Scottish Viscount Coll MacTaggert has a problem. He must find an English bride and wed her before his sister marries. And he only has until the end of the current season to do so else his mother will cut off all funding for his family’s estates. His brothers have all managed to find English brides,, but Coll hasn’t been able to do so. Perhaps it’s his great height. Or his thick Highland brogue. It’s certainly not his lack of title. As the eldest son of an earl, Coll stands to inherit a large chunk of lands. That would attract many a English lass to wed him. But he’s not interested. And has been quite vocal about it. Much to society’s chagrin. No, the only woman to pique his interest is one his mother would definitely not approve of.
Persephone Jones is the talk of the town. As an actress, she isn’t seen as worthy of wedding a scion of polite society, but she’s certainly worth bedding. When her latest self-appointed protector starts to become more trouble than he's worth, demanding favors she’d rather not bestow, she’s saved by a hulking Highlander in a kilt. While the attraction is real, Persephone doesn’t want to replace one self-appointed protector with another one. But when a series of misfortunes start to strike the theater during their rehearsals of Macbeth, Persephone reconsiders Coll’s offer to protect her. Are the accidents plaguing the production truly accidents or is it something more sinister?
I wasn’t sure what I would get when I went into this book. I haven’t read Suzanne Enoch before, which includes reading the other books in the series. But I’m always willing to check out a new-to-me author. And boy, am I glad I did!
This is the best book I’ve read so far this year. Seriously. Hands down.
I fell in love with Coll, the Highland lord who doesn’t like being backed into a corner or shoved into a box. He’s an alpha male, have no doubts about that. And he’s more than willing, in fact he’s often eager, to let his fists do the talking for him. He’s plain spoken. Blunt. And in polite English Society he doesn’t fit in. But Coll doesn’t step over the line into the a-hole territory that so many alpha heroes do. He’s respectful of boundaries. He cares deeply about his people and his responsibilities. When he gives his word, he keeps it. When someone tells him to stop, he stops. He’s got brains and brawn and knows when to use both. While he doesn’t like society’s strictures, he doesn’t want to harm those who do. He’s like a huge fluffy guard dog. He’s fully willing to protect those he cares about, but with those same people he’s as harmless and fluffy as a puppy.
Persephone is a wonderful character. An actress, she’s often on the outskirts of society. She’s been forced to rely upon her wits to keep her safe in London’s seedier underbelly as well as fend off the attentions from obsessed fans and overzealous beaus. She’s intelligent, knows her own mind, and is fully capable of surviving in a man’s world. Additionally, she’s kind and caring. But not a pushover. Not once does she fall into the TSTL territory, and that’s quite frankly refreshing.
The side characters are well done… particularly Coll’s family and the theater troupe. For those who’ve read the earlier books in the series all of the old favorites are there. Personally, I loved the inclusion of Hades. Persephone’s black cat who had once been a stray. I mean Persephone totally needs a Hades, and the feline is a character all his own.
There are three overarching plots that are woven together quite masterfully - Coll’s quest to find a bride. The hunt for Persephone’s stalker. And the romance between the characters themselves. I did believe in the romance and I found the chemistry compelling. I rooted for the two to get together.
Seriously, loved this book. Now I’ll need to check out the other books in this series. Which, just so you know, I did not feel like I had to read them to understand this story, but I want to… so that’s a good thing.
And because I loved this and because I want to read more from this author I give this:
If this sounds like your jam, you can get it here.
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I received an ARC of this book from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley