Title: Hard-Hearted Highlander Series: Highland Grooms #3
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
An ill-fated elopement cost English-born governess Bernadette Holly her reputation, her unsuitable lover and any chance of a future match. She has nothing left to fear--not even the bitter, dangerously handsome Scot due to marry her young charge. Naive wallflower Avaline is terrified to wed Rabbie Mackenzie, but if he sends her home, she will be ruined. Bernadette's solution: convince Rabbie to get Avaline to cry off...while ignoring her own traitorous attraction to him.
A forced engagement to an Englishwoman is a hard pill for any Scot to swallow. It's even worse when the fiancee in question is a delicate, foolish young miss--unlike her spirited, quick-witted governess. Sparring with Bernadette brings passion and light back to Rabbie's life after the failed Jacobite uprising. His clan's future depends upon his match to another, but how can any Highlander forsake a love that stirs his heart and soul?
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*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*
Welcome to Jen’s review of HARD-HEARTED HIGHLANDER by Julia London!
My thanks go to TLC Book Tours and Harlequin for making it possible for me to read this book before it released. My apologies to both for the delay in posting my review.
Hard-Hearted Highlander is about a man, Rabbie Mackenzie, who doesn’t want to live anymore but will not shrug his responsibility to his family when they ask him to marry an Englishwoman whose father has purchased a nearby property. The arranged marriage would benefit both families. Unfortunately, he finds the maid/governess (Bernadette Holly) more intriguing than his bride-to-be, mainly because she makes it clear she doesn’t like him. Bernadette hates Rabbie because he is rude to everyone, especially Avaline, the girl he is supposed to marry. As time goes on, they grow on one another and come to an understanding that leads to affection. But, there is still the problem that he is betrothed to Avaline.
I enjoyed reading Hard-Hearted Highlander. The story moves along at a brisk pace without slowing down. I couldn’t put the book down. The author blended all the elements of fiction seamlessly. The culture and history of Scotland and England, the setting descriptions, the in-depth characterizations… Everything worked together to create a fantastic book. I strongly recommend reading it if you like romance stories about characters who initially butt heads. Bernadette and Rabbie had a lot of stuff to work through before they could come together, which I really liked about this story.
Hard-Hearted Highlander is a five-star book in my opinion. I loved most everything about it. My only (minor) irritation was created by the author’s use of certain words like “his member” and “her sex” during the intimate scenes. Otherwise, I couldn’t find fault with the story or the way Julia London wrote it.
It was a big bonus that all the main characters were likable at some level even when they were being disagreeable. The only character I truly hated was Avaline’s father. There should be at least one character in a story that a reader wants to strangle, and Avaline’s father was the one who did it for me. Even Avaline, who was dumb and too innocent, didn’t make me angry. I was able to pity her. Her father, however, was despicable.
I’m looking forward to reading more stories from Julia London. This was my first, but it won’t be my last.