In 1833, wealthy Charlotte Haversham in an attempt to please her title hungry parents agreed to marry the Scottish Earl George MacKinnon. Not a love match the Earl came to her bed the first night and later discovering he'd rather tumble the maids, Charlotte didn't care that he didn't return. In fact, after a week or so of marriage, George collected her dowry and abandoned Charlotte altogether. After Charlotte traveled to Scotland to Castle Balfurin, her husband's ancestral home, the once amenable Charlotte defied her parents in determining she would live there, amongst the rack and ruin. She saw the structure as a culmination of a dream of turning it into a respectable School for Young Women. Five years later with the first graduating class Charlotte's dream is about to be realized until the latest guest is announced - none other than George MacKinnon, her long missing husband, the Laird MacKinnon.
Dixon MacKinnon has arrived to find the once cold and ruined castle he grew up in warm and inviting, a beautiful woman in charge who takes his breath away who obviously abhors his very presence, and thinks he is her husband - his cousin George. Not quite sure why he doesn't `fess' up to the mistaken identity, Dixon stays on trying to discover what happened to his cousin and to lay to rest rumors of a hidden treasure supposedly hidden away on the estate. During that time, Dixon finds himself falling deeply in love with Charlotte, torn between telling her the truth of his identity and risk losing the real treasure not even all of his immense wealth could buy - Charlotte's love.
Some authors have the ability to entertain, some to amuse, some to enthrall - for me, Karen Ranney has the ability to take my breath away! AUTUMN IN SCOTLAND is everything and more that I expect from a story by this amazingly talented author. The lead couple are a vibrant pairing with Charlotte showing a strength of character in her determination to succeed that makes you want to stand up and cheer. Dixon was a perfect foil for her and his witty innuendoes and his passionate pronouncements made for some delightful dialogs. Add to this mix one of the schools benefactors, Lady Eleanor and her `Ladies Edification Society' and you will find yourself rolling on the floor as this group of `ladies' take it upon themselves to begin the school mistress Charlotte's `real' education. There is mystery, and a lovely secondary love story between Charlotte's lame maid and Dixon's oriental servant that will warm your heart. In short, Ranney pulls out all the stops in offering once more a completely compelling and highly entertaining story I can highly recommend. Brava!