cover image A Scot in the Dark

A Scot in the Dark

Sarah MacLean. Avon, $7.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-237942-9

The charm and originality of MacLean’s second Scandal and Scoundrel Regency (after The Rogue Not Taken) are stifled by the heroine’s desperation and hero’s indecision. Scottish duke Alec Stuart only travels to London—a place he loathes—to check on his tenants. When his ward, Lillian Hargrove, of whom he had no knowledge (and who happens to be a grown woman), becomes the subject of scandal, Alec reluctantly returns to England to get her married off before her reputation is destroyed forever. Lillian, who is often called the most beautiful woman in London, doesn’t want to be married, but left with no better option, she agrees to choose a suitor. Soon their constant bickering turns to passion, and Alec must admit that he’s been hiding his own shameful secret while Lillian learns to accept her fate. Alec is clever and lovable, but his actions serve more to create anxiety in readers than to develop his character. Lillian comes across as juvenile and far too stubborn. The plot is well thought out, though, and fans of the series will rejoice at the opportunity to revisit familiar characters. [em](Aug.) [/em]