I didn’t expect to fall in love with this book.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I loved Cautionary Tales, de Maupassant’s collection of dark, erotic short stories (you can read my review here). But I’ve never been crazy about the Roaring 20s – The Great Gatsby notwithstanding – and stories about the idly rich tend to make me roll my eyes.
So it was only my love of de Maupassant’s other works that led me to open Highland Pursuits, a romantic story about a London debutante set in the 1920s.
And it was awesome!
As usual, de Maupassant has such a gift for creating a setting; the Highland Castle Kintochlochie becomes another character in its own right, and a very romantic one at that. Not to mention Hamish, the ruggedly handsome Scotsmen (really, is there any other type of Scotsman?) who manages the Castle estate.
This novel contains de Maupassant’s usual knack for humor, which is sometimes dark and always entertaining, and her characters run the full gamut from sympathetic to downright dreamy to outright scoundrels. I especially enjoyed the braggart Americans and the crotchety old grandfather, who reminded me just a tad of Father Jack…
And it wasn’t just the romance that drew me in. Lady Ophelia herself, the afore-mentioned London debutante, undergoes a rich and satisfying transformation. Her romantic, sensual adventures are part of that journey, but not all. Sure, she wants romance and sex, but she’d also like to do something with her life (much to the shock of her upper-crust mother), and it’s quite refreshing to read a romance novel with such a fully developed female protagonist.
Also, as an avid fly fisherman myself, I have to say: If you lose a sexy man’s fly rod, and in response he shrugs and tells you it’s not a big deal, you MARRY THAT MAN!
Highly recommended, even if you’re not into the 1920s. 😉
Find Highland Pursuits right here.
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