Karla's Reviews > Strathgallant

Strathgallant by Laura Black
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Feb 25, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: gothic, historical-romance, 1st-person-pov, cover-artists-elaine-duillo, author-is-a-guy, 2ndary-characters-upstage, abduction, heroine-tarp-as-a-shack, gif-reviews, dead-tree
Read from January 12 to 16, 2013 , read count: 1

WARNING: Jensen Ackles GIFspam. Because I can.

Since this had a purty Elaine Duillo cover and was also written by a guy, I went into Strathgallant with curious optimism. Now that I'm done, I'm quite pleased to say that I enjoyed it muchly and am glad I already had a few of "her" other books on my shelves. Greedy acquisitiveness does pay off sometimes. ;)

(And for those who care, the heroine has black hair, not the auburn tresses on the cover.)

Perdita is the adopted granddaughter of a old countess in the Highlands. There's some tangled family doings which had me confused for most of the story just how Perdita was related to everybody, and I gave up trying to figure it out.

But that's not important. What IS important is Great-Aunt Selina.

I don't give 2 craps about Downton Abbey but if the pic fits....

She don't take no shit from anybody, bossing everyone around the castle from her Cutting Edge of Technology Wheelchair of Doom. She's a relic from the Regency, and she's fond of reminiscing about the old days when language was salty and she taught those rakes of the ton a thing or two.

She's got a tongue like a bullwhip and the temper of an adder. Every scene she was in, she pwned ass left, right, and center.

Selina wants to get everything settled before she kicks off, so she browbeats Perdita into agreeing to her scheme: Choose one of my pre-approved marriage candidates and you'll inherit.

But as added security to keep everything within the family, Selina's choices are all her great-nephews (and, I guess, Perdita's cousins. Or something. They all played together as tots. That much was clear.)

Bachelor #1: Colin, just arrived back from India. He's got some woman trouble in his past.

Bachelor #2: Jamie, lawyer and political wunderkind, destined for high office. He's also quite sensitive.

Bachelor #3: Alexander, an Oxford bookworm, but not lacking in charm.

Bachelor #4: Harry, who gives Aunt Selina a hearty "Fuck you!" and spends the book scowling at the immoral bride auction from a distance.

Bachelor #5: Jules, late arrival from France but, yes, still related. He's the musical one.

When they show up one by one, Perdita falls for each of them in turn because she's been secluded for the last five years and doesn't even know what love is. She flits between them, all except Harry, of course, and they pierce each other with glarey-glares across the room. But the others make her mushy in different degrees, which makes her impulsive declaration of love to one of them a bit problematic down the road when the others show up being all handsome and charming and stuff.

But evil doin' be a-lurkin'...

One of (or maybe more) our suitors is a Very Bad Boy and is flirting with getting a one-way ticket to the Crowbar Motel courtesy of the county.

Selina plans a big to-do for Perdita to put her on display and get marital things rolling. PARTAY!!!

But our bad boy ("Who??!? omigosh!") decides to take matters into his own hands and has Perdita kidnapped off to a remote cottage where deflowering and compromised virture will get him both the girl and the fat inheritance.

But then.....another suitor comes to her rescue! ("Who??!? omigosh!") But something's not right. His story seems a bit fishy....

Needless to say, after what she's gone through and an epic betrayal of trust, Perdita doesn't know who or what to believe. The last third of the book is Perdita being suspicious and paranoid about everything and everybody, thinking "Who??!? omigosh!" is to blame for shooting that other "Who??!? omigosh!" in the face based on flimsy circumstantial evidence, but TOTALLY CONVINCED of their guilt. Until another "Who??!? omigosh!" does something (or DOESN'T do something) and her fingers start pointing in other directions.

The final scene only has 2 suitors left standing and it's not clear-cut just which one Perdita goes with. She thinks both are nice to snuggle with. Threesome??

So closed a very fun gothic historical. It was more Scooby-Doo-ish than I usually like, and the ominous cover isn't really reflective of the light and goofy story that's inside.

Except getting shot in the face is pretty serious. I guess.

It takes awhile for the plot to get going, but since that first section has a lot of Selina being undiluted awesomesauce, I didn't care. For a male writer, Black doesn't leave much of a gender footprint in his style - though the scene where "Who??!? omigosh!" is fondling the heroine's boobies got me some giggles.

References to estates and characters in Black's other books surface. It's not a series - more companion books - as they all take place within a small geographic location.
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Reading Progress

01/14 page 283
61.0% "Great-Aunt Selina should have her own book when she was a willowy young thang. I propose the title "Ten Ways To Verbally Spank A Rake and Make Him Cry Like a Little Girl." :D" 2 comments
03/29 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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message 1: by Misfit (new) - added it

Misfit This sounds like fun. can't see the gifs yet. No can see on the mob app and kitty sez you aren't moving

Karla It was. My head was so dizzy in the last third as Perdita was thinking everyone was out to get her.

message 3: by Kerrie (new)

Kerrie Every suitor looked like Jensen? My goodness!!! :D

Karla They were ALL handsome. Probably the biggest pool of heroes and/or villains I've ever seen in a gothic. :P

message 5: by Misfit (new) - added it

Misfit Finally get to see the gifs and images. Nicely done. I think I'm going to move this one up the pile.

message 6: by Rachel (BAVR) (new)

Rachel (BAVR) I would pay all the money to be in a book in which all of my suitors are Dean Winchester. >:D

Karla Rachel (BAVR) wrote: "I would pay all the money to be in a book in which all of my suitors are Dean Winchester. >:D"

Ino RITE??? *wishes she was at home, parked on her ass & watching SPN*

Karla Everybody flail! :P

message 10: by Sarah Mac (new) - added it

Sarah Mac I'd have to chose #4, myself. I love the scowly, broody ones. >:D

Karla Well, you'll just have to wait and see who wins. A couple more books and your care package will be ready.

message 12: by Sarah Mac (new) - added it

Sarah Mac I'm holding your package until I read your loaner & the gothic from Kerrie. So you'll just have to wait a bit for the Holts. :P

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