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HIGHLAND FLING by Katie Fforde

HIGHLAND FLING

By Katie Fforde

Pub Date: Aug. 20th, 2003
ISBN: 0-312-31768-9
Publisher: St. Martin's

Another adorable romance from the author of, most recently, Second Thyme Around (2001).

Jenny Porter squabbles with her bossy boyfriend one last time before heading to Scotland at the behest of her faraway employer, who wants her to investigate the finances and business practices of the Dalmain textile mill. Jenny intends to prove herself as a Virtual Assistant, no matter how much Henry sniffs, pointing out that the Internet (as if no one ever heard of it) makes it so easy to communicate. Off she goes, and she conveniently meets the friendliest member of the eccentric Dalmain family first, serving up bacon sandwiches at the Homely Haggis, a “merry little tartan van.” (Warning: more cuteness ahead.) Meggie, its proprietor, a local girl, is pregnant by a Dalmain younger son, Iain, who scarcely counts as far as his dragon-lady mother, Lady Frances, is concerned. But Meggie loves her man, and she seems happy to provide hot tea and lukewarm gossip for one and all—unless, of course, Jenny might be interested in taking over the van . . . . Jenny is charmed by the offer and thinks it over as she gets to know Lady Frances, the jewel-encrusted matriarch of the clan who’s dismayed to see that her unhappy daughter Felicity is enamored of Lachlan McGregor, a professional llama shearer. Oh, never mind Felicity: Lady Frances dotes on Philip, her favorite son, unaware that he’s scheming to, ahem, fleece them all. When not sipping whiskey with this lot, Jenny’s all business and fascinated by the “huge machines” that process the wool into cloth. Though the mill is inefficient and unprofitable, it does employ many locals. Gee whiz, she couldn’t just “let all this . . . fall silent if she could possibly prevent it.” Yes, our Jenny saves the mill from going under and even finds love with the very man who was planning to foreclose on it.

Routine fare, dated plot. Britisher Fforde has done better.