THE SINFUL SCOT by Maddison Michaels is out now and we’re thrilled to be part of her blog tour! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy of this historical romance today!
Title: The Sinful Scot
Author: Maddison Michaels
Genre: Historical Romance
About The Sinful Scot:
Constance Campbell, the Duchess of Kilmaine, once believed that all she needed in life was a duke. But everything unraveled when she realized her perfect husband was a perfect monster. Now broken beyond repair, she hides her misery behind a perfect Society mask…even from her childhood friend, Alec.
Dr. Alec McGuinness reluctantly finds himself back in Scotland, and checking up on the only woman to ever get under his skin, Connie. After she spurned him many years ago, he knows his humble life as a doctor could never be enough for her. But when the Duke of Kilmaine is murdered in cold blood, with Connie sleeping right next to him in bed, Alec knows he must protect Connie at all costs from those who would frame her for the duke’s murder.
Now on the run, Connie feels a freedom she only ever dreamed about before, and an unexpected attraction to the man who is keeping her safe. But even if they can win her freedom and clear her name, could she ever open her heart up to someone again?
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About Maddison Michaels:
Indoctrinated into a world of dashing rogues and feisty heroines when she was a teenager, Maddison Michaels is a bestselling, award-winning Australian romance author, who loves to write sexy history with a dash of mystery! Her debut novel, THE DEVILISH DUKE, won the 2019 RWA Australia Historical Romance Book of the year. Maddison lives in Sydney with her gorgeous hubby and daughter, and always starts her day with a cup (or two) of liquid gold… coffee (just quietly, she’s addicted to the stuff)!
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Read an Excerpt:
Blood was everywhere.
The metallic tang was thick in the air, with dark crimson pools of it soaking into the bedsheets and covering her nightgown and hands in an oddly caressingly manner. Connie tried to blink away the heaviness from her eyes as she attempted to make sense of what she was seeing in her muddled state. Was she bleeding? But she didn’t feel hurt. And she couldn’t see any cuts on her hands.
Confusion clouded her senses. Sluggishly, she shook her head, trying to clear away the cobwebs that seemed to be engulfing her thoughts. Sitting up slowly in her bed, Connie had to take in several breaths as a wave of nausea ran through her. She stared down at her chest, wondering why her white cotton nightgown was now covered in splatters of red.
She blinked and forced her gaze to gradually follow the trail of blood from down her chest and across the bedsheets. It was thicker as it tracked across the bed and over her husband’s body.
Duncan is here? she groggily thought. What was he doing here? He never slept in her bed.
And for a moment, as Connie sat there, staring at the silver hilt of the dagger lodged firmly in her husband’s broad chest, she couldn’t quite comprehend what had happened.
Was Duncan dead? No. That couldn’t be right. She must be dreaming…
But the cold starting to seep into her bones from the wetness, of what she assumed was his blood on her skin, felt too real to be a dream.
Slowly, the grim reality of what lay before her eyes started to penetrate her sleep-addled brain. Duncan was dead.
Which meant he couldn’t hurt her anymore. He couldn’t hurt any of them.
A small laugh bubbled out of her as a profound sense of relief flowed through her entire being. She was safe. Finally, safe. Tears of joy began to course down her cheeks, dropping to mingle with the blood on her hands.
But then the elation vanished as fear gripped her. Duncan might not be able to hurt her anymore, but he’d been stabbed multiple times in his chest, and in her bed. And she was covered in his blood.
Everyone would think she had killed him.
Her breath hitched in her throat. Had she? Had she actually murdered her husband? But she couldn’t remember anything…
Of course she’d thought about killing him, almost daily. And then some nights in her sleep, the voices in her dreams had often whispered to her to stab him in the heart. But she’d never had the strength or courage to do so. Perhaps… until now?
Constance (Connie) and Alec were once childhood friends until she made her debut and changed into a title hungry, haughty socialite. Encouraged by her awful mother, Connie began to treat Alex very shabbily, and soon got her wish by marrying a duke. Only, this was no fairy tale story, and the duke was far from Prince Charming. Immediately after the wedding, Duke Kilmaine began to savagely beat and abuse his wife, once almost to the point of death. But since he needs her monthly income, he learned how to keep her alive, and to hurt her where the injuries wouldn’t show under her clothes. He forced her to maintain the facade of being the perfect duchess. Any flaw or misstep results in severe punishment, and there’s no way out for her.
It’s been over two years since Connie married. Alec is now a doctor, and a mutual friend of his and Connie’s has asked him to check up on her. Alec is reluctant, not wanting to even see Connie after her treatment of him, but he complies. He notices that Connie is as beautiful as ever, but there is a change in her, and he can’t quite put his finger on what it is. When he confronts her, he is able to see some of her injuries from her latest beating that Connie thought she had hidden. Appalled, he wants to help her, but Connie rejects his offer, wanting to keep him safe and away from the powerful duke. That very night, the duke is murdered. Connie wakes to find herself covered in blood, with the dead duke lying in bed next to her. When she is immediately suspected in the crime, and held in custody, awaiting the authorities, she knows she needs Alec to help her after all.
Alec manages to sneak Connie away, and they head off on their journey to find answers. Who killed the duke? Why do they want to frame Connie? The obvious choice would be the duke’s brother, who now inherits his title. There are also the numerous women the duke has abused over the years. It even appears that he may have murdered several women. Could someone want to avenge them? I actually found this search to be my favorite part of the book. Each new piece of information only seemed to add to the twists and turns of the murder plot. Soon, Alec and Connie are fleeing not only the authorities, but the duke’s brother, and some unknown assailants with a mysterious agenda.
Almost immediately, Connie began to feel desire for Alec, and makes up her mind to seduce him. As for Alec, he has always found Connie attractive, but has no intention of becoming romantically embroiled, even if Connie seems like a changed person. I have a hard time accepting that a woman who suffered two years of physical abuse, just woke up to her dead husband, and is on the run from the law would be obsessing about having sex, yet she does. Soon enough, they give in to passion, and have some very steamy encounters.
The mystery in THE SINFUL SCOT is very compelling, as I couldn’t read fast enough to find out the resolution, which was totally surprising. There are many things I liked about this book – Alec’s reconciliation with his brother, and his facing up to the two things in his past that so shattered him. I was so glad to see that Connie changed from a person who believed that achieving the highest title in society was everything, to a woman who realized that there are far more important things in life. It was good to see that she was strong and resilient enough to recover from the years of abuse she suffered. Alec and Connie managed to overcome tragic pasts to find love together, albeit, very quickly. This book isn’t recommended for those with sensitivity to reading about sexual or physical abuse. ~Rose