The Lass Wore Black

The Lass Wore Black - Karen Ranney Ah Highlanders... yep, you know I jumped at a chance to read this one. However, although he was technically a highlander, no kilts to be had. No checking to see what was worn underneath one. *sigh* Still, I was in the mood for a historical romance so on I read.

I have to admit I had several problems with this book. First was the "bad" guy. At the beginning we know that someone is after Catriona. A spurned lover. Still, I didn't get why he had to kill her. I did get it later, but not at the beginning. Everyone kept saying it was because of unrequited love. Uh, really? Catriona at least got that the guy was obsessed and not in love, but still it didn't prevent others from saying it was because the guy loved her and she didn't love him back. Seriously, what kind of sick definition of love does her friends have? The guy was obsessed, yes... but it was control not love the guy was after. *off soap box*

Still, this wasn't a book about strange love definitions as was sometimes submitted. So, I didn't feel that the book preached it even if I felt our heroine's friends were a bit insane. :) Oh and btw, this book did have great secondary characters. I have to say Mark's grandfather and the change in Artis, a maid, were both very interesting. Maybe even more so than the main characters.

I did have a small problem that stemmed with Mark. He's quite judgmental (he is reprimanded for it) and doesn't get that leading on another woman with silent promises and giving your word without follow through gets you an angry female. Then he has the nerve to be confused by the whole thing. Really? You don't get why that has nothing to do with male/female reactions? At the same time he is demanding that Catriona not act spoiled. Really dude? He does come clean with the other woman so he redeemed himself since he realized what he did. At least my problem with Mark really only stemms from this part of the book. Otherwise, I really liked the determined hero and he often carried the book.

I should also mention Catriona specifically. Throughout the book she laments her lost beauty in an accident. I know some people would get tired of her lamentations easily. However, it made sense to me. In a society in which she was trying to be a part of so she would not starve... for survival... perfection, or as close to it, was her gold. Her ticket. Yes, it was vain, but so was the society people coveted. So, when people started acting like "what's her problem?" and "she should be over it by now"... all I could think was it was understandable and it takes time to learn a new way of life. If it was quicker, it wouldn't have felt genuine when she did start to change. So, despite how annoying it might get, I liked the slow progression into someone who is compassionate. Then I did get a bit tired of her lamenting what she lost when she was supposed to have dealt with that issue. :)

There was at least one smexy scenes in which you might go... what? Won't say why since I wouldn't want to spoil your "what-ness" (it's a word!). :) Still, was steamy enough. I have to also say that I liked Mark more at these times because he wasn't always talking about how ugly she became. He was straightforward, but not insulting.

I give this book 3 stars. I was entertained by this book regardless of the problems I had with the book. I liked the idea of the heroine as the scarred and damaged person (rather than the hero which is often the case) and the extremely handsome man accepting who she is and what she looks like. I really enjoyed that twist. I also enjoyed the secondary characters. Catriona does grow in character in this book and I also recommend it for that growth.