Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Review: The Lass Wore Black by Karen Ranney

Release Date: 29 January 2013
Publisher: AVON BOOKS
Format: Paperback
Source: My own copy
Buy It: The Book Depository or Amazon
Add It: Goodreads

He was her Highland lover, but would he be her savior?
Catriona Cameron was once famed for her seductive beauty and charm. Now she saw no one, hiding from the world...and no one dared break through her self-imposed exile.
No one, that is, until Mark Thorburn burst into her home, and Catriona's darkened world began to have color again. Thorburn, secretly the heir to an Earldom, claimed he was a footman. But Catriona didn't care about the scandal their passion could cause...for this very touch sparked her back to a life of sensuality, one she thought she'd never have again.
Little does she know that Mark is part of a masquerade. One that will end when they become the target of a madman set on revenge. Mark realizes he will have to do more than win her love...he will have to save her life as well.

* * * * *

My very first of Karen Ranney, and I liked it, a lot.
At first I didn't really like Catriona. She's indeed spoiled, self-destruct  and selfish. But I guess that's her flaws and it made her more real. After all that she's been through, it kinda made sense that she's bitter than before. I liked this dialogue between Sarah, Mark's assistant, and Catriona.

"Pain does something to a body. I've seen enough of Dr. Thorburn's patients. Some of them, pain makes angles. Some of them, it makes into devils. Which one were you?"
"I'm afraid I was a devil," she said softly.
Sarah nodded. "I'm thinking I'd be the same."

I realized that I might be just like her, or worse. Who knows? But it's a good thing that she learned the lesson. That's another lesson I learned from this novel. You can be a bitch nobody like. But you can change it. Either they'd like it or not, it doesn't really matters. What matters the most is that you change yourself to be better. And it'd make you feel good inside.

I liked Mark, a lot... I liked the idea that even though he can't save them all, his patients, the poor people he met and care, he never gave up to do his best. I liked the face that he kept pursuing his dream to be a doctor although his father and bothers despised him. It's a good thing he's close enough to grandfather.

This novel was almost like any other historical romance. Not that difference, but I always like novels where the heroines or heroes has some flaws. Aren't we all?
Also, there are so many things I learned after reading this novel. It's not something new, but it's a reminder.

1st lesson:
Since I'm a student, there were great sentences (or dialogues) from this book that  taught/reminded me of things related to my study:
- A wise man observes.
- "The patient will always know more than we do," Dr. Cameron had once said. "They don't know that they know, but listen to their complaints. That will tell you as much as your examination."
- Dr. Cameron had also insisted that he write out his notes within minutes of visiting a patient. "Don't wait until the next day. You won't remember the details that can make the difference between life and death. Write down the patient's color, his demeanor, whether he talks about other things or only his health. Is his aspect good, or do lines form on his face? Are his pupils expanded? Is the sclera white or gray? Are there dark circles beneath his eyes? Is his breath foul? Your words might prove invaluable to a physician who comes after you." <--- Ha! This is the opposite of me. I procrastinate very often. It's a BIG reminder for me.

2nd lesson:
Most of the time we think that our life was harder than everyone. But there's always anyone else who's more suffered. Always see things from the bright side. 

3rd lesson:
Be more grateful. You should be grateful and more grateful.

4th lesson:

You can't save all of those people who need help. But you can at least touch one life.

How could they help each one of them?
When she'd said as much to Dina, the older woman only smiled. "We can't, my dear. But we can touch one life, and then another. We can bring some beauty and joy to some, if only for a moment."

It kinda reminded me to what one of my lecturer had once said: "Be the light in a darkness."

In the end, I can't tell you about the characters, the plot, the flow of the story ... I didn't really think it's that different. But the lessons I've learned that made me love this book.
And it turned out that her previous book, A Scandalous Scot, is about Jean, Catriona' sister. Guess I should read it too.

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