ARC Review: The Highlander’s Irish Bride by Vanessa Kelly

About the Book:

Title: The Highlander’s Irish Bride

Author: Vanessa Kelly

Series: Clan Kendrick #4

Page Length: 352

Publication Date: July 27, 2021

Publisher: Zebra

Synopsis: Meet the most respectable member of the Kendrick Clan in bestselling author Vanessa Kelly’s intoxicating series—and the independent woman who has stolen his heart…

Miss Kathleen Calvert may be the daughter of an Irish aristocrat, but she has no intention of acting like one. All she desires is to return to her family’s estate to raise horses and manage her father’s magnificent gardens. But when a scandal threatens her reputation, her parents order her to a remote Scottish estate, hoping she will finally learn to behave like a proper lady. To make matters worse, her escort is a handsome Highlander who just happens to be the most boring man in all of Scotland…

After a youth of dangerous and wild escapades, Grant Kendrick surprised his family—and himself—by becoming a successful businessman and the most respectable Kendrick brother. But does that matter, when the beautiful and free-spirited Kathleen deems him a stodgy bore? Luckily, he gets the chance to prove her wrong when their carriage is ambushed by thieves. But it will take all his ingenuity to protect the beautiful lass who has stormed her way into his heart—and to convince her that a life with him will be a love-filled adventure…

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon    |     Book Depository

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, including Amazon, and I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through my links.


My Review:

When the possibility of scandal looms, Kathleen’s parents, hoping to preserve her reputation, send her to Scotland until the rumors die down. There she meets and is welcomed into the wonderful Kendrick family. Her constant escort is the handsome but dull Grant Kendrick, a serious businessman who has no time for Kathleen and her shenanigans.

Kathleen and Grant have an interesting, slow-building romance. At first, Kathleen is not overly impressed by Grant and finds him rather dull. Once she gets to know the man underneath the cool and detached exterior, however, her feelings change. The only problem is that Kathleen has her future planned out, and it involves a move to Ireland, not a relationship with a Scottish man. Grant has to work hard to prove that Kathleen’s future should include him.

To Grant, she appeared as if lit from within, and that inner glow turned her from pretty to glorious. Quite the most glorious girl he had ever seen in his life.

Though he’s not thrilled to be tasked with the care of Kathleen and her younger sister, Grant can’t resist his feelings. He loves Kathleen’s energy and passion and her adventurous spirit, even if she is a bit accident and scandal-prone. Though he was much more like her in his youth, a tragedy changed Grant, and his more serious nature came with that change. He is strong and steady, with a calmness that contrasts with Kathleen’s vivaciousness and exuberance. They are total opposites, and you know what they say…These opposites attract!

Kathleen and Grant often struggle to read each other, but I think once they learn more about each other, they understand each other better and come to realize that they are not so different. Grant is very perceptive and understands why Kathleen acts the way she does. He sees Kathleen for the intelligent and complex woman that she is, and he loves her for it. Kathleen, in turn, can’t remember why she ever thought Grant dull, as he intrigues and excites her more than anyone else ever has. They share many experiences, both in the present and the past, and the way that they accept each other strengthens their bond. Both characters grow and change as they learn more about themselves and each other.

I love that characters from past books in the series have roles in this book. Sabrina and Graeme, in particular, are at the forefront of the story, as Kathleen and Grant spend time at the couple’s manor. Grant’s bond with his twin brother Graeme is wonderful, and it is clear that they have a strong connection. They know each other so well that they can communicate without speaking, and they are always there for each other. Their relationship, as well as all of the Kendricks, highlight the strength and importance of family. They love each other unconditionally and are unfailingly supportive of each other, which is shown throughout the series.

“Stop. I’m always here for you Graeme, always.”

Just as his twin had always been there for him, no matter the trouble. Of course Graeme was usually the instigator of the trouble, but that hardly mattered. His brother’s love and loyalty had always been boundless. Whatever was asked was given, without question or hesitation.

“It’s incredibly lucky I am, to have you as my brother,” Graeme quietly said. “I’d never have made it without you.”

My favorite secondary character is Angus, Grant and Graeme’s grandfather. Funny, meddlesome, and deeply loving, Angus brings a joy and levity to the story. I often found myself chuckling at Angus’ antics and his bumbling explanations. He is a family man who wears his heart on his sleeve and is always there to help, even though his help is usually more of a comical hindrance. He is an absolute delight!

Of the new characters in the book, I did not care for Kathleen’s younger sister Jeannie. She caused such unnecessary conflict and rarely changed, even when she knew she was being disrespectful or obstinate. Kathleen wavers in her discipline of Jeannie due to guilt and other things, which doesn’t help. I found her character to be very frustrating, though her actions progressed the plot and added to the obstacles Kathleen and Grant faced.

Grant and Kathleen face problems concerning stolen valuables, hijacked carriages, trying to control an obstinate teenager, attempted burglaries, and another man interested in Kathleen. As they try to figure out who is committing these crimes and deal with the other obstacles that stand in their way, the pair runs into more trouble and potential scandal. This all makes for a captivating and immersive read!

This is a great addition to the Clan Kendrick series and will appeal to readers who like historical romance with independent and slightly accident-prone heroines, swoon-worthy heroes, and an interesting story-line. Thanks so much to NetGalley, Zebra, and Vanessa Kelly for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Rating:

Favorite Parts:

  • The romance!
  • The secondary characters, especially Angus!
  • The strong family bonds. The Kendrick family is loyal and loving, and I love them!

Favorite Lines:

When you lose a parent at a young age, you look for them everywhere. And you try to hold on to them by loving what they loved.

One can live surrounded by people and still feel alone.

You may look like a fairy princess, but you have the heart of a lion.

How we think of ourselves is often the result of labels that others apply to us, especially when we’re young.

Recommendations:

Want to learn more about the Clan Kendrick series? Check out my review of the third book:

Review of The Highlander’s English Bride

3 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Highlander’s Irish Bride by Vanessa Kelly

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