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Ratings and Reviews (6 18 star ratings
6 reviews
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4.2 out of 5
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    Fun, interesting read.

    "Devil in Tartan" by Julia London 2018 (Highland Grooms Series Book #4 I was really excited to see this was Aulay Mackenzie's story. If you have been reading The Highland Groom's Series, this book comes after "The Hard-Hearted Highlander". In that book Aulay, brother of Rabbie, was the love/infatuation object of Rabbie's fiancee, Avaline. Although Aulay was only being kind to her, Avaline thought he was in love with her. After Rabbie was settled in married bliss, Captain Aulay Mackenzie set sail carrying goods to trade for an English agent. He was to sail to Amsterdam and then on to Cadiz. This was the Mackenzie clan's chance to change their future even if his father argued about the risk. It wasn't too long after they had set sail when they spied a ship on fire. The ship flew a royal flag. Then they saw a smaller boat which had damage to it's main mast. Aulay decided to take a closer look. The smaller boat's blundering crew made all the crew of Aulay's ship, the Reulag Balhaire, laugh with glee. Then they saw a beautiful Lady waving a white flag. A smaller boat came over to the Reulag Balhaire and asked for help. Thinking the blundering crew could be no trouble and their ship was taking on water, Aulay decided to let them come over. He would take them to land. Aulay's men were so busy looking at the beautiful Lady they were not even armed when the other crew came over. They brought over the beautiful Lady and every sailor was enamored with her. She asked the Captain to come forward so she could thank him. Aulay was bedeviled. Seeing blood on her dress they were concerned and Beaty, Aulay's first mate, commented that it should be looked at. One of her men shouted it could turn to Gangrene. "Gangrene" she cried and lifted her skirt to see the cut. All Watched. "Can any of you see?" But before Aulay could answer, he was hit from behind and when he tried to get up she said " I am so verry sorry" and kicked her knee squarely into his jaw. The next thing Aulay knew he was gagged, tied and shacked to his desk in his cabin. He was felled not by the sea, but by a woman. How humiliating! He would see them all hang. Lady Larson is really Lottie Livingstone trying to save her clan. Her father injured, a load of whisky to sell and now she has stolen Captain Mackenzie's ship. Will she be up to all of this responsibility. She tries to tell the Captain that she is only borrowing his ship. Read on to see the story unfold. Happy Reading!
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    She stole his ship and captured his heart.

    Aulay Mackenzie is a kindhearted soul who wants to help save his family and clan. Having never fit in with his boisterous family, he’s only ever felt comfortable behind the wheel of his ship. The sea is his mistress. Lottie Livingstone has been mother and mistress to her clan since the age of thirteen. She puts the needs of her family and clan before her own. Having no female figure to guide her, she has run a wee bit wild and refuses to be reined in In an effort to fix the trouble the Livingstones have found themselves in, once again due to the latest scheme her father has concocted, Lottie finds herself, her family, and her clansmen on a sinking ship. Unfortunately for Aulay and his men, theirs is the first ship that finds Lottie and her crew. What ensues after is a fiery battle of wills. Julia London’s fourth book in The Highland Grooms Series is another wonderful story of finding love where you least expect it. I love how Lottie is a spitfire and confounds Aulay at every turn. I’m pleased that Aulay got his story. He intrigued me very much in Hard-Hearted Highlander. Julia is a wonderful storyteller and I enjoy well the verbal sparring and twisting plot that kept me on the edge of my seat. I hear the next book is about Catriona. I can’t wait. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
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    Aulay & Lottie

    When I was younger, I read historical romances all the time. But now, my tastes are a more contemporary romances. When I saw the opportunity to read Devil in Tartan, I was intrigued by the blurb. So, I read my first Julia London book. I was not disappointed. It's a great story with powerful characters. Aulay and Lottie make an interesting duo, of course it takes a while for them to get there.
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    Sadly, my least favourite of the series so far.

    I received an eARC at no cost from the author. Devil in Tartan is the fourth book on the Highland Grooms series, by Julia London. Having read the first three books, it’s impossible not to make comparisons between them. Sadly, for me, this was my least favourite book. It had an interesting premise, and I liked Aulay, but I just couldn’t connect with Lottie. Lottie is described as strong, courageous, fearsome woman, but even if she was trying to do her best to save the (illegal) family business, she just didn’t act nor did justice to her descriptions. She was, no doubt, intelligent enough to use her pretty face to fool men, but that didn’t make me like her more – it actually made me like her less. And Aulay, although I did like him more than Lottie, he too was a bit of an empty character. He was a painter, which I liked, but felt it wasn’t explored enough. I liked that Julia London mentioned his role in the family, how he felt, because that made me connect with him more, but it just felt like it was lacking something. I liked revisiting characters from the previous books, but it was for such a short while that it wasn’t enough to save the book from a simple 3 star rating. I just couldn’t connect with the characters as much as in the previous books, and I felt that with both Lottie’s crew and Aulay’s crew always around it felt a bit too crowded and there were too many characters (and sometimes I even got confused with who was whom – and I read the book in just two days, and rarely get lost in these books, but with this one it was hard to remember all the minor characters). Julia London’s writing isn’t being put in question here, she was as good as always, I just felt like she tried to put too much in one book and ended up not focusing enough on what was really necessary. Still, it was a different read, and I managed to enjoy parts of it.
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    Stick with it

    I used to love reading historical romance, and this book reminded me why. It took me a little while to get into this book, but when it did it grabbed me and didn't let go. I think every character had their high and low points, there were things I loved and hated about all of them, I think that's what made them even more relate-able . I really didn't think these characters were going to get their HEA and I can admit I was losing faith, but sticking with this book to the very end was so worth it. I spent a large part of this book with my heart in my throat and fighting back tears, again it was worth it! I haven't read any of the other books in this series and now I have to!
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