Series: A Highland Fairy Tale, #4
Release date: November 14, 2017
Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
I thought this was a very cute story. Very, very loosely based on the Cinderella fairy tale, Gillian MacLeod has always been considered the quiet, biddable sister. But shy Gilly longs for adventure and for true love. She meets John Erly while visiting her sister Fia and is immediately smitten. She is warned by her sister to stay away from “English John”, but at a masked ball, Gilly takes a chance and boldly kisses the man and runs away.
John is bewitched by the masked woman and thinks about her constantly. He has no idea who she is until 10 months later Gilly returns and immediately John knows who his masked lady is. But Gilly is not for the likes of him, a disowned, disgraced, self proclaimed rogue and rascal. So why does it hurt so much to learn she is only staying for a few days before heading off to marry? John lets her know that he knows who she is and what she did, but he keeps her secret safe. Not that anyone would believe him anyway, Gillian is too shy, too timid and too innocent to do such a thing!
When Fia asks John to escort Gilly to her intended and to stand in for her father and give away the bride, John desperately wants to refuse, but Fia will not take no for an answer. Determined to keep his distance and to ignore the temptation she presents, John tries to keep her at an arm’s length. But having tasted boldness, Gillian is not willing to walk away from what could be the adventure of a lifetime.
And an adventure she will have! Within days of setting out, their party is attacked and Gillian is taken captive along with John. They barely escape with their lives and finally give in to the pull between them. John sees a side of Gillian that no one has ever seen and he shares things with her that no other living soul knows. Gillian believes that she has found her true love, but John is not as convinced, he knows he loves her, but has nothing to offer. He is sure she will be fine without him and will soon forget him.
When they are found the next morning, John begins to back away and as the story of Gilly’s escape grows, so does their traveling party making any chance to talk privately impossible. But Gilly knows what she wants and what has to be done, but can she get John to agree?
This was a fast paced story with a lot of action, some laughs, some tears, villains that will not stay vanquished, great secondary characters, a couple of steamy love scenes and finally a very hard won HEA.
This book is part of the Highland Fair Tale series, but could easily be read as a stand alone. FYI – if you read this book and liked her sister Meggie, her story is already available in the Christmas in Kilts Anthology!
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*