Review: A Highland Hogmanay by Meg Mardell

The daughter of an Indian raja and renegade Englishwoman, Sharda Holkar, was gifted with a magnificent dowry but little say in her future. Until now. She must endure one more depressing holiday season with her controlling cousins, then she will be free to begin her emancipated life. But her discovery of a plot to marry her off to the preening son of the house has Sharda wondering if her new start should begin at once. When Sharda meets the intriguing owner of a Highland castle at a Christmas Eve masquerade, she wastes no time in forming a plan—she will escape across the Scottish border!

Finella Forbes cannot imagine why a sophisticated heiress like Sharda would even associate with someone who manages a castle for a living, let alone accompany her all the way back to the Highlands in time for the raucous celebration of Hogmanay. But a wealthy buyer is just what Balintore Castle needs. Fin is determined to prove she is just as good an estate manager as her father, but with the negligent lordly owner refusing to do his duty, she needs help fast. When mistaken assumptions jeopardise their initial attraction, Sharda and Fin will need all the mischief and magic of a Highland holiday to discover the true nature of their feelings.

Read an excerpt here.

My thoughts

I just had my DNA results come in before this story came across my desk. The results are mainly Irish and the rest is Scottish. Since it is the holidays, I looked up the customs of these two cultures to see what I could start to incorporate into mine. So imagine my surprise when a book crosses my path about a Scottish holiday that I am just now learning about – talk about being excited to read a book.

Meg Mardell does not disappoint. Highland Hogmanay is a mistaken identity, slow-burn, age-gap, historical romance with a road trip thrown in during Scotland’s holiday season. Now that is a mouthful that is completely worth engaging with. I loved learning about the traditions of the Scottish people and even incorporated one into my holiday season. I love the slow-build up of Sharda and Finella’s romance.

Fin is the kind of woman that comes as a result of necessity and practicality. I do not know if in this time frame and this country that this would have been possible, but I hope so. Her strength, resiliency, and moral character makes finding her match tougher than normal. No worries, Mardell creates a feisty, quick-thinking heroine in Sharda. I just love both of these women for their bravery and survival instincts. Mardell has created women I wanted to date, if not more (wink).

Mardell throws in some twists. I did say that this is a mistaken identity tale. There are other issues which are common for the times, but Mardell makes it sweet by the characters involved. 

If you need a new holiday, then I can recommend taking a Highland Hogmanay.

I received a free copy of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
NineStar Press | Books2Read
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Meet the Author

Meg moved from the US to England because she fell in love with the Victorians’ peculiar blend of glamour and grime. After a decade of exploring historical excesses in a prim scholarly fashion, she realized that fiction is the best way to delve into that period’s great female-focused and LGBT+ stories. Weaned on the high-seas romances of the 1990s, Meg’s lost none of her love for cross-dressing cabin boys but any tolerance for boorish heroes. She’s delighted to now have a whole raft of quirky and queer characters to cheer for on their quest for Happily Ever After. She frequently breaks off writing for an Earl Grey tea (milk not lemon). She’s trying to learn Polish and Portuguese at the same time. She plans to escape Brexit Britain.

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Further Details:

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Title: A Highland Hogmanay

Series: Christmas Masquerade, Book Two

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 11/23/2021

Length: 37700


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