Monday, November 30, 2015

Fàilte St. Andrew's Day, Patience Griffin, and THE ACCIDENTAL SCOT - Book Review


Christmas in the small village of Gandiegow brings holiday cheer—and a chance for love between two strangers…

When her father is injured in an accident, Edinburgh engineer Pippa McDonnell comes home to Gandiegow to take over the family business, the North Sea Valve Company. Now she’s working overtime trying to fix NSV’s finances and find the cash to get her father proper medical care.

One possibility is to accept a partnership with MTech, an American firm desperate to get their hands on her da’s innovative valve design. He was against bringing in outsiders, but Pippa is desperate enough to at least listen to MTech’s charming representative Max McKinley.

As Christmas approaches and with the help of Gandiegow's meddling quilters, Pippa and Max slowly find themselves attracted to each other. Max seems honorable, but is he there to steal the valve design…or Pippa’s heart?

Dunnottar Castle overlooks the North Sea

Tuig thus’ an t-eathar, 's tuigidh an t-eathar thu.
Understand the boat and the boat will understand you.

The Accidental Scot is Book 4 in Patience Griffin's contemporary series, Kilts and Quilts, set in Northeast Alba, overlooking the mighty North Sea.  I loved the first book, To Scotland With Love - a double nominee for the 2015 Rita Award.   I received Books 2 and 3 just before I moved across town; I hope they are tucked away in an unopened box.   Griffin asked me to review Book 4 ... and I jumped at the opportunity.  

In the first three books, American women escaped to Gandiegow following failures in their lives. They soon discovered warmth and romance among the quilts and kilts.  In The Accidental Scot, it is a handsome American engineer who arrives in Gandiegow to offer a partnership with "the McDonnell" who owns North Sea Valve Company.  Max's boss believes his honest face and technical skills will win over "the McDonnell".  Instead, Max meets Pippa McDonnell who is holding together the company after her father's accident. Pippa is skeptical of Max's intentions and sets out to show him the "human" side of the company. She integrates him into the village's Yuletide celebrations not realizing Max's only flaw is his humbug attitude of Christmas.  But this is Scotland!   Pippa, along with the colorful denizens of Gandiegow, warm Max's heart to the festive season and an unexpected romance.

Pippa and Max seems like polar opposites - Scot versus Yank, village girl versus city boy, small business versus big corporation.  Yet they are both engineers and realize they can retool their circumstances to find happiness.  It was pure joy to read how Pippa and Max fell in love with a little help from old Scots magic.   I also appreciated Griffin's vivid descriptions:

The small village of Gandiegow hugged the coastline in an arc with a smattering of houses and buildings.  The town looked as if an artist had painted it there to add visual interest to the snow dusted bluffs rising out of the North Sea. 

For a moment, he stood peering down the narrow walkway that expanded to the other end of town.  this strip of concrete was the only thing that separated the ocean from the village.  He really should go inside the pub - he was freezing his ass off - but he couldn't get over it.  One strong wave and the town could be washed away, the sixty-three houses and various establishments pulled out to sea. Who in their right mind would live near such danger looming outside their door?

The Yank learned the Scots lived by their love for the land, sea, and each other.  I have visited Alba twice and wandered the coastline in search of crumbling castles. Go raibh maith agat (thank you), Patience, for taking me back to Alba.

Now I need to find Books 2 and 3!  Recommended read for fans of small town romance, an honorable hero, a capable heroine, and all things Scottish. 


I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Please share a holiday tradition in your family or business. My office decided to forgo a gift exchange in favor of adopting a local family in need.  Needless to say, I donate books to our effort!

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, December 5, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, December 6.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Learn more about Patience and her books at

Coming in April 2016


  1. The only real tradition we have is to do the Christmas dinner the night before Christmas so Christmas day is quiet.

  2. We have a big family get together at my sister's house on Christmas Eve day. On Christmas morning we eat Cinabons....the big ones that have tons of calories!

  3. Mom and I bake a Christmas pudding together, we have done that for a good couple of years now and I really like this tradition. The pudding mould is grandma's and we all enjoy our Christmas pudding. Even the new addition to the family, my sisters boyfriend really likes it :)

  4. We tend to pool our money at work and buy a goat via a charity organisation. The goat provides milk to nourish & to sell. Creating an income for a family.

  5. A group I belong to adopts a family with kids.

  6. Varries each year really

  7. We go Christmas caroling every year to people's homes that are home bound and we also take them food baskets.
    It's a lot of fun :)

  8. We have a Secret Santa gift exchange every year.

  9. Even when I worked fultime at the hardware store (the last store to close in our small town) I always set a beautiful table for my little family of four and had a sit-down Christmas eve meal. Then, we would all open one present. The boys are grown, but hubby and I keep the tradition going.
    Nancy Lee Badger

  10. On Christmas Eve we go to the caroling around the town green followed by a candlelight service at church.

  11. Christmas Eve we do the big family dinner and Christmas day we are very relaxed.

  12. We always decorate the tree together! :D

  13. Every year my son and I go out several times and drive around to look at Christmas lights while listening to holiday music