Too Scot to Handle

Written by Grace Burrowes
Review by Monica E. Spence

When a story begins with “it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a great fortune,” it portends good things. But, unlike Miss Austen’s work, this opens with an amusing tavern scene, with an unexpected edge.

Lord Colin MacHugh, late of His Majesty’s Army and recent grantee of a title, is a practical man with a sense of humor. He is willing to try most things recommended by his new upper crust “friends,” the finest tailors, bootmakers, and tavern owners. However, he draws the line at being used by people jealous of his success. Disillusioned, he looks to fill his time with work, but now only charity work is acceptable.

Lady Anwen spends her time at the House for Wayward Urchins, guiding them into being less wayward. When she asks Lord Colin to help, to her surprise, he agrees. Together, they try to teach the boys to break the poverty cycle by training them for service jobs. But, someone is stealing from the orphanage. Together, Anwen and Colin track down the culprit, and find not only the stolen funds, but their own Happily Ever After.

I enjoyed the story, particularly the interaction of Colin and Anwen with the orphans, which was touching and hilarious by turns. Too often, Regencies concentrate on the ton, and the underclasses are there as props, if noticed at all. Kudos to Ms. Burrowes for giving us a look at how the other half lived, without heavy-handed preaching or taking away from the main characters’ love story. A lovely read.