Wicked intrigue unfolds as an unlikely marriage leads to a path of risky desire in the lush, green Scottish Highlands
Born into riches and groomed in English luxury, Margot Armstrong didn't belong in a Scottish chieftain's devil-may-care world. Three years ago she fled their marriage of convenience and hasn't looked back—except to relive the moments spent in wild, rugged Arran McKenzie's passionate embrace. But as their respective countries' fragile unity threatens to unravel, Margot must return to her husband to uncover his role in the treachery before her family can be accused of it.
Red-haired, green-eyed Margot was Arran's beautiful bride. Her loss has haunted him, but her return threatens everything he has gained. As the Highland mists carry whispers of an English plot to seize McKenzie territory, he must outmaneuver her in games of espionage…and seduction. But even as their secrets tangle together, there's nothing to prevent love from capturing them both and leading them straight into danger.
Veteran author London entices readers with the first Highland Grooms novel, set in England and Scotland at the beginning of the 18th century. After being bartered in marriage to Scottish laird Arran Mackenzie, Englishwoman Margot Armstrong is not happy with her new home in the Scottish Highlands. She returns to England after just a few months of marriage, believing that her husband is happy to see her go. But three years later, her father forces her to return to Scotland to get back into Arran's confidences and secretly test his loyalty to Queen Anne. Arran makes it clear to Margot that though he may still desire her, he hasn't forgiven her for her desertion, and he wonders at the real reason for her return. Their passion sizzles and Arran sees that Margot is doing her best to make amends, and as they each reveal their innermost feelings, they learn that there may be more to their relationship than their physical attraction. But Margot's duplicity may destroy any chance for their happiness. Expert storytelling and believable characters make the romance between Arran and Margot come alive in this compelling novel packed with characters whom readers will be sad to leave behind.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Excellent - a must read
What a great story. Was hooked to the very end. Will definitely be reading again.
Aaran worked far to hard for everything, and she did nothing but expect
A bit of an upside down in this story, as the reluctant heroine of this story is a very English and highly spoiled Margot, married for political and financial mobility by her father to Aaran, McKenzie, a Scottish chieftain with prospects was the first of her “coming to terms with her life” moments. And, while one could understand her dismay and recalcitrance, there was a point, fairly early on, where get over it already was foremost in my mind. But, I digress. Beautifully developed, we can see Margaret’s reasoning and struggles with the changes, and even the why of her anger. What doesn’t seem to make any impression whatsoever is Aaran’s obvious desire to make her life easier and better, and not make things more difficult or trying than they already were.
Aaran is wonderfully alpha and protective of his wife and his clan, and his obvious regard (and desire for reciprocation) in an era when men are thought to be mostly oblivious to the needs of their wives, was a breath of fresh air. And of course they both have secrets – some more dangerous and life-altering than others.
So - if I enjoyed Aaran and found reasons why Margot was such a pill – why can’t I love this book wholeheartedly? Simply put, the pacing and points of view. Both were struggles for me as repeated changes in point of view, and more jumps along a timeline to fit in a piece of story or history here, and another there left me with a rather hopscotched approach to the end. Big pieces missing that are filled in pages later with perspective or narration from another, or an inset from years previous to give insight into a moment in the present. I’m all for backstories and perspectives, but too many changes combined with an utter inability to see any growth for Margot in the first 70+% of the title left me wondering just WHY Aaran was working so hard for someone who, although we are told is bright, isn’t showing growth or recognition of her situation at present. It rankled. And I was actually non-plussed with the HEA, for Aaran worked far to hard for everything, and she did nothing but expect.
The writing was solid, and descriptions were wonderfully placed, even as I had some feeling that dialogue and personalities were a bit too modern for the stated timeframe of the story. But, the story was unexpectedly easy to follow even with all the jumping about in POV and time, and was a quick read. Best suited for readers who want their heroines a bit more immature than the norm, and don’t mind being challenged with an unlikable heroine.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review. All conclusions are my own responsibility.
Amazing start to a new series
Julia London is a fairly new to me author. The first book I read by her was a contemporary romance. I must say that she writes both contemporary and historical romances very well. My first love is historical romances. In my youth, I read as a way to escape from reality. Wild Wicked Scot transported me back to the highlands and kept me enthralled in the intrigue and drama surrounding the maturing relationship of Margot and Arran. I enjoyed this book so much that I ordered a paperback copy for my friend. This author is going on my short list of authors I’ll always read and recommend. I can’t wait for the next book.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.