#SaturdaysAreBookish | “The Highlander’s English Bride” (Clan Kendrick, Book Three) by Vanessa Kelly

Posted Saturday, 6 June, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. Whether I am reading selections from Indie Authors & publishers to Major Trade and either from mainstream or INSPY markets – I am finding myself happily residing in the Historical past each year I am a blogger.

What I have been thankful for all these years since 2013 is the beautiful blessing of discovering new areas of Historical History to explore through realistically compelling Historical narratives which put me on the front-lines of where History and human interest stories interconnect. It has also allowed me to dive deeper into the historic past and root out new decades, centuries and millenniums to explore. For this and the stories themselves which are part of the memories I cherish most as a book blogger I am grateful to be a part of the #HFVBTBlogTours blogger team.

I received a complimentary of “The Highlander’s English Bride” direct from the publisher Zebra Books (an imprint of) Kensington Books in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read “The Highlander’s English Bride”:

It has been a bit too long since I’ve tucked into a traditional Romance novel such as this one – wherein, there is a saga unfolding between installments and there is a continuity threading within the context of the stories as well. I used to read quite a few authors who wrote series like this one and then, for whichever reason I abandoned reading them. I’ve meant to delve back into them over the years but never found the time.

When this blog tour came round – I thought for sure I could listen to the first two novels in the series via Scribd but the months dissolved too quickly off the clock for me to dive into them. I decided to begin this as a new reader might – picking up the storyline on the third in a series rather than starting at the beginning. I’ve had my eye on stories about the Highlands for many years – as I don’t oft get to read stories set in Scotland. My favourite series set there is “Monarch of the Glen” which is a delightful series involving one very eccentric Scottish family and their estate.

Quite soon after I started reading this story, I realised not having read the previous installments was doing me a bit of a favour because there is so much to process and enjoy in this installment! If I’d have had enough time to go through the audiobooks for the series, I think I would have enjoyed the lead-in into the third storyline but without that back-history, the beauty of starting here is seeing where Graeme and his family intersect with Sabrina’s timeline. The fact that Kelly writes a cleverly spun tango of intrigue is part of what rooted me into her story whilst the humour is what kept me in laughter!

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#SaturdaysAreBookish | “The Highlander’s English Bride” (Clan Kendrick, Book Three) by Vanessa KellyThe Highlander's English Bride
Subtitle: Clan Kendrick | United in Desire
by Vanessa Kelly
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

In this dazzling new novel from bestselling author Vanessa Kelly, the wildest member of Clan Kendrick has found his purpose as a government agent. Now he must also meet his match…

Lady Sabrina Bell has never been so embarrassed in her life. Not only did her new suitor fail to appear for their morning rendezvous in Hyde Park, but a thief pushed her into the Serpentine. Being rescued by a burly Highlander just adds to her humiliation. Nor is he content with rescuing her just once. Even when Sabrina travels to Edinburgh as part of King George’s entourage, Graeme Kendrick is there, interfering, exasperating, and so very tempting…

Once notorious for being the most unruly Kendrick brother, Graeme now runs dangerous missions for the King’s spymaster. Yet nothing has prepared him for Sabrina. The only child of a wealthy earl, and the pampered goddaughter of the king himself, she is stubborn, impetuous, and far too good for him. He doesn’t deserve her, but he can protect her and then send her safely back home. But the bonny Sassenach has her own ideas—and a plan for seduction that no red-blooded Highlander could resist…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781420147056

Genres: Historical Romance, Romance Fiction


Published by Zebra Books

on 26th May, 2020

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 448

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Clan Kendrick series:

The Highlander Who Protected Me (book one)

The Highlander’s Christmas Bride (book two)

The Highlander’s English Bride (book three)

Published by: Zebra Books
an imprint of Kensington Books (@KensingtonBooks)

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

In regards to the ‘heat’ of sensuality & sexuality explored in this novel,
I felt I ought to let my readers know this one was a bit more intense than your regular Romance novel.

three-flames

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov
+ #ClanKendrick and #HFVBTBlogTours

About Vanessa Kelly

Vanessa Kelly

Vanessa Kelly is a USA Today Bestselling, award-winning author who was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance.” Her Regency-set historical romances have been nominated in a number of contests, and she has won multiple awards, including the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance. Her books have been published in nine languages.

Vanessa’s first Clan Kendrick book, The Highlander Who Protected Me, was a USA Today, Barnes & Noble, and BookScan bestseller. The Highlander’s Christmas Bride, her latest book, hit the top 50 on both the Barnes & Noble mass-market bestseller list and on BookScan. The Renegade Royals Series was a national bestseller, as was The Improper Princesses Series. My Fair Princess was named a Goodreads Romance of the Month and is a USA Today and BookScan bestseller.

When she’s not dreaming of plots for her next Regency novel, Vanessa is writing USA Today Bestselling books with her husband, under the pen name of V.K. Sykes.

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my review of  the highlander’s english bride:

It has been far too long since I’ve read a Historical Romance which entices me into laughter and has a bit of a humourous undertone stitched into the background! Finding Graeme besotted with a woman who hasn’t two wits of interest in him is part of the allure of this novel – finding that Sabrina can hold her own against him is what keeps you rooted in their story. Graeme first met Sabrina whilst running a stakeout in Hyde Park – mind you, it wasn’t the hour most known for women of the upper classes to be walking about – which is why their meeting was such a sweet one to observe! His mark intersected with her plans to rendezvous with someone simply because she proved to have something the mark wanted more than to get caught! And, from there – dear hearts, the hilarity ensued!

Sabrina has a sharpened tongue which speaks her mind even in instances where she might want to come across as a bit more agreeable than feisty! She can size a man up quite quickly and despite the fears her lady’s maid Hannah had on Graeme’s behalf, Sabrina could see his truer colours and understood there wasn’t any danger from him. The reaction of Hannah after her fainting spell was quite classic and I admit, it made me smirk into a laugh! The poor dear just isn’t very trusting of others and her heart isn’t strong enough for big city life. She’s practically afeared of her own shadow and that says a lot!

Sabrina is an interesting woman – she’s unabashedly unconventional – she believes in her independence and that is something unique about her according to her station and the era in which she is living. Most women would not want to affect their status or their reputation by going against the social rules which are meant to keep them from ruin before marriage. When it comes to Sabrina, she has her own mind and heart about such matters which makes her a curiously brilliant character to read about because you simply do not know what to expect – either what she says or the actions she takes up in haste!

Graeme takes chances with his life but according to him its an occupation he didn’t realise he would be good at and it is calling he never knew he had either. I had the feeling the work he was doing was giving him a sense of worth he otherwise would have missed having which in effect gave him a sense of purpose of what he could do with his life. He wanted to do something which was both worthy and productive and that is what he gets out of his job now. Yet, I could understand his longing for the Highlands and the vast openness of their setting – from mountains to lochs (big lakes), you could simply feel like breathing into a relaxed state of mind and heart. Such a steep sense of removal from the harrowing and hectic hours he has spent in London. You cannot even properly compare the two due to how uniquely different both living situations are from one another and why one would be preferred.

There is a touch of irony how the bloke Graeme is attempting to chase after is the same bloke whose attempting to woo the charms out of Sabrina! I found this interesting on two fronts – it showed how deeply intricate it is to uncover a plot of subterfuge whilst at the same time the most beguiling quality of this kind of rake is the means in which he would go to accomplish his task! The person in question is a rather fowl character all round – takes what he feels is rightly his and doesn’t apologise if he’s wrong. He’s the kind of character you’d hope Graeme could catch if only to give others a chance at living a life without fear.

Sabrina liked to toy with Graeme as much as he liked to toy with her – they were equals when it came to having a charming charisma and a winsome personality; they each relied on their wits but also they each had a cloyingly cheekiness about them, too! They liked to walk that fine line between being sincerely conventional to the standards of their day and being a bit more reckless and loose with themselves. They liked to break down the barriers between them by discussing things others in their stations might never consider proper and yet, with these two, you can see the brewing connection bonding them together. They each have a respect for the other which is an equal match to how they loved to banter and get a rile out of each other too. I felt they were becoming attracted to one another because of how much fun they had in each others’ company.

The beauty of how Sabrina and Graeme fit together is how well suited they are for each other. She’s his equal in many respects – she has the mind for keeping in stride with the affairs of what Graeme is sleuthing out about their peers and for Graeme, you could tell he was benefiting having someone to confide his secrets and trust that they would remain protected. I sensed he wasn’t used to finding a woman who could keep in step with his affairs and still find a reason to like him afterwards. I had to chuckle over how Sabrina’s father reacted to meeting Graeme though – he was such a closed-minded father at that point, as he couldn’t see past his own prejudices. I loved how Sabrina held her ground and still opted to make her own mind about how she felt about which of the blokes she wanted to keep in her company; Graeme included!

The character I had the most fun seeing pop into scenes was Vivien – she nearly stole half the scenes she became a part of because of how she tempered her husband’s anger with her own slice of humour! She was such a lively character to have in close companionship to Sabrina as the two shared a sisterhood friendship and each had their own reasons for keeping their independence despite the traditionalism towards needing to yield to a man or in Vivien’s case her husband. She had the kind of quick-thinking mind you love finding and she really was the kind of friend you wanted if something untoward happened in the middle of the night!

The silliness of some of the scenes helped lighten the mood in reading this Romance because despite the fact there was real danger in the height of the crimes being committed against the ton, Kelly would follow that action with immediate folly and you’d find yourself in a smile of laughter. Especially because of how Sabrina and Graeme cannot seem to work through a part of their hours without bumping into the other and running themselves a bit amok! These two take to danger like ducks take to water – neither owning that the dangers are affecting them as they each face adversity square in the face! In that regard, they are each others equals and do a wonderful job at handling sensitive situations.

We started with the fullness of the ton‘s social calendar on full display in London and then were treated to take to the Highlands of Scotland, wherein we found ourselves in Edinburgh. I loved the changes in scenery and how Kelly cunningly changed how the dialogue and patterns of speech would be overheard in both locations. The thickness of her Scottish characters’ accents was more present in Scotland than they were in England – which made sense as they were among their kin and felt more comfortable being themselves. It was interesting to see how the King’s arrival played a role on how they viewed their lives and how the intricacies of Graeme’s service to a spycrafter affected how free he was to live within his own hours. His fortitude and grace for sleuthing matters out is what kept him in high demand but you could start to see how his life was turning a bit weary from this kind of exercise. I felt for a good part of the story, Graeme wanted to make some changes in his life – changes which surprised even himself.

Wherever Sabrina went she was able to intercede on different people’s behalf whilst remaining in full confidence about what she was able to accomplish. She had a good heart, a seasoned independent will and a caring concern for people overall. She did well because she lived with her heart and mind in full unison of each other but even I questioned if she realised how she was starting to fall for a certain Highlander bloke who riled her beyond repair whenever they were locking horns with one another! And, that was what set about their romantic interlude towards sorting out how they felt about each other.

Despite the follies which found them, the dangers which lurked after them and the wild route they took to discover their love for each other, it was the way Kelly built their relationship on a firm foundation of friendship and humour which endears you to their story the most. I loved seeing how they confer with each other and how they choose to banter out their differences. Sabrina had such a strong sense of self that she was instantly an instant match for Graeme because he was from a family of strong-minded blokes who choose wisely when it comes to the women they honour with their love. You get a bit lost in their escapades because something is bound to happen at any given turn and its the heartwarming feeling you have after the dust settles knowing that Graeme and Sabrina are owning this adventure together that gives you the best lift of heart.

Equality in Lit:

Kelly has her characters reacting and talking about racism and prejudices affecting biracial characters and how the tone of society in different parts of the UK (specifically the differences between small townes and larger cities from London to Edinburgh) would affect their perception on how persons may or may not be reactive towards them. It was a section on how her lead characters have open minds and hearts, of whom celebrate the cultural and ethnic origins of everyone but how they were clued into how narrow-minded others could be and hoped that the people they were meeting or knew firsthand wouldn’t have to face the prejudices they felt were unjust.

on the historical romantic styling of vanessa kelly:

I truly loved the cheeky style of telling this story – as Kelly invests us into the cheek and wit of finding her characters not entirely enthused by each other’s presence but rather with an unexpected curiosity about themselves instead. Sabrina and Graeme each have their own reasons for being indifferent and distant from wanting to pursue relationships – his felt like a tried and true back-history of reasons why he wasn’t entirely sure if he wanted to pursue a woman in the present whilst with Sabrina it felt like she had been burnt and didn’t want to experience that again.

Kelly writes a story which propells us closer to the spycraft and networking of her characters – wherein Graeme is not just working within the family of the King but he is moving in circles which make it harder to entrust himself into a relationship where he doesn’t know the loyalties of the woman. This is partially what I felt might inspire a connection between him and Sabrina – as they share so much on the outset!

Kelly writes with a very light and airy style of #HistRom – wherein it is a bit of a balanced tango full of romantic interludes, daring intrigue and the curious ways in which the heart starts to grow in love. This particular series is both light-hearted and wickedly fun to read because sometimes you need a bit of a romantic interlude to focus on when harder hitting stories are just not your cuppa focus right now. I even liked seeing how she portrayed the ton and how they in turn shaped the back-currents of the novel by showing how society was reactive to the events of the story and/or how they were still very much inclined to put reputation over common sense.

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This blog tour is courtesy of:

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBTFollow the Virtual Road Map

as you visit others participating:

As this particular one has a bookaway along the route:

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 I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read. Bookish conversations are always welcome!

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Reading this story contributed to my 2020 reading challenges:

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{SOURCES: Book covers for “The Highlander’s English Bride”, book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of Vanessa Kelly, the tour host badge and HFVBTs badge were all provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #SaturdaysAreBookish banner, 2020 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Saturday, 6 June, 2020 by jorielov in 19th Century, Blog Tour Host, Equality In Literature, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Romance Fiction, Romantic Comedy, the Regency era, Vulgarity in Literature




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