The lush Scottish Highlands are a tempting setting for seduction in "New York Times "bestselling author Julia London's sparkling new novel. Read more...
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The lush Scottish Highlands are a tempting setting for seduction in "New York Times "bestselling author Julia London's sparkling new novel.
The last person Daria Babcock expects to find in her grandmother's home is a brawny, naked Highlander. She doesn't buy Mamie's explanation about finding the poor man shot in the woods. Nor does she trust the gorgeous laird, who insists his own memory fails him. But Daria came to Scotland looking for adventure and romance, and after the intriguing stranger kidnaps her, she gets her wish--and so much more. . . .
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-01-21
- Reviewer: Staff
London’s 1811 Scottish Highlands romance is atmospheric but cloying. Gently bred 21-year-old Daria Babcock, the last unmarried young woman in her social circle, travels to Scotland, ostensibly on a family mission to bring money to her grandmother. After Daria’s chaperone deserts her, she arrives at the addled matriarch’s cottage and finds one room occupied by an unconscious Scotsman with a gunshot wound. When Jamie Campbell awakens, Daria does her best to care for him while figuring out why he’s in her grandmother’s house. The sensual connection between Jamie and Daria feels manufactured rather than organic, but detailed characterization encourages the reader to fill in the blanks. London (The Seduction of Lady X) brings a smooth, flowing cadence to the story, right up until a hasty, unfinished ending that leaves several threads dangling in the heather-scented wind, undoubtedly to be explored in future books. Agent: Jenny Bent, the Bent Agency. (Mar.)
Reunited lovers face danger and desire in Catherine Mann’s riveting Free Fall. When undercover Interpol agent Stella Carson is kidnapped while posing as one of a group of students visiting East Africa, Jose “Cuervo” James, an Air Force pararescueman (think Navy SEAL with additional medic skills), is sent in as part of the liberation team. But the attempt goes awry and the pair must hide out while awaiting a second try at extraction. Feelings flare between Jose and Stella, but the passionate fire can’t eliminate what stands between them: Jose’s certainty that his own childhood makes him a bad bet as a family man. Other ominous plot threads come together to uncover old secrets and reveal a betrayal that Jose and Stella might not survive. An expert blend of raw emotion and suspenseful thrills.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Adventure, sizzling sex and scary creatures abound in Cynthia Garner’s return to her paranormal milieu, Heart of the Demon. Half-chameleon demon enforcer Finn Evnissyen makes a literal bargain with the devil: He will gain independence from his devilish employer if he infiltrates a rogue group of preternaturals (vampires, werewolves, shifters, demons and fey) determined to take over the human world. Unbeknownst to him, fey Keira O’Brien has been blackmailed into doing much the same thing. Finn and Keira were lovers in the past and the attraction still runs strong, but now they’re each dismayed to find that the other is loyal—or so they think—to this dangerous organization. Still, their close proximity results in new romantic sparks, and they become enthusiastic, if distrustful, lovers. When the truth of their involvement with the bad guys comes to light, they have still more peril in the way of a happy ending. Will they manage to stop the rogues or will they lose their lives? Fast-paced action and imaginative world-building will entertain enthusiasts of supernatural romance.
TOP PICK IN ROMANCE
Julia London delivers a charming fish-out-of-water story in The Last Debutante, set in 1811. When Daria Babcock travels to Scotland from West Sussex, England, on a visit to her grandmother, the last thing she expects is to be kidnapped by the powerful laird of a Highland clan. But Jamie Campbell is sure he has good reason; he believes Daria’s grandmother stole a thousand pounds from his uncle, and he will take the girl as ransom until the money is repaid. Daria’s confinement in Jamie’s medieval-looking castle is not as harrowing as she feared. Not only does she find the countryside beautiful, but she begins to chip away at the Campbell family’s suspicion toward her. Jamie himself is fascinated by Daria’s grace and good humor under the circumstances, and soon they are falling for each other. But the laird isn’t free to marry whomever he wishes, and he’s torn between his heart and his duty toward the clan. Jamie is still wrestling with his choice when Daria’s friends and family arrive to secure her release—and a devastating scandal is revealed, further making romance between the pair impossible. This is a tender story peopled with memorable secondary characters and two culture-crossed lovers worth rooting for.