Series: Highland Grooms #3
Author: Julia London
Publication date: April 25th 2017
Target Audience: Adult
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Find It: Goodreads
Buy It: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
An indomitable governess...a brooding Highlander...a forbidden affair...
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?
“He stood on the very edge of the cliff, the tips of his boots just over the crusty rim, nothing below them but air. It was quite a long way down-one strong gust of wind would do it.
He wondered how it would feel to fall.”
Hard-Hearted Highlander was a thoroughly enjoyable foray into historical romance. This was my preferred genre when I was a teen and I read it rarely now as an adult. I think that part of me just couldn’t get over those covers and I made a vow not to read anything with half naked people on the cover. HA!
Obviously I’ve started breaking my on rule there and I am glad that I did with Hard-Hearted Highlander. The 3rd book in the Highland Grooms series by Julia London, Hard-Hearted Highlander can 100% be read as a stand alone…so no worries if you ant to jump into the middle of this series.
This romance had a surprisingly deep thread running through it.
This tale is set in Scotland soon after the Jacobite uprising and the Scots loss to the English and London gives us a good idea of the aftermath in the Highlands. Also both of our protagonists have difficult and painful pasts that they either can’t put behind them (Rabbie actually contemplates suicide at times) or cant put far enough behind them (Bernadette has run as far as she can get from all reminders of her “sordid” past.)
I enjoyed seeing the growth of both of these characters. The romance was fairly well developed and believable. And as expected, I adored the “scenery.”
I did have some issues with some of the secondary characters being very one dimensional – especially Avaline and her parents. And there was a small sub-plot (which I don’t want to give away) that felt unbelievable and fell very flat for me.
On the whole though, I enjoyed this read a lot. I liked that it wasn’t all romantic fluff and I plan to check out the previous books in the Highland Grooms series when I have time as I really enjoy London’s writing and it is a setting and a time period that I love.
Other Books in the series