It’s been a while since I’ve read a Julia London book, I remembered why I enjoyed her historical novels just as much if not more than her contemporary stuff. The characters are always well written there is good chemistry between them and the active setting is always so believable. But with this book it all built up and then it just ended. It had the big grand gesture that romance novels almost always need to end with the happily ever after; this one fell short only because she’s done it before and to me it wasn’t that impressive. I think it could have been better but the ending seemed rushed like she was trying to wrap it up so she wouldn’t exceed her word count.
Daisy and Cailean (love that name, Cailean) they were both quiet enjoyable characters. Cailean suffered a heartbreak in his youth and it scared him off forming any sort of permanent relationship with a woman. He is determined never to marry and never have kids, he has plenty of siblings for that. Cailean and his family are smugglers, “free traders” in a time before the big Jacobite uprising and before the massacre that was Culloden tensions were high and the Scottish were suspicious of anyone British in the highlands. Daisy Bristol has been a widow for almost three years in her husband’s will he stipulated that she had to remarry in three years’ time or else their son will lose a majority of his inheritance. Even worse he charged the local bishop with helping her, the pious man has horrible taste in men for her and was acting like it was his choice on who she had to marry. To get away from the fortune hunters and the hordes of horrendous men the bishop was forcing on her Daisy took her son and the entire household to the hunting lodge in the highlands.
Daisy was just going to wait until she heard from her long lost love, Robert, before going back to London. Robert sent a letter telling Daisy he has never stopped loving her and that when his commission is up they’ll get married. Daisy taking her son up to Scotland was just supposed to be temporary but Daisy feel in love with the stark beauty of the highlands. The disrepair of the lodge had everyone working to repair it Daisy dug in and brought back the garden and the house to its former glory. Cailean is Daisy’s closest neighbor and despite not wanting anything to do with Daisy he keeps finding himself with her and not only that but her son was in desperate need of a male role model and the boy quickly worked himself in to Cailean’s heart. Daisy and Cailean as much as they tried to not fall in love with each other but it seemed inevitable but there are too many complications that seemed impossible to overcome.
Overall, it was a good romance Daisy and Cailean were wonderfully done the ending just fell short for me.
**ARC provided by Publisher**