The Perfect Bargain
(How to Marry a Highlander, #1)
By: Julia London
Publisher: Entangled: Lovestruck
Published: June 30, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
American lass seeks brawny Scot…
As if being newly single isn’t brutal enough, Sloane Chatfield’s friends are getting obnoxious about setting her up. When Sloane insists she’s waiting for a certain sexy fictional Highlander to come along, her friends surprise her with a trip to Scotland to find her a new boyfriend. She’d rather have a root canal. But if she can find a Highland hunk to “break her heart” before her friends arrive…
In a remote Highland village, Galen Buchanan is struggling to keep the family pub afloat. Everything is falling apart, he’s running out of money, and now there’s an opinionated American lass parked at his best table, driving him mad. But then Sloane asks Galen to be her pretend Highland boyfriend…and offers him enough money to save the pub. It’s only for a few days, he figures. What’s the worst that could happen?
Sloane was recently dumped right before her wedding. She spent years following her fiance around and gave up her dreams in the hopes of being who he wanted her to be. So, when he dumps her she’s distraught and totally lost. Her friends are relentless and set her up on date after date to get her over her ex-fiance. Fed-up with all the matchmaking, she tells her friends that she’s going to go to Scotland and find herself a Jamie Fraser (Outlander). Her friends think this is a great idea and tell her they’ll join her in a few weeks to help with the search. This is where Sloane comes up with the brilliant plan to “find” her Jamie Fraser, have a wondrous fling, tell her friends all about it, and then “dump” him right before her friends show up. Thus, proving she got over her ex and doesn’t need to be set-up on any more blind dates. Except, when she tells them how she’s found her Jamie, they surprise her with the amazing news that they will be there in a couple of days. Not nearly enough time for her plan to work. So, she does the only thing she can do at this point, she hires the bartender/owner of the pub she frequents to be her pretend boyfriend while her friends are in town. In return she will pay him handsomely, which he clearly needs since his pub is falling apart.
The Perfect Bargain wasn’t anything unique or special. I’ve seen the movies and read the books about enlisting a fake boyfriend that backfires. So, I wasn’t going into this thinking I’d get a unique story. I was just hoping it would be entertaining – and it was. I enjoyed reading about two people who obviously have some preconceived notions on who the other person is. All of which are a little offensive. For instance, Sloane assumes that Galen’s preferred choice of music deals with a lot of bagpipes as apposed to the classical jazz he actually listens to. She also thinks that men in Scotland walk around in kilts all day long. Meanwhile, Galen looks at Sloane as nothing but a delusional, pampered princess who cares about nothing else but celebrity gossip and looking fabulous all the time. So yeah, it was interesting watching these two interact with each other and figuring out that there’s more to them than what they cooked up in their head.
“Americans think the Loch Ness monster exists, and that we all live in the Highlands in a Braveheart movie. Or, you all read Trainspotting in school and think we’re all on drugs. You think Scots believe in unicorns and our national pastime is the caber toss, and our calendars are manly men in kilts holding kittens.”
While there wasn’t anything that wowed me about this book, I was thoroughly entertained. Sure, Sloane is a bit of a primadonna at the beginning, and Galen is a bit of a jerk to her. However, I found the whole thing hilarious. Plus, with the dual POV we get to see what’s really going on in Galen’s head and how much he’s fighting his feelings for Sloane because he knows she’s just going to be leaving in a few weeks. However, no matter how much he tries to build up walls, he has these tender moments that really melt your heart. So, it all kind of just balances out in the end.
This is my first time reading this author’s work but I don’t think it will be my last. Will I continue with the series? Yes, I will.
This is a quote from Sloane telling Galen the story she told her friends on how the two of them “met”.
“Nothing. I just said that we met when I was hiking and I twisted my ankle, and you… you appeared, coming out of the mist, and saved me. And that you were perfect for me – you like art and books and dogs.”