Highland Prize by Julie Johnstone

Highland Prize (Of Mist and Mountains, #3)Highland Prize by Julie Johnstone

Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Of Mist and Mountains, #3

Release Date: August 30, 2022

Isolde Fitzalan’s life has been anything but easy, her mother died when Isolde was young and she was never taught how to use the magical powers she inherited from her, then her uncle was beheaded as a traitor leaving her shamed and shunned, and if that was not enough, her father gave her and her sister Mackenna to Lord Carrick as payment for his back taxes. Lord Carrick wasted no time in dishonoring and discarding her sister before turning his attention to Isolde. When Lord Carrick is called away, she is desperate to escape and find Mackenna, but Lord Carrick’s jealous wife has other plans for her and tricks Thor MacLeod into marrying Isolde. But when Lord Carrick returns unexpectedly and demands the wedding be dissolved, Lady Carrick claims that Isolde is a traitor and has her locked in the dungeons. But when Thor goes down to interrogate her, for the first time in her life able to weld her powers and conjures a dagger and stabs him, then she casts what she thinks is a protection spell, to keep him from her and escapes.

It is months before Thor finds Isolde again and this time there will be no escape. With the help of his disgraced friend Rolland, he captures her and her friend Mari. Vowing that he will return her to Carrick and dissolve their marriage, he makes it clear that he doesn’t trust her or any witch and that he has no more desire to be married to her than she has to be married to him. But the more time they spend together, the more he realizes he was wrong about her and wonders why she is lying and who she is protecting. When her life is in peril, Thor realizes his feeling run deeper than he wants to admit and he regrets promising to return her to Carrick, but if he doesn’t Carrick will bring war to his family’s door, and that he cannot allow. But neither can he let her go to be used by Carrick. By the time he comes to terms with his feelings and finally accepts he loves her and cannot turn her over to Carrick, it may be too late.

What a great story, it is well-written, fast-paced, and very hard to put down. I loved the slow-burning romance between Thor and Isolde, they had such chemistry between them, but they had both been hurt before and had a hard time trusting in love. As a bonus, many readers will recognize Thor’s parents from their love story – When a Laird Loves A Lady. This book is filled with emotion, betrayal, lies, magic, great secondary characters (some who are begging for their own stories!), steamyish love scenes, a bit of heartbreak, familiar faces, and finally a very hard-earned HEA complete with an epilogue. This is the third book in the series, but it can easily be read as a standalone title. I enjoyed this story and happily recommend it!

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*

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Avid reader (and reviewer) of historical romance.

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