The Seduction of Elliot McBride by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Highland Pleasures #5
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: December 31st 2012
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PROPERLY IMPROPER…AND DARING TO LOVE…
Juliana St. John was raised to be very proper. After a long engagement, her wedding day dawns—only for Juliana to find herself jilted at the altar.
Fleeing the mocking crowd, she stumbles upon Elliot McBride, the tall, passionate Scot who was her first love. His teasing manner gives her an idea, and she asks Elliot to save her from an uncertain future—by marrying her…
After escaping brutal imprisonment, Elliot has returned to Scotland a vastly wealthy yet tormented man. Now Juliana has her hands full restoring his half-ruined manor in the Scottish Highlands and trying to repair the broken heart of the man some call irredeemably mad. Though beautiful and spirited, Juliana wonders if that will be enough to win a second chance at love.
Juliana St. John is surprised on her wedding day when her groom doesn’t show. Turns out while she was waiting at the church he was getting hitched to someone else. This ends up not being such a bad deal for her, however, when Elliot McBride agrees to marry her instead. She asks in a moment of lunacy, but he’s quick to accept.
Elliot is actually there to stop the wedding, so the groom’s idiocy works in his favor. He’s loved Juliana his whole life and always intended to marry her. Since he came home from war, he’s having trouble readjusting to society. He’s convinced she’ll be enough to keep him sane. If she loves him, he’ll be ok. Of course that isn’t really how it works. But he wants to be enough for her, and she wants to make things work with him.
I struggled with the sub-plot featuring the dead man from India. The whole thing seemed silly and a bit contrived. Aside from furthering the romance along, I’m not sure what place it served. It seemed to come out of nowhere and not really tie in with the rest of the novel.
That aside, this was a gripping romance. Elliot really needs Juliana, which was a nice change of pace. Right from the beginning he knows he needs her to help battle his demons, and she doesn’t disappoint. Ashley excels at writing strong female characters, and Juliana was no exception.
I was wrapped up in this from beginning to end.
4 out of 5