Book Review: When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare

14Title: When a Scot Ties the Knot
Author: Tessa Dare
Series: Castles Ever After #3
Released: August 25, 2015
Genres: HR
Format: Kindle
Pages: 378
Dates Read: June 23-24, 2017
Grade: A
Synopsis: 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. (Goodreads)Review: This was adorable, and I would have read it in one sitting if I hadn’t needed to sleep.  Maddie invented an imaginary suitor to get people to stop worrying her about finding one.  How impressive is that?  She just wanted to spend time with her bugs; can you really blame the girl.

Was Logan a bit of a jerk when he showed up on Maddie’s doorstep?  Yes.  But when he revealed his concern for his men, I was less critical of him.  And then when he let Maddie know that he was upset because she killed him off in her letters, I nearly cried.  Because he had always been abandoned, he was hurt even more when she said he’d died.  She didn’t know he actually existed at all, of course, but still.

Logan ended up being such a sweetheart, though.  And his admiration of Maddie and her artistic achievements brought tears to my eyes.  He defended her to the science prude who told her she wouldn’t be respected with such a “lowly” man such as Logan (aka, a Scotsman).

I absolutely loved the advice the men gave Logan for getting Maddie in bed.  Personally, I would accept naked Logan coming up out of the water.  And his soul–that was another good one.

Tessa Dare, my love, even dealt with mental health issues, sexism, and xenophobia in this novel.  My love for her continues to grow.

Favorite Quotes:

  • She refused to define her personal worth on the basis of a marriage proposal (31).
  • “Be still my heart.  I do love a book with multiple volumes (96).”
  • He was lying in bed, a loose shirt hanging open at the neck to reveal a wedge of his chest.  His brow was lightly furrowed in concentration, and those spectacles were perched on the strong bridge of his nose.  One muscled arm was flexed and propped behind his head.  And in the other hand, he held . . . Devil take him.  Heaven help her.  A book.  Not just any book, but a thick one bound in dark green leather.  And he was reading the thing.  Those twinges of emotion had grown so strong that they had her nearly doubled over.  Little fireworks of longing were bursting in her chest (132).
  • He turned a page with one hand, hooking it with his thumb and dragging it from right to left while keeping his other arm tucked securely under his head.  The deft, practiced nature of it stirred her suspicion.  She eyed the well-creased spine of the volume.  The book’s pages showed the wear of being thumbed from right to left, again and again, all the way to the end.  He only read to fall asleep, he claimed?  Oh, yes.  And falcons only took wing out of boredom (134).
  • A terrible sense of affinity swamped her.  For all her life, making the acquaintance of another book lover had felt like . . . well, rather like meeting with someone from her own country when traveling overseas.  Or how she imagined that would feel if she ever traveled overseas (134).
  • The love of books was an instant connection, and a true boon for a girl who tended toward shyness, because it was a source of endless conversation (134).
  • Oh, Lord.  Now he was not only an impoverished orphan but an impoverished, unloved orphan with a passion for books.  Her every feminine impulse jumped to attention.  She was vibrating with the worst possible desires.  The instinct to soothe, to comfort, to nurture, to hold (136).
  • From far away, he heard himself murmuring in Gaelic.  Words began tumbling from his lips, unbidden.  Words he’d never spoken to any other woman in his life. “Maddie a ghràdh.  Mo chridhe.  Mo bean.”  Maddie, darling.  My heart.  My wife.  Her fancies had started to addle his brain, too.  What was she doing to him (141)?
  • “That’s the most remarkable thing about you, mo chridhe.  The way you have of bringing things to life (259).”
  • He stopped pacing and approached her.  He put his hands on her shoulders and forced her to meet his intense blue gaze.  “I am wearing a cravat and cuff links at the godforsaken Beetle Ball.  Does this not count as going to trouble for you?”  “But . . . that’s not for me.  Not really.”  “Maddie, mo chridhe.”  His grip on her arms softened to a caress, and his gaze dropped to her mouth.  “Like hell it isn’t (262).”
  • She was a grown woman, he reminded himself. She understood what this meant, and she was making her own choice (274).
  • “It felt as if I’d tugged on a loose thread of God’s tartan, and a world away, someone tugged back (308).”
  • “You must swear it, mo chridhe.  You’re my heart.  If you leave me, I’ll die (336).”
  • “My lungs are fine.  It’s my heart that’s about to burst.  With pride.  That’s brilliant, mo chridhe.”  He turned to his men.  “Lads, Mrs. MacKenzie here is going to illustrate an encyclopedia.  Four whole volumes.  Congratulate her (370).”

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