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A Scotsman in Love Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jun 2009


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Original edition (1 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061252433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061252433
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.4 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,375,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Karen Ranney began writing when she was five. Her first published work was The Maple Leaf, read over the school intercom when she was in the first grade. In addition to wanting to be a violinist (her parents had a special violin crafted for her when she was seven), she wanted to be a lawyer, a teacher, and, most of all, a writer. Though the violin was discarded early, she still admits to a fascination with the law, and she volunteers as a teacher whenever needed. Writing, however, has remained the overwhelming love of her life.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Helen Hancox TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 29 July 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I thought this book was going to be like so many other Scottish historicals - kilt-wearing heavily-muscled man-of-few-words who carries off some poor, unsuspecting English Miss to his Scottish Castle. But it wasn't (thank goodness!).

It turns out that Karen Ranney can write rather well. I liked the way that her prose flows with excellent description and authenticity (apart from the occasional jarring Americanism). The main characters dance around each other initially, not knowing what to make of each other and being rather antagonistic. Rather than telling us what each thinks the whole time, she shows through their dialogue how they are confounding each other and how they are excellent foils as they both deal with their own experiences of grief, shame, shock, loneliness.

The heroine, Margaret Dalrousie, is a famous portrait painter; at least she was before she left the Russian court in shame and almost penniless and went to live in a cottage adjoining the Scottish estate of the Earl of Linnet. The Earl isn't at his estate, which is becoming rather run down as he spends all his time in France. But when Robert McDermott returns and bumps into Margaret, things change. He is taking up his responsibility as landowner again, whilst trying to overcome his grief over the death of his wife and daughter, but Margaret is like a stone in his shoe, continually irritating him. When he asks Margaret to paint a picture of his dead wife he doesn't realise how he is opening himself up to grieving and perhaps even to moving on with his life.

This book is focused very much on Margaret and Robert, with a few other side characters who were well written.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked this book up in a charity shop and nearly didn't get it because of the cheap looking cover. However, I'm very glad I did. It was a good story, surprisingly well written, with a couple of lovely romantic interludes. I will certainly be getting more of Karen Ranney's books.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kristin on 4 April 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
and I could NOT put it down!

The first Review by Helen Hancox, says it all so succinctly that I cannot add more; read the above, believe it and buy the book. Of course, only if you enjoy intelligent writing, sentences that contain more content in two lines than others with two paragraphs.

Karen Ranney is an exceptional writer in this genre; I have two or three of her stories on my Kindle that I have enjoyed already, all with depth and difference and a step up from the normal offerings.
Yes, there are two or three 'gotten's that I could have done without but not as many as we are usually fed. (Why are earth do they do it to us?)

I read this book slowly to savour each word, and when the passion came, it was a shock! Such sensuality, written in such a beautiful way that it hits you in the solar plexus and I held my breath for a few seconds to contain the feelings.

IF, LIKE ME, YOU LOVE WORDS AND ARE AN INCURABLE ROMANTIC, BUY THIS BOOK!!!

Oh, I forgot to say.....The cover belies the intelligence of the content; maybe a Manor House in the distance with the mountain as backdrop and a smaller 'cottage' with three storeys tucked in the trees. A real old Scottish landscape? The cover cheapens the whole thing, unfortunately.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 24 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
A Beautifully Told and Deeply Touching Romantic Tale! 25 May 2009
By Irene M. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"There will come a moment when you want to smile," she said softly.
"Even despite yourself, you'll begin to live, to want to.
The human heart finds a way through the darkness." ~ Karen Ranney

Margaret Dalrousie--a very talented and well known portrait artist--had lived in Russia for several years as a "darling' of the Imperial Russian Court. She had her art--was completely devoted to it--and knew where she was going in life and exactly what she was meant to do... until... she becomes the victim a terrible assault. And, unfortunately, when she reveals the details of her attack and that the possible culprits were "royals" she then loses the Empress's patronage.

With no chance of getting any new commissions, and the source of her income gone, she goes home to Scotland. However, soon after her return Margaret realizes the psychological strain of her terrible ordeal has not only robbed her of her ability to paint, but also of her sense of self... because up until this point of her life everything she is, thinks or feels has been inexorably intertwined with her art. Now pennilessness and at brink of starvation--with no way to support herself--she is fortuitously given ownership of Blackthorne Cottage, a small house located on the estate of the Earl of Linnet, by an anonymous benefactor.

There, believing her dreams have all slipped through her fingers, Margaret passes her days with long solitary walks and quiet contemplation; desperately trying to recuperate both in body and spirit, and find new meaning for her life.

But she doesn't realize her peaceful refuge is about to be disrupted by the return of a completely exasperating Earl...

Robert McDermott, the Earl of Linnet, has been living in France for the past three years and has now come home to Scotland to fulfill his responsibilities to his title, his home and his people--everything that was left to languish during his extended absence. But this is not a pleasant homecoming for him--he's mourning the loss of his beloved wife and daughter who were killed in a carriage accident that he barely survived. And Robert's still not completely recovered; physically he has pain--though he tries to hide it--and he limps when he's tired or overexerts himself. Mentally, he's still steeped in grief.

But by returning to Glengarrow--his home--his family's home--Robert knows he must now face his emotional heartache... all the anguish of his loss, and all the bittersweet memories of their happy life before the accident. He knows, as well, he must to come to terms with the "ghosts" that linger in his home, in his heart, and in his mind before he can accept that his life has been forever changed, but that his life will go on. Time alone is what he thinks he'll need, and the restful seclusion of the countryside surrounding Glengarrow is the perfect place for that.

But he doesn't know his sanctuary has been invaded by a completely infuriating female...

Both Robert and Margaret will soon find out that falling in love changes everything.

*****
A Scotsman in Love by Karen Ranney is an exceptionally well written story; and one that's beautifully told, deeply touching--so emotionally honest--and realistic that I couldn't help but feel drawn into Robert McDermott and Margaret Dalrousie's fascinating lives. As I read I became completely invested in their HEA--truly wishing their developing love would grow stronger and be everything they needed to mend their battered hearts, restore their "lost" souls, and indeed, be their salvation. I felt almost as if they were good friends and I had a personal interest in their happiness. To me that's the sign of a great book and a very talented writer.

Ms. Ranney, an exceptional wordsmith, deftly and vividly paints their story with such passion and sensitivity that these powerfully compelling, intriguing characters literally came alive on the pages--and in this reader's mind and heart. The combination of a rich, complex storyline with a hero and heroine, who were so finely nuanced, lifelike, and relatable, captured my attention from the first chapter, until the last.

And I was absorbed in the atmosphere the author created; Ms Ranney's eloquent narrative and beautifully descriptive sentences effectively set the scene, situation and action in my mind. It was almost as if I was there--virtually--sharing her characters experiences as they took in all the sights, sounds and scents of the landscape around them. This story's set in 1852; during a stark, cold, desolate and bleak Scottish winter season. And I felt the setting perfectly paralleled the loneliness, melancholy, and hopelessness of Robert and Margaret's lives at that period in time... Then as the season changes, bringing the hopefulness of spring and the promise new beginnings; we see their feelings and outlook slowly start to change as well.

I really loved both the story and the characters, though; it undoubtedly was a bittersweet romance. But I thought the author made it so easy for readers to empathize with Robert and Margaret's plight--to care about them--and understand they both needed to travel on a personal, yet, similar journey through the grieving process. For me they became two normal people; good, decent human beings who'd been touched by heartbreak and tragedy, and who struggled everyday with their painful memories and at times with loneliness, or their unresolved anger, doubts, and fears. All emotions everyone has felt, endured and survived at one time or another in their lives. But now, as their healing cycle begins, they are finally ready to allow themselves to move forward in their lives, to take comfort from each other--in the here and now--and accept the gift of this incredible second chance at love.

This is simply a beautiful story. Bravo Ms. Ranney!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Very good writing but not enthralled with the leads 1 Jun 2009
By Melissa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The rave reviews convinced me to buy A Scotsman in Love. After I finished it, I wish I had borrowed rather than bought the book. It's not that it is a badly written book; on the contrary it is well written, but the leads never really captured me, therefore it will not be going on my keeper shelf.

Hero Robert McDermott, the Earl of Linnet has lost his beloved wife and daughter in a terrible carriage accident. He has come back to his Scottish Estate bruised and heart broken after a three year absence. He cannot forget his wife especially and she seems to haunt his home. He is shaken out of his reverie by his new neighbor Margaret Dalarousie, a renowned artist.

Margaret is also a battered soul. Once the darling of the Russian Court she is now practically penniless hoping to heal from a trauma she has suffered in Russia and the reader is given enough clues to discern what occurred in the land of the Tsars. Margaret has stopped painting completely, she believes her talent has left her and has come to Scotland to recuperate.

Margaret and McDermott seem to argue constantly, each trying to one up the other in barbs. McDermott finds Margaret abrasive, rude, and autocratic. Margaret finds McDermott to be the same. They are both correct in their judgments about each other. Margaret was irritating; in fact, she seems to go out of her way to be so. McDermott is taciturn and reserved, hard for both Margaret and the reader to know.

McDermott commissions Margaret to paint a picture of his dead wife and she agrees to it. However, she has no likeness from which to paint and insists that McDermott sit with her daily when she paints. Oh, and he must describe his wife but never see the painting until it is finished. To me this made little sense. How on earth would McDermott even know that his wife's likeness was suitably painted unless he could periodically review Margaret's work? Police sketch artists have witnesses correct their work thoroughly and often so as to capture a good likeness. But here the reader is to believe that the Margaret has some sort of supernatural insight and can accurately paint a woman she has never seen with the description of blond hair and blue eyes. Even more surprising is that an educated man agreed to her demands.

Echoing another reviewer, I never understood why Margaret, a Scot herself, did not even visit her parents and siblings. She seemed supremely unfeeling not just to McDermott but to her own family. She is beyond reserved to being completely obsessed with her art.

While Margaret paints the two at first share some insults with both trying to get a rise out of the other. Neither lead acted very kindly toward the other. It wasn't until the last third of the book that I really began to know and like the leads. They softened their words and tone and really began to see beyond themselves. It took a little too long for me to warm to the leads and by the time I really liked them I was in the last chapters of the book.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A Scotsman in Love 14 May 2009
By Lovely D.M. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Robert McDermott, the earl of Linnet has just returned to his estate Glengarrow after a three year abscence. He had been in France healing and mourning the loss of his wife and daughter, who died in a carriage accident. But he had survived not just with physical wounds, but much deeper emotional ones.

Margaret Dalrousie is now a destitute artist, who has lived in Scotland for a year, ever since leaving Russia after a traumatic experience, which left her deeply wounded. She is given Blackthorne Cottage, which happens to be on Glengarrow land by a mysterious benefactor who she was told was very impressed by her talent.

Both Robert and Margaret are reserved and distant characters, and when they meet their relationship developes slowly (as he asks her to draw a painting of his late wife). So while I thought that this was an engaging read, both characters were too reserved throughout the book, they only loosen up emotionally in the last 10/20 pages. I thought that we should have seen their healing sooner.

I had attributed Margaret's reserved character to what happened to her in Russia (that would have been understandable to me), but when we learn of her backstory it seems that she was always a distant person who was always obsessed with painting, and that made her seem just a cold character to me. I can understand someone who loves painting, but in her case it is obsession. She literally put all her life in painting, giving up on trying to make friends or find love or even feel.

Also I felt that Margaret got over her fear of intimacy too quickly with Robert, given what had happened to her. Robert was always formal with her, and she with him, and suddenly they are gettng intimate and she has no fear... I didn't feel that Robert was there for her emotionally, until the end, because he himself was so reserved (wrapped up in his grief). So that part of the story did not strike me as realistic.

Also I felt that some loose ends were left with Margaret's family, why did she never try to contact them? So her parents were bad and neglectful, but didn't she at least wish to see her sisters and brothers? And see how they are faring? That important aspect of the heroine's life is just left hanging like that.

In the end, I like this author's writting style, there is something very elegant about it, and the descriptions of Glengarrow and the forest around it are beautiful. But I felt that both lead characters could have been written better, and the story could have had a faster pace and been more emotionally engaging to the reader before the end part.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An AMAZING Story!! 8 Jun 2009
By Cali - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
WOW! This was a strange depressing *extremely* wonderful story!! Think along the vein of "Wuthering Heights." The journey is a long very long - sad one; hard to stick with sometimes, but the end of the journey - was so beautiful - and poignantly written! And the "sigh" of the house and scene that followed at the end, I actually felt my heart sigh along with them! And then I cried.

I did have a couple thoughts along the way but by the time I reached the end I didn't care about them. It's a rare story! Not everyone will like it but those who do will love it!!

I would give anything to see a movie made of this because it would be one of those rare and wonderful classics that stand the test of time; like "Gone With The Wind" or "Wuthering Heights." Brava Ms. Ranney!!

Oh...and this is the *first* PB I will keep a copy of. Enjoy! =)

Cheers!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great read about wounded souls coming together 24 May 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book-it's the best Ranney has written for some time-I couldn't put it down. I know other reviewers have had reservations including how quickly Maggie went to bed with the Earl, but somehow it worked for me because I had felt the passion that had built up between them. Lovely story about relationships, healing and love.
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