Portrait of a Scotsman
By Evie Dunmore
Rating: 4.75/5 Genre: Historical Romance Steam: Explicit! Publisher: Berkley Romance Pub Date: September 7, 2021 Available: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop
Portrait of a Scotsman Synopsis: Hattie Greenfield has always dreamed of marrying a gentleman (think Bingley) and excel in her art. She particularly wants to go to Paris, where the artists are. When several mishaps occur, Hattie is achieving none of these things as she ends up forcefully married to Lucian Blackwell, the notorious banker. Lucian sees his marriage to Hattie as another step in his ladder to prestige and success, not that he doesn’t have some of that already. It’s a shame that he finds her incredibly enchanting. A sudden trip to Scotland for Lucian’s business has both of them viewing each other in a different light. Maybe the marriage of connivence is exactly what they both were looking for.
Portrait of a Scotsman Review:
This has been one of my most anticipated books of the year and it didn’t disappoint. Seriously, I’ve been counting down for it since January when I read Dunmore’s first two novels. I have been so excited to read Hattie’s story and let’s just say that she won in the men game. Lucian, I love you. This book is another one that takes on topics much deeper than you’d imagine and makes you fall in love with the characters. So. Freaking. Good. I mean I know there are some issues with it, but I still highly recommend this book.
Lucian is by far the best love interest in the series. I mean he’s Scottish, is self taught, has a heavy enough past to make the sweet moments even sweeter, and he discusses economics and politics like foreplay👌🥵. Yes, please!! How did they know that about me😂? It’s so impressive how well Dunmore weaves the history of these issues into the plot and makes it so believable. And honestly, the conversations Lucian and Hattie have around these topics makes you fall in love even more with Lucian.
I really enjoyed how Dunmore slowly opened up both characters to each other and how they balanced together. I greatly appreciated how slowly Hattie took to open up and express her desires because high society was so buttoned up and I thought that it was really well handled. I especially loved how long it took for them to have sex. Yeah, it was slow burn, but it couldn’t have been a more perfect example of show don’t tell. I mean Lucian was so incredibly patient and kind, Hattie had to dismantle her opinions of her childhood. And that fit in line with the rest of the novel perfectly.
The change in setting was perfection, allowing the characters to change and adapt with it. Loved all of the side characters, although I wish Aoife had more of a presence as I feel like should could have brought a lot more to the story. I mean a lot more. But I guess readers can’t be choosers.
My biggest issue, like so many others, is the ending. Hattie’s hypocrisy on consequences and her volleying on duty and responsibility were the failings that took the rating down. I liked Hattie, but I felt like she couldn’t grow and it hurt. It would appear that Hattie would take a step forward in realizing her privilege and figure out who she was outside of society, but then ever. damn. time. she would revert. And the end!! Those last few chapters just beat you. I reread them like 4-5 times just to make sure I didn’t misread. I didn’t. They didn’t line up with the rest of the story and I hated that.
Long Story Short:
I highly, highly recommend reading this novel, especially if you’ve read the previous additions to the series. It’s full of wit, compromise, and compassion. It fits the bill for me with historical romances and just pushes past the typical historical romance with the sexier scenes (which are so good). I mean, Lucian has become one of my top tier book boyfriends in an instant, which should only be additional assurance that this is worth the read!
If You Liked This One…
And if you haven’t read the first two in the series please check them out! The first is Bringing Down the Duke (review here) and A Rogue Of One’s Own (review here). Other amazing historical romances are An Heiress Gets A Duke by Harper St. George (review here) and A Rogue To Remember by Emily Sullivan (review here).