Book Review of The Scottish Companion

The Scottish Companion
The Scottish Companion
Author: Karen Ranney
Genre: Romance
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
reviewed on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1


I'm a fan of Karen Ranney but did not like this book at all... (Spoiler Warning!!)

Introduction of Characters:

*Female Protagonist - Gillian Cameron (female companion) Having been ruined by a previous man, Gillian lived in poverty until Grant's doctor happened to come across her one day on the streets and hired her to be his daughter's companion.

*Male Protagonist - Grant Roberson (Earl/scientist) Grant Roberson's brothers have recently died of a "blood disease" and, in light of this, Grant feels the need to marry and produce an heir in case he dies of the blood disease. He decides he wants someone who is not so passionate or clingy..someone who can understand his need to be a scientist so he can be alone with his work (he's trying to discover electricity) so he chooses Arabel
Leanne Huynh (10/31/2007 5:39:03 PM): Arabella Fenton (daughter of his physician).

*Female Antagonist - Arabella Fenton (Grant's fiance and the woman Gillian is companion to) Arabella absolutely adores her medical work..is obsessed with it actually...and just wants to be left alone. She does not want to be married at all.


Hopefully after introducing all those characters to you, you've gained an insight into the storyline. Basically, after learning that he could die of a "blood" disease, Grant states he wants to marry someone, decides on his doctor's daugher, Arabella, whom he has never met but has heard that she loves medical science. He has a laboratory where he experiments with electricity and wants to be left alone for that, so he figures Arabella can do her stuff and he can do his and they don't have to get all tangled up with emotions, passion, etc. Enter Gillian Cameron. Gillian is in her late twenties and has figured that she's basically done with passion, relationships, and such because she is a fallen woman. She is somewhat content that she has food to eat and a roof over her head as Arabella's paid companion.

When Arabella and friends are invited to Grant's estate so that Arabella can become familiar with her new home and family, Gillian catches the eye of the earl because she is more receptive to him than Arabella. From how the author portrays Gillian, it seems to be that Gillian becomes a bit petty and envious of Arabella. She scolds Arabella a couple times about her silent conduct and lack of welcome to Grant, but at the same time, Gillian seems very pretentious. One of the things that draws Grant to Gillian is when she wanders his estate and happens to find his laboratory where he is currently working on an experiment. To me, she hardly seems to act that of a paid companion and this incident just seems like she was looking to find him, even though the author states that Gillian was innocently meandering around. She spends the day with him, they flirt with each other, etc. No wonder she became a fallen woman...

It is in another meeting between Gillian and Arabella that I begin to like Arabella and dislike Gillian more. Although Arabella is made to be the antagonist because, in the end, she is the one who is poisoning people, I don't ever dislike her, but I do dislike Gillian for many reasons. Gillian flirts with Grant, allows him to seduce her (and seduces him too), is envious of Arabella for things she cannot have, scolds Arabella for not being receptive to the earl, and really doesn't try to help Arabella at all. She never seems to care for Arabella at all. She never tries to find why Arabella is the way she is...obsessive compulsive over treating illnesses/wounds. And in the end, it leads to Arabella's tragic death and Gillian's undeserved happy ending with Grant.

Now, I don't expect Gillian to be a saint, but she's not exactly the warm and caring female protagonist I'm used to from Karen Ranney. She's selfish, petty, and jealous. I really love the female protagonist in Ms. Ranney's "After The Kiss", but in this book, Gillian seems more to me like the female characters you are supposed to dislike in romance novels, rather than like.

I felt sorry for Arabella throughout the book. She was molested as a child by the Grant's late father and had to live with that throughout her life. Arabella became obsessed with healing people and wanted to be left alone. There was no one for her to confide in or help her through her early ordeal (even though Gillian was supposed to be that person). She poisoned the earl's blood line basically because of what happened to her when she was younger. She definitely needed help and there was no one that helped her.

I think the characters got mixed up in this book - Gillian should've been the antagonist, whereas Arabella should've been the protagonist.

(On a side note, I initially submitted this review on Amazon.com and it mysteriously disappeared a couple days after it was published on their site..)