Friday 29 October 2021

It's Getting Scot in Here

Finished October 26
It's Getting Scot in Here by Suzanne Enoch

I chose this book to meet a reading challenge, where I needed a kilt on the cover of the novel. This light historical romance has a lot of humour in it. It's not quite a send-up of historical romance novels, but it comes close. Set in 1816, the novel follows two main characters. Amelia-Rose Baxter is a smart young woman, the only child of her parents. Her mother has always aspired to a title and has already refused several offers of marriage for Amelia-Rose that are from nice but title-less men. Amelia-Rose feels that too often she has to pretend to be what she is not, a flirtatious simpleton who is agreeable and willing to submit to whatever a man says with no opinion of her own. She's tried, but she keeps reaching a point where she can't keep her mouth shut and so she is now getting a reputation for being mouthy and unfeminine. 
Niall MacTaggert is the youngest of three sons of Angus MacTaggert, a titled Scottish laird and his English wife Francesca Oswell. Francesca was the only child of a viscount, so that title has also come down to her eldest son. For eighteen years, Francesca has lived at her family home in London with her daughter Eloise, and the boys have lived in Scotland with their father. Francesca has control of the money she inherited, which Angus needs for his estate, and the two reached an agreement that she would contribute the necessary monies on condition that all three boys marry English girls, one of her own choosing, before their daughter wed. 
Now Angus has just received word from Francesca that Eloise is engaged and he doesn't hesitate to let his sons know of this agreement and send them down to London. The eldest Coll has drawn the short stick on taking his mother's choice of bride, but is highly resentful of that and not at all willing to submit. The middle son Aden is ambivalent, and Niall is the peacemaker in the family. Their father has told them that English girls are pliable and will submit to whatever form of marriage they propose, including one that leaves the woman in London, visited only for the purpose of creating an heir.
Francesca has been apprised of her sons trip and has already signed a contract for Coll and Amelia-Rose to marry, but she is definitely not the pliable English girl he expects, and his first meeting with her goes very badly indeed. The plot continues with Niall trying to keep Amelia-Rose interested in Coll, and trying to bring Coll to reason, but he finds himself falling for this smart woman himself. 
This has lots of fun around stereotypes, both English and Scottish, and lots of scenes where one is wondering what next, but Francesca is a smart English woman herself and, as she gets to know her sons better, and lets them know the full story of her relationship with their father, she also finds that she gets new ideas of how to make things work in almost everyone's favour. 
A fun read.

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