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The Last Debutante (The Secrets of Hadley Green series Book 4) Kindle Edition
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The last person Daria Babcock expects to find in her grandmother's home is a brawny,naked Highlander.She doesn't buy Mamie's explanation about finding the poor man shot in the woods.Nor does she trust the gorgeous laird,who insists his own memory fails him.But Daria came to Scotland looking for adventure and romance, and after the intriguing stranger kidnaps her, she gets her wish - and so much more...
This is a lovely story and well worth reading.
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Laird Jamie Campbell rides onto his neighboring clan's land to confront the swindler who stole his uncle's money. He is greeted by an old woman brandishing a shot gun who later shoots him.
Daria Babcock is the last debutante in her English village and she wants to escape all the happy couples so when her grandmother writes that she needs funds delivered to her in Scotland, Daria jumps at the chance to visit her. Daria is surprised her grandmother is living in a simple crofter's hut and even more shocked to see an injured naked man in her grandmother's house.
When Jamie gains consciousness he takes Daria with him back to his castle demanding that her grandmother must pay back the money owed to his family before she can return to England. Daria is treated as a guest in the castle and even though she is angry and rightfully worried about her grandmother she also takes in the wonder of Highland life. To be sure, the Campbell's are not happy she resides on their land but they are loyal to Jamie and Daria tries winning them over.
I liked Daria. She is optimistic and sincere. She is good natured and to the core a kind generous soul. She is a little shy with her feelings but also bold when needed. She is adaptable and not on a constant rant about her circumstances. She does not pursue endless arguments with the hero.
Jamie is a good laird. He is turned upside down by Daria and part of the charm of this novel is seeing Jamie trying to categorize his feelings. He broods a little but only because he really is trying to think through his emotions. He is forgiving and he also possesses a generous spirit.
This couple's romance unfolds in a lovely fashion. They respect and like each other and rarely do they use harsh words. The conflict comes more from their internal feelings. Both are uncertain of not only their feelings but the other's too. Both have charisma and both are self sacrificing. The final chapters of this novel move fast but not so fast that the reader does not appreciate the wonderful romance between the leads.
Laird Jamie Campbell, of the Dundavie Campbells, has come to retrieve money that was stolen from his mentally ill uncle Hamish Campbell from an older woman living on neighboring and feuding clan Brodie lands. He's greeted with a gun and a fierce looking old woman who refuses, and just when he offers his warning, he's shot!
Daria finally finds her Mamie, but is shocked, compelled and fascinated with the injured (naked!) man laying in the bed. With little information from her grandmother, Daria helps the man along until he's able to move, and when some men come looking for him, she takes her Mamie's advice and keeps quiet.
Jamie is just as fascinated with the young woman, but he's certain his men will come for him soon. When they do, he decides to take matters into his own hands and takes Daria as collateral for the money owed his uncle. When the debt is paid, he will release Daria.
Daria is furious! She doesn't know what has happened to cause him to believe her grandmother stole money from his uncle, and when she arrives at his castle, she's sure she'll be thrown into a rat infested dungeon. She's once again surprised by the feelings stirred up by this handsome Highlander, and even more shocked when she's given a room and free roam about the castle (just as long as she doesn't leave the borders). Even more, as she and Jamie spend more time together, she starts having strong feelings and attraction for him. When she discovers that his recently broken betrothal may indeed be reinstated, she isn't sure why she feels such sadness and jealousy.
Jamie might have been engaged to the beautiful Isabella Brodie, but no longer does she evoke feelings in him she once did. Instead, his affections have recently turned to a certain beautiful, courageous and sparkling English rose. But his clan will never accept him marrying a Sassenach, and they need the Brodie's alliance to keep the Campbell lands thriving. When Daria's family eventually come with the money, Jamie isn't sure he can let her go, but anything short of that will spell doom for him and his Clan.
What I love about Julia London, and why she is one of my favorite MUST BUY authors, is that she can write about characters in such a way that you feel exactly what the characters are feeling, even to the point of despair. She writes the most delicious heroes and vivacious and unorthodox heroines that steal your heart! Jamie is proud, strong and a fierce leader of his Clan, but yet he softens right before your eyes as Daria worms her way into his life and heart. She even is able to win over his Clan members,slowly but surely. There is also the element of mystery as to what Mamie is hiding, and it resonates clear back to the first book in this series. I highly recommend at least reading the first book (THE YEAR OF LIVING SCANDALOUSLY) in this series before this one, if not just to understand the last part of this book.