AN AMERICAN IN SCOTLAND – Karen Ranney
The MacIain Trilogy
Scotland, Nassau, South Carolina – 1863
In 1746 Anne Summers MacIain wrote of her three sons. One went to England to settle among those who defeated Scotland, another went to the American colonies, and the third stayed in Scotland. The descendent of the Scottish branch, Duncan MacIain, lives in Glasgow and owns a cotton mill. Unfortunately, with a civil war raging in America, his supply of cotton has dwindled to nothing, and trying to get his cousin Bruce MacIain in South Carolina to sell his cotton to him resulted in a resounding no. So Duncan is astounded when Rose MacIain, evidently cousin Bruce's widow, suddenly appears at his doorstep.
In reality, Rose is not a MacIain, but an O'Sullivan. And Bruce is her much despised brother-in-law who marched off to war and left his home, Glengarden, in the care of his wife, elderly mother, and Rose. As soon as he left, Rose began sending Bruce's slaves north, until none remained but a few women, and one boy. She managed to salvage the cotton crop and get it to Charleston into warehouses. Rose hopes to convince Duncan to run the blockade into Charleston and to have him purchase the cotton so that she can save Glengarden for her sister and niece. In her heart, she hopes that Bruce does not return. He is a tyrant, terrorizing his slaves and Rose. What Rose isn't prepared for is the kindness immediately shown her by Duncan and his family. She hates lying to them about who she is, but she is desperate.
Duncan is immediately smitten with the beautiful American, but he's already been spurned by the man he thinks is her husband and isn't sure risking the blockade is worth it. But he is also stressed by the fact that without American cotton, his family's business, and their future, are at stake. Duncan is impressed by Rose's tenacity and bravery by leaving her homeland and traveling to Scotland to save her home. Can she convince him to make the journey? And what happens if he does get the cotton? How will he be able to leave Rose and return home?
AN AMERICAN IN SCOTLAND tells the brutal story of slavery, and how some, like Rose, fought against it. It's also a tale of family loyalty. Rose loves her older sister, despite the fact that Claire has done nothing to protect her when Bruce terrorized her, nor did she blink an eye at his brutality towards his slaves. For Duncan, the cotton will save his business and his family, for the war cannot go on forever. He hopes that taking this risk will solve his immediate problems, although his feelings for Rose are difficult for him to wrap his head around. There is plenty of adventure and excitement, and a very satisfying finale.
Beautifully researched, as usual for Karen Ranney, AN AMERICAN IN SCOTLAND concludes the MacIain Trilogy , and I'm sorry to see it end. For those who haven't read the first two books, do yourselves a favor and do so, although this book can easily stand alone. Check out Ms. Ranney's website at http://karenranney.com/ .