Monday, January 9, 2017

Wild Wicked Scot

Wild Wicked Scot- Julia London
HQN Books
Release Date: December 27, 2016

Rating (out of 5):

Warning: Potential Spoilers!

Synopsis: 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.


In the first of a new series Julia London introduces us to Margot Armstrong, a young English society girl still learning the ways of the world, and Arran McKenzie, a proud and wild Scotsman.  Margot's father agrees to marry Margot to Arran for lands on both sides of the border and before Margot knows what's happening she's on her way to Scotland, a country she doesn't know, married to a man she barely knows.  Unable to handle Arran's world on her own she leaves her husband and returns to her father. Three years later her father sends her back to discover if Arran is plotting with the Jacobites to overthrow the queen and put a Stewart king on the throne.  With his wife's sudden return Highlanders begin to accuse Arran of plotting with the English against Scotland.  The two may be virtual strangers (with LOTS of emotional baggage between them) but they are going to have to work together to escape a web of deceit and danger.

Scot begins by alternating between the present and the past, which is a little jarring until you realize what's happening.  I don't usually like that, but here it created an interesting emotional effect as we jump between meeting the young, innocent Margot and the Arran who is so bitter about his marriage failing.  For me it created the initial effect of not liking either character, but wanting to find out how they got to where they were.  As the book progresses and you see things through both their eyes and come to understand them it becomes heartbreaking to see how these two, both inexperienced in the ways of marriage and compromise, were unable to make things work.  You might not agree with either of their early choices, but you begin routing for them to figure out how to come together.

London's writing is detailed but fast-paced and all her characters have wonderful layers.  I especially can't wait to see if Margot's brother Knox gets his own book- he doesn't get too much time here, but what you see of him (especially at the end) makes you want lots more!   Our heroes experience everything from joy, despair, lust, hope, disillusionment, love, and everything in-between- and the reader is swept right along the emotional roller coaster with them.  It's an emotional journey that proves that while compromise and communication may be the most important things in a relationship, sometimes they are also the most difficult.

Wild Wicked Scot is an emotional gripping adventure of love and loss, deceit and trust.  An exciting start to Julia London's new Highland Grooms series.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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