Thursday, August 3, 2023

Review & Giveaway - - Highlanders Never Surrender

Highlanders Never Surrender
by Julie Johnstone
Wicked Willful Highlanders - Book 2
Publisher: Darbyshire Publishing LLC
Release Date: August 3, 2023
Reviewed by PJ

On the path of vengeance, he unwillingly collided with love.

No one desires retribution against their enemy more than Highlander Cormac MacLean. Yet his foe has the favor of the king and Cormac lacks irrefutable proof of the man’s nefarious deeds, so revenge must be planned with calculated care. But when Cormac’s hot-headed brother impulsively attempts to kidnap their enemy’s stepsister, Cormac finds himself fleeing with the wounded beauty after she sustains an injury trying to protect him. He has every intention of returning the troublesome lass to her home, until it quickly becomes apparent that she may be the one person who can free his sister from the dark place in which she dwells. At every turn, the strong-willed woman shows bravery and loyalty, and instead of wanting to keep her at a distance as vows given and family allegiance demands he must, he aches to touch her, protect her, and possess her forever.

Desperate to escape her impending wedding to a suspected murderer, Brigid Campbell is not exactly dismayed when she’s snatched from her stepbrother’s clutches by a Scottish barbarian who she incidentally ends up saving from an arrow aimed at his heart. Still, when she awakens from her injury at Cormac’s home, she is quite upset that her dearest companion was left behind to face the wrath of her stepbrother. So, when her overbearing captor announces he’ll be keeping her to assist his sister, she makes a demand of her own—he must help her rescue her companion. When the officious man refuses, she takes matters into her own hands bringing her the startling discovery that behind the Highlander’s mask of dislike for her lies a compellingly complex man who willingly charges into peril to save her. At each brush with danger that ensues, he’s there to aid her, filling her with hope that despite the feud that brought them together, she may have finally found a family to belong to and a man to trust and to give her heart.

Brigid fuels Cormac’s desire and makes him question his oaths, but it takes his enemy making a master move for him to face the truth that since the day he met Brigid, there could only ever be one choice for him—banish his ghosts, silence his guilt, and show the woman he loves unquestionably that she is his and he is hers—if only it’s not too late.

PJ's Thoughts:

Johnstone plunges her characters straight into danger on the first page of this newest book in her Wicked Willful Highlanders series and never lets up on the intensity. Set in 1262 in the Highlands of Scotland, she once again immerses readers into the time and place with her vivid descriptions, language, and events. Her stories ring with authenticity and are among my favorite Medieval romances.

While there is plenty of adventure and compelling danger in this book, it's equally balanced by an emotional, slow-burn romance. I loved Cormac and Brigid together. Her selflessness, kindness, and honest emotion is exactly what he needs to heal from his losses and move forward. Of course, he needs more than a few nudges before he begins to realize that but there are plenty of secondary characters to help him along the way, some of whom have emotional journeys of their own. On the flip side, Cormac plays a huge role in helping Brigid overcome her own fears that in turn are critical in her battle with her stepbrother. I was cheering them on the entire way to their HEA, in the face of fear, danger, betrayal, and stubborn Highlanders. 

Highlanders Never Surrender is the second book in Julie Johnstone's Wicked Willful Highlanders series but is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order. I highly recommend it.

Have you read Julie Johnstone's books yet?

Do you enjoy Medieval romance?

One randomly chosen person who posts a comments before 11:00 PM, August 4 will receive an e-book copy of Highlanders Never Surrender

*U.S. only
*Must be 18


  1. I know I am the only person on the planet who has never read a book by Ms Johnstone. I am not sure how that has happened. I have read a few Medieval stories. And in fact one of my favorite books is Medieval. Thanks for the review. And thanks for reminding me there are tons of authors out there who I have missed.

  2. No, Annette, you're not the only one - I haven't either! I do like medieval, though it's been a while since I read one. This sounds tempting, though!

  3. I have not heard of her before but will have to look it up now ~ Glory

  4. I love Julie's books and Medieval books as well! It has been too long since I've read any of Julie's books even though I've got a couple on my TBR.

  5. I have read some and I love Medieval books, and any thing with highlanders

  6. I have not read any books by Julie Johnstone, either, but my interest is piqued, and I will definitely read one now.

  7. I have read a couple of her books. Her vivid details of time and place pull me into her stories.
    Medieval Highlander stories were the first romances I read and hooked me on the genre. They are still my favorites. There is something about their strong independence, loyalty, and honor that appeal.
    Thank you for the review and recommendation.

  8. Though I do tend to read more Regency Romance books, I have read and enjoyed Julie's Medieval books as well!

  9. I think I've got one of her books on my TBR--I do read medievals, but haven't read one recently...