Review: When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare

For me, September is an in between time. I was ready to set aside my contemporary “beach reads” but I wasn’t fully prepared to snuggle under the quilts and sink my teeth into a juicy paranormal or a fantasy quite yet.

September is the time for a nice, light blanket, the first holiday spice candle, and a bit of melodrama. But I also wanted big swoon with a cozy familiarity.

Upon the cooling fall breeze I heard the distant sounds of bagpipes playing and I knew where it was taking me.

It was time to revisit When A Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare.

When a Scot Ties the Knot
A Castles Ever After Novel by Tessa Dare

When a Scot Ties the Knot released in 2015, but it still holds up. It’s fresh, funny, and sexy! I first read it in 2018 when I would listen to books at work. I must have been a grump, or a bit distracted with my actual paying job, because past me only gave the book three stars.

However, even after the three star rating the book stuck with me for two years. Those books that stick are always special. They’re around for a reason.

I was delighted upon my re-read, which I did in text instead of audio. Carmen Rose, the audio book narrator is very talented; however, some books just work better on the page.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve experienced this as well. What books work better for you in text or in audio?

After my re-read, my review has spiked up to a five star and there it will stay. It has claimed its spot on the comfort read shelf and I’m sure I will revisit it again in another couple of years.


From the publisher:

On the cusp of her first London season, Miss Madeline Gracechurch was shyly pretty and talented with a drawing pencil, but hopelessly awkward with gentlemen. She was certain to be a dismal failure on the London marriage mart. So Maddie did what generations of shy, awkward young ladies have done: she invented a sweetheart.

A Scottish sweetheart. One who was handsome and honorable and devoted to her, but conveniently never around. Maddie poured her heart into writing the imaginary Captain MacKenzie letter after letter … and by pretending to be devastated when he was (not really) killed in battle, she managed to avoid the pressures of London society entirely.

Until years later, when this kilted Highland lover of her imaginings shows up in the flesh. The real Captain Logan MacKenzie arrives on her doorstep—handsome as anything, but not entirely honorable. He’s wounded, jaded, in possession of her letters… and ready to make good on every promise Maddie never expected to keep.

What Works

Like so many of Tessa Dare’s books, When a Scot Ties the Knot is laugh out loud funny. The establishing sequence in which young Maddie is writing her letters to her imaginary fiancee is especially wonderful.

But blended with this brilliant humor are the realities of life. Maddie’s social anxiety is anything but funny, and Logan’s dedication to his war weary regiment holds a deep weight. It’s the balance between the humor and the human that makes this book so special.

Let’s Talk About the Romance

Although Maddie and Logan get married early in the book, their marriage hinges on a consummation and hence a major conflict is established. Maddie values her independence and is clever enough to try to figure out a way to give Logan, and herself, what they want outside of the bonds of marriage. If only they weren’t so attracted to each other!

It’s a fun and delicious sort of tension. As a reader you’re rooting for them to get over themselves and smooch, but I never found myself getting fully impatient with the plot roadblocks.

However, once those two got going it was certainly swoon-worthy.

Recommendation Station

When a Scot Ties a Knot is on my quick list of go-to recommendations. Tessa Dare is perfect for contemporary romance readers who would like to take their first dip into historical romance. Tessa Dare tends to be a safe, comforting read.

Romance novels as self care has been a trending topic in my spheres of influence lately. You can’t get much more self care than Tessa Dare.

Magical Moment

I had a Magical Moment when a friend of mine informed me that here is a Bonus Epilogue to this book available on Tessa Dare’s Website!

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