[Book Review] How to Train Your Highlander

How to Train Your Highlander (Broadswords and Ballrooms #3) / Christy English

She’s the Hellion of Hyde Park…
A foolproof plan to avoid marriage:
1. Always carry at least three blades.
2. Ride circles around any man.
3. Never get caught in a handsome duke’s arms.
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 outrides 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...
In most ways this is your standard fiesty-lady historical romance, and if that's your itch to scratch I heartily recommend it.

I tend to be a bit pickier at times, so this didn't really hit what I was looking for.  Decently constructed, and let's be honest, I'm a sucker for a deadly and intelligent leading lady.  But the courtship drama is a bit over drawn-out, and Duke Harry's ideas of exerting his male dominance in a relationship and in the bedroom had me rolling my eyes at best.  I'm really not sure how, outside of a BDSM romance, threatening a grown woman with a spanking is supposed to be a part of courtship.  I might have not minded if Mary Elizabeth did some damage to his august personage, he kind of deserved being put in his place.

I definitely picked up the book because of the title.  With a title that, to me, riffs off of How to Train Your Dragon, I wanted a little more humor and certainly more fieriness in the characters.  What I got was a little more run-of-the mill than I hoped for, but by no means is a poorly written book.

Advance Reader Copy courtesy of SOURCEBOOKS Casablanca via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition.

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