How to Train Your Highlander by Christy English
Series: Broadswords and Ballrooms #3
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: December 6th 2016
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She's the Hellion of Hyde Park...
A foolproof plan to avoid marriage:1. Always carry at least three blades.2. Ride circles around any man.3. Never get caught in a handsome duke's arms.
Wild Highlander Mary Elizabeth Waters is living on borrowed time. She's managed to dodge the marriage banns up to now, but even Englishmen can only be put off for so long...and there's one in particular who has her in his sights.
Harold Percy, Duke of Northumberland, is enchanted by the beautiful hellion who outrides every man on his estate and dances Scottish reels while the ton looks on in horror. The more he sees Mary, the more he knows he has to have her, tradition and good sense be damned. But what's a powerful man to do when the Highland spitfire of his dreams has no desire to be tamed...
Mary Elizabeth is a Scot through and through. She loves the land she grew up on and wants nothing more than to live out her days roaming, hunting, fishing and just experiencing her Scottish highlands. Her English mother has other ideas. She left Mary Elizabeth alone until she was 16-years-old and then tried to turn the ultimate tomboy into a lady. She then sent her off to England to try and find a husband. She did nothing but get herself into trouble by being the tomboy she is. She then heads off to Northumberland with her brother to stay at the home of the Duke of Northumberland. The duke’s mother is best friends with Mary Elizabeth’s mother and they’re there for a house party.
The duke’s mother hopes to find a bride for her son but he has no interest whatsoever – that is until he meets Mary Elizabeth. She thinks that he’s a groom or gardener and treats him as such. She’s not rude but she talk frankly to him when everyone else is running around kowtowing to him. He likes that she’s not like all the other ladies and talks to him plainly. While his head knows that he shouldn’t be with her his heart is saying that he must. The problem is that Mary Elizabeth isn’t sure she can give up her beloved highlands even though she’s completely in love with the duke.
This was a cute story. It’s one of those that had me smiling at Mary Elizabeth’s antics. She’s so not “lady” material and it shows in everything she does. Was a it a bit over the top? Yeah, in some instances I felt the author was trying to hard to show us how unsuitable she was for the duke but I took it with a grain of salt. It ended up being fun rather than annoying. She frustrated the hell out of her mother which made Mary Elizabeth sad. She wanted her mother to love her for who she was – not who she wanted her to be. In the end the reasoning behind her mother’s actions was made clear but I found it to be an unsatisfying reason.
Harry was a great hero. While he fell for Mary Elizabeth quite quickly I like how it was all handled. He was a quiet man and I thought that they author had Harry and Mary Elizabeth playing off of each other quite well.
In the end the book was good if a little slow in parts. If you like a fun historical story with a lady who’s a tomboy this one would be a great one to read.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5