Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
In hopes to keep herself out of society, Madeline Gracechurch invents a dashing Highland Soldier, a Captain Logan MacKenzie, as her intended. She keeps up the charade for years, writing letters to the imaginary Captain as well as his returned correspondence until ultimately ending the ruse with his untimely imaginary death.
Now, with a lavish inheritance of a castle in the Scottish Highlands, Madeline finds herself with all the freedom she has ever desired to follow her artistic pursuits until the real (and very much alive) Captain Logan MacKenzie finds his way to her doorstep wanting what she has rightfully promised him. Her hand in marriage and with that the land that his soldiers need to build a new life after the War. The transaction is all business until he sees the English Lady that had written him all those letters and she sees him as the man she never knew she wanted, now both of their hearts are very much in danger.
This was probably, if I had to say, the weakest in the series, but I really did enjoy it. Some people might be put off by the way that Logan pops up and demands her hand and the land, but we soon find out why and it does ease the pain. He does come off as a very opportunistic villain, but Tessa Dare has a way of humanizing him quickly, redrawing all of his actions with well meaning intentions and deep seeded trauma.
As far as Madeline, I really did like her and while she was kind of naive in some ways she was still a very enjoyable character. She went toe to toe with her Scottish Brute, but I will say she did warm to him rather quickly. I can’t blame her though.
Of all the books I would say this one really grabbed my heart and squeezed. Logan’s story brought me to tears a few times and I really love how in tune with his emotions he was in spite of his rough exterior. I like that vulnerability.
I really wish there were more books to this series because it is truly magical in my opinion and it’s clear to see this is really where Tessa Dare began to catch her stride and really grow and flourish with her writing style. It makes me even more excited for The Bride Bet.