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Hard-Hearted Highlander: A Historical Romance Novel (The Highland Grooms) Mass Market Paperback – April 25, 2017
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"London's new Highland Grooms series will be well worth following if this first novel is any indication; she achieves something very difficult in a genre that often follows a formula-a suspenseful plot with an unpredictable conclusion." - Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews on Wild Wicked Scot
"Expert storytelling and believable characters make the romance between Arran and Margot come alive in this compelling novel packed with characters whom readers will be sad to leave behind." -Starred Review, Publishers Weekly on Wild Wicked Scot
"This absorbing and passionate romance bodes well for future Highland Grooms titles." -Starred Review, Booklist on Wild Wicked Scot
"London's well-honed storytelling skills carry the day."
-Publishers Weekly on The Scoundrel and the Debutante
"London's writing bubbles with high emotion as she describes sexual enthusiasm, personal grief and familial warmth. Her blend of playful humor and sincerity imbues her heroines with incredible appeal, and readers will delight as their unconventional tactics create rambling paths to happiness."
-Publishers Weekly on The Devil Takes a Bride
"This tale of scandal and passion is perfect for readers who like to see bad girls win, but still love the feeling of a society romance, and London nicely sets up future books starring Honor's sisters."
-Publishers Weekly on The Trouble with Honor
"London's engaging series is recommended for all romance collections."
-Library Journal on The Scoundrel and the Debutante
"A delectably sexy hero, an unconventionally savvy heroine, and a completely improper business proposal add up to another winner for ever-versatile London."
-Booklist on The Trouble with Honor
About the Author
Julia London is a NYT, USA Today and Publisher's Weekly bestselling author of historical and contemporary romance. She is a six-time finalist for the RITA Award of excellence in romantic fiction, and the recipient of RT Bookclub's Best Historical Novel.
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Top Customer Reviews
This was where the book absolutely fell apart, for me. Yes, Aveline was a whining little ninny, but she was also seventeen and being forced into a marriage she wanted no more than Rabbie did. A genteel Englishwoman of that age is probably equivalent to an eleven-year-old girl today in how little she understood the world, how sheltered she was. Aveline was treated with nothing short of cruelty by the entire narrative, most particularly by Rabbie. She was a child doing her best in an untenable situation, and the book went out of its way to basically slap her in the face for it. I did hope that she'd get her happy ending with the man of her dreams but instead there was a horrible reversal that quite unnecessarily devastated her.
Bernadette, the supposed heroine of the book and Aveline's 'friend' behaved absolutely reprehensibly, and so did Rabbie. Rabbie was engaged to another woman and the pair of them cheated. Rabbie made little real effort to end the engagement, dumping all the burden on Bernadette's shoulders when she had no power to do anything about it, and was an utter heel throughout the book.
Having a tragic backstory doesn't absolve you of the responsibility to at least attempt to treat other people decently. Or do I have to channel my inner Jake Peralta here?
“Cool motive. Still murder.” Or in this case: “Tragic backstory. Still cheating.”
Not one person in this entire book treated Aveline with any real decency except for Rabbie's sister Cat, the only person in the book I actually liked. Frankly, for the rest of them I had little emotion left but contempt by the end, and the eventual news of Aveline's marriage was clearly supposed to leave us saying 'yay, at least she didn't end up an old maid'. I did not say yay. Trading one fiancé you don't like for another fiancé you don't like? Not a step upwards.
The book is well written and the language beautifully descriptive. If you like broody a-hole Scottish heroes and heroines who are willing to sleep with a man engaged to another woman, you might enjoy it. I'm afraid I really did not. Two stars.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.
First let me say that there are parts of this book that took fortitude on my part to read, but it was worth reading through some really sad parts to a HAE. This book is about Rabbie MacKenzie the brother of the hero from "Sinful Scottish Laird". Rabbie has lost his will to live. He has watched his precious Highlands be decimated by the English after the battle at Culloden , the love of his life died a terrible death and his clan is barely scraping by. He is just going through the motions for one reason, because no matter how much he doesn't want to go on he knows that if he died his family would be devastated. Now Rabbie has agreed to marry a young English woman who will bring much needed money. He doesn't want anything to do with her when she arrives at his home. He is not even trying to endear himself and is being rude and dismissive an all around ass.
Accompanying the bride to be from England is Bernadette Holly. A ladies maid with a terribly tragic past. She and her love ran away from home to marry, defying her wealthy Father, who wanted her to marry a nobleman to help him gain access to into the Ton. Her father's men catch up with them days after they were married and drag her husband away. She is taken home and her marriage is annulled. She later finds out that her husband was conscripted into the Royal Navy and died at sea. She then finds out she is pregnant but loses the baby when her father strikes her and she falls down a flight of stairs. She has hidden deep in her mind and heart the crippling pain that has shaped who she is and what she has become.
How can Rabbie and Bernadette help each other when it is clear that the only thing they have in common is pain and heartbreak? I have read everything that Julia has written in Historical Romance, this story is darker in that Julia delves deeper into what makes these characters so special. They are both strong, intelligent characters who come out even stronger in the end. There is conflict, redemption, and best of all a happy ending for them. I am a fan of Julia's writing and think this book is a must read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bernadette Holly is along for the ride when her charge, Avaline, is sent to marry highlander Rabbie Mackenzie.Read more