Friday, November 11, 2011

A Scottish Love-Karen Ranney

A Scottish Love

Karen Ranney

Avon, Nov 29 2011, $7.99

ISBN: 9780062027788

In 1859 in Inverness, Scotland, war hero Gordon MacDermond visits his ailing best friend Fergus Imrie who was injured while in combat under his command. He is greeted rather coldly by Fergus’ sister Widow Countess Shona Morton. She blames Gordon for her sibling’s health. He tells his friend he left the army and that his martinet father the General is dead. Shona thinks back seven years ago when his father insisted his son had no future with a wife and that he would marry her out of pity. She needed money to support her and Fergus so she wed elderly Bruce. He died two years ago and she finds she is broke so to support herself, Fergus and her cousin in law Helen Shoma needs to sell Gairloch Castle to visiting Americans.

Shona and Helen head to Gairloch, Gordon takes Fergus with him to his home Rathmor. The Americans arrive several days early. Accompanying obese Mr. Lofton is his daughter Miriam, his bodyguard Helmut and his nurse Elizabeth. When Fergus sees Elizabeth, they stare at each other before he walks out rudely. Fergus recalls Elizabeth caring for his men in the Crimea. He fell in love with her. Gordon asks Fergus to run his local ammo plant as he trusts him while he also knows he still loves Shona.

The ensemble cast is solid with diverse personalities though the Loftus pair is stereotypes of the “Ugly American”. The two romances will delight Victorian fans even as each is similar in tone. With a late suspense involving Shona, fans will enjoy the rocky path to true love.

Harriet Klausner

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