I kissed a man in a skirt…and I liked it.
Maybe those aren’t the exact lyrics but, thanks to WHEN A SCOT TIES THE KNOT, I wouldn’t be opposed to a revision. It worked for our bluestocking heroine well enough!
A little falsehood from the past snowballs into an engagement Maddie Gracechurch never anticipated nor wanted. The same childhood fantasy becomes a Highland Captain’s ticket to a stable life for his loyal troop. Where lies meet opportunity, can love exist too?
Read an excerpt: here
Madeline Gracechurch uses her boundless imagination to avoid the embarrassment of rejection her first London season by creating a fictitious relationship with an officer at war. This small lie blossoms into a full blown long distance relationship complete with smarmy letters posted for her parents' benefit and a heroic death that frees her to peaceful spinsterhood. But when a very real Captain Logan MacKenzie shows up on her doorstep years later- the tangled web of lies Maddie concocted will take more than a little finessing to undo.
Logan grew up rough, unloved and experiencing horrors of battle in a war that ended with him and his troop without a proper home to be welcomed to. His hard exterior may ward off nefarious foes, but will it aide his claim on a castle bequeathed to him and the betrothed he never proposed to?
The silly girl whose incriminating letters of their faux-engagement found their way to his camp over the years has grown into a gorgeous, maddening woman who proves cleverer at shirking his will than any enemy on the battlefield. To provide a home for his loyal followers Logan must get Maddie to submit to a marriage she never wanted in the first place; but also risks his heart as well as hers in the venture.
Rating: 4 Red Roses
My Favorite Part of the Book: Was the beginning- with the letters. This could have been a boring, unfeeling info dump but I enjoyed them immensely. I could have gone on and read a full book of Maddie’s letters to a supposed fantasy fiancé. The letters helped display Madeline’s brain (and the author's fun, tangible writing style) in an unassuming way. It made me think of Lisa Kleypas’ Love in the Afternoon which starts off similarly and I love when authors with a strong voice flex them this way.
Overall, it was another HIT of a love story from Tessa Dare. Again, she writes in a way that speaks close to home and entertains thoroughly.
A few gripes: There were these amazing secondary characters she developed- I wanted more! We have this incredible grandmother who disappeared halfway through the book and pops up sporadically towards the end. And then the band of forgotten soldiers- they all had their own quirks and a dynamic I would have enjoyed getting to see more of.
I have a heavy dislike for the “I am fighting against love/I am not worthy of love” angle most rom-novels adopt, and felt a bit cheated with the MoC plot since consummation took so long to occur, but the spirited heroine (an all-time favorite now), dazzling supporting cast, and expert writing style keep readers fully entwined and satisfied!
I love a good marriage of convenience story, I love the pen-pals (however one-sided) to lovers angle, I love Highlanders and Bluestockings—the way these elements were weaved together, while not always in the proportions I love, were compelling and heartfelt.
Basically, Read it. Now.