Lessons in Loving a Laird
Lessons in Loving a Laird is book two of Michelle Marcos' Knaves of Scotland series. Book one is entitled Secrets to Seducing a Scot.

As a child, Shona Slayter and her twin sister, Willow, endured the horrific slaughter of their family right before their eyes. Adulthood has not mellowed the fiery personality that Shona employs to good use, clawing out an existence in the most menial labor; Willow hides her pain behind a cool, shy fašade until the nights, when she suffers from nightmares. When Shona finds herself traded like cattle to the new laird of the land for back payment of rent, she decides to make the most of it. Taking her sister with her, she concocts a plan to marry the laird rather than work off an additional term as an indentured servant. Will her bold strategy work?

Conall MacEwan is a physician, a widowed father of a young son and the new laird of Ballencrieff. He is completely out of his element when it comes to running a huge estate, and he doesn't have the funds to bring everything up to date. He is also oddly enchanted by his newly hired, foul-mouthed, brassy servant girl, Shona. Her saucy ways have him thinking about her incessantly, and her sharp, educated mind has him promoting her into the position as his estate advisor. When his interest turns to something more, can he claim her as his own? To stir the pot, Conall's wastrel brother creates a situation from which there seems no escape...will Conall pay the ultimate price and have his future decided for him? Will he lose Shona forever?

Lessons in Loving a Laird is a high-spirited, passionate and earthy book about opposites attracting and two people healing one another from the pain they've experienced in their lives. Shona is somewhat "in your face" personality-wise, but endearingly so, as she blusters her way through life. Her bold manner hides a deep well of emotion and pain. I enjoyed her thoroughly as a character; she was authentic and believable. Conall is a man adrift in life with many responsibilities, but he is more than up to the challenges that he faces. These two each have their preconceived notions about each other, and it was most amusing watching them unravel the friction this caused. With wonderful little plot twists (it never quite seemed to go where I thought it would) and a charming premise (somewhat of a Cinderella story), this book worked well and the plot flowed smoothly. While the major conflict of the book was pretty serious, I felt as if some of the subplots sidetracked the story a bit and slightly detracted from the whole. Overall, however, I appreciated my time with Conall and Shona. Four Angels.

Reviewed by: Michelle B.