Taming the Scotsman
Don’t you love it when you pick up a book, and it turns out to be an unexpectedly delightful surprise? That was my experience with Taming the Scotsman.
Eleanor (Nora) ingen Alexander is desperate. Betrothed to Ryan MacAren, a man she doesn’t love, she seeks out Ewan MacAllister, a man universally feared. When Nora finds Ewan, at home in his cave, he’s in bed naked and asleep. Nora’s arrival marks the anniversary of Ewan’s brother’s death, an event he believes is his fault and he’s less than pleased when Nora interrupts his wallowing. Ewan is really less than pleased when he hears her reason for coming to him: she needs him to escort her to her aunt’s home in England. This is the same (albeit false) reason Ewan’s former lover gave him and that eventually resulted in in his brother’s death. Ewan reluctantly gives in and discovers that Nora may be the perfect woman for him.
If you want a serious historical, this is not the book for you. There’s not much history here, and the heroine occasionally talks like Buffy. But there is lots of fun to be had, so sit back and enjoy the ride.
Nora is one of those too-talkative heroines. It’s the first thing that Ewan notices about her, well, after her looks. She reminded me a bit of Sara from Julie Garwood’s The Gift, but with more common sense. Maybe that’s why Nora wasn’t annoying – she talked a lot, but she wasn’t silly about it. She kept her wits about her when kidnapped (twice!) and helped out in one rescue. No tears and whining here. She’s also feisty and independent and her ideas about not belonging to a man confound Ewan.
An honorable man at heart, Ewan is torn up with guilt over his brother’s death. He lives in the cave (though it has all the comforts of a home) because he’s exiled himself from his family. Gruff, surly, and lusty, Ewan eventually shows a lighter side. He resists falling in love with Nora, but how can he, really?
Nora and Ewan fit, though not right away. He thinks she’s flighty and a little crazy at first, and she thinks he’s rude and beastly. As they get to know each other, however, their contrasting personalities begin to complement each other. Nora’s openness and eagerness balance Ewan’s gruffness, even bringing a smile to his face many times.
A motley crew of one women and three men add hilarity to the story as would-be kidnappers who become companions rather than villains. The woman has a mysterious past, one that isn’t ever explained. I hope there’s a sequel here.
While an immensely enjoyable book, it does bog down in the beginning from all the mental lusting in Nora and Ewan’s minds. Ewan also wallows too much in his guilt while Nora’s reasons for running away aren’t particularly sound. None of these problems lasts very long, though, and I recommend Taming the Scotsman next time you’re in the mood for a light medieval romance.