Passion Burns Hot And True In "Highland Heat"

25057532Title:  Highland Heat
(The Highland Knights #2)
Author:  Jennifer Haymore
Format:  eARC
Length:  247 pages
Publisher:  Loveswept
Rating:  5 Stars

Perfect for readers of Maya Banks and Monica McCarty, Jennifer Haymore’s seductive new Highland Knights series begins with an electrifying tale of class warfare, fierce loyalties, and forbidden love.
With blood still drying on the front lines at Waterloo, Lady Grace Carrington helps an injured soldier to a British medical tent. Though she believes she’s pulled him to safety, in fact she has put them both in grave danger: Because when his brilliant blue eyes meet hers, the passionate Scottish sergeant kisses her in a way that leaves her breathless and trembling. As the obedient daughter of an earl, Grace shouldn’t be tempted by someone so far below her station. But as a red-blooded woman, she longs for so much more.

As far as Duncan Mackenzie is concerned, getting stabbed in the arm was the best thing that ever happened to him. When he wakes on the battlefield, the sight of Grace’s lovely face sets his soul aflame. As an enlisted man and a farmer’s son, however, pursuing his guardian angel means facing the wrath of London society, not to mention his own superiors in the British Army. Aye, but he’d risk all that and more just to keep her in his arms.  -Goodreads

My Thoughts
It is not very often that a woman meets the love of her life by falling on him while surveying the aftermath of a battle.  But in the case of one Lady Grace Carrington, that is precisely what happens.

This is a book that will have you hooked in three chapters or less.  The second book in the Highland Knights companion series.  This is the story of Grace and Duncan.  (A bit of clarification may be in order here...due to the fact that this story breaks the Historical Romance mold in a big way.)

Unlike most HR's where the story is told from either the leading man's or lady's point of view.  The points of view found here alternate between the two.  These transitions happen so seamlessly however, that one is hardly aware that said transition has occurred until  well into his or her scene.

Leading Lady Grace
Grace Carrington is a woman who has contented herself with her lot in life.  She is very proud of the fact that she acts as right hand to her aristocratic father, and with the fact that while she is a spinster;
she has maintained a reputation that is beyond reproach.
That is not to say however, that Grace is a cold fish.  She is just...well practical.
That, and maybe a little gun shy.  Given the fact that she was front and center for the marital problems between her sister, Lady Claire Campbell and her husband, Major Robert Campbell.
(See Highland Heart, Highland Knights #1)

But one look into the sparkling aquamarine eyes of Sargent Duncan Mackenzie, and even the blood and suffering of Waterloo all but disappears.
Things between Duncan and Grace develop very quickly, but this breakneck pace is totally justified by both wartime politics and Duncan's later, more covert service to the crown.
The plot pacing is important enough to be mentioned here because it speaks volumes about Grace's adaptability.
She proves time and time again that she is not a woman to be denied or stifled by the hindrances of convention.
She is strong, and unafraid to risk her heart, her body, and her life for Duncan, and their love.
Grace is a fireball of a heroine.  She is passionate, loyal, and a fighter
In short, she is perfect of the brave and brawny Scot.

Duncan...Oh Duncan!
Known to the men of his regiment as "Unbreakable Mackenzie", Duncan has the reputation of being the perfect soldier.  
Though he someday dreams of life away from the horrors of war, and the heat of battle.  He is fully aware that his social standing as an untitled and unlanded Scot, guarantees him a common existence. 
A life that would be enough.

Until Grace...

The fact that Grace is a child of the ton, puts an entirely new spin on things for Duncan.  Because he wants this woman more than a drowning man wants rescue, Duncan is forced to confront issues of class and social ramifications that have not been issues in his life to this point.
Said issues act as a major point of contention between the two lovers.  With him erring on the side of caution, and Grace wanting to throw caution to the wind.    There are other factors standing in the way of these two, but in the interest of not being too spoilery... I leave the their discovery to
my readers

The Passion
This gets a section to itself in this review because it is so well written.  If you looked up chemistry in the dictionary, you would find these two.  The depth of their passion is fathomless as it is, but when you add forbidden fruit issues and dangers of war into the mix!
These are two people that readers will be willing to fight for, because they are so willing to fight for each other.
Another reason that passion and chemistry are allowed to rule the day is that the rules of society don't really apply here.  Readers are allowed to see Duncan and Grace as people, rather than social standings.

The Verdict
This is a book that you won't want to end.  There is so much emotion threaded throughout the story, that it wraps the reader in a vibrant cloak of visceral experience.  The characters are multifaceted beings; written in such a way as to never show their hands at once in any situation.
The pacing is very fast.  As a result, there is never a point at which one becomes bored.
This is a book that those who are new to Historical Romance will love.  Although it may serve to spoil readers for other books.

Jennifer Haymore is an author of the highest caliber.  Her story craft is flawless, and she is more than ready to take her place with the likes of Elosia James, Tessa Dare, and Lorraine Heath.

Reviewer's Note:
Though this is the second book in a series, it may be read as a stand alone.

About Jennifer
Jennifer Haymore
USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Haymore is the author of sexy historical and contemporary romance.
You can find Jennifer in Southern California trying to talk her husband into yet another trip to England, helping her three children with homework while brainstorming a new five-minute dinner menu, or crouched in a corner of the local bookstore writing her next novel.


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