Review: Beyond the Thistles by Samantha Young (The Highlands #1)


Note: An advance reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author.

Samantha Young has a brand-new series, and it's gotten off to a smashing start! The Highlands series is a spin-off of Young's Adair Family series, but based on the initial offing, it looks like this new series can be read independently of anything that may have come before it. Beyond the Thistles is the story of a single mother on the run from her dangerous past and a bodyguard who struggles to continue resisting the draw. The thing is, Walker Ironside has been trying his darnedest to keep his distance from Sloane Harrow and her daughter, Callie. The twenty-six-year-old American single mom has tried to charm the thirty-eight-year-old grumpy Scot into conversations and offered her scrumptious baked delights, but she's foiled at every turn. Walker has his reasons, but to Sloane's bruised spirit and battered heart, his rejection leaves her dejected. But when her dark past makes its way to the Scottish Highlands that are home to the Ardnoch Estate, Walker knows without a shadow of a doubt that he would do anything to protect Sloane and Callie because they've come to me everything to him, no matter how he tried to resist.

This was such a good beginning to a new series. The fact that the main characters aren't exactly strangers to me, what with me having read the Adair Family series, particularly the final book, Only You, was part of what made this such an anticipated read. Of course, that doesn't mean that readers who have yet to all things Adair related won't be able to enjoy Beyond the Thistles. Yes, there are cameo appearances from characters in the aforementioned previous series, but that's more like a bonus for those familiar with them and their stories. This was truly Walker and Sloane's story to tell, and it was one that I couldn't put down from the moment I turned to the first page. I liked the journey that these two, plus Callie, took towards their happily-ever-after. Nothing about it was easy, but goodness, somehow that made it all the more worth it. I'm giving this five stars and am already eagerly awaiting the next one.

Date Read: 25 April 2023

Learn more about Samantha Young.

Purchase Beyond the Thistles on Amazon.

 

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