Review: Hard–Hearted Highlander by Julia London

Hard–Hearted Highlander by Julia London
Series: Highland Grooms (# 3)
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Romance
Pages: 384
Source: book provided by NetGalley for review

 

 

An ill-fated elopement cost English-born governess Bernadette Kent her reputation, her fickle 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?

 

Review: I really enjoyed Rabbie’s story. He needed someone strong to make him happy and he found that in Bernadette. Actually he was betrothed to Avaline (Bernadette was her governess of sorts). The spark right from the start showed that Bernadette was a perfect match. Avaline was too timid for someone like Rabbie.

The spark turned to flames. Chemistry seemed off the charts. They are a good match with the sparring and slow/heated getting to know you made for an interesting read. When you add in Avaline who only has eyes for Rabbie’s brother who wants nothing to do with her and really ends up clueless things seem realistic. Because it you really are honest most guys are clueless.  The characters are written with flaws which make them stand out. They became more lifelike. Real in all senses making them easier to relate to.

Bringing in characters from the first two books gave the story depth because it helped broaden the family dyanmics. Which I find is always a win. The characters from the first two books were very likable and only helped in adding an extra touch of warmth to the story.

Ms. London gave us plenty of twists woven into the story which had me guessing almost to the end. I thought I had it figured out and then boom I got a surprise thrown at me. I liked the big heart that Rabbie had as he took in some orphaned children. It made him not so hardened after all. The children to me worked well within the story as they helped to repair Bernadette’s past but, they seemed a bit older than their years. It actually made the children seem realistic because sometimes the circumstances we grow up with make us grow up faster than normal.  She even made Avaline come out of her shell a bit by the end of the story. I won’t spoil the end but I was surprised at who she ended up with.

I found Rabbie and Bernadette to get a little lost in their story at times. But Ms. London never let them get totally lost. The way she threw in the twists and turns just added pure entertainment to a very well written story or actually series.

I once again fell in love with the Highlands. I really must plan a trip in the near future.  Since I have read the first three books in this series pretty close together I hope she hurries with the next one. I canna hardly wait.