Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Review: Betting the Scot

Betting the Scot (Highlanders of Balforss - Book 2) 

Publication Date: 04/23/2018
Publisher: Entangled
Imprint: Amara
Genre: Scottish Historical Romance
Pages: 360

(Received for an honest review from Entangled via Netgalley)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, itunes

Jennifer Trethewey on the WEB: WebsiteTwitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series:

Highlanders of Balforss

1. Tying the Scot
2. Betting the Scot

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from Betting the Scot, courtesy of 


Declan Sinclair is a Highlander who believes his dreams never lie. When he spots Caya at a public house, he knows instantly she is the woman in his dreams—his future wife. Though her brother had promised never to gamble again, he engages Declan in a card game—and the prize is the lovely Caya.
Caya Pendarvis has no time for childish things like dreams or fairy-tales or love. She’s the sacrificial lamb on her way to the far north of Scotland to wed a wealthy merchant in exchange for settling her brother’s gambling debts.
Winning at cards is one of the many things Declan Sinclair does well. Unfortunately, the ability to court a woman—a talent he lacks—is the only skill he desperately needs to win Caya’s heart.


Jennifer Trethewey's second book in the Highlanders of Balforss series, Betting the Scot is a fast paced Scottish romance that will have readers swooning. Main character Declan Sinclair has a way with dreams. When he sees the woman he's been dreaming about for three years in a public house, the adventure begins. Readers looking for a good rollicking Scottish love story will find this one captivating. With everything from pirates to witchcraft and a bit of healthy competition for a woman's heart, Betting the Scot is a great "bet" for a good read. 

What I liked:

Oh for the love of highlanders! I love a good story set in Scotland and highlanders are always fun to read about. Declan Sinclair is no exception. This hero is a warrior, a dreamer, and a darn good card player. Betting the Scot starts out with Declan seeing his dream bride for the first time and then winning a bet in which she is the prize. He's been dreaming about this girl for three years, preparing for it even. He's such a sweetheart of a character. I enjoy a good alpha male character, and Declan has those characteristics but he also has a softness about him, a shyness that is so endearing. Trethewey, gives readers a different sort of Scottish hero and that was quite a surprise in a very good way.

As with the first book in this series, Tying the Scot, Trethewey continues to wow with her smooth style and powers of description. The Scottish way of life is often portrayed in a barbaric sense, but Trethewey really captures the essence of family and Clan and what that means with this novel. I loved the parts of the story where Caya, Declan's intended, is becoming a part of the way of life that Declan grew up in. When Declan's Uncle and Laird refuses to let them marry right away because Caya is English, it gives her time to learn the lay of the land and understand what she's getting herself into. I found this aspect of the book very nice.

The romance between Declan and Caya is not an easy one. First, he practically wins her in a card game. That's not a good start. She's upset with her brother for basically handing her over because of gambling debts and drinking and she doesn't have the best of self esteem because she doesn't feel anyone values her. It's interesting to see how she reacts to Declan and how he sees her, wants to protect her and cares for her. She makes a few blunders and there is another man interested in her. There are some bad decisions and the relationship is a bit rocky until the end. But the chemistry between Declan and Caya is honest and sweet and readers will find it enjoyable to read.

What I didn't like:

You guys know how I am about Scottish historicals. Having a Scottish background myself, I'm fairly hard on authors of this subgenre. I want to see a story that is based in historical fact. It's not necessary to make a romance a good read, but it is more authentic and more realistic as it relates back to history. There were a few missteps in this area of the book. It did not take away from the story, but it stood out to me. Not everyone is going to be bothered at all by it, but some of you will. So keep it in mind.

I loved Declan as a main character. He was everything I wanted in a hero. But Caya wasn't my cup of tea. I like a good romance between a highlander and an English lass and that angle was a good. But she kept making these judgement calls and mistakes and outright bad decisions. I thought Declan deserved a better heroine. Caya had issues of her own and perhaps that could account for some of her mistrust and glaring disregard for Declan's feelings, but not all of it. I just didn't get behind her. 

Bottom Line:

This one is pretty good. There is a lot of adventurous moments and Declan is a real dream. I enjoyed revisiting the characters from the previous book in the series, but there were a few key problems for me. I just didn't particularly like the heroine. Though Declan's way of wooing her was sweet and sensual and their chemistry was good despite her issues. Those little historical pet peeves are hit or miss. Some will be bothered, others won't. Take my opinion with a grain of salt, because this is still a very good romance.

Betting the Scot is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag

About the Author:

Hi, I’m Jennifer Trethewey and I write about men in kilts because, hey, what’s not to love about a man in a kilt? I was lucky enough to travel to Scotland twice. I’m planning a third trip next year. I have fallen in love with the Highlands and all things Scottish: the people, their language, cuisine, customs, idioms, humor, history, intense sense of pride, and, most of all, the land—the perfect setting for sweeping romantic tales of love, strife, and glory. As they say, Scotland is pure dead brilliant! 

As for more personal stuff, I’m an actress, former co-artistic director of a professional theater company, and my husband and I operate an improv comedy club. I live with my comedian husband in the Midwest where I’ve been ever since college. 

I write both contemporary and historical fiction full time. I like to read romance, mystery, fantasy, and paranormal, as well as literary fiction and non-fiction. As you can imagine, I’m a big fan of Outlander and Herself. I adore traveling to new places (but I hate flying). I love movies and music and dogs and good wine and I love to enjoy them all with my friends.

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