Scotlander by Sheila McClure
ABOUT THE BOOK
When the Big C takes her best friend too soon, Willa Jenkins struggles to recapture the joy in her life, and all she wants is to get away from LA’s glitzy party circuit. But superfan Valentina had other plans. For her final, wickedly funny act, she’s packing her bestie off on a two-week Outlander-themed experience at Balcraigie Castle, Scotland.
Expecting a couple of weeks with Valentina’s hot brother Gabe, Willa gets more than she bargained for when she’s put to work doing actual real-life farm work. Not only that, but to get the ‘full’ experience, she’s paired up with the irritating—and irritatingly sexy—Finn, with whom she will pose as fake husband and wife for the next two weeks.
Willa despairs of Valentina’s terrible trick. But then she makes a discovery. Finn’s family might just lose the castle if they can’t make the experience worthwhile for the other attendees. The stakes are high, but as the days pass and the fake marriage she signed up for starts to feel all too real, could Willa be in for a prize of a different kind…love?
First of all, I’ve been an Outlander superfan since I read Diana Gabaldon’s first book in the series 30+ years ago.
And so, when I saw Sheila McClure’s Scotlander was based loosely on one of my favorite books of all time, well, I had to give it a go. In fact, I would book an Outlander immersive Scottish experience in a minute because I also fell in love with Scotland. Ms. McClure only confirmed my need to see the beautiful countryside with its moving history and hardworking people.
I also had a bout with cancer last year and understand Willa’s best friend, Valentina’s need to make sure her loved ones find love and happiness. With that notion, Willa meets Val’s estranged brother, Gabe just before they board a plane to Scotland to embark on a crazy “Authentic Fully Immersive Jacobite Outlander Experience”. What Willa and Gabe didn’t know was Val’s reason for the trip together until Gabe meets an old flame and Willa finds serenity in the land, attraction to a gorgeous Scot name Finn, and a purpose to truly help good people in need. But Willa’s time there has an end date and finding herself is harder than she thought.
Willa is a big-time entertainment news producer who hob knobs with celebrities in L.A., but after the loss of her only friend, she’s lonely, an outlander in a foreign land, and questioning her life. She’s scared of what she’s feeling about a McYummy lonely man who has baggage of his own, who rocks a kilt, and who makes her heart beat faster. Though Finn and Willa get off to a hilariously bumpy start (think unruly boobs!), their stories and real personalities are slowly revealed and they grow individually as well as a team. Finn’s guilt for leaving his family due to resentment and loss is heartbreaking, but with Willa’s insight and good advice, fences are mended. I also loved how Willa didn’t hesitate to step up and unveil her savvy promotion skills to help Finn and his family save their castle and their farm. Both have some issues with expressing their feelings which leads to separation, but Finn’s grand gesture is fun ending in a happily-ever-after ending.
This is an entertaining, original read which is heartfelt, funny, and packed full of regret, angst, and slow-burn chemistry. I’m so glad I picked it up.
Thank you to Ms. McClure for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
Giveaway to Win a paperback copy of Scotlander plus a packet of Tunnocks Teacakes (Open to UK only)
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sheila McClure lives in the English countryside with her Scottish husband, their dogs, Harris and Skye, and a small herd of delightfully striped Belted Galloway cattle. Prior to rural life in the UK, she was a camerawoman and news producer for Associated Press Television. As she’s originally from Seattle, she began her working life as a barista. She has also written books as Annie O’Neil and Daisy Tate. She will never refuse a quality dill pickle.
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