I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, this does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of my review.
Laird Magnus Sutherland loves women. His prowess in the bedchamber has earned him the name Devil of Dunrobin, but no woman has ever stirred his heart. Magnus needs to provide his clan with an heir, which is the only reason he agrees to marry the neighboring chieftain’s sister. When his betrothed arrives, he discovers the chieftain has two sisters. If Magnus must bind himself to one woman, he intends to discover which is best suited to be his wife, for he wants more than a body to plant his seed. He wants a mate for life.
There are three reasons Lady Effie Reay refuses to vie for Laird Sutherland’s affections…
For one, she is thirty-two and would surely lose a competition to her beautiful, younger sister. Secondly, Laird Sutherland is a well-reputed rake, and she holds no desire to wed another faithless man. And thirdly, the sight of him makes her tingle, shiver and ache.
Will Effie be successful in thwarting Magnus’ advances, or will her body succumb to a temptation that can only lead to heartbreak?
It looks like this is a story that was previously published by Ellora’s Cave and the rights have since reverted to the author and she is now self publishing it. I don’t know, but maybe if I had known it was previously published there, it might have set my expectations a little better. Because, this was not what I was expecting.
Don’t get me wrong. This wasn’t a poorly written or executed book, and the erotica juxtaposed into a period where I as a reader tend to expect more purple prose than raunchy scenes was highly titillating. It was just a little startling is all, and I was expecting more romance and a little less erotica.
I actually really liked Effie and Magnus (his mother calls him Maggie, how cute is that?), I just really wished there was more story, and since this was almost all sex, there wasn’t room in the 69 pages for enough story to satisfy me. The characters weren’t just cut outs or stock characters, so we saw enough of them for me to be dissatisfied with the amount of story, conflict and characterization that we did get. They both have sad histories, and they both just fit each other really well, I just wanted more.
There were also two things that really bothered me, and there is just no way to get around explaining them without spoilers so stop now if you don’t want spoilers…………………..
I just couldn’t get over the fact that Magnus literally tried each of the sisters out ahead of time. And I really couldn’t get over who Effie’s sister’s real lover actually was. Those were two real problems for me. But again, if I had realized who the original publisher was, I might not have been so surprised or so bothered. So I admit, some of my rating is reader bias and expectations, but overall I am giving this 3 stars, because I am betting this is just the right book for someone else.