The Lass Wore Black

Written by Karen Ranney
Review by Waheed Rabbani

In 1862, following a dinner party in London, the life of Catriona, a glamorous socialite, takes a turn for the worse. While travelling home, there is an accident. Her carriage window explodes, throwing shards of glass into her face and also shattering her hopes of snaring a duke. While recuperating with her Aunt Dina in Edinburgh, Catriona remains ensconced in her rooms, refusing food and to see anyone, especially doctors. She dresses in black, her face shrouded by a veil to hide her disfigurement. In exasperation, Dina summons the help of a handsome physician, Mark, who knew Catriona’s father. He employs an unusual tactic. Disguised as a footman, meal-tray in hand, Mark barges into Catriona’s room. While Catriona and Mark eventually fall in love, they also have to deal with a revenge-seeking villain.

This novel is a fairy tale romance between a doctor and his blemished and disheartened patient. Although initially led astray, Catriona transforms for the better. The story explores the theme of whether beauty is only skin deep or is found within. The novel also covers interesting period details and the lives of the destitute. Although part of a series, this book can be read as a standalone. The romance is rated hot. Recommended.