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Hard Hearted Highlander An indomitable governessa brooding Highlandera forbidden affair An ill fated elopement cost English born governess Bernadette Holly her reputation her unsuitable 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 offwhile 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 uestion is a delicate foolish young miss unlike her spirited uick 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 Marriage and in the wild HighlandsBernadette Holly has taken up the life as a governess after her scandalous elopement became salacious gossip for polite society Her charge is Avaline is the daughter of an English Baron Baron Kent Kent is determined to marry his daughter off to Rabbie Mackenzie The Baron wants access to the sea for trading from the dispossessed lands of Killeaven he's bought from the crown that surround the Mackenzie stronghold of Belhaire Marriage with the Mackenzie will give him that In a world post Culloden and the Jacobite uprising 1750 Scotland leaves little choice for anyone 'Scotland was drowning under the weight of taxes and excises' Rabbie will marry the Sassenach for his family and their survival Rabbie's heart has been broken from the day he found out his one true love Seona was missing after the English had taken their revenge Seona had never returned Avaline is a flighty set upon young girl with a head full of dreams and an unwillingness to face reality But given her situation why should she? She is being married off to bring about her father's plans Perhaps her fantasy world her drifting through things kept her saneYou can't help but be dismayed at treatment of women as property Both Bernadette and Avaline are badly treated by their fathers What happened to Bernadette when she was dragged away from her husband and her marriage annulled was truly wickedOf course Rabbie and Bernadette rub each other up the wrong way from the very beginning Bernadette is trying to protect Avaline to show her she can make choices Avaline has other ideas Her fear of her father doesn't helpThere were real moments of tenderness in this story between Bernadette and her nemesis Rabbie Mackenzie Indeed I surprised myself by my near tearful response when Rabbie comes to understand Bernadette and her storyI did enjoy this look at two haunted people who find each otherA NetGalley ARC This review was originally posted on Addicted To Romance Summary 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 emotionlove 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 The Hero 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 uite 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 The Heroine 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 than thatand 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 isher parents left much to be desired However she does get some backbone I really enjoyed the way this story progressed and didn't uite 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 manthis 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 uickly especially in the way you see how they help each other emotionally It really brings these two together in such a poignant way The Cover What a beautiful cover and so perfect for april I love the spring tone of the purple and their embrace is so passionate Overall View 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 Click To Buy On foogallery id24091 I've given this a C at AAR so 35 starsI’ve enjoyed the previous two books in Julia London’s Highland Grooms series in spite of my general aversion to ScottishHighland set romances; both books are strongly character driven with in the case of the first book Wild Wicked Scot a dash of politics and intrigue thrown in to add an extra layer of interest So I’ve been looking forward to this third book in which the hero is Rabbie Mackenzie younger son of Laird Arran and his English wife Margot But I’m afraid I can’t say that I enjoyed Hard Hearted Highlander as much as the other books mostly because the eponymous hero is such a miserable bastard for well over half of the story and it’s difficult to find any vestige of sympathy or liking for a man who is so ill mannered and self centredThat’s not to say that Rabbie doesn’t have grounds for what is immediately apparent is a case of severe depression The book is set in 1750 five years after the Battle of Culloden and takes place in a very different world to the previous novel Many families and clans were wiped out on the battlefield and after and of those who weren’t many have fled – to the cities or overseas – and the landscape has been forever changed Even the powerful Mackenzie clan is struggling to look after its own; their neutrality in the conflict did not protect them from the widely wrought devastation and times are hardLike many of his countrymen Rabbie is frustrated and bitter about the huge change the battle has wrought in the Highlander way of life but he is also mired in grief for the woman he loved Seona MacBee who was killed along with her family either during or after the uprising It’s been years since her death but Rabbie mourns her every day and continues to scowl and growl his way through life much to the consternation of his family They love him dearly and hate to see him so melancholy but don’t know what to do to help – and know that he would probably reject it if they triedAs the Mackenzies struggle to rebuild their fortunes after the rebellion it becomes necessary for Laird Mackenzie to broker a match between Rabbie and the young daughter of Lord Kent an English nobleman who has purchased the nearby estate of Kileaven and looks set to buy up other lands around Balhaire If that happens there won’t be enough land to sustain even the small number of Mackenzies who are left and a this arrangement is the only way to protect Balhaire and its dependents Rabbie recognises the importance of this marriage to his family and agrees to marry the girl He doesn’t care – he’s dead inside anywayWhen the Kents arrive it’s immediately apparent that the two families are not a match made in heaven Lord Kent is an abrasive boor who is often drunk than not and his wife and daughter live in fear of him Aveline Kent is only seventeen; she’s pretty and sweet but her excessive timidity and utter lack of individuality and spirit irritate Rabbie intensely and he finds himself unable to say a civil word to her His complete lack of consideration for the young woman and for the difficult situation she has been pushed into similarly irritate Aveline’s maid and companion Bernadette Holly who makes very clear her disdain for Rabbie and dislike of the way he is treating her friendOf course this is a romance novel so I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by saying that that disdain leads to some harsh words and eventually to verbal sparring that sends the sparks flying between Rabbie and Bernadette For the first time in years he finds himself attracted to a woman but things are moving uickly and with the wedding just days away and the fate of his clan at stake how can they have a future together?Like Rabbie Bernadette has a heart breaking tragedy in her past but unlike him she doesn’t allow it to colour her every thought and move As a younger woman she fell in love and eloped with a man her father thought beneath her He had her followed and brought home the marriage was annulled and the young man sent away never to be seen again Bernadette later learned he had died at sea – but even worse after the separation she discovered she was expecting his child only to lose the baby when she was several months along and is now unable to have children of her own Ruined and with her reputation in shreds Bernadette is now employed by the Kents as a maid cum companion and it’s to her that Lord Kent looks to prepare Aveline for her upcoming marriage It’s an impossible task however; the dour Highlander shows no inclination whatsoever to even try to get to know his bride and doesn’t care that Aveline has no alternative but to obey her brutish fatherI liked Bernadette; she’s come through her tragedy and emerged as a stronger person who isn’t easily cowed by anyone She goes toe to toe with Rabbie and calls him on his crap hinting to him that he’s not the only person to ever have been hurt and telling him outright that he needs to stop acting like a spoiled child man up and deal with it In the absence of treatments for depression it’s fortunate for Rabbie that his interest is piued by Bernadette’s spirit and he is not a little inspired by the way she has managed to pull herself out of the despair she experienced upon her own lossesThe biggest problem with Hard Hearted Highlander is that about two thirds of it is Rabbie being a rude unfeeling and discourteous dickhead to his poor fiancée – who isn’t to blame for anything other than being an empty headed seventeen year old – and Rabbie and Bernadette pondering their losses during a number of lengthy inner monologues I liked the author’s overall message about the need to let go and move on but the romance is rushed there’s an odd subplot that made me a little uncomfortable and the various flashbacks to Rabbie’s life with Seona are out of place; we already know he’s heartbroken and these reinforcements add nothing to the overall storyI understand that there are to be books in this series and I certainly intend to read them but I can’t wholeheartedly recommend this one It’s well written and Ms London has once again made good use of her research into the period to create a suitably subdued atmosphere that reflects the political situation of the time But ultimately the romance falls flat; the hero is too unappealing for most of the book and his turn about when it comes is too fast and too late Hard Hearted Highlander is certainly not the place to start with the Highland Grooms?b and even if you’re following the series you might want to give it a miss To be totally honest I read this book a month ago I had absolutely no recollection of the plot The only reason I remembered it is because I checked NetGalley saw I needed to submit feedback and was like huh did I not read that? Friends I did read it That's how forgettable it is I had to skim a few chapters to remind myself Immediately I thought Oh crap now I remember Rabbie MacKenzie is the hero of this story; Bernadette a lady in waitinggoverness to a girl named Avaline if I remember correctly which who knows is the heroine Like many of the heroes in Julia London novels Rabbie has a dark past a fiance who disappeared during a raid she'sdead causing him to be suicidal Like many of the heroines Bernadette also has a dark past she married a boy without her father's consent got pregnant and then got dragged home by said father Trust me when I say both characters let you know how so super duper sad they are in multiple page long monologues What is WITH the monologues in romance novels? I hate it I hate them Show don't tell Have none of these writers taken a beginning level creative writing class? Spoon feeding us your characters emotions is bad Try again Rabbie's family decides their tired of his dumbass moping not kidding and decide to draw up a tidy little marriage contract to a teenager named Avaline She's English? Her father is pretty cool And by pretty cool I mean he's the most obvious bad character I've ever read in my life This isn't characterization; it's hardly even trying Her father drinks too much bullies her and her mother treats his daughter like little than chattel Like he is not dynamic at all Julia London try harder oh my god It's so easy to write bad for the sake of bad because you need a plot device characters but stop It's insulting Avaline brings along her governess Bernadette who is only there because her dad basically like sold her? It's her only option besides the church I guess Avaline is super sensitive insecure and generally a doormat Rabbie is capital n Not Interested However he can't stop giving Bernadette the look Honestly the middle of the novel becomes a blur Despite his engagement to Avaline which Rabbie can't break off because HONOR despite the fact that Avaline is totally helpless Bernadette and Rabbie get into some risky business That's all I remember Avaline begins to think that Rabbie's brother loves her he doesn't and so she hatches a plan to kiss him and have him marry her instead Sure ok Basically the engagement ends Avaline is kinda shamed? Bernadette stays behind and Rabbie's like let's do this So Bernadette has to tell him that she can't have children? Because of the baby she had with her not really husband? It destroyed her uterus I guess Rabbie is a little shook SO instead of giving her time to think about that he goes and picks up TWO ORPHANED CHILDREN that live with his parents and is like take care of these You can love them Dude Anyway Bernadette is mad about that but does OK with the kids They agree to get married and adopt kids and it's very perfect In the end Avaline gets engaged to some other kid which is great Everyone's happy Are you yawning? I'm yawning

  • Hardcover
  • 304 pages
  • Hard Hearted Highlander
  • Julia London
  • English
  • 22 July 2014
  • 9780373803941

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