by Anna Bradley
Besotted Scots - Book 2
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Release Date: September 17, 2019
Reviewed by PJ
Some brides like it wilder...
A single lady of birth, beauty, and large fortune should not have this much trouble making a match. Yet after two failed betrothals, Lady Juliana Bernard is in a bind. She must find a husband at once or lose guardianship of her beloved niece. Her childhood friend the Duke of Blackmore is her last, best hope, but once she tracks him down in Scotland, she receives startling news.
First,the duke is already engaged. Second, it's his brother Logan's fault Juliana is now lacking a bridegroom. So, what's a lady to do when she's lost her betrothed?Marry his scandalous brother, the Laird of Clan Kinross.
Wooing does not go well at first. But just as Juliana begins to welcome the boisterous but tenderhearted Scot into her life (and her bed), secrets come between them once more. And it will take a determined husband indeed to ensure that a marriage begun in haste leads not to heartache...but to love.
Anna Bradley has combined two of my favorite tropes in this newest installment of her Besotted Scots series. I was intrigued by Lady Juliana Bernard after meeting her in the first book of the series, The Wayward Bride and looked forward to reading her story, especially after her selfless gesture in that book. I enjoy a heroine who takes her future into her own hands and Lady Juliana certainly does that. I liked her, cheered for her, and celebrated the happiness she finally finds...with a most unexpected hero.
I really liked Logan's loyalty to his clan, and to Juliana and Grace, once he commits. He was in a no-win situation when he took it upon himself to interfere with his brother's business in order to protect his clan, not realizing the broader effects of his actions, but I understood why he did. He has wonderful chemistry with Juliana, aided by Bradley's snappy dialogue, but there's a lot of push and pull before they finally reach the point where they can admit their feelings. I love how these two go toe to toe; how they both try to protect the other. They really could be a wonderful match, if they can just learn to trust one another and communicate.
If I had one small quibble with this book, it's how the villain is dealt with. I understand Juliana's actions, and her underlying motivation, but I was left with the feeling that the villain had been rewarded for his actions as opposed to being punished and that left me disappointed. Overall, though, I enjoyed Juliana and Logan's journey and am already looking forward to whatever Anna Bradley has in store for readers next. And, as I noted in my questions below, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that those future plans will include a more complete story for secondary characters, Fitz and Emilia!
Hi Anna! Welcome to The Romance Dish. Thanks for visiting with us today.
Thank you so much for having me, PJ! Hello, everyone!
Your newest novel will release this week and I’m so excited for everyone to have the opportunity to read it. Please tell our readers what they can expect from To Wed a Wild Scot.
Well, I’d call it a Highland story, since most of the action takes place in Scotland. It’s an enemies-to-lovers, marriage-of-convenience tale about a heroine who needs a husband, and a hero who, due to some bad behavior (ahem), owes her a marriage. He’s a Scot who’s devoted to his clan, and he’s not enthusiastic about the prospect of marrying an Englishwoman. The heroine is the one who wants the marriage, so there’s a ‘reverse courtship’ element to the story that was so much fun to write!
Marriage of Convenience is one of my favorite romance
tropes. What is it about this set-up that appeals to you as an author?
I like the forced proximity element of it. If the hero and heroine are married, they can’t exactly avoid each other, and that makes for some pretty wild scenarios and some interesting character development opportunities. It’s fun to see two strong-willed characters have to work toward a truce. Marriage of convenience also allows lots of opportunities for a slow burn romance, which is my favorite kind.
Even though they’re not the hero and heroine of
this novel, I so want to know more about Fitz and Emilia’s journey. Have you – or do you plan to – write their story? Perhaps a novella?
Well, I hadn’t intended to, but quite a few readers have asked for that story, so now I’m reconsidering. A Christmas novella for Fitz and Emilia would be fun, or even a full-length romance, if readers want a more detailed story. They’re both wonderful secondary characters, particularly Fitz, who gets quite a lot of page time in TO WED A WILD SCOT. They deserve their own story!
How many books do you have planned for the Besotted Scots series? Are you able to share anything about the next story?
There are three books. The final book, FOR THE SAKE OF A SCOTTISH RAKE releases in February of 2020. The hero of that book is Ciaran Ramsey, the younger brother who’s introduced in MORE OR LESS A TEMPTRESS. He was a bit of a reader favorite! Ciaran gets a really lovely (if unconventional!) heroine named Lucinda (Lucy) Sutcliffe, in a friends-to-lovers romance.
Let’s do a fun five to help readers get to know you.
I’m the mother of two teenagers (help!)
I’m originally from Maine – born and raised. You can’t take New England out of the girl!
I’ve worked with books and writing my entire career – as a writing teacher, a rare books librarian, and now a writer.
I have a terrible sense of direction, and rely on my GPS far more than is healthy.
I’m allergic to gluten, and spend way too much of my time fantasizing about bread!
How about a Quick Fire round?
Binge-worthy TV show you’re currently watching:
I don’t actually watch much TV. I’m pretty hopeless about it, actually, because I’d always rather be reading a book. I can’t wait for the Downton Abbey movie, if that counts, and I do find myself trying to catch episodes of Stranger Things or The Handmaid’s Tale. If readers have any TV show recommendations, I’d love to hear them!
Favorite fall comfort food:
Any kind of soup! I love doing simple dinners with just hearty soup and maybe some really good bread. We get lots of cold, rainy days in the fall in Oregon, so soup or stew is perfect for that weather. I frequently make Italian wedding soup, broccoli and cheese and tortilla soup in my crockpot.
Favorite place to read:
I’ll read anywhere. I’ve gotten so I take a book with me wherever I go. My favorite place, though, is in my bed with my Kindle. It’s a recipe for disaster because it’s way too easy to just keep reading and reading well past my bedtime, but I’ve had the habit for as long as I can remember, and I don’t see myself breaking it anytime soon!
Dogs or cats:
An Old English Sheepdog (Barkley) and two very naughty black cats, Ollie and Odin. My husband’s pushing hard for a puppy right now, but so far, I’ve been able to hold him off!
Favorite podcast (if you listen to them):
I often listen to Dear Bitches, Smart Authors, which is a podcast by Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and Jane from Dear Author. It’s wonderful, and specifically for the romance community, which I love. Another podcast I haven’t tried yet but keep hearing is amazing is Late Night Library, so I need to have a listen to that one.
Thank you for visiting with us, Anna. Do you have anything else to add?
Oh, I do want to add one thing. I did a 2018 Christmas novella with five other historical romance writers as part of an anthology called YULEDTIDE HAPPILY EVER AFTERS. The second volume of that anthology releases Oct. 1 of this year, so I decided to make the first story in the series, entitled BOUGHS OF FOLLY, available for free on my website. All you have to do is sign up for my newsletter and you’ll get access to it. It’s a fun story about an earl who falls in love with an actress.
Readers, have you read Anna's books yet? I enthusiastically recommend them all!
Anna's looking for some must-see TV shows. What would you suggest?
Two people who comment before 11:00 PM (EST), September 17, will receive an e-book copy of To Wed a Wild Scot. (U.S. only)