The Devil Wears Kilts

I had two problems with The Devil Wears Kilts, and while my problems with it may not have bothered other readers for me, they were both deal breakers.


First, there's the heroine - Lady Charlotte Hanover. She lost her fiancé in a duel when he challenged all who laughed at him when he tripped and fell at a ball. He apparently was too full of pride, a bit clumsy, AND a lousy shot.  All three faults resulted in his sticking his spoon in the wall.  Good riddance.  So now Lady C has picked up a banner in opposition to all violence. Words, she says, can do enough damage without pistols, swords, or fists.  And I generally agree with her sentiments.  However, she meets Laird Ranulf MacLawry, Marquis of Glengask, and this Scot lives in an area that makes the Hatfield & McCoy feud look like child's play.  He is surrounded by enemies, enemies who murdered his father, burned a school down, and shot his brother.  He also has experienced the worst part of British  domination of Scotland and trusts no Englishmen. He has...reasons and for the most part they are justified even if a bit melodramatic and stereotypical.  


Ranulf appears to subscribe to the hit first/talk later philosophy. Yes, he seems a little bloodthirsty and hotheaded at first, but as I said there are reasons.  He's attracted to Charlotte and she to him, despite the fact she's English and he has a short fuse.  That attraction she holds over him unfortunately translates over into a virtual emasculation on his part. He's obsessed with her "swaying hips" and the fact that she takes him to task on his rude behavior. 


What Charlotte does, however, was mean and cruel and shortsighted. She sees all his actions through a lens of senseless violence, and pretty much rakes him over the coals for it. This forces him into an appeasement period when dealing with his enemies and allows those enemies to make him appear weak. And, of course, they take advantage of the opening.  


What I objected to was the way she condescendingly lectured Ranulf on his behavior, on his mistrust of the Englishmen, and never once before laying into him did she attempt to find out if there might have been an overlooked element which could cast his actions in a different light.  It's not until Ranulf has almost been handcuffed and hog tied figuratively that she bothers to investigate the reasons for his supposedly senselessly violent actions. So I didn't like Charlotte at all.  


My second problem with this book was the irritating, distracting, overused fake Scottish accent. There were so many "doonas", "dinnas", "oots", and "ye" that I wish I had started a drinking game. For every "doona", take one shot of Jack, two for every "oot" and "nae", and just tip the bottle up and drink it down every time Ranulf, his brother, or servants say "ye". Course, I would've been drunk by page 75, but I may have liked the book more in that state.


I'm sorry to sound so harsh, but I have had enough of the phony phonetic Scots dialect in romance novels. How about just every now and then, there's the hint of an accent. Or maybe one of the main characters notes the charming lilt of a Scottish accent. Because a genuine one really is charming. But not overblown, overdone, and almost caricature-ish as in The Devil Wears Kilts. To be fair, it's not just this book. This unfortunate accent rears it's head in more romances involving a handsome Scottish laird than I can name.  I got that Ranulf is from Scotland.  I don't need pages and pages of cartoonish sounding dialect to alert me to that fact. 


I've enjoyed many of this author's books, but this one, unfortunately, didn't work for me at all.