The Lass Wore Black - Karen Ranney
Catriona Cameron was once famed for her seductive beauty and charm. Now she saw no one, hiding from the world . . . and no one dared break through her self-imposed exile.
No one, that is, until Mark Thorburn burst into her home, and Catriona’s darkened world began to have color again. Thorburn, secretly the heir to an Earldom, claimed he was a footman. But Catriona didn’t care about the scandal their passion could cause . . . for his very touch sparked her back to a life of sensuality, one she thought she’d never have again.
Little does she know that Mark is part of a masquerade. One that will end when they become the target of a madman set on revenge. Mark realizes he will have to do more than win her love . . . he will have to save her life as well.
I'm going to just come right out and say that I have a really not guilty pleasure of loving Avon Books. Growing up I never thought I'd be one of those women who read romance novels at every chance I got, but I also wasn't married and had no idea that I was not Cinderella and that my Prince Charming would snore and occasionally smell bad. But hey- it's the American Dream and I'm living it, lambwhores.
I really liked this book. In most romance novels you have a woman who is rude, bitchy and hates life for really stupid reasons and makes everything an absolute chore, including falling in love. Like it's this huge inconvenience. But Catriona has a legitimate excuse for being locked in her room- she was in a pretty horrific accident that has left her face horribly scarred. She has always gotten through life relying on her beauty and after the accident she no longer has that and she feels like she has nothing to offer a man, let alone anyone else. Sad day.
But then really hot doctor Mark comes along and under the guise that he is a footman in charge of ensuring that she does not starve herself (because she detests doctors so he can't very well go in there saying he is a doctor). He gets to know her without seeing her face (she keeps it hidden behind a heavy veil) and eventually, they have relations and she questions the feelings she feels for him. He also is wondering why he's feeling the way he does about her, neither of them understanding that this is actually love and they should do something about it.
BUT THEN, (dun, dun, dun) Catriona's ex lover Andrew (who is a crazy pants womanizer) is basically trying to kill her under the "if I can't have her, nobody will" idea. Can Mark save her? Does she ever not wear her veil? Will Mark ever even see her face? What the hell happens to Andrew?
I can't tell you, obviously, but I will tell you I really loved this book. And I'm not even on who really likes historical romances but dammit if I'm not intrigued enough to pick up a few more. Specifically things from Karen, she is a fantastic writer. None of her characters are too whiny, the t hings her characters say and do are what you would expect a reasonably normal person would do. Sure, the story has some dramatics but it isn't so over the top where you're left saying, "Are you kidding me right now? Because like THAT would ever happen.". I definitely think you should give this one a shot if you are in the mood for a good romance novel and/or feeling especially fat and ugly after eating a box of truffles and on your period.
Not that I say that from experience. Obviously.
In the meantime, check out Karen's webpage, Facebook, or Twitter to see what she is up to and look at her other books.