The Devil Wears Tartan

( 15 )

Overview

A man in the shadows

Some say he is dangerous. Others say he is mad. None of them knows the truth about Marshall Ross, the Devil of Ambrose. He shuns proper society, sworn to let no one discover his terrible secret. Including the beautiful woman he has chosen to be his wife.

A fallen woman

Only desperation could bring Davina McLaren to the legendary Edinburgh castle to become...

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The Devil Wears Tartan

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Overview

A man in the shadows

Some say he is dangerous. Others say he is mad. None of them knows the truth about Marshall Ross, the Devil of Ambrose. He shuns proper society, sworn to let no one discover his terrible secret. Including the beautiful woman he has chosen to be his wife.

A fallen woman

Only desperation could bring Davina McLaren to the legendary Edinburgh castle to become the bride of a man she has never met. Plagued by scandal, left with no choices, she has made her bargain with the devil. And now she must share his bed.

A fire unlike any they've ever known

From the moment they meet, Davina and Marshall are rocked by an unexpected desire that leaves them only yearning for more. But the pleasures of the marriage bed cannot protect them from the sins of the past. With an enemy of Marshall's drawing ever closer and everything they now cherish most at stake, he and Davina must fight to protect the passion they cannot deny.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061252426
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/26/2008
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 777,292
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Ranney began writing when she was five. Her first published work was The Maple Leaf, read over the school intercom when she was in the first grade. In addition to wanting to be a violinist (her parents had a special violin crafted for her when she was seven), she wanted to be a lawyer, a teacher, and, most of all, a writer. Though the violin was discarded early, she still admits to a fascination with the law, and she volunteers as a teacher whenever needed. Writing, however, has remained the overwhelming love of her life.

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Read an Excerpt

The Devil Wears Tartan

By Karen Ranney
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
Copyright © 2008

Karen Ranney
All right reserved.


ISBN: 9780061252426


Chapter One

1870
Edinburgh, Scotland

The wedding day was fine and clear. A brilliant Scottish blue sky hovered over Edinburgh. The breeze was warm; the air carried the freshness of spring. There was silence in the square; no raucous noise disturbed the serenity of this most fortuitous of mornings. Even the sun shone brightly in approval for the nuptials of the Earl of Lorne and Miss Davina McLaren.

The bride stood at the window surveying the morning. Her predominant emotion was neither anticipation nor fear. Davina McLaren was supremely irritated.

Her aunt, the woman who'd orchestrated this fiasco of a marriage, had been absent for the last three days. Just when the furor of dressmakers was at its most unbearable, Theresa took a train to London. Just when Davina could have used some womanly advice, her aunt was unaccountably gone. Finally, Theresa had arrived home late last night, claiming exhaustion, and promising explanations in the morning.

But that was not the greatest source of Davina's annoyance. She'd not yet met her bridegroom. In this modern day, she was being treated with no more regard than a piece of furniture. Would you like that chair, Your Lordship? We've had it in the family for a number of years, but it's yours if you like.

How very annoying.

None of her femaleacquaintances had been married in a similar fashion. Every single one of them had known her husband, either because they'd been acquainted for years or the bride's parents had made an effort to involve the bride in decisions about her own future.

But then, most of her acquaintances had been forbidden to talk to her in the last year.

Had she been invited to any balls, dinners, or other entertainments, would she have been able to pick her soon-to-be-husband out of a crowded room? Or was it true that he was a hermit? What a pair they were. She, who had been forbidden society's company, and the Earl of Lorne, who shunned it willingly.

Should she look for a man with the devil's looks? What had he done to be labeled with such a nickname? The Devil of Ambrose. He'd have black hair, no doubt. And piercing black eyes, perhaps. Would he have an evil smile? A large nose and a pointed chin? His ears would probably stick out at an angle, and be pointed at the top.

She could only imagine what their children might look like. Children. Dear Lord, children. Tonight, her wedding night, she was supposed to undress in the presence of a stranger and allow him to do that to her.

Thanks to Alisdair and her own foolishness, she was only too aware of what was expected of her on the wedding night. Alisdair Cannemot, adventurer, connoisseur of women, and despoiler of innocents. Perhaps that was not entirely correct. If he'd despoiled her, it had been with her willing cooperation. She'd gone to her own downfall armed with curiosity and not a little anticipation. When they were discovered, she'd already lost her anticipation, and her curiosity was being rapidly supplanted by a rather startling reality.

She was wrong in assigning Theresa any of the blame for this marriage. While it was true that her aunt had accepted the offer from the earl's solicitor immediately, it was also true that Davina was completely, fully, and despicably ruined, and this was probably the only offer she'd ever receive. The prospect of being a spinster was almost as disconcerting as that of being married to a man she didn't know, and had never met.

No, she alone bore the brunt of responsibility for this marriage. Regret was a strange emotion to feel on her wedding day, but it was better, perhaps, to feel regret than fear.

Her aunt bustled into the room, uncharacteristically flustered. Theresa Rowle possessed blue eyes the color of Scotland's sky, hair as red as the blood it had shed, and the disposition of a clan chieftain trapped in the body of a voluptuous woman. The serene face she showed the world masked a will of iron, a fact to which Davina could attest.

"There you are, Davina," she said. "We must hurry."

Davina ignored the second part of that sentence in favor of the first. "Where did you expect me to be, Aunt? Did you think I would escape?"

Her aunt halted, and stared at her as if she'd never before seen Davina. "What are you going on about now, child? Time is passing, and your trunks need to be readied. I have had a message from the earl. It is his wish that we have the wedding at Ambrose."

She began to direct the three maids who had followed her into the room with a series of hand gestures, pursed lips, and headshaking, all the while ignoring Davina as if she were simply an ornament. A chair?

Davina folded her arms in front of her and wondered just how much rebellion her aunt might tolerate. It felt as if the entire world had marshaled against her, but in this circumstance, at least, shouldn't she have some say?

"Isn't that a bit precipitous, Aunt? The arrangements are made. The guests have been invited. Do you expect all of those people to travel to Ambrose with only a few hours' notice?"

Her aunt waved a hand in the maids' direction, and they instantly disappeared from the room.

"Did you think that you would be forgiven so easily, Davina?"

Was there pity in her aunt's eyes?

"Did no one agree to attend?" Davina asked.

Instead of answering her directly, Theresa only smiled. All the same, it was an expression with more grimness than amusement.

"It is a good thing we are summoned to Ambrose, Davina. It will spare us the shame of a ceremony in an empty church."

When Davina didn't speak, her aunt continued. "People love to hear stories, Davina, and you've provided them with one that is not only entertaining, but gives them lessons to teach their daughters."



Continues...

Excerpted from The Devil Wears Tartan by Karen Ranney
Copyright © 2008 by Karen Ranney. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 18 of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 25, 2012

    I normally like this author but this book was dreadful. It was v

    I normally like this author but this book was dreadful. It was very
    boring and the characters were not likable. The book was terribly
    depressing and I barely finished it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2013

    Love it

    -

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2013

    Great

    Loved it

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Indulge and You will be Delighted !!

    Great read...

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  • Posted February 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Devil Wears Tartan by Karen Ranney

    Reviewed for queuemyreview.com; book release Sep08<BR/><BR/>I think it was the cover of this book that called to me. A brawny highlander, shown from the waist up, dressed only his plaid. Delicious. Then I read inside the front cover: a woman felled by scandal and a recluse called the Devil of Ambrose. Now who could resist a Victorian romance like that?<BR/><BR/>Davina is a fallen woman--shunned by society and doomed to a life of spinsterhood. She really can¿t blame anyone but herself. Her father always did say her curiosity would get her in trouble. But it could be worse, she does prefer to read anyway, so now she¿ll just spend her life learning from her books. Until the aunt who took her in after her father¿s death arranges a marriage for her. And not just any marriage, she¿ll be the Countess of Lorne. Obviously, there¿s something wrong with her husband and darn her curiosity again, but Davina can¿t stop herself from wanting to solve his mysteries¿especially once she sees him and realizes he¿s young and handsome, and very skilled in the art of lovemaking.<BR/><BR/>Marshall is a tormented man who spends his life secluded, by choice, from society. Where once he exulted in the fun, games, and challenges of his life he¿s now haunted by the souls of those who died under his command during his last diplomatic mission to China. But before he dies he wants an heir and asks his man of affairs to find him a wife of childbearing age. He doesn¿t expect to care for her and he just hopes that the luxuries and wealth of being the Countess of Lorne will be enough to make up for being married to an insane man. He just never counted on Davina and her unwillingness to settle for less than what she wants¿and she appears to want him.<BR/><BR/>This story has quite a bit of angst. He¿s suffering and even though it¿s apparent to the simplest reader what¿s wrong, he doesn¿t figure it out. Uh huh. Davina is quite brilliant herself and she doesn¿t figure it out either¿sure. That was my biggest beef with this story. If you can get past that, the rest of the plot is plausible and I wasn¿t certain of the villain until the last part, suspicious but not certain. There¿s a kind of side-story involving Davina¿s aunt which doesn¿t really pan out, instead the author gives the reader just enough glimpses of what¿s going on to tie it into the main story. I¿m not sure if that was to prepare readers for a possible future story starring the aunt or not, but that¿s the only reason I can think of for doing so. For the most part, I just felt a certain distance from all the characters in this novel. I didn¿t feel a growing connection between the hero and heroine, it just seemed that they woke up one day and cared for each other after very little interaction. Then they maintained a distance from other and yet the heroine was willing to do anything to save the hero. I just couldn¿t buy it.<BR/><BR/>Karen Ranney is an author who¿s had great success with her Highland stories. It could be that this particular book is not one of the best, but for whatever reason, ¿The Devil Wears Tartan¿ just didn¿t gel for me. The characters stayed creatures on paper and the story didn¿t hold much in the way of surprise. I did appreciate the humor in the ending and the wealth of information in Egyptology though. However, it wasn¿t quite enough to make me truly enjoy the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 17, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The devil you say

    Ms. Raney has given us a wonderful novel with characters who have so much depth that you can't help but fall in love with them. Marshall Ross the Earl of Ambrose came back from China a changed man who lived through torture and the loss of half of his men, he needs a wife to carry on the name and so he chooses Davina McLaren to play the role, he wants a wife of convenience who will give him an heir and leave him alone but Davina has other plans, she has secrets of her own but wants to chase away the ghosts that haunt Marshall and be a wife in every way. See where the road takes these two unfortunate lovers.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2008

    a superb gothic Victorian romantic suspense

    In 1870 the scandal with womanizing adventurer Alisdair Cannemot leaves Davina McLaren with one option. She can marry a man she never met, but others claim that the ¿Devil of Ambrose¿ is insane. She decides to take her chances with the lunatic so after her Aunt Theresa arranges the marriage and leaves town immediately, Davina begins wedding preparations. Her aunt returns in time for Davina to say I do in the Edinburgh castle of the Earl of Lorne.------------------ Marshall Ross is infamous as the ¿Devil of Ambrose¿ everyone assumes something evil happened to him as the Queen¿s diplomat to China. He no longer can tolerate the outside world so remains a hermit with servants. However, he and Davina are mutually stunned by the immediate attraction between them. She starts to wonder if she is so shallow as to fall in love with the ¿Devil¿. As they become better acquainted she realizes her beloved husband is not crazy, but someone with access to him is somehow causing him to suffer nightmares that he believes are real. She vows to risk her life to expose the villain before the maniac permanently harms her spouse.----------------- THE DEVIL WEARS TARTAN is a superb gothic Victorian romantic suspense based on documented historical events starring a fallen courageous woman and a traumatized man whose love gives each something neither has had recently: hope. Marshall is fascinating as the male lead with deep issues while Davina starts as a classic gothic damsel in distress but soon shows no fear will prevent her from trying to uncover the truth of what is going on at foreboding Black Castle.----------------- Harriet Klausner

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    Posted August 26, 2011

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