Source: Purchased copy
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.
My second book by this author and I'm pretty much hooked. I love the strong characters and interesting stories she brings to her books. She's quickly made it to my auto buy author list.
Kilts. Accents. Castles. Oh yes! This one was wonderful. I've been wanting to read it for a while and after I read DO YOU WANT TO START A SCANDAL by this author, I decided it was time to dig into this one. I love that they have a pretending story going on in a historical setting. And I really love my pretending stories.
Madeline told a lie when she was sixteen that has shaped her life ever since. She has anxiety when that wasn't a thing. All she knows is that's she's paralyzed in the crowds so a London season has her terrified. To avoid the balls and unknown men, she makes up a Scottish Captain to avoid it all. What was the chance that there would be a real Captain Logan MacKenzie to receive her letters?
I like Maddie. She's talented, creative and strong. She stands up to Logan and finds a way to navigate the landslide that descends on her life when he shows up to make demands. Their banter is fun and the connection between them is charming.
As for Logan, he's got some secrets that have shaped his life. There's reasons he's so loyal to his men. They are his dream. Nothing for himself. Just the men that followed him into battle. Now Maddie is wiggling into that protective place. But he can't give her what she needs. He just wants the land for his men. But the more time he spends with her, the harder it is to keep convincing himself that that is true.
The story deals with some themes I was surprised to see in historical. I love that people are still people no matter the century. Anxiety isn't new, it's just more accepted now. Those injured in war deserve better than to loose everything they had before they left along with their health. I'm glad I found these themes here.
The writing is excellent and I devoured it in a day. Certainly going to keep reading this author. A new favorite is born.