by Tessa Dare
Series: Castles Ever After #3
Genres: Historical Romance
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 a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare is the third novel in the delightful Castles Ever After series and it gave me an incredible book high. I DEVOURED this in one sitting. Seriously, I was lost to the outside world and swooning in the highlands of Scotland.
Coffee dates with When a Scot Ties the Knot
- First date: From the very first page, Miss Madeline Gracechurch and I became friends. She is a bookworm and prefers collecting seashells to attending balls. Her father and stepmother want to see her married and settled. She is determined to avoid the season and all of its trappings. Therefore, she claims to have fallen in love. To avoid questions she claims he is Scottish and a Captain in the service. She even gives him a name and oh, how this little fib escalates. Elated her stepmother has her write him and thus begins the charade. Each week she writes him and lord her letters brought tears to my eyes as I laughed aloud. Truthfully, I already know what is going to happen but the anticipation of watching all of itunfold has me going back for a second coffee date.
- Second date: *snickers* Madeline’s sweetheart sadly lost his life and died a hero. She mourned him and still wears grey. Her Uncle bequeathed her a property in Scotland and there she happily resides. She spends her days drawing, reading and maybe feeling a little guilty for the charade. That is until Captain MacKenzie shows up at her door in full uniform (a sexy kilt) along with his men. What ensued was delightful and Logan made my heart flutter. He has her letters and intends to see them married. Madeline’s response to her fictional sweetheart appearing was positively wonderful, well for me, she is quite flabbergasted! Perfectly paced with delicious banter, snark and sexual tension the pages practically read themselves. Secondary characters particularly Logan’s men added depth to the story and I was rather fond of a few of them.
- Third date: We really get to know both Madeline and Logan as they dance a tango filled with attraction, fears and humor. Dare has this wonderful gift for creating strong characters who are flawed and allows them to grow. Logan has issues stemming from his childhood, but his loyalty to his men and his treatment of Madeline made him a swoon-worthy hero. I loved the growth, and the slow building romance that developed. Their conversations had depth and I loved the bit about their “remember when”. Each time my heart dipped. Dare brought out the feels, added a little drama/suspense before concluding this date. She then gave us a little dessert providing readers with an epilogue that truly satisfied.
When a Scot Ties the Knot was my favorite book in Dare’s Castles Ever After series. All of the books can be read as standalone but I recommend coffee dates with them all.
She didn’t swoon or crumple. She simply sat down, hard. Her backside hit the settee, and the air was forced from her lungs. “Oof.”
The Scotsman stared down at her, looking faintly amused. “Are ye well?”
“No,” she said honestly. “I’m seeing things. This can’t be happening.”
This really, truly, could not be happening.
Captain Logan MacKenzie could not be alive. He could not be dead, either.
He didn’t exist.
When Maddie prepared for bed behind her screen that night, she emerged to find the most terrible sight yet.
“Oh, really, Logan. That’s just unfair.”
He looked up from his reclined pose in her bedroom chaise longue, his face partly hidden behind a book bound in dark green leather. “What?”
“You’re reading Pride and Prejudice?”
He shrugged. “I found it on your bookshelf.”
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