Scotsman of My Dreams MacIain #2 By: Karen Ranney Releasing August 25, 2015 Avon
In USA Today and 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 attending soirees, he now spends his time as a recluse. 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-for he blames him 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.
“Are you afraid?” he asked.
“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.”
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.
Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/147580-maciain
Dalton MacIain, Earl of Rathsmere, is the epitome of a rake. He’s handsome, titled, wealthy, and spends his time drinking, womanizing, and seeking the next thrill. When he’s finally bored with all this activity, he decides to join the American Civil War, so, off he goes, with a group of his followers, hoping to find entertainment. What he finds instead is hunger, death and pain. Soon enough, Dalton realizes just how foolish he’s been, and decides it’s time to go home. The last thing Dalton sees is Neville Todd, a member of his own entourage, pointing a gun at him. Dalton is shot, losing one eye, and is all but blind in the other. He survives, and heads home a different man.
Minerva Todd is determined to find out what happened to her brother, Neville. She is several years older than he, and played a big part in raising him. Her sweet younger brother changed as he became a man. He started associating with the notorious Rathsmere, and began to emulate his wicked behavior, even following him to America. While the earl has returned, Neville has not, and she has no word as to what happened to him, or if he’s even alive. When the earl refuses to even speak to her, Minerva breaks into his home to confront him.
Dalton’s experiences have made him realize how idiotic he truly was, thinking that war would provide relief for his boredom. He also realizes how shallow his relationships are, as no one comes to visit him or even cares how he’s faring with his injuries. Dalton doesn’t go out, he’s adjusting to his life without sight. He’s fighting not to drown in alcohol, while attempting to run his earldom with his irritating secretary. When Miranda bursts in on him, demanding to know what has happened to her brother, Dalton doesn’t hesitate to tell her that he hopes Neville is dead.
A twist in the story causes Dalton to want to find Neville, and also throws him in Minerva’s company. While the two start out antagonistic toward each other, soon their feelings are changing. Minerva begins to make Dalton feel alive again, and he makes her feel desirable. I loved seeing the changes in Dalton – he went from a shallow, foolish young man, to a man who cares about his staff and his earldom. He does his best to cope with his new life, and while it’s difficult, he doesn’t sink into self pity. I admired his strength and courage.
Minerva was a bit prickly, but she turned out to be just what Dalton needed. She cared for him without coddling him. She is very straight forward and up front about her past, which includes something that made me question her judgment, though not her character. I admire her willingness to change, and how she convinced Dalton to hold off judgment on Neville until they had all the facts.
As Dalton’s life becomes more complex – it seems that someone really does want him dead – he and Minerva fall deeply in love. SCOTSMAN OF MY DREAMS is a very well written, satisfying read. The romance is heartfelt, and the mystery intriguing. There is one beautiful, poignant moment in particular that really touched my heart. Dalton can barely see shadows or shapes from his remaining eye, yet one bright, dawn morning, the sun shines down on Minerva, and he is able, for a brief second, to really see her beautiful face, and is thankful for the gift. This is a truly swoonworthy moment from a book that I totally enjoyed and highly recommend.
Author Info 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.
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