Click here to pre-order the book from Amazon, release date: November 24, 2015
Duncan Mackenzie has been, literally, saved by Grace. As he lay injured in the fields of Waterloo, Lady Grace Carrington stumbles upon him as she helped her sister, Claire, search for her husband. The attraction and fascination between them is instantaneous, but the caution and reminder of prudence just as quickly followed it. For Grace is the daughter of a powerful earl, and Duncan Mackenzie is merely a sergeant in the army, and Grace's brother in-law is his superior officer.
Duncan is the epitome of a Highlander, gruff exterior, soft interior -- he and his compatriots have seen hell together, and his loyalty to his commanding officer and brothers-in-arms is understandable. Duncan also knows that Grace is out of his league: he was a farmer who became a soldier, while she's a lady -- and valiantly tries to fight the attraction. With his new role as a Highland Knight, it becomes doubly difficult for Duncan to choose: Grace and exile to Scotland, or life as a Highland Knights protecting the whole of England.
Grace has always been the sensible and dependable sister. Her father depends on her to keep his home life, and his social life running smoothly. I don't think Grace ever expected to get married, and was content to just be of help to her father -- but, when Duncan enters the picture, Grace realizes that there is room in her life for her own wants and desires.
This is a romance about class differences, and how two people try to find a way, amidst the mustn'ts, shouldn'ts, couldn'ts and don'ts of society. It's difficult for Grace to turn her back on her family, and her role as her father's political and social hostess, and it's equally hard for Duncan to give up being a Highland Knight. Both of them have lived most of their lives knowing who they were, and understanding their place and role in society, and it all suddenly becomes unclear when love comes into the picture. And I can imagine their frustration, considering they are both of age, and are in love with each other.
What I found interesting is the timeline of Grace and Duncan's love story -- it runs concurrent to Claire and Robert's story (A Highlander's Heart) -- it's a curious juxtaposition between a love that is new and developing, and one that is in the process of being renewed and repaired.
There is an (under-developed) subplot involving the Highland Knights who are doing surveillance on a group that is plotting to overthrow the government. It's a bit vague, and the author didn't really lay out the plot in detail. I would've loved to read and understand this part of the story more, as the outcome of it has a direct correlation to what happens to Duncan and Grace. (I am currently reading Claire and Rob's story, and I am wondering if it is more explicitly explained in that story.)
Overall, Highland Heat is a great book from Jennifer Haymore. It's the first book in the Highland Knights series (Claire and Rob's story is a prequel novella), and I'm curious about the other members of the group.
Highland Heat will be released on November 24, 2015. To find out more about Jennifer Haymore and her books, click below:
Disclosure: I received this ARC through Netgalley. Thank you Loveswept and Jennifer Haymore for the opportunity. Yes, this is an honest review.