Karen Ranney is an author I have heard about numerous times and have been wanting to read for a long time. The plot of “The Scottish Duke” intrigued me instantly. I really love romances where the underdog is the one that gets the happily ever after. Although Ranney is a very accomplished author, this was my first time reading one of her works.
Lorna Gordon is the daughter of a gentleman. But because of certain circumstances, she ends up a maid at the home of a Duke. Alex Russell, the Duke of Kinross, is a widower. His wife died in childbirth but theirs was not a happy union since she often cheated on him. Alex, aside from his wife’s betrayals also lost his father and siblings in a tragic accident. Emotionally closed off, he is resigned to finding a wife in order to produce an heir.
Lorna has been a maid in Alex’s house and like many of the other maids, has been in love with Alex. Lorna often traveled with her father who had a love for herbs and remedies. Very talented at coming up with her own herbal remedies, people often seek her out for ointments. One night Lorna decides to be bold and attends a mascaraed ball. Alex is so taken with her that even though he can’t see her face he takes her to the garden where they share a very passionate moment. That very passionate moment leads to Lorna getting pregnant and having to leave the household, thanks to her good friend, the Duke is told about Lorna’s pregnancy and instantly goes to find her and bring her back. Lorna and Alex are complete strangers, but have a child together, much of their hard work is just starting as they have to learn to get to know one another. Added to that is a very jealous sister-in-law from his previous marriage, who is not happy that Alex, whom she has been madly in love with, has married a maid.
First, I have to say that I tried really hard to like this book but it fell flat for me. One, was the instant lust that Alex and Lorna felt. Alex, a man of high moral ground threw caution to the wind and got Lorna pregnant, completely out of character for him. Aside from that, I didn’t think that there was a real connection or chemistry between Lorna and Alex. Just when I was starting to warm up the characters, Alex leaves for six weeks when his wife gives birth because he is afraid of getting his heartbroken. He felt very wishy-washy and I couldn’t get into their unnecessary drama. Ranney is a very popular author and I’m sure many of her fans will enjoy this book. Personally, it wasn’t what I had hoped for.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**