on June 20th 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
You are formally invited to the Highland wedding event of the year. These four lasses are about to meet their matches in an original digital anthology featuring stories from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sabrina York, Lecia Cornwall, Anna Harrington, and May McGoldrick.
How a Lass Wed a Highlander by Lecia CornwallIn this retelling of The Princess and The Pea, Laird Alex Munro of Culmore has just five weeks to find a bride and marry her...or else the clan will be cursed with ill luck. Cait MacLeod finds herself caught in a clan feud, and when she tries to stop a deadly raid, she ends up as Alex Munro’s prisoner. With timing running out, is this couple meant to be?
A Match Made in Heather by Anna HarringtonShe was the laird's daughter. He was nothing more than a penniless, nameless Scot with nothing to offer but his heart. Fate tore them apart, but now he's back in her life with status, money and a title. Can they let go of past hurts and find love?
A Midsummer Wedding by May McGoldrickTheir marriage was two decades in the making. The young, educated woman and her highland, pirate husband, betrothed when they were still children. But on the day of their wedding, Elizabeth Hay and Alexander Macpherson are in for a surprise.
The Scot Says I Do by Sabrina YorkCatherine Ross's world is turned upside down when her brother gambles away every penny they own. But to make matters worse? He’s lost everything to none other than Duncan Mackay, the rugged Scot who Catherine loved for years--but he never noticed her, and now she positively loathes him. But her brother’s in danger of going to Newgate, and the despicable Duncan has a plan– she can claim back the money and save her brother. If she marries him…
A Midsummer Wedding by May McGoldrick
Elizabeth suddenly felt the need to talk. If she was going to make good use of this time together, she needed to correct any misunderstandings now.
“I want to explain why I came to you at the tavern,” she began. “Why I pretended to be Clare Seton.”
His gaze was fixed on the fire.
“It was a foolish plan, I know that now. But . . . but the idea was to make you see Clare and her intended and think she was me and . . . and to make you believe that my heart belonged to someone else.”
He looked up at her. “Why? What did you hope to accomplish?” His tone was civil, but his expression was indecipherable.
“I wanted you to walk away from our marriage bargain.”
“What was wrong with meeting me in person? Why couldn’t you simply tell me?”
Reason. Of course, that would have been the logical thing to do. But how could she explain to him that such a thing took courage and at the time she didn’t trust him to initiate the break? That the stakes were so high and she wasn’t thinking straight?
“I should have,” she said finally. “That would have been the wiser course of action. I don’t want to marry you.”
There. It was out. She’d told him the truth. At least, part of it. She didn’t tell him about not wanting to defy her father, about the future she imagined for herself. He was staring again at the fire. She studied his face. There was no change in the relaxed way that he sat against the wall.
He glanced up at her, and something in his expression told Elizabeth that the man was relieved.
“Then . . . you’re fine with this?”
His eyes sparkled in the dark. “Aye,” he said, lifting a knee and resting an arm on it. “Why do you think I was so impatient to see you these past two days? I even sent a letter to you with my squire this afternoon. He passed you with it when you came into the tavern.”
“What did the letter say?” she asked, wanting him to say it. She didn’t want to assume anything.
“I feel no sense of duty toward the agreement binding us together. That deal was made decades ago, and both families have already profited by it. And in return for my freedom, I’ll provide a sizable sum of gold for you to do with as you please.”
“You don’t want to marry me?”
“Blast me if I do. You don’t want to marry me, and I don’t want to marry you either,” he responded, looking like he’d just won the prize pig at the fair. “You can choose anyone you please, so long as it’s not Alexander Macpherson.”
The authors are also hosting a Facebook Party today, 20 June, to celebrate the release! It’s from 7pm to 8pm EDT on the SMPRomance Facebook party.
~~Reviewed by Monique~~
In HOW A LASS WED A HIGHLANDER, Lecia Cornwall gives delightful and whimsical twists to the classic fairytale The Princess and the Pea. Alex Munro’s estate is in poor shape, mainly because the of Sutherland clans’ raids. Legend has it that if he finds a bride within five weeks, his run of bad luck will be a thing of the past, if not, well Alex will be dead by November. Not much choice, is there? And poor Cait MacLeod is destined to marry one of those awful barbarians, trying to remedy the situation, she is mistaken for a Sutherland by the Munro clan and taken prisoner, but she manages to charm everyone, but will she capture Alex’s heart? Does she ever! What a superb story, that would be flawless were it not for the unfortunately obligatory, and entirely unnecessary – and pages-long – sex scene. I felt it clashed with the lyricism and the tone of the story, which genuinely read like a fairytale: light, fresh, and so lovely. Everything else is magnificent: the lush prose, the attention to detail, the crisp descriptions, the splendid secondary characters, the adorable Cait and the engaging Alex, and the spin on the pea is positively brilliant. Apart from the little stumble, this is a truly charming and enchanting tale. Lecia Cornwall has the magic touch when it comes to fairytales.
Anna Harrington is next with her fabulous A MATCH MADE IN HEATHER. Garrick McGuiness and Arabel Rowland were madly in love, they had planned to elope, but family matters intruded; Garrick left, dejected, and Arabel was heartbroken. Ten years later, they are reunited under peculiar circumstances. They had not parted amicably, and time has not healed their wounds. This story is so emotional, and so meticulously crafted it felt more like a condensed novel than a novella. The characters are fully fleshed out, no detail is neglected, and we get the whole story behind the sorry mess. Ms. Harrington conveys Scottish pride as I have seldom seen, and there is a wonderful and completely unexpected moment when we feel the ice begin to melt between Garrick and Arabel; it was charming and felt completely genuine. This is a very beautifully written, engrossing grand love story that held me captive throughout.
A MIDSUMMER WEDDING by May McGoldrick is a marvellous, mesmerising, and enthralling story. In 1485 Scotland, Elizabeth May, a companion to Queen Margaret, was awaiting the man she would marry, sight unseen. Elizabeth and Alexander Macpherson had been betrothed when they were respectively three and seven years old. And Alexander is just as filled with dread as is Elizabeth. Neither had anticipated that the day they would wed would ever happen, and here they are. There is such a lovely, gentle touch to the prose, a refined elegance and wit, and yet the action scenes are breathtaking in their authenticity and impression of movement. There are so many twists and turns, most entirely unpredictable, and a most beautiful romance, I felt like clapping at times. Elizabeth and Alexander are two strong and very engaging characters, wonderfully different, and the make a perfect couple. I was so completely immersed in this story, that the outside world faded away for a while. The ending is dramatic and, as everything else in this story, absolute perfection.
The last novella is Sabrina York’s THE SCOT SAYS I DO. Catherine Ross’ brother Peter wants her to get married, Catherine wonders why the rush all of a sudden, until a blast from the past makes things crystal clear: Duncan Mackay. Peter has gambled everything the Ross family owns, and as Catherine and Peter are alone in the world, they are destitute, and Duncan, who bought Peter’s vowels, proposes marriage to Catherine, which would solve everything. I must admit this story was problematic for me: Catherine and Duncan had met when Catherine was twelve years old, and Duncan a stable boy, he had saved her from drowning, and she was hopelessly infatuated with him. And Duncan had forever lusted after Catherine, and I thought it was creepy. Maybe it was a tad too historically accurate for me – but twelve! and Duncan’s age was never mentioned – especially since Catherine describes her gorgeous Scot as a man. Eek. I also didn’t quite understand why she was besotted with him, as it seemed he had teased her to the point of tears. In my book, looks aren’t everything, but still. I also got the impression that this novella fit somewhere in a series, as I felt I should have known many secondary characters, which were marvellous, by the way. I thought there was too much happening in this novella, and not enough emphasis was put on creating some connection between Catherine and Duncan, beside a sexual one. On the other hand, they are a fine match because they are both consumed by lust; this was not a love story, but a lust story. And throughout, I could never shake the image of Duncan desiring a twelve year-old girl. I must say that I was really impressed by the quality of the writing, the choice vocabulary and the impeccable dialogues.
May McGoldrick, who are a writing team and were new to me, would have made this anthology a five-star read regardless of the other novellas because I was astonished by the charm that permeates the whole story, the magnificent period details, the cleverness of the plot; in short the utter perfection of A MIDSUMMER WEDDING.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.