I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Perfect Bargain by Jessa McAdams
Series: How to Marry a Highlander #1
Published by Macmillan on June 30, 2015
Genres: Fiction, Romance, General, Contemporary
Purchase Links: Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | IndieBound
ADD TO GOODREADS:
As if being newly single isn’t brutal enough, Sloane Chatfield's friends are getting obnoxious about setting her up. When Sloane insists she's waiting for a certain sexy fictional Highlander to come along, her friends surprise her with a trip to Scotland to find her a new boyfriend. She’d rather have a root canal. But if she can find a Highland hunk to “break her heart” before her friends arrive…
In a remote Highland village, Galen Buchanan is struggling to keep the family pub afloat. Everything is falling apart, he’s running out of money, and now there's an opinionated American lass parked at his best table, driving him mad. But then Sloane asks Galen to be her pretend Highland boyfriend...and offers him enough money to save the pub. It’s only for a few days, he figures. What's the worst that could happen?
Noted historical romance author Julia London, writing under the pseudonym Jessa McAdams, provides a heartwarming entry in the contemporary romance arena with The Perfect Bargain, a fun romp through the Scottish Highlands.
Using her considerable skill as a writer, Ms. London/McAdams takes the ‘fake boyfriend’ trope and infuses it with fresh life. The characters of Sloane and Galen, in addition to the charming village of Gairloch and its inhabitants, lay a great foundation for this witty and charming novel.
Running away from her broken engagement and her overzealous matchmaking friends, American Sloane Chatfield finds herself ensconced in the sleepy Scottish village of Gairloch, taking advantage of the cell reception and decent WiFi signal at Galen Buchanan’s pub. Weeks of Sloane commandeering the ‘best’ table in his pub has left Galen a bit prickly — he can’t seem to help pushing the prim and proper Sloane’s buttons (or admiring her buttoned up attire). The banter between the two barely masks the underlying sexual tension, which only increases when Sloane finds herself in need of a real man to play her fake boyfriend, the perfect Scotsman she invented to stop her girlfriends’ meddling.
Sloane really comes into her own in the rustic Scottish setting, it was charming to watch her find her inner strength and fight for what she wanted after having spent her lifetime trying to please others — including an inconsiderate ass of a former fiancé. Galen played a large role in helping Sloane gain her confidence. Despite evidence to the contrary, commitment-phobe Galen had a hard time accepting things could work with Sloane, no matter how appealing the concept. Poor man didn’t really stand a chance and he should have realized that resistance was futile. Of course if Galen had, the novel would have been much shorter. 😉 Eventually they both realize that while the time and place may not ‘seem’ right, the important thing is that is feels right.
Scotland has long been a favorite setting for romance novels. The popularity of the recent Starz television show Outlander (based on the bestselling books by Diana Gabaldon), and its Scottish hero Jamie Frasier, has only increased the romantic notion of finding love with a sexy Highlander. The Perfect Bargain uses the idea of Sloane finding her own Jamie Frasier as her excuse to escape to Scotland. Repeated reference is made to this goal, but it wasn’t developed enough, especially for readers who might be unfamiliar with the Outlander hero and his appeal. Why did Sloane want a “Jamie”? What qualities did Galen have that filled that need for Sloane? A more in-depth exploration of these concepts would have only enhanced this book for me.
As a trip to Scotland to search for my own Jamie isn’t an option, The Perfect Bargain was a perfect substitute.
[As an aside, if you are unfamiliar with Outlander, either the TV series or the books, they are a wonderful, well-written blend of romance, history, time-travel, political intrigue, love, lust, war and hope. Truly unique and worth checking out — the hot red-haired Scottish hero is an added bonus. ;)]
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Julia London is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of more than thirty romantic fiction novels. She is the author of the popular Cabot Sisters historical series, including The Trouble with Honor, The Devil Takes a Bride, and the The Scoundrel and the Debutante. She is also the author of several acclaimed contemporary romances, including The Cedar Springs series, and the recent Homecoming Ranch, Return to Homecoming Ranch, and The Perfect Homecoming. Julia has added a short contemporary series to her titles as well, including The Perfect Bargain, writing under the name Jessa McAdams.
Julia is the recipient of the RT Bookclub Award for Best Historical Romance and a four time finalist for the prestigious RITA award for excellence in romantic fiction. To keep up with all the Julia London news, please visit http://www.julialondon.com. Follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/julialondon