by Karen Ranney

October 2007
ISBN: 978-0-06-125237-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

After the recent death of both his brothers, Grant Roberson, the tenth Earl of Straithern, is feeling the pressures of his lineage. Grant does not know the whys of his brothers' deaths, but he is being cautious. It is time for him to settle down, marry, and beget an heir. In his haste, Grant chooses Miss Arabella Fenton, his physician's only daughter. Grant is not expecting a marriage of grand passion and romance. He certainly is not expecting love. But surely Arabella will be somewhat excited for their pending nuptials.

However, no one is excited for the wedding, least of all Grant and Arabella. Grant knows this marriage may be a disaster in the making, but he has chosen his course. The only good thing about choosing Arabella as his fiancée is that he met Gillian Cameron, Arabella's companion. Gillian is everything Arabella is not. Grant finds Gillian fascinating but he knows he must stay away. He must.

Gillian cannot believe Dr. Fenton is pressing this marriage on Arabella. Dedicated to the study of medicine, Arabella has no time in her life for a husband and in fact, distinctly has no desire for one. Gillian on the other hand longs for the stability of a husband, a family, a home of her own. She envies Arabella but knows because of her past, she has already made her place in life. A companion. Nothing more, no matter how much chemistry and camaraderie Gillian shares with Grant. It can never be anything but friendship. But how long can the desires of the heart be ignored?

An eerie Scottish setting, the whispers of murder and death, and two protagonists who complement each other very nicely makes The Scottish Companion a consuming read. Gillian and Grant have both had some hard knocks in life. Gillian has a mysterious past but she is not ashamed of it. I won't give anything away but I will say that I really admired Gillian. Grant is very unsure of the future and thus, is trying to grab his happiness where he can. For him, that means Gillian's embrace. There are however many obstacles in their path to happiness. Karen Ranney delves right into this story, exploring these characters with depth, grace, and honesty. I enjoyed every minute spent reading The Scottish Companion. This is a lovely story with heart, intelligence, and robust characterization.

Reviewed in September 2007 by Sarah.

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