade.
Duncan is determined to resist the tempting Rose, no matter how much he admires her arresting beauty and headstrong spirit. When he agrees to accompany her on her quest, their desire for each other only burns hotter. The journey tests his resolve as their close quarters fuel the fire that crackles between them. When the truth comes to light, these two stubborn people must put away their pride and along the way discover that their dreams of love are all they need.
This is the third in a series about the MacIain’s of Scotland. I love this setting, the highlands of Scotland and enjoy reading about these men and women who are passionate about life. Ms. Ranney writes a compelling novel of romance amidst the despair and dangers of the times. I will have to say that this one took me by surprise, not only do we spend time in Scotland, but also in Nassau and South Carolina during the Civil War, a setting I have not read in several years.
Rose has traveled a long way on her mission to sell her cotton, from the war ravaged southern states of America to Scotland to visit and persuade Duncan MacIain, cousin to her brother-in-law Bruce, to buy it. She is desperate to help those still living on the plantation, as the war has devastated the area, and because she is traveling alone, she lets the Scottish MacIain’s believe she is the widow of Bruce, something she will regret as she gets to know Duncan more.
Duncan MacIain owns a mill near Glasgow, but because of the war and subsequent blockades in America, he has had trouble keeping the mill working. He is surprised when he gets a visit from an American relative, especially when it is a woman selling cotton, but treats her like family listening to what she has to say. When they strike a deal he is reluctant to take her with him but she insists and they set sail for an adventure that will change their lives forever.
This was a switch for me; it has been several years since I have read a book set in the Civil War era. I am not sure if I got tired of them or if there are just less written, but Ms. Ranney snuck this one in on me and I was a bit unprepared for the visit back to that time frame, but she engaged me with the story and I enjoyed the ride.
Rose is a determined young woman; she wants to help those she loves, those she left behind. For the most part the plantation is deserted, most left after Bruce went to war, but there are still some older slaves and her sister still living there. She tried to help so many over the two years she lived there, but Bruce would just punish her for her good deeds, which just made her want to help them even more. I like her tenacity and bravery.
Duncan is all you would want in a hero, a nice guy that exudes sexiness. He is immediately attracted to Rose, believing she is a widow, he often flirts; especially when he finds out she did not like her husband, something they had in common. As they travel to America they become very close and when he finds out the truth in Nassau, he is angry, but already in love and is glad she is not bound to Bruce, who is in fact still alive but wounded. When they arrive in Charleston things get dicey as Bruce is not a happy man and believes everything wrong with his Plantation is Rose’s fault, taking it out on her, she must watch her back.
The pace works well as we start in Scotland and travel to America; along the way we are treated to adventures and dangers. I enjoyed the secondary characters we meet that added substance to the story such as Maisie who still “works” at the plantation (I enjoyed her outcome), and a woman they meet in Nassau who has ties to Scotland (not sure if this encounter will have significance for a future book). I also enjoyed Duncan’s relatives, his mother and sister were fun and I love the dynamics of their family, very loving and close. A truly entertaining story and although it is book three you can easily read this as a standalone, enjoy!
I give An American in Scotland by Karen Ranney 4 stars!