The Big Bad Wolf Tells All

Carried Away

The Charm Stone

The Cinderella Rules

Dear Prince Charming

Heat of the Night

The Legend MacKinnon

Legend of the Sorcerer

The Royal Hunter

Sleeping with Beauty

Tease Me

Walk on the Wild Side

Your Wish is My Command

 
Bad Boys in Kilts
by Donna Kauffman
(Brava, $14.00, R) ISBN 0-7582-1199-6
**
“Lackluster” is the word that comes to mind when I think of the three short stories about Scottish brothers in modern day Scotland, in a little town named Glenbuie. It seems like a nice little town and it sure draws American ladies who are looking for love. But it left me looking for more.

Bottoms Up is the story of Brodie Chisholm and his long time friend Kat Henderson. They have been inseparable friends since they were pre-teens and have finally realized, after some helpful nudging by a new lady in town, that they are perfectly matched and actually lust after each other. They end up loving their way to deciding they should marry. Brodie owns and operates the local pub, hence the title.

Reese, the older and more staid brother runs the whiskey distillery for the family. It is his responsibility and he takes it and most of life, very seriously. The young lady from the first tale is Daisy MacDonnell, who inherited a stationery store from an aunt, and is new in town. She is really here to get out of the marketing rat race she found herself immersed in back in New York. She has hopes that she can introduce global marketing and work at what she loves without the chaos and intensity of the city landscape. She decides that Reese’s distillery is her first target and has built her business plan around getting him to sign on as a client. But love interferes and they too fall into lust. On Tap is the apt name due to the nature of Reese’s world.

Finally we have Night Watch, the story of a lonely shepherd and artist and a beautiful American novelist, who just happens to crash outside his isolated door one dark and stormy night. Despite some heroics on the part of Tristan Chisholm (all done while he is naked, no less), Bree Sullivan holds off just a tad longer than her predecessors in the two previous stories. Not a lot longer, but maybe an hour or two.

The book is just slightly over 300 pages, thereby giving about 100 to each of the three stories. Even at this short length, I struggled to get through these tales. The combination of this low number of pages and so many of those pages being filled with lovemaking leaves a lot to be desired in terms of substance. While all three brothers are charming, there is a sense that this is a continuation of previous stories and that there is one more to come – highlighting the eldest brother, Dylan who is a widower and who is rebuilding the family home into a bed and breakfast. He is only introduced by discussion but it is clear he will have his own story.

The ladies are written in such a way as to be almost cookie-cutter personalities. Daisy talks about getting out of the rat race, but is highly motivated to sell her global marketing plan – a bit of incongruity. Bree is the most intriguing of the three because she has gone from being a nobody to a major celebrity, and rather quickly. Yet, her story and feelings are never really developed. I liked the first story the best primarily because Brodie is a charmer and Kat seemed to have some gumption. Too bad there wasn’t time to present some challenges in their relationship to see if they could weather them. Reese is a bit too staid and Tristan starts off seeming like a dreamer only to be a down to earth philosopher. Neither really grabbed my attention.

Overall, Bad Boys in Kilts is a bit on the cute side but is lacking depth. This sinks the novel into the land of the overpriced book, unless you really like your romances to be mainly mindless lust and sex.

--Shirley Lyons


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