Take me to the Highlands!

highland fling

Highland Fling: The McLauglins by Shelli Stevens

Overview by Amazon:

Sleeping with her boss can only lead to trouble. And pleasure.

The McLaughlins, Book 4

Delonna comes by her Scottish-style frugality honestly—her parents’ spendthrift ways once left her temporarily homeless. She’s been tending bar at McLaughlin’s Pub, looking forward to the day she can call her own shots. Until her now ex-boyfriend makes off with her hard-earned savings. Now she’s got a bookie breathing threats down her neck in an apparent attempt to squeeze blood from a turnip.

Aleck McLaughlin has three good reasons to keep his hands off the delectable Delonna. One, he’s her boss. Two, she’s a good ten years younger. Three, he’s sworn to never again leave his heart vulnerable.
Her predicament sends all those reasons out the window, and Aleck moves her in with him for protection, and then whisks her away on a whirlwind trip from Whidbey Island to Scotland.

The romance of being in Edinburgh only increases their need for one another. But it quickly becomes clear they’re facing a past that’s just as painful as the present is dangerous…

So I picked up this book to read today and was in for such a pleasant surprise! It’s a shorter story, but it packs an awesome love connection with a dash of intrigue and some travel into it!

Delonna is a bartender at McLaughlin’s bar. Her best friend and roommate is part of the Scottish family that owns the establishment. Just getting out of a bad relationship with a real shit, Delonna is having a hard day. Her boss, and Kenzie’s brother, Aleck comes to help her out and so begins such a fun and delightful romp.
Delonna and Aleck have worked together for years. They openly flirt, but until a stolen kiss a few months ago, no lines have been crossed. When Delonna inadvertently ends up in danger because her jackass ex-boyfriend can’t pay off his bookie, Aleck takes the opportunity to step into Delonna’s personal life. He becomes her shadow. This of course leads to intimacy. This leads to passionate, mind blowing sex.

When I read the title of the story, I thought it would be taking place in Scotland, not outside Seattle. However, it seems I got my way and the two of them make their way to Scotland to help out Aleck’s parents after his father’s hip surgery. Aleck takes Delonna with him because the danger to her is still very present after his bar got shot up and because he can’t keep his hands off her.

There is complexity to the characters – which is great in a story that is not full length! Delonna scrimps and saves for a future. She demonstrates great compassion to Aleck and his family. She doesn’t back down when her heart is on the line. Most women would just continue to be complacent with the situation hoping to get what they really want. Aleck has a big, brick wall around his heart. He lusts deeply for Delonna, but can’t identify that what he feels is love. He loses her as an employee and lover before he has an epiphany that he truly can put away his fears and be in a real grown up relationship with her.

I loved the imagery the author created on their journey to Scotland. It’s been years since I’ve been there myself. When Aleck takes Delonna on a tourist day, I felt like I was getting a lesson on Edinburgh myself. She describes the city and the highlands so vividly, that I was so sorry they had to get on a plane back home.
One thing that I really enjoyed about this book was the heavy accent Aleck and his family had. I love how the author didn’t Americanize his speech, but left the Scottish burr intact. It made the bedroom scenes even hotter – if a Scottish lover is your fantasy. And to be clear, the sex is smoking hot.

This book was the perfect escape. I enjoyed all the secondary characters and how they enhanced the storyline. Delonna and Aleck were a great couple and I couldn’t help but cheer when they figured out things. A quick read that is highly satisfying and made me wish I could have my own highland fling.

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