A Scot in the Dark

A Scot in the Dark

Lonesome Lily Turned Scandalous SirenMiss Lillian Hargrove has lived much of her life alone in a gilded cage, longing for love and companionship. When an artist offers her pretty promises and begs her to pose for a scandalous portrait, Lily doesn't hesitate...until the lying libertine leaves her in disgrace. With the painting now public, Lily has no choice but to turn to t...

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Title:A Scot in the Dark
Author:Sarah MacLean
Rating:
ISBN:0062465848
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:352 pages

A Scot in the Dark Reviews

  • Shawna
    Oct 21, 2016

    2.5 stars - Historical Romance

    My complete and utter frustration with both the heroine and hero and all their unnecessary drama and self-denial ruined this for me.

  • Esther
    Nov 11, 2015

    ARC from Edelweiss for an honest review.

    1.5 Rating Revised.

    I want to start off by saying I love Sarah MacLean's books and she never disappoints,. Well almost never, but this one time. Yes, this is a first, I found this one Historical to be lacking.

    I'm not going into the synopsis of the story as it's pretty self explanatory on the blurb. But I'll just say what I like and what I didn't in this review.

    Liked:

    First of all Sarah Maclean can write and she does it well as always. The flow of the book a

    ARC from Edelweiss for an honest review.

    1.5 Rating Revised.

    I want to start off by saying I love Sarah MacLean's books and she never disappoints,. Well almost never, but this one time. Yes, this is a first, I found this one Historical to be lacking.

    I'm not going into the synopsis of the story as it's pretty self explanatory on the blurb. But I'll just say what I like and what I didn't in this review.

    Liked:

    First of all Sarah Maclean can write and she does it well as always. The flow of the book and her ability to tell a story is very good. Rich detail and engaging secondary characters are there. Good pacing also.

    Didn't Like

    I'm sad to say but this love story just didn't work for me. Our heroine is in love with Derek Hawkins, she's known him, "six months, three weeks, and five days and she was going to marry him"."He'd taken her breath away and he noticed her and she'd fallen quite in love". "She had given him everything he asked. Because that was what one did when one was in love".

    But ten days later she is in love with the hero,Alec. WHAT?!?! The setup, first chapter, just left me with a bad taste knowing that Derek is not the hero but all this was felt for "other guy".

    Chemistry between the two as far as I'm concerned was not there and no real romance or development of their love for each other.

    And how is it that Lily is the most beautiful of women but ignored all her life, unnoticed? It was just odd and didn't make sense. She came across as this desperate and somewhat hopeless women. I found her character unappealing.

    And the back and forth of will they get together dragged on too long for my liking. I lost interest.

    Sarah Maclean is one of my favorite authors and it's saddens me to not give a glowing review. Fingers crossed for the next book.!!!!

  • Sarah MacLean
    Feb 09, 2016

    I mean, it's mine. So, of course I like it, but

    Here's a little teaser for those of you who are waiting so patiently! As you can see, the Duke of Warnick (the titular Scot in the Dark) has opinions:

    He raised a brow. “It's a children’s love story.”

    Lillian gaped at him. “It’s Romeo and Juliet.”

    “Babes without any sense. Killing themselves over infatuation.”

    “It’s considered one of the greatest love stories of all time.”

    He lifted one shoulder and let it drop. “Unless

    I mean, it's mine. So, of course I like it, but

    Here's a little teaser for those of you who are waiting so patiently! As you can see, the Duke of Warnick (the titular Scot in the Dark) has opinions:

    He raised a brow. “It's a children’s love story.”

    Lillian gaped at him. “It’s Romeo and Juliet.”

    “Babes without any sense. Killing themselves over infatuation.”

    “It’s considered one of the greatest love stories of all time.”

    He lifted one shoulder and let it drop. “Unless you know better.”

    “And I suppose you know better?” she scoffed.

    "Without question." He leaned forward in the darkness, allowing his brogue to thicken. “You want romance, you ask a Scot.”

    You can preorder A Scot in the Dark from

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  • Daniella
    Mar 22, 2016

    After the mess that was

    , I guess people can understand why I'm not too excited about this.

    But hey, it's a new book, and it has a fookin' Scottish hero. Let's see if there's a way to resurrect this series.

  • Jennifer
    Jul 13, 2016

    This book basically consisted of gleeful giggles while slapping my kindle on my knees.

    And dreaming about Scottish knees. And drooling over Scottish knees. Why oh why do men wear pants when they could be wearing kilts?! I mean, it’s a reasonable request….from most women (and some men). The Scots know what they’re doing to us, right?! Killing us with their sexy knees!

    This book basically consisted of gleeful giggles while slapping my kindle on my knees.

    And dreaming about Scottish knees. And drooling over Scottish knees. Why oh why do men wear pants when they could be wearing kilts?! I mean, it’s a reasonable request….from most women (and some men). The Scots know what they’re doing to us, right?! Killing us with their sexy knees!

    Alec is a ALL Scot and hates all things English. Except her. Alec is basically a Scottish PMB (Pouty Man Bear – see Tessa Bailey’s book Worked Up for more information). He is huge, everywhere. He’s a big, brawny beast. But he’s a little sensitive about it because he has been used by women in the past and believes that he is not worthy. This is a central part of the story because it keeps him from accepting Lily’s feelings for him. Alec inherits a Dukedom after a long list of Dukes suddenly die, and Lily is part of that inheritance. She was a ward of one of the previous Dukes, so she has been passed along and forgotten by many.

    Lily is known to be a true beauty of England. She begins as a naïve character, but she is jilted at the start of the story and becomes jaded. She ends up accepting that she will be lonely her entire life because of this incident. She has been forgotten and lives alone. BUT she turns out to be the strong one in this book. Alec might by huge, but Lily is a beast in her own right! She is a fighter, and I loved her. Where Alec was weak (emotionally), Lily was strong. Both Alec and Lily just want to run away from everything, but they don’t realize that they could find their escape in each other. They each spend time actually running from each other, but they always seem to come back to each other.

    Knees. You get to know Alec’s knees in this book. Every inch. They are discussed several times, and it wasn’t even enough for me. I didn’t know I could have a love of knees until I met Alec. Some might relate Alec to Jamie from Outlander with the whole Scottish-sexy-knee-thing going on, but I wouldn’t know because I’m an idiot for not watching Outlander yet! Damn, I need some more Scottish knees in my life!

    I am such a loser for not reading ALL of Sarah MacLean’s books. Seriously. What have I been doing all my life when I should have been reading her books. Ok, I have read 3 of her books counting this one, but she has so many that I have not read, and I’m a loser for it. My goal is to not be a loser, so I will be reading all of her books.

  • Christine Wallflower & Dark Romance Junkie
    Jul 26, 2016

    As much as I did like A Scot In The Dark I feel like my dislikes are going to overwhelm what I liked about it, I'll try to keep this review balanced. While I enjoy angst as much as anyone else, I have a certain level of dislike for angst that comes with self loathing... From both characters. Self loathing can turn what was was a deliciously torturous romance filled with unfulfilled longing to a frustrating story about two characters

    As much as I did like A Scot In The Dark I feel like my dislikes are going to overwhelm what I liked about it, I'll try to keep this review balanced. While I enjoy angst as much as anyone else, I have a certain level of dislike for angst that comes with self loathing... From both characters. Self loathing can turn what was was a deliciously torturous romance filled with unfulfilled longing to a frustrating story about two characters too self absorbed to realise what is right in front of them.

    Unfortunately Alec was one such character. Like I said I actually loved Alec in the beginning, his stubborn resolve and his protectiveness of Lily even while he couldn't stand her was emdearing. But his constant self hate and rationalising for him being miserable had me so frustrated. I'm not saying his feeling weren't justified or understandable, I'm just saying that I can't connect with characters like this.

    I pretty much loved Lily from the beginning, her unapologetic acceptance of what had happened to her, the fact that she was lucid enough to realise she was never in the wrong. I'm thinking the author probably did that on purpose , pairing a character who wasn't afraid to take what she wanted with one who felt they didn't deserve happiness. But boy was it frustrating.

    I think firm fans of Maclean's work and even fans of drawn out angst will love this.

     

  • Caz
    Aug 22, 2016

    I’ve read and enjoyed Sarah MacLean’s previous two series and I enjoyed the previous book in this one (

    ), so I suppose she’s allowed a dud, and that is, I’m sorry to say, my overall impression of her latest book,

    The romance seems to come out of nowhere, the heroine’s actions often don’t make sense, and while it was a refreshing change to read of the hero having body-image issues, I really dislike that whole “I am not worthy” trope in romance, and it’s done

    I’ve read and enjoyed Sarah MacLean’s previous two series and I enjoyed the previous book in this one (

    ), so I suppose she’s allowed a dud, and that is, I’m sorry to say, my overall impression of her latest book,

    The romance seems to come out of nowhere, the heroine’s actions often don’t make sense, and while it was a refreshing change to read of the hero having body-image issues, I really dislike that whole “I am not worthy” trope in romance, and it’s done to death here. Worst of all, I didn’t really like either of the protagonists. I didn’t hate them, but neither of them grabbed me and as a result, I couldn’t root for them as a couple.

    Lillian Hargrove has made the mistake of falling in love with a complete and utter bastard with an ego the size of the planet and was persuaded by him to pose for a portrait in the nude, believing he wouldn’t show it to anyone else. She realises her mistake some months later at the opening of the Royal Academy’s Exhibition of Contemporary Art, when it is announced that his painting of her is the highlight of the exhibition and will be unveiled in a month’s time amid all due pomp and circumstance. Lily is naturally and immediately the subject of all sorts of horrid gossip and her reputation is in tatters.

    Enter her hitherto absentee guardian, Alec Stuart, the twenty-first Duke of Warnick, who has, during the five years since he acceded to the title (owing to the utterly improbable fact that the seventeen people who stood between him and the dukedom all managed to die without issue), managed to avoid London and remain on his lands in Scotland. Having had no idea until now that he even had a ward, Alec realises that he needs to rescue Lily from certain ruin and heads off to London in order to do so.

    Lily doesn’t want to be rescued –she just wants to run away, but Alec isn’t having it. He decides she should get married straight away, as having a husband will protect her reputation. Lily doesn’t want to get married either, and most of the book is spent with them not agreeing to disagree on the way to deal with the scandal that is going to get even bigger once the painting is unveiled.

    Ms. MacLean has tried to do something interesting with her protagonists, which is why the book gets 3 stars and not less. We’re told that Lily is the most beautiful woman on the planet, but it’s clear that her beauty has not brought her a happy life. Lily was orphaned young, passed from pillar to post and never really cared for with the result that she has spent most of her life being ignored, in spite of her exceptionally good looks. I found it a little difficult to accept that she has never, ever had a friend, but given the fact that young women had such limited choices and that Lily was so overlooked, it’s just about within the realms of possibility that she really had spent her life alone.

    Alec is six and a half feet of big, brawny Scotsman whose mother pretty much rejected him for being too big and too coarse before she died when he was a child. Large hints are dropped throughout the story that the women who find him attractive want him only for one thing – he’s good for a night of raw, lusty sex, but not good enough for anything long-term – which means he’s not good enough for Lovely Lily.

    I didn’t connect with either of the principals or feel a connection between them, either. For the first forty percent of the story, Lily is standing up to Alec, defying and running away from him – until suddenly she’s all over him and they’re sucking face and fondling each other in a carriage. There’s no build up or sexual tension beforehand and their verbal exchanges are flat and devoid of any spark or chemistry.

    And then there’s the fact that Lily was utterly in love with the bastard who deceived her, but ten days later is in love with Alec. Naturally, she didn’t really know what love was before. And Derek Hawkins –the cad – is such an over the top, one dimensional character that I found myself questioning Lily’s intelligence for falling for him. What we see of him is so ridiculous it’s difficult to understand how she was so taken in by him.

    And – I can’t put this off any longer, but the amount of English-bashing in this book got on my nerves very quickly. Alec hates the English – his mother was English and didn’t like Scotland. She abandoned him. All the women who humiliated him were English. England is horrible, it has no redeeming features whatsoever and he hates it. I got the message early on; I didn’t need to be continually beaten over the head with it.

    Ms. MacLean writes with her customary skill, and I am still intrigued by the parallels she is drawing in this series between the scandal sheets of old, and today’s celebrity culture; I liked meeting West and Georgiana again, and there’s a very much appreciated cameo from Cross. But otherwise,

    was a big disappointment and I was so disconnected from it and the characters that I struggled to finish it.

  • UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish
    Aug 22, 2016

    4.5 stars

    I so adore Sarah MacLean's storytelling!

    has all the humor, all the romance, and all the passion I crave, and know I'll get, when reading one of her books. In all of her stories, especially this series, Ms. MacLean puts a historic twist on modern scandals, but her twists seem so much more delectable and entertaining because of 'proper society's' ridiculous rea

    4.5 stars

    I so adore Sarah MacLean's storytelling!

    has all the humor, all the romance, and all the passion I crave, and know I'll get, when reading one of her books. In all of her stories, especially this series, Ms. MacLean puts a historic twist on modern scandals, but her twists seem so much more delectable and entertaining because of 'proper society's' ridiculous reaction to them.

    There's just so much to love about this author's writing, and to say I can't get enough of it it an understatement. I'm desperately looking forward to the next in the series. It can't get here soon enough!

  • ♥~♥Geri ~ the Racy Lit Reader ♥~♥
    Aug 30, 2016

    Don't be fooled by the historical setting of this book because the things that the heroine went through felt very current. The idea of someone going through a very public humiliation like what Lillian went through in this was heartrending. This is a book that challenges your notion about scandals, slut-shaming, forgiveness, and redemption.

    Ms. MacLean made Lillian a very sympathetic character to me. I normally would have a problem with a heroine who professed to love someone else durin

    Don't be fooled by the historical setting of this book because the things that the heroine went through felt very current. The idea of someone going through a very public humiliation like what Lillian went through in this was heartrending. This is a book that challenges your notion about scandals, slut-shaming, forgiveness, and redemption.

    Ms. MacLean made Lillian a very sympathetic character to me. I normally would have a problem with a heroine who professed to love someone else during the first chapter of the book and then promptly falls in love with the hero. But as a I reader, I understood her motivation. I understood why she acted the way she did. Her actions were consistent with her motivation, which is why what happened to her in this book made such an impact on me.

    But it's not just Lillian who has issues with humiliation, private or otherwise. The hero, Alec, was known as the Diluted Duke, the 17th in line to the title. He inherited the dukedom after a spate of bad luck befell the previous dukes. Alec some things in his past which made him into the man he is today. He came to England after his ward, which he knew nothing about at first, was embroiled in a scandal. He wants to solve the problem and then go back to Scotland.

    But his ward, Lillian, wants nothing to do with his plan of restoring her tattered reputation. She just wants to be free and leave all her troubles behind. As they spend more time with each other, the attraction, the sexual tension builds between them. I just loved the push and pull between them. The banter was glorious.

    Just when I thought I had figured out where the story was going, Ms. MacLean pulled a fast one on me. I knew something was up with Alec but I was unprepared for what he was actually hiding. I should have known it. It's quite obvious in a way but not really? Probably because I was so focused on Lillian's plight that I didn't pick up on the clues as to why Alec had this aversion to England in the first place.

    Overall, I liked the pacing. Loved the characters and that ending was so satisfying, I wanted to go and re-read it again immediately.

  • Zoe
    Sep 10, 2016

    Warning: if you do not want to read a piece of my mind, this is the time to leave. All opinions are exactly what they are: my personal opinions. I will not defend them, nor do I expect to convince anyone. My opinions are strictly my own. It has no bearing on the quality of the book, Sarah MacLean's caliber as a writer or whether one should or should not read this book.

    I have made 2 decisions after reading this book:

    1. Sarah MacLean and I must part our ways, citing irreconcilable differences.

    2.

    Warning: if you do not want to read a piece of my mind, this is the time to leave. All opinions are exactly what they are: my personal opinions. I will not defend them, nor do I expect to convince anyone. My opinions are strictly my own. It has no bearing on the quality of the book, Sarah MacLean's caliber as a writer or whether one should or should not read this book.

    I have made 2 decisions after reading this book:

    1. Sarah MacLean and I must part our ways, citing irreconcilable differences.

    2. I will however, before I file the official papers, read Seraphina's story first. My last attempt. Seraphina is the only Sarah MacLean character that managed to pique my interest. I would like to see what she will do with Seraphina.

    So let's call it a separation, for now.

    I want to and need to say, that I do not think that Sarah MacLean is a bad writer, at all. I think her proses are fluid and well-formed. I have few complaints about her writing.

    But I take major issues with her characters.

    The first book I read from her was the widely popular 9 Rules book. That book got a 1-star rating from me. I enjoyed the writing, absolutely hated the heroine. Every book I have read from her, I experience the same feelings again and again: I want to strangle her heroines and raise my eyebrows at her heroes.

    Let's start with the topic, body image, in her books. I really think that Sarah MacLean and I must be on the opposite sides for what we believe makes a woman charming and relatable. I find insecurity extremely unattractive. No, I do not mean that we all have to feel like Helen of Troy. But it is not necessary to have low self esteem or poor self-image because we are not "exactly what society would call beautiful." This body-image & self worth thing, is a recurring theme in her books. Her heroines are often a little on the podgy side, who disparaged themselves for not being "socially beautiful". They believed they were not what most people considered pretty. Or in this book, an extremely beautiful heroine, but guess what, nobody loves her. This "nobody wants me" feminine cry is the trademark of Sarah MacLean's heroines. I, have no stomach for such people, men or women. I respect that Sarah MacLean wants to write about such characters. I just personally find it impossible to relate to such characters, this "booo hoooo woo is me, no one loves me. I am not pretty enough or I am not worthy of love." is not what I consider the mature attitude to self-esteem. A woman, traditionally beautiful or not, can always be poised and graceful, centered and elegant. Yes she fights her insecurity, as we all do. But what makes a woman attractive, to me, is her grace. Sarah MacLean robs her heroines of their grace by always concentrating on their self-image or self-worth. As if, if no one loved them, they had no value and should consider themselves an outcast. So she has her characters engage in the so-called rule-breaking activities, masquerading them as "boldness" and "courage", which in fact are all just attempts to hide their insecurity: dressing up as men, asking men to ruin them so they don't have to face the fact that no one will marry them, posing nude for questionable characters. All because these heroines have low self esteem and didn't believe that their behaviors could make their social standing or marriage prospect any worse. I see a pattern again and again, and it's disheartening to see her portrayal of women.

    In this book we have Lily, a beautiful beautiful woman, but she did not feel loved. She was lonely, felt unwanted. Long story short: a typical Sarah MacLean heroine. Many other reviewers have touched on this: Lily, is a ninny. She was in love with a painter, who convinced her to post in nude for him. Lonely Lily agreed and publicly humiliated herself when she realized that the painter had no intention of marrying her. His intention was to release the nude painting and earn fame for himself. Now, we have been told that Lily was IN LOVE, so IN LOVE. I do not mean to sound so matronly but seriously, Lily, hon, HAS ANYONE TOLD YOU YOU ARE AN IDIOT?

    For Lily to put herself in this situation, I have completely lost respect for her intelligence. How am I supposed to care about her happily ever after, if I do not even respect her. MacLean made things worse by having Lily "fall in love" with Alec at like lightening speed. Seriously, there is no love between her characters. Just attraction and skin deep jealousy, made that much worse by shallow characters. Lily seemed childish, stupid, irresponsible and the worst of all: wanting. This is the downfall of all MacLean heroines in my book: They are so wanting, so desperately waiting for someone to love them. I cannot relate to such characters.

    Sarah MacLean also writes about either cads or "tortured" heroes whose supposedly tragic past never, never, never really fleshed out. Pains and suffering are not light matters. If a writer decides to write about past pains, I fully expect them to give these traumatic events the respect they deserve. But under MacLean's pen, these heroes seem more like clowns. Where is the tragedy? You don't write a tortured hero by telling us that he has a tortured past. You show us in his behaviors, how he struggles with himself, how a person with a difficult past would behave, make your heroes that way too. I never really bought that any of her heroes was "struggling". They all seemed comical with their allegedly tortured past and painfully bulging groins. Oh and did I mention that they are very tortured? Because you know, to make someone a tortured hero, you just need to say it.

    Alec, our "tortured" hero in this book, has body issues (see the pattern? Someone is feeling too large. For Pete's sake, can we stop obsessing over someone's size already? Why is this Sarah MacLean's favorite issue?). He felt unworthy of the heroine. So now we have a heroine who felt that no one loved her. Plus a hero who felt insecure about himself, his body. Can this book be any more Sarah MacLean?

    I do not, do not enjoy saying that I want more depth in a writer's characters. It always sounds like I am passing judgement on the writers, accusing them of lacking depth. Whether Sarah MacLean's characters lack depth, I cannot say. But they are not who I want to be friends with. They are not who I want to be. They are not people who I feel for. They are not anywhere close to who I am. (Not that I don't feel pudgy sometimes myself. I so do. But I don't believe that it makes me unlovable. I am a delightful person to be with. :D) I believe that there are people who can relate to Sarah MacLean's characters. I cannot. And since she seems to address similar issues again and again and again through characters, I have reached the point where I must say, this is where we part ways.

    I also must say that I am not a fan of HR writers trying to use a modern plot. Dressing a modern problem up in a historical setting. If I wanted to read about modern society, I'd read a contemporary. Sarah Maclean seems to be following some kind of a "modern issues playing Regency" route. This book, for example, reminds me of some actresses' nude photos and Apple Cloud. I know some find it interesting. I find myself again, on the opposite side of the table.

    I am giving the book 2 stars because the story itself is ok. If I was rating based on my personal feelings about Sarah MacLean's preference of certain characters/traits, it would be a 1 star read.