The Tempting of Thomas Carrick
Much as the title might suggest, Thomas Carrick does not want to be tempted. He is a respectable merchant in Glasgow who has no intention of returning home to the Scottish countryside. However, Thomas learns through a letter that a scheme is afoot at Carrick estate. Manachan, Thomas’s guardian, is inexplicably ill. A second missive, explaining the sudden illness of the Bradshaw family, draws Thomas home.
Once there, Thomas learns about the death of the Carrick clan healer and some other shady happenings. He pairs up with a woman he knew from his youth, Lucilla Cynster. Lucilla believes she and Thomas are destined to be together. She relies on her pagan faith and intuition to help Thomas set things to rights.
Lucilla’s attraction to Thomas is a little creepy. The couple doesn’t seem to have much initial chemistry, but it’s forced in through the narrative. Too much time is spent on investigating the mystery when those who were committing crimes make themselves suspiciously obvious within the first third of the book. Readers who prefer their romance laced with another genre would enjoy this book, but the mystery aspect can be overpowering and, at times, diverting from the couple’s developing relationship.