Not only was this book my first reading experience of Ella Hayes, but also it was my…..FIRST EVER Mills & Boon. I feel like I have come of age as a romance reader.
Before I read this book I was going through a reading bad patch; I was struggling to fall in fictional love with the male characters in the books I was reading. *All romance readers looking at this blog take a sharp intake of breath* Yep, tough times! It had been weeks since I’d had a satisfying fictional relationship with a handsome male character and I was starting to question whether this genre was for me. *All romance readers looking at this blogs shake their heads in disbelief*
So I wandered aimlessly into the book wilderness, feeling incredibly frustrated and wondering whether I would ever fall head over heels in fictional love with another male character ever again.
I think by this point God was losing patience with my bedtime prayers which always began with the same question – heavenly Father, how can I carry on reading romance if I can’t fall in fictional love?
Then I came across Her Brooding Scottish Heir by Ella Hayes. The book blurb screamed sweeping romance set in a beautiful location and a little voice inside of me whispered, ‘Mills & Boon will sort you out, Lucy.’
So, I armed myself with a packet of digestives, a huge mug of tea, a sleeping golden Labrador, a box of tissues and an electric fan (in the hope I might get lucky).
Here’s the blurb (from Goodreads).
A kiss under the Northern Lights…
Running from her broken engagement artist Milla O’Brien retreats to the Scottish Highlands. Only to arrive during a lavish wedding on the estate!
She finds the bride’s brother and brooding heir, Cormac Buchanan. Could they heal each other’s hearts?
Here’s my review:
I was drawn to the character of Milia, still struggling to overcome the loss of her mother and feeling broken by her failed engagement. Escaping to the Highlands she heads for an isolated artist’s retreat in the grounds of Calcarron House. By this point I had started dunking my first digestive biscuit. Climbing into Milia’s fictional shoes and living out a part of her life felt like it could be enjoyable.
En route she has a puncture and a brooding man comes to her rescue. I forgot about my soggy digestive, put down my tea and JUMPED into Milia’s shoes.
The man in question is Cormac; the heir to the estate. He’s sad, distant and handsome. Bingo! My heart broke into a wild gallop.
I didn’t expect the book to be as moving as it was. These two characters have a lot of emotional baggage to unload; Milia’s dealing with her grief and failed engagement while Cormac is still hurting from his time in Afghanistan and the death of his best friend. I felt heavily invested in these two characters. This wasn’t just a romance for me, I actually wanted to see whether they were going to be okay by the end of the book.
The sizzling chemistry between Milia and Cormac was cleverly crafted. Ella Hayes knows how to fiddle with your heart strings. By half-way I was a hot mess and covered in digestive biscuit crumbs.
The character of Cormac was written so well. His troubles made my heart ache and at one point when he’s talking about the death of his best friend I had to go make myself some soothing peppermint tea to calm down.
He was also so attractive I could have climbed in, moved Milia out of the way and kissed him myself. I got so carried away with him that when he did smile (this character doesn’t smile much) I had tears in my eyes.
This book rescued me from my romance book crisis. I fell head over heels in fictional love with Cormac and ended the book feeling very satisfied.
It was well written and I can see why Ella Hayes won the Prima Love To Write Competition.
A fabulous read and I can’t wait to read more from Ella Hayes.
Three Things I like About This Author:
- She’s a wedding photographer.
- She used to be a TV camerawoman filming creepy crawlies for science documentaries.
- Her colourful instagram feed is well worth a look at.
If you fancy losing yourself in a sweeping romance in a stunning location please click here.
If you fancy checking it out on Goodreads – click here.
It’s my last day in Dubrovnik on my writer’s holiday so please give me sympathy 😢