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From the first page to the very last this book was a fun/adorable, charming and engaging read – one that had me absorbed. Madeline, shy and desperately desiring to avoid having to partake in a season and any social gatherings decides to fabricate a tale about meeting and becoming betrothed to a man named Captain Logan MacKenzie. Now as a part of her elaborate ruse she mails letters to him regularly, assuming that they will gather dust somewhere or give some soldiers a good laugh, she shares with her imaginary Captain her unfiltered thoughts, desires and the goings-on in her life. What she never expects is that there exists a real Captain Logan MacKenzie, and he has her letters, back from war he comes to her door, and so begins an unexpected but delightful shift in the life she leads.
The letters were funny and had me smiling like a loon at times. Maddie was a wonderfully cultivated heroine whom I thoroughly enjoyed, and let’s not forget Logan, he is one Scot/Highlander that will have you smiling and swooning throughout this story. I have to say I do think Logan was deluded in thinking Madeline owed him anything. Yes, I sympathized with him and his men's situation but his view she owed him something was a tad silly. Although perhaps it was just the excuse he needed to go and find the women that he had been thinking about for so many years. I also really wished that the man who out of bitterness took credit for Madeline’s hard work had seen the front of Logan’s fist (I know, I seem to have some slight violent tendencies – luckily, such tendencies are reserved for characters I don’t like in books).
There is a good blend of tension, mild-bickering and heat in this book. I’ve finished this book smiling and can confidently say I’ll be re-reading it. I’m glad I finally purchased this and at a steal to: £1.99.
Ok. Maddie extremely Shy young lady hates crowds, social gatherings, she loves to paint, has a vivid imagination. To stop her father Marrying her off, she tells them she has met a Captain Logan Mackenzie he is fighting in the war, they will marry when he returns. She writes to him for years , then the war is over and her family expect him to return and marry her. Maddie tells her family he died during a battle, so bereaved and learning an uncle has left her a castle in SCOTLAND, telling her family she will never marry as she loved Captain Mackenzie very much. If to Scotland she goes. Then one night her maid comes to her and tells her there is very very large man at the door. Not going any further. Don't want to spoil this, prepare to laugh at the interaction between these two, the sensual chemistry is not loved it
This book was lovely, rather like a cup of hot chocolate on a snowy day. Although the premise was a little far fetched ( the heroine writes letters to an imaginary beau, and years later a man turns claiming to be him) I loved reading Maddie's letters, and there was a wonderfully drawn cast of supporting characters. Unusually for historical romance, the heroine had an actual talent of her own (illustrating natural history books) The love story was convincing, with both hero and heroine overcoming difficulties from their pasts. Also included were some scorching hot scenes with a man in a kilt. What more could you want?
A powerfully shy girl comes up with creating a gentleman suitor, and then finds herself forging a correspondence over the years to 'prove' it to her family, and save herself having to go out in society. Only the gentleman does actually exist, and has been receiving her letters!
The humour and embarrassment of this idea won me over from the start! I really liked Madeline's shy and humble character, and what I especially like (which Tessa Dare is very good at writing), is her passion for her job - illustrating wildlife. Only in a Tessa Dare romance book would you find the heroine drawing the mating cycle of lobsters...which is very slow going when you've got to wait for the female to molt!
Logan is a very likeable character, and his motivations are clear from the start so I didn't have any problems with thinking he was selfish or unfeeling (which I think some reviewers mentioned). One thing I did have difficulty with though, was the implication that Madeline had managed to hurt him by 'killing him off'. Even if her letters had made him feel close to her, I couldn't quite buy the idea that they both 'felt' a real connection through them.
Ignoring that though, this was a really great read - full of the quirky humour I adore!
Why does romance have such low standards of historical (or anything else) realism?
This isn't a bad book, but it was spoilt for me on the first page. The heroine, in the early 1800s, living many miles from the sea, has a tank in which she keeps lobsters. Marine tanks are the devil to maintain even with modern equipment like water filters. The salinity has to be kept correct, as well as keeping the water clean. Without access to seawater to exchange the water every few days, our heroine's lobsters are doomed to an early death.
That, plus access to ready to wear clothing about a century ahead of when it became available, greatly reduced my ability to believe in the rest of the story. Which is a shame, because the premise was an entertaining one.
I liked this book but did not love it! Her older books read better. Tessa's new style is bordering fairy tale fantastic where things happening are just a little too far fetched one step away from birds landing on shoulders and singing the day away and whistling while you work!!!!! I know the series is 'Castles Ever After' It just is a little too high fantasy than your usual 'Pride And Prejudice' drama!!! Did enjoy reading it but it is not one that I will probably read again. I have all her books there are many that I still read to date again and again, this one just didn't win me over as much. Oh well, you can't win them all!
So I found the premise interesting, but quickly found my interest dimming. Blackmailing someone into marriage is not romantic. “I can’t share a bed with you because I might get too tempted and rape you,” is not romantic. I don’t like leaving a book unfinished but these plot points mixed with some rather cliched writing (“His hands ranged over her curves,” is possibly a line that is in every single romance novel ever.) is leaving me rather uninspired. Feeling some regret for wasting my money on this.