Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Gothic Romantic Comedy
Approximate word count: 50-55,000 words
Kindle: US YES UK: YES Nook: NO Smashwords: YES Paper: NO
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An aspiring writer from an early age, Kate Hamilton grew up in London. After living around the world, she has now settled in Scotland. This is her only book currently available for your Kindle. For more, visit her website.
A gothic romance set in modern times. Without her knowledge or consent, Lauren MacBreach’s parents arrange her marriage to a Scottish Laird. Although a little on the old side, he’s rich, lives in a castle, and isn’t that bad looking. If only someone wasn’t trying to kill her.
Trying to formulate my thoughts on this book has been difficult. If you aren’t familiar with the definition of a gothic romance, I found the explanation on this website helpful. Blood Line combines many of the typical elements of a gothic romance with some of the elements of a romantic comedy. It still has castles, but it is set in modern times. For another twist the protagonist Lauren’s guardian angel, a novice at the job, keeps popping in to help.
While a strange combination of gothic, romantic-comedy, and whatever genre a guardian angel fits, maybe supernatural, the story is fun, different, and creative. The setting for most of the book, a Scottish castle, is foreign to the American born Lauren and gives plenty of comedic opportunities as she deals with differences in culture and custom. After a warning from her guardian angel, Lauren is constantly trying to decipher potential hidden agendas, decide who is friend or foe, and working to figure out how to escape her strange situation.
I expect many readers who find what I’ve described appealing would be happy reading Blood Line. I wasn’t for two reasons, both items that bothered me early on that I was never able to get past.
The first is a matter of language. If you’ve been following my reviews, you’ll know I believe if you’re English speaking you should be able to adapt to variations in spelling and word usage. I believe an Aussie author writing about characters and events in Australia using the spelling conventions and local slang of their home country adds to the reading experience. The same rule goes for someone who is British, Canadian, or any other country. If the usage fits the character and locale, I’m happy.
Since most of the events in Blood Line take place in Scotland and most of the characters are from there I shouldn’t have any issues with spelling and language consistent with Scotland. I don’t with the exception of Lauren. Knowing she was an American I found myself questioning dialog that didn’t ring true. Sometimes it was the syntax, correct, but not how a character with Lauren’s background would speak. Other times it was the use of a specific word. One example is Lauren referring to the restroom as “the loo” multiple times before she’d even set foot in Scotland. Virtually no eighteen-year-old American girl is going to use that word habitually.
The other thing I had a hard time with was the idea that a mother and father would arrange a marriage without their daughter’s knowledge or consent and essentially arrange for her kidnapping to carry out that arrangement. In another time, place, or maybe just a set of parents with a different situation than Lauren’s I might have been able to suspend my disbelief. In this instance, I wasn’t able. An arranged marriage, while not completely unheard of, is very rare in modern America. If you have a hard time understanding how I can believe the guardian angel and not this part, I’m aware of the inconsistency.
The author uses British spelling conventions and turns of phrase.
A moderate number of typos, word usage, and formatting issues.
Rating: *** Three stars