Title: A Devil in Scotland
Author: Suzanne Enoch
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: January 2018
Length: 311 pages
Series?: No Ordinary Hero #3
Genre: Historical, Romance
1806, Scotland: Wild, reckless Callum MacCreath is in no hurry to become someone’s husband. But when his responsible, steady older brother Ian announces his engagement to their childhood friend Rebecca, Callum makes a startling discovery: he wants the lovely young lass for himself. But it’s too late, and when Ian banishes him for his duplicity, he’s only too happy to leave Scotland forever.
1816: Marrying Ian was the practical, logical thing for Becca to do. But once Callum sailed away to America, she missed his rakish charm and lust for life. Now, ten years later, Becca is a widow when a much-changed Callum returns to his Scottish homeland. Will he remember their spirited, fiery connection, or does he blame her for his brother’s unexpected death? This time neither of them can deny their scorching attraction, but will their hearts be burned in the blazing heat of scandal?
This is the third book in the series and while it can be read as a stand alone, there will be confusion as to why in the prologue Callum threatens the Duke of Dunncraigh seemingly unprovoked. It is all made clear in the previous book, My One True Highlander. You can read my review here.
The prologue characterizes Callum MacCreath as a drunk womanizer. At the time, he was. Upon learning his childhood friend, Rebecca, is going to marry his older brother, he insists and then insults her to marry him. His behavior is so despicable that he is banished, at which time he threatens the Duke of Dunncraigh that if anything happens to his brother or Rebecca, he’d be coming for him. Callum makes his way to America, to Kentucky, and builds himself a whiskey empire in his decade-long absence. During this time, Ian MacCreath sends continuous letters to Callum that are ignored. Never hearing word from him, Rebecca accepts the help and friendship of the Duke and his son after her husband’s death, soon followed by the loss of her father. The Duke and his son have set their sites on the widow and her home.
Everything they thought would happen comes to an abrupt halt when Callum does return to claim his inheritance. Despite burning every unopened letter from Ian, Callum cannot ignore a news story about his brother’s death. His brother’s death that he finds highly suspicious.
With his return, Callum does find that his brother and Rebecca had an enjoyable life. The inquisitive Mags, their daughter, is just as determined as her newly discovered uncle. It takes Callum aback. He wants to do nothing but kill the murderers and avenge his brother, despite their disagreement and Callum’s long-held anger. Though she was the love of his childhood, Callum does not trust Rebecca or her innocent act and he treats her so. While he firmly believes he knows his brother was murdered, nobody else does. It appears that Callum is still the hot-headed, irrational young man he left Scotland as. Rebecca refuses to leave without her daughter, and Callum will not allow Mags to be taken away, so they have to find a way to live together. As Callum continues to be present in her home, the feelings they had both let go of a decade ago resurface. Callum knows he must convince her and protect her, and prove himself to her that he is not the impulsive, reckless idiot that he was before. She does concede that if Callum can find proof that Ian was murdered, she will support him.
Rebecca’s choices made sense. She chose the reliable older brother, rather than the brash younger brother. When he returns, Rebecca is also suspicious of him. Regardless of her suspicions of Callum, he wins the heart of not only Mags, but also several members of the household. He is tenderly attached to Mags, who adores him and his wolf Waya. The wolf pack have been together since he nursed Waya back to health as a pup. Like Callum, Waya is ferociously protective and loyal. Rebecca’s heart begins to warm to the prospect of having him around. At first she was stringently against levirate marriage – something Callum brings up a several times – but as their situation continues, her unease grows.
When it becomes clear that Callum is on to something and his notion of murder is not as far-fetched as everyone believes, he must choose between building a life with her over his striking vengeance. It is not an easy choice, and Callum struggles heavily under the weight of what he must do. The evidence has finally been uncovered and things seem to fall into place. Until a desperate Dunncraigh inserts himself and takes drastic measures to steal the hope for their future.
I loved the way Callum and Rebecca fell into love together, despite (or maybe in spite of?) the surrounding circumstances. I adored Mags and her delightful “wolf pack”. They all fell into family life so easily and naturally. A fast-paced, conflict-filled story that is hard to pass up!
Suzanne was born in Southern California sometime in the latter half of the 20th century. In the way that some people are born knowing they want to be astronauts or cellists, Suzanne always knew she wanted to be a writer. Early dreams of becoming a zoologist and writing true stories about her adventures in Africa were crushed, however, after she viewed a television special about the world’s most poisonous snakes; she did NOT want to write about how she’d been bitten and lost a limb to a cobra. Thankfully at the same time the movie “Star Wars” premiered, and she realized that she could make up adventures and write about them, and not be eaten by deadly predators while doing research.
She dabbled in romantic fantasy writing for a year or two after graduating with a degree in English from the University of California, Irvine, until her affection for traditional Regency romances led her to write one for fun. After several encouraging rejections from publishers, she snared the interest of the world’s best and most patient literary agent, who advised her to revise the manuscript. This ultimately led to the publication of her first book, The Black Duke’s Prize, from Avon Books in the Spring of 1995.
Suzanne is known for her humorous characters, sexy bad boys, and whip-sharp, witty dialogue. She currently resides in Placentia, California with several hundred guppies and various other tropical fish, and handful of very loud, spinach-loving finches. And her collection of action figures and statues from “Star Wars”, “Lord of the Rings”, “X-Men”, and “Pirates of the Caribbean”. Everybody needs some inspiration, after all.