Series: Untamed Highlanders, #5
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Maybe 3.5 (assuming the title errors/formal address are fixed by publication)
I was really looking forward to this book, I have enjoyed Isobel’s antics from the beginning of the series when she was a little girl and I was excited to see her all grown up.
I guess it’s true – be careful what you wish for – what I found cute and precocious in a six year old child, I found to be vastly annoying in a young woman. She is still just as bratty and impetuous now as she was then, she still thinks she knows better than anyone else and that her ideas and wishes are paramount.
Isobel is staying with a family friend in Newcastle while the rest of her family is attending Aunt Esmerelda, once they return they will all be going to London for the season – to find a husband for Isobel and Catriona – a plan that Isobel doesn’t agree with nor one she plans to follow.
While out riding she meets a man and assumes he is a stable boy, they talk and flirt and share a kiss. Isobel makes plans to see him again the next day. Edward Nicholas Wyeth, Viscount Stirling aka Nick is not a stable boy and he is captivated by the wild Scottish girl he just met, he plans his seduction, thinking she is a maid. Later he learns he might be wrong and she might actually be a well born lady, but he keeps his rendezvous with her anyway. They talk and he is sure she is a maid but then discovers she is a virgin and his honor won’t let him despoil her – but Isobel wants to be despoiled! When they meet again she is bound and determined to be had – and takes matters into her own hands. They make love and it is earth shattering and they plan to meet as often as they can before she leaves.
She returns back to the house and is dismayed that her family has arrived, she has no way to tell Nick that she is leaving but it was never going to be anything more than a fleeting affair, its not like they were in love or anything… So why is she still thinking about him days later and thinking that she sees him in the park? Nick realizes that the family left for London and takes off after them – happy to leave considering his host’s sister is “hunting” him and even tried to compromise him into marrying her. He arrives in London and has no idea how to find her and knows he will have to ask his mother for help. That is when he learns that his Isobel is not a maid and that his mother has met her and wants Nick to meet her. Perfect!
Later that night they meet at a ball, but Isobel still thinks he is a stable boy and has snuck into the ball, they go out to the terrace and after a kiss, she asks him what he is doing there and tries to get him to leave, when someone calls him, she is worried he has been caught, but soon realizes that his is not a stable boy but a Lord – an ENGLISH Lord – she is miffed and leaves with his friend Tully, leaving Nick alone with Lady Celia – the girl that is “hunting” him. Nick needs to speak to Isobel, but she ignores him and leaves the ball. She is angry, he lied to her! But Cat points out that he never lied and Isobel is not being fair. Isobel admits that he didn’t lie, but she is still angry.
They meet again at a house party given by his mother and form a truce of sorts, he wants her and believes that he may be falling in love, but Isobel just wants an affair. When they ended up betrothed, he is elated and it seems like she is too – but he soon learns the truth – she is happy because it means they can have an affair and then she can dump him when she is ready to go back to Scotland. Nick is intent on winning Isobel and plans to woo her and win her.
For the next couple of months everything goes well, but Isobel still refuses to marry him and when she learns something that could change everything – she bolts. Leaving Nick to decide if he should still fight for her or finally let her go.
While the story was non-stop and very amusing, I failed to truly understand what exactly Isobel was afraid of – losing herself? I have a hard time with this mindset in this era – there is no such thing as an independent woman, especially an unmarried woman of no fortune. Isobel came across as very selfish, ignorant and a bit TSTL. She wasn’t mean and she understood her actions would hurt people, but it didn’t stop her from doing them anyway and for that I lost what little respect I had for her. Nick was wonderful and I loved him as well as the other Edwards and his twin cousins. The story had a lot of steamy love scenes, more than one villain, some laugh out loud funny moments and a very sweet HEA. On the downside, Isobel is annoying and there are more formal address and title errors in this book than any other book I have ever read – I was shocked, Ms. York is not a HR newbie, so I can only hope these are fixed before this book publishes.
This is the fifth book in the series, but it is set much later and could absolutely be read as a stand alone title. While this wasn’t my favorite in the series, I would recommend it and look forward to reading Cat’s story.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*