I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: The Renegade Royals #4
Published by Zebra Books on June 30, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: the Publisher
Illegitimate yet thoroughly irresistible, the Renegade Royals are leaving behind their careers as daring spies for the greatest adventure of all…
At sixteen, Alasdair Gilbride, heir to a Scottish earldom, fled the Highlands and an arranged betrothal. Ten years later, Alasdair must travel home to face his responsibilities. It’s a task that would be much easier without the distracting presence of the most enticing woman he’s ever met…
After one escapade too many, Eden Whitney has been snubbed by the ton. The solution: rusticating in the Scottish wilderness, miles from all temptation. Except, of course, for brawny, charming Alasdair. The man is so exasperating she’d likely kill him before they reach the border—if someone else weren’t trying to do just that. Now Eden and Alasdair are plunging into a scandalous affair with his life and her reputation at stake—and their hearts already irreparably lost…
Miss Eden Whitney is vivacious, confident, and able to charm even the sourest of elderly matrons. She never lacks for a dance partner and can often be found in the midst of a circle of young men at parties, all of whom clamor for her attentions. Until one scandal too many results in Edie forced to spend the rest of the season “rusticating” in Scotland with her brother-in-law’s friend, Alasdair Gilbride. Alec is a charming rake who enjoys pushing all of Edie’s buttons and seeing her face light up with frustration and delight at their shared verbal banter. The pair quickly realize they’ve been in love with each other for some time, but matters turn complicated when Alec reveals he’s technically been engaged for the past ten years! To add fuel to the fire, when Edie and Alec reach the highlands, they must not only face Alec’s formidable family, but also the realization that someone is trying to kill them.
There are quite a few fantastic one-liners interspersed throughout and many parts had me quite literally laughing out loud as I read. Edie and Alec match each other not only in passion and devotion, but also in their quick wit and repartee. The plot was a little slow, but I really didn’t mind since this allowed the novel to focus more on Edie and Alec’s growing relationship and their individual emotions rather than a constant reaction to outside events. However, with the exception of Edie’s mother, I thought some of the secondary characters were a little flat until right towards the end. (I’m thinking specifically of Donatella, Fergus, and their mother.) But putting that aside, I though the writing in this novel is absolutely superb! Descriptions are vivid, the romantic plot engaging, and the emotions Ms. Kelly evokes are done so effortlessly.
This novel is part of a series. While you don’t need to have read the other novels in the series to enjoy this one, I do think reading at least Eden’s sister’s novel, HOW TO PLAN A WEDDING FOR A ROYAL SPY, would be helpful as HOW TO MARRY A ROYAL HIGHLANDER makes several references to the previous book that might be more fully enjoyed and understood if you’ve read the prior novel.