A grumpy vs sunshine, age-gap, romantic suspense set in the Scottish Highlands.
Beyond the Thistles by Samantha Young is now live!
It’s been a long time since Walker Ironside left behind Scotland and the memories that haunt him. Yet after years of traveling the world as a bodyguard, Walker misses his homeland enough to return. To a village in the Scottish Highlands that plays host to an exclusive members-only club, Ardnoch Estate. If not happy, Walker is content working with the elite security at the club and maintaining his bachelor lifestyle. What he doesn’t need is distraction in the form of the enticing but too-young newcomer, single mother Sloane Harrow.
Sloane never imagined she’d get pregnant at sixteen. Or that a decade later she’d escape from California with her daughter, Callie, to start over in the Scottish Highlands. Hidden and safe from Callie’s dangerous father, Sloane is satisfied with their new lives. Her daughter is happy. Sloane has a stable job, a quaint cottage, a passion for baking that might just be turning into a business, and a huge crush on brooding security guard Walker Ironside. Unfortunately, the grumpy Scot seems immune to Sloane’s charm, but she can’t help but try to seduce him with cupcakes and baked treats whenever the opportunity arises.
However, when someone arrives in Ardnoch intent on destroying Sloane’s life, Walker is the first to step forward to protect her and Callie. Even if it means giving into temptation and awakening his own demons. Because in doing so, Walker faces failing not only to shield Sloane from her past, but to safeguard her against his own.
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Returning to the Scottish Highlands and our dear friends, The Adari Family, Beyond the Thistles kicks off the brand new series, The Highlands. Beyond the Thistles follows the story of Sloane and Walker. Sloane is no stranger to pain and heartache. She is a survivor and will do anything to keep her daughter safe. The Scottish Highlands was the answer to all of her prayers. With great friends and a second chance at life, things are finally looking up for Sloane. If only she could get Walker to see her in a different life. Walker is haunted by his own demons and isn’t ready to let anyone get close to him. He takes his job in security very seriously and isn’t looking for any distractions. But, when Sloane’s past catches up with her, Walker finds himself forced to face his demons and protect the one woman he can’t get off of his mind.,..
Beyond the Thistles is a fantastic read from beginning to end. From the moment you start reading Sloane’s story, you can’t help but be captivated by her and in awe of everything she has overcome. Her life has been one challenge after another with the only shining light, being her daughter. And then we have Walker, the grumpy bodyguard. Even though he feels an intense connection with Sloane, he’s afraid he can’t give her what she wants and isn’t wanting to have someone depend on him again.
I absolutely loved the slow-burning intensity between Sloane and Walker. I longed for the will they/won’t they moments the two of them shared. Walker and Sloane had their own fair share of demons that were haunting them and I loved watching the two of them grow and break down their walls. The road to happily ever after wasn’t an easy one for these two beloved characters. Their story is filled with lots of delicious angst and frustration. And remember those demons I mentioned? Well, let’s just say the suspense from that definitely kept me on my toes.
Beyond the Thistles kicks off The Highlands series with one heck of a start. With lots of familiar faces, suspense and danger around each corner, and an unforgettable love story, Beyond the Thistles is a romance not to be missed.
*I was provided an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
Samantha Young is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She’s been nominated for several Goodreads Choice Awards. Samantha writes adult contemporary and paranormal romance, YA urban fantasy and YA contemporary fiction and is currently published in 31 countries.
She resides in Scotland.
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