Fourth and Final Book for BookTubeAThon 2017 Completed!
Too Scot to Handle by Grace Burrowes
Second book in the Windham Brides series
Scot to Handle follows Anwen Windham, a red-headed firecracker who
never gets to speak or mind due to her succumbing to near-death at a
young age. Her over-protective sisters don’t allow her much freedom, but
one place she is able to help is at the orphanage, The House of
Urchins. Colin MacHugh sees through Anwen’s quiet nature and they find
themselves at a constant battle of wits. When the orphanage faces
closing down, the Windhams through a card party to raise funds to save
the boys. However, Colin has made enemies in the London ton and
everything surrounding Anwen and Colin is about to implode if they don’t
move quick enough to uncover who is plotting against them. One word
that comes to mind when trying to describe this novel is underwhelming. I
adored the previous novel to the Windham Brides and couldn’t wait to
dive into this one. Sadly, I found this novel incredibly easy to put
down and this is not a winning factor for a Historical Romance novel.
HRs need to be fast-paced and un-putdownable. When I pick up an HR, I’m
expecting to fly through this novel. When I pick an HR novel with a
Scottish leading hero, I’m expecting to be smitten and ready to move to
Scotland. This novel fell in the middle of those expectations. I do
still want to move to Scotland and find myself a kilted hottie, but I
wasn’t smitten with Colin and I feel like he’s a pretty forgettable
hero. This novel does, thankfully, become fast-paced and the “mystery”
enhanced the pace.
The writing in this novel is a little…
flaky. The opening has a nice allusion to OG historical romance novel,
Pride & Prejudice, which is sure to make Jane Austen fangirls swoon,
but the opening chapter is a drag. Colin’s opening PoV was jarring and
didn’t grab me into the story. However, it quickly goes into alternating
PoVs with a wide cast of characters outside of the primary focus. I
don’t mind Burrowes style of random PoVs, but it does take me away from
the central story and it can get a little redundant and cumbersome for
such a short novel. The only outside PoVs that were central to this
story were the “villain” and besides that one PoV, I don’t feel it was
necessary to have PoVs from the orphanage, the Windhams, and the
previous couple from book 1 who are now recently married and
honeymooning. It’s too ambitious for a novel that doesn’t need to be
Whimsical Writing: 3
is a sweet character. She has a good heart and wants to help those in
need, probably because she herself knows what it is like to be
absolutely hopeless and near death. However, I didn’t find her all that
interesting. She’s a nice character, but that’s it. Nice. Sweet. Plain.
She doesn’t really bring anything to the table for me and I’m sure I’ll
forget about her until I pick up the next Windham Brides novel. There
was also a feminist conversation with her sisters about how they were
tired of men being considered gentlemen when their actions were far from
polite on the ballroom floor. However, this conversation quickly turned
from a promising moment of feminists putting their feet down and turned
to gossiping about the all so swoony hero and Anwen’s romance with him.
Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 3
is also just a nice character. He was a soldier, but I didn’t really
feel like he was. I’ve read HRs where the hero is a soldier and those
novels really showed different facets of what a man faces. Love in the Afternoon is a perfect example of a hero suffering with PTSD and really struggling to face or fit in with society. A recent read, The Highland Commander,
had an intense battle that the navy hero participated in and this
really showed the risks that men enlist to in fighting for their
country. Even the previous novel in this series, The Trouble with Dukes,
shows how rumors about a soldier and his actions to defend his country
could brand him as undesirable by polite society. However, Colin didn’t
feel like a soldier. There was constant mentioning of it and his
obsessive tendencies to have a regimented schedule, but it didn’t feel
real. I do like Colin, but I don’t love him. He’s go the usual dashing
qualities, but nothing that really stands out.
Swoon Worthy Scale: 3
Well, I’m not sure how to express my extreme dislike for this character
without spoiling several major plot points, so this section will be a
spoiler section, so skip ahead past the villain scale if you don’t want
to be spoiled. The Montague drama was extremely annoying. From the
start, Montague is annoying, crass, and rude. Have you ever a met person
who just says things that leave a bad taste in your mouth, but you
don’t want to jump to conclusions about the person’s character? That’s
how Montague is in this novel. Although I instantly saw him to be the
dirty, conning, manipulative snake that he is and couldn’t for the life
of me fathom why Colin would even stay in presence. It was obvious that
they were never friends and were only using each other for different
personal gains. Montague was using Colin for his money- to buy him beer-
and make him look like a nice guy who is taking the wayward Scot in and
showing him polite society. Colin was using Montague to learn about
society and make connections. Colin was, in my opinion, wasting his time
and it all came to fruition in the end when Montague showed his true
colors. The true thief was obvious from the start, but that’s okay. It
was still a fun “mystery”.
Villain Scale: 3.5
love the sisterly bond between Charlotte, Elizabeth, and Anwen. There
were some wonderful scenes full of love as well as annoyance. It felt
authentic and it was one of my favorite parts of this novel.
Character Scale: 4
did really like the couple in this story. They worked well together and
were interesting. They don’t stand alone on their own, but as a couple
they are cute. However, these cringey sex scenes have got to stop.
Please don’t call orgasms rainbows. “Make me see rainbows. Make me feel
rainbows.” NO THANK YOU! This novel is sure to be a hit for fans of
Grace Burrowes and I do recommend it if you are a fan of The Trouble with Dukes.
Plotastic Scale: 3
Cover Thoughts: It’s kind of cringey and I don’t know why. I think it’s the dress.
Thank you, Forever Central Publishing for sending me a physical copy in exchange for an honest review.
Other Windham Brides books:
1) The Trouble with Dukes 4.25 stars
Have you read Too Scot to Handle or The Trouble with Dukes? What are some of your favorite HR novels? Any memorable characters that you just love to gush about? I'd love to hear about them below in the comments!