Monday, August 4, 2008

The Devil Wears Tartan-Karen Ranney

The Devil Wears Tartan
Karen Ranney
Avon, Sep 2008, $6.99
ISBN: 9780061252426

In 1870 the scandal with womanizing adventurer Alisdair Cannemot leaves Davina McLaren with one option. She can marry a man she never met, but others claim that the “Devil of Ambrose” is insane. She decides to take her chances with the lunatic so after her Aunt Theresa arranges the marriage and leaves town immediately, Davina begins wedding preparations. Her aunt returns in time for Davina to say I do in the Edinburgh castle of the Earl of Lorne.

Marshall Ross is infamous as the “Devil of Ambrose”; everyone assumes something evil happened to him as the Queen’s diplomat to China. He no longer can tolerate the outside world so remains a hermit with servants. However, he and Davina are mutually stunned by the immediate attraction between them. She starts to wonder if she is so shallow as to fall in love with the “Devil”. As they become better acquainted she realizes her beloved husband is not crazy, but someone with access to him is somehow causing him to suffer nightmares that he believes are real. She vows to risk her life to expose the villain before the maniac permanently harms her spouse.

THE DEVIL WEARS TARTAN is a superb gothic Victorian romantic suspense based on documented historical events starring a fallen courageous woman and a traumatized man whose love gives each something neither has had recently: hope. Marshall is fascinating as the male lead with deep issues while Davina starts as a classic gothic damsel in distress but soon shows no fear will prevent her from trying to uncover the truth of what is going on at foreboding Black Castle.
Harriet Klausner

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