Sarah MacLean brings together the proverbial beauty and the beast in her latest Regency novel, A Scot in the Dark.
Lillian Hargrove is drop-dead gorgeous, but her beauty offers no help for her tainted social status. Orphaned at a young age and under the guardianship of a series of Warnick Dukes, the 23-year-old falls prey to an unfortunate situation when she poses nude for the famous artist Derek Hawkins, who has promised that the painting is for his eyes only and that he intends to wed her. But Lillian learns that the supposed private painting will not only soon be displayed for the world to see, but that Derek has no intention of marrying her.
Alec Stuart, the newest and reluctant Duke of Warnick, enters the scene surprised to find that Lillian is a ward of his estate. Upon realizing her involvement with the scandal, the over-six-foot Scottish brute takes charge of Lillian’s shameful societal status by attempting to find a man for her to marry before the painting’s unveiling. In an unlikely turn of events, Alec and Lillian fall for each other. Although their romance is riddled with clashes, secrets and uncertainty, one thing for certain is that destroying Derek’s painting will alter Lillian’s position. Yet locating it before that fateful reveal will be nothing less than a miracle.
MacLean’s latest novel includes a host of feisty, colorful characters that surround and support the pair of underdogs. Scenes are replete with engaging and snarky dialogue, plenty of romantic tension, gossip and narrative twists and turns. A Scot in the Dark, the second book in MacLean’s Scandal & Scoundrel series, is a captivating mix of scandal and sensuality with a Scottish flare.