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Highlander Unbound by Julia London

Highlander Unbound

by Julia London

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If I could I would rate this book 3 ½ stars but Goodreads and several other sites won’t allow that. I found the book hard to finish. I am not sure why, it is well written and there are some very amusing mental contemplations for the each of the characters. I guess I just didn't fall in love with the characters.

The story is about a family of Scots that are down on their luck and unwilling to make changes in the farming to be more successful. An endearing trait in the Scots I understand. There is a legend that there is a beastie that is made of gold and rubies that once belonged to the Scottish Lockhart's but was taken to England when the family split. The current Lockharts form a plan to get the beastie back so they can sell it and keep their home. They send the oldest son to retrieve the statue. Liam is a captain in the Highland Regiments. He is also a spy and assassin. While on his mission to get the statue back he meets Ellen Farnsworth. Ellen is living in disgrace at her cruel and miserly father’s house. What follows is a tale of love, betrayal and redemption.

I guess my biggest problem with Liam is that he can’t see himself as anything but a soldier. I understand that there are men that truly believe that but he is the oldest and heir did he think he wouldn't have to assume the position as head of the family one day. I also understand that the Scots have had some very hard times and the are slow to accept change but if the family is struggling I would think that Liam would be willing to try something new to see if the situation would improve. I mean he has been away from home fighting in the Peninsula Wars and Waterloo did he learn nothing while he was away. He isn't a stupid man. He just can’t see that times change and people must change as well.

Ellen isn't much better. She is lonely and miserable and desperate to find some way to get out from under her father’s roof. He is a cruel man that is more concerned for his reputation than he is for his daughter and her child. He is also a skinflint. He reminds me very much of Ebenezer Scrooge only Scrooge would never have gone gambling with his money. It is sadder that at this period of time there was very little a woman of quality could do to earn a living. I get the impression that Ellen never received an education so she isn't qualified to be a governess. Her father would have a fit if she did piece work. So she is stuck living with her father. It’s no wonder that she steals the beastie and runs away. Luckily she comes to her senses and goes to Scotland to confront Liam.

As I said early this isn't a bad story and I am sure there are a large number of people that will be very happy with reading it. That is after all what makes life so wonderful at times. I like this author and have enjoyed her earlier stories so I don’t think her writing skills are a problem. This was just a story that didn't hit a spark for me. It happens. ( )
  LadyIsis | Feb 22, 2015 |
I just couldn't get into this one. The "beastie" which is a statue of legend seems a bit ridiculous. Also, I couldn't identify with the characters. Liam did not come across as the usual dashing romantic lead. Instead he seemed to be part of a family that was in desperate times and he was the best they could do. Unfortunately it wasn't good enough for me. ( )
  melorem | Jul 29, 2011 |
Scottish Cpt. Liam Lockheart chases after a very valuable statue that he believes the English stole from his family, and is only delighted to continue chasing Ellen Farnsworth when she makes off with it. Fine. ( )
  Elishibai | Jun 23, 2010 |
Completely stupid. ( )
  mbosvyle | Aug 29, 2009 |
The story starts with a statue of a "beastie": an ugly thing passed down through the Lockhart family. Over the generations, its story has been turned into a curse on the statue. But when the Scottish branch of the Lockharts are on the verge of losing their land and livelihood, the money they could get for it becomes very appealing, and they decide to retrieve it from the English branch.

Older brother Liam, a captain in the Highland Regiments, goes to London to commit some espionage and larceny. While there, he meets and falls in love with Ellie, the daughter of his landlord.

Ellie and her daughter Natalie are virtual prisoners in her father's home--a result of the youthful love affair that left Ellie with a broken heart, a ruined reputation, and a highly imaginative daughter. She's falling in love with Liam, but her first concern is for Natalie, and she'll do anything to give her a better life.

I very much enjoyed Liam's fish-out-of-water antics in London. He was right on the verge of being too comical to be real, but never crossed the line--mostly because we're in his POV when he's doing something odd, and he makes perfect sense, given his character.

I likewise understood Ellie quite well: her fears for her child, and being torn by what she saw as a decision between Liam and Natalie.

What really interfered with my enjoyment of the story was the back cover blurb. I know, I know--I usually make it a point to avoid reading them, but for some reason I read this one. It gives away a plot point that happens well into the second half of the book, and as if that's not bad enough, it misrepresents it, so I spent over half the book waiting for an event that wasn't what I'd expected. Not that I wanted the story to go the way I was expecting--I love it when books surprise me--but if it's on the back of the book, you pretty much expect it to be true. Argh.

Anyway, I'll likely look up the next book in this trilogy. I'm not a big historical romance fan, but I do enjoy Julia London's writing. ( )
1 vote Darla | Nov 30, 2008 |
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In and around Loch Chon, they would talk for manyyears of how the fair Lady of Lockhartlaughed like a madwomanwhen her husbandhanged her lover - on the very eve of her date with the executioner's ax.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743465067, Mass Market Paperback)

On leave from his Highland regiment, Captain Liam Lockhart comes to London on an urgent mission: to repossess the stolen family heirloom that could save his ancestral estate. He never dreamed it would involve surrendering his heart. But the beautiful and scandalous socialite Ellen Farnsworth sets his Highland blood aflame with a will as strong and reckless as his own. Though bound to Liam by a soul-searing passion, duty impels Ellen to commit a terrible betrayal.

Now, driven by passion, pride, and vengeance that know no bounds, this fearsome Highlander will reclaim not only his family's ancient treasure, but the one daring woman he was meant to love for all time.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:29 -0400)

On leave from his Highland regiment, Captain Liam Lockhart heads for London in order to reclaim his family's ancient treasure, a stolen heirloom that could save his ancestral estate, and meets beautiful socialite Ellen Farnsworth.

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