Cailean fumed on the long walk to Arrandale, exasperated he'd been put on his heels by the Englishwoman, astounded that it had happened before he knew it, and amazed by her cheek. Och, she was barmy, that was what. And bonny. A barmy, bonny woman---the worst sort to have underfoot.
Second in the Highland Grooms series, the author has the son of the previous couple as the hero. I enjoyed this jump as I really liked the couple from the first and it felt like a fresh move. In fact, what I enjoyed the most from this story was the flip-the-script direction the author decided to take not only with the time jump but especially the heroine's personality.
Daisy, our heroine, is English, a widow, a self-proclaimed middling mother, and trying to avoid another unwanted marriage. She's almost thirty and when she sees our hero Cailean, mama want. Usually, in romance books, the pursuer is the hero while the heroine maidenly shies away, not so here. Daisy finds Cailean a lusty piece of man meat and with the confidence and drive of a woman almost thirty, she flirts, provokes, and is not shy about her attraction to him. I loved it, so few times do we get to see heroines like this (probably due to heroine's younger ages).
"You shouldn't come in."
"No," he agreed. "I shouldna kiss you, either."
She stepped back again, so that she was now very much in her room. "You keep saying that," she said and lifted her arms, pulling the pins from her hair.
Cailean watched her hair tumble down around her shoulders. "I keep meaning it," he said quietly.
Cailean I had a harder time connecting with. He was our burned once a billion times shy hero, and with my not feeling like his personality and soul of character was flushed out, it made his reluctance for angst sake denying Daisy pretty annoying. These two were really still at the starting line around the 50% mark, which made the story drag a bit for me.
The sort of villain felt a bit too done with his poopy personality and he fizzed out at the end; I like a little dedication from my villains, at least an attempted child kidnapping to get his way or something. The secondary character of Daisy's cousin Belinda was a bit uneven, but Daisy's son Ellis wonderfully stayed away from being overly cute or butting into my romance. The author did a great job with trying new things here and I greatly appreciated it, books in series should follow a connecting thread but not feel like the same story written over and over just with different names in the leads.
Our heroine Daisy was a breath of fresh air but I had problems connecting with our hero Cailean. Their romance took too long to get going causing the story to drag a bit and their declarations of love didn't feel like they had a solid foundation. The next book in the series is about Cailean's brother and I'm definitely going to read it and see what fresh new turn the author has in store while hoping some of the magic from the first in the series makes a return appearance.
"In the Highlands, if you want something, you reach for it."