Scot Under the Covers by Suzanne Enoch
While this is the second in a series about a trio of Scottish Highlander brothers taking Regency London by storm when they have to find English brides to save their ancestral home, you don’t need to have read the first to thoroughly enjoy Aden’s story. The middle brother of the three, Aden likes a gamble and a challenge, and Miranda Harris certainly provides a challenge when she tells him bluntly on their first meeting she doesn’t much like him. So when she turns up soon in clear distress asking questions about the mindset of gamblers, he can’t help but be intrigued.
Miranda’s in a hell not of her own making; a villain has targeted her brother, driving him deep into debt and then blackmailing him. The only way out appears to be for Miranda to marry the scoundrel. But she’s not about to lie down and accept her fate without a fight, and one thing she’s pretty sure about Aden MacTaggart is that he would be a good man to have on your side in a fight. Falling for a stubborn, opinionated, slightly wild Scot isn’t really in the plan… but it’s kind of inevitable.
There’s some painful and possibly triggering content in here in light of the way that Miranda is the one who has to pay the price for her brother’s sins, and it definitely bothered me that Matthew never actually had to face any real consequences for his appalling decisions. Miranda calls him on it when she notes that he expects her to trade her future for his mistakes, but he barely expresses any guilt and I really didn’t want him still engaged to Aden’s sister by the end of the book. I couldn’t even understand what Eloise saw in Matthew; he was weak-willed and easily led.
I liked Miranda and Aden and a villain working his way up the social scale in the way Vale did was both plausible and slightly terrifying, but my disgust with Matthew not having to face significant consequences for his actions have me marking this down to four stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.