ARC REVIEW: A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean

Tuesday, September 06, 2016
Lonesome Lily Turned Scandalous Siren
Miss Lillian Hargrove has lived much of her life alone in a gilded cage, longing for love and companionship. When an artist offers her pretty promises and begs her to pose for a scandalous portrait, Lily doesn't hesitate...until the lying libertine leaves her in disgrace. With the painting now public, Lily has no choice but to turn to the one man who might save her from ruin.
Highland Devil turned Halfhearted Duke
The Duke of Warnick loathes all things English, none more so than the aristocracy. It does not matter that the imposing Scotsman has inherited one of the most venerable dukedoms in Britain—he wants nothing to do with it, especially when he discovers that the unwanted title comes with a troublesome ward, one who is far too old and far too beautiful to be his problem.
Tartan Comes to Town
Warnick arrives in London with a single goal: get the chit married and see her become someone else's problem, then return to a normal, quiet life in Scotland. It's the perfect plan, until Lily declares she'll only marry for love...and the Scot finds that there is one thing in England he likes far too much...

A woman on the verge of scandal, and a duke shunned by society.

As much as I did like A Scot In The Dark I feel like my dislikes are going to overwhelm what I liked about it, I'll try to keep this review balanced. While I enjoy angst as much as anyone else, I have a certain level of dislike for angst that comes with self loathing... From both characters. Self loathing can turn what was was a deliciously torturous romance filled with unfulfilled longing to a frustrating story about two characters too self absorbed to realise what is right in front of them.

Unfortunately Alec was one such character. Like I said I actually loved Alec in the beginning, his stubborn resolve and his protectiveness of Lily even while he couldn't stand her was emdearing. But his constant self hate and rationalising for him being miserable had me so frustrated. I'm not saying his feeling weren't justified or understandable, I'm just saying that I can't connect with characters like this.

“I am in the market for neither guardian nor savior. Indeed, if the last few years have taught me anything, it is that I would do well to save myself. Play my own guardian.”

I pretty much loved Lily from the beginning, her unapologetic acceptance of what had happened to her, the fact that she was lucid enough to realise she was never in the wrong. I'm thinking the author probably did that on purpose , pairing a character who wasn't afraid to take what she wanted with one who felt they didn't deserve happiness. But boy was it frustrating.

She lifted one shoulder and lowered it. “Because love is for the lucky among us.”

“What does that mean?” he said, her words rioting through him, unwelcome in their eerie truth.

“Only that I am not counted among the lucky. Everyone I have ever loved has left.”

I think firm fans of Maclean's work and even fans of drawn out angst will love this.


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