Review by Veronica

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Series Name: Scottish Escapes, # 3 

He flashed me a hot look out of his striking silvery eyes that made my stomach give a sudden deep flip. 

I straightened my shoulders and chose to ignore it. Nope. Now way. I wasn’t going there. Yes, he was very good-looking, but he had more sides than a Rubik’s Cube. 

The Cottage in the Highlands is a fun and heartwarming love story. 

When Leonie Baxter finds herself out of a job and out of a relationship, she’s at her wits end. Her life has just been turned upside down and she needs a plan, fast.

By chance, on a walk with her rescue puppy, Leonie stumbles across a striking house in the woods; fully furnished but unoccupied. As a journalist, she is determined to find out more, after all, reporting is in her nature.

But her attempts are thwarted by Lily Cruickshank who lives in the cottage next door. Why won’t Lily help Leonie? And who is the mysterious Flynn Talbot, whose letter Leonie finds inside the house?

And in uncovering the secrets of the abandoned house, will Leonie open her own heart and let love back into her life? 

The Cottage in the Highlands completely blew me away. The story went in a direction that I was not expecting. I thought I would read a delightful romance with a cute mystery. What I got was this Devil Wears Prada Scottish Romance that had multiple mysteries and even a bit of criminal activity in it. I loved every bit of this book. This book is the third book in the Scottish Escapes series, but it can be read as a stand-alone. I love Julie’s storytelling abilities, and the other books in this series are amazing. So if you love this book, I highly recommend reading the rest of the series.  

This book is busy! A lot is going on; you have the main story, which follows Leonie as she tries to find a new job and figure out who this mysterious Flynn Talbot is. Then you have a bunch of side stories that are just as interesting and engaging as the main plot. These side stories add some really entertaining twists and depth to the story. The mysteries in this book will keep you guessing and make you want to turn the page to see what will happen next.  

Let’s talk about the Devil Wears Prada twist to the story. As I said before, I was not expecting this book to go in this direction, and I didn’t know if it would be something I would enjoy. I thought it would take away from the overall charm of the story. I’m happy to say it didn’t; if anything, it makes this book stand out more. Leonie’s new job is at Goddess, a fashion and beauty magazine run by Athena, aka Miranda Priestly. Leonie struggles to work in this ruthless environment, and working for Athena is like working for the Devil. If you liked Devil Wears Prada, you would love this part of the book. It adds so much juicy workplace drama to the overall story. My one worry was that Leonie would try to change herself to fit in this work environment. She is a wonderful character and doesn’t need to change or grow. She is perfect in her way. I’m happy to say that she doesn’t. Leonie stands up for what she believes in and stays true to herself.  

The romance in this book doesn’t take centre stage. The main focus is really Leonie’s job and finding Flynn Talbot. I didn’t mind that this book wasn’t overly romancey; it fits the story. There are two love stories in this book. You have the one between Lily and Flynn Talbot Sr. and Leonie and Flynn Talbot Jr. Lily, and Flynn Sr.’s love story is a second chance romance. The story between these two will warm and break your heart. I really loved watching their story unfold as I read this book. There is so much depth and emotion that you root for them as a couple. Leonie and Flynn Jr. don’t meet until halfway through the book. Things are a bit rocky between them at the beginning, but you can see that chemistry and attraction grow as they work together to figure out the history between Lily and Flynn Sr. 

The Cottage in the Highlands is a captivating romance mystery that will keep you up into the wee hours of the morning.  

Thank you, HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter, and Rachel Random Resources for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.