cover image Highlander in Love

Highlander in Love

Julia London, . . Pocket Star, $6.99 (367pp) ISBN 978-0-7434-6508-3

As heel-kickingly fun and high spirited as the ceilidh that Highland laird Payton Duncan throws to celebrate what he hopes will be his betrothal to lovely but stubborn neighbor Mared Lockhart, the final book in London's 19th-century Highlander trilogy (Highlander Unbound ; Highlander in Disguise ) will elicit satisfied sighs from readers. In this long-awaited installment, a smitten Payton attempts to convince Mared that it's past time they cast aside the deep-rooted enmity between their families and marry. But Mared's agreement to wed Payton is based on a debt the Lockharts owe him, and instead of gaining Payton's love, she longs to escape to sophisticated Edinburgh, where no one will know her curse: that violent death awaits any man betrothed to a Lockhart daughter. When Mared refuses to marry him, Payton takes her as his housekeeper for a year to work off the debt. Proximity forces Mared to realize that she does love him, but when her family's reversal of fortunes sends her to Edinburgh, she must choose between sparkling city life and her laird in the backward Highlands. Like the earlier books in the series, this one isn't especially deep, but London's charming hero and impulsive, vulnerable heroine are so likable—and get into so much trouble—that it's hard not to get caught up in their sprightly dance. Agent, Meredith Bernstein. (Aug.)