Friday, March 4, 2016

Book Review: New Release by Gayle Callen

The Groom Wore Plaid by Gayle Callen

Publisher & Release Date: HarperCollins Publishers, February 23, 2016

Time and setting: 1717 - 1727, Scotland

Genre: Historical Romance

Length:  389 pages

Heat Level: 2 Flames

Rating: 4 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 

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.

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Vikki’s Musings

It has been quite some time since I have read a book by Gayle Callen, but I am certainly pleased I had the opportunity to read The Groom Wore Plaid in exchange for an honest review. Now I remember why I love her books!

The Groom Wore Plaid is an emotionally-charged romance with engaging characters and an intriguing plot. The pacing is excellent and made it an easy and quick read. The prologue pulled me in, and it smoothly transitioned to the first chapter, which is ten years after the couple first met.

Margaret McCallum is the sacrificial lamb. By marrying Owen Duff, the Earl of Aberfoyle, it will end the long feud between their clans. There is a problem. Maggie has dreams that foretell the future. She has had a dream showing Owen dying in her arms on their wedding day. How can she place him in harm’s way by marrying him?

Owen Duff remembers Maggie and the desire he felt for her. He wronged her ten years ago and she has not forgiven him, even though she has agreed to the contract between the clans. His desire for Maggie has not lessened. In fact, it is stronger than ever. Although, he has to overcome his future bride’s determination to find another way to fulfill the contract. Can Owen convince Maggie to marry him, or will her desire to protect him from his possible death prove too strong to circumvent?

I truly enjoyed Maggie’s character. She is sincere, loyal to her family and determined to protect the man she has always desired, even though he wronged her in the past. She has good depth to her character, and I was able to figure out what made her so afraid to form friendships. I could feel her terror over putting Owen in a situation that could mean his death.

Owen Duff’s character has every reason to avoid attachments. He also has a lot to prove to his clan. His father was an uncaring chief, milking the clan and ruling from a distance. He was more concerned about his ties to England and spent most of his time there. I loved Owen’s determination to prove he will be a good chief for the clan. Even though he has trust issues, he truly wants Maggie to become his bride. It just takes almost losing her for him to realize the depth of his feelings for her.

The Groom Wore Plaid is very well-written, and Ms. Callen does an excellent job with the suspenseful scenes. My only problem with this story is the lack of a strong sense of Scotland. Her dialogue did not give me what I love about a Scottish tale. Other than the use of ye and lass, it could have been set in England. However, I did enjoy the romance between the hero and heroine a great deal.

If you enjoy a moving story with a bit of suspense and great characters, then you will enjoy The Groom Wore Plaid. I understand this is part of a series so I want to read the other books in this series. Now that I recall why I enjoy Ms. Callen’s books, I will be looking for others by her. Happy reading!

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