I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
A Secret Scottish Christmas
Spies and Scots and Shipmasters, oh my!
Scotland 1819 ~ Twin brothers Nash and Robbie Powell of Powell & Sons Shipping, London, sail with their fellow Agents of the Crown to Scotland for a secret celebration of Christmastide, a holiday long frowned upon by the Scottish Kirk. But more than Christmas is being kept secret. The two brothers have accepted an assignment from the Home Secretary Lord Sidmouth to ferret out a fugitive fomenting rebellion among the Scots.
Aileen Stephen, the only daughter of an Aberdeen shipbuilder, had to be clever, devious and determined to gain her place in the family business. She succeeded to become a designer of highly coveted ships. One night, a man’s handsome face appears to her in a dream. When two men having that same face arrive on a ship full of Londoners, Ailie wonders what her second sight is telling her. Is the face she saw a portender of the future, a harbinger of danger, or both? And which of the two Englishmen is the one in her dream?
Older than Nash by a mere five minutes, Robbie has always been protective of his twin. When he realizes Nash is attracted to the sister of their Scottish host, he thinks to help matters along. But Nash wants no help from his brother, not where Ailie Stephen is concerned because Robbie is attracted to the girl himself!
Two brothers vie for the affection of the Scottish lass but only one stirs her passion. Which one will it be? And what will she do when she learns they are spies?
A love triangle set during the Christmas season, A Secret Scottish Christmas by Regan Walker, provides a sweet romance with the Powell twins vying for the affection of a fair Scottish lass.
I’m not normally a fan of a love triangle, but there really wasn’t any other way to describe the romance aspect. I kind of felt sorry for Aileen for the tough task of choosing which twin she was compatible with. Both twins had their charming aspects. Robbie, the rogue and Nash, the grounded one.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that both Robbie and Nash are spies.
It would help to know that this series is set around the Powell family who have all been spies at one time or another. With the pretense of a family holiday vacation in Scotland the Powell twins set out to capture a wanted man. Aileen is the unexpected boon and both brothers start a little competition.
As with all of Regan Walker’s stories, I always look forward to learning something. She always incorporates part of history that takes place around time frame of the story. The subplot being the aftermath of the Peterloo Massacre which ultimately leads the Powell brothers to Aileen and towards the end is the cause of misunderstanding. Despite the serious undertones, the lighthearted family vacationing in the countryside was a nice glimpse into the holiday traditions of both the Scottish and English.
If you’ve not read the previous stories in this series, fear not, for this can be read as a standalone.
While most of the past characters are in this story, there are no real series spoilers. One can easily enjoy the story, since it’s really focused on the Aileen and her twin admirers. Reading this, I felt like I was a guest myself at the party. At times, the story seemed a bit slow and in want of some action, but I could totally appreciate it regardless. It was pretty obvious about who Aileen would end up with, but it was still fun to read about how she would come to her decision.
Especially looking forward to reading the next installment.