How to Train Your Highlander is the third book in the Broadswords and Ballrooms series by Christy England. The previous books were How to Seduce a Scot and How to Wed a Warrior. I have read them both, and enjoyed them. It is not really necessary to read the whole series to enjoy this book, but thus far they have all been great fun, so there is no reason not to!
Wild Highlander Mary Elizabeth Waters is living on borrowed time. She's managed to dodge the marriage banns up to now, but even Englishmen can only be put off for so long, and there's one in particular who has her in his sights. Harold Percy, Duke of Northumberland, is enchanted by the beautiful hellion who out rides every man on his estate and dances Scottish reels while the ton looks on in horror. The more he sees Mary, the more he knows he has to have her, tradition and good sense be damned. But what's a powerful man to do when the Highland spitfire of his dreams has no desire to be tamed.
How to Train Your Highlander is a story with complex characters, and a good deal of entertaining exchanges. Mary Elizabeth is very much her own person. She is spunky and smart, not at all the proper English lady- which is fine with her because she is a Highlander. Harry is a Duke, that feels trapped by the title and the way people try to get in his goods graces because of his title rather than because of his personality. He is tired of games, and when the pair meet and titles are not given a spark is ignited. I really enjoyed the banter and self discovery each go through. While not a fan of deceit, even in the way of failing to correct assumptions, I will admit being annoyed with Harry- even as I understood why he did what he did. They still manage to have several important discussions- and in the end the crisis that almost keep them apart is not because of lack of communication or dangerous outside forces, but rather a need to be true to themselves. I think that was fantastic. I love when a couple can banter, and still end up as partners in a relationship rather than one of the other being in charge. It seems much more real and likely to last to me that way. I think the way Harry respects and love Mary all the more for her self-awareness and lack of concern for other people's opinions is wonderful. We should all be as willing to be ourselves as Mary, and as in awe of those who live their lives so honestly as Harry.