Tuesday, May 2, 2023

REVIEW: Beyond the Thistles by Samantha Young


Beyond the Thistles is the first book in a new series, The Highlands Series, that is a crossover from the Adair Family series. It features Sloane, an American transplant, and Walker a super badass commando, both of whom work on the Adair estate. He's working security and she's working as a housekeeper--hiding away from her dangerous ex-boyfriend (and father of her child).

This novel was immediately interesting -- it starts with the backstory of Sloane and her daughter and then jumps to the present day. We get to see how hard Sloane works to balance her work, her daughter's needs, and the side business she has a baker. Sloane's struggle as a struggling single mom isn't romanticized and feels so exhaustingly real. As we get to know her, we quickly learn that she has a huge crush on Walker and has signaled to him that she's interested in a few occasions, as they run in the same social circles. 

Walker, mister quiet and grunty growly type, is also interested in Sloane but he's convinced himself that she's too young and that mixing friendship with pleasure isn't a good idea. But as awful things begin to happen that involve all of them, Walker finds that he can only resist his desire for so long, and eventually he capitulates to it. It's during this time that we slowly begin to learn why he's so relationship resistant and it has nothing to do with Sloane's age or that they share a friend group; it's easy to understand why he feels the way he does, and yet it's so frustrating to see him continually pull her in and then gently refuse to connect in the way really wants. 

Thankfully this is a romance and while there are some tense times, Sloane and Walker get their HEA and I'm now hooked on this series. I have my guesses as about who will fall in love next but I'll patiently wait to see if I'm right.

Fast-paced, steamy, action-y read that is a fun weekend escape.

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.

  Download today or read FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3CKi5Ml

Amazon Worldwide: https://mybook.to/BeyondtheThistles

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3rAzSik


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