Friday, April 6, 2018

Aloha to Patience Griffin and BLAME IT ON SCOTLAND - Book Review


The quilters of Gandiegow expand more than their quilting enterprise into the village of Whussendale. They bring along a heavy dose of good-hearted meddling, too. What’s the outcome? Love will never be the same… 

When Tuck MacBride, Gandiegow’s favorite scapegoat, is blamed for a fisherman’s tragic accident, Tuck takes on extra work to secretly funnel his earnings to the maimed fisherman’s family. Haunted by the mistaken turn of events, Tuck is working night and day. Even so he can’t stop thinking about the new lass who has just arrived in town.

Ryn Breckenridge has no one left in the world. To fulfill her mother’s last request, Ryn travels to Scotland to return a quilt to her long lost cousin. Hoping to rebuild family ties, Ryn volunteers to help her cousin at the upcoming quilt retreat. But there is more than quilting on Ryn’s mind. The irresistible Tuck MacBride is proving to be a dangerous distraction.

Ryn’s past is riddled with bad boys like Tuck, who have left her alone and broken. She vows to stay away, but can’t help taking a closer look when she realizes there is more to Tuck than meets the eye. Both of their pasts contain shattered promises, but Scotland is known to bring reluctant hearts together. Will the two of them be willing to cross the deep chasm between them and find love? If they do, they will only have Scotland to blame…

William Wallace statue in Aberdeen
Public Domain (link

Every man dies. Not every man really lives. - William Wallace

Tuck McBride is not really living.  He roams from one job to another, trying to avoid the whispers that he is no good.  His only stake in Gandiegow is his brother who reminds him daily of forgiveness and redemption.  

Kathryn "Ryn" Breckenridge is also a shell of her former self.  After quitting her job to care for her mother, she feels empty once her mother succumbed to cancer.  Dipping into her savings, she travels to Scotland to return her mother's "Goodbye Quilt" to a distant cousin.  Upon arriving in Gandiegow, she is unable to connect with her cousin - Maggie is distracted by her husband's recovery from loosing his arm during a storm.  The townsfolk rally around a dazed Ryn, drawing her into the quilting retreat that has become an alternate source of income for the fishing village. Their efforts make her realize she has worth - she has a talent in modern quilts. The Scots' generosity to Ryn contrasts with their quick judgement of Tuck; he failed to accompany the fisherman who lost his arm.  Here in lies the beauty of Griffin's writing - she features imperfect characters who embrace their own flaws.

No sooner do Ryn and Tuck find themselves attracted to each other in Gandiegow, they are both "relocated" to the neighboring estate of 
Whussendale.  Ryn is tasked to lead quilting lessons at the new retreat; Tuck is hired as a a "jack of all trades".  He enjoys working in Whussendale where he is not reminded of his failures.  But Ryn distracts him from dwelling in his misery.  She makes him feel alive again ... and he inspires the same in her.   Griffin features secondary story lines, including Maggie and James working through the impact of his injury to their family.

I felt Griffin was heavy handed with melodrama ... but I was still intrigued to read BLAME IT ON SCOTLAND many a night well past my bedtime for a work night. Likewise, I appreciated how Griffin incorporated Scottish culture in a modern world and the unique bond of the quilting community.  She creates a nurturing atmosphere that comfort readers as we considers what makes us feel alive.  I am not a quilter, but I welcomed the sense of achievement that comes from making art from one's own hands with help from a few friends.  I am a fan of Scotland ... and men in kilts ... so I applaud Griffin for reminding us why we all still rally to the call of William Wallace. 

BLAME IT ON SCOTLAND is Book 7 in the series.  I have read the previous books and felt right at home in Gandiegow. Still, Griffin wrote BLAME IT ON SCOTLAND as a stand alone novel, allowing readers new to the series to jump right into the Scottish hospitality that is Griffin's writing.

I received a copy of BLAME IT ON SCOTLAND from Griffin for an honest review.

Image result for aloha on my mind scotland

I am giving away Scottish swag to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about quilts or kilts - do you have a favorite pattern?

BTW, today, April 6, is National Tartan Day in the US!

2.  Comments are open through Monday, April 30, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Tuesday, May 1.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City




  1. Have always liked the Black Watch tartan.

  2. I love men in kilts. I also would love to make a quilt or better yet, take classes to learn how. I haven't read all the books but I've enjoyed the ones I've read.
    Carol Luciano
    Lucky4750 at aol dot com

  3. Love a man in kilts but I have no favorite pattern

  4. I like them all too. I've been meaning to read her!

  5. Who isn't a fan of men in kilts? LOL. I like patchwork quilts.

  6. I love both! I have many quilts in my house and love using them. Both my son and hubby got kilts when we were in Scotland last fall. But I can't find out yet what pattern they are!

  7. I love Black Watch and Carolina tartans.


    1. Double wedding ring is my favorite quilt pattern.

  8. My Dad loved the Black Watch - I've been wanting to read this series

  9. Love Patience’s books! I’m not a quilter but appreciate how the patterns often tell stories and have meaning. My most cherished quilt is one given to me by my grandmother as a wedding present.

  10. I don't have a favorite pattern though I do like black and blue combos.