on 12 February 2010
When Lady Sarah Baines, daughter of the Duke of Herridge, is offered to Douglas Eston, a man seeking investors for his diamond manufacturing process, he sees something in Sarah that makes him go along with the deal. Douglas Eston has worked his way from the gutters in Perth to become a successful man but he's a little out of his depth with Sarah. Is she icy cold or is all her emotion and love invested in her home, Chavensworth, where her dying mother lives?
I like the first part of this story very much, where Douglas and Sarah begin to get to know each other. Douglas is an unusual man in stories like this in that he's fairly passive, allowing Sarah to live her life as she wishes and not pushing her into anything new until she is ready for it.
I felt the second half of the story wasn't as successful, with the action moving briefly to Scotland (although many of the scenes there felt a bit odd) and then a short spell in London with a danger/rescue plot that never felt convincing.
And the title of this book? It has a scottish feel with a tartan on the front cover but our Scottish hero, who shows almost no trace of his Scottish birth, becomes the Laird four pages from the end - and rather out of the blue. This isn't a Scottish book for those who enjoy that side of the novel, it's more of an English Country House story, although with the usual Americanisms to grate at times. Neither character felt particularly convincing, the settings and side characters also felt a little wooden. This was an OK read but nothing to get excited about.
Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2010