Series: Highland Roses School, #1
Release Date: September 24, 2018
Evelyn Worthington flees to the Highlands with her maid and her sister Scarlet to avoid marriage to Lord Philip Sotheby. Her brother Nathaniel recently purchased a forfeited castle and has given Evelyn three months to prove she can support herself. Their father left instructions in his will that if Evelyn didn’t marry Philip, she would be left penniless and her inheritance would go to Nathaniel and Scarlet. Nathaniel gives her an opportunity to remain unwed, but he can only hold off Philip for so long.
Evelyn’s idea is to start a school at the castle and Scarlet has her own reasons for going with her. They arrive during a storm and are shocked at what they find – a burned castle and a hostile, half dressed highlander ordering them to leave, at sword point! When Evelyn tries to explain that she owns the castle and shows him the bill of sale, he burns it and orders her off his land.
Greyson “Grey” Campbell is the chief of the Campbells or Breadalbane and Finlarig Castle. His father was killed by the English and they told him his lands were forfeited for treasonous acts against the crown. The English soldiers under the command of Capt. Cross go as far as to try and burn them out of the castle, severely injuring Grey’s cousin and commander, Aiden. When the English girl shows up saying she is now the owner, he is angry and acts rashly, but he is firm, this is his castle. She follows him in and immediately starts making plans for her school. He plays along, but tells his clan to hinder her.
Evelyn is a wonderful heroine, she is intelligent, kind, compassionate and truly horrified by what the soldiers have done to these people. If she was not so desperate, she would give Grey back his castle, but for now, that is not an option, so she sets out to befriend (and bribe, if necessary) the clan. Grey is attracted to her and finds himself softening to her, despite his desire to clear his parents names and reclaim his castle.
I really enjoyed the story, it is well written and interesting, with wonderful characters, steamy love scenes, really vile villains, secrets, lies and a seemingly impossible HEA. My major problem with the book was the complete butchering of titles – it is really a personal pet peeve and doesn’t affect the story – but it irked me to no end and cost the book a 1/2 star. Aside from that, I liked the book and would be happy to recommend it and look forward to next installment.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*