Thursday, April 4, 2019

Dual #Review of It's Getting Scot in Here by Suzanne Enoch

39863367Title:  It's Getting Scot in Here
Series:  Wild Wicked Highlanders
Author: Suzanne Enoch
Format: Paperback/eBook, 352 pages
Publication: Feb. 26th 2019 by St. Martin's
Links: Goodreads | Amazon |B&N
Source: NetGalley
London socialite Amelia-Rose Baxter is nobody’s fool. Her parents may want her to catch a title, but she will never change who she is for the promise of marriage. Her husband will be a man who can appreciate her sharp mind as well as her body. A sophisticated man who loves life in London. A man who considers her his equal―and won’t try to tame her wild heart...

Rough, rugged Highlander Niall MacTaggert and his brothers know the rules: the eldest must marry or lose the ancestral estate, period. But Niall’s eldest brother just isn’t interested in the lady his mother selected. Is it because Amelia-Rose is just too. . . Free-spirited? Yes. Brazen? Aye. Surely Niall can find a way to soften up the whip-smart lass and make her the perfect match for his brother for the sake of the family.

Instead it’s Niall who tempts Amelia-Rose, despite her reservations about barbarian Highlanders. Niall finds the lass nigh irresistible as well, but he won’t make the mistake his father did in marrying an Englishwoman who doesn’t like the Highlands. Does he have what it takes to win her heart? There is only one way to find out...

Kimberly's Thoughts:

Before she could face forward again, he caught her gaze with those impossibly light-green eyes of his. “Too late. I’m already charmed, adae. Whether ye dunnae wish me to tell ye so or not.” And she was charmed, as well. If only he’d been the oldest MacTaggert. If only her mother wasn’t mad for a title in the family. If only, if only, if only.

Wild Wicked Highlanders is a new series by Enoch involving an English woman who married a Highlander, found she missed London and when the shine comes off their whirlwind romance, their combined stubbornness had her taking her baby daughter to live in London and leaving behind her three boys. Seventeen years later, with only a handful of letters exchanged, the sons learn that their father signed an agreement stating that his son's have to marry, Englishwomen at that, before the daughter, with their mother directly picking at least one woman for one son or their mother can cut off funding for their home. The three sons angrily travel to London after learning their sister is engaged, thinking they'll be able to intimidate anything English to get out of the mess. Once arrived, they learn there is already a contract drawn up for Coll, the eldest, to marry an Englishwoman named Amelia-Rose. Coll, not used to being in control or getting his way, turns into a beastly Highlander and leaves his youngest brother Niall, the peacemaker, to smooth things over with Ameila-Rose. What follows is an insanely romantic at times, complete journey between two people just wanting to love one another.

And then he’d said that he found her charming, which had kept her awake all night.

At well over 300pgs, this was a little longer than romances have been clocking in lately and it showed, for the better. I was a little nervous about the engaged to one brother but falling in love with another but even though it was a little awkward in the beginning with how the author kept Coll out of the picture, and he'll have to work extra hard in his own book to make me forget how immature and rude he was in the beginning, I was all-in for Niall and Amelia-Rose's romance. With a higher page count, the author had the time to bring the reader in, this means I felt introduced and had a stable footing to grow to know the characters and immerse myself in their thoughts and feelings. There is a quick spark between Niall and Amelia-Rose but they obviously can't act on it right away, there was an actual getting to know, gradually appreciate, and bonding between the two. This made the second part of the book and ending so much more emotional for me, I believed in them.

Time to begin again. And this time, he’d be wooing the lass for himself.

Niall was a sexy sweet hero, he really shined because of the contrast with his older brother and his antics but the way he listens to the heroine and his self-assured “I am what I am” in the face of London superiority complexes was greatly attractive. I really liked how the author handled the tangled weave of him falling in love with what is supposed to be his brother's betrothed. There's no emotional connection between Coll and Amelia-Rose but Niall stills try to respect it, which gave us some great barely leashed restraint. The first half is spark and getting to know while the second half is desire, longing, and learning. Niall turned out to be a ridiculously lovely hero, you're going to swoon over him.

 No one had ever called her stubborn before, except for her mother, and Victoria had meant it as an insult. Stubborn meant she had a backbone, and a lady wasn’t supposed to have one of those.

Amelia-Rose was a heroine who I grew to really like over the course of the story. It was refreshing to have a heroine who un-apologetically enjoyed London society, the parties, friendships, and culture. She had some preconceived notions about the Highlands and Highlanders but she was willing to listen and get to know. She felt real to me, from her trying to constrain herself so she didn't feel society's backlash, looking to marriage as an escape from her parent's home, and to her being so scared to fall and give into her love for Niall. She's young, nineteen, and I know women will have their heart break a little bit for the woman she is told she must be and the woman she wants to be. Consequences, losses, and gains were beautifully articulated through her character.

She followed the rules of propriety as best as she could, but his lass did have a wicked streak.

This story could have been 500 pages and I don't think I would have complained. I would have liked to have seen Amelia-Rose interact more with people she considered friends, a little more time, depth, exploration into the three sons becoming more open to their mother, and the four siblings having more interactions. This is a series though and I imagine the author is saving some of those emotional moments for future books, I just enjoyed this world so much. I can see some maybe thinking the story gets a little slow in the middle but if you lean into, the emotional payback will be greater at the end, and this was a little bit less sexual than has been coming out in historical romance lately. I, personally, enjoyed the focus more on the emotional personality bonding, longing, and working/fighting for a relationship but I can see some wanting a few more sexually hot scenes. The author took the time to craft a relationship between her leads and I greatly enjoyed losing myself into Niall and Amelia-Rose's romance for a while. I can't wait future books in this series.

“Because of you, I am me.”

Rating: 3.7 out of 5 Wine Glasses

Crystal's Thoughts:

It's Getting Scot in Here is a delightful tale of two unlikely hearts colliding in the midst of their parents machinations, enveloping readers in a wonderfully fun historical romance that they are sure to savor. 

Amelia-Rose Baxter's parents have arranged her marriage, and with the perpetual need to please her mother, Amelia-Rose agrees. When she meets the boorish Highlander though, Amelia-Rose knows that she can never be the meek Englishwoman that Coll MacTaggert expects to wed and then abandon in London, even if it means finally fulfilling her mother's dreams of a title. However, the MacTaggert brothers traveled all of the way from the Highlands to fulfill the marriage agreement that their father made with their estranged mother, so that their clan may continue to prosper with Lady Aldiss' financial support. Youngest brother and peace-maker, Niall MacTaggert, decides to take it upon himself to smooth the way between Amelia-Rose and Coll. But in doing so, he finds himself in a situation that he never imagined possible, falling for his brothers intended. With each meeting, he desperately tries to build up her opinion of his eldest brother, while telling himself that it could never be, but their passion is undeniable. Will Amelia-Rose and Niall bow to their families intentions, or will they find a love worth giving up everything for?

I was instantly swept away by this story revolving around arranged marriages, forbidden romance, and scheming parents. At the beginning, you can't help but to admire the way Amelia-Rose clashes wits with Coll MacTaggert (who was a complete arse). Here is a young lady that loves the life of a London Socialite, but often finds herself chafing against societies expectations, and those of her over-bearing mother. Quick-witted and sharp-tongue, I couldn't help but applaud her spirit. It was easy to see why Niall was so taken with her from the get-go. Niall MacTaggert is everything that a hero should be in romance. Forthright and confident, he makes no apologies for who he is,  yet easily bends to Amelia-Rose's knowledge on social etiquette. These two come from completely different backgrounds, with many preconceived notions about the other, but soon find themselves depending on one another to navigate their families maneuvering. It's an enemies, to friends, to a slowly growing taboo bond, before finally becoming lovers relationship.

It's Getting Scot in Here is very much a character-driven story, which is my favorite kind, and I loved how fleshed-out it was in all aspects. Building relationships between characters one encounter at a time. The growing romance between Niall and Amelia-Rose never once felt rushed. In doing so, the author created a delicious tension between them that was palpable in each scene together. The secondary characters created an intricate backdrop for our main characters, supporting the story and creating a bigger picture for them to move through. Some I really liked, like Niall's little sister and Amelia-Rose's cousin, while others I really wanted to smack. *cough* Coll *cough* Amelia-Rose's mother *cough*   One underlying aspect of the series though is the estranged relationship between the siblings father and mother, the resentment that they hold over it, and the marriage bargain that their mother is holding them to. Some of this was touched on in this story via Niall and Amelia-Rose's own fears, but I imagine that these threads will unravel slowly throughout the series - and I look forward to it. I really hope that we can see a reconciliation between their parents by the end.

All in all, this tale kept me turning the pages. It was well-paced with only minor lagging around the middle mark, with authentic characters, and an intriguing plot-line. The world-building was rich, and if you enjoy historical romances that don't attempt to be too modern or edgy in order to entice new readers to the genre, and stick to their time period beautifully, then I definitely recommend It's Getting Scot in Here!

Rating: 4 out of 5 Wine Glasses

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