Tue
Jul 25 2017 9:30am

First Look: Grace Burrowes’ Too Scot to Handle (July 25, 2017)

Too Scot to Handle by Grace Burrowes

Grace Burrowes
Too Scot to Handle (Windham Brides #2)
Hatchette Book Group / July 25, 2017 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

Too Scot to Handle, the second book in Grace Burrowes’ Windham Brides series brings together two characters we met in The Trouble with Dukes; namely that hero’s brother Colin and the heroine’s sister Anwen. I detected a spark between the two in Burrowes’ last book and am very happy with the courtship in this one.

Colin and Anwen’s courtship is one of the sweetest ones I’ve read in ages. Colin is quickly smitten (as are most of Burrowes’ heroes—one of the things I like best about her characters) and Anwen’s surprise when she realizes that fact is lovely.

“I’m no’ the dallyin’ kind,” he said, taking Anwen’s hand and kissing it. “I was a soldier, and I’m fond of the ladies, but this is … you mustn’t toy with me.”

Everlasting celestial trumpets. “You think I could toy with you?”

“When you smile like that, you could break hearts, Miss Anwen Windham. A man wouldn’t see it coming, but then you’d swan off in a cloud of grace and dignity, and too late, he’d realize what he’d missed. He wouldn’t want to admit how foolish he’d been, but in his heart, he’d know: I should ne’er have let her get away. I should have done anything to stay by her side.”

Of course, it is not very long before Anwen is just as smitten, but a bit more impatient for Colin to get on with things than he is.

“How would you like to be courted, Anwen, my dear?”

“Briefly.”

His expression turned fierce. “I’m no’ intent on dallyin’. I’m intent on making a proper fuss complete with all the nonsense. Walking you home from the kirk, sitting down to dinner with your family, callow swaining at its handsome best.” He leaned closer. “I want your supper waltzes, woman. Every one of them.”

He wanted her waltzes. She wanted to have his babies.

Some fun secondary characters have a vested interest in the courtship. Anwen is on the board of directors for a boys’ orphanage and Colin becomes her champion in her quest to save the home from being closed and the boys returned to the streets. Colin also becomes a hero to the boys who think he is a great gun, but a bit of a slow-top when it comes to courting. Luckily for Colin, they are on hand to give him some sage advice.

“She won’t know you’re keen on her if you’re always so serious-like,” Tom said, because clearly, Lord Colin was not the brightest of fellows when it came to the ladies.

“Tom’s right,” Dickie said, sniffing at his fingers. He liked to brush them over the lavender bushes and then not wash his hands until supper. “Miss Anwen likes you. She says any question we have about manners that we don’t want to ask her, we’re to ask you, because you are a very fine gentleman.”

Lord Colin propped one boot on the upper step of the garden terrace and swatted at his toes with a handkerchief. He managed to look gentlemanly doing even that, which in Tom’s opinion was damned unfair.

“You lads are giving me advice on how to woo a lady?” his lordship asked, dusting off the second boot.

“Somebody had better,” John said. “When I brought in the lemonade for your meeting upstairs, you were acting like Miss Anwen wasn’t even sitting at the same table. You’re not supposed to ignore the girl you like. Only utter gudgeons and Methodists think like that. The ladies can ignore us, but not the other way ‘round.”

As a Methodist, I feel I must object to the characterization, but the boys mean well. Their thoughts on the subject of Colin and Anwen’s courtship can be summed up thusly:

“She likes you,” Tom said, because this point had apparently not sunk into his lordship’s handsome skull. “And you’re an idiot if you don’t like her back.”

Thankfully, Colin is not an idiot and he goes about the business of wooing his lady love in a most satisfactory fashion. I read Too Scot to Handle with a smile on my face and finished it with a sigh. Don’t miss it.

***

Learn more about or order a copy of Too Scot to Handle by Grace Burrowes, available now: 

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Cheryl Sneed reviews for Rakehell.com

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