Review: When a Scot Loves a Lady by Katharine Ashe

This was my first time reading one of Katharine Ashe’s books – part of my attempt to read more from the historical romance writers of today in addition to my beloved classics. As much as I love the genre, I find I can be surprisingly particular about it (or maybe that’s what we all do when we’re passionate about something) so I’m not necessarily won over by an historical romance on much of a whim. But with When a Scot Loves a Lady, the debut of Ashe’s new Falcon Club series, I was immersed from the beginning.

The story follows Lord Leam Blackwood, a Scottish nobleman with an abundance of secrets, and Lady Kitty Savege, a spritely-eyed woman who is trying to run away from her past. After suitably committing ruination upon the man who ruined her, Kitty has resigned herself to life eternal as a confirmed spinster; at least until she finds herself stuck in a snowy country inn with the attentions of Lord Blackwood to change her mind. But Blackwood isn’t exactly what he seems – a secret agent of London’s mysterious Falcon Club – and Kitty quickly finds herself embroiled in an adventure that threatens her life as well as her heart. From the wintry solitude of the country to the bustling society of London (and a cold Scottish estate in between), Ashe pulls her cast of charming characters into a story riddled with plot twists, each more shocking and unexpected than the last.

In every novel my particular interests focus on inventive writing (or authentically period writing, in the case of the historical genre) and characters. I love reading books with heaps of character development, chemistry and insights into the vastness of an individual personality. Ashe captured that wonderfully in When a Scot Loves a Lady. Kitty is at first a departure from the naïve young heroine, yet she realizes that life holds more to be innocent against than the innocence that was stolen from her. I loved the sprinkling of resourceful side characters, from Kitty’s friend Emily - who is one of the most peculiar, quirky and charming historical characters I’ve known – to the other agents of the Falcon Club, especially the droll, quick-witted Welshman, Wyn Yale. The pair of them came near to stealing the spotlight of the book with their charm and originality. The villain is more of an unidentifiable presence for the majority of the book, which brought a unique intensity to the story. And as for the other element, that of the writing style, I was easily absorbed in the historical nuances that Ashe carefully cultivated, as well as her talent for the language of the era (not to mention a mound of jumbled, yet somehow comprehensible Scots which she crafted to humorous perfection). It all came together to make When a Scot Loves a Lady an exciting, heartwarming, and intensely romantic story with lush historic detail; I'm eager to follow the continued adventures of the enigmatic Falcon Club as the series continues!

Title: When a Scot Loves a Lady Author: Katharine Ashe Genre: Historical romance Publisher: Avon Format: e-book, paperback Release date: February 28, 2012 Source: personal collection Buy the book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BetterWorldBooks Connect with the author: website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook