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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Review: Once Upon a Plaid by Mia Marlowe

Format: .epub (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Publisher: Kensington
Release Date: October 7, 2014

A wife may be courted, too. . .

Many would count Katherine Douglas fortunate indeed. Laird William Douglas is broad-shouldered, gentle-handed, everything a lass could dream. But after four years of marriage, Katherine still knows little of what goes on in his heart. And she has yet to bear him an heir. The distance between them is too great--and so she flees over the snowy highlands to Glengarry Castle, home of her childhood, to set her husband free.

But William won't let his wife slip away without a fight. Before long, he's at her father's threshold himself, witness to the rumbles of discontent in Glengarry, the bright joy of Yuletide at a family hearth, and the hidden needs of his own beloved. . .

Once Upon a Plaid was an angst filled, tender and passionate romance that brought tears to my eyes on many occasions and of course, a smile to my face at the end.

Katherine Douglas has the one thing every woman dreams of: She is married to a handsome, kind, gentle man who loves her but she knows little about the husband she has been with for four years. Worse still, she has yet to bear him an heir, something that is expected and vital for the survival of the clan. Feeling she has no choice but to abandon him, she flees to her childhood home for Yuletide.

Laird William Douglas doesn’t know how to bridge the growing distance between him and his wife but when she runs away to her father’s home in order to force him to dissolve their marriage he is spurred into action. Arriving at Glengarry Castle, William plans to do everything in his power to win Katherine back but he must also contend with the growing discontent among his father in law’s clan and a nefarious plan to take over leadership.

I’ve read plenty of holiday romances over the years but this one really pulled at my heartstrings! William and Katherine came off as star-crossed lovers with tremendous odds against them. They were so in love with each other in that sweet and passionate but inexperienced way. In their short marriage, they have experienced some deeply personal and tragic events yet for all the love they have for each other, they cannot seem to talk to one another about it. The lack of communication and stubbornness is slowly but surely tainting their once good and pure love with bitterness, insecurity, and resentment.

There's just so much life happening in Once Upon a Plaid! Even while William and Katherine's lives seem to have stalled, the lives of those around them go on. As harsh as the winter is during the story, I could easily picture all the people in Glengarry Castle bustling around, going about their business and preparing for the Yuletide celebrations. I truly felt privy to everyday life in that time period.

However my favorite thing about this book was how Mia Marlowe gave both characters such raw vulnerability and caused them to experience such heartbreak; to me it made their happy ending so much sweeter. As an author, she not only brought these two characters to life but allowed me as a reader to connect with their story and feel what they were feeling, which wasn’t always hearts and butterflies but that is what made Once Upon a Plaid a memorable read for me.

Light on the sex but heavy on the emotions, Once Upon a Plaid provides a holiday romance that is bittersweet, passionate, strong and of course, terribly romantic. I highly recommend this one if you’re a fan of angst ridden characters, Yuletide miracles and of course, Scottish heroes with a deeply ingrained sense of loyalty.

Final Verdict: Pick this one up, it's a beautiful second chance story between a young couple so in love yet so inexperienced when it comes to making a marriage work.

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