Captain Ian Bell is a tortured man fighting through grief and guilt over the loss of his sister. When she went missing, he searched for months until he found her remains. Now, three years later as the Deputy Lieutenant of Fife, Ian still hunts for her murderer in the dangerous criminal underworld of Edinburgh. He is the ‘Night Watch’ bent on revenge even as he saves others from the same violent fate that claimed his sister. Then one night, a young woman narrowly escapes death and lands at his feet…his late sister’s best friend, Phoebe Pennington.
Lady Phoebe Pennington—dreamer and storyteller to her family—is a committed reformer writing articles anonymously for an Edinburgh newspaper. One night, in an effort to acquire documents embarrassing to the city’s political leaders, Phoebe descends into the corrupt and seething netherworld known as the Vaults. When she tries to save a street urchin from an assailant,she becomes the target of a violent attack, only to be saved by the one man she has desired for years.
Ian’s attraction to Phoebe is as undeniable as it is unexpected,and she awakens in him passions he thought long dead. Fearful that she doesn’t understand the dangers of this criminal world, he is determined to save her from the risks she takes. Phoebe’s blood burns for Ian, but when she learns that he may be implicated in the scandal she is set on exposing, she finds herself torn between love and truth. But even as they strive to find the meaning of trust,fate is taking a hand. For Phoebe is the only one who has seen the face of the killer, and the sinister shadows of evil are closer than they imagine.
Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link: Sleepless in Scotland (The Pennington Family)
In the three years since his sister, Sarah, was murdered in a seedy area of Edinburgh known as the Vaults, sleep has eluded Ian Bell. He’ll never have peace until he has answers and finds the mad killer who took Sarah’s life, as well as a multitude of others. Ian haunts the Vaults, rescuing those he can while he searches for the elusive killer. When he rescues a young man about to be attacked by a knife wielding villain, he’s shocked to find the young man is a lady – and not just any lady – it’s Phoebe Pennington, Sarah’s best friend.
Phoebe is an earl’s daughter, and has a secret career as a writer for the Edinburgh Review. Phoebe chooses to write about the plight of poor people, and other social injustices. She was led to this dangerous location by a questionable source who supposedly had some information for her. When she intervened in a young boy being attacked, the attacker turned on her, and only Ian’s arrival saved her life. As Ian escorts her home, she now has to worry as to whether he’ll inform her family about her dangerous actions and her near miss. He’s furious that Phoebe would put herself in such danger.
Years ago, when Sarah was still alive, Phoebe had a huge crush on Ian, who was distantly polite to his little sister’s friend. Though she hasn’t seen much of Ian in recent years, he still holds the same attraction for her. No other man has ever captured her interest, and she has devoted herself to being a crusader for those without a voice. Her zeal leads her to believe that an organization Ian sponsors is bowing to political pressure and casting aside those people it is supposed to aid. She decides to confront Ian directly.
Ian, instead of becoming angry, simply shows Phoebe that she was misinformed. I love his patience, his honor, and even his unfortunate willingness to bear the weight of the world on his shoulders. In no way was he responsible for Sarah’s death, yet he bears the guilt, and anguishes over the pain their mother endures. He put his whole life on hold while searching for the killer, but Phoebe has sparked an interest in him. He invites her to his home, to visit with his mother. While there, attempts are made on Phoebe’s life, and it seems that the killer is very close to Ian’s home, and feels that she is a danger to him, and must be eliminated.
I loved watching Ian start to come back to life in Phoebe’s company, and their developing romance was sweet, then steamy. Both of them are characters to admire and root for. The mysterious killer was not difficult to figure out, but the suspense was still well written. SLEEPLESS IN SCOTLAND flowed along at a great pace and held my interest so much, that I read it in one sitting. This well written romance is an emotional, enjoyable, and satisfactory read that I think will satisfy both HR readers, and those who enjoy a touch of mystery. ~Rose