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Best Laid Plaids

(Kilty Pleasures #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  382 ratings  ·  170 reviews
In 1920s Scotland, even ghosts wear plaid.

Welcome to a sexy, spooky new paranormal historical series from debut author Ella Stainton.

Scotland, 1928

Dr. Ainsley Graham is cultivating a reputation as an eccentric.

Two years ago, he catastrophically ended his academic career by publicly claiming to talk to ghosts. When Joachim Cockburn, a WWI veteran studying the power of d
Published August 31st 2020 by Carina Press
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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Witty and poignant, and sexy as hell, Ella Stainton’s debut novel Best Laid Plaids is the most fun I’ve had in ages! With a racy courtship, several spectral family members, and a whole lot of Roaring 20s charm, Joachim and Ainsley explore some of Scotland’s haunted places, and find way more than just spooks and spirits along the way.

On a quest for research material for his PhD thesis, Joachim Cockburn heads out to investigate Ainsley Graham’s claim he can speak with ghosts. Widely regarded as ec
Felicia Grossman
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Best Laid Plaids is an amazing debut. It’s fun, sexy, charming, and heart-warming and so much more. Ainsley and Joachim are two unique academics each in search of a new beginning as well as someone to truly understand them. The slightly eccentric ADD Ainsley’s career was cut short due to his insistence of the existence of the supernatural (Ainsley is a wonderfully hilarious character who at times overestimates his own power but is somehow still extremely endearing due to massive amounts of wit, ...more
Rachel Reid
Sep 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is fun! It's super horny, and I have no complaints about that. 1920s Scotland is a fantastic setting for a romance, and it was used well here. I liked both of the MCs a lot, and look forward to their continuing adventures. I thought the portrayal of Ainsley's (probable) ADHD and OCD was really well done. Cornell Collins did a great job with the audiobook narration, as always. ...more
In this debut novel, set in post WWI England, Ella Stainton introduces us to two academicians, Ainsley and Joachim, who are different in nearly every way, yet are perfect for one another.

Joachim is a no nonsense middle class Englishman with a wry sense of humor and an imposing physique, but a rather tender heart. He still carries physical and emotional scars from his service in WWI. Joachim is working toward a doctorate in psychology, while resigning himself to the fact he will need to be carefu
Sep 11, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: x-dnf
ToD 36%

I'm bored out of my mind. Do these guys ever get out of bed - or even stop thinking about sex?
Jul 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: pnr, arc, queer-romance
I've given this a C+ at AAR, so that's 3.5 stars

Best Laid Plaids is the first book in a new series of historical romances set in 1920s Scotland by début author Ella Stainton.  The blurb promised a romance between an eccentric former academic who trashed his career when he announced he could talk to ghosts and a war veteran turned PhD student who is writing his thesis on the power of delusional thinking, and a road-trip around Scotland’s lovely—and definitely, definitely haunted—landscape.  It s
Maria Rose
I was really looking forward to this story set post WW1 with a military vet in rural Scotland, thinking it would be along the lines of stories I've enjoyed by K.J. Charles and Allie Therin. It turns out to have been an okay read, with some parts that I really liked, and others I have mixed feelings about.

I had a hard time connecting with Ainsley at the start (the opening scene made me uncomfortable) but I definitely came to like him more as a character as the story went on. And Joachim I liked
Leigh Kramer
Nov 16, 2020 marked it as dnf
DNF at 22%

CW: sexual harassment

I needed to take a few days before I could write about why I DNFed this. I had only heard great things about this book and I was very excited to start it. It started off with a meet-disaster that felt over the top and required some suspension of disbelief. Ainsley has ADHD and is not great at keeping track of things so when Joachim arrives at his house, Ainsley believes he’s someone else, someone he’s meant to come on to on behalf of a friend in order to determine
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
DNF at 20%. I found this book incredibly boring. I appreciated the Scottish historical setting and liked one of the heroes, tragic, taciturn, grad student and injured war veteran Joachim. He’s studying ghosts for his dissertation and enlists the help of a wealthy friend’s brother, eccentric ghost scientist Ainsley. I hated Ainsley. He’s “overbearing”, used to getting his way, sexually harasses Joachim for an Excruciatingly long opening scene, and is prone to long and repetitive internal monologu ...more
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m-romance, ebook
Pre-release ARC review on July 13, 2020 . Book releases on August 31,2020

4.5 Stars

Playful, heart-warning, witty, sexy, charming , very well written and crafted , funny, captivating, entertaining comes to my when I think about Best Laid Plaids, the debut novel by Ella Stainton.

Set in gorgeous and breath taking Scotland in the 1920's , you feel transported to the era , it's society and way of life.

This book made me feel happy and relaxed. And that folks, is all I ask , when reading a Romance Bo
Paula (lovebookscl)
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
Thank to Netgalley for the ARC

This book is amazing, it's adorable and sexy at the same time, with touching characters and amazingly set.

On the one hand we have Dr. Ainsley Graham, who has a restless mind, he is easily distracted, he is flirtatious, and has a great sense of humor although he can sometimes be insensitive. His reputation is on the ground after he admits that he can see ghosts.

On the other hand, there is Joachim Cockburn, who after surviving the war continues with his studies in psy
Terri Jones
DNF at 24%, primarily due to the author's inability to keep me appraised of who's where in a sex scene, of all things. Lots of authors manage it just fine, so I don't think it's me. Very glad this was a library book. It's too bad. Otherwise, I was rather intrigued. ...more
I’m a sucker for anything Scottish - which was the reason I picked this book. The title, the setting, the blurb. Alas, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

The writing didn’t particularly click with me; it was told in alternate POVs and both seemed undecided what to call the other - or even themselves for that matter - it kept changing from first name to surname every few lines. Also, the chemistry between Ainsley and Joachim felt pretty tepid and unconvincing. From the first time Ain
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
I received a copy from Carina Press through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Dr. Ainsley Graham set his career on fire when he went public with the claim that ghosts are real and that he has been communicating with them. Since then, he’s spent his time drinking and floating around as he desires since the world thinks he’s odd. When Joachim Cockburn is sent his way to check out known hauntings in Scotland, Ainsley thinks he’s just another person coming to poke fun at him for his beliefs
Evie Drae
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an advanced copy of this book. I am providing a voluntary review. All thoughts and views are my own.

Holy smokes, folx. Best Laid Plaids by Ella Stainton was an utter delight. It combined historical and paranormal—admittedly two of the romance subgenres I struggle the most to connect with—and did so with finesse and ease. While the historical aspects were clearly there, they didn’t overtake the story, which was refreshing. As someone who pref
Ghosts and so much sex!!! This was fun to read.
Sep 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
Society has moved beyond the need to describe two men as "the ginger" and "the dark-haired man". In two PARAGRAPHS of sex scene I counted: 2 instances of "the younger man" 2 instances of "the ginger" and 1 "the Scotsman". All describing the same person! There's only two people here, it shouldn't be this hard to differentiate them. This book is just poorly written. Eye rolling insta-lust, absolutely no romantic tension whatsoever. Ainsley begins a campaign of sexual harassment from the moment he ...more
Oct 24, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
3.5 stars

There's nothing spooky about this one, but if you're looking for a sexyfuntimes ghost story for Halloween, this makes a pretty good choice.

I was getting nervous that it wasn't going to work for me after the first couple of chapters, but about halfway through Chapter 3 the MC literally says, "Stop. Redo. This isn't working," and not only is he successful, but the way he says it instantly got me invested. I have a weakness for MCs who know how to use their words :)

The romance is definitel
Kat Turner
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
Hot, hot hot! Ainsley and Joacihm have undeniable, intense chemistry that develops into a powerfully emotional connection over the course of Best Laid Plaids. This effervescent debut brings humor, attraction, and all-around fun to a story of opposites attract who are stuck in the crucible of a situation that's inherently prone to conflict, ideal for stoking both tension and desire.

The author did such an amazing job of crafting a plot situation designed to showcase character growth as these two
Anwen Hayward
The good things about this book were the Scottish hijinx, the excellent dog, the fact that one of the protagonists makes a risotto, the funny spooks, the emotional spooks, the spooky spooks, the ADHD and PTSD rep, the hilarious female side characters, a boring man called Hugh, and the general lolworthy humour.

The bad things were mostly the way that most of the many, many, many, many sex scenes were written in a way that meant you couldn't always tell who was doing what to who, and sometimes it
Pavitra (For The Love of Fictional Worlds)

Disclaimer: An eARC was provided via the Publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honestreview. The Thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own.

It’s hard to believe that this is a debut book by the author - it’s a hilarious M/M historical romance with such smexy times as well a hint of paranormal activity that will have you intrigued with the plotline until the end.

Dr. Ainsley’s reputation is in tatters because he never his the fact that he talks to ghost
Danielle  Gypsy Soul
I had higher hopes for this book after reading the description but the pacing was a bit slow at times, the romance fell flat and it took a big chunk of the book before I even started to like one of the MC's.

The book flips between alternate POV's and it kept changing whether the MC's were referred to by their first or last names (in the same paragraph) which threw me off a bit. Ainsley is a very hard character to like in the beginning - in fact I didn't like him at all. He comes across as arrogan
Helen Kord
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, fantasy, historical, m-m
Maybe the horniest book I've read in a long time, and shockingly, I mostly didn't mind it, which is huge for someone like me.

Really fun romp! It has post WW1 roadtrip across Scotland to prove whether ghosts are real, all the while the heroes attempt to not jump each other's bones. Or rather, they attempt to attempt that, but give up pretty fast. Like I said, horny.

I really liked the characters, especially Ainsley, who is a darling gremlin. He's also dealing with some severe undiagnosed ADHD, whi
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
[I received a digital copy from netgalley for an honest review]

Best Laid Plaids
piqued my interest the moment I read the synopsis. 1920's Scotland setting, a kilt wearing ginger, a war vet, and the ability to speak with ghosts. I was excited for those things and couldn't wait to dive in.

This book has a lot of great ratings and I can see why readers loved it but for me I really didn't enjoy the author's writing itself. I look for a certain something when I go into a historical romance whet
Eva Müller
Aug 23, 2020 rated it did not like it
This is a story about two men who don't talk to each other and fuck. To clarify: it's not a case of both are aware that they can distract the other by initiating sex and so whenever a topic they don't want to discuss comes up they consciously or unconsciously distract the other with it. No. They simply fuck and then they have zero serious conversations about what they expect of their future/this relationship and then they fuck some more. And then they fuck again.

Then there are some ghosts but m
Well, I did it again. You know, that thing that I always end up doing when I love an audio book so much I can't stand to have it end? That thing I always say not to do in every applicable review, yet repeatedly end up doing again and again? That. Yes. I listened to various pieces and parts of this book over and over. Partly to avoid the inevitable ending. And partly because I just couldn't stand the idea of missing any detail stuffed into this gem of a book. As always, I set a bad example. Liste ...more
suzette ~Always Reading~
I tried reading this last year and since my concentration has been messed up I couldn’t get into it but I always knew I’d come back to read it. I felt it was time and I’m very happy I was able to read this book. It’s set in Scotland in the 1920’s and the two mc’s, Ainsley & Joachim, are lovely together.

This book has less to do with ghosts and more to do with the building relationship between the two men. One of the negatives, in my opinion, about this story is that I wish there were more ghostly
Roberta Blablanski
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ghosts and kilts and motorcars, oh my!

Best Laid Plaids was such a delightful story. The very first interaction between Ainsley and Joachim was one of the most hilarious (for me) and uncomfortable (for Joachim) opening scenes I've ever read. I was engrossed by the paranormal adventures of the MCS and enthralled by the rich side characters from beginning to end in this Scottish historical romance.

Ainsley is adorably distracted at every moment, and Joachim is steadfastly focused. They make a great
A fluffy romp through the Scottish countryside in the late 1920s. Joachim is an academic whose research in those with delusions introduces him to Ainsley, a disgraced former scholar who publicly admitted to believing in ghosts. Ainsley takes Joachim on a tour through some of his best-known haunts, and while Joachim starts as a staunch skeptic, through the course of their journey he begins to doubt his own doubts--and possibly develop feelings for his eccentric new kilt-wearing friend. Low angst, ...more
Emily Ozuna
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it


The ARC for this novel was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ever since Ainsley Graham, a young scholar with unparalleled charm, publicly confessed that he spoke to ghosts, he has been seen by everyone as eccentric and some as mad. He has lost his reputation, his job, two years have passed since that horrible event and Ainsley doesn't know if he will get a job like that again or if people will forget the scandal that was created ar
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Kilty Pleasures (3 books)
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