A Highlander is Coming to Town (Highland, Georgia) – ARC Review

A Highlander is Coming to Town
by Laura Trentham
Release Date: September 29, 2020
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
Book #3 in the Highland, Georgia series
Number of pages:  336
Source: ARC from NetGalley
Contemporary Romance/Holidays M/F
Rating: NC-17
Read 10/7/20 to 10/9/20

Holt Pierson is dreading Christmas. His parents absconded to Florida for the season and left him to handle the family farm which will be his one day—whether he wants it or not. Driven by duty, Holt has always followed the path expected of him. But lately, he’s been questioning what he wants and where he belongs. Will assuming the responsibility of the Pierson farm make him happy or is there something—or someone—else out in the wider world calling to him?

To Claire Smythe, the Scottish lead singer of a touring band, Highland, Georgia, is the perfect place to hide . . .until a very handsome and deeply curious Holt begins to ask all the questions Claire doesn’t want to answer. As Holt draws Claire out from under and into the fabric of small-town life, can Claire put the past behind her and embrace the unexpected gifts of the season—including the new and lasting love?

I cannot be the only one who wasn’t sure about Holt at the beginning of this series. Of course, by the end of the first book he had endeared himself to me. But still, would I be able to fall in love with him as the main character of a story? Why yes, yes I would.

This is a touching Christmas story. It has all of the elements to tug at your heartstrings and give you a warm feeling in your heart and soul. We have the lonely hero who is friends with everyone, but has nobody of his own. There’s the feisty heroine who has never really felt unconditional love and acceptance from her family, but has no problem (even unintentionally) creating a chosen family to surround her. Don’t worry, there’s even a cranky old lady who actually has a heart of gold that helps these two find their way to one another.

What I love about this story is the way Claire’s secret is handled. Holt knew she had a secret going in, he was aware there were aspects of her life and past she was not yet able or willing to discuss. One of the issues I had with the first book was the secret keeping. In this story it was handled in a much better way for the type of reader I am. Sure, I felt Claire could have easily told Holt some things sooner and he would have been fine with that. But it’s okay that she didn’t since he knew she was holding back. In other words, her secrets were no secret.

There was another reason to love Holt after reading this book. Holt had a great childhood. He’s very close to his parents and looks up to his father, always has. That did not make him blind to some of the mistakes his father may have made over the years when it came to their neighbors. And Holt wasn’t afraid to call his dad on these issues. Part of that is because Holt is an extremely honorable and moral man. And part of that is because Holt always had his parents’ unconditional love, therefore he wasn’t afraid to tell them the truth when something about their actions bothered him. It’s really such a subtle and, most likely, overlooked aspect of this story.

Now that this series seems to be over, I need to look at reading some of this author’s other work. I’ve been enjoying her writing style and the way she is able to write such amazing chemistry between her characters.

4 stars

**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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