Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Sweetest Hours - Cathryn Parry (HS #1895 - Dec 2013)

Real life is no place for fairy tales…

Kristin Hart has romantic notions of Scotland. Yet she never expects to find a real-life Scotsman in her Vermont hometown! Despite her instant connection with him, Malcolm MacDowell isn't the Prince Charming she thought. Because no prince would shut down her factory -- the one that means everything to her town.

Really, she has no choice. Kristin hops on the next flight to Edinburgh, determined to convince Malcolm her workplace should remain open. But the distraction of the man is almost too much. Still, the magic of the Highlands makes anything seem possible…even a happily ever after of her own.

Good book.  Malcolm has come to Vermont under an assumed name to work out the details for the purchase of the factory where Kristin works.  He isn't able to tell her why he is there but spends time with her as she shows him the factory.  He also meets her family when he is stranded while waiting for his driver.  There is something about Kristin that draws him, but he feels very guilty about what is going to happen to her factory.  

I really liked both Kristin and Malcolm though each certainly had issues that worked against them.  Kristin had worked outside Vermont for awhile but something happened that sent her back to her hometown.  There she got a job as an engineer at the town's main employer, a factory that makes body care products.  She's happy with her work and glad to be near her family.  If she sometimes dreams of something more exciting she just ignores it.  When  she first met Malcolm she was drawn to the hint of Scotland she heard in his voice and his sexiness.  Under the impression he was a marketing consultant she showed him around the factory and helped him get the information he was looking for.  She took him home for dinner that night while he was stranded, where he learned of her fascination with all things Scottish.  She said goodbye to him later, never expecting to see him again.  A few weeks later she learned of the sale of the factory and its closing.  She decided to go to Scotland and appeal to the purchaser to try to keep the factory open.  She was dismayed to see Malcolm and learn of his deception.  She managed to get the CEO to consent to hear her out and he assigned Malcolm to work with her.  Kristin had the opportunity to get to know more about him.  She was torn in her opinions because, on one side he was her ticket to the big boss and she needed to keep him on he side, but she was also attracted to him.  I thought she was a little naive in her certainty that she could get them to reopen her factory, but she certainly had the determination to make the attempt.  I loved seeing her stand up for herself against him and insist that she would do what was necessary.  I also enjoyed seeing her continue her search for her own family history and her insistence that she was not wrong about the information she had.  I loved seeing the effect her personality had on Malcolm and his darker outlook on life.  I also liked seeing the way that she loved so much of what she saw in Scotland.  She did have a fear of being too far from home for long and resisted Malcolm's attempts to get her to stay in Scotland.  Her feelings for him were growing and seeing how hard he was working to help her only added to those feelings.  I loved seeing the way that she showed him how much she cared before she went home.  Then she had to decide if she could overcome her fears enough to go after what she really wanted.

Malcolm feels he has something to prove to the head of the family business and works hard to keep his emotions out of his business activities.  This proves to be impossible when he meets Kristin.  She is different than any woman he has known before.  He knows that the factory will be closing and feels terrible guilt about it after spending time with Kristin and her family.  I loved seeing him deal with her family and  their Burns Night celebration.  After returning to Scotland he tried to find a way to get her to come there.  He was stunned to have her suddenly appear at their company headquarters.  I loved his feelings of guilt over what had been done as they made him more determined to find a way to help her.  One of the things he discovered was that he liked spending time with her.  She always made him forget his problems.  It was fun seeing him deal with her plans to drive herself out into the country, looking for a particular castle.  Malcolm had to step outside his own comfort zone while dealing with her.  He and his sister had been kidnapped as children and he still holds himself responsible.  It has made him somewhat obsessive about safety.  I loved seeing the way that he would do things to try to make her happy even though it was hard for him.  Because of his feelings for her he really wanted to find a way to keep her factory open.  It was eating him up that he was having so much trouble.  I really liked the way it was his sister that helped him see the solution to both his problems.

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