It Happened in the Highlands by May McGoldrick
Series: The Pennington Family #2
Also in this series: Romancing the Scot
Published by Swerve
Publication Date: March 27th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
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Lady Josephine Pennington was jilted by her fiancé once rumors spread about her questionable origins. Her adoptive parents have always provided her with the love and protection she’s needed to feel secure, and over the last sixteen years she’s molded herself to meet the expectations of others. When she receives a package containing sketches where the subject is eerily familiar, Jo believes she might have found a clue to the identity of her birth mother.
When Captain Wynne Melfort ended his engagement to Jo Pennington sixteen years ago, he never imagined he would see her again. But after he uncovers information that could reveal the truth about Jo’s parentage, Wynne feels bound by duty to right an old wrong and inform her of his find. He didn’t expect for feelings long thought dead to resurface, for in his mind a love departed was gone forever.
As they strive to unravel the mystery of her birth, Jo must learn how to trust the man who’d once rejected her, and Wynne must reconcile his head with his heart. But as secrets of the past begin to surface, evil forces will stop at nothing to keep Jo from uncovering the truth and reclaiming her legacy. Together, Jo and Wynne must fight the deadly menace lurking deep in the Highland mists.
Josephine was raised by the Pennington’s, a prominent family in Scotland, but her mother was unknown. Just a woman who Lady Pennington had helped give birth on the side of the road named Jo. Raised as one of the Pennington children, Josephine never felt any different until she went to London for a season. There she met the love of her life, Captain Wynne Melfort, but everyone else whispered and publicly ridiculed her. She figured she could endure it because of Wynne, but when he breaks their engagement, Jo is devastated.
Now it’s sixteen years later and Josephine is quite happy with her life. She takes take of her family and loves her nieces and nephews. When she gets a note from a mental institution she’s intrigued enough to stop by on her way to her brother’s house.
Wynne didn’t want to break off his engagement to Josephine but he was shipping out and he felt since he couldn’t be there to protect her from the ton it was better for everyone. He never stopped loving Jo, however. He is now back in Scotland helping to run a mental institution with her best friend and he has taken custody of his 10 year old son who had previously been living in Jamaica. When one of the non-verbal patients sketches out picture after picture of a woman that looks like Josephine he’s not sure what to make of it.
When she arrives neither are ready for their feelings to bubble back to the surface but they are ready to find out if the non-verbal man has a connection to Josephine and if so, what it is.
McGoldrick has once again written a lovely romance that had me completely invested. In book one I was curious about Josephine and what exactly her story was so I was quite happy when I found out that I wasn’t going to have to wait to find out.
Josephine was a wonderful person inside and out. She was just a gem and while she had her faults, there weren’t many. I was intrigued by the hunt for her true history and to find out where she came from, although I knew no matter what the Pennington’s wouldn’t let her feel like she wasn’t always part of the family. That family was perfect for Jo to grow up in and I loved them to death.
Wynne was a little harder for me to get to like. He had been on the high seas and though he had a son in Jamaica he left the child’s grandmother to raise him until she feared for his life because of the country’s upset. I hated that he had left his son, Cuffe, for so long and this was also a point of contention with Cuffe and Wynne. Cuffe wanted to be back taking care of his grandmother and resented his father for taking him away. It was a great part of the book, Cuffe and Wynne coming together. I was happy that McGoldrick decided to add this element to the story.
I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more romance between Wynne and Josephine. Since neither had ever stopped loving the other, once they confessed their continued feelings…they were kind of together. I liked that they got their HEA but A) I wanted a little bit more romance and B) I wanted Wynne to have to work for it a little harder. Lol
In the end it was a good story and I really enjoyed reading it.
Rating: 3.5/4 out of 5