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The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne
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'He was no barbarian. And certainly no gentleman.'

Complex situations, begat by desperation, lies, bad choices, childhood abuse and oh so many other factors dog the pages in this very different story in the Victorian Rebels series. I keep thinking Annie Oakley meets a Scots Celtic god, whose soul holds close hidden horrors a la Dorian Gray. Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne's emotional burdens weigh him down. Although there is no painting in the attic, Gavin has suppressed regrets and terrible memories, that he's spent a life time attempting to forget by cutting a path through the bedrooms of the rich and needy using his exceptional charm.
Samantha Masters was part of a gang including her husband and his brother who are train robbers. This time the robbery goes awry and in the ensuing confusion and aftermath Sam commits murder and exchanges places with an heiress, Alison Ross, and flees to the Highlands, having taken on Alison's persona.
Well of course this cattle herding, fast shooting Amaerican gal comes as a complete shock to Gavin who had plans of frightening her into selling her lands to him ... or marrying her. Whichever will work.
Naturally both of their pasts manage to catch up with them, not before a last resort wedding, unexpected attacks from angry westerners pursuing Sam, sexually charged situations, and a whirlwind of emotional angst.
I loved the secondary characters, the gruff shepherds and other members of the clan who take Sam into their hearts.
Certainly a highland historical Victorian era novel with a difference. I am still unsure about the Wild West confrontation with the Highland Warriors but if anyone can pull it off its Kerrigan Byrne.

A NetGalley ARC ( )
  eyes.2c | Oct 3, 2017 |
The Scot Beds His Bride by Kerrigan Bryne
Victorian Rebels #5

Brash, bold and beautiful but is the heroine believable…not in the beginning but perhaps a bit more toward the end of the book…maybe. I wanted to put this book down in the first pages and even at the halfway point because no matter how untamed the United States Wild West might have been in 1880 the heroine did not ring true to me. Raised as a Mormon would her language, attire and behavior be as they were described? At times I felt like this was the story of Annie Oakley (with a bit of Bonnie from Bonnie & Clyde) going to the Scottish Highlands incognito. I persisted in reading because I looked back and realized that the three other books I have read in this series all rated highly and my comments reminded me that I had loved the stories. So…I continued to read…and glad that I did. I never really found the story believable but did find it entertaining. AND since this is fiction first and not necessarily based on fact…I let those niggling thoughts go by the side and immersed myself in the story.

The book begins with a horrific scene from Gavin’s childhood in which he is forced to watch something then experience something no child should ever encounter. His story picks up nearly a quarter of a century later. He is gorgeous, hates his family name, works part-time in a distillery, dislikes his brother, wants independence and sees his future as owner of a piece of land he will raise cattle on…land that belongs to someone else.

Samantha “Sam” Masters’ story begins on a train. She saves a woman’s life by killing a man but then her life is in danger for other reasons and Alison Ross, the woman she saved, offers her identity to Sam in exchange for living on land in Scotland for a year to keep it from returning to the MacKenzie family. Needing a place to hide she takes Alison’s offer and heads to Scotland where the first persons she meets and falls into the arms of (literally) is Gavin. He wants “her” land and she won’t sell it.

With two people both wanting the same land and both willing to do what it takes to keep it the tussle begins. Sam and Gavin have secrets and scars and are damaged souls but they also are more than they appear to be upon first introduction. As the reader gets to know them both better and they get to know one another more intimately the story begins to heat up. When the past arrives to interfere with what seems to be a happily ever after in the making all bets are off and the future less secure – for everyone.

Ultimately I came away glad I had persevered with reading this story. I was satisfied with the ending. I still found this book, in many ways, to be unbelievable. BUT…I enjoyed it thoroughly. And, I would love to know more about Allison, Callum and…The Rook!

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC – This is my honest review.

4 Stars ( )
  CathyGeha | Oct 2, 2017 |
Received an ARC for my fair review for netgalley. I disliked this book. This was a historical, yet the heroine Samantha really did not act the part to me, all she did was curse and lie, yeah not a good person. Then we have hero, who was just in lust, wasn't romantic to me. Story dragged, I will probably not read anymore books by this authors. Sorry folks. ( )
  Pelusa41 | Sep 11, 2017 |
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Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne, tries to claim the abandoned estate bordering his own as part of his effort to put his past behind him, but he finds himself opposed by American Tessa Ross, who hides dark secrets of her own.

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