Waiting for a Scot Like You
Waiting for A Scot Like You is the third book in Eva Leigh’s Union of the Rakes series, which is based on Ms. Leigh’s favorite movies from the 1980s. This book is loosely based on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Footloose, but while I was a big fan of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off I just could not fall in love with this book. It is billed as a “madcap escapade” but the escapades were so ludicrous and so far out-of-character for Regency England that I just could not enjoy the story.
Beatrice Sloane, the Dowager Countess of Farris, is ready for more adventure in her life. Three years after the death of her spouse (and the end of a stifling marriage) Beatrice is “about to embark on the latest step in her journey for personal fulfillment” – a week-long bacchanal (read orgy) at the estate of Lord Gibb. The Duke of Rotherby (the hero of Would I Lie to the Duke) asks his friend Major Duncan McCameron to escort Lady Farris on her travels, but Duncan isn’t thrilled at the idea. Duncan has met Beatrice before and has found her to be a bit too unconventional for his taste. But Rotherby is a good friend and Duncan is in need of a change of pace, so he agrees to accompany Beatrice and her companion Jeanie.
Duncan has no idea that a bacchanal lies at the end of this journey, and finds himself inconveniently attracted to Beatrice – even though he doesn’t really enjoy her company. He returned from the war in Europe three years earlier and has been adrift ever since, but although is family motto – Dignity, Honor, Duty – served him well in military life, he has not yet found a purpose in peacetime. Duncan had hoped to be married and enjoying fatherhood by now but his first and only love jilted him for the sake of a title a few days before the battle of Waterloo. He’s not sure if he still believes in love.
Beatrice and Duncan set off on their travels north and it soon becomes apparent that they have different ideas of how the journey should proceed. Duncan has time schedules and plans of where each day will lead them. Beatrice is off on an adventure and on day one she insists they eat in the common inn dining room of the inn (instead of a private parlor) and then proceeds to the kitchen to learn how to make the Bedfordshire clanger she enjoyed at lunch. When it’s time to climb back in the carriage Beatrice is missing – Duncan and Jeanie eventually find her marching in a local festival parade. Duncan is dismayed but keeps quiet. Beatrice explains that she is going to take all the “wonderful chances to do things I’ve never done before.”
And then the first (really) crazy thing in the book happens. Jeanie looks out the coach window and sees a ewe struggling to birth a lamb. She calls to halt the carriage, jumps down and saves the day by reaching in and helping to pull out the lamb. It turns out the farmer’s wife is ill and there is a plethora of lambing ewes. The farmer is so grateful he offers Jeanie the chance to stay and help out on the farm until his wife is better. And Jeanie decides to stay – with Beatrice’s blessing. This is the oddest way to dispose of a chaperone that I’ve ever read! And now we have Beatrice and Duncan alone on the journey.
I won’t give away all of the adventures that happen along the way but here are a few – a carriage falling off a cliff, a night of sleeping in the woods, a dance party for a village that outlawed dancing, a ferry boat that snaps its line and sends the H/h adrift, a thwarted robbery attempt, and the obligatory one-bed-in-the-inn trick. Folks, it’s just a crazy mess. When Beatrice recommended to a young girl who loves to dance they met along the way that she should journey to London to become a dancer I almost threw the book across the room! What wonderful advice for a young country miss! There is ‘seize the day’ and there is ‘what reality are you living in?’
I don’t mind a book full of adventure even when it sometimes stretches the limits of believability (see my review of Hero Wanted) but this book takes it too far. The endless, unbelievable ordeals combined with the complete disregard for the realities of Regency England had me shaking my head and murmuring ‘What the….?’ I was especially unhappy with the ending where (spoiler alert) Duncan finally agrees to just live with Beatrice without being married. I kept thinking that if the situation were reversed and Duncan had convinced Beatrice to be his lifelong mistress, we would have been up in arms.
There is A LOT of sex in this book – maybe even too much. Once they start, it just goes on and on. Ms. Leigh writes good sex scenes but along the way they began to overwhelm the possible romance. I had a hard time believing that Beatrice was interested in the true Duncan and not just his nether regions. (“I shall miss that beautiful cock!”), and she never really seemed to understand his need to have a conventional marriage and family of his own. I liked that Beatrice was the older woman – (forty-six) to Duncan’s younger man (thirty-four), but the connection (outside of the physical) just wasn’t there.
I believe this will be the last book in the series as the remaining two rakes found love in this story as well. I’ve enjoyed Ms. Leigh’s work in the past so I’ll probably try again. I’m sure there are those readers who will enjoy the wild escapades of this book – but it just wasn’t for me.