The Scottish Companion - Karen Ranney This is the first book I've read by Karen Ranney and I was mostly underwhelmed. I found the prose stiff and unnatural. All the characters sound alike and no one has their own unique voice. It made it especially challenging to figure out who was saying what when the H/H had lengthy conversations. I had to repeatedly re-read sections to make sure I was attributing the correct sentences to hero or heroine.

The plot is pretty ridiculous. I thought it would be a bit more light-hearted but it turns very gothic and rather ugly at the end with one extremely grisly scene and a very disturbing motivation for the villain's actions.

The heroine starts off rather interesting but then becomes a bit of a doormat. What really got me was how little focus was put on Gillian's baby. She seems to spend more time mourning the loss of her reputation and her unfaithful baby-daddy than the death of her day old baby . The hero seems incredibly cowardly at times with his inability to chose the heroine over his awful fiance. He spends a lot of time spouting that HE IS THE EARL and HE CAN DO WHATEVER HE WANTS yet he clearly is full of hot air because he never choses Gillian until the circumstances make it easy. The HEA is also only about two paragraphs.

This book has a pretty mediocre rating on GR so I'm going to try a more highly rated one by Ranney to see if I just chose a bad example of her writing and story-telling as my first one.