After her engagement to a local landowner ends in scandal and recrimination, Miss Charlotte Warren vows never to marry. Her father might write to say he’s found her the perfect husband – she’s sticking to her spinsterish guns. But when in the middle of a spring flood, her father’s choice turns up on the doorstep under an unconvincing alias, she has no choice but to take him in.
That doesn’t mean she’s going to marry Lord Lyle. No way.
Except he’s very handsome… And he kisses like a dream…
And when a girl finds herself trapped alone in a great big house with a roguish Scottish earl, who knows what will happen? Even to the most resolute and independent lady.
Ewan Macrae, Earl of Lyle, doesn’t believe in love at first sight—until he sees Charlotte Warren’s portrait. One glimpse of the real Charlotte, and he knows this is the lassie he means to carry off to the Highlands as his bride.
But his beloved is no easy conquest. She’s stubborn and headstrong, and dead set against becoming a wife.
Will lashings of Scottish charm, some highly convenient privacy, a scattering of sizzling kisses, and an eventful day battling the elements to save the spring lambs combine to change Miss Warren’s mind about marriage?
They most definitely will, if this proud Scotsman has any say in the matter!
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Ewan Macrae, Earl of Lyle, makes the acquaintance of Sir John Warren while they are horse shopping. The two gentlemen get along very well, and soon share details of their lives with each other over a meal. It’s not long before Sir John realizes that Ewan is the perfect man for his daughter, Charlotte. When Sir John produces a miniature portrait, Ewan is immediately struck with the feeling that she’s “the one.” Sir John sends a message home to Charlotte that a potential suitor will be coming to call soon, and Ewan, takes off immediately, as he can’t wait to meet her. Charlotte is less than thrilled to have to deal with a man sent by her father to court her. She’s determined to remain single, and is happy managing her father’s home and lands. Her one attempt at courting was disastrous, and left her disillusioned with men because all her former beau wanted to do was change her and mold her into his idea of the perfect wife.
Ewan has a horrid day travelling in the pouring rain, only to be turned away by Charlotte at the door. Her servants have the day off because a rehearsal was being held of the Easter Play, and the other cast members have now left for home, leaving Charlotte alone. She convinces Ewan to leave, but her efforts are in vain because the bridge which is the only access to the estate is now covered, and she has no choice but to offer shelter. She realizes who Evan is, but because she’s still dressed as Cinderella, she pretends to be a servant. Evan full well knows who she is from her portrait, but he also pretends to be a servant, and they initially play a little game of cat and mouse.
STRANDED WITH THE SCOTTISH EARL is a short, but delightful novella with a wary, somewhat stubborn heroine and a hero smitten by love at first sight. I enjoyed Ewan’s attempts to win over Charlotte, as he races against the clock before he’s forced to leave. It was lovely to see Charlotte begin to appreciate Ewan as he capably pitches in to help rescue her livestock from disaster. Charlotte is just the kind of woman Ewan wants and needs, and he doesn’t want to change her! This couple’s passionate journey to happy ever after makes for a very satisfying way to spend a few hours, and the wonderful epilogue gives us a peek into their joyful future together.