Summer of Sarah MacLean: A Scot in the Dark

I LOVE Scottish romances! And A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean, set primarily in London, still falls in this category for me. It tells the story of the WONDERFUL Scottish Duke of Warnick, Alec Stewart falling in love with his ward, Miss Lily Hargrove.

This is the second book in MacLean’s Scandal & Scoundrel series and the tenth book in the Summer of Sarah MacLean event. The event hosts are Kelly Gallucci (bookish.kelly, Instagram) and Dana Cuadrado (To All the Nerdy Girls, Instagram). 

Check out the Fangirlish website for my reviews of the previous nine books! Below is where I stand on my Summer of Sarah MacLean bingo card:

MacLean really excels at describing how truly horrible it can be to be alone. Lady Lillian Hargrove, the heroine of this story, knows all about being alone. She was Lonely Lily before the scandal, but the nickname became Lovely Lily.  

Lily thought she had finally found someone to be a “we” within Derek Hawkins. She truly believed he loved her and was going to marry her. Lily trusted the wrong man and in a patriarchal society, she must pay dearly for that mistake. 

Insert the Duke of Warnick, who upon Lily’s scandal learned he had a ward he has been neglecting. Hence, the Scot in the dark in the title. Alec Stewart quickly returns to London to protect his ward and fix the scandal – by marrying her off, of course 😉

This was my second time reading A Scot in the Dark, but each time Lily’s belief that love was for the lucky and she was not so lucky stood out. I saw in some reviews people lacked patience for Lily and had little sympathy for scandal. But it was because Lily was so alone and without love in her life that the scandal occurred. Who could blame her for grasping with both hand the opportunity for a “we”?

Alec has his own sad history to match Lily’s, which is why the foolish DUKE thinks he’s not good enough to marry her himself.  

We know both men and women suffer from body image in our culture and this book highlights the issues faced by a man. Alec is very self-conscious of his size, especially in London where he is larger than most men. We often don’t get to see the hero struggle with body issues, so I appreciated knowing his thoughts.

When I mentioned Lily had been alone earlier, I meant really alone – no family, friends or acquaintances. So, it was truly a beautiful thing to watch her make friends. It literally warms your heart to see it. 

I love that she makes friends with the Dangerous Daughters, particularly Sesily who we briefly met in The Rogue Not Taken and the Earl of Stanhope!! Stanhope home has appeared in many MacLean novels and is very swoon-worthy! And I’m happy to see say these are not the only appearances of previous MacLean characters.  

Another wonderful element of this story was dogs! Angus and Hardy really stole the show – changing the alliances from the Duke to Lily quickly! A house devoted to dogs and one truly magnificent dog masterpiece also play important roles in the story. You must read to learn more and yes, I am giggling!

As you can tell there were MANY things I loved about A Scot in the Dark but what I truly loved was Alec treating Lily as an equal. He showed her respect from the moment he knew of her existence. And seeing his will for her to be protected, cared for and happy it really was quite touching. This was the perfect example of showing, not telling LOVE.

So if you love a hero in a kilt with a Scottish Burr and heroine with a mind to solve her own problems and dreams of happiness, A Scot in the Dark is for you. You can purchase this book on the Kobo and Amazon websites.

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