Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Sweet Home Highland Christmas by May McGoldrick ~ Review

Title: Sweet Home Highland Christmas (The Pennington Family 1.5)
Author: May McGoldrick
Genre: Adult, Historical Romance, Christmas
Length: 102 pages
Publisher: Swerve
Release Date: July 3, 2018
Source: NetGalley
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Freya Sutherland is a desperate aunt trying to keep custody of her precocious young niece, Ella. After the death of her father, Freya is willing to do anything to prove she's capable of being Ella's guardian, even if it means marrying for security instead of love.

Recently retired from the military, Captain Gregory Pennington wants nothing more than to make it home in time for Christmas. When his brother hears of his plans to return to the family estate for the holidays, he asks Penn to escort some travelers to the bordering estate.

When Freya and Penn meet their chemistry is instant. Once they realize he's their escort for the journey, there's no escaping their attraction. But Penn has plans that do not include a wife and child. And Freya has responsibilities as Ella's guardian, no matter her growing discontent with her upcoming marriage. With Ella conspiring to get them together, Penn and Freya might just experience a little magic during the holidays.

Sweet Home Highland Christmas really stood out for me because of the hero. Captain Gregory Pennington isn't your typical soldier or spare to inherit a title. He's an engineer! This really excited me, and I think the authors did a great job showing his intellect, curiosity, and problem-solving skills all along the journey as he escorted Freya and her five-year-old niece, Ella.

Ella really steals the show. I love when a child can be such a central part of a romance, and I don't see that very often in the historical genre. If there are just tons of these out there that I haven't heard of yet, feel free to drop the title in the comments so I can check them out. Ella is also very intelligent, and when she meets Pennington, she promptly decides that he would be a much better husband for her aunt than the cousin Freya has been dreading to marry.

While this isn't a love at first sight story, it is a case of falling in love quickly. As the small party journeys through the Scottish countryside in the winter, I was able to get to know these characters through an ice-skating break, bedtime stories, and midnight confessions. The story takes place during the Christmas season, but it really wasn't mentioned too much until the very end, which I found a tad rushed, like the authors were running into a word or page count limit, but overall a very satisfying story.

*I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of this book*

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