The Wrong Bride
Highland Weddings #1
Highland Weddings #1
By: Gayle Callen
Releasing October 27, 2015
The first in a wonderfully engaging series set in the Scottish Highlands, USA Today bestselling author Gayle Callen creates an unforgettable story of mistaken identity and irresistible attraction.
Shaken from sleep during the night, bundled off to the Highlands by a burly Scot, Riona is at first terrified, then livid. Hugh McCallum insists they were promised to each other as children to ensure peace between their clans. The stubborn laird refuses to believe he’s kidnapped the wrong Catriona Duff. Instead, he embarks on a campaign of slow-burning seduction…
At first, Hugh cares only what their marriage can do for his people. Now he’s starting to crave Riona for her own sake. But her true identity jeopardizes his clan’s contract. And unless she chooses to risk all to be his bride, he’ll lose the only thing he prizes more than the lands he’s fought so hard to save-the passionate marriage they could have together.
From Gayle: A first kiss is always such a fun scene to write. They’re usually filled with conflict and chemistry and confusion—the three Cs!
Riona shivered, but it wasn’t from the bathwater’s chill. It was from the frightening realization that there was something powerful between them, something that called to her, that made the risks Hugh had taken to have her for himself seem arousing, not just self-serving. There was a place inside her she’d never sensed before, surely a recklessness, a weakness.
“Ye’re strangely quiet, lass,” he murmured.
His gaze lazily moved over her face, dipping to her breasts, where the upper curves were displayed above the soapy water. Her skin felt … prickly, sensitive, even inflamed.
“I’m not done fighting you,” she said at last, almost wincing at how breathless she sounded.
A slow grin curved his mouth, even as he reached his hand to cup her face and tilt it toward him. The shock of his warm palm settling so gently on her skin made her tense, but she didn’t pull away, as if that would show that she’d given up, that she was afraid of what he could do to her … what he could make her feel.
He leaned over the tub and kissed her, his palm guiding her head. She wanted to show him he didn’t move her, that this display meant nothing to her. But his lips were warm, and glided over hers with purpose, parted gently as if he wanted to taste her. She’d never been kissed … She felt her head swim at the sensation that seemed to travel down her body, to her breasts, to the pit of her stomach and between her thighs as if he’d touched her in her most secretive places.
When his tongue traced her lower lip, she jerked back in surprise. He didn’t laugh, just studied her with those gray eyes that were considerably warmer. He kept his hand on her face, and his thumb caressed her cheek over and over.
“Our first kiss bodes well for the future,” he said.
He glanced down to her breasts again, and she stiffened. With a faint smile, he let her go and stood up.
“Dry off,” he said, back to ordering her around. “We have things we need to discuss.”
Not the topics she wanted to discuss, apparently, but she didn’t argue. He turned his back and went to the window, while she hastily dried herself and pulled on a dressing gown Mrs. Wallace had laid out for her, trying to forget the feel of his mouth on hers, and how instead of being afraid or disgusted, she’d felt … aroused. Her cousin Cat had told her one could feel overwhelmed when in intimate situations with a man, and Riona hadn’t been able to understand what she meant. She did now, and felt a new kind of fear—fear of her own reaction and response to this compelling persuasion of his.
Historical romance fans will love this first book in Gayle Callen's Highland Weddings series. I normally don't read much historical romance, but when I do I carefully choose one based on the synopsis when one catches my eye. The Wrong Bride did just that, and I'm very happy to report that it turned out to be a captivating story with intriguing characters and a plot that kept my interest from start to finish.
I liked Riona's fiesty attitude, and the fact that she was willing to fight back and try to get Hugh to believe her when she explains he's made a mistake. And I just LOVED Hugh. He is strong, proud, dedicated to his clan, honorable, and willing to do whatever necessary to preserve his clan's way of life...doing what he believes is right, and taking care to keep Riona safe and cared for.
Watching the two of them as they get to know and care for each other was wonderful, though at times it did feel a little drawn out. The story also has a great cast of supporting characters, and I found Samuel was my favorite of these with his loyalty to Hugh and his willingness to help him as well as Riona. All of the characters, both lead and supporting, were well developed and easy to care about.
With the continual tension created from both the growing feelings between Riona and Hugh and the fact that Riona is actually telling the truth that she's not who he thinks she is (I was really worried through most of the book that everything would blow up for Hugh once this came to light!), I was pretty engrossed through the entire story.
The Wrong Bride was a 4-star read for me, and I look forward to reading more in this series to find out the stories of the rest of the characters. Recommended for historical romance fans 18+ for limited adult sexual content.
After a detour through fitness instructing and computer programming, GAYLE CALLEN found the life she’d always dreamed of as a romance writer. This USA Today bestselling author has written more than twenty historical romances for Avon Books, and her novels have won the Holt Medallion, the Laurel Wreath Award, the Booksellers’ Best Award, and been translated into eleven different languages. The mother of three grown children, an avid crafter, singer, and outdoor enthusiast, Gayle lives in Central New York with her dog Uma and her husband, Jim the Romance Hero. She also writes contemporary romances as Emma Cane. Visit her website at www.gaylecallen.com.
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