The Highlander’s Choice by Callie Hutton

July 17, 2015 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★½

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.

The Highlander’s Choice by Callie HuttonThe Highlander's Choice by Callie Hutton
Series: Marriage Mart Mayhem #5
Published by Entangled Publishing on June 14, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 195
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
The Scottish Highlands, 1815

Lady Sybil Lacey is every inch an English woman. She's horrified her best friend is wedding a barbarian Scot. For aren't Scots naught but brutish, whiskey-swilling lechers? So to find herself secretly attracted to the tall and devastatingly handsome Scottish laird of Bedlay Castle is quite disconcerting...

Liam MacBride is convinced that English ladies are silly sassenachs who think of nothing but social events and clothes. So why is he intensely drawn to Lady Sybil? All they do is quarrel . . . until loathing turns into undeniable lust.

A tempestuous, fiery romance between an English lady and a Scottish laird cannot end well.

Miss Sybil Lacey is appalled that her best friend is going through with her arranged marriage to a big Scottish brute.  Scots are naught but large, hulking brawlers drunk on ale and lusting after any woman within reach.  She must accompany her friend to the highlands to offer comfort – and perhaps a quick getaway if her friend comes to her senses and wants to leave.  But Sybil is pleased is discover her friend’s fiancee is not so bad, even if the groom’s friend – Liam MacBride – teases her relentlessly.  Like Sybil, Liam has a warped view of the English – they’re nothing but spoiled, pampered princesses lazing about their houses and chasing the man with the largest fortune into matrimony.  When Liam and Sybil meet, both quickly realize they must put aside their pre-conceived ideas of what it means to be Scottish and English because the attraction between them is too intense to ignore.

Liam and Sybil bicker like two children on a playground – and flirt like children too!  This made for a very entertaining read, although just when I thought these two were finally starting to get over their prejudices, Liam’s mother arrives to stir up more trouble!  Sybil has a sharp wit and strong opinions regarding what she desires in a husband.  No arranged marriage for her!  Sybil refuses to settle for anything less than love and will not be bullied or pushed around by anyone.  Liam was a pleasant surprise as he was quite well read (a Jane Austen fan!), humbly intelligent, and yet still presented as a capable laird and businessman.  I particularly enjoyed Liam and Sybil’s interactions with Liam’s family.

There were a few things that bothered me though.  The biggest was that I didn’t quite understand why  Sybil developed her prejudices against the Scottish people.  It was very well established that Sybil comes from an unconventionally progressive family, so for her to believe that all Scotsmen were drunken, lusty brawlers seemed a little out of character.  I completely understood why Liam (and his clan) had their prejudices against the English, but I just didn’t understand Sybil’s.

That aside, I really enjoyed this installment of the Marriage Mayhem series.  I have not read the other books in the series, so I can say with some confidence that you are able to read this book as a standalone.  There are references made to Sybil’s other family members (whom I assume star in their own books), but enough context is provided that I didn’t feel like I was missing anything.

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