Title: A Highlander Walks Into a Bar
Series: Highland, Georgia #1
Author: Laura Trentham
Format: Paperback/eBook, 311 pages
Publication: July 30th 2019 by St. Martin's
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 3 out of 5 Wine Glasses
The timeless romance, soaring passion—and gorgeous men—of Scotland comes to modern-day America. And the rules of love will never be the same…
Isabel Buchanan is fiery, funny, and never at a loss for words. But she is struck speechless when her mother returns from a trip to Scotland with a six-foot-tall, very handsome souvenir. Izzy’s mother is so infatuated by the fellow that Izzy has to plan their annual Highland Games all by herself. Well, not completely by herself. The Highlander’s strapping young nephew has come looking for his uncle…
Alasdair Blackmoor has never seen a place as friendly as this small Georgia town—or a girl as brilliant and beguiling as Izzy. Instead of saving his uncle, who seems to be having a lovely time, Alasdair decides he’d rather help Izzy with the Highland Games. Show her how to dance like a Highlander. Drink like a Highlander. And maybe, just maybe, fall in love with a Highlander. But when the games are over, where do they go from here?
Izzy and Alasdair both lost their fathers at a young age but while Izzy adored her father, Alasdair didn't have the best relationship with his. Now the uncle Alasdair adored but let anger keep him away, has run off to America with a woman he barely knows and Alasdair wants to make sure he's not being taken advantage of.
Izzy has been her mother's companion and partner in keeping their family tradition alive ever since her father died and she can't believe her mom is bringing a stranger into the mix.
Izzy and Alasdair both want to protect the ones they love but are also learning they might need to live their own lives and take a chance on secretly held dreams.
Lord have mercy, her mother had brought back a six-foot, two-hundred-pound-plus souvenir from Scotland.
First in the Highland, Georgia series, I was entertained with how the author shook things up a bit with transporting the Highlands to Georgia, USA. Izzy and her mother organize the Highland Games every year for their Scottish obsessed town and consider it their honor and Izzy's birthright as it has been passed down through her father's family. I liked how the author showed how even though Izzy considered it her birthright, she also lost a bit of herself when she gave up certain dreams to help her mom and began to ignore her own wants and needs. I think this helped to explain why she was so wary of the man her mother brought home; the pain of thinking of her dad replaced but also her spot in her mother's life.
Alasdair had a whole slew of background baggage to unpack, the secrets about his dad he was still keeping from his mother, trying to live the life he thought his mother wanted for him to makeup for any pain she experienced in her marriage, and the guilt of not still having a relationship with his uncle. Since he traveled to America to keep track of his uncle, this was dealt with and worked through while I felt the issues with his mom needed more flushing out, it kind of gets rushed through at the end.
Alasdair and Izzy had an instant physical attraction that was followed with some cute moments brought on by Izzy's clumsiness and Alasdair's teasing. Their emotional connection wasn't as deep and strong as I typically like but they were flirty cute and transitioned well enough to sexy hot. Alasdair was put in a position by his uncle to omit some truths from Izzy which I thought was mild enough to not be too emotionally damaging but added angst to the storyline. The added plot of his work going behind his back, therefore making it seem like he was going behind Izzy's back, wasn't given enough pressure to add too much of an impact. The development, hiding, finding out by Izzy, and then resolution all happened in the background enough and was wrapped up quick enough to feel more like it clogged the story with unnecessary filler than add any hefty angst.
I thought the town and some it's characters could have actually been fleshed out more, I'm not sure I did feel the spirit of the town but I did think I understood our main characters enough, if not their friends. A Highlander Walks Into a Bar had cute moments and a pinch of angst, it works as an afternoon read but probably won't be a particularly memorable one. The epilogue hints at another highlander venturing into this southern Scottish town and I have a feeling Izzy's free spirit friend Anna is up next for some Scottish loving.