Type: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon Books
My Copy: Edelweiss
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.
I have yet to read a book by Ms. Dare that I have not loved, and I think I have read them all. This is another wonderful historical, with interesting characters that charm you from the beginning. The heroine is saucy and independent and the hero is reluctant and sexy, I had a hard time putting it down.
Maddie Gracechurch is a shy young artist who does not like to be noticed, in fact she is downright petrified whenever she stands in a crow, is overwhelmed by others or the center of attention. So in order to avoid this Season and any Season in the future, she invents the man of her dreams, Captain Logan MacKenzie who will always be away and never come to visit.
Little does she know that the letters she has been sending over the ten years she pined away for him were being received by a man, a Captain in the army. But then she kills him off and he is pissed and uses the knowledge to gain what he wants most in life, a place for him and his men to live and thrive. When he arrives at Lannair Castle, the place she inherits from her uncle, she is surprised and puzzled about whom he is and what he wants because the man she invented all those years ago does not exist, right?
I love this series; featuring young women who inherit castles, where they can live independent lives without fear that the world will take it away from them.
Maddie is adorable, a strong willed woman who on the outside seems scared of her shadow but actually knows what she wants and goes about securing it, albeit with lies that last for years. I love her letters to her Captain, the way she addresses them and what she writes had me laughing each time. She created the perfect man, and then she kills him before moving to the wilds of Scotland. She had it made and could live out her life drawing illustrations for books and not having to suffer paralyzing fear of being around crowds. Unfortunately her dead Captain is alive and well.
Logan is not your typical hero, he has no qualms about going after what he wants and he believes Maddie owes him and he is willing to blackmail her into what he needs if necessary. On the surface he is this harden man who survives years in the military yet underneath he is squishy, as Maddie would say. He will do anything to help his men, the ones he promised to bring home only to find many of them did not have homes to come back to. He is also guarding his heart and other than gaining the land through marriage, he does not want anything to do with Maddie, until he realizes how much he cares.
The two are attracted to each other but they want different things. She wants to live independently, away from crowds and he wants salvation for his men. However deep down she does miss her family and the lies she has harbored for years have weighed her down and his proposal does bring freedom for her. The romance is slow to build, the divide between them is large and they must overcome many obstacles including whether they are truly married or not, and that in itself had some hilarious moments.
Secondary characters play pivotal roles, Aunt Thea is a kick and I enjoyed her in each scene. I also liked Logan’s men, they all had sad stories to tell but were building new lives and were important to him. This is the third book in the series but can easily be read as a standalone. As always the book ended too soon and I will be patiently (maybe) waiting for more from Ms. Dare. I highly recommend this wonderful historical filled with humor, heart and romance.
I give When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare 4.5 stars!