Monday, May 16, 2016

ARC Review: Highland Awakening by Jennifer Haymore

Series: Highland Knights #2
Pub. Date:  March 29, 2016
Publisher:  Loveswept
Pages:  248
Format:  eARC
Source:  NetGalley

This review is way late! I managed to put it on my calendar for May instead of March. Oops. I'm letting it slip that I don't always have it perfectly together! So I apologize to Jennifer Haymore, Loveswept and NetGalley for being tardy. (I received an advanced copy of this book from Loveswept via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.) This was a nice quick romantic read that made my crack of dawn Southwest flight pass in the blink of an eye.  So, yay!

The Highland Knights are a group of soldiers who have come home from Waterloo and banded together as a mercenary group to conduct special assignments for the Crown. In this installment, the Knights' assignment is to guard the odious Lord Pinfield, who has been receiving threats against his life.  While performing his guarding assignment, Camden McLeod, our hero, keeps running across Lady Esme Hawkins, our heroine. I really liked Camden's character. Having shunned his father, and society, due to their questionable values, Cam is an honorable sort unlike the masses of male chauvinists and adulterers common for the time. I loved the way that he took care of his sister, Anna, and vowed to not treat women as his father, the Earl of Sutton, treated his mother. His somewhat gruff and bulldozing ways also endeared him to me, even though they sent Esme running the other way on occasion.

Our heroine, Esme Hawkins, is the youngest sibling of the House of Trent.  So this book is kind of a spinoff from that series, because there is a lot of character crossover and detail mentioned about those books. I have yet to read them, so I felt I was lacking some backstory. But despite that, I still enjoyed this romance. Esme is a bit of a tortured heroine due to some events that have happened in her past (which I assume are detailed in the Trent books). She is shy and awkward and never says the right thing. She tends to be a bit of a klutz at societal events. But she has a hidden passionate side and has secretly authored a number of romance novels. I liked Esme and could totally relate to her klutzy social awkwardness.  I just wish I had read the Trent books so that I was more informed about her history and family life.

I loved the relationship between Esme and Cam. He was a bit of a steamroller when it came to obtaining what he wanted, namely, Esme. The chemistry between the two was sweetly passionate... but the steam built to an explosive point quickly.  I liked that these books have been more on the erotic side than mainstream historical romances. I loved that Cam's initimate preferences matched his demeanor and personality... and they certainly kept me riveted on the very early morning flight. I look forward to Colin's story next in Highland Temptation.

Favorite quote:
Dinna think you can keep any part of yourself from me, Esme. I’m going to learn all your secrets. I’m going to know every inch of you. Of your mind, of your thoughts, of your body. Then we’ll see what you think about marrying Henry Whitworth.

Highland Knights