The Highlander's Holiday Wife
by Vanessa Kelly
Clan Kendrick - Book 5
Publisher: Zebra Books
Release Date: September 27, 2022
Reviewed by PJ
It's Christmastime in Edinburgh, but Lady Samantha Penwith’s secret mission takes no holiday: the Highlands-born lass vows to find the assailants who murdered her beloved husband, founder of a charitable school for orphaned boys. On her latest undercover excursion, she closes in on a pair of armed attackers and interrupts another assault, then disappears into the darkness, leaving the lone victim mystified—and lucky to be alive . . .
Braden Kendrick may be the sensible brother, yet the dedicated doctor routinely ignores the dangers of his late-night calls to the city’s slums. But when a fleet-footed rescuer saves his life, he’s determined to uncover the stranger’s identity. And once he does, he’ll find himself facing his own past loss for the first time—and more than willing to risk his heart again, just in time to make the Clan Kendrick’s Christmas celebrations more festive than ever . . .
I had doubts that any of Kelly's Kendrick couples would be able to equal Logan and Donella in my affections but dang if Braden, the quietest among them, and intrepid Samantha weren't up for the challenge. I adored them, couldn't put their book down, and cheered them on the entire way. The Highlander's Holiday Wife is now one of my top two favorite Clan Kendrick books.
Kelly threw me into the action from the get-go with this book and never really let up until I reached the end. It's a tightly-crafted, fast-paced tale filled with suspense, danger, emotional depth, humor, betrayal, abduction, murder, and, of course, romance. Much of the humor is once again provided by the loving, meddling, and always entertaining Kendrick clan with Logan, Donella, their children, Grandda Angus, and the youngest Kendrick brother, Kade taking the supporting cast leads this time around. It was fun to watch Braden navigate their meddling while balancing his frustration with the surety of their love and support. I'm going to be very sad when Kelly finally says goodbye to this family. They're one of my fictional favorites. But they aren't the only creators of humor in this book. Several of Samantha's scenes had me chuckling out loud as well. Kelly is very good at knowing when to insert a snappy retort, sarcastic aside, or other type of organic humor to lighten tension.
I love the banter between Braden and Samantha. Also the respect, admiration, and growing affection. I enjoy how they work together. And I love their chemistry. I also enjoy how Kelly deftly balances their gradually deepening feelings with the growing intensity of the danger and mystery surrounding the disappearance of children from the orphanage supported by Samantha's foundation and her quest to discover the truth behind her husband's death. The emotional evolution of both characters is tightly woven together with unexpected twists that plunge them into life-threatening danger, revealing secrets that took me by surprise and events that kept me guessing what would happen next. My favorite kind of book!
The Highlander's Holiday Wife hit all my happy reader buttons, giving me a fast-paced, emotionally satisfying story with plenty of humor, heart, and adventure to keep me eagerly flipping pages from beginning to end. It has my enthusiastic recommendation.
Though some continuing series characters have key roles, Braden and Samantha's story itself is begun and completed within the pages of this book. For that reason, readers new to the series should be able to begin with The Highlander's Holiday Wife and not feel lost or confused.
Click the link to read the first three chapters of The Highlander's Holiday Wife at Vanessa Kelly's website.
Have you read any of Vanessa Kelly's Clan Kendrick books?
Do you have a favorite Kendrick couple?
Vanessa Kelly has graciously offered a signed, print copy of The Highlander's English Bride (book 3) and a $10 Amazon gift card to one randomly chosen person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, September 30.
U.S. / Canada
Must be 18
Void where prohibited
If you'd like to read the entire Clan Kendrick series, the books are, in order:
The Highlander's Princess Bride
The Highlander Who Protected Me
The Highlander's Christmas Bride
The Highlander's English Bride
The Highlander's Irish Bride
The Highlander's Holiday Wife
Thank you so much, PJ! I'm thrilled you enjoyed Braden and Samantha's story! :)ReplyDelete
Vanessa's historicals are captivating and very enjoyable. Royal Kendrick and Ainsley Matthews is my favorite.ReplyDelete
I loved Royal. Ainsley was an acquired taste. ;-)Delete
Well, I reckon it is confession time. I have the first 4 books in the series on my Kindle. I have not yet read any of them, because I am a book addict. Recently I cleaned out my Kindle, doubles, books already read, and it was several hundred books. There is a term for being a book addict, I am sure. I wonder if there are meetings? Or am I the only one? Thanks for this review. You have made me want this book too. I have read several other books by Ms Kelly and always enjoyed them. In fact, that is why I have purchased the ones in this series.ReplyDelete
So, thank you PJ for the review. And thank you Ms Kelly for all the books you have written. I figure if I live to be about 150 I will be able to read all the books I want to read.
Hope everyone is well and safe. Y'all take care.
Trust me, Annette, you are NOT the only one!Delete
Annette, I share your addiction and Kindle pain! I have SO MANY good books on my Kindle, waiting to be read. :)Delete
I read The Highlander's Princess Bride as the 3rd Improper Princess book, but haven't gotten to the rest of the Clan Kendrick books yet - have to move them up on my tbr list.ReplyDelete
That was my introduction to the Kendricks too, Diane. I like that Nick and Vicky feature prominently in most of the series books.Delete
I have not read any of the Clan Kendrick books yet so I can't in all honesty state a favorite couple. Definitely would like to change that in the near future.ReplyDelete
It's a fun series!Delete
I've not read this series but I have enjoyed her stories in the past!ReplyDelete
I have not read this author before.ReplyDelete
Love it when I find a new authors. Love to win a copyReplyDelete
I haven’t read any of the books in this series, but they sound great!ReplyDelete
While I've read all the books except for this one, I do not have a favorite couple. I am completely drawn in to each couple's story while reading their book.ReplyDelete
I haven’t read any books by this author, but this sounds like a great story! I’m already intrigued!ReplyDelete
I read the first book in this series, and the others are on my TBR list.ReplyDelete
Hi PJ. I have been collecting the books in this series, but haven't gotten to them yet. Have read some of her other books, though!ReplyDelete
Sorry I didn't make it here last night. I have read some of Vanessa Kelly's books but haven't yet started this series. It sounds like it will be a book I would enjoy. It reminds me a bit of Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane series.ReplyDelete