August 18, 2014
Why are Scottish guys always heroes?
A Rogue with a Brogue, by Suzanne Enoch, is the second book in the Scandalous
Highlanders series and its a pretty good read - nothing earth shattering, but nice. You know a Suzanne Enoch book is sort of like comfort food - just without the carbs. Ms. Enoch's writing is mature, smooth, and well developed - romance readers will never be disappointed if the have one of her books in their hands.
A Rogue with a Brogue is a sort of Romeo and Juliet story, but without the poison and whiny, angsty teenagers.
It is the story of the second McLawry brother, Arran - a manly man who is supposed to be a bit of a rake - and Mary Campbell. These two met at a ball shortly after a truce has been adopted between their two families. Like Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story, Arran and Mary are instantly enthralled with each other - not necessarily in love but they can't see to keep away from each other. Eventually their inability to keep their hands off of each other leads to being caught in a compromising position which leads to Arran and Mary being exiled to separate family estates for punishment. Well, Arran concocts a plan and steals a willing Mary. Then the book turns into a road trip romance as these two journey north to Gretna Green, or her grandfather, or wherever gets them out of England and away from her conniving father, vile fiance, and Arran's well-meaning but stubborn brother, Ranulf.
While reading this story I found myself more interested in Arran's dynamics with his family than I was with the romance between he and Mary. At times I thought the romance between the two was lost in everything else that was going on - however, I still enjoyed A Rogue with a Brogue very much.
Ponder moment - Why do we continue to like Scottish men as heroes in historical romance books? I know that before Mel Gibson turned to the dark side, we were enthralled with Braveheart, and didn't the tears fall from our eyes when the Stone of Scone was returned to Scotland in 1996? And I will confess that nothing chokes me up faster than a massed band of bagpipers marching past with their kilts swinging side to side and their drum sticks twirling in the air. I will be the first to confess I love all things Scottish, but I have to ask why don't we ever see other nationalities in historical romance? Oh sure, occasionally a Russian or German man will show up clicking their heels together at a ball but usually they are for comic relief. If an Italian shows up I can almost guarantee that he will be the chef, and the French - OMG - those blood-thirsty guys who followed Napoleon and are usually portrayed as torturing someone. All of these nationalities have a pretty musical language. I just find it interesting that with all the choices out there it is the Scots that we have turned our fascination toward - I don't know why - I don't have an answer - I'm just pondering.
Back to the book. Rogue with a Brogue is a fast read. There are no surprises, a charming hero, and lots and lots of Scottish brogue for those of us who just cannot get enough. I recommend this book.
Time/Place: Regency England/Scotland/Road Trip