I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Wrong Bride by Gayle Callen
Series: Highland Weddings-Callen #1
Published by Avon on October 27th 2015
Genres: Historical Romance, Scottish Highlands
USA Today bestselling author Gayle Callen creates an unforgettable story of mistaken identity and irresistible attraction in this first in a wonderfully engaging series set in the Scottish Highlands...
Shaken from sleep during the night and 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.
This is the first installment to a new exciting series set in Scotland. Gayle Callen is exploring a bit up north with this series and I love that she is doing a highlander themed series. This book sets up the series and we get to see both families and the complexities of the situation both sides find themselves in .
Riona is terrified when she wakes up in the middle of the night, and finds herself being kidnapped and by a handsome Scot no less. She realizes that he is looking for her cousin Cat but assumes that is who she is. He takes her to his home and his clan up in Scotland and she isn’t getting anywhere to getting Hugh to see reason. Hugh McCullum has recently returned to his clan to take his place as their leader. Hugh is honoring the agreement between two feuding families. To marry Catriona Duff in return for his people have sacrificed over the years and a great piece of land that is owed his people. When he goes to Duff to marry his daughter, he refuses him. So Hugh does the next best thing, he takes her himself to marry her in the ways of the Scots. But Riona is resistent, stubborn but he is determined to win her over both body and heart.
This is a romance that begins with a kidnapping and turns into a passionate love story. Its a slow burning romance, our hero is set to slowly woo the woman he wants to be his wife. We also see how Hugh’s past is catching up with him and he has to prove himself to his clan especially considering the cruel man his father was. We also see how close Hugh is with his sister and I loved Maggie (who is the next story). There are plenty of intrigue and mystery mixed up through the plot. I really enjoyed this story and seeing these two together. Both characters are fantastic and work well together. Riona doesn’t just lay down for Hugh, she really makes him work for it. I loved the way we see how Riona gets slowly adopted in the clan and seeing the bantering between Riona and Hugh was quite entertaining. They have some great chemistry, but there is great emotional dynamics that adds more to this story even more.
Overall this story was unique, full of adventure and mystery, and has a truly endearing love story that has me eager to see what Gayle Callen has coming up for us next.
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.