Dare’s marvelous third Castles Ever After Regency romance (after Say Yes to the Marquess) builds a gradual, intense romance between two people who are determined to avoid love and commitment. Maddie Gracechurch, determined to avoid a London season, writes to Capt. Logan MacKenzie, a Highland warrior, pretending that he’s her fiancé. He conveniently dies in battle, leaving her to pursue an illustration career and savor singlehood. Nine years later, Logan appears at Lannair Castle, where Maddie resides with her aunt Thea. Though Maddie explains that the letters were purely fictional, he intends to make good on his promise to marry her. Logan wants to have a home for his men who have followed him through the trials of battle; the castle is perfect. And he assures Maggie that once they’ve consummated the marriage, she can continue her work while they both enjoy their freedom. But their mutually acceptable agreement is hampered by their physical desire, as Logan comes to know the woman behind the letters and Maggie learns to break through his practiced emotional detachment. Dare’s swiftly moving plot is enhanced by the seamlessly developed romance, and the sensuality is heightened by the slow awakening of the unlikely pair’s mutual attraction. Agent: Steve Axelrod, Axelrod Agency. (Sept.)
Dare’s latest begins with a fairy-tale twist of fate, then leads readers on a mesmerizing and intense emotional journey that explores love in many forms and the powerful pull of dreams. A brilliant, enchanting, and soul-satisfying romance.” —
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Dare delights with another marvelously romantic story that delivers a deep sigh, a tear and a smile. With her painfully shy heroine and vulnerable hero, readers are immediately captivated and will savor the joy of this imaginary-sweetheart plotline. You’ll stay up all night to reach the unforgettable ending.” — RT Book Reviews (top pick)
“With sharp, clever banter, breathtaking sensuality, colorful descriptions, and solid cultural detail, this compelling, often hilarious escapade puts a refreshing spin on the “imaginary lover” theme and adds another winner to Dare’s riveting “Castles” series.” —
Library Journal (starred review)
Dare delights with another marvelously romantic story that delivers a deep sigh, a tear and a smile. With her painfully shy heroine and vulnerable hero, readers are immediately captivated and will savor the joy of this imaginary-sweetheart plotline. You’ll stay up all night to reach the unforgettable ending.
RT Book Reviews (top pick)
Terrified to the point of paralysis at the thought of enduring her first London season, 16-year-old Madeline Gracechurch invents a fiancé and the love of her life—a heart-stopping Highlander captain who is off saving England—and convinces her family she will have no other. For years it's been a perfect plan—and then Capt. Logan MacKenzie shows up in the flesh, with every intention of claiming his bride and her Highland holdings. A loyal hero who will do anything for the damaged men he brought back from war and a shy, artistic heroine who comes into her own are drawn to each other in spite of themselves in a stirring romance that tempers hardship with humor and introduces readers to an assortment of characters (including a pair of would-be amorous lobsters) they won't soon forget. VERDICT With sharp, clever banter, breathtaking sensuality, colorful descriptions, and solid cultural detail, this compelling, often hilarious escapade puts a refreshing spin on the "imaginary lover" theme and adds another winner to Dare's riveting "Castles" series. Dare (Say Yes to the Marquess) lives in Southern California.
A young debutante creates a fictional soldier-sweetheart, conveniently away in the war, to avoid a London season, then is stunned when, years later, the embodiment of her imagined beau shows up on her doorstep, prepared to marry her. Miss Madeline Gracechurch is good with drawing pencils but terrified of drawing rooms and especially crowds, becoming so painfully shy that she literally freezes up, practically unable to speak or move. So, at 16, on the cusp of a London season, she creates a fictional suitor and actually writes to him, Capt. Logan MacKenzie, then spends five years "corresponding" with her fictional love, pouring out her teenage heart and posting letters off, imagining them landing in some enormous lost-mail room. Finally, out of guilt for the long deception she's created, she kills him off and pretends to go into mourning for her valiant captain, fallen in battle. In the meantime, she's inherited a castle in Scotland and has established a career as an illustrator for naturalists. So it's something of a shock when one Highland Capt. MacKenzie arrives at her castle with a band of soldiers, ready to settle in, in effect blackmailing her into marriage by threatening to release her letters to a scandal sheet. "We marry for our own reasons, as a mutually beneficial agreement. I get the property. You'll get your letters back." Agreeing to a wedding but holding off the consummation, Maddie plans to find and destroy the letters, hence ending his hold over her. As the days pass, however, she discovers the man she created in letters is nothing to the one in the flesh and is astonished to find her own confidence and self-worth blossoming with his arrival and attention. But her fake, resurrected captain has a complicated past and mistrusts things she holds dear. Dare's latest begins with a fairy-tale twist of fate, then leads readers on a mesmerizing and intense emotional journey that explores love in many forms and the powerful pull of dreams. A brilliant, enchanting, and soul-satisfying romance.