Highland Awakening by Jennifer Haymore
Publisher & Release: Loveswept, March 29, 2016
Time and setting: 1816, London
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Length: 254 pages
Heat Level: 2 Flames
Rating: 5 Gold Crowns
As the secret author of racy romances, Lady Esme Hawkins goes to great lengths to protect her family’s honor. Which is why she carefully disguises herself before entering a notorious bordello to do research. But when Esme comes face-to-face with a brooding Highland bodyguard, she can’t easily refuse a harmless kiss . . . a kiss that inflames desires ripped from the pages of her novels. Acting on them, however, would risk revealing Esme’s identity—and the fact that she’s engaged to another man.
As a Highland Knight sworn to protect the crown, Camden McLeod never expected to follow his client into a bordello—nor could he anticipate meeting a bright, innocent lass with lush lips and eyes the color of the sea. Instantly, Cam knows he must possess her. But to do so, he’ll need to give up his rakish ways, embrace his role as heir to his despised father, and snuff out a deadly threat to his brothers in arms. By comparison, winning Esme away from her insipid fiancé will be pure pleasure.
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I have been a fan of Jennifer Haymore’s book ever since I read A Hint of Wicked. She is one of my auto-buy authors, and I have yet to read one of her books that I did not fall in love with her characters. While her stories are always well-developed, her characters are complex and steal the show. I accepted Highland Awakening from the publisher, via Net-Galley, in exchange for an honest review, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to read this remarkable book.
I have been waiting for Esme’s story ever since she was introduced in The Duchess Hunt, another fabulous book, by the way. I fell in love with her character and have enjoyed her in each of the House of Trent books. Her story is as engaging, and her character as endearing as I expected.
Lady Esme writes racy romance novels, but her family does not know. Neither does her fiancée. When she meets Camden McLeod in a bordello where she is doing research for her books, her attraction to him has her questioning her decision to marry her betrothed.
Camden McLeod, a Highland Knight sworn to protect the crown, is immediately enchanted by the innocent young woman he meets in of all places, a bordello. To win her heart, he will have to change his rakish ways, but it will be worth.
Will Camden’s manipulative ways ruin his chance to win the heart of sweet Esme, or will they keep them apart?
I fell in love with Camden’s character from the start. He is everything I want in a hero. He is loyal to his brother in arms, a protector of the ones he loves, and he is a rugged highlander. While he never expected to fall in love, he is unable to resist Esme. His misguided ways of protecting her cause him problems, but his heart is in the right place. For me, that makes him an engaging, yet flawed character.
The attraction between the hero and heroine is combustible. Ms. Haymore is a master at building sexual tension, and this book is an excellent example of her talents. I truly wanted Esme and Camden to find their happy ending. While the love scenes are explicit, they focus on the emotions behind the act, making them enticing.
I enjoyed seeing a glimpse into Simon and Sarah’s life. You can read about their love affair in The Duchess Hunt. I highly recommend Highland Awakening for all readers who love Regency romances with unforgettable characters and a well-developed story. You will love this wonderful novel as much as I. Happy reading!