A Scot in the Dark (Scandal & Scoundrel #2) by  Sarah MacLean

2 Stars
Reviewed by Naomi

Official Synopsis: 

Lonesome Lily Turned Scandalous Siren

Miss Lillian Hargrove has lived much of her life alone in a gilded cage, longing for love and companionship. When an artist offers her pretty promises and begs her to pose for a scandalous portrait, Lily doesn’t hesitate…until the lying libertine leaves her in disgrace. With the painting now public, Lily has no choice but to turn to the one man who might save her from ruin.

Highland Devil turned Halfhearted Duke

The Duke of Warnick loathes all things English, none more so than the aristocracy. It does not matter that the imposing Scotsman has inherited one of the most venerable dukedoms in Britain—he wants nothing to do with it, especially when he discovers that the unwanted title comes with a troublesome ward, one who is far too old and far too beautiful to be his problem.

Tartan Comes to Town

Warnick arrives in London with a single goal: get the chit married and see her become someone else’s problem, then return to a normal, quiet life in Scotland. It’s the perfect plan, until Lily declares she’ll only marry for love…and the Scot finds that there is one thing in England he likes far too much…

This book is a broken promise between the author and me. The prologue and opening chapters of this book were so good. I was charmed and enraged and determined to follow these two characters to the ends of the world and hopefully a happily ever after. Somehow, I went from there to simply skimming. Bored. I was bored.

The painting is at the heart of the drama. It’s Lily’s ruin and Alec’s failing and these freaking people spend most of the book moaning and suffering from self doubt instead of coming up with a plan to get and destroy the painting.

I just don’t get it. They have a novel sized pity party and I’m like “people we have a mission.” At least we should! You know get back the freaking painting.

I have read so many historical romance novels that I know that simply marrying Lily off would not redeem her reputation! It’s an asinine plan beneath Sarah MacLean.

The reason that marrying works in other scandals is that if you’re caught in a compromising position and you’re engaged people can just say “oh, they couldn’t wait to be together” or you marry to save the child that may come of it from being a bastard. A naked painting cannot be saved by marrying not when all of the world can see her naked!!!!! Especially if she is not married to the artist.

I just couldn’t comprehend their mental state in this book. Lily is so busy trying to show Alec her independence and Alec is so worried about not deserving her that I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes. These character are not unique, but they’re in a unique situation and they don’t act according to the situation. They act according to type which was very disappointing.

The way the book ends is supposed to be some kind of act of rebellion or of a woman who would not be shamed or some other nonsense. But it’s stupid. No one in their right mind would ever do it and I rolled my eyes and literally cursed because I felt like I wasted my time on this book and this story and these characters.

The reason this is a 2 star review and not 1 star is because the author did a  wonderful job of explaining and showing us loneliness. I got it. I understood why Lily made the mistakes she made, why Alec is off in Scotland though most of his titles and lands are English. Unfortunately all of that was before the book started. Still, I got it and that part was so well written. 

I usually love this author but this series is not for me.

For more info: Goodreads Page and Author Website. 

Shout! Sets U.S. Release for ‘Long Way North’ (x)

Animation Magazine

“Shout! Factory Films will be bringing Annecy Audience Award-winning animated feature Long Way North to theaters on September 30. The film, which also won the Grand Prize and Governor of Tokyo Award at this year’s Tokyo Animation Festival, will debut in Los Angeles, New York and select major markets, rolling out to additional cities.

Directed by animator and filmmaker Rémi Chayé (first AD and head of storyboard for The Secret of Kells and The Painting), Long Way North is a co- production of Sacrebleu Productions, Maybe Movies, Norlum Studios, France 3 Cinema and 2 Minutes. The PG-rated, 2D feature follows a young heroine on a challenging journey to find her grandfather.

Set in late 19th century Saint Petersburg, the film centers on Sacha, a young girl from the Russian aristocracy. She has always been fascinated by the adventurous life of her grandfather Oloukine, a renowned scientist and arctic explorer who has gone missing on his latest expedition to the North Pole. Dreaming of the Great North and uninterested in her parents’ plans to marry her off, Sacha steals from home to launch her own quest in search of Oloukine and his lost ship.”

anonymous asked:

can u tell us more about the historical au :0???

im just gonna make this a coherent hc post lmfao get ready:

  • this goes under the assumption that he was born jan 28th 1924
  • my hc has changed a bit since the original post 2 months ago bc of further thought and research and corrections
  • now while i’d love to be like “nico was anti-fascist blah blah blah– probably not. nico’s grandfather is confirmed to be an aristocrat (Lord Whatever Di Angelo) meaning his family owns land. Meaning Nico is part of an aristocracy. Meaning Nico’s fucking loaded lmfao.
    • Fascism was great if you were rich. Like it directly benefited aristocracies like the ones Nico was a part of. Chances are his family is aligned with them.
    • I’m not sure if Maria di Angelo would have brought up her children against the aristocracy or not, cause we never really saw much of her character to know her that well. I guess it depends on whether or not she was estranged for having two children out of wedlock (OH BOY!!) with a possible foreigner
      • So if she WAS estranged I would say- no. Nico and his sister and his mother were against the aristocracy and v much did not like Mussolini’s politics
      • Buuuuut if they WEREN’T estranged I would say Nico would be neutral to Mussolini. He wouldn’t have necessarily been against fighting for the Italian government in the war if necessary. If anything he’d be a rich member of a rich family that directly benefited from their political prowess and the current situation in government
  • So a big thing in the early-mid 20th century was nationalism. Even if Nico wasn’t pro-fascism or pro-Mussolini, he was DEFINITELY pro-Italy, anti-Commie, anti-Germany, the works.
  • Childhood things: played football (soccer for us western plebs), military school, his friend Pietro! Oh boy! (Who also ended up fighting in the North-African campaign, meaning he was at least two or three years older than Nico)
  • Now, depending on how high-up Nico’s grandpa was, Nico likely not only attended the execution of one Mr. Benito Mussolini, but also the funeral
    • After WW2 his grandfather might have either been targeted, criminalized, or assassinated/executed depending on his exact status amongst the government or community? Dunno how that would directly affect his kids or grandkids, but if he was looked at in a bad light the Di Angelo Name wouldn’t be a fun one to have
  • I don’t think he ever finds out he’s a demigod, personally. I think by the time Nico turns ten, his father is too caught up with the impending war and his older sons who will be fighting to spend so much time with the Di Angelo’s and Nico just remembers him vaguely at the back of his mind.
    • He questions the possible witchcraft/dark magic/necromancy at play amongts his brothers (he doesn’t know that they’re related) and ignores it but he feels a tug towards it.
      • IMAGINE. strong catholic nico di angelo feeling drawn towards witchcraft/dark magic/necromancy. confession is his fucking lifeline.
        • “father I came to confess my sins”
        • “Mio Dio, again???? listen we know u wanna summon dead people, it’s getting old. you don’t need to keep telling us amico we get it it’s boring. just!! don’t fuckin do it!!”
        • “but father-”
        • “please. we will pay you to stop”
    • Other scenario: Maria tells him at a young age that he’s the son of Hades. Bc he knows the war is a result of fighting between Hades and Poseidon/Zeus, the war isn’t political anymore- it’s familial. He would be more prone to supporting the Axis powers to support his father/brothers
  • By the time he’s 21 and finished with his mandatory military education, the war is over, so he hasn’t fought but he trained for it. So, he gets a degree in Medicine (im romantic ok)
  • THE SPICY PART: i think nico gets married. to like, a girl. BUT HEAR ME OUT. 28yo nico in 1952. he gets married to a girl bc his mother is like “wow that girl SURE IS NICE nico im definitely not pushing you to her to strengthen relations from our family to that family [eyeball emojis]”
    • but wait, there’s more! they have a child in 1955. just one (crazy i know) and their marriage is. rocky at best, stiff, awkward, they don’t love each other but theyre friends so they make it work for a while? plus they’ve got a kid to raise so!! hell is real.
    • They get divorced in 1972 (Nico is 48, his kid is 17 so almost out of the house anyway.) I imagine on pretty decent terms. Like nico sits down and he’s like. Listen, honey (vomits) i only married you to make my granddad and my mom happy. you’re nice but im gay and this is really draining my psyche.
      • “fuck me too!!! shit fam!!” they’re both gay sike
      • the kid is cool w it. they don’t really care tbh they saw the separation coming
      • BUT OH BOY!! divorce isn’t fun for them for two main reasons: they’re catholic, and it’s the 70s.
      • Now, you cannot get divorced if you’re catholic. You just can’t. you can get anulled, but that’s a special circumstance issue and they’re not about to stroll up and say “hey my partner is gay so uh can we get anulled??” and possibly get estranged from their own churches (they’re still catholic) so they separate and they divorce under the government (dawg divorce has only been legal for two years at this point do you know how spicy that is) (1974 and the referendum from the vatican rolls out: months of fear that their divorce is no longer legitimate before the referendum is defeated)
      • So with a divorce nico is p much fine bc #DudesHadItEasy but Nico’s ex would be in Literal Hell. Remember Mad Men? Yeah.
      • Nico will never get married after this. Gay marriage will never be legal in a catholic church, he cannot get married ANYWAY bc he’s still technically married to his ex under their eyes, and gay marriage won’t be legalized in his lifetime.
  • BOY i’d love to get into the terrible gay time that was the 80s (gay people being outed everywhere all at once, the AIDs epidemic. Pushing Nico even further away from the public eye as a gay person.
  • I imagine he eventually finds a partner, but he’ll be p old. like. 1980s or smth. He’ll be in his 60s so. IDK.
  • I think he dies in like. 2006. He’s 82. He’s had a good long life and has a good kid. 


Lieutenant General Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart, a rare breed.

Following family expectation Carton went to Balliol College, Oxford, where he lasted not a year before leaving to join the British Army at the time of the Second Boer War, sometime in 1899. His father was left oblivious until Carton received his first serious wounds, these to the stomach and groin. Carton returned to South Africa before transferring to India in 1902. He spent the years until 1914 enjoying life in the British Empire, running, playing sports and shooting. Part of Europe’s Catholic aristocracy he spent leave travelling through Europe, shooting on various estates.

Things began to liven up as the First World War kicked off in 1914. He first went to Somalia where Britain were still fighting a colonial war with the  followers of Mohammed bin Abdullah, “Mad Mullah” to the British. There he was shot twice in the face, losing his eye and a portion of an ear. Shrugging this off however, by February 1915 he was on the Western Front. By years end he had lost his left hand, removing his own fingers when a doctor declined to do the job. On the Somme he was shot through the skull and ankle, at Passchendaele through the hip, at Cambrai through the leg and at Arras through the ear. In July 1916, aged 36, he won the Victoria Cross, taking control of a battlefield after three battalion Commanders became casualties; ‘passing unflinchingly through fire barrage of the most intense nature.’

He spent the interwar years in diplomatic service, mostly in Poland where he made Royal friendships and shot each day on a 500,000 acre estate. As World War 2 interrupted his peace he made valuable strategic contributions to Poland’s resistance. While retreating with the Polish commander Rydz-Śmigły to Romania his car convoy was attacked by the Luftwaffe, killing his wife.

Promoted to acting major-general, in November 1940 he led a small force to occupy a small Norwegian town. Things quickly went wrong and he wound up being attacked by German ski troops and machine gunned and bombed from the air while the German Navy was landing troops to his rear. He suggested withdrawal but was told to hang on, so he did, until a few days later his force was finally rescued by the Royal Navy - led through the fog by Lord Louis Mountbatten.

Sent to Serbia in a Wellington Bomber six months later, both engines failed off the coast of Italian-controlled Libya. The plane crashed a mile from the shore, knocking Carton unconscious, but the cold water brought him to. Swimming ashore he became a prisoner of war. Unsurprisingly he made five escape attempts, one tunneling endeavour taking seven months. Rather amusingly, given he was a 61 year old pale skinned male with one eye, one arm and no knowledge of Italian, he spent eight days on the run disguised as an Italian peasant.

Back in England, after the capitulation of Italy, Carton was summoned to spend a night with Churchill at Chequers. Churchill was sending him to China as his personal representative. There he reported mainly on the rise of the Chinese Communists, who he despised. Meeting Mao at a dinner event, he interrupted the father of modern China’s speech to criticise his lack of effort in fighting the Japanese. The surprised Chairmen laughed, probably very nervously. After visiting Singapore for the Japanese surrender and then Tokyo to meet Douglas MacArthur, the 66 year old Carton de Wiart retired in October 1947. He died age 83 on 5 June 1963 after many years quietly fishing for Salmon and shooting Snipe in County Cork, Ireland.

“Governments may think and say as they like, but force cannot be eliminated, and it is the only real and unanswerable power. We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.” ― Adrian Carton de Wiart

One of my weird guilty pleasures is reading about pointless feuds among modern European nobles.

After Europe mostly stopped being a feudal aristocracy, there were all these nobles who had castles and lots of money and technical claims to titles that no longer carried any official power, and they needed something to do. That thing turned out to be Pointless Feuding.

See, a lot of nobles still call themselves things like Duke or whatever, which in the absence of relevant Duchies and Baronies just means that they are the legitimate heir of the last Duke according to the laws of succession that used to govern these sorts of things, so that if for some reason Europe becomes a feudal aristocracy again they’re the one who should get the duchy back.

In the old days, if there was some sort of dispute over who was really Duke, then either you fought a civil war or you went to the king and let him sort it out. But nowadays nobody has armies to fight wars with, there’s no king, and the civil courts don’t really deal with these sorts of things because they just say nobody is the Duke anymore because feudalism is over. So if you are a random noble with some sort of tenuous relation to the last Duke, there’s nothing stopping you from coming up with arcane legal reasons why everyone else is disqualified from the succession and you are the true Duke. If you have one true Duke in generation t, and two people who claim to be rightful heirs in generation t+1, and each of those two has two people claiming to be their rightful heir in generation t+2, the number of Duke claimants increases exponentially with time. It’s not really quite this bad, because some of them die without any children pursuing their claim, but for example, there are currently four people who claim the French throne.

And because kings are entitled to grant and recognize lesser fiefdoms, each of these kings has different opinions on which lesser nobles are or aren’t legitimate. For example, King Louis XX named himself Duke of Anjou, but King Henri VII named his nephew Duke of Anjou. Now if their kids start arguing over the title, who knows how many Dukes of Anjou there will be?

My favorite story of this type is that the Prince of Spain (who is a real prince, because Spain is still a monarchy) was getting married and had to invite all of these people to the wedding because all nobles are incestuously interrelated so they were all his family. At the reception, two people who both claimed to be King of Italy got in a big fight about it, which ended with one King punching the other in the face twice and both of them getting kicked out of Spain.

Actually, the puncher in this incident, Victor Emmanuel IV, is an interesting character. He was widely suspected of having killed a French guy as part of an argument over their respective yachts. His son the Crown Prince is best known for participating on the Italian version of “Dancing with the Stars”. Also, he was once in a commercial for Italian olive oil where he said it was “fit for a king”.

For some reason all of these people are bankers, and the ones who don’t marry other nobles marry super-attractive actresses or female athletes.

Make a toast to happiness in this lovely black sequin one shoulder dress!

This will be the perfect dress for upcoming parties, and holidays to wear with your friends and family! 

Visit for more inspiring dresses and romantic blouses!

Mirror Case - Unknown French Artist, 1350-75
Elephant ivory, 4 3/8 x 4 1/8 x 7/16 in. (11.1 x 10.4 x 1.1 cm) diameter: 4 in. (10.1 cm)

Mirror cases, which might be considered forerunners of the modern compact, were primarily destined for the aristocracy, and their subject matter reflects the activities and interests of their owners. Here, a lady and gentleman hunt with falcons, accompanied by attendants. Medieval literature frequently drew a parallel between falconry and courtly love, and the playful imagery of this ivory may be read as a metaphorical hunt for love. [x]

>when you start reading about how the German aristocracy started actively trying to sabotage the Third Reich, bring about war to bring down Hitler and working with the British and French as soon as he took power in 1933 with their rallying cry being ‘better a devastated Germany than a National Socialist one’

The SS should have bathed German streets in the blue blood of every inbred piece of shit that considered himself nobility.

Guillotine every single one of them.