Wednesday, February 22, 2012

[NOR + ARC Review]: "When a Scot Loves a Lady"

When a Scot Loves a Lady  by Katharine Ashe
Publisher: Avon (February 28, 2012)
Series: The Falcon Club Series, 1
Genre: Historical Romance
Summary (
London gossips are asking: What use has society of an exclusive gentleman's club if no gentlemen are ever seen to pass through its door?
After years as an agent of the secret Falcon Club, Lord Leam Blackwood knows it's time to return home to Scotland. One temptation threatens his plans—Kitty Savege, who warms his blood like a dram of fine whiskey. But a dangerous enemy stands in the way of desire, and to beat this foe Leam needs Kitty's help . . .
Kitty never wanted to spend her holidays in a wretched country village! With snow up to the windows, escape is nowhere in sight. A roguish Scottish lord, however, is. His rough brogue sends heat from Kitty's frigid toes to her chilled nose, but she's confident she can withstand that. What she cannot control is the reaction of her guarded heart when she discovers this beast is no beast at all . . .

Where to Buy*: Amazon | Kindle | | NOOK
More Info: Author's Site | Book Site | Excerpt

My Review:

NOTE: While reading this review, it may seem like I am being snide or rude, but please know that that is not the way it is meant to come across! I am trying to be honest about the flaws that I found in it, but I am not the sort of reviewer that writes nasty hate reviews, no matter the book. As we know, sometimes a simple sentence, when written on a computer screen, can come across more than one way, often without us meaning to. If this happens with anything I say in this review, I am truly sorry!

Now, on to the review, shall we?

For the first half of this book, my opinion on the story was a bit indifferent really—many time I almost put the book down, marking it as a rare DNF. But something told me to stick with it, and that's exactly what I did, even though the journey was a bit rough and tedious at times. I can't say that I regret the decision to finish the book; while it may not have been my favorite, When A Scot Loves A Lady was a decent read, if a bit slow.

One of the main reasons that I had such a difficult time with this novel was due to its editing. Although, yes, this is an ARC of the book, and therefore uncorrected, I would like to know one thing: where were the quotation marks? Not one in the whole book, and yet there were numerous conversations, although at times you couldn't tell due to their formatting. Perhaps it is not fair to judge this flaw because of the nature of the book's format (ARC) but I couldn't stand the absence of basic editing. Trying to distinguish between story and conversation—and more importantly who was participating in said conversation—gave me a headache. And when a book causes a headache, believe me, it's hard to focus on other things—such as storyline and characters. It even made the love scenes more of a struggle to read instead of an enjoyment!

Perhaps, then, my opinion on much of this book could change upon reading the final copy. But while I never expect an ARC, or even a final copy, to be perfect, some basics, like quotations, are a necessity.

The story itself was okay, but nothing grand. I was both confused and bored by the majority of the book, though it did get a bit more lively at the end (through use of a lot of sudden plot twists). However, it wasn't anything spectacular, I am sorry to say.

The one thing (besides the gorgeous cover) that I enjoyed in When A Scot Loves A Lady is the loving. It was, no doubt about it, very fulfilling and almost made up for the other flaws in the book. It was tender at times, and rough during others. Case in point: my favorite scene, which takes place on the kitchen counters at night...pots go flying and the servants, as well as the Watch, are called out to investigate! Yet it was always very passionate and emotional; it was not just a convenient way to relieve the couple's...tensions.

I can't say much about the characters—as much as I wanted to love them, they felt a bit flat, not fully developed. I had a better grasp on Leam's character toward the end, when he stopped playing the Highland barbarian but even then I knew I wasn't seeing the full picture. Which brings up another thing: I love a Scottish hero, but spelling his words out to match how they would actually sound gave me a headache as well, as, like Kitty, most of the time I couldn't tell what Leam was trying to say. Give us other clues and hints about his accent—but please, don't use odd spellings to get the point across! I wish there had been more, to both Leam and Kitty, as good strong characters could have went a long ways towards redeeming the book.

3 STARS! An enjoyable enough read, When A Scot Loves A Lady was missing a few things, though it didn't turn out to be a complete disappointment. I wish there had been more to the story (or that it had been told in a different way) as it didn't hold my attention completely. This isn't to say I won't read more of Ms. Ashe's books or recommend them to other readers—I plan on doing both. I just might wait for the final copies of her future work and hope that some of the kinks are ironed out before it goes to print...

Thanks to Night Owl Reviews, where I received this e-book ARC for free in exchange for reviewing the book. (Free book does not equal biased review, however!) This review is the property of NOR.


Until Next Time,
*TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!


Amy Valentini said...

Hmm ... I am surprised at Katharine not living up to her past books but it happens sometimes. Oh well, the cover is absolutely to die for gorgeous.
Thanks for an honest opinion, TBQ, I know it's tough to do sometimes, especially if your really like the author. You did good. ; )

The_Book_Queen said...

Hi Amy!

Thanks for stopping by!

*SIGH* It's hard, writing honest reviews--even for the books that we love. How do you accurately put into words how the book made you feel so that others can understand? All I can do is hope that I manage it, and if not, I gave it my best shot!

But, as I wish to stress again, please do not let my rating for this book deter you, or anyone else, from reading it. What one person may only "like" another person may love! :)


Amy Valentini said...

Oh, believe me, I'm still going to read it. Everyone's taste are different, as I always point out when I'm not purely satisfied with a book but it is nice to have a heads up when I'm heading into something that might not stand up to an author's past efforts. I love Katharine's stories. When I read an ARC, I always hope the things I see wrong are things someone else does too and they get 'fixed' but I know it's not always possible either especially when it's this close to release. It's times like these that I wonder if the editor has read it completely or just skimmed it. Being a book editor was always my dream job, second to being a writer, that is. I guess I'm tougher than most. I still think your review was good ... I love it when a reviewer speaks their mind and doesn't blow smoke up the author's butt instead. : )

Lover Of Romance said...

I like Katherine Ash and I have been looking forward to reading this!! Too bad to hear that it didn't live up to full expectations, but I do think I will still give it a try. Thanks for the great review!!!

The_Book_Queen said...

Thanks for stopping by! :)

I'm glad to hear that despite what my thoughts on the book were, you are still looking forward to it! That's the kind of thing I want to hear when I have to give a book a less than "omg-amazing" review, as it means I still did my job, letting others know that they may still love it even if I didn't. :)