Wednesday, November 16, 2016

#TBRChallenge Reading: When a Scot Loves a Lady by Katharine Ashe

2016 TBR Reading Challenge
Book: When a Scot Loves a Lady
Author: Katharine Ashe
My Categories: Romance, Regency
Wendy Crutcher's Category: Historical

I read this book on a recommendation by Emily Wittmann, and I'm glad I did. I had lately been disenchanted with historical romance—tired of wallpaper stories and their silly plots. With this romance, I was heartened that my beloved sub-genre had not abandoned me. I just needed to look harder for authors new-to-me and take recommendations with an eye to who's doing the recommending.

Lord Leam Blackwood is a Scottish earl, who for the past five years has been residing in London as part of the secret Falcon Club. The club's denizens are involved in various spy activities on shore and off-shore on behalf of The Crown. Leam meets Lady Katherine Savege at a ball and is struck by her vulnerability even as she clings to another man who treats her callously.

Kitty had been taken advantage of by this man in her youth, where he robbed her of her innocence and then refused to marry her. In clinging to him, she's seeking information about all aspects of his life, because she's seeking retribution for his depredations. And she succeeds handsomely in destroying his reputation so thoroughly that he's cast from society. However, her meeting with Leam at that ball convinces her to move away from her path of further revenge on to building a life for herself, to reclaim, in part, the charm of youthfulness.

Five years later, Kitty and her friend manage to arrive at a small inn in a snowstorm, only to find it also occupied by Leam and his friend. This is where Leam and Kitty are helpless to halt their attraction to each other. What had barely begun at the ball is consummated at that inn.

Given how much time Kitty spends with Leam, she detects that occasionally, Leam drops his loquacious Scottish brogue to speak in the cultured tones of a nobleman. Around her though, he always adopts the folksy mien. When they make love, he drops lines of poetry in various languages, again, bespeaking of an education that is at variance with the image he's trying hard to project.

It is an image he has taken pains to develop for the Falcon Club's purposes. And since they're currently on a mission, he doesn't abandon it, even as Kitty and he are drawing closer to each other.

I enjoyed seeing how Leam drops his spy cloak to reveal his Blackwood self to Kitty and how she comes to terms with their new relationship. From its fiery beginning scenes at the inn, the story moves forward at a more measured pace through the rest of the book.


azteclady said...

Due to...well, life, I haven't been reading much, and what I have managed to read have been mostly re-reads. But oh, how you tempt me! I've heard good things about Ms Ashe before, and I believe I may have something by her somewhere in the peaks and valleys of Cordillera TBR, but I think I'll put this one in my amazon wish list, and look for the next time is on sale.

Keira Soleore said...

I enjoyed Katharine Ashe's book much as I enjoy Mirande Neville's work among the Avon crowd. For the most part, I give a wide berth to the new historicals. It's rare to find a Meredith Duran or a Shelley Thomas, so I read reviews with an eagle eye to see what may appeal. This was my first Ashe.

Keira Soleore said...

I, too, do a lot of re-reads particularly of trad Regencies and Heyers. Those books never get old for me.

willaful said...

So hard to find historicals to my taste these days! I'll have to give this a try.

Keira Soleore said...

Willa, hope you like it!

Dorine said...

Katharine Ashe was recommended to me as well so I'll put this one on my list. I know what you mean about historicals. I went through a real dry spell for a while. I finally figured out that what I really wanted was historical westerns and nothing else would satisfy until I found the grit. Glad you found a good one!

Keira Soleore said...

Yes, I like romance with heft to it. The silly plots don't cut it for me. While I enjoy wit and laugh-out-loud humor, fluffy stories don't do it for me.

I'm a fan of historical westerns as well. Jo Goodman, in particular, is hitting the sweet spot for me these days. I also like Jodi Thomas.

Dorine said...

oh yes, I agree. I love Jo Goodman's westerns and grab everything she writes. If you like super gritty, try Sawbones by Melissa Lenhardt. That's my new favorite for the year. I have Jodi Thomas on the TBR, so I better pull those out and read them. Hope you're doing the challenge in 2017. :)

Keira Soleore said...

Dorine, sorry for the delay in my reply. I was away on vacation.

Thanks much for the rec. I have not tried Melissa Lenhardt, so I'll give her a try in the new year.

I'm reading Jodi Thomas's newest one right now, and the slow sweet story is wonderful. There's just something in Thomas's storytelling that always appeals to me.