A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean

A Scot in the Dark (Scandal & Scoundrel #2) by Sarah MacLean
Published on August 30, 2016 by Avon.

Links: Goodreads.

Source: purchased for Kindle.

Genre: historical romance.

My rating:

Lonesome Lily Turned Scandalous Siren … Miss Lillian Hargrove has lived much of her life alone in a gilded cage, longing for love and companionship. When an artist offers her pretty promises and begs her to pose for a scandalous portrait, Lily doesn’t hesitate…until the lying libertine leaves her in disgrace. With the painting now public, Lily has no choice but to turn to the one man who might save her from ruin.

Highland Devil turned Halfhearted Duke … The Duke of Warnick loathes all things English, none more so than the aristocracy. It does not matter that the imposing Scotsman has inherited one of the most venerable dukedoms in Britain—he wants nothing to do with it, especially when he discovers that the unwanted title comes with a troublesome ward, one who is far too old and far too beautiful to be his problem.

Tartan Comes to Town … Warnick arrives in London with a single goal: get the chit married and see her become someone else’s problem, then return to a normal, quiet life in Scotland. It’s the perfect plan, until Lily declares she’ll only marry for love…and the Scot finds that there is one thing in England he likes far too much…


I’m a big fan of Sarah MacLean, so I had a preorder out for this one for a long time. I was so excited to read it! I loved the first book of the Scandal & Scoundrel series, The Rogue Not Taken, though for some reason I never reviewed it here on the blog. *shrug*

A Scot in the Dark (I just love her titles) is a tale of Alec, one gruff Scot who inherits a dukedom after a series of misfortunate events eliminates seventeen of previous heirs. And nobody informs him that he also inherited a ward, one Lillian Hargrove, muse to the most famous painter in London.

After a scandal breaks out – Lily posed for a portrait thinking the painter would be the only one who’d ever see it, so you can imagine what kind of a portrait it is – Alec is summoned to town to help her and clear her name (somehow). This is, for him, an equivalent of pulling teeth, as he hates everything to do with England, however, he soon finds out that Lily has plans of her own – plans that don’t necessarily match his own.

Naturally, the two feel a powerful attraction to each other, you can’t have it any other way in romances, but I did find the love part a bit rushed – they’ve only known each other for ten days. But hey, that’s all you need sometimes.

Alec is one of those huge, hulking heroes that can be hit or miss for me. He’s gruff and powerful – but luckily doesn’t act like a total Neanderthal (with the exception of breaking down one door). I’m saying this because I recently read a novel (a contemporary, even) where the hero was basically an ape with (questionable) speech faculties and I hated the cliché so. much. I didn’t even want to write a ranty review, I was so disgusted. Alec, however, resents the public opinion that has formed around his big stature and goes to great lengths to prove that he’s not actually a brute.

I’m not a huge fan of “I’m not good enough for you so I’ll find you a better husband” trope but even that didn’t lessen my enjoyment. MacLean’s writing is just that good. Her romances are always on top of my to-buy list and this one was just perfect for my last evening as a pregnant lady. :)

I am very excited for her next book, The Day of the Duchess, which is supposedly coming in April 2017! Thank the skies for romance authors who actually write fast and publish two books a year! :)


Have you read A Scot in the Dark? What did you think?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

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  • 17 heirs eliminated? That is indeed unfortunate. One might almost suspect a conspiracy…or a romance novel. ;)

    I’m not always in the right mood for romances, and I really dislike the “I’m not good enough for you” conflicts, but I’m kind of tempted to give this a shot. And not just because I’m dying for anything not a law textbook right now. Great review!

    • GO STUDY!!! (If you’re procrastinating, that is. If you’re on a well-deserved break, go read fluffy romance!)

      And yes, 17 heirs eliminated. There was even an accident involving a goat.

      I’d go for the first book of this series if I were you. If you haven’t read MacLean at all, her previous books are just as great. She’s one of my favourite historical romance writers!

      And good luck with your studies!

  • I liked this one too though not as much as the rest of her books for sure. Something about the romance didn’t always click for me. It was well-written though and had some great moments. I especially liked how she wrote a historical romance using a modern day scandal. It was very clever!
    Great review!

    • I agree, she can take almost any plot and write it well, I just didn’t really like the premise here. It was still a very enjoyable read but not my favourite. That honor will always go to One Good Earl Deserves a Lover!

  • This sounds ridiculous and I need it. I have already scoped it out and I can get me my trashy US cover online and I am buying it. I need to in my life now. I still haven’t read the first book, though. I don’t know why not. I seem to have avoided reading some books that I really want to read because I’m daunted by them. You can only look forward to a book so much before you’ve built it up in your head. I know MacLean delivers in her reads though so I need to catch up. I need to catch up on a lot of series, though.

    It’s good to see that even though we have a hulking hero in this he isn’t a neanderthal, I always love it when a character tends to be a bit different to how they appear. I do appreciate a good door breaking, though. I mean, I can appreciate a man that has that kind of strength, you know?

    • I liked the first book more than this one. I don’t know, I didn’t really click with the heroine like I usually do with MacLean’s novels. Go read the first one before you commit to this one; the hero of this one is also present in the first book (briefly).

      And don’t get me started on catching up on series, I’m horrible with this, even though I’ve set myself a challenge this year concerning that.

      And YES, why do romance writers automatically assume that just because a man is a bear, he can’t do anything but grunt and break things?! I’m telling you, that Tessa Bailey novel made me roll my eyes SO HARD it was ridiculous. The hero literally talked about himself in third person and beat his chest while he was at it, so I wasn’t too impressed with him. I don’t personally know very many big men (which is weird when I think about it – maybe Slovenian men don’t come in that size? :D) but I’m convinced most of them are perfectly articulate individuals, regardless of their ability to break down doors.

      • Will do. I am more interested in the summary for the first than the second but really even MacLean’s worst book is still pretty damn good. So there is that.

        I used to be way better at staying caught up with series. What went wrong?

        And that is ridiculous. I could never put up with folks talking in the third person (apart from Gambit in X-Men and only because that is part of his character, but even then it still a bit of a knobbish thing to do). And maybe they don’t. I can’t say I know a variety of Slovenian men. You need to people watch the next time you’re out and see if you can scope anyone. In the name of science.

  • I’m pretty sure I gave this book the same rating you gave it. I really enjoyed it but the romance just had something that didn’t quite let me enjoy it much and same with Lily. I did love Alec!
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews