Secret Scottish Christmas (Agents of the Crown #4) by Regan Walker-Review and Guest Post
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date November 6, 2017
Spies and Scots and Shipmasters, oh my!
Scotland 1819 – Twin brothers Nash and Robbie of Powell and Sons Shipping, London, sail with their fellow Agents of the Crown to Scotland for a secret celebration of Christmastide, a holiday long considered pagan by the Scottish Kirk. But more than Christmas is being kept secret. The two brothers have accepted an assignment from the Home Secretary Lord Sidmouth to ferret out a fugitive fomenting rebellion among the Scots.
Aileen Stephen, the only daughter of an Aberdeen shipbuilder, had to be clever, devious and determined to gain her place in the family business. She succeeded to become a designer of highly coveted ships. One night, a man’s handsome face appears to her in a dream. When two men having that same face arrive on a ship full of Londoners, Ailie wonders what her second sight is telling her. Is the face she saw a portender of the future, a harbinger of danger, or both? And which of the two Englishmen is the one in her dream?
Older than Nash by a mere five minutes, Robbie has always been protective of his twin. When he realizes Nash is attracted to the sister of their Scottish host, he thinks to help matters along. But Nash wants no help from his brother, not where Ailie Stephen is concerned because Robbie is attracted to the girl himself!
Two brothers vie for the affection of the Scottish lass but only one stirs her passion. Which one will it be? And what will she do when she learns both are spies?
REVIEW: A Secret Scottish Christmas begins with a group of people traveling from England to Scotland to celebrate Christmastide, albeit a secret celebration, with friends. Once the group arrives in Scotland, it doesn’t take long for the Powell twins, Nash and Robbie, to notice not only Aileen’s beauty, but also her fiery spirit.
As the story progresses, the twins put their secret plan into motion, in hopes of making their mission a successful one. However, as the twins get to know Ailie, it becomes apparent that one is more enamored than the other when said twin starts questioning their mission altogether.
A Secret Scottish Christmas is a great addition to the Agents of the Crown series. Ailie is a wonderfully written character. She is intelligent and feisty, but also has a loving heart for those she holds dear. The Powell twins were wonderfully written as well. I love the fact that they love each other as you would expect, but what drew me in was their sense of independence. Regan Walker did a phenomenal job of making each one of them their own person with their own identities. I also loved that Ailie picked up on their nuances that were written so brilliantly. Walker has also, once again, woven actual historical events into her story seamlessly and built a world that you can vividly see in your mind. Whether it is the sound of a dog barking, feeling the wind in your face as you sail away or seeing a landscape covered in new snow, you will find yourself noticing all of the details she meticulously sets for us to truly feel as if we are a part of. Reading Regan Walker’s books is, at least for me, like watching a movie. You are swept into her world from the very beginning and you truly do hate for it to end. Added to all of this the fact that we get to see so many couples from previous books throughout the entire story makes it one of my favorites of everything she has written. If you’re a fan of historical romance, you will most definitely love A Secret Scottish Christmas. There is a beautifully developed romance, political intrigue and such well developed characters that you’ll swear this is your favorite as well….until the next one. Well done, Regan Walker! Very, very well done!
Copy supplied for review
Reviewed by Vickie M
Scot, Scotsman, Scotch or Scottish… how to refer to the Scots?
By Regan Walker
For my new Christmas Regency, A Secret Scottish Christmas, I wanted to make sure I referred to the Scots as they would want, so I did a bit of scouting. What I discovered was that the terminology can be confusing. Robert Burns, Scotland’s beloved poet, referred to the people of Scotland as “Scots”.
As you know from reading my stories set in Medieval Scotland, the people have always been “Scots” and their kings were never Kings of Scotland, but Kings of the Scots, the people being of first importance, not the land.
The Scots refer to their stories and language as “Scottish” but, in past times, they used the word “Scotch” in place of “Scottish” or “Scot”, something not done today.
In Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character by Edward Bannerman Ramsay, first published in 1857, the author looks back “forty years” (which would be to the Regency era) and describes the unique “Scottish dialect” spoken at the time. In one place, he says, “I recollect old Scottish ladies and gentlemen who really spoke Scotch.” He also refers to the people of Scotland as “the Scotch” and describes himself as “an out and out Scotchman”. So there you have it. Clear as haggis… er, mud.
I hope you enjoy my Christmas story set on the Northeast coast of Scotland. The people there in 1819 would have spoken a unique dialect, except in prominent families such as the Stephens, who spoke the King’s English. (The journals of the Scottish upper classes read like ones written by the English at the time). They might have spoken with an accent, of course. Most of the common people would have spoken the Doric dialect. Since Doric would be hard for readers to understand, I used it sparingly and sprinkled the book with a few Scottish expressions to give you a flavor for the local speech, particularly in the taverns and for the heroine’s grandfather from Stonehaven.
Regan Walker is an award-winning, Amazon #1 bestselling author of Regency, Georgian and Medieval romances. A lawyer turned full-time writer, she has six times been featured on USA TODAY’s HEA blog and nominated six times for the prestigious RONE award (her novel, The Red Wolf’s Prize won Best Historical Novel for 2015 in the Medieval category). Her novel The Refuge: An Inspirational Novel of Scotland won the Gold Medal in the Illumination Awards in 2017. And her novel To Tame the Wind won the International Book Award for Romance Fiction in 2017.
Years of serving clients in private practice and several stints in high levels of government have given Regan a love of international travel and a feel for the demands of the “Crown”. Hence her romance novels often involve a demanding sovereign who taps his subjects for special assignments. Each of her novels features real history and real historical figures. And, of course, adventure and love.
Regan’s website: http://www.reganwalkerauthor.com/
Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076BBG6HV
Regan’s Author page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Regan-Walker/e/B008OUWC5Y
Pinterest Storyboard for the book: https://www.pinterest.com/reganwalker123/a-secret-scottish-christmas-by-regan-walker/