Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
I want to first start this review with a word of praise for Jolie Vines, the author of the newest book, Betrayed, book 4 of her Wild Mountain Scots series. You see, I found Jolie with her second-ever book, and over the course of the past couple of years, I’ve gobbled every one since. While I was reading Betrayed, I found myself lost in her story but also reflective about her evolution as an author. Honestly, for me, Betrayed is her best bit of storytelling yet. There is a cohesion and story-pacing that feel polished in this book. I’ve always enjoyed her as a writer, but, in the past, there were moments in her stories that felt like the story peaked too soon and lost steam or felt disconnected at times. With this newest series, each moment showed maturity in story development: the right pacing, the most-developed characterizations, and her continued acknowledgment of her brand. In other words, over time, Jolie Vines has become a better storyteller, and I feel pride in reading her books and offering up reviews to promote them.
Betrayed follows Max, the twin to Maddock and the son of Scarlet and Ally. In the other books of the Wild Mountain Scots series, in a word, Max has been angry. There are reasons: he seems to have feelings for Rory, his brother’s eventual girlfriend, but Maddock kisses her first and it’s clear that she’s meant for Maddock, not Max. He and his brother are like the yin and yang symbol, constantly at odds with each other while also symbiotic. And, years earlier, Maddock accidentally has a drunken one-night stand with Max’s ex-girlfriend whom he still loves. Therefore, Max has been a sullen man and isolated himself from his brother and his family in the earlier books of the series.
As you enter Betrayed, there is more of this; however, Vines doesn’t make us wade too long in Max’s angry pool. Instead, she forces us to jump into the deep end fairly quickly, and she deftly untangles Max and Lia’s complicated mess of a past, throwing her reader a life preserver. What happens is true to Jolie Vines form: their insta-love is rekindled, and Max shows us his true heroic nature, one filled with the capacity to love his secret daughter and fall deeply in love with his former girlfriend. Underpinning the romance of this story is a more complicated one involving Lia’s father and some type of secret society intent on keeping him in his job. It was all well-developed, hinting at more stories in the future. In fact, by the end of Betrayed, you will know the hero and heroine of her next book of the series. I won’t divulge the details here, but my interest is already piqued for Tormented, book 5 of this series.
So here’s the thing: if you love burly, Scottish heroes who fall in insta-love with their heroines (I mean these guys fall hard while steadfastly holding onto their masculinity) and heroines who can be a bit messy but worthy of the adoration of this type of hero, then you should run fast into Betrayed and its predecessors. Honestly, there is lots of suspense with the stories of this series, interesting situations that draw you in and keep you engaged. Once I began reading Betrayed, I simply couldn’t put it down, and there is nothing better than a hero who adores his daughter and the love of his life. Well done, Jolie. Well done! I feel honored to be one of your diehard readers.
In love and romance,