Review: Scotsmen Prefer Blondes

Reviewed by Jen

When Prue is set up to marry a sexy Scottish laird, her friend Amelia comes along to make the road easier.  No one expects that Malcolm will truly fancy Amelia over the woman with whom he was expected to make a match.  Even more confounding is the fact that Amelia returns his feelings.  She would never betray her friend, but an unexpected kiss does just that. And before you know it, Amelia and Malcolm are married.

Malcolm never wanted a love match. He wanted a wife who would be politically advantageous, as he worked to champion Scotland in the House of Lords.  But instead of a biddable and traditional woman, Amelia is fiery and passionate.  He doesn’t know it, but she is a published writer with a hidden identity, one that could destroy her reputation –and his– if it ever comes to light.

The story follows Malcolm and Amelia as they try to balance their growing feelings for one another, with the futures they have always worked to cultivate for themselves.  This, while Amelia waits in fear that her jilted friend Prue will reveal her deepest secret out of spite.

I liked Amelia and her passion.  She refuses to wilt even under the constraints her new husband places on her.  I felt like she really loved Malcolm and her only real mistake was keeping her secret from him. I can’t be quite so charitable about Malcolm.  His autocratic and domineering behavior in the second half of the book really made me mad.  I think it was made worse by the fact we had already seen the kind of man he was capable of being, during the honeymoon phase of the relationship.  The fact that he loved Amelia made it even more damaging when he cast those feelings aside for his “greater purpose.”  Obviously, he realizes the error of his ways, but by the time he does, I would have been just as happy to see Amelia kick him in the shins as accept his apology.

The sex is good, but served too often as a crutch in their relationship.   I felt like Amelia let her passion for Malcolm override her self-respect a little.  I do love how Sara Ramsey keeps working the word “manroot” into her books.  And that she manages to create characters that keep me entertained and interested throughout the story.  I’ve got my fingers crosses for an Alex and Prue pairing in book 3.  Anyone with me?

Rating: C+

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
Scotsmen Prefer Blondes
by Sara Ramsey
Release Date: March 29, 2012
Publisher: Spencerhill Associates

Review: Heiress Without a Cause

Reviewed by Jen

At 28, Madeleine is a spinster, firmly on the shelf. But there is more to her than the prim and proper exterior she shows the ton. For the past few weeks, she has been assuming an alter-identity as an actress to live her passion on the stage. Obviously, when Ferguson -a newly minted Duke- asks her to help his younger sisters come out into society, he has no idea she is anything less than the model of propriety.

Then Ferguson visits the theater. He is taken by Madeleine’s alter ego and quickly figures out her identity. He is torn between wanting her for himself and wanting to keep her innocence intact. I’ll bet you can guess which desire won out.

Madeleine’s adventure was only supposed to last for a short time, but she is drawing in such a crowd, the owner of the theater begins blackmailing her to stay. She must team up with Ferguson to continue her charade and keep her identity a secret. This, as a passionate affair grows between them.

What I liked about this book is that the hero works out his feelings for the heroine very early on. Usually, in historical romance, the revelation that the hero is really in love doesn’t come until close to the end of the book. Not the case here. Ferguson doesn’t ever hold back his feelings for Madeleine. That doesn’t mean he is perfect. He’s overbearing and autocratic at times, though not nearly as much as he fears he is.

My biggest complaint was with Madeleine. Her reticence to accept a future with Ferguson was just… stupid. She explains her reasons, but they simply do not wash for me. I also found her to be reckless at times, and a little selfish. I didn’t dislike her, but I wasn’t always on board with her decisions.

The sex was definitely good. And bonus points for use of the word “manroot.” I’ll probably check out the next installment when it comes out. 3 1/2 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Heiress Without a Cause
by Sara Ramsey
Release Date: January 23, 2012
Publisher: Spencerhill Associates