by Carla Laureano
As I have previously expressed, I am not normally a contemporary enthusiast. However, I greatly enjoyed reading the latest and last installment to the MacDonald Family Trilogy. For one, you can’t go wrong when the story takes place on a breathtaking Scottish island. I could feel my ancestral Scottish brogue coming through my inner reading voice, and it simply heightened my enjoyment.
Recently widowed Serena MacDonald Stewart focuses solely on her children—to the exclusion of career, artistic pursuits, and her sanity. When her brothers ask her to use her long-ignored business skills to oversee the family guest house on the Isle of Skye, she thinks it might be a chance for a new start. But her hopes for a smooth transition are dashed when the current hotel manager, Malcolm Blake, turns out to be irritating, condescending … and incredibly attractive.
I personally do not share many, if any, interests (except for our shared sweet tooth 😋) with Serena, but her character was so rich and full of depth that I found myself relating and empathizing with her. I felt her insecurity, her pain, her guilt, her fear, her loneliness… but I also felt her love, her passion, her courage, and inevitably, her healing. I also loved how loving, caring, but imperfect Serena was towards her children. She is a wonderful mother but I appreciated how flawed she was as well. It shows the true pain but also the beauty of motherhood. Sometimes books/movies make it out to be easy or the complete opposite, terrible, but from what I have seen in real life, it’s messy and often full of sleep-deprivation… it’s also full of joy and ultimately the greatest blessing.
Malcolm Blake was a wonderful counterpart. From the first of many heated arguments to the quiet, tender moments, their relationship was beautiful and inspiring. I always find relationships that begin with great dislike and then transition to deep love quite humorous, and the 180 in this book does not disappoint. A great modern romance for the modern-day.
Now beyond the great characters, the storyline was intriguing and kept me engaged all the way through. I honestly never felt a lull moment and I often found myself sneaking away for a few minutes to read during the day, which again, is rare for me when involving contemporary novels.
My New Dream: Picnic under the blanket of stars on a cool April night on the Isle of Skye 🧺 💫 🏴
References are made to the first two books as they are written about Serena’s two older brothers, but Under the Scottish Stars can be read as a stand-alone.
Under Scottish Stars will be released July 7, 2020.
The Red Review: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
***5 Hearts: Compelling Characters, Well-Written, Interesting Storyline, Unable to Stop, Desire to Re-read