ROMANCE

Best Laid Plaids

Carina: Harlequin. (Kilty Pleasure, Bk. 1). Sept. 2020. ebk. ISBN 9781488076831. $4.99. ;. LGBTQ+ HISTORICAL ROMANCE
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DEBUT After ruining his academic standing by declaring he talks to ghosts, Dr. Ainsley Graham secludes himself on his family’s estate in Scotland. Joachim Cockburn, a disabled veteran of World War I, is set to obtain a professorship in psychology. To help Joachim complete his research, his friend Stuart Graham asks Ainsley to guide Joachim on a tour of haunted locations around Scotland. Initially a skeptic, Joachim discovers he can commune with the apparitions as well. Joachim’s steadiness helps balance Ainsley’s manic episodes, and their affinity leads to a love affair. Ainsley must decide if he can trust Joachim not to malign his reputation further, while Joachim must choose between admitting to his beliefs, thereby destroying his academic prospects, or denying them to obtain his professorship, thereby wrecking his relationship with Ainsley.
VERDICT Debut author Stainton pairs a physically strong but wounded veteran with an emotionally vulnerable scholar, and their many erotic moments are offset by humor, sorrow, and the supernatural, making this a wickedly good start to the “Kilty Pleasures” series.

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