I received this book for free from Harlequin Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Hard-Hearted Highlander by Julia London
Also in this series: Wild Wicked Scot, Sinful Scottish Laird, Seduced by a Scot
Series: Highland Grooms #3
Published by Harlequin Books on April 25th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance, Scottish Highlands, Regency Era
Source: Harlequin Books
A indomitable governess...a brooding Highlander...a forbidden affair...
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?
Bernadette Kent, is a woman having little and no choice but to work as a governess, due to past scandals and the pain she has experienced. Bernadette has learned some rough truths of life, and one of them is that woman have no choice in life especially in what they wish in life or who they wish to marry. Now its Bernadette’s job to make sure that her young charge and friend learn to accept her upcoming marriage that she has no choice in. Bernadette understands why Avaline who may be kind but is shy and practically shakes in fear of her new fiancee. Rabbie Mackenzie accepted the upcoming marriage at a painful time in his life. Now he has no choice but to bind himself to a girl that is barely out of the schoolroom and has no strength or courage. But his life comes alive again when he banters with independent Bernadette who fights him on every turn. But soon the opposition they both feels turns into something passionate and eventually into a softer emotion….love. But their relationship is forbidden and not just to society, but both Bernadette and Rabbie understand each others pains of the past and could help heal each other…
Rabbie Mackenzie has suffered some of the worst pains. He lost the woman he loved and most of her family in a very painful way and ever since has continued to grieve his loss of her and has merely existed. Rabbie reluctantly agreed to a marriage for financial gain on both parties. Once Rabbie meets his future bride, he regrets his agreement but refuses to go back on his word. Rabbie is a proud highlander who has suffered some great losses in his life. But he looks out for his family and other Scots who need his help to survive with the recent joining of Scotland and England which has practically starved and decimated the Scottish people. What I truly loved about Rabbie was his protective nature toward his people. Now he can be a jerk quite a bit especially in the beginning. He has a very rough exterior, but I truly loved seeing the change in his character as he learns to let go of the past and learning to love again.
Bernadette hasn’t had a easy life. Bernadette once fell in love and managed to elope, but she learned a painful lesson when her father annulled the marriage, and forced her fiancee to a ship to work and died a few months later and Berndatte lost even more than that….and she knows that she will never be able to have the family she always dreamed of. But it hasn’t hardened or made her bitter. She still has a sweet nature, and I truly adored how passionate she was especially in defense of Avaline. Her character isn’t easy to read, because of the way we are introduced to her and sets a certain tone of the story. I did enjoy her character and seeing the way she overcomes the ghosts of her past and find the happy after she deserves.
Plot and Story Line
Hard Hearted Highlander is a wonderful romance that has a strong angsty beginning. What I truly loved about this book was seeing the growth and changes in our characters. At the beginning of the book, there are shields around both Bernadette and Rabbie. These shields are because of some painful experiences these two have had to struggle through. And I understood where they were coming from but they tended to bicker and banter like children and there were times it could be amusing, but other times I felt a bit frustated but then I don’t think I was in the mood for a angsty romance. But it didn’t take very long to get into the frame this book has set. Now we have another character Avaline. I will admit there are times I learned to like her, but honestly she drove me nuts. She was fearful of everything and was so weak in so many ways. I understood why she was the way she is….her parents left much to be desired. However she does get some backbone. I really enjoyed the way this story progressed and didn’t quite turn out the way I expected and I liked that. There are some predictable moments, but other moments that happily surprise you. What made this book so wonderful though was the ending. Because man…this author had me crying and laughing in the same moment which is rare. And yeah I fell in head over heels with this couple pretty quickly especially in the way you see how they help each other emotionally. It really brings these two together in such a poignant way.
What a beautiful cover and so perfect for april, I love the spring tone of the purple and their embrace is so passionate
Hard Hearted Highlander is a simply fantastic romance that is full of fun yet angsty bantering, an emotional whirlwind of desire, grief and brings a perfectly satisfying story!!