Smith, Kathryn. Emily and the Scot. Avon, 2003. ISBN 978-0060006198 282 pp. $
Highlander Jaime MacLaughlin is a talented leathersmith unafraid of hard work or a little dirt. When he meets his cousin Laird Ewan’s half sister Emily, a fragile-looking society blossom, the two take such an instant dislike to one another it is obvious they must be star-crossed. The English lass tames the savage Scot as he develops dining room manners and learns to waltz, and her pretenses and prejudices are replaced by vigor and health. A disaster in the community makes them pull together, while Ewan’s wife Anna’s gentle meddling gives the lovers a prod in the right direction. The plot suggests that readers may want to go back and read Ewan and Anna’s story, and hints at a romantic adventure between mutual friends as well.
Tame, predictable and safe for middle school readers, these short and uncomplicated romances are like chocolates–some are higher quality than others, occasionally there is a surprise in the middle, and a sweetness lingers when you are finished. A steady diet is not recommended, but once in awhile, it’s ok to splurge on mind candy.