Review: Wild Wicked Scot by Julia London

Reviewed by Ronelle

Born into the lap of English luxury, Margot Armstrong was raised for balls, soirees, and sophisticated society. Her future would be one of wealth and privilege… or so she thinks, until her father forces her into marriage with Baron Arran McKenzie, who then carts her off to the Scottish Highlands. Unable to cope, she flees her husband and returns to her father’s estate in England.

Arran McKenzie is a Scottish Laird through-and-through, and he doesn’t have the time or the patience for an English buttercup of a wife. Then he lays eyes on Margot and his heart is lost. Unbeknownst to her, she has become Arran’s world, and he tries, in his own rough way, to offer her what she’s missing from home. But then she left, and all his dreams of children and a future for his clan evaporate.

When England and Scotland’s fragile unity is threatened by treachery, Margot is sent back to her husband. Her mission: uncover his role lest her own family be accused. Their awkward and passionate reunion is the first move in a game of espionage and secrets. Neither expects to find love blossoming amidst the turmoil, secrets, and suspicion, but each is thankful for it and harbors the hope of true reunification.

Too bad secrets have a way of coming to light when they’re least welcome.

***

Note: While I was provided with an ebook copy of this book, I chose to listen to it on audio instead. This review is for the audiobook version.

Wild Wicked Scot was an excellent mix of suspense, intrigue, and steamy bedroom play. It’s one of those stories that reminded me why I’m such a sucker for historical romance, especially those that take place in England and Scotland. Having this book read to me by someone who can nail the accents so perfectly was the cherry on top.

The jumping back-and-forth between when Arran and Margot were first married and the ‘present’ took some getting used to. I’m still not sure I care for that technique of providing backstory. If you don’t pay close attention, it’s easy to get confused (or maybe that’s just me doing other things while listening to my books). Thank goodness the whole book wasn’t like that.

As for Margot and Arran, I didn’t like either of them at first. She was immature, whiny, and close-minded (at least in the scenes where she was a new bride) and Arran seemed oblivious to her distress or the reasons for it. Wild Wicked Scot was based on the stereotypical two-worlds-collide-and-neither-understands-the-other conflict. Arran and Margot’s communication was awful and that ultimately led to their separation. Their progression to a likable couple worth rooting for was a bit slow, but in the end, the wait was worth it. As for supporting characters… Knox (Margot’s half-brother) was the only one I cared for. The rest, even the pivotal players, were fairly one-dimensional.

The romance in Wild Wicked Scot was well-balanced with the other events, in that it was definitely one of the driving forces of the plot, but wasn’t overwhelming or the sole premise of the story. Margot and Arran are perfectly matched in passion and their trysts felt very real. (Is it still a tryst if you’re married? I’ll have to look that up.) Sexual scenes had just enough detail without feeling overdone/overdescribed or leaving the reader wanting something more. Ms. London has a talent for conveying her characters’ emotions in the tone of their encounters, whether it be rough, tender, overwrought, etc. That’s a huge factor in why I’ll read more of her work.

I only have one note on the technical aspects of this story. While typos aren’t usually as noticeable in audiobooks, I did find a couple. The most noticeable was a scene in which Arran took his shirt off twice. Nothing catastrophic, but it’s there and I felt like the Ms. London or her editor should have caught that.

Bottom line: I’d definitely recommend Wild Wicked Scot to lovers of regency romances. And if you love audiobooks, this rendition by Mr. Perkins is top-notch.

Rating: B+

Click to purchase: Amazon

Wild Wicked Scot
by Julia London
Release Date: December 27, 2016
Publisher: Harlequin

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