It’s 1746 in the Scottish Highlands and Brody MacCaulay wakes to a massacre. Blinded in one eye, buried beneath his dead clansmen, he hears the clipped English voices as they walk amidst the wounded Highlanders and finish them off with bayonets. Against his urge to strike out in fury, he silently waits for them to pass. Then leaving his fallen brothers and father behind on the battlefield, he gathers other injured clansmen and makes his way to a hidden cave. If they leave, they’ll be hunted by the English. Their fight, their world, is over.
In a distant castle, Megan MacMurry mourns the loss of her fiancé who led and perished in the Highland battle. Upon her pastor’s advice, she decides to honor her fiance’s death by saving one of his men the only way possible – through marriage. Megan is sure the chosen man will be willing to trade his doomed life for a new name, new clothes, and new life as her marriage-in-name-only husband. When the list is presented to her, she chooses the only familiar name – that of a boy who teased her mercilessly until she took a club to him and his friends. No doubt, Brody MacCaulay wouldn’t remember her girlish warrior stance. And if his teasing was what she had to put up with, she’d do it for her fiance’s sake.
Of course, once Megan is introduced to the adult Brody – a man with a mind of his own who fears nothing for himself - she begins to doubt her choice. Brody has turned into a fine specimen who turns the lasses’ heads. Surely she’s not jealous!
For his part, Brody only agrees to the marriage because his sister and mother are now under his care and they’ll be safer under his protection in a castle. And no matter what Megan says, he’ll never admit to making a secret vow of love when he was but 15 yrs old and a 12 yr old female warrior with flaming red hair stood defiantly before him with a club and warned him to stop the taunting.
Totally satisfying, the end was not been what I expected. On reflection, I realized it was what I’d hoped would happen in a fleeting moment of despair. For I cried when the end was near and things had not gone as planned. I felt Brody and Megan’s loss when they realized precious time had slipped away and there was nothing they could do. And then, when I read the last paragraph of Masquerade Marriage, I smiled.
The story is one of faith in the face of adversity. Faith in God. Faith in yourself. And faith in those people God surrounds you with.
My only concern with this book was the thick Scottish brogue in the beginning chapters since the book starts in Brody’s point of view. But the farther I read, the more I began to appreciate the soft burr of his words. I knew when he was talking and began to follow his speech patterns in my mind. And after a while I didn’t want to separate the brogue from the man, because … well… that was part of Brody.
Anne Greene, I commend you on your character choice of worthy adversaries. And more.
Masquerade Marriage is available in both ebook and print.
Anne Greene can be found at http://www.annegreeneauthor.com/
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