Sometimes life is full of surprises, especially when you least expect them…
Born into the Scottish Clan MacBain and the 17th century ancestral home, Drumblair Castle, Liv MacBain has always dreamt of leaving the ancient homestead and becoming her own person in the world of fashion.
From a young age, she worshipped the trailblazing designs of the haute couture glitterati, hoping one day to join them.
With older brother Kerr, the rightful heir, Liv has been free to spread her wings.
Fast forward. Liv, is now 28 years old, working at a high-end fashion house and living her dream life in New York. She’s never been happier.
Until everything changes with one devastating phone call from her brother, Kerr, that brings her rushing back to Scotland.
Old friends and adversaries resurface and Liv faces a difficult decision that could mean her dream future can no longer be a reality.
Or can you have your castle and your career?
I've read other books by Lisa Hobman and enjoyed them so I was looking forward to this one. The premise is intriguing and who doesn't love a Scottish castle, right? Unfortunately, this one fell a little short of my expectations. That's not to say I didn't like it. I did. But I really wanted to love it.
The setting of the book is wonderful. Hobman really brings Liv's family's castle to life. I could easily envision both the castle and the grounds as I was reading. The characters are also brought to life, some very appealing and others not so much. The author gives several of them interesting layers, complex life issues, and secrets. In fact, she uses them to introduce some very weighty and relatable topics, begging to be explored more fully, and with one character, an issue that isn't talked about enough (in my opinion).
The biggest fly in the ointment for me was Liv's brother, Kerr. He's a self-centered, entitled, egomaniacal jerk who treats his sister with careless disregard at his best and outright cruelty at his worst. This goes on for the vast majority of the book until there's an inexplicable change - an abrupt, unexpected change of course that I didn't buy for a moment. It felt contrived and unrealistic and didn't leave me with the feel-good moment I'm pretty sure the author was hoping for.
I liked Liv. My heart ached for her - for the grief that was breaking her heart, the tug of war between her loyalty to family and her passion for her career. I loved her relationships with her childhood pals in Scotland, her roommate in NYC, her mother's dog, and her boss. Everyone should be lucky enough to have a boss like Liv's. I was cheering for her to find her happy ending even while shaking my head at the choices she made in direct opposition to what she had always adamantly said she wanted. And for an intelligent woman, how did she not clue in to what was so glaringly obvious?
The book ends on a high note with a happy ending for more than one couple. But I still don't trust Liv's brother.