Thursday, 20 August 2015

Review: When A Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare

Publication Date: August 25th 2015
Publisher: Avon
Length: 384 pages

Huge thanks to Avon and Edelweiss for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

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.

As a first foray into Tessa Dare’s writing this book has certainly set the bar high and made me fall in love with another Scottish Highlander to boot. I’d been feeling a pang for more books set in Scotland ever since reading ‘Outlander’ by Diana Gabaldon earlier this year. And whilst I knew that this book would be an entirely different kettle of fish, I was also mightily intrigued by the blurb and kept hearing good things about a) this particular book and b) Tessa’s writing in general. So I went to investigate. And loved it.

It’s that rare and brilliant mix of butterfly inducing romance, historical detailing, humour and downright sexy shenanigans, where everything comes together seamlessly and I found myself sighing and sniggering from page to page. Within the first few chapters I knew I was onto a winner, with Maddie’s clear and amusing voice and the ridiculous letters she sends to her fictional Captain. Maddie is just such a likeable heroine (and hooray for a heroine who has social anxiety and suffers from panic attacks and isn’t miraculously fixed by love!) She’s kind and generous and self-deprecating and funny and I absolutely adored her.

“Madeline Eloise Gracechurch: Stealth Cuddler.”

And then there’s surly with a secret squishy centre Logan MacKenzie who is the perfect foil for Maddie. I loved watching the two of them spark off each other, come to terms with their feelings and their faults and start to build up a genuine relationship. There are some truly hilarious moments countered by some sentimental and moving ones, and I really loved watching these two start to care for each other. Plus it’s been a while since I’ve had genuine stomach swoopage when reading, and oh boy did these two have it in spades. Particularly when they stop being idiots and actually admit to each other how they feel – Tessa certainly knows how to create some breathlessly wonderful declarations and make out scenes.

There are some slightly more modern turns of phrase that were a little jarring and frustrating, but nothing too large to really throw me out of the story and irritate me.  However once I got going I couldn’t put the book down, it was exactly what I needed. Light hearted, fun, with some deeper subjects and heartfelt moments, this book has cemented Tessa Dare as a new favourite for historical romances, and I cannot wait to read more from her.


  1. I'm so so so so glad you loved this one. I thought it was pretty darn adorable, too. I'm a huge Tessa Dare fan. My two favorites of hers are Romancing the Duke (the first in this series) and A Week to Be Wicked. But all the ones I've read I've loved.

    Also, if you are wanting highlander romances, you could check out Julie Garwood. Her books are a bit dated, but so good. I love The Secret and Ransom and they are medieval highlander books.

    1. Oooo thank you for the recommendations! I shall start with those two for Tessa's books and I haven't come across Julie Garwood before so she is going on the list too! I love having new romance authors to snuggle up with and devour all their older books, so this is going to keep me occupied for ages - thank you! <3

  2. I adored the first book in this series. It was just too cute and sweet for me to resist. The second didn't work as well for me, so I've really had my fingers crossed this one would. So happy to hear it did for you, Rosy!

    1. I've heard rumblings that the second book wasn't nearly as good as the first, so I think I'll give it a wide berth and skip straight back to number one. This one is definitely one to pick up, I loved it!