From the Timeless Romance Singles line comes the new novella A HIGHLANDER'S HIDDEN HEART by Julie Coulter Bellon:
Despite being the daughter of a duke, shy Elizabeth Barrington becomes a target for the cruel whisperings of the ton. She would rather stay at home with her sketchbook indefinitely than give them more to gossip about, but when a dashing new earl arrives, everything changes. His Scottish brogue and easy acceptance draw her in and she finds herself falling in love. Before she can act on her feelings, however, her father promises her to a man who hides his cruel behavior behind a mask of civility. With her future at stake, Elizabeth must make a choice—do her duty or choose a love that could cost her everything.
Alec Ramsay never expected to inherit an earldom or settle in England, but he leaves behind his life in the Scottish Highlands and comes to London. After meeting his new neighbor, the beautiful and soft-spoken Lady Elizabeth, Alec can’t wait to further their acquaintance. It doesn’t take long in her company, however, for Alec to see he’s in danger of losing his heart. But when long-held prejudices rear their ugly head, Alec is caught between doing what is right and his new role as an English gentleman. Has he finally found the love he’s waited his whole life for, only to lose her in the web of unfair judgments and proper English traditions?
This story drew me in quickly, which is a good thing since it was so short (as in, finish it in a few hours kind of short.) First off, the British sure had a hard time getting along with their neighbors, didn't they? For whatever reason, being Scottish was almost the kiss of death to some English people in the Regency era. Thankfully, Elizabeth was not so narrow-minded as all that. From the moment she met Alec in a very unconventional way in London, the two of them had a great rapport, and enjoyed being in each other's company. Alec's mom was an enjoyable person to get to know as well. My only complaint with this story was how quickly everything was resolved. It almost seemed like the author ran out of room or time and turned the climax into a two-page "hurry up and get this over with" kind of story. I suppose that's kind of how things are with novellas, but I liked the rest of the story so much that I really would have liked that part to be extended more.
Sometimes I'm just in the mood for a good quick short story. This novella hit the spot for me. No, it wasn't anything that will change my life, but it was an enjoyable read. I even see myself reading it again on occasion.
Alec and Elizabeth are well written I even enjoyed the dog in the story :) I was surprised by Elizabeth's parents and how they react to certain information. The bad guy was also written in such a way that I wanted to give him a good slap.
Without giving any spoilers, I will say my favorite part was when Alec went all Scottish. It made for an entertaining picture in my head.
Title: A Highlander's Hidden Heart
Author: Julie Coulter Bellon Publisher: Mirror Press Published: April 2018 ISBN: Source: I received an eCopy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.