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Monday, December 19, 2016

Review: Highland Temptation

Definitely the most romantic of the series. Colin and Emilia's story was just what I needed.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Loveswept
Release Date: August 23, 2016

When Lady Emilia Featherstone discovers that her despicable father has been scheming against the crown, she turns to the Highland Knights for protection—and retribution. Spirited away to a safe house on the outskirts of London, Emilia is surprised to find herself sharing close quarters with a soft-spoken, muscle bound Highlander. Before long, curiosity gives way to an alarming attraction. Emilia has learned firsthand from her father that men are not to be trusted. She just never met one so honorable and loyal, so powerful and, yes, tempting.

Ever since Waterloo, Colin Stirling has struggled with memories that haunt him night and day. Driven near to madness, he no longer trusts himself with meaningful relationships of any kind. At least in this temporary sanctuary, Colin can withdraw from the world—that is, until his stunningly gorgeous charge learns the full depth of his pain. In Emilia, Colin sees a kindred spirit with battle scars of her own. He also senses a chance to heal . . . and to find love.

Lady Emilia Featherston turns to the Highland Knights for protection after she discovers her father's role in a treasonous plot. Broken, hurt, and vulnerable Emilia seems to trust Colin Stirling the most and so he is the one to take her away from London and her father. Along the way Emilia learns about the demons that haunt Colin and the connection between them begins to grow and they both begin to hope for better things.

Highland Temptation was different from the previous books in that the focus was the emotional connection between Colin and Emilia and that gave the overall book a more softer feel. Not that there wasn’t a strong physical attraction between them, just that it was muted in favor of giving the two characters a chance to develop a deep, meaningful bond over a physical one. It completely worked in the book’s favor because I found Colin and Emila’s story terribly romantic! I’m pretty sure Highland Temptation is my favorite book in the series.

Emilia could have easily been one of those mousy victims who let everyone dictate her life just so she could have some peace but she wasn’t. She may have been a beaten down, terrified woman in the beginning but she rediscovered herself throughout the book and by the end was this strong character who knew her value. I felt I was really able to get to know Emilia through her bad times and good times which is one of the most important things for me. If I can’t connect to the heroine then the story is a lost cause but with Highland Temptation I not only connected to Emilia, I related and loved her. She had a hidden strength that no one could take away from her.

As strong and dependable as Colin was, he was had a pretty big vulnerability and that was his PTSD. As a warrior Colin has seen and done things he regrets even though they were necessary and those memories would sometimes overwhelm and incapacitate him. Believe it or not, this made Colin more of a hero to me. He wasn’t invincible but he wasn’t useless either. Obviously he was a warrior and used to violence but Haymore chose to highlight his emotional side through his connection with Emilia. Both characters experienced violence and have the scars to prove it. They’re tired, they’re wary of others, they’re both survivors, and they recognized kindred spirits in one another. I thought the way the author developed their romance was fantastic and I really felt that connection. Their relationship was a partnership. As much as Emilia needed Colin for protection he also gave her compassion. In return Emilia recognized that Colin needed her too. He needed her strength and her determination to help him through each “episode” that sometimes rendered him immobile.

Basically, I fell in love with Colin and Emilia’s love story. It was totally sigh worthy and a little different from the previous books in the series.

To balance out all the emotions going on between Colin and Emilia, the author gave them a villain worth fearing. He was ruthless, cruel, and would stop at nothing to save himself. He did evoke a sense of dread in every scene, I felt it and I could feel Emilia’s fear as well. This also made Highland Temptation a worthy way to spend my time. To me, a hero and heroine is only as good as the villain is bad. So yeah, he was so good at being bad!

Final Verdict: Do not pass Highland Temptation up if you’re looking for a dreamy but sexy romance between a battle weary Scot and a wounded English lady.

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