Highland Scandal
Julia London
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Buy *Highland Scandal* by Julia London online

Highland Scandal
Julia London
400 pages
April 2009
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Highland Scandal is part of Julia London's 'Scandalous' series, although it does work as a standalone book. Although a passable read most of the time, it suffers from improbabilities; too many areas of the plot seem just so unlikely that the reader isnít ever entirely convinced.

The difficult life situation of Lizzie Beal is convincing. A woman who lives with her disabled sister in the Highlands, Lizzie has few choices for her future apart from marriage. Fortunately, she has some kind of understanding with a neighbor, Mr. Gordon, and hopes that he may be able to rescue her and her sister. The improbability commences when Jack Haines, the earl of Lambourne, arrives in the Highlands. He is escaping a false rumor about an assignation with the Princess of Wales, which means the Prince is after him. Jack somehow finds himself involved in a handfasting with Lizzie, a woman he hasn't previously met, in order to keep himself from bounty hunters.

Jack and Lizzie start their life together (which has to be for at least a year) in an uncomfortable manner. Lizzie spends the first half of the book being unpleasant to Jack; this makes her a fairly unsympathetic character, even knowing the difficulties she faces. The first half of the book reels out slowly (and in places is almost boring), but the story picks up a little eventually as Jack and Lizzie get to know each other and try to find out why Lizzie's uncle, in effect her guardian, is so against her marrying Mr. Gordon.

All in all, Highland Scandal is unsatisfactory in many places, with neither lead character particularly convincing or even that likeable. The side characters are interesting although not that deeply explored, and the plot events often not quite believable.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Helen Hancox, 2009

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