Sold to a Laird
Karen Ranney
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Buy *Sold to a Laird* by Karen Ranney online

Sold to a Laird
Karen Ranney
384 pages
November 2009
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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When Lady Sarah Baines, daughter of the Duke of Herridge, is offered to Douglas Eston, a man seeking investors for his diamond manufacturing process, he sees something in Sarah that makes him go along with the deal. Douglas Eston has worked his way from the gutters in Perth to become a successful man, but he's a little out of his depth with Sarah. Is she icy cold, or is all her emotion and love invested in her home, Chavensworth, where her dying mother lives?

The first part of this story, where Douglas and Sarah begin to get to know each other, is enjoyable. Douglas is an unusual man in stories such as this one in that he's fairly passive, allowing Sarah to live her life as she wishes and not pushing her into anything new until she is ready for it.

The second half of the story doesn't succeed as well.  The action moves briefly to Scotland (many of the scenes there feel a bit odd), then on for a short spell in London with a danger/rescue plot that ultimately fails to be convincing.

And the title of this book? It has a Scottish feel with a tartan on the front cover, but our Scottish hero - who shows almost no trace of his Scottish birth - becomes the Laird four pages from the end, and that rather out of the blue. This isn't a Scottish book for those who enjoy that side of the novel; it's more of an English country house story, although with the attendant usual Americanisms to grate at times. Neither character is particularly convincing, and the settings and side characters also come off as a little wooden. This is an okay read, but nothing to get excited about.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Helen Hancox, 2010

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