Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Review: Wild Wicked Scot by Julia London

Wild Wicked Scot

Author: Julia London
Publisher: Harlequin Books
Series: Highland Grooms #1
Pages: Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: December 27th 2016


Wicked intrigue unfolds in New York Times bestselling author Julia London's latest historical gem as an unlikely marriage leads to a path of risky desire in the lush, emerald Highlands.

WILD WICKED SCOT has earned three STARRED reviews! See below for the review clippings!

Born into riches and groomed in English luxury, Margot Armstrong didn't belong in a Scottish chieftain's devil-may-care world. Two years ago she fled their marriage of convenience and hasn't looked back--except to steal memories of moments spent in wild, rugged Arran McKenzie's embrace. But as their respective powerful kingdoms unite and political upheaval rings around them, she's forced to return to her husband in order to interrupt his secret plans to invade her country.

Red-haired, green-eyed Margot is a beautiful threat. The bride Arran lost has haunted him for ages. As the Highlands tremble with whispers of her people's plot to seize McKenzie territory, he must outmaneuver her in games of espionage...and seduction. Yet as their secrets entwine and their lands fall prey to a political war, there's nothing to prevent love from capturing them both and leading them straight to danger.

Kirkus STARRED review: "An absorbing read from a novelist at the top of her game. "

Publishers Weekly STARRED review: “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.”

Booklist STARRED review: “With well-developed characters who experience genuine growth, London is at the top of her game in this thrilling tale of political intrigue and second chances. This absorbing and passionate romance bodes well for future Highland Grooms titles.”


My first reaction when I finished this: I didn't want it to be over!
So I went to see what's next in the series...
Wild Wicked Scot is truly engaging and captivating. Is got caught up in the story from the get go and couldn't put my kindle down until I was finished.

I have never read a book by London before, but I feel I really need to rectify that error now and read all the previously published books by her. Because this is written by a master of her craft. There are multiple POV and then the story jumps back and forth between the time line as well, seemingly all at random. But it's so brilliantly done! Each jump is precisely what the story needed and not only that it's done completely smooth.
The dialogues feel authentic, there is a good dose of humor and some wonderfully sensual smut.
Add to that, the beautiful writing style and you got me attention.
But then  London outdid all of this with the character building. I was so caught up with Margot and Arran, with their feelings, with their hopes and regrets and their fears. I totally got both of them, got their pain and rejoiced over their growth. I needed them to find happiness! Which in itself is a total feat to achieve. I mean I like a happy ending, like anyone, but I never (ok:rarely might be more accurate) have such a desperate yearning for the characters to get it.

The story line is a brilliant tale of star-crossed lovers/ arranged marriage gone bad to finding love with each other.
The romance is beautiful, heartbreaking and wonderfully different in many ways.
The plot is captivating, I kept guessing who the culprit was, was kept on my toes and hoping until right to the end.
The epilogue btw, is simply beautiful. And that, is another stroke for London. Because it could have been simply too mushy for me, which many of them are. But again, just like in so many other instances, she gets it just right, is on point with the emotions, the sweet little details and a dash of humor. It's just perfect, really.
To be honest, I am not sure how historically correct this novel is. I am not clued up on the particular clan history of it's time. I don't even know if there is a Norwood Park. But it feels authentic. The lifestyles, the manners, the prejudice and the dialogues not feel only authentic bu real enough to make this a great historical romance.

The character building, does like I said before outshine everything. It takes this from a good to an excellent novel for me.
Margot, with all her silly naivety, was dear to my heart quite fast. I got where she was coming from, even if I knew she was being ridiculous and utterly spoilt at times. Arran, sigh. Arran is the perfect Scottish hero. I mean this. Sincerely. He is gruff and tough, yet so gentle and caring. Absolutely clueless at times, but again, I got him.
Their characters feel real and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them grow and breach their differences together. Their flaws and shortcomings make them more realistic.
The support cast is just as well written. Again, London seems to bring just the right characters in when needed to highlight a situation. And more so I want to know more about several of the side cast.. I want to know the details about Nell and Jock. And to be honest I hope there will be a story about Grizella. Oh and one for Knox (who was he with in the village?!)
Basically, I just want more.

Compelling, well crafted novel, that left me wanting MORE!


ARC was provided by Publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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