To Wed A Wild Scot by Anna Bradley
In the time of the Scottish Clearances, Logan Blair is desperate to protect his people. Juliana Bernard only has one person to protect, her niece Grace, but time is running out for Juliana. She needs a husband, now, and heads to Scotland looking for the man who promised to marry her, childhood friend Fitz, now a powerful duke. When she arrives, though, it’s to discover Fitz’s brother Logan has been intercepting and destroying her letters as he tries to cut Fitz’s ties to England.
While I love Juliana - her pluck and determination in difficult circumstances were admirable, and I really liked the way she didn’t let Logan get away with anything - I had difficulty ever viewing Logan as anything more than a lying, manipulative thief. And while he apologised to Fitz for intercepting his letters and admitted feelings of guilt about it, as far as I know Juliana’s still waiting for a sincere apology rather than a self-serving justification. Logan was a rude pig to Juliana despite knowing from the very beginning that he was the one with absolutely no moral high ground to stand on whatsoever. He constantly patronized and infantilized her even though from the moment of their acquaintance he was confronted with hard evidence of just how capable she was.
There’s a really good bit late in the book where Juliana actually has a hard talk with herself - and really loses her temper - just thinking about how Logan refuses to see her as an equal. Yet, when the confrontation comes, she all but wilts, telling him she gave up something precious to her to spare his pain, when the truth was she gave it up because it was the only thing any of the protagonists had that the antagonist wanted, and the only way to get him off their backs and solve their problem. I felt cheated; I wanted Juliana to scream at Logan and him finally to get it through his thick head just how appalling he’d actually been, and then start work to turn himself around. I wanted, if you will, a Hunsford moment, and I never got one.
Though the historical accuracy in this book is as good as you’ll find anywhere, and Juliana is a heroine it’s easy to root for, my anger and frustration with Logan never getting his comeuppance mean I can’t rate this any higher than three stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.