Since my first meeting Isobel, as she calmly and accurately emptied her quiver of arrows in the library, being sure to only hit the “boring books” she’s been a strong favorite character in Sabrina York’s Untamed Highlanders series. Now, grown and in her first season, this unconventional lassie must take her turn in society’s whirl during her first season. Please read on for my review of
What a Highlander’s Got to Do
Isobel has long stated she’ll not marry nor entertain the idea of a British suitor, preferring her freedom and self-determination as she hunts, rides and wields her bow and arrows in the Scottish Highlands. But, with her now coming of age to make her debut, she’s been coaxed and cajoled along with her best friend Catriona to head to London for the season, her entire family in tow. With ten children under ten (siblings, nephews and nieces) she’d been allowed to stay with a family friend for a few days as the family spent time with the ailing aunt. Not finding the briskness and freedom in Newcastle that she enjoys at home, she decided on a ride – and took off with the Lord’s stallion – racing down the roads. Stopped before disaster by a man who snatched her off the horse and received an elbow to the ribs for his trouble, Isobel finds this man, Nick, amusing and intriguing – and when a kiss between them elicits a promise to meet the next day –she hies off toward home. Meeting him again, the two share kisses and more, vowing to meet each day. She’s convinced Nick, by his casual dress and manner is a simple stable boy, and he believes she a maid, a maid that he cannot ignore, and is seriously disappointed when she fails to return.
Heading to London with her family, to face an unpleasant and surely useless season, she’s unable to think of little but Nick, believing that she’ll not see him again. When the family is visited by Kaitlin (now a Duchess and friend of Lana, Hannah and Isobel’s mother Susana) and the fun begins. From the multiple Andrews, Lachlans, Edwards and a drooling toddler that is ‘handy with a sword’, the fun begins. Or mostly. For poor Isobel is often treated with a sort of curious censure…..
“She. Blew. Up. His. Castle.” Lady Frey repeated herself in a tone that inferred this was the worst thing a person could possibly do.
“She was five.” Mama shrugged dismissively. “Children will be children.”
“I’ve hardly blown up anything since,” Isobel said, agreeably.
For the English were subtle but consistent in their snubbing of the Scots – from denying Lana her due deference as a Duchess to pointedly remarking on Scottish customs, food, men and even manners. But, none of this is that bothersome to Isobel. Until she realizes that Nick, her Nick, is in fact Viscount Stirling – and his ‘Britishness” shines through. The two are on a merry dance – him denying that he wants more from Isobel than what isn’t proper, her refusing to allow him to discuss matters of import that are beyond the here and now, as she is fully intending to return to Scotland, without a husband. But when a particularly loathesome debutante has set her sights on Nick, and will stop at nothing to force his hand to marriage, Isobel steps up, claims knowledge of Nick that she shouldn’t have – and shames the petty thing away.
The twists, turns and outright laughs (some from Isobel and Nick, others from the ‘Mongol hoard’ of children that are part of the family and their particularly wild behavior, the uniqueness and solidity of this family, their friends and their determination to see that BOTH Nick and Isobel are happy just shines through. It’s wonderful to see Isobel these years later: more confident (if that was possible) than as a child, her mother and aunts all well married and happy, and her fierce determination to be just who she feels she needs to be to survive every situation is marvelous. To find that she’s also learned, if a bit late, that true love doesn’t expect, want or need her to subjugate herself to a man, and she can still be in her beloved Scotland – the story is a wonderful addition to the series giving a sense of full-circle, and making it a favorite historical series for the heart, humor and heat.
Title: What a Highlander's Got to Do
Author: Sabrina York
Series: Untamed Highlanders #5
Also in this series: Hannah and the Highlander, Susana and the Scot, Lana and the Laird, The Highlander is All That
Genre: Historical Romance, Humor elements, Scottish, Setting: Britain, Victorian
Published by: Swerve
Published on: 6 March, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Google
Isobel Dounreay Lochlannach is a fierce and independent Scots lass. She has no intention to marry—to submit to a man—especially not an Englishman.
But when she meets a devilish stable lad on the way to London, she can’t help but sneak a kiss with the handsome stranger, sure to never see him again.
Nick Wyeth is not a stable lad. He’s Viscount Stirling, and heir to one of the most powerful dukes in the realm. If their indiscretion is discovered, Isobel will be forced to marry him, to succumb to a fate she has always spurned. Nick wants nothing but to call this wild Scottish lass his own, and is determined to show her how an English Viscount can make her swoon, and be his forever.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.