#Book Review #A Highlander walks into a Bar by LauraTrentham

An entertaining read just perfect for summer when my head stubbornly refuses to concentrate on merits of literary fiction, but wants romance, romance, romance….

And I got plenty of it with two lovely Scottish-American couples exploring what home, tradition and love is under the hot Georgian sun.


Isabel (Izzy) Buchanan is such a mix of contradictory character traits. A passionate redhead with unruly curly hair, wild imagination and a very practical job of an accountant, Isabel is both thoughtful and hilariously outspoken. Isabel’s father started Highland Games in his little southern town with higher than usual percentage of Scottish descendants. The festival was designed to help local businesses and bring in tourists, so you can see how important it is for Isabel to continue her family tradition after her father’s death. However, she would also love to travel and write a great Southern novel. It’s just that her writing is lacking something and she doesn’t know how to re-capture the magic flow of her childhood stories.

Izzy is usually helped by her mother, but this year Rose Buchanan ( a great southern lady, elegant, wise, hospitable) might be a bit negligent in her duties of the festival organiser. She’s just come back from Scotland accompanied by a guest. Gareth is the caretaker of a real Scottish manor and is a real gentleman as far as Rose is concerned. But Izzy’s suspicions are only doubled, when another Highlander walks in and claims to be an old mate of Gareth’s. It’s just that Alasdair Blackmoore is way too young (Izzy’s age) and heart-stoppingly gorgeous with his dark wavy hair, a hint of stubble and sexy brogue (okay, here I am picturing my favourite Dr Who, can you blame me?). We quickly find out that Alasdaire is based in London and works for an investment company. Are they here to trick Rose and Isabel out of their beloved Stonehaven property? and what would happen to the festival if the Buchanans were not there to safeguard the tradition?


I love the way the novel is written from two POVs and Alasdair’s intentions are more similar to Isabel’s than she gives him credit for. He is here to protect Uncle Gareth, both his property (his origins are not as humble as he led Rosie to believe)and his heart.
As the events unfold (Alasdair unwittingly complicates the situation by involving his London boss), there are plenty of fun moments, tension building and yes, romance.
I enjoyed the first and the last third of the book a bit more than the hot and steamy scenes. Maybe I appreciated more the humour, banter and inexplicable attraction between two almost strangers. Maybe the traditional me doesn’t expect insta-love to last and I really was rooting for these two couples to overcome their geographic incompatibility and Izzy’s rueful lack of coordination (which resulted in a few accidents). Not that Alasdair proved to be much more athletic, just more determined to woo his lass.


As it was the few hours I spent with this book flew by too fast and I was sorry to leave Highland, Georgia. Fortunately, this is just the beginning and the second book is brewing somewhere (I wanted to say in Scottish moors, but I’m not sure where the author resides and comes up with her wonderful ideas). All we have to do is wait for the ancient magic and modern romance to make its appearance again.

Thank you to Edelweiss and St.Martin’s for the review copy provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

  • Have you read this book or is it on your tbr? Would you like to know more about Rosie and Gareth’s future?
  • Is Izzy right sacrificing her dreams and ambitions to keep up her family tradition?

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12 Comments

  1. Great review Toni. I am already looking forward to the next in this series. I loved the banter and humor between Alasdair and Izzy. I am not a huge fan of instalove, but the way this one was done, I was able to believe it was possible. I would love to meet a sexy Scot like Gareth (he is closer to my age). 😍😚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Carla! I loved yours- it was much more eloquent and did a better job of capturing the essence of the book. I guess instalove used to be called love at first sight in the auld lang syne. Definitely looking forward to the next one. As it is clearly going to be set in Georgia, I hope we’ll see a bit more of Rose and Gareth.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Toni. I am working really hard to give spoiler free reviews and my thoughts and feelings. I am getting better at that. I am hoping we will see more of Rose and Gareth, but if they head off to Scotland for a visit, maybe not. Time will tell.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Christopher. A few years ago I was invited to an Italo-Scottish wedding in a little town of Cerasuolo in the Molise Region of Central Italy (the vast majority of the inhabitants of this picturesque place were Italo-Scots) and then to the Sagra del Chips and Fish. I just had to read this book to see if the author managed to re-create this special atmosphere.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That title is so interesting! And the story sounds really good too. I’m also going through this craving for reading romances right now. So I’ll add it to my tbr. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Toni, you amaze me with how you capture the essence of a story perfectly (to whet the appetite of the would-be reader) and yet build the suspense without handing down spoilers (to really close the deal and get your readers to grab that book). Awesome!!! 👏❤️✍️

    Liked by 1 person

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