Thursday, April 27, 2023

Review: Under Scottish Stars by Carla Laureano

Series: MacDonald Family Trilogy #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Tyndale House
Released: March 11, 2021
384 pages

About the Book:

Recently widowed Serena MacDonald Stewart focuses on her children to the exclusion of her career, her art, and her sanity. When her brothers ask her to oversee the family guest house on the Isle of Skye, it's a chance to dust off her long-ignored business skills and make a new start. But her hopes for a smooth transition are dashed when the hotel manager, Malcolm Blake, turns out to be irritating, condescending . . . and incredibly attractive.

Malcolm Blake gave up everything--his home, his girlfriend, and his career--to return to Skye and raise his late sister's teenage daughter. With few job opportunities available on the island, he signs on as the manager of the MacDonald family hotel, which he's soon running successfully without interference from the owners. That is, until Serena shows up, challenging his authority and his conviction that there's nothing missing from his new life on Skye.

Before long, Serena and Malcolm have to admit the spark between them is more than mere irritation. But as single parents, there's more on the line than their own hearts. Will their commitment to family be the thing that draws them together or the only thing that could keep them apart?

My Rating & Thoughts:    

This is book number three of the McDonald Family series and focuses on Serena who is the middle sibling between her older brother and her younger brother. Serena is a widowed mother of two, an eight-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son. She is currently living in the city of Nairn but has been asked by her brother to return to the Isle of Skye to oversee the running of the family hotel. She comes thinking is she is only there for a season arriving in February/March and planning to stay until the end of summer before returning to the city. As the time passes, she begins to debate about returning to the city or to stay in Syke. Her brother asked her to oversee the hotel as he feels a family member will have better a deeper investment making it a success than the hotel manager that's currently there. Yes he is doing good job and they don't have a problem with him but feel he doesn't have the same investment into the hotel because it's he's just working for them. When she arrives she meets the hotel manager, Malcolm, and from that the first meeting they butt heads because Malcolm's very suspicious about why she's here wondering what has he done wrong, why all of a sudden is she here when he’s been overseeing the hotel for the last six months on his own. But he also feels immediately attracted to her and wants to get to know her, but Serena tries to keep her distance. She has been hurt by a man before, and for various reason is cautious not wanting her kids to get invested or attached to anybody when she doesn't know what's going to happen but she is also attracted to him. Malcolm is very kind and sweet to her and convinces her give him a chance. I really enjoyed the flirty banter between the two of them, it was fun and entertaining and the kids added to the story. In addition to Serena’s two children, Malcolm’s niece is living with him and is very involved in the story. the conversations especially between the eight-year-old and her mom were really sweet and gave you an insight into Serena and how she's feeling. There is a bit of back and forth on whether or not they will give a relationship a shot, then she makes a decision and ends up with her heart broken due to the timing of events. Through it all we see Serena rediscovers the faith she grew up with and puts her trust in God and learns to rely on Him and trust that He has her best interest at heart. The book ends happily as per most romances do and I really enjoyed it.

I also I really liked seeing the brothers and getting updates on what's going on in their lives now since we last saw them in their respective books. One thing that I didn’t really enjoy about the story is that there is a lot of physical kissing scenes between the two, nothing that really crossed a line for me, just quite a bit of it. I really enjoyed the characters and I enjoyed seeing more of the island, the descriptions made it feel like I was right there with them. 

(I purchased my copy of this book; opinions expressed 
in this review are my honest opinion and completely my own.)


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