Title: Some Like It Scot
Series: Scandalous Highlanders #4
Author: Suzanne Enoch
Format: Paperback & eBook, 368 pgs
Published: Oct. 1, 2015 by St. Martin’s
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 2 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Munro MacLawry has always lived up to his nickname "Bear." Strong and brawny, he's known in his clan to be fiercely protective. Sadly for him, each of his siblings becomes "less highlander" as they get married, and Bear is left rowdy and alone with no one to protect. That is, until a routine hunt leads to the most alluring of creatures…
Catriona MacColl doesn't care to amuse the brash, strong, and sexy highlander she stumbles upon in the woods. She's too busy hiding with her sister from marriage into English society. Already well-equipped with a bull's-eye shot, she doesn't need a protector, no matter how badly her body burns for him. But as Cat's boyish nature gives way to her more feminine desires, she'll have to stop fighting the tide and listen to her heart…
Munro has played the hulking, big intimidating MacLawry brother, even saddled with the nickname "Bear", all his life and it hasn't bothered him until recently. With his family all married off and doting on their offspring, they can't understand why Munro wouldn't want to experience the same happiness, especially his oldest brother and clan chief Ranulf. Munro only wants to live his life on his terms and when he meets a wildcat highland lass, he finds himself wanting what his family has. Catriona was raised by her father to be the son he never had and only now realizes how much of an outcast that makes her. When her half-sister writes from London asking for help from a betrothal to an ancient duke, Cat takes off to rescue her and avoid her own betrothal. Hiding out on MacLawry land is dangerous but when Munro comes across the sisters, Cat learns that even with all her masculine mannerisms, her heart is all woman when it comes to her feelings about Munro.
Some Like It Scot is the fourth book in the Scandalous Highlanders series and features Munro the youngest brother. In the previous books he makes appearances but stays more to the corners and is mostly described as being quick to temper, ham-fisted, and rough around the edges. Here we see that while some of that may be true, it's not his full story. Being six and half feet tall has Munro giving off the impression of hulking and his family liked playing up his Bear nickname to help make their name fearsome but they generally never searched too hard under his surface to really get to know him. Our heroine's story is very similar; Catriona wears men's clothing, cut her hair short, and goes about doing what is considered "men's activities" for the time. As she was raised this way by her father who was desperate for a boy, she doesn't initially see anything wrong with it, until she overhears people making fun of her. No one ever bothered to see beneath Catriona's surface either and as a consequence she is very standoffish and doubts her own worth.
"I dunnae feel like a proper lady when I'm with ye," she murmured, "but I feel like a woman."
When our leads meet, there is instant attraction from Munro and wary leaning towards from Catriona and while I think some chemistry was missing, their backgrounds make it understandable as to why they would be drawn to one another. They are two people who have felt misunderstood but didn't think it mattered until they meet one another and have a desire for their true selves to be seen, to be loved. I mentioned disappoint in their chemistry and I think it can be traced to their interactions. They have them, in fact most of the book is them facing off, but they overall seemed to lack substance. Their relationship feels like holding air in your hand, not sure anything is there. Catriona spends the vast majority of the book keeping Munro at arm’s length and Munro seems to be intrigued by the woman wearing trousers but I wasn't sure what kept Munro trying to gain Catriona's confidence and what he even wanted to do with it once he had it.
"Ye're nae convenient. Ye take some effort. Ye drive me mad. And there's nae another lass in the wide world who would do fer me now."
As with the previous books in the series Ranulf, the older brother, is the pseudo-villain of the piece but this time we also have the added bonus of the rest of the family, besides Rowena the sister, joining him. It felt like a rehashing of the other stories, Munro and Catriona want to marry but this will bring about clan wars and even though Ranulf's marriage and every other MacLawry sibling had the same problem, they can't possible see a way for Munro's marriage to work. The hypocrisy! It came off redundant and the quickness with the pretty bow solution was extremely convenient and felt a bit lazy. In their own stories these characters have big hearts and their understanding knows no bounds but they completely flip flop as secondary characters in their siblings’ books; it makes it feel inauthentic and forced for angst sake.
The beginning of this was extremely slow and it wasn't until about 40% in that I actually got into the story but there was also some surprising depth. Catriona could have just been another woman who wears men's garb for the sake of being daring and different but in the second half we learn about how her father raised her. Her character took on a whole new meaning and added a huge emotional layer that went beyond a woman in trousers and was almost buried by her many scenes of being stubborn towards Munro. There were also little extremely romantic passages said, almost in passing, by Munro to Catriona that showcase what this author can do. I just wished these little nuggets could have been accompanied by veins that spread throughout and inspired the story more.
Suggested Reading Order:
One Hot Scot (Scandalous Highlanders, #0.5)