Her Scottish Scoundrel (Diamonds in the Rough #7)

Sophie
Barnes
Genre: 
Historical

Blayne MacNeil knows he should just walk away from the impertinent miss who insists on employing him as a bodyguard. When he decides to turn her down in person, he’s taken off guard when she adds fake fiancé to his role. He has been in hiding for nearly two decades and announcing even a faux connection could lead to his being charged with murder. As a successfully published novelist, Charlotte Russell is resolved to remain unmarried and safeguard her freedom. This means avoiding her parents’ machinations with a fake fiancé who becomes her strongest supporter when her latest manuscript is stolen.

Followers of this series will enjoy finally learning Blayne’s secrets after his long support of a series antagonist turned hero. The bodyguard come fake fiancé trope is well done here, but there is also such an amalgam of other plot devices that they don’t feel fully developed. This leads to the story feeling a bit erratic as the pacing is at times frantic and at others rather sluggish. Some aspects need more description while others received too much attention, and some of the heroine’s behavior is similarly unpredictable, making it difficult to characterize her. The story lost some of its opportunity to be emotionally gripping with its rushed ending, leaving little time for the main characters to just be together and focusing too much on the villainous element, which is still wrapped up rather too quickly to be wholly satisfying. Charlotte and Blayne make an interesting couple and tension between them is well-crafted, but they could’ve benefited from more detailed use of a few plot devices rather than a superficial employment of many.

Niki Price