- File Size: 14018 KB
- Print Length: 169 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: March 1, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01MQZVY2T
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,610 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$6.99|
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Highland Pursuits Kindle Edition
"The Summer Children" by Dot Hutchison
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But it’s the handsome estate manager Hamish who catches Ophelia’s eye. Hamish, of course, possesses all the characteristics of the perfect romance hero; impossibly good-looking (especially in a kilt), macho, sometimes gallant, but also brooding and darkly aloof as he nurses a broken heart from his past. You KNOW how this is going to turn out, right? Yet, it’s in the “getting there” that this superbly crafted story shines.
If I have any complaints about 'Highland Pursuits', it is that the tone becomes decidedly less lighthearted towards the middle, whence, consequently, the pacing seems to flag. Where do all the wonderful jokes go—even the delightful antics of Ophelia’s cairn terrier Pudding? It’s all-too serious of a sudden, perhaps because, knowing how stories like this are supposed to end, it’s necessary to spin out the dramatic irony for a spell. This inconsistency in tone is ameliorated to some degree by the quality of the writing, and, perhaps, most people, who read considerably faster than I, won’t even notice. Still, 'tis ne’ bu’ a wee quibble considering the excellence of the whole.
The first half of this novella is truly delightful. It is a fun (and funny) comedy of errors as Ophelia learns to navigate her way through this small society of oddball characters. During her time in the castle she learns to love the Highlands and also learns about herself and what she really wants in life. I did find the second half of the book to be not as enjoyable. The sly humor of the first half of the book was lacking and some of the sexual situations were not really my cup of tea. The ending seemed forced and abrupt. On the whole, however, I did enjoy the book very much.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I loved Cautionary Tales, de Maupassant’s collection of dark, erotic short stories. But I’ve never been crazy about the Roaring 20s – The Great Gatsby notwithstanding – and stories about the idly rich tend to make me roll my eyes.
So it was only my love of de Maupassant’s other works that led me to open Highland Pursuits, a romantic story about a London debutante set in the 1920s.
And it was awesome!
As usual, de Maupassant has such a gift for creating a setting; the Highland Castle Kintochlochie becomes another character in its own right, and a very romantic one at that. Not to mention Hamish, the ruggedly handsome Scotsmen (really, is there any other type of Scotsman?) who manages the Castle estate.
This novel contains de Maupassant’s usual knack for humor, which is sometimes dark and always entertaining, and her characters run the full gamut from sympathetic to downright dreamy to outright scoundrels. I especially enjoyed the braggart Americans and the crotchety old grandfather, who reminded me just a tad of Father Jack…
And it wasn’t just the romance that drew me in. Lady Ophelia herself, the afore-mentioned London debutante, undergoes a rich and satisfying transformation. Her romantic, sensual adventures are part of that journey, but not all. Sure, she wants romance and sex, but she’d also like to do something with her life (much to the shock of her upper-crust mother), and it’s quite refreshing to read a romance novel with such a fully developed female protagonist.
Also, as an avid fly fisherman myself, I have to say: If you lose a sexy man’s fly rod, and in response he shrugs and tells you it’s not a big deal, you MARRY THAT MAN!
Highly recommended, even if you’re not into the 1920s. ;)