There are a lot of things one can resist in this world, but a historic MM romance set in Scotland with men who wear kilts is NOT one of them.
I was fortunate enough to read an early version of Best Laid Plaids and then had the joy of falling back in love with Joachim and Ainsley all over again when it was released at the end of August.
Where to begin? Well since our story starts with Joachim, our review should as well. Now, we all know my affinity for broken boys and Joachim is just that. He was injured in WWI and has been left with a limp. So when I say broken? I mean that literally. He is also grumpy which is pretty darn precious to me. Yes, grumpy, broken boys are my catnip. Don’t judge me.
Oh and then there is Ainsley. Bratty, excessive, exuberant, over the top, flamboyant Ainsley. Here’s the thing you need to know about one so loud and brash… usually that means they are hiding hidden pain and our boy Ainsley carries a boatload of that.
He also hears dead people, so there’s that.
Joachim’s intent when he arrives on Ainsley’s doorstep is to factually disprove the disgraced scholar’s assertions that he can hear the dead speak to him. And to use this data as the basis for his own thesis. Unfortunately for Joachim, the best laid plans (see how that comes in???) are often fraught with difficulties. Many issues popping up when Joachim finds himself more and more convinced the data supports Ainsley.
Especially after one of Ainsley’s mystical friends heals Joachim’s war wounds and his limp disappears. Yeah, that totally happens.
As with any good romance (and although this is Ms. Stainton’s debut, it is far more than good, it is stellar and will easily create a rabid fan following), our boys are put to an incredible test of emotional depth and trust with the tenuous bonds so recently formed being stretched to the brink of breaking.
Although the connection the two men share is moving, my moments of reaching for a Kleenex came from the unlikely sources of the ghosts haunting their relationship. Literal ones. The dead had left this world with much left unsaid and each man had his own journey to healing by listening to the wisdom and truth they imparted.
Even if you aren’t a fan of the paranormal, I’d encourage you to take a leap and read Best Laid Plaids today because there is so much more to this story than you’d expect. Keep a glass of ice water handy too, because the sex scenes are plentiful and burn every page.