Hard-Hearted Highlander: Julia London

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I love highlander books, so I was pretty excited to get ahold of this one. It sounded totally up my alley, but an unlikable hero and odd subplot made this feel disjointed and somewhat unsatisfying for me.

The Story-
Rabbie has to marry an English girl to save his family land etc. His ex/true love died at the hands of the English following Culloden, so suffice to say, he isn’t happy about the arrangement. His bride-to-be is an unlikable little ninny who still has a governess of sorts: Bernadette. Bernadette is, of course, sassy and worldly, which is more interesting to Rabbie than the ninny. Both have tragic backstories and lots of built-up sexual tension.

My Thoughts-
Rabbie broods and sulks through most of the novel even though the heroine, Bernadette, went through something way worse and seems well-adjusted considering. He never really turns a corner and does anything particularly likable; they just start having sex. At one point, I thought that the ninny was going to have a HEA and maybe be alright because the author did some scenes from her perspective, but no. She’s just an idiot that gets embarrassed by a creep. Then, there is all this weird backstory written in italics that actually made me wish Rabbie’s first love hadn’t kicked it. I know Bernadette would have been better off if her jerk father hadn’t screwed up her live and love. Oh, and don’t get me started on the whole “here’s a couple of kids!” thing. I won’t go into detail, but he pulls a very man move out of the blue that left me like “huh?”.

The Bottom Line-
So, why the 3 stars if there were so many things that annoyed me? The plot clicked along pretty well, and although I am not super happy how she ended up with Rabbie, Bernadette is a pretty kicking heroine. I enjoyed their banter and was truly intrigued to see how they would get together because it really wasn’t seeming likely. The writing is solid, and I have a feeling that I would enjoy something else by this author. She writes in my fave subgenre, and clearly has talent; this just went in too many directions and didn’t redeem the hero enough for my taste. 3 stars

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