WHEN A SCOT TIES THE KNOT
Castles Ever After Series, Book 3
by Tessa Dare
E-Book and Paperback: Pages: 384
Book provided by publisher. No remuneration was exchanged and all opnions presented herein are my own except as noted.
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. http://tessadare.com/bookshelf/when-a-scot-ties-the-knot/
This is an utterly charming and delightful story; it’s also sexy and amusing.
You won’t be able to help but love Maddie — a poor, shy woman who desperately wants, no, needs, to avoid crowds and gatherings. But, the Ton being the Ton she has to come up with a way to avoid the marriage mart so she can stay quiet and alone and work on her technical, botanical illustrations. Her self-examination is perpetual and scathing and desperate as she conducts an epistolary relationship with her imaginary friend.
It is perhaps telling of the way the British felt about Scots, that she believes no one would ever receive these letters. Hah!
If you read the book blurb you know he does exist, did receive the letters, and has a group of men still under his command.
I had to wonder on some of the technical matters in which Maddie was engaged – seriously, in 181? a saltwater aquarium?
What really makes the story is the language: Maddie’s letters, and the way she communicates with others. It is like Nineteenth-Century snark. Also, I like how Dare makes the characters fill in each other’s deficits.
I also loved how Logan cares for his men and eventually the way Maddie is treated, how his nobility out classes the titular nobility. And, The story of Logan’s early life is heart wrenching. He and Maddie are both different kinds of people, and one would be able to see from a great distance that they belong together. From right next to each other though,…
Sometimes, Tessa gets very close to really diving into something, like the way a certain lord is treating Maddie. But then she puls back. She is, I guess, illustrating a point without getting Logan into trouble.
In any event, sometimes the Highlander stuff can feel like so much OUTLANDER wannabes, but this one, while it looks like a poor, mistreated Highlander story as well as a mistreated veterans story, holds its own with pathos and with two characters who work better together than they do apart.
This is funny, but I definitely felt for Maddie, Logan and his men. Well done!