by Gayle Callen
Series: Highland Weddings #2
Pub. Date: Feb. 23, 2016
Falling in love means tempting fate in this passionate new novel in USA Today bestselling author Gayle Callen's Highland Weddings series.
Maggie McCallum's dreams about her new fiancé aren't the romantic sort. It's not just that she was bartered to Owen Duff like a piece of property to end a clan feud. She's also haunted by premonitions of his death on their upcoming wedding day. Yet the exasperating Highlander won't let her call it off, even though his life and his clan are both in jeopardy.
Owen has wanted Maggie in his bed since he first glimpsed her years ago. If their union restores peace between their clans, so much the better. But while lusting after another chief's sister had its risks, growing to trust Maggie is far more dangerous. Owen is falling deeply in love with the one woman he cannot hope to claim . . . and survive.
I messed up on this book and it's totally my fault. I meant to read The Wrong Bride before I got around to The Groom Wore Plaid... but I totally forgot and then I was crunched for time and couldn't fit it into my schedule. I urge everyone to read the books in the correct order b/c this 2nd installment of the Highland Weddings series is a sequel to the first book. There were many references to things you would probably know if you did things properly... unlike my sorry self. I was kicking myself as I read, believe me.
Our H/h in this story are members of feuding clans who have decided to marry to end the conflict between their people. This peace-keeping marriage was supposed to happen with different clan members, namely Hugh McCallum and Catriona Duff. However, if/when you read that first book, you will know things went awry, and now Maggie and Owen are on the hook to carry out the marriage contract.
Maggie McCallum has always held herself apart from others, afraid of being labeled a witch if people were to learn of her prophetic dreams. People already make signs to ward off evil when they see her two different colored eyes. Maggie starts having second thoughts about the impending marriage after she has a dream about Owen's death, and she starts trying to push Owen away in the silliest ways. I felt sorry for Maggie being seen as an enemy in her future home, but she held her head high and persevered.
Owen Duff is not the typical highland hero; he does not come off as an alpha male warrior. Instead, Owen's interests have always been more focused on scientific pursuits. He likes astronomy, inventions and modern conveniences of the time. His father hid him away in London during the 1715 Rising, so now that he is back he feels he must prove himself as a worthy chieftain to his people. While Owen is reacquainting himself with Highland customs such as swimming the loch, wrestling and target shooting, he is also trying to woo a reluctant Maggie.
The courtship between Maggie and Owen was contemptuous. Owen doesn't believe that Maggie is a seer, and Maggie is determined to find a way out of the marriage contract. Owen is kissing and Maggie is sniping. So there was lots and lots of drama. While I liked each of the characters individually, the disdain between them was sometimes grating. Once Maggie cools her jets and decides to stop working against Owen, things were much better.
The plot to stop the marriage was interesting and laid out well. I had my suspicions about the culprit, but it wasn't glaringly obvious so I enjoyed unraveling the mystery as I read. I would have liked to see the motive explored a little more because it seemed to be a tad glossed over.
Overall, this was an enjoyable story with a good amount of steam for a historical. I think I would have been more engaged had I not forgot to read the first book. I received an advanced copy of this book from Avon via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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About the Author
After a detour through fitness instructing and computer programming, GAYLE CALLEN found the life she’d always dreamed of as a romance writer. This USA Today bestselling author has written more than twenty historical romances for Avon Books, and her novels have won the Holt Medallion, the Laurel Wreath Award, the Booksellers’ Best Award, and been translated into eleven different languages. The mother of three grown children, an avid crafter, singer, and outdoor enthusiast, Gayle lives in Central New York with her dog Uma and her husband, Jim the Romance Hero. She also writes contemporary romances as Emma Cane.
Visit her website at www.gaylecallen.com.
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