Series: Castles Ever After #3
on August 25, 2015
Genres: Highlander Romance, Scottish Romance
Source: Avon Addicts, edelweiss
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On the cusp of her first London season, Miss Madeline Gracechurch was shyly pretty and talented with a drawing pencil, but hopelessly awkward with gentlemen. She was certain to be a dismal failure on the London marriage mart. So Maddie did what generations of shy, awkward young ladies have done: she invented a sweetheart.
A Scottish sweetheart. One who was handsome and honorable and devoted to her, but conveniently never around. Maddie poured her heart into writing the imaginary Captain MacKenzie letter after letter … and by pretending to be devastated when he was (not really) killed in battle, she managed to avoid the pressures of London society entirely.
Until years later, when this kilted Highland lover of her imaginings shows up in the flesh. The real Captain Logan MacKenzie arrives on her doorstep—handsome as anything, but not entirely honorable. He’s wounded, jaded, in possession of her letters… and ready to make good on every promise Maddie never expected to keep.
When you pick up a Tessa Dare book, you know you’re getting a fun and flirty book. And in this one, you’re getting all that and more! The more being a Scot in a kilt. Who doesn’t want a man in a kilt?
Maddie at sixteen is painfully shy. I don’t even think shy is the word. Crowds of people give her anxiety attacks. She freezes and can’t move. And the worst part is that no one understands! Even after seeing her in these situations, no one gets it. It gets to the point that when she’s supposed to have her first Season, she can’t do it. So her solution is to invent a boyfriend. Now no one will care if she doesn’t attend balls, since she has her handsome captain pining away for her. She can spend her time sketching insects.
She makes him gorgeous, courageous, sweet, and the best part? He’s Scottish, that way he doesn’t live nearby. And they can’t visit him since he’s also in…the army, yeah, that’s it! Now he’s a captain too! Oh Maddie stop digging yourself this hole! But her man is imaginary, so she goes all out!
But…he’s not exactly imaginary. Captain Logan Mackenzie is a real man, and he’s been receiving these letters Maddie writes for years.
Our grudging hero Captain Logan Mackenzie could be Sam Heughan’s twin (come on, you didn’t expect me not to mention him, now did you? In case you don’t know who he is, he’s Jamie from Outlander…here’s a picture for your umm…consideration).
So, where was I? Right, Sam, I mean Logan, has brought his men back from war, and they’ve come home to…nothing. Disappointment. He meant his promise that they’d get through the war, and be safe together. And they’d go home to their sweethearts, their families, their lives. But when you’re gone for years, life goes on without you.
So he does the next best thing. He finds Maddie (who by now, since she’s firmly on the shelf, has killed him off), and says he’s home to marry his sweetie.
Maddie is beyond dumbfounded to find that her imaginary dead fiance is not imaginary, not dead, and is insisting they wed!
He wants her lands and a place for his men to call home. He promised his men a home, and even if it means taking one for the team, he’ll marry this woman. But of course, he never expected her to be lovely, and warm, and wonderful.
He blackmails her into marriage, but as the days pass, he finds he wants to woo her. So his men offer their “advice:”
“You’ve got to be the Rob Roy of her imaginings. Are you calling her a ‘bonny lass’? The Englishwomen’s hearts go all a-flutter at that.”
“What do you know about the hearts of Englishwomen?”
“He’s got the right of it,” Rabbie put in. “‘Bonny lass’ is good. ‘Wee bonny lass’–well that’s even better.”
“‘Yer wee bonny lassie,” said Callum, taking the improvement one step further. “Throw in lots of ‘och’ and ‘aye’ and ‘dinna fash yerself,’ too.”
But Maddie finds herself coming out of her shell. And finds herself liking him. Quite a bit, in fact.
“In this moment, she would do almost anything he asked. But she wasn’t doing it for him. Oh, no. This was all for herself. She loved the way he was looking at her right now. She never wanted it to end.”
There’s so much I want to add into this, but I don’t want to spoil the magic. This book is fun, and flirty, and sweet, and hot, and so romantic. Seriously you guys, if you’ve never read a Tessa Dare book, read this one. If you’ve never read a Scottish Romance, read this one, if you don’t read Historicals, read this one. And lastly, if you love Scottish Romances, and sexy heroes with awkward heroines, READ THIS ONE.
***ARC courtesy of Avon Books