Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Heir of the Castle - Scarlet Wilson (HR #4425 - May 2014)

The surprise inheritance: a castle!

When the closest person tycoon Callan McGregor has to a father dies, it's down to him to organize the inheritance of Annick Castle. And the most suitable candidate seems to be stunning lawyer Laurie Jenkins.

Even though she makes the usually brooding Callan's pulse race, this is business -- he cannot afford a distraction. But she's a bubbly breath of fresh air who shakes the castle and Callan to its foundations. This time, he's not going to walk away -- from either his home or from Laurie….

Sweet romance with a twist. Callan's friend and mentor has died and the only real home Callan has known is to be inherited to someone Callan has never heard of. Laurie is one of twelve potential heirs to the castle. As a lawyer she can't believe the terms of the will, but she is fascinated by the castle.

The twelve potential heirs to the castle must participate in a murder mystery weekend. The winner will inherit the castle. Callan is disgusted by most of those who have arrived. They are all more interested in what everything is worth than in the castle itself and its history. The exception is Laurie, who spends most of her time asking about what Angus was like and about the history of the castle.

Callan is fighting the hurt he feels that Angus never told him about his family in all the years they knew each other. Angus had been far more a father to Callan than his own had been, always encouraging Callan to go after what he wanted. When Callan met Laurie he was immediately drawn to her, but has a hard time trusting her at first, because of the actions of the others. He soon discovers that she is different. His connection to her grows, but the uncertainty of the situation keeps him quiet about a future. He had a rather narrow view of the castle and its future but Laurie opened his eyes to other things about it.

Laurie is more interested in learning about her family than in what happens to the castle. The thought of having family means a lot to her. She doesn't understand how Angus could have had six children and yet never contacted them. She is drawn to Callan from the first, but can't figure out why he seems so grouchy. As they connect over the castle she learns more about his life with Angus. Being at the castle and away from her job as a lawyer makes her realize just how much she hates what she does and the stress it has created in her life. With Callan's example she starts to reevaluate her future. I especially liked the positive way she viewed the castle and everything about it. I enjoyed seeing her ideas of what it could be.

The identity of the "murderer" was both a surprise and expected. I loved seeing Laurie's reasoning as to her guess. There was, of course, no other winner possible for the story to work, but I enjoyed the process. I loved the ending and the epilogue was fantastic.

I really loved the Scottish setting. Having just returned from a visit there, I had no trouble picturing the castle and its grounds. 

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