January 29th, 2013
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Dawn (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Obtained by Publisher
Catriona Cameron was once famed for her beauty, envy of all the ladies and lusted by the men. That is until a deadly accident leaves her with scars-inside and out. Hiding from the world, Catriona is determined to not let anyone break through her walls as she flounders, day in and day out, angry at the world and lost without the beauty that she was all her life. In comes Mark Thorburn, her aunt’s last hope to draw Catriona out from her exile and back into the world again. But Mark is hiding a secret and when a danger from Catriona’s past comes back to take his revenge on her, Mark will do anything to save the woman he loves even as his secret becomes one that may break these two apart.
I got to admit, I didn’t read the first book that was her sister’s story, A Scandalous Scot, but when I first started Catriona’s book, I was hoping for a rich, detailed story and I got that and more from author Karen Ranney. Catriona begins as brat, spoiled and determined, famed for her beauty and charm until a deadly accident destroys more than her looks but also her spirit. Hiding from the world, determined to see no one, living in exile, she walks in darkness, foregoing the public and everyone around her. Yes Catriona is selfish and spoiled but there is something about her that I fell in love with. Her world as we see in the beginning after the accident was dark and forbidding until Mark Thorburn kicks her door down and brings the light back into it. I got to admit, Catriona grew on me through the course of the story. She gradually lets herself find acceptance in herself as well as accepted the changed circumstances she now found herself. Mark Thorburn is a man who is a doctor first and an heir to an Earldom second. He is drawn to Catriona and remembers the vivacious beauty from years before. The author is famed for giving us complex characters and in THE LASS WORE BLACK is no exception. Her characters are very well-detailed, have hidden vulnerabilities and layers that get peeled away slowly as the reader turns the pages. With each page, I was drawn more and more into this wonderful story and fell in love with Catriona as she found herself falling in love with Mark. The sub-story of her past is very well written into the story and the author does a marvelous job in keeping the reader glued till the very end. I didn’t need to read the first book, A Scandalous Scot, which featured her sister, Jean to understand the way Catriona was but plan to in the future.
THE LASS WORE BLACK is a story about redemption, forgiveness and finding love when you least expect it. It is about learning to love yourself even when the world shies away from you in horror, to having your head held high and letting no one see the tears in your eyes. Ms. Ranney delivers a wild, poignant story of a woman who rises like a phoenix and finds her true self in the arms of a man who loves her for herself, not her beauty or her wit but the woman she is under it all, that she hides away. The story is rich with historical details, lush backgrounds that take the reader from London to Edinburgh and a story that redeems an unlikely heroine into someone you can’t help but fall in love with and root for.
If you are looking for a wild ride from start to finish, then I recommend grabbing THE LASS WORE BLACK and settling in for an afternoon of reading fun. I can’t wait to see what else this author has for her readers in the future.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement