The Highlander’s Choice by Callie Hutton
Publisher & Release Date: Entangled Publishing, July 14, 2015
Time and setting: May 1816, Scotland
Genre: Historical Regency Romance
Length: 195 pages
Heat Level: 1 Scorching Hot Flame
Rating: 4.25 Gold Crowns
The Scottish Highlands, 1815
Lady Sybil Lacey is every inch an English woman. She's horrified her best friend is wedding a barbarian Scot. For aren't Scots naught but brutish, whiskey-swilling lechers? So to find herself secretly attracted to the tall and devastatingly handsome Scottish laird of Bedlay Castle is quite disconcerting...
Liam MacBride is convinced that English ladies are silly sassenachs who think of nothing but social events and clothes. So why is he intensely drawn to Lady Sybil? All they do is quarrel...until loathing turns into undeniable lust.
A tempestuous, fiery romance between an English lady and a Scottish laird cannot end well.
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The Highlander’s Choice is not the first book I have read by Callie Hutton. I read A Baron’s Betrayal and enjoyed it a great deal. When I received a request from the publisher to read and review this book in exchange for an honest review, I agreed immediately. This is a lovely romance novel set in the beautiful highlands of Scotland.
When Lady Sybil Lacey accompanies her friend to Scotland for her wedding to a Scottish laird, the last thing she expects or wants is to be attracted to a barbaric Scots, but when she meets Liam, Laird MacBride, that is exactly what happens.
Will Sybil and Liam find a way to move beyond their prejudices and find true love, or will they let those issues drive them apart forever?
This story is a sweetly developing tale of two individuals with preconceived ideas based on what they grew up believing. Liam, Laird McBride thinks all Sassenach females act entitled and are not concerned over anything besides balls and parties with an endless line of servants waiting on them all the time. Lady Sybil believes all Scottish men are barbarians, drink huge quantities of whiskey and bed any woman they can find. Obviously, they are worlds apart in their thinking.
I liked Lady Sybil’s character quite a lot. She is loyal to her friend, loves her brother and sisters, and is in tune with nature and the beauty of Scotland. She is no young miss without a thought in her head besides attending parties and participating in idle gossip. She quickly shows Liam that she is no pampered miss. I liked her determination to remain calm and not react to what Liam’s mother tries to do. Even though she is a bit of a hoyden, she is quite feminine, a female after my own heart.
Liam makes a great hero. He is a man of honor and integrity. He is loyal to his friends and treats women with a great deal of respect, while still having a touch of a daring twist to his character. He is fairly uncomplicated and straight forward. When he makes up his mind to woo Sybil, he sets out to do that in a big way. He allows her to see the real Liam without any hidden agendas. This may sound like he is a bit boring, but he is not at all. It is a refreshing change for the hero to be a straight up kind of guy, so many of the heroes in romance novels are terrible rakes.
That is not to say, he is above taking his wooing as far as need be to win his lady. Ms. Hutton does a superb job of building sexual tension, and when Sybil and Liam do crawl between the sheets, sparks fly. While the love scenes are mildly explicit, they are deeply emotional, satisfying this reader’s romantic heart.
The Highlander’s Choice is a tale that bridges the gap between cultures. Still to this day, Scotland strains under the yolk of British rule. At the time of this story, there were still people alive in Scotland who had lived through the aftermath of Culloden. It’s no wonder some Scots like Liam’s mother, still hated the English. Ms. Hutton was able to handle this delicate issue with great expertize. I have high hopes that now that the Scottish people have voted to stay a part of Great Britain, there can be lasting acceptance and collaboration between England and Scotland and old wounds can be healed at last.
At one point in the story, I greatly feared the couple would not be able to bridge their differences, but thank goodness this is romance so they do manage to attain their “happily ever after.” I thoroughly enjoyed this delightful love story, and I cannot wait to read Sarah’s story. Happy reading!