Monday, August 5, 2013

Review of My Highland Lord by Tarah Scott

Born in New Mexico Tarah Scott is the author of numerous novels spanning several different genres including historical romance, horror and mainstream fiction. She currently lives in New York.
My list of books to review is incredibly long and initially I placed this title in Amanda's list to review, however there was something about it that kept calling out to me so last week I pinched it from Amanda's list and popped it into my own and I am SO glad that I did!!! Set in nineteenth century Britain this book is an absolute must for lovers of historical romance because it ticks every possible box.  There is mystery, there is intrigue, there are plots and twists and turns a plenty and best of all there is a feisty, take no crap heroine and a drop dead gorgeous, fearless hero.

The story opens in 1837 London, lifting the lid on a plot seventeen years earlier to assassinate the kings ministers.  I will admit that my general historical knowledge of anywhere beyond the North East of England in that time frame is somewhat sketchy (I so wish I had Lenora's terrifying historical knowledge) so I was glad that the author immediately makes it clear that she is indeed referring to the Cato Street Conspiracy.   Now, rather than wait for the story to unfold, because I will confess to being anal on matters such as this, I immediately found myself googling Cato Street because a little extra historical knowledge never hurts and this was a clear sign as to just how gripping the book was going to be...
I love the fact that the actual conspiracy is looked back upon rather than being written as if it were unfolding in real time because this added extra depth (and potential) to the story line and allowed various characters the opportunity to reassess their initial role in it.  I also thought the way the author explored the "loose ends" was incredibly imaginative and it provided a lot of scope for the ensuing drama and chaos which unfolded. I also love the use of letters and documents which are used periodically as a means of driving the story along.  I also love the fact that they are "written" by different characters because they have a wonderful air of authenticity about them.
The heroine Phoebe, I have to say surpassed expectations.  She is incredible! In an era when women had no control over their finances or who they married it is wonderful finding one that constantly headbutted the boundaries and limitations that society was trying to impose upon her.   The fact that she is also a spy for the British crown was the icing on the cake. What of the hero, Kiernan, Marquess of Ashlund? Well, his name or identity isn't even revealed until Chapter 3 which only adds to the mystery and suspense and he is also incredibly compelling.  Almost "new man" but in a I am going to spank your bare bottom in front of my father and his wife kind of way.  He is sexy, he is brave and he puts up with Phoebe's shit in such a charming, bemused manner that you just want to grab him by the ears and hug him.
There is some beautiful imagery in the book especially in the scenes up around Loch Katrine. I chuckled and thought it was a clever touch by the author when Phoebe is buying a copy of The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens and Kiernan says "I am not acquainted with the fellow" to which Phoebe replies "He has only just published"  Absolute gold! Proving that there is indeed hope for all us indie authors yet!! I have gone looking for the author's other novels and I am slightly disappointed that I can only find them on kindle.  I really don't understand why people don't publish as paperback too, especially if publishing through amazon/create space.  I don't mind reading electronic copies for review however if I am reading for pleasure, or if I find an indie author that I love and want to read their other works then I really do prefer to read a real book...Maybe I am just a dinosaur. 
The only fault/flaw that I can find with the book itself is the fact that sometimes the author allows herself to slip into contemporary style language in the dialogue which occasionally spoils the moment.  I particularly noticed this during an exchange between Baron Ty Arlington and his mother and it made me wince. Overall, I loved this book.  I was hooked and gripped from the word go and I will definitely be reading more of the author's work at a later point.
You can find more about the author and her work at

 Ingrid Hall is the author of Granny Irene's Guide to the Afterlife - Revenge Part 1.  In addition to the free interviews and reviews that she is offering to indie authors,  Ingrid has also just launched a new Ghost Blogging service.  Find out more at                 

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