Friday, October 25, 2019
Review - - The Highlander's Christmas Bride
The Highlander's Christmas Bride
by Vanessa Kelly
Clan Kendrick - Book 2
Publisher: Zebra Books
Release Date: October 29, 2019
Reviewed by PJ
Being thrown over by the man she expected to marry was humiliating enough. Now that Donella Haddon, grandniece of the Earl of Riddick, has also proven a failure as a nun, she has no choice but to return to her family's estate. The brawny Highlander sent to escort her is brash, handsome, and the only thing standing between Donella and a gang of would-be kidnappers. But the scandal in her past can't be so easily outrun . . .
Wealthy widower Logan Kendrick was expecting to meet a plain, pious spinster--not a gorgeous, sharp-tongued lass who can hold her own in any ambush. Though she's known as the Flower of Clan Graham, Donella is no shrinking violet. In fact, she might be the perfect woman to bring happiness back to his lonely little son's life, just in time for Christmas. But first he must protect her from ugly gossip and a mysterious threat--and convince her that their wild, unexpected desire is heaven sent.
I've been reading Vanessa Kelly's books since her debut. Some make me laugh, some make me cry, some make me sigh with delight. Many do all three. Then there are those that introduce me to characters who draw me into their hearts and their lives; characters who make make me want to revisit them time and again. The Highlander's Christmas Bride is one of those books and Logan, Donella and Joseph (Logan's son- I adored that kid), three such characters.
This book is just so much fun. It made me laugh, made me cry, made me want to go back and re-read passages over and over. I loved Donella. Having read the book where she was first introduced, I was not prepared for the new "kicked to the curb by the convent" version of her. I loved her determination, her spirit, and how her non-pious side kept slipping through. I love how protective she is of Logan's son and how they both grow within that relationship. It was so enjoyable watching her evolve as she takes control of her life, starts speaking her mind, grows closer to Logan and his family, and begins to understand, and accept, her true life path. And I love how she finally takes charge of - and responsibility for - the events of the past that have guided her life to this point.
Logan is one of my all-time favorite Vanessa Kelly heroes. My heart ached for everything he'd been through and cheered his newly restored relationship with his family. I loved Logan and Donella together; how she stoked his interest and respect while they were on the run from kidnappers, how he introduced her to her sensual side and opened her eyes to possibilities of a different life than she had imagined. I loved the courting process that only one of them seemed to be aware of. Of course, their eventual love didn't come without a few bumps - and one nasty ex - along the way. I'll be honest. I wanted consequences for that woman!
There's a lively cast of family members from previous (and hopefully, future) books who are all up in Logan and Donella's business in this book. It's fun catching up with everyone but, at times, it can be a bit overwhelming and detract from the primary couple. Overall, though, I loved seeing everyone in both Logan's and Donella's families and how they interact as well as how previous couples' relationships are progressing. Kelly is very good with family dynamics.
While The Highlander's Christmas Bride can be enjoyed as a standalone, for a deeper understanding of the characters and the journeys that have brought them to this point, I suggest also reading The Highlander's Princess Bride (Victoria Knight & Nick Kendrick), The Highlander Who Protected Me (Royal Kendrick & Ainsley Matthews), and the book in which Donella first appears, How to Marry a Royal Highlander (Alec Gilbride & Eden Whitney).
Are you reading Vanessa Kelly's Clan Kendrick series? Do you have a favorite Kendrick couple so far? Whose book are you most looking forward to reading?