Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Marry by Elizabeth Essex

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Marry (Highland Brides, #4)Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Marry by Elizabeth Essex
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Highland Brides, #4

Release Date: March 20, 2018

The wedding day of Lady Greer Douglas and Ewan Cameron, the Duke of Crieff is finally here, after 10 years of writing letters and falling in love, they will finally meet and marry.

Greer is in alt, she loves Ewan with her entire being and he is her best friend and today she will not only marry him, but look upon his beloved face for the first time! Betrothed as children, they have never met, the timing has always worked against them, but they have written letters and come to know each other and have fallen in love. Both are anxious and excited for the wedding.

But this day will not be the fairy tale Greer has envisioned, first they are delayed when they find a badly beaten man in the road, Greer doesn’t hesitate to help, the man is barely alive, they are preparing to take him to the castle when the moorkeeper for Crieff, Dewar comes along. He recognizes the man and tells Greer, he will take him and care for him. Greer is reluctant to let the man go, she feels drawn to him, but Ewan awaits. They continue up to the castle and are shocked that no one is there to greet them, they knock on the door and learn the awful news – Ewan is dead. His cousin Malcolm has installed himself in the castle as the new Duke and has the audacity to offer to marry her in Ewan’s stead. Greer is devastated and Malcolm doesn’t give them any straight answers. He says he doesn’t even have Ewan’s body yet, he was killed in Edinburgh after a night of carousing with his friends. Greer doesn’t believe him, but has no way to refute his words. In her sorrow, she runs out of the house and to the moors to grieve, this is where she finds Ewan’s dog Gent, alone and disheveled. As she takes the dog and makes her way back to the castle, she is intercepted by Malcolm and has no choice but to walk with him. They pass the moorkeeper cottage and Dewar tells her that the man died. He sees the dog and offers to take him, but Greer asks Malcolm if she can keep him.

Dewar tends to the man from the road, he is barely clinging to life and has only said one word – Crieff. The man is Ewan and Dewar is convinced that his life is still in danger. Ewan doesn’t remember anything – his mind is a black void, the only thing he knows is the name “Crieff”, but he doesn’t even know what that means. His only memory is a vison of a bridge, a woman and a penny. Dewar tells him that the Douglas of Delshee found him, that is another name he knows, but doesn’t know why. For his protection, Dewar moves him to a brothy near Glas Maol (yet, another name he knows).

Greer returns home and is inconsolable for the next two weeks, but finally she is given a purpose to get out of the house – the new duke is selling off unentailed land and her father wants her to look at it, it is near her favorite place, Glas Maol – this is the place between hers and Ewan’s estates – a place they had planned to meet but never got the chance. She goes and sees Ewan, but doesn’t’ recognize him as Ewan – having never met him in person and this man is still healing from a beating and is covered with bruises. She doesn’t know him, but Gent does! Greer begins to foster hope that this man, might be her Ewan. She talks to him and learns that he has no memory since the beating. She befriends him and promises to visit him again. She returns home to find Malcolm there – inviting them to Ewan’s funeral.

Ewan begins to heal and bits and pieces of his memory return, he is also falling in love with Greer, but sadly has no memory of his previous relationship with her. Greer is now positive that this man is Ewan and writes to his friends for answers to his last day in Edinburgh. But they have to proceed with caution, because even if Ewan can’t remember what happened to him, it is clear that someone tried to kill him. When he finally remembers who he is, it is bittersweet for Greer, as he has no memory of her. So she has found the man she loved, but has still lost him.

Together with his friends, they try to sort out what happened to Ewan that last day and who is trying to kill him.

This is a very sweet story of lost love found, betrayal and friendship. It is well written, it is set in the present, but is interspersed with the letters Greer and Ewan wrote to each other, so the reader learns their past and sees them falling in love, which makes it all the more heartbreaking when Ewan doesn’t remember her. The story has several suspenseful moments, some steamy love scenes, cameos from Quince and Alastair from Mad About the Marquess (Highland Brides, #2), a really nasty villain and a very, very touching ending.

I have loved all the books in this series, but I think this might be my favorite, Greer and Ewan truly are soulmates. I highly recommend this book, it is the fourth in the series, but it could be read as a stand alone title with no problems.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*

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Avid reader (and reviewer) of historical romance.

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