cover image What Happens in Scotland

What Happens in Scotland

Jennifer McQuiston. Avon, $5.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-223129-1

In McQuiston’s Victorian romance debut, Lady Georgette Thorold, a beautiful young widow, awakens naked in bed, married to an equally naked stranger. Angry and confused, the prudish Georgette knocks out James MacKenzie with a chamber pot before running away. Upon being roused, James cannot find his purse; he assumes his wife stole it and vows to see her punished. The second son of an earl and formerly a bad boy, James is now his Scottish town’s solicitor and is determined to make good. McQuiston provides a strong backstory for James but little for Georgette, and their separation until the book’s halfway point undermines its promising screwball start. In a more thoughtful and tender second half, the two go about solving the mysteries of their marriage, falling in love along the way, but the book’s lost footing is never quite regained. Agent: Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. (Mar.)