Publication Date: August 25, 2015
Series or Standalone: Castles Ever After #3
Links: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Goodreads
When a Scot Ties the Knot holds a special place in my heart as it was the first Tessa Dare book I read way back in 2015 when I first started getting into historical romance. It’s now one of my go-to recommendations for people new to the historical romance genre.
To avoid participating in her first London season, Madeline Gracechurch invents a fake Scottish sweetheart, Captain Logan MacKenzie. He conveniently was never around (being fake and all), but she wrote him many letters over the years until she decided he needed to die in battle. Imagine Maddie’s shock when the real Captain Logan MacKenzie shows up at her front door claiming to be her fiancé.
This book tends to be a fan favorite, and while rereading it, I can see why! The story is just so stinking cute! This book also feels like quintessential Tessa Dare. Unconventional heroine and hero? Check. Animals in the mix? Check. Steamy romance? Check. Humor? Check.
Let’s start with the romance in this book. There are so many great romantic tropes that I loved crammed into this story. You get fake dating, an epistolary romance and nursing back to health all in one story. I love how Maddie’s letters play a central role in the story and Logan and Maddie’s romance. Logan knows everything about Maddie since she used the letters she sent him as a sort of diary. He got to know her inside and out through the letters while she never knew he existed. The fact that he also had her letters memorized always makes me swoon. It does take Maddie a bit to open up to Logan, especially since he holds revealing the truth about the letter over her head, but I love how he helps her come out of her shell. They have some communication issues, which usually frustrates me, but it didn’t bug me too much in this book. I think it helps that the sparks between Logan and Maddie jump off the page. And Dare brings the heat in the romantic scenes!
Outside of the romance, I genuinely love Maddie and Logan as characters. Maddie has severe social anxiety – that’s what sets her on the course of creating a fake sweetheart in the first place. She has full-blown panic attacks when in large groups, and I thought Dare handled the subject matter well. I love that Maddie has this incredible skill and passion for the illustration of creatures. She’s been allowed to make a name for herself based on her skills, and I loved that about her.
And then we have the swoon-worthy Logan MacKenzie. It took me a little bit to warm up to him on this reread, but then we got to all the parts that made me remember why I love him. This man will do anything to protect and care for those he loves, whether those people are his men who lost their lands, families and lives during the war or Maddie and her aunt. He thinks he’s such a harsh, tough guy, but he’s actually a big old softie. Also, he’s a man who reads Pride & Prejudice in bed with glasses. Be still my heart!
Outside of our main characters, we get a great cast of well-rounded secondary characters. I loved Maddie’s Aunt Thea! Aunt Thea also has a fun but sad backstory with the Earl of Lynforth, the bequeather of all the castles in this series. I also genuinely love the men from Logan’s troops. Grant, in particular, gets me every time. His story makes me so sad, and I love how he always makes Maddie feel special even though he can never remember her. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention Fluffy and Rex, Maddie’s lobsters who she’s trying to get to mate, so that she can illustrate the process. The lobsters’ escapades bring some great bits of humor to the story as well.
If you’re looking to get into historical romance, look no further than When a Scot Ties the Knot. It’s got a cute premise, great characters, and a sizzling romance – you cannot go wrong with that! This book is Dare at her best and a great entry point for people new to her writing even though it’s book 3 in a series.
Definitely pick this one up if you’re thinking of branching out into historical romance!