Romancing The Scot by May McGoldrick
As a Regency romance lover, I’ve read hundreds, probably thousands, of books in the genre. And in all those books, I’m honestly wracking my brain to think of one where the heroine wasn’t on the ‘English’ side in the Napoleonic Wars. Which makes Romancing The Scot a standout right off the bat.
Grace Ware is twice an enemy to the English crown. Her father is an Irish military commander who was once Napoleon’s best tactical officer, her mother an exiled Scottish Jacobite. Fleeing her father’s murderers while on a mission to deliver a secret message from Napoleon’s brother to his wife, she ends up trapped in a crate and almost dies before the shipment is offloaded in Scotland… at the estate of a Scottish magistrate, a hero of the wars on the English side.
Hugh Pennington prides himself on his honour and his fair treatment of everyone, regardless of their situation in life. Shocked to find a beautiful woman near death in his shipment, he cannot help but want to know the truth about her, especially when a priceless diamond is discovered sewn into the bodice of her dress. Grace’s secrets may prove lethal to more than just herself, though, and even Hugh’s sense of fairness may be tested once he discovers her true identity.
The only detail that bothered me slightly - and I have to confess that I don’t know enough about accents in the era to know if this would actually have been a factor - is that Hugh didn’t seem to note Grace had a different accent to the English and Scottish nobility he knew. Having been raised in the French court and then moving to America, it seemed to me that she would sound different. Even Grace making a conscious decision to mimic the speech of Hugh and his sister would have dealt with the matter. A small detail, and one which didn’t really affect my enjoyment of the story.
It is very clear that the author has done their research. The historical detail in this story is fantastic, though it is woven cleverly into the story rather than info-dumped. The romance part is rather slow to start, but fantastic once it gets going, and if you are a lover of genuine historical accuracy and intriguing detail in your Regency romances you are going to absolutely adore this. I most certainly did. Five stars.
Disclaimer: I was invited by the publisher to review an advance copy of this book.