Sunday, September 8, 2019
Review - - How to Heal a Highland Heart
How to Heal a Highland Heart
by Julie Johnstone
Highlander Vows: Entangled Hearts - Book 9
Publisher: Darbyshire Publishing LLC
Release Date: August 31, 2019
Reviewed by PJ
Fate bound them together, but love will set them free.
With no chance of escape…
When Patience Kincaide learns she’s being forced to wed for a third time, she’s desperate to compel her husband-to-be to stay away from her. Both her previous husbands were shockingly cruel, and she holds no hope this time will be different, especially since the man is known as the Savage Slayer. Her plan is simple: pretend she’s crazy. But what happens when the man she thinks she wed turns out to be hiding behind a facade cleverer than her own, one that conceals passion she didn’t believe possible and tenderness she never dreamed existed? What’s a lass to do when the very man she successfully drove away is the only one she’s ever wanted near?
The best laid plans…
A second son relegated to life in the shadows, Highlander Brodee Blackswell left home to serve as the enforcer for the King of Scots, longing to one day govern his own lands and castle. And now that Brodee has become a legendary warrior, the king grants him exactly that. But even rewards have a price. The castle comes with a broken, albeit beautiful, lass he must wed. Yet for a man with no desire to marry, a woman lost in her own world might just be the best possible option. Except Brodee quickly discovers who Patience truly is, and the complicated, caring lass is awakening parts of himself he’d rather leave dead.
May be their undoing…
The potential of a dazzling future dangles just within reach for Brodee and Patience, but dangers they never conceived consume them, threatening their fragile, newfound trust. Their only hope of survival is to shed their meticulously crafted masks and relinquish the pain of the past to embrace the promise of healing, enduring love.
Julie Johnstone is one of my favorite authors writing in the Medieval era. A skilled storyteller, her words never fail to immerse me in the lives of her characters as well as the time and place in which they lived. Having read all of the previous novels in this series, I was eagerly anticipating Brodee's story and I'm happy to say Ms. Johnstone did not let me down.
While there's plenty of Johnstone's trademark emotion, intrigue, and danger in this novel, it's also infused with flashes of humor amidst the drama. I enjoyed those lighter moments between Brodee and Patience as she attempts to convince him she's mad and he sees straight through the ruse. And I love the tenderness that develops between them as the first love they've known slowly binds them together. I especially love how Brodee protects and defends her. He won my heart right along with hers. How they handle the situation into which they've been thrust endeared both of them to me, especially considering what Patience has been forced to endure up to this point. I enjoyed watching her grow and gradually come into her own, though at times she's painfully clueless. Brodee was everything I had hoped he would be though he too had a few moments when I wanted to shake him and tell him to not be an idiot. But that keeps things interesting, right? ;-)
The surrounding cast are well formed and intriguing, adding richness to the story without overshadowing the hero and heroine. Brodee and Patience earn their happy ending and the villains get what they deserve. I do enjoy when that happens. I really hope Johnstone hasn't finished with this world. Will needs a happy ending of his own and I am here for it.
While How to Heal a Highland Heart is the ninth book of this series, it's written as a standalone. However, to better understand the events that have brought Brodee to this point in his life and formed the man he's become, I encourage you to read book eight: When a Highlander Weds a Hellion (click to read my review), followed by How to Heal a Highland Heart.
Content Warning for physical and mental spousal abuse (not between the hero and heroine)