Sleepless in Scotland
Sleepless in Scotland features a wonderfully likeable heroine, who ends up married to a hero who has got to be one of the most clueless males on the face of the earth. He is a textbook image of the hero who is Too Stupid To Realize what a wonderful wife he has. Thankfully, she is made of more intelligent stuff.
Catriona Hurst is very fond of her beautiful, but sometimes dumb twin sister Caitlyn. So when she discovers that Caitlyn plans to elope with Alexander MacLean, she plans on stopping it. Her method? She jumps into MacLean’s carriage, only to find not Alexander, but his brother Hugh who had gotten wind of Caitlyn’s plan and wanted to save his brother.
The result is that Catriona and Hugh are discovered and, in order to preserve her good name, Hugh tells her that they must marry. At first Catriona demurs, not wanting to marry this total stranger, but she realizes that her scandal would affect her brothers and sisters, so she agrees to marry Hugh and go with him to Gilmerton, his Scottish estate where he raises prize horses.
Catriona and Hugh turn out to be very compatible in the bedroom where they communicate very, very well – but outside the bedroom not so well. Catriona wants to be Hugh’s partner in every way, but he wants her to spiff up the house, be sure meals are on time and that’s it. Catriona is taken aback by this, but she is wise enough not to throw a hissy fit and plans to bide her time. However, Catriona is taken aback when Hugh introduces her to three girls – his daughters – and they are not happy about their father having a wife.
Catriona is quite a dear. She is smart, sensible, and practically perfect. Honestly – I could find nothing to criticize about her at all (except I think she put up with Hugh’s stubbornness for too long). She and Hugh’s daughters soon begin bonding (after they play a trick on her), and Hugh’s carefully planned scenario is in tatters.
While I loved the characters, there were a few things about Sleepless in Scotland that puzzled me. The three girls are the children of Clarissa, a woman with whom Hugh had an affair when he was eighteen. The oldest is 15, the youngest is 6 and I gathered that Hugh and Clarissa had had a falling out very early on in their affair when he found out how cruel and promiscuous she was. So are the girls Hugh’s children? Or did he just step in and take them from Clarissa? At one point, Hugh mentioned Clarissa bringing a lawsuit. If they were his children, he would have had the legal claim to them, but if they weren’t his by blood, he might have had legal problems. I was left wondering. Also, there was much made about Hugh’s ability to start up storms (it’s a MacLean ability). This played a part at the climax of the book, but I could have done without it.
Sleepless in Scotland zips along very nicely and I smiled quite often during it – mostly when Catriona appeared, she is such a dear. It’s not a wholly memorable book, but it’s history lite done right and I did enjoy it.