A couple of weeks ago I read Tall, Dark and Kilted by Lizzie Lamb (see review here) and learned that her new romantic novel Scotch on the Rocks was soon to be published. As it was available to pre-order in the Amazon Kindle Store I clicked the button and received the new ebook within a few seconds of publication on July 6th.
I'd just finished reading The Little Girl Waits by Jamie Greening (see review here) and needed to read something more light hearted so Scotch on the Rocks seemed a good idea.
Lizzie Lamb has already demonstrated in Tall, Dark and Kilted and in Bootcamp Bride that she is an expert in writing romantic fiction. She creates believable main characters who fall in once-in-a-lifetime love; she devises imaginative and unusual conflicts and tensions that threaten to keep the lovers apart; she develops a rich cast of supporting players who help and hinder the resolution to the lovers' problems; and she describes fascinating and beautiful settings in which their story unfolds.
Miss Lamb has done all this again in Scotch on the Rocks, another lightly comedic tale of love and romance. It's set on a beautiful, remote, isolated Scottish island where the sunsets, the landscape and the waves supply a charming location for the emerging romance between returning islander Issy and Brodie, a stunningly handsome Texan.
There are some unanswered questions about Brodie and his sudden appearance within the small island community and Lizzie Lamb teases the reader with possibilities while making sure that the characters themselves haven't a clue what's going on. The plotting in this novel is really clever and although you can see the end long before you arrive, there are many surprises on the way. Scotch on the Rocks keeps you turning the pages and wondering what's going to happen next.
Issy and Brodie are both attractive, feisty characters and Lizzie Lamb has included a couple of enviably lusty sex scenes which take full advantage of the stunning scenery without recourse to shackling the heroine to the furniture or the infliction of gratuitous pain. The epigraph to the novel is particularly apt.
There's a wealth of beautifully written cameo parts: Aunt Esme, the peace camp septuagenarian, Lindy, the over helpful wannabe croupier and opera singer Isabella, La Bella Scozzese. In addition, the local islanders bring authenticity and moments of high comedy to the story. And for comedy, the seventy-something, freeloading, dope-smoking, hippy protestors who are in at the start of the story made me snort with laughter. And not forgetting Pershing, the parrot with a vocabulary as explosive as his name.
The dialogue is particularly good in Scotch on the Rocks. It's sparkling and vivid, sharp and witty. There's a lovely Scots voice for all the indigenous characters enhanced with the musical, poetic tones of Gaelic. At the start of the book a glossary of definitions and pronunciation of the Gaelic words and phrases used by some of the characters helps the reader to get the most out of the beautiful language. The author plays with the language too helping American Brodie to find his Scottish roots and Lindy to practice her transatlantic twang.
No doubt about it: Lizzie Lamb has excelled with Scotch on the Rocks. A five star romance from a five star romantic novelist.