Title: The Scot Beds His Wife
Author: Kerrigan Byrne
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: October 2017
Length: 394 pages
Series?: Victorian Rebels #5
Genre: Historical, Romance
Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne, is a notorious Highlander and an unrelenting Lothario who uses his slightly menacing charm to get what he wants—including too many women married to other men. But now, Gavin wants to put his shady past behind him…more or less. When a fiery lass who is the heiress to the land he wishes to possess drops into his lap, he sees a perfectly delicious opportunity…
A marriage most convenient
Samantha Masters has come back to Scotland, in a pair of trousers, and with a whole world of dangerous secrets from her time spent in the Wild West trailing behind her. Her only hope of protection is to marry—and to do so quickly. Gavin is only too willing to provide that service for someone he finds so disturbingly irresistible. But even as danger approaches, what begins as a scandalous proposition slowly turns into an all-consuming passion. And Gavin discovers that he will do whatever is necessary to keep the woman he has claimed as his own…
When I first started reading this book, I wasn’t sure what was what. The first chapter, the prologue, was extremely strange. I was wondering if the publishing house attached the wrong cover to the book. The contents of the prologue didn’t match a historical romance book. It was quite gruesome.
Samantha Masters grew up in America’s Wild West. After her parents’ death, she was taken in by a family that worked her hard. She married to escape that life and dreamed of the coast of Oregon. That’s what her husband has promised her…after the Masters Gang pulls their last train heist. When her husband steps into her car and shoots a man dead, Sam makes a decision to save a life and is thrust an opportunity to start over and lay low in Scotland at the behest of Alison Ross. She is to live and work the family land for one year so that Alison can legally retain. Only thing is, Sam enters Scotland as Alison Ross. She is to under no circumstances sell the land or let it fall into the hands of a Mackenzie. Alison agreed she would offer Sam the chance to buy her out so Sam could stay in Scotland.
Gavin St. James is determined to separate himself from his laird brother and his father’s name, Mackenzie. He is divorcing himself from the family name, intending to purchase the Ross lands for cattle business and sell his portion of the distillery back to his brother to cut all ties. He wants to be entirely separate, change his name to his mother’s maiden name, and not be indebted to his laird clansmen. Since his impromptu meeting at the train station didn’t win Alison Ross over to straight out purchase her lands for a godly sum, he sets his sights on wooing her. He is, after all, a more prolific lover across all of England than Casanova and Lord Byron together.
This isn’t your typical Highland read. There’s cussing and LOTS of it. Particularly the f word, used mostly by Sam but also others. When used in conversation as an adjective, it was quite funny dialogue. Otherwise, it was quite a turn-off. As one reviewer put it: “I don’t fuck my husband, and I don’t talk about people fucking each other. It is not a turn-on for me.” I could say the same.
Sam is so confounded and put off by Gavin St. James, or Lord Thorne as he insists. She puts her skills to good use to make something of Alison’s land and scattered herd. She makes it quite clear that Gavin should stay clear off her land, being very handy with her pistols and a better shot than any man. She rallies three local men, all quite different. Two argue and bicker like a married couple, and the third lives in a cave and is Gavin’s friend.
Despite Sam’s equal determination to keep Alison’s land and make something of it, her deceit starts catching up with her. She should be a heroine you dislike or maybe even hate, but it was impossible to dislike Sam. Soon she must make a choice, a choice she readily said she wouldn’t have made if circumstances had been different. Meanwhile, Gavin’s beef with his brother Liam continues to pop up throughout the book and comes to some very heated scenes. Speaking of heated, the Masters Gang sure is heated themselves over the death of one of their own during the train heist. Soon Sam realizes she may have escaped to the ends of the earth where no one will go looking for her…except the Masters. Life becomes dangerous in the Highlands.
This was a very sensuous read – more so than others. Byrne can write with true emotion and realism in steam scenes – and they are steam scenes! The fire and determination that Sam and Gavin both face off with over the Ross property sparks chemistry between them. Just as Sam’s past is catching up with her, so is the present and her deceit.
If you’re anything like me, the best night is one spent with a brawny highlander, a mysterious werewolf, a conflicted vampire, or a hot-headed Irishman. My stories span the spectrum of romantic fiction from historical, to paranormal, to romantic suspense. But I can always promise my readers one thing: memorable and sexy Celtic heroes who are guaranteed to heat your blood before they steal your heart. Lose yourself in the enchanted Celtic Isles, you never know who, or what, will find you…