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WhiskeyintheJar Romance

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Guest Reviewer at:  Reading Between the Wines book club

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"She thought it over, but couldn’t see any immediate loopholes other than the threat of her inner slut emerging, and she could darned well control that little bitch."— Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Hot for the Scot by Janice Maynard

Hot For The Scot (Kilted Heroes Book 1) - Janice Maynard

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Hayley and her two friends are big Outlander fans, so a trip to Scotland sounds like a dream. However, in order to insure they have the adventure of a lifetime, they decide to split up and forgo modern electronics and will only communicate with each other if they are in trouble. Hayley's adventure starts off a bit rough when she falls into a loch but her rescuer makes it all worth it. Angus is fascinated with the American who refuses to use a cell phone and in-between rescuing her, her landlord, and his mother from a flood, he can't wait to get to know her more. Hayley's trip might not exactly copy Claire's but she just might get her own happily ever after.
If you're a fan of Outlander (and Harry Potter) and have ever dreamt about finding yourself in that heroine's shoes, then you might find this book full of fun whimsy. Our heroine Hayley frequently mentions that book, the landmarks that appear in the series, and how she desperately wants to meet her own Jamie Fraser. For me, she mentioned it so much I wanted to sit her down and say "You do realize you can't actually travel back in time and meet Jamie Fraser, right?”. Hayley's character was a bit head in the clouds and her and her friends plan to take a trip together to Scotland only to separate and not be allowed to use electronics (but apparently they can watch t.v. and drive cars) felt a bit odd.
The whole story is first person, told from Hayley's point of view. As typically happens for me when this writing style is used, I missed knowing and feeling our hero's point of view. I never felt Angus' depth; he seemed very walled off, until the last chapter where feelings are declared. Their relationship felt forced and I'm not sure I ever felt any chemistry. The book is a pretty quick read and never felt slow but our couple's relationship felt rushed, even as nothing was really happening. They like each other and I definitely got that they wanted to sleep together but the substance and details that I enjoy reading that lead to characters falling in love was missing.
There's plenty of detail of the town Hayley is staying at, with a good amount of touristy information that makes it obvious the author really did her homework or she has visited. The character of the country Scotland came through at times but our hero and heroine were not so lucky. Hayley's landlord was a great secondary character, she had a little background story that made me feel for her and enough personality to fill the pages but not butt in. Angus' mother was the other main secondary character and the mini role of villain felt pushed on her.
As I said, this is a quick read but I felt it lacked spark, charm, and the main couple's romance was fairly dry. The storyline of a single woman looking for love in Scotland, having a meet cute, pulling together in a crisis event, having a mini struggle/miscommunication, and an eventual happily ever after, can be found many times over in contemporary romance. Unfortunately, this book didn't distance itself from the rest for me.