I'm going through a Scottish Highlander phase at the moment & picked this up from my local library in Wales. This is my first book by Paula Quinn even though I've had her earlier books on my TBR mountain for a while, but never had gotten around to reading her till now! Too many books, not enough time!
"The Seduction of Miss Amelia Bell" loosely ties to her earlier Macgregor family series, which I haven't read and it didn't affect my reading experience of this book. Edmund Macgregor is desperate to stop the signing of the Treaty of Union between England & Scotland, so a plan is hatched between himself & his cousins to kidnap Miss Amelia Bell, who is betrothed to the Chancellor & is also the niece of the Duke who are prominent men in signing the treaty. Accident prone Amelia is expected to marry well, but fantasize's about true love thanks to the stories told to her by her best friend Sarah who she has a forbidden friendship with because of her status as a servant.
This is a fall in love with your kidnapper style story held much promise at the start, but sadly fell short of its mark. I found Edmund & Amelia's story weak as there was too much going on in the book & not enough depth to their relationship.The book dragged & it took me at least a 100 pages to slightly capture my attention. Many things annoyed me including the Scottish brogue, as I found it didn't flow throughout the story but rather popped up in places & there were words like "sexy" & "here boy" -referring to a dog which I felt were a bit out of place in the historical setting of Scotland & deterred my reading experience.
Amelia was a very irritating character (TSTL heroine alert!). Her thoughts were repeated countless times, which became very tedious to read & her being accident prone came across as tacked onto her personality like an afterthought. Edmund didn't stand out to me at all. When he realizes his cause for Scotland is futile & he would rather have Amelia, the decision is sudden within the pages rather than a gradual development which would have been more relatable. Both characters were lackluster with tepid developments in their relationship as their story may have fared better as a novella within an anthology rather than a full length novel. There was also a secondary romance between Sarah & Lucan, one of Edmund's cousins which I didn't mind & thought was cute during the course of the book. A hint of a budding romance between Darach & Janet were also present which thankfully Ms. Quinn saved for another book.
Although this book didn't knock my socks off I didn't mind certain aspects of the book, so I will definitely be reading her in the future. She did pique my interest in the secondary characters to make me want to read their stories, but I will hold off running to the bookshop but borrow them instead.