Some Like it Scot (Scandalous Highlanders #4) by Suzanne Enoch

some like it scot

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CAN A CLASH OF WILLS…

When a mad lass in trousers shoots at him, Munro “Bear” MacLawry isn’t sure what impresses him more-the girl’s sure aim or her irresistibly tempting curves. Catriona MacColl has fled to the Highlands with her half-sister to escape an unwanted wedding, and wants no part of him, nor any man. But he can’t abandon the flame-haired, sharp-tongued wildcat now that he’s discovered her-not when she fits so perfectly in his arms…

LEAD TO A LOVE FOR ALL TIME?

Munro has more than earned his nickname-he’s a well-muscled, well-favored mountain of a man with an engaging bad-boy grin and a string of well-satisfied lasses behind him. Bringing Catriona food, blankets, candles, everything she needs to survive a winter in an abandoned abbey, Munro is an unexpected gift in her reckless bid for freedom-and an unexpected complication. Clan MacDonald has plans for her, and they don’t include her falling for a MacLawry. But this man makes her feel like a woman-and he may be her one chance to live a life about which she’s only dared dream…

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Publisher and Release Date: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, October 2015

RHR Classifications:
Time and Setting: Regency era, Scottish Highlands
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 4 stars

Review by Sara

Clan MacLawry is known in both Scotland and England as a clan who has fiercely protected the Highlander way of life against even their own countrymen. This desire to remain loyal to the ways of true Scotsmen is a point of pride for the youngest MacLawry sibling Lord Munro. Known as Bear to his family and friends, Munro eschews the English way of dress and manners to live his life embracing the bawdier and more unrefined sides of his culture.

Never going long without a willing woman in his bed, Munro bristles against the domesticated lives his family has found through marriage and children. This sense of watching his brothers and sister fall more in line with the Sassannach ways pushes Bear to venture away from his brother’s home to escape the inevitable pressure from his laird to marry and settle down. Following a stag into the backwoods of MacLawry lands, Munro is surprised to be outmaneuvered in his hunt by a petite woman wearing trousers with a surer aim than he has. Intrigued, he watches her backtrack through the woods to an abandoned ruin where she again outflanks him. To Munro, a mystery woman of this caliber is a puzzle that must be solved.

Catriona MacDonald doesn’t take the presence of a braw highland man skulking around her shelter very kindly, especially as she is trying to keep herself and her younger sister out of sight of anyone possibly connected to the MacLawry. Having left her home on the Isle of Islay, Cat is risking much to keep her independence and an intruder will only lead to complications Cat would much rather leave in the hands of her kinsmen. When her cold demeanor does nothing to discourage her visitor from returning the next day, Cat and her sister Elizabeth reluctantly accept Bear into their circle. Catriona herself is a Highlander through and through, with little appreciation for all the frippery her sister has been raised with in England. Finding a man who doesn’t ridicule her immediately for her appearance and idiosyncrasies surprises her to the point she slowly begins to trust this stranger. As his actions towards her move past just a general concern and into realms of physical pleasure, Cat begins her own awakening to desires and needs she has never had the freedom to pursue.

From almost the moment of their unconventional introduction, Catriona and Munro jumped off the page to me as a great couple. I loved so much of their courtship, from Munro calmly handling her skittishness to Catriona appreciating his forcefulness. They are perfectly matched and neither one tries to hide their burgeoning attraction and feelings. Once Catriona learns that her visitor is one of the MacLawrys it may have complicated their relationship but it couldn’t completely extinguish it. They arechallenged to find ways to be together, even if it’s behind the backs of their clansmen and against the wishes of their families.

I enjoyed Catriona’s being different to the classic romance heroine, which is a major component of her character. Cat was raised by a father who expected sons from his wives rather than the daughters he got. Thus Cat was never allowed to be a girl in the sense of wearing dresses or learning the behaviors found useful by the men of her clan in a potential wife. She was raised to excel at hunting, academic and more masculine pursuits. As she got older and understood just how differently she was perceived by her kinsmen, Cat’s self-image was hurt further when she couldn’t break from that mould. The story is easily at its best in those moments when Munro sees through to the real Catriona. He doesn’t care much that she wears trousers or can out shoot him, being more attracted to the woman who is strong enough in spirit to stand toe-to-toe against him even at his most blustering and still win. I love a romance where I feel both characters really know and appreciate all aspects of their partner, not just the physical side of a relationship. Munro and Catriona can be themselves unapologetically with one another and they are still loved.

While I adored every moment that involved Munro and Cat’s relationship, there are a few things that kept me from rating the Some Like it Scot higher than 4-stars. I don’t read many Scottish Highlander stories, so for me the main conflict of an inter-clan feud and Highland politics came across as frustrating rather than a true impediment to romance. This frustration only grew as Munro’s brother Ranulf was used as the “villain” of the story. Having read book one of this series and met Ranulf as a previous hero (who managed to put aside clan politics for his own happy ever after), his perceived personality shift and hypocrisy just put a damper on the joy I normally have when a story revisits previous couples. The MacLawry family, with one exception, came across as very selfish in the end, and not very supportive of their younger brother.

Those new to the series may have to take a moment to get used to the Scottish dialogue being written with a heavy burr or brogue to everything. Dinna fash yerself! I enjoyed “hearing” the characters with a rich accent, especially when talking to those who had been raised outside of the Highlands. It added just another special touch to an already great story that I would certainly recommend.

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