The Perfect Bargain by Julia London
Series: How to Marry a Highlander #1
Publisher: Entangled, Lovestruck
Publication Date: June 30, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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American lass seeks brawny Scot...
As if being newly single isn't brutal enough, Sloane Chatfield's friends are getting obnoxious about setting her up. When Sloane insists she's waiting for a certain sexy fictional Highlander to come along, her friends surprise her with a trip to Scotland to find her a new boyfriend. She'd rather have a root canal. But if she can find a Highland hunk to "break her heart" before her friends arrive...
In a remote Highland village, Galen Buchanan is struggling to keep the family pub afloat. Everything is falling apart, he's running out of money, and now there's an opinionated American lass parked at his best table, driving him mad. But then Sloane asks Galen to be her pretend Highland boyfriend...and offers him enough money to save the pub. It's only for a few days, he figures. What's the worst that could happen?
Sloan Chatfield wants her friends off her back. They mean well but since her break up with her fiancé, they’ve been setting her up with every Tom, Dick and Harry and she was done with all of it. One night while they were all watching Outlander on TV she came up with a brilliant idea. She said that she was waiting for her very own Jamie Fraser – a highlander who is a real man – one who is brawny and protective of his family, etc. When the friends jump on that and say that they’ll find her a Scot in Chicago she says she can’t because she’s heading to Scotland. And the lies just keep coming…she had no intention of meeting a Scot or even going to Scotland but when her friends jump on it and decide that they’ll meet her in Scotland she has to go.
Sloane ends up in Gairloch – a little village in the highlands. She heads to the Black Thistle pub every day as it’s the only place with cell reception and free wi-fi. She plans on calling her friends, telling them that she’s met “the” guy and then by the time they show up she’d have dumped the fictitious man. Unfortunately her friends move up their arrival time and Sloane finds herself in a bind. Even though she’d become a thorn in the side of the pub owner, Galen Buchanan, she heads to him for his assistance. He’s may be a bit of an ass but she thinks he’s hot and knows her friends would like him. She propositions him to be her fake boyfriend and after much haggling he accepts.
The two spend time together as Sloane insists that they get to know each other as a boyfriend and girlfriend would. Galen is at first frustrated with Sloane but that doesn’t stop himself from liking her more each day – and he’s very much attracted to her. They end up in bed together and as time goes on Sloane realizes that there’s more to their relationship than friendship and sex. Too bad Galen wants nothing to do with a relationship and besides – what will happen when she heads back to Chicago? He’s not willing to get his heart broken when she leaves.
There were quite a few things to like about The Perfect Bargain. The humor that Galen showed toward the whole situation was wonderful. I loved that he could look at it and take it all with a grain of salt. Sloane was no easy woman to love so had to give him points for dealing with her.
Sloane wasn’t a bad person at all. She was very driven in her career and had been hurt terribly by her former fiancé (who showed up in the book which I felt was completely unnecessary) and took what he said to heart. She put on a good show but deep down she was lacking in confidence. Being with Galen certainly brought her out of her shell. I wish she could have been a bit less of a ball buster when it came to getting Galen to admit his feelings for her. She didn’t constantly prod him but she gave it the old college try.
I loved the descriptions of the village in Scotland where she stayed and frankly loved that it was a highlander story set in modern times. It was a pretty lighthearted story overall and I found it enjoyable.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5