on December 27th 2016
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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.
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.
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
Wild Wicked Scot is the first book in the ‘Highland Grooms’ Trilogy by Julia London.
It’s the story of a spoiled English aristocrat’s daughter, Margot Armstrong. At just 18 her father forces her to marry a Scottish Chieftain, Arran McKenzie for political and monetary reasons. One minute Margot was enjoying a birthday ball given for her best friend, and the next thing, she was married to this wild man, and living in the Highlands. Far from her family, and from everything she has ever known. She wasn’t made to feel welcome by most of her new husband’s clan, not only because of her being English, but she also had a tendency to let her feelings about the place show. To her it was beneath her to be living in such a place, with heathens no less. She would admit that her husband was a very attractive man, especially when he took the time to shave and wash, and he was very attentive in the bedroom. But that wasn’t enough to bring her happiness, and it wasn’t long before she left him and made her way home.
Three years later she finds herself being forced to go back to her husband by her father. Not because he had any care for their marriage, but he wanted her to spy on her husband. He wanted her to find proof that the man was a Jacobite and was trying to oust the English queen from her throne. She didn’t want to go back, she didn’t believe for one minute that Arran would believe after 3 years that she had a change of heart and wanted to work on their marriage. But again she had no choice and return to Scotland and her husband was what she did.
During her time back there, over time she finds herself more torn by her mission than she thought she would be. Her husband is a good man, and the more time she spends with him trying to prove she could be a proper Highland wife, and that she regretted leaving him before, the more she finds things to like about him. In fact she hopes with all of her heart that if she does find something, it will be something that proves he isn’t a Jacobite. She wishes she didn’t have to spy on him at all, but her father will be accused of treason himself if Margot can’t find proof that her husband is the treasonous person. Her father must be innocent, but she is certain her husband is too. What a predicament she finds herself in.
Will Aaran find out the true reason Margot returned, and with them both realising that a marriage between them could indeed work if only they could trust each other, what will happen if/when the truth is out?
This was a thrilling story from beginning to end, from the forced marriage, to the capture of the treasonous man (not saying who). There were fun light hearted scenes among the darker ones, and there were some steamy scenes between Aaran and Margot. They may not trust each other and don’t want to lose their hearts to each other, but their lust for each other is undeniable.
I enjoyed that although there were politics mentioned in this book, and the talk of treason and ousting the Queen etc, that the author went into just enough information without coming across as a reference book. I find that some authors go to such lengths to get the historical information correct, that they tend to put a tad too much in their stories. But not this author, the amount was just right, and at no point did the book become boring.
I loved all the characters, but my heart goes out to Aaran who truly didn’t deserve the way Margot up and left him. Yet despite his heartbreak, and the fact he knew she must be up to something to come back after so long, he still wanted to make a go of his marriage with her. The man has a heart of gold.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am very much looking forward to the next one in the trilogy.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.