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English Tudor #2

My Fair Highlander

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Jemma Ramsden is a wild thing in a noblewoman’s body-so thinks Gordon Dwyre, Laird Barras, watching her galloping on horseback through her brother’s lands. Bold, headstrong, beautiful: the perfect bride for a lusty Scots warrior. He might be able to convince her, too, if she would hear his suit. But Barras doesn’t wait to be handed what he wants. When he’s forced to rescue her from English ruffians, he makes sure she stays safe-by locking her in his castle.

Jemma is hardly an eager captive. She has no horse and no freedom, and she is an Englishwoman in a hostile Scots keep: a stranger without work or friend. Barras seems determined to charm her-even tempt forbidden desires, a daring game that leaves Jemma desperate for more. But with passion, love, and a new life within her grasp, Jemma is in more danger than even she knows…

370 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2011

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About the author

Mary Wine

66 books794 followers
Mary Wine has written over twenty novels that take her readers from the pages of history to the far reaches of space. Recent winner of a 2008 EPPIE Award for erotic western romance, her book LET ME LOVE YOU was quoted “Not to be missed…” by Lora Leigh, New York Times best-selling author.

When she’s not abusing a laptop, she spends time with her sewing machines…all of them! Making historical garments is her second passion. From corsets and knickers to court dresses of Elizabeth I, the most expensive clothes she owns are hundreds of years out of date. She’s also an active student of martial arts, having earned the rank of second degree black belt.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 54 reviews
Profile Image for Christy.
392 reviews38 followers
January 10, 2023
Gordon seemed like way more trouble than he was worth. He had two mistresses coming out the woodworking to kill Jemma 😂
Profile Image for Laura.
Author 15 books596 followers
October 2, 2011
Giveaway on demonlover's-link at the bottom

After the first few pages I wasn’t sure I’d like the heroine. Jemma is a shrew. She’s selfish, and impetuous...

But what I liked was that her impetuousness got her into trouble and she grew from it. So often the heroine is described as “impetuous” but is in reality selfish and just does as she pleases. Here, Jemma has spent the last few years caring for her ill father. After his death she took to riding every day---any time she pleases. In the opening scene, her brother calls her on it.

“...you spend your days doing nothing save pleasing your whims.”

He tells her she’s shirking her duties, she is in her early twenties-waay past marriageable age back then (14th c). And he’s done allowing her those freedoms. Laird Barras has asked to court her and all her brother wants is for her to give Barras a chance. Jemma takes it poorly and runs off. As she runs off, she sees the estate and people through her newly opened eyes, and instead of riding, she helps. Loved it. LOVED it!

But, she went riding at night. Not her brightest idea. Some English knights found her and tried to rape her. They came pretty close to succeeding but out of the blue some braw Scottish lads saved her. Le swoon.

Gordon’s men found Jemma’s mare running on Barras lands, so they knew she was in trouble. Gordon had taken to watching Jemma ride every morning and had gained permission to court her. After rescuing her, he can’t let her leave. She keeps finding excuses to leave whenever he’s visiting her brother, so this is his new plan of action: keep her so she gets a chance to know him. Pretty intelligent plan, I think. (his reasoning is that his first wife had been unbalanced from her parents instilling in her that “relations” with her husband was a sin. But as a wife she had to lay with him anyways. She went mad, and became a nun. The Church dissolved their marriage).

Unfortunately, once Jemma is saved, she is pretty much behaving like an ungrateful brat. At one point she is frustrated with him telling her what to do. She is spoiled enough that she has always said what she wants, and sees no need why she shouldn’t continue on that way:

"Making an offer for me does not grant you the right to dictate to me, sir."
"No lass, pulling ye off the ground before ye were raped does." His voice cut through the air like a hot knife. There was nothing friendly in his expression, only harsh judgment. "I asked yer brother for the right to court ye only, I never offered for ye and I'm thinking that a wise thing at the moment. I do nae need a wife that has nae got the sense of a child."

I was so glad he said that to her, she soo needed to hear it. And you know what? She grew up. I liked her a lot.

The only thing I didn't like, in fact I hated, HATED! the plot twist at the end. It came out of left-field and added nothing to the story. Making the plot twist the attempted killer was pretty far-fetched. There had been no allusion, no foreshadowing, nothing to hint at it, so it felt…wrong and awkward. The person of interest we all think it is, should have been it. It made sense, and it worked well. It’s hard to have a villain the whole book, and then only be told this random person is the villain. Sometimes the simplest direction works best. Luckily, that was only the last couple of pages, so it didn’t ruin the book, but it did pull me out of the story.

Mary Wine has a beautiful sense of the era and the location. She has a way of giving you a fantastic visual of a castle and its working day-to-day life. You can’t NOT enjoy her writing style.

***Thank you to Kensington for the Review Copy
Profile Image for Scooper Speaks.
604 reviews27 followers
August 7, 2011
Favorite Lines: “There was something intensely satisfying about having his weight on top of her, something that she had never expected.” (p. 199)

Oh, what I wouldn’t give to move his sporran or peek under his kilt. I love the cover!

My Fair Highlander is Mary Wine’s newest Scottish romance. It features an alpha hero and a spitfire heroine. One of the satisfying things about the story is the heroine’s knowledge of herself. She knows when she’s being irritable and attempts to fix the problem. It shows she is a grown woman and not a little girl playing the I-want-you-but-I-need-to-grow-up-first game.

Despite really liking the story, I gotta admit that the sex in the story really threw me at first. After the hero rescues the heroine, sex is thrown into the mix. No, they don’t jump into the sack, but on their way to the hero’s castle the heroine begins to notice their intimate position.

"She drew in his scent and shivered. It was dark and musky, touching off a strange reaction deep inside her belly, a quivering that became a throbbing at the top of her sex. Each motion of the horse sent her clitoris sliding against the leather of the saddle, and the scent of his skin intensified the sensation somehow."

See, it’s not that the sex is bad. It’s that the sex is unexpected. I’m sure it’s done to introduce the instant attraction between the hero and the heroine, but it didn’t excite me for the characters. It raised my eyebrows. Later the sex scenes just about burn the pages.

My Fair Highlander is a comfort, romance novel. There are no mysterious twists or huge surprises, but that’s okay. Why? Well, because the story is one that I’ll pick up time after time because it takes me to Scotland. You know where the alphas are super alphas who love deeper than any other man alive. I know what I’m getting when I pick up My Fair Highlander: a romance with a clear, happily ever after ending. Not a series. Not an attempt to impress me with the author’s wonderful ability to get me going in one direction only to show me her cleverness by ending up in some strange location. And most definitely not an attempt to add a twist the historical romance into a young adult or paranormal book.

In the end, My Fair Highlander is a historical romance for grown women who like their men hot, hard and willing to give it all up for their women.
Scooper Speaks
Profile Image for Kathleen.
691 reviews91 followers
August 17, 2011
Once again I found a book that I truly enjoyed. Mary Wine has been hit or miss with me and I can say this was a hit. The story was simple but kept me interested all the way through. I really liked the H&h and all the other characters. The loves scene sizzled and were really well done. Of course it ended with a HEA also setting up the next book in this series which of course I plan on reading when it's released.

For those of you have read Mary's book's I must add that yep, Mary continues her fascination with historical bathroom pluming, hahahaha. I must also say that it did not seem to bother me so much in this story as it did in others.
Profile Image for Gloria.
412 reviews8 followers
July 23, 2018
2.5. Completely forgettable. I did finish it but struggled a bit to get through it. Nothing exciting here, and the epilogue (or maybe it was just an ending) seemed completely out of place and unsatisfying.
Profile Image for Heather Book Savvy Babe.
496 reviews135 followers
September 7, 2011
This review is also published on by blog @ http://booksavvybabe.com

My Fair Highlander takes place in the Tudor time period, on the border between Scotland and England. Laird Barras is the neighbor (on the Scotland side) to Jemma Ramsden, an English lady. I really was not Jemma's biggest fan, at first. She was consumed by grief after the passing of her father, and she was very selfish. She was argumentative towards her brother, and she made bad decisions, such as taking an evening ride along the England/Scotland border. During this fateful ride, Jemma was accosted by English soldiers and subsequently saved by Laird Barras, who had been attracted to Jemma for awhile. Gordon (Laird Barras) decides to keep Jemma at his keep to get to know her and "court" her. Although, after her bad decision for evening riding, Gordan is not sure she is the woman he needs. Jemma needs to overcome her grief and embrace her life and hopefully her future.

I really liked Gordon, Laird Barras. He is a Highlander in a difficult time, a time period where religious tensions are high and the Scottish monarch was only a babe. He is a good leader for his people and he is willing to negotiate and work with the english, to do whatever would be necessary to take care of his people and his land. Gordon manages to keep to the highlander ways of capturing brides. After rescuing Jemma, he keeps her in his keep, and I fully enjoyed his manner of courtship. He shows his sweet side with Jemma as well as his tough, warrior side creating good chemistry between himself and Jemma. As for Jemma, while she has selfish tendencies, she does begin to come out of her shell and grow as a character. She has to deal with prejudice from some of the Scottish women, and she has to stand up to Gordon himself quite a bit as well. I can appreciate the prejudice that Jemma faced as an Englishwoman in Scottish territory, she was not accepted just because the Laird liked her. She had to earn her place, and with that she earned my respect.

My Fair Highlander is a very good historical romance read, the issues the people face are consistent with the historical time period. While this book is book 2 in a series, it is still able to be read as a stand alone. I have not yet read book 1 in the series, and I had no problem understanding the story or the characters. However, after reading book 2, I think that I am going to have to get book 1 as well because previous story lines that were mentioned sound pretty good too. Readers, if you enjoy historicals, highlanders, or romances I recommend reading My Fair Highlander.

I received this book as a gift from RomCon, a romance novel convention in Denver, CO.
9 reviews1 follower
August 20, 2011
My Fair Highlander by Mary Wine

This is an adult historical fiction book.

The main characters are English woman Jemma Ramsden and Scots warrior Gordon Dwyre (Laird Barras). Jemma has been caring for her ailing father for a long time. Now that he is no longer around, Jemma has decided to live her life her way. On one of her many horseback outings, Jemma gets into trouble with some English ruffians. Gordon and his men step in to save her and bring her back with them to his lair. Gordon has already come to the conclusion that he wants to marry her because of her spirit but he has a tough time ahead of him. Jemma wants nothing to do with marriage or someone taming her. So Gordon sets out to woo her. Throw in an unhappy mistress, illness, love and you have a great book.

I really enjoyed this book. I'd give it a 4.5 out of 5. I loved the wooing and the Scots and English aspect. This story was believable to me, Jemma didn't give in too easily and Gordon kept up with wooing her. There was a part near the ending that you didn't expect. This is sort of giving it away but the author makes it out where the main characters think one person did it and that makes you think that that person did it too but it turns out to be someone else. It was a great book and I'd recommend it to people who like to read Mary Wine, historicals, Scots and English, romance and/or a wooing story.

Profile Image for Maura.
3,874 reviews89 followers
September 3, 2018
We met Gordon, Laird Barras in the last book when he sort of held Bridget hostage against permission from Curan to court his sister, Jemma. In this book Gordon attempts to do just that and has to resort to kidnapping once again in order to accomplish his goals. Jemma is a spitfyre who took her father's death hard and avoided responsibility in order to avoid her grief...if that makes sense. It did in the book. But she's also been pretty mean and nasty about meeting with Gordon to allow him to court her. So when she rides alone late at night and is taken upon by English villains, he rescues her, takes her back to his castle and holds her hostage. Then he gets her brother's permission. His goal is at least honorable, though he doesn't really tell her that. She thinks she's being kept there to appease his carnal appetites, especially since the attraction between them is off the charts. Jemma wants to leave so she can not only avoid ruination, but escape the feelings his touch forces her to feel. Needless to say, Gordon gets his bride. But having her and keeping her safe are two different tasks. Someone in Gordon's castle wants Jemma dead and may succeed if Gordon lets his guard down.

First of all, I have to address the historical inaccuracy. I mean, I get it, it's romance, how much history should I expect? But honestly...The fact that this book is titled, "My Fair Highlander" and has a picture of a man in a kilt on it when the character Gordon Dwyre lives on the English border is all kinds of wrong. There was a huge cultural gap between highlanders and the lowland Scots at the time of this story. Lowland Scots and Borderers were not highlanders and only highlanders wore kilts. This is not reflected in the story either as the laird and enough others in the castle wear what the author calls, "Barras" wool kilts...besides the fact that tartans didn't represent "Clan" membership until after they were outlawed a hundred years later. I normally don't care about most historical inaccuracies (English woman staying unchaperoned in a Scots Laird's castle, with her brother's permission no less...no problem!), but this one bothered me quite a bit.

Aside from that little bit of nonsense, this story wasn't half bad. It was good, but not great. Gordon and Jemma most certainly have some sizzling chemistry and carnal activities seem to be their way of getting to know one another. There's a lot of feistiness going down and Jemma is no slouch at putting people in their place. It's a bit of a shame she couldn't seem to get Gordon in his place...he had this smug, smarminess about him...an unflappability that bothered me in the beginning. It seemed no matter how many times Jemma said no, he'd just smile and arrogantly say that her body betrayed her true feelings. Then he'd seduce her mind out of its refusal and prove his point. She was pretty much always willing, but she resented that about herself. This struggle takes up about 50% of the book and then all of a sudden Jemma realizes she's got herself a great potential mate who teases a lot but doesn't hit her, yell at her or publicly humiliate her, so she might as well hitch her wagon to his. Then love ensues, naturally. Once Jemma made an abrupt decision change and stopped resisting Gordon's seductions, this book went along quite swimmingly and I enjoyed it much more. I just didn't care much for Gordon not really caring what Jemma's brain wanted.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
42 reviews2 followers
February 8, 2020
I enjoyed this primarily because of the heroine Jemma. She was feisty, opinionated, smart and loving. She was a caregiver to her father(I could relate) who was grieving and reacting to that grief by riding with no protection and not making the best decisions. With her brother's return and marriage, it is now time for Jemma to grow up, reclaim her life and marry. She knows that she must do but is reluctant. Gordon has asked to court her after watching her ride across the borderland between his castle and hers for some time.
Gordon has put aside laird duties to watch this lass. He had his work cut out for him in courting/wooing Jemma. He rescues her after she makes another bad decision. He takes her to his castle but does not take her back home to her brother. As he sees it it may be his only chance to woo Jemma. Of course, being a Mary Wine book, the "wooing" is sexual. The OW/Leman is trouble and set aside by Gordon after Jemma is brought to the castle. The fight between her and Jemma is too funny and Jemma holds her own. The leman creates trouble by amping up the prejudice of the staff against the English. Jemma is English. The leman is disrespectful and the staff sees this and is also. Except for the housekeeper who was Jemma ally and mentor.
Jemma slowly learns to trust Gordon and see the possibility of a life with him. They marry but trouble comes to Jemma. Her life was in danger. The last 2 chapters are a surprise...won't reveal!
I liked this book far better than the others I read. Thought that it was better written and there was the right balance between sex and story.

Do have one complaint:
Gordon is described with dark hair and the man on the cover has dark blonde hair. A pet peeve which makes me think that the publisher's art department did not read this book.
Profile Image for Vanessa Perin.
42 reviews3 followers
March 16, 2021
Ok when i read Curan story i said i must read Jemma's story also..that how i came up reading it..
I read atleast 4 books of Mary wine ..only one i really liked was IN BED WITH A STRANGER..

After this i really think Mary wine's book not for me..

Actually it the heroine i dont like ..they are shrew stuborn ..so this one Jemma 's story i said i must know abt her..so here i am..

So it my last of Mary wine ..because i am fed up with heroine stupid shrew stuborn..but if you like heroine like that then her books is for you..

I dont say its not good it just not my taste ...
After 5 books i can say practically all heroine run away from hero...hero is sweet..
Heroine a pain...

440 reviews
October 5, 2017
Two proud and stubborn people clash. Jemma Ramsden and Laird Barras,Gordon Dwyre. Laird Barras knows that Jemma is the strong and brave woman, he wants at his side as a life mate. Can Gordon charm, tempt her with those forbidden desires and passions. Making Jemma desperate for more. Or will some work hard to keep them from each other?
528 reviews1 follower
June 8, 2018
I like mary Wine's writing, but not sure what to say about this book. I guess I would term it an erotic Highland romance. Maybe that was what she was aiming for. It was a good plot and I was surprised at the end but for me too much of the pages were taken up with sex scenes and not enough with filling in some of the story line. But overall not a bad story. 3.5 stars.
February 27, 2019
This was such a great book! The person who was the villian, I didn't expect it. It was so good that it was hard to realize that the villian could come out of nowhere and in this book, it happened. I am always rooting for the main characters! Mary Wine has outdone herself.
Profile Image for Mindy.
1,131 reviews5 followers
January 16, 2021
So Loved This Story!!

This was an excellent book. Makes you fall in love with the characters. I knew the third book would be Justina. But also I was bothered by the fact that Ulna was never mentioned again after Jenna was poisoned. Loved this book just the same! 💜💜💜💜💜🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰😊😊😊😊😊
Profile Image for Skeleton.
32 reviews
January 2, 2018
This book was lots of fun to read! I finished it in one day because I could not put it down. I liked that the main characters had sound reasoning for their actions.
Profile Image for Linda J Dungan.
220 reviews
April 13, 2019
Very absorbing

But a little risque . still and all the drama ,and mystery more than makes up for it . It kept me up way late to finish .
Profile Image for Stacy Brown.
297 reviews1 follower
May 2, 2021
Not my favorite book by Mary Wine, but the story held my interest and even had a few surprises in it.
Profile Image for Bec.
5 reviews22 followers
September 5, 2011
In “My Fair Highlander” by Mary Wine, we meet the beautiful English beauty, Jemma Ramsden, and the challenging Scottish laird, Gordon Dwyre.

Jemma Ramsden has had free run of her father’s estate…until he passes from a drawn out illness and her brother Curan, the new Lord Ryppon, takes control of the grounds. Now Jemma’s only reprieve from her aching grief for her father comes from her daily rides across the English hills. But when one of her rides accidentally brings her across the border into Scotland, she finds herself accosted by a group of English ruffians disguised as knights.

Gordon Dwyre, Laird Barras, has been watching Jemma’s mad dashes across the countryside and is fascinated by the wild passion he senses within her. Finding himself drawn to the borders of his land and that of her brother’s on a regular basis, it is just his luck that he stumbles upon the ruffians just in time to save Jemma. And where else to take her to ensure her safety but his own castle?

However, little does he know that his castle may not be as safe for this English noblewoman as he once thought. While Gordon and Jemma lock heads in a battle of wills, Gordon fighting for the affections of this stubborn Englishwoman, and Jemma fighting her attraction to this charming Scot, there is danger swirling ever closer to Jemma—and will Gordon be able to convince her she belongs with him before the danger separates them…forever?

Mary Wine is a very accomplished writer. She created a dynamic character in Jemma, starting out with a girl grieving for her father and resenting the new constrictions placed on her by her brother, and going to show us a woman who has matured and come to understand her brother, and who finds herself drawn to this mysterious, attractive laird.

With Gordon, Wine shoes us a man confident in himself and what he wants—and he knows what must be done to accomplish it. And while confiding Jemma as a captive in his castle isn’t the most romantic gesture, he more than makes up for it by well and truly courting Jemma within his castle.

The sexual tension between these characters was thick yet sweet, building along with their passions. However, the only part I felt difficult to follow was Jemma’s sudden capitulation to Gordon after fighting him for so long. He says they’re to be married and before I knew it, they were. The fire and spirit so instilled in Jemma seemed to have disappeared for a scene or two before she was restored to her passionate self.

All in all, an enjoyable read. Well developed characters, an interesting plot with a creative twist, and of course, a happily ever after.
Profile Image for Bambi Unbridled.
1,282 reviews139 followers
May 18, 2015
I got this book with the audible narration off Kindle Unlimited. I was skeptical about continuing this series in audio, as I did not care for the narrator when I listened to Improper Seduction. While I liked this book better than Improper Seduction, I still did not like the narrator. The performance was a little better because he got to do a Scottish accent, however sometimes his Scottish slipped into Slavic or Russian, and all his female voices sound the same (like a bad high-pitched male imitation). I doubt I will continue the series in audio at this point, the voices in my head are better.

This story continues with characters that we met in the first book, namely Gordon (Laird Barras) and Jemma (sister to Lord Ripon). We are still in the 16th Century at the end of Henry VIII's reign, though there was not much court intrigue in this book, so you only briefly hear about the king's declining health in the beginning.

Gordon is a big gruff Scot with lots of alpha male tendencies, and I absolutely loved him. He was charming, funny, and firm in all the right places. However, this is where I take issue with the title - My Fair Highlander - where's the highlander??? Gordon is a lowlander and Jemma is English. Something similar happened with Improper Seduction as well, the cover was misleading. This is aggravating when you are looking for one thing and end up with something else. At least this was a Scottish historical romance, whereas the first book was not.

As for Jemma, she was okay, but there was nothing really remarkable about her. I liked that she did not fight against Gordon as hard as Bridget did against Curan in Improper Seduction. There is not much focus on secondary characters in this book, though Gordon's former mistress made a good villain. There was a big plot twist toward the end that I did not see coming, which is always nice. This book was not quite as steamy as the first one, but you still got a good amount of descriptive smexytime. 4 stars / 3 flames.
Profile Image for April.
1,839 reviews66 followers
September 10, 2011
RATING: 4.5)MY FAIR HIGHLANDER by Mary Wine is an exciting historical romance set in Scotland and part of England. This is the second in "The English Saga" series,but can be read as a stand alone. See "Improper Seduction". This is an exciting Scottish historical with strong women and sexy,handsome,Scottish highlander. It has everything a historical,Scottish,English romance readers could want in a strong story of love,passion,romance,danger,and sweet sensuality. This is the story of Jemma Ramsden,the sister of Curan Ramsden,Lord Ryppon (from "Improper Seduction") and Gordon Dwyre,Laird Barras. Together they embark on a journey of passion,love,danger,sensual tension,witty banter,strong wills,with highlander charm and forbidden desires. When finally they come to terms with their new life,Jemma will be in more danger than she or Gordon even realizes.This is a fast paced story with intigue and where the characters will capture your heart. I love the way this author writes with Highlander charm,passion,romantic charm,bold,lusty heroes and bright,strong willed heroines. A must read and a keeper. This book was received for the purpose of review from the publisher. Details can be found at Brava Books,published by Kensington Pubishing Corp. and My Book Addiction Reviews.
Profile Image for Ashley.
173 reviews
September 26, 2011
What a enjoyable read!

Jemma is a wild, stubborn woman who rides out to find some sort of ease for her mind. An unfortunate day of riding causes her to face an English bunch that plans to have her ruined. She is rescued by Lord Barras and taken to his home to ensure her safety. Stuck in his home, she finds herself attracted to the lord, and they soon develop an attraction too strong to deny.
Jemma weds Lord Barras and finds out that the man has a few women still dangling on him. The women in his past become a few issues for Jemma, and she proves that she is strong enough to be the new mistress of Lord Barras' clan.

Both main characters have depth and their constant bickering and challenging make a fun read.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one much more than Improper Seduction.
151 reviews
December 22, 2011
What was I thinking? This book was unbearable. After reading books of Julie garwood I don't think any other authors will appeal me. first the title is a lie, it should be MY FAIR LOWLANDER. The book is slow and most of the pages are filled with minute unnecessary details. The description of how they filled the tub is of five pages and fifteen pages on their almost sex and again fifteen pages on their actual sex was really annoying. 300 pages are filled with no story but rather excitement and anxiety to have sex. don't bother with the book if you want to find substance in the story. only good thing about this book is the cover of hot Scottish in kilt.
Profile Image for Linda.
2,041 reviews62 followers
June 12, 2012
Jemma´s brother has promised their neighbor, the highlander laird Barras, that he can court Jemma and if she agrees, marry her. Jemma is still grieving their fathers death and to take her mind of it, she rides, hard and without care. When she´s intercepted by english soldiers on Barras land, she realizes how vulnerable she really is, and the laird, Gordon, sees his chance to save her and take her home for some.. . convincing =)
Historical romance, highlanders and smutty fluff. I hope there´ll be a third installment because i´m just dying to know how Synclair and Justine will get their HEA .. .
Profile Image for Ali.
826 reviews6 followers
January 25, 2013
I checked this book out from the library because the author was recommended by an author I like. I knew the title was stupid, but I have read many a good book with a stupid title. Now, I get the book and the cover is ridiculous. We'll see on this one....

*I was pleasantly surprised. Is this book completely silly and over the top? Absolutely. However, it doesn't pretend to be anything else and is delightfully lacking in pretension.

The Scotsman in this book isn't even a highlander - he's from the area that borders England. Oh, well.
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