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Highland Scandal

(The Scandalous Series #2)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  1,342 ratings  ·  99 reviews
On the run from the wrathful Prince of Wales, Jack Haines, Earl of Lambourne, is taken prisoner by a Highland laird who makes him an unusual offer: if Jack handfasts his niece, then his life will be spared. The old Highland custom -- a marriage lasting only a year and a day, unless both partners agree to make it a lifelong vow -- sounds preferable to Jack to being dragged ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 370 pages
Published April 21st 2009 by Pocket Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,342 ratings  ·  99 reviews

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Jul 28, 2009 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. The plot could have been cute, but unfortunately, I felt like I never really got to know the characters. Complete strangers, Jack Haines, the Earl of Lambourne, and Scottish Lizzie Beal are locked into a handfasting agreement against their wills. The ancient Highland handfasting is a type of trial marriage for one year and one day, at the end of which the couple can part ways if they aren't satisfied with the match. Lizzie and Jack are forced ...more
Edwina " I LoveBooks" "Deb"
Jul 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
Jack the Earl of Lambourne is fleeing England because his name has been listed in the Book of Scandals. This book list the names of possible lovers of the Princess of Whales and her husband the Prince of Whales is hunting these men down and prosecuting them for treason. Bounty hunters are in hot presuit after Jack , Jack has fled to his native homeland Scotland where he is caught by a Scottish Laird Carson Beal. He promises Jack that if he will Hand fast with his niece Lizzie Beal; which is to b ...more
Miranda Davis
Jun 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Die-hard J. London fans, maybe?
Recommended to Miranda by: No one, library freebie
Shelves: dnf, forgettable
Got bogged down halfway, what with all the "when the year is up I'm outta here talk between H/h. Background, discussed in depth elsewhere I'm sure, the H/h are by hook and crook hand-fasted for a year and forced to live as man and wife to satisfy her father for his own nefarious reasons. There was plenty of mutual antagonism between H/h, tho' he was less inflexible than she, but neither really rang my bells. And the chemistry felt off somehow.

I've read other Highland stories by JL and recall lik
Mar 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I don't know what people's problems are with this book. I've looked at some of the reviews here, and feel as though others must have read an entirely different book from the one I did. It was great. Really, really great and warm and loving. Yes, it was in the tradition of all those tales wherein a group of people are thrown together, detest each other and then grow to be each others biggest fans after a remarkably fortuitous shift in the social circle, but who cares? Julia London did it well, wi ...more
Apr 15, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It is quite a shame. Even my appreciation of Julia London's style could not have saved this book.

I have 2 problems with the book:

1. Characters: Jack and Lizzie are boring characters. Jack was not to be taken seriously. He just seemed like a bored playboy who had too much money and time but didn't know what to do with his life. I didn't find him attractive in the least. He seemed unreliable and had little depth. Lizzie was just one angry woman who seemed childish and rude. Granted, nobody would
Oct 12, 2010 rated it liked it
This book vastly improved towards the end. The hero being willing to give up his life for the heroine was probably what saved this book, though. The romanticism of that part could have possibly been played up a little more, although this may not have fit well with the rest of the book. The only real grievance I have about the latter part of the book is the phrase 'She wept with angels and her tears were drops of pure joy'. Seriously. I'm sure I've read books with even more dubious phrases, but t ...more
Sep 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book made me realize how much I don't like it when the hero and heroine are not fond of or hate each each other until the end of the book where their love is finally realized. I find it SO tedious. Julia London did a good job with her writing. ...more
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've been in the mood for books set in Scotland and somehow I missed this one when it first came out. As soon as I started reading it, I realized the hero, Jack Haines, was the brother of the heroine, Fiona, in the novella "Snowy Night with a Highlander" in the anthology "Snowy Night with a Stranger". At the end of that story, Jack was told to hide in the highlands as he is wanted by Prince George.

This book starts with Jack being captured by Carson Beal who forces him to handfast with his niece,
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance
I never liked the heroine, Lizzie. From the start she came across as an unreasonable shrew who might, if she had just stopped to think for two seconds, have made far better decisions. I also didn't like her instant dislike of Jack, and her failure to empathize with his situation. Possibly for that reason, I never found the passion between these two to be particularly believable. It felt forced to me. ...more
2.5 stars. Since I've read Wicked Angel and Summer of Two Wishes I expected Julia London to deliver a great book with this one. Unfortunately, I didn't. But since I have great imagination, I still liked (barely) it.

Jack and Lizzie have been handfasted, meaning they're married for a year and a day. I would have thought that there would be saucy, sharp-tongue, witty quarrels between the two but somehow I just got frustrated with Lizzie's hard headedness.

Jack. I imagined him soooooo hot in my mind.
Jul 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dawn Kunda
May 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing

I can’t help but pick up a novel by Julia London when I’m in the mood for a lot of Scottish kilt and gown mixing.
Jack Haines, Earl of Lambourne, is on the run from a false accusation amongst the London nobility.
Lizzie Beale remains unwed and waiting for her knight in the highlands.
When Lizzie’s uncle captures Jack, Jack thinks he’s done for, and so does Lizzie. Her uncle forces Jack and Lizzie into a hand-fasting for a year. In other words, a pretend marriage for her uncles benefit.
From this de
May 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
Not a keeper, unfortunately. The story and the characters are very appealing, but the story lacks flow and the characters are undeveloped. I didn't feel emotionally connected with any of the characters at any point, but this could and should have worked so beautifully given the raw materials of the story. The book could use a lot of revision and editing to tighten it up and deepen the characters. ...more
May 23, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: highlander-books
This was really cute! I liked the fast paced beginning, and the ending was happy.
Nov 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: julia-london
Excellant book, couldn't put it down, really good series. Can't wait for Declan O'Connor's story with the new quartet series - The Secrets of Hadley Green coming up. ...more
Jun 26, 2010 rated it it was ok
I thought this book would be great, but it didn't meet my expectations. I thought the best part of the whole book was the end (last 3-4 chapters) ...more
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 02, 2016 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
Sorry, but I gave up on this one. Lizzie was so ridiculously obnoxious and unlikable, and almost halfway through the book, she wasn't getting any better. I could help but feel bad for Jack--he had done nothing to her--he'd been forced into the handfasting just as she had been, yet she acted as though it were all his fault, and treated him like complete crap....having meals served when he wasn't around, forcing him to 'earn' some crappy food by telling the cook stories....making him sleep on a pa ...more
Margaret Garten
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked it very much. It was nice to see a decadent earl who lived to party with all those who you could party with in London is suddenly thrown into the farthest reaches of the highlands and live it in the rough, kind of. Very nice. He may have run from the highlands and the nightmares they held for him, but how to live in them, the smell of the snow, the evergreens, even the smell of peat burning were still a part of him he'd forgotten he missed. His desire to feel helpful at Thorntree. Yes th ...more
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved their bickering. It was so funny. I really enjoyed reading it. I also liked that we get some minor stories on the side.
Things I didn't like. They author kept using "Ach" so much and then kept bringing up the heroine's blue eyes.
honestly, I dont like Jack and Lizzie, they such boring characters. More over Lizzie and her sister Charlotte, both were too immature and unkindly. But, at least Julia London did a good job with her writing.
Annette Meier
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love a good Scottish brogue - thanks to an excellent narrator. Interesting "rules" about land and inheritances, plus including someone with a disability - well done! ...more
Dec 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
pretty dumb; a wannabe in nearly every respect.
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Summer time reading at its best. Enjoyed the story.
Di Schlenk
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book about Jack and Lizzie who have their hands 'tied' in marriage so they both can survive. Despite their obvious distrust of each other, love grows ...more
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Outrageously comic and unbelievable!
Boring characters. Slow, boring story. The author also took a lot of liberties with history.
Jun 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Okay, forgettable read.
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Julia London is the New York Times and USA Today best selling author of more than two dozen romantic fiction novels. She is the author of the popular historical romance series, the Cabot Sisters, including The Trouble with Honor, The Devil Takes a Bride, and The Scoundrel and the Debutante. She is also the author of several contemporary romances, including Homecoming Ranch, Return to Homecoming ...more

Other books in the series

The Scandalous Series (3 books)
  • The Book of Scandal (The Scandalous Series, #1)
  • A Courtesan's Scandal (The Scandalous Series, #3)

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138 likes · 83 comments
“And what of our understanding?" he demanded. "The handfasting?"
Lizzie's heart skipped a beat. She swallowed down her fear and lifted her chin. "I've no' cried off if that is what you mean. You sent me a bonnet--"
"Woman, I've never in my life imagine one could attach so much meaning to a bloody bonnet It was a hat! No' a jewel, no' a horse--"
"And I am still waiting to hear you say that you esteem me," she said stubbornly. "If ye donna, I will return to Thorntree today and you have my vow I shall never bother you again."
"I donna esteem you! he cried heavenward, and Lizzie's heart lurched. "What is in that head of yours, lass? I love you!”
“Get it off,” she said, jerking their bound wrists up and holding them up under his nose.
“I thought perhaps we might at least introduce ourselves,” he said lightly.
“Get it off!”
“What shall I call you?” he asked as he pulled her to the table and removed the silver dome on the platter. Mutton stew, by the smell of it. Not a single knife to be had. “Lover?”
“Rest assured you’ll never need to call me anything at all!” she said with admirable conviction.
“You may reduce your rancor and save it for when you might need it,” he said calmly. “I am as enchanted by this arrangement as you are. May I remove your brooch?”
“Your brooch,” he said, looking at the small gold ring-shaped brooch that held her shawl on her shoulder.
Her eyes narrowed.
Jack knew that look and gestured to their wrists. “Rein in your thoughts, lass. I need something to get it off.
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