Masquerade Marriage

Masquerade Marriage

4.4 20
by Anne Greene
     
 

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A SECRET LIST To protect his loved ones and escape the dark fate of his brothers, a noted warrior abandons his identity. Hiding from relentless soldiers who want him dead, Brody MacCaulay vows to protect the woman he loves more than life, more than freedom, more than Scotland. But his presence throws her into danger. A VOW HONORED To escape an arranged marriage to

Overview

A SECRET LIST To protect his loved ones and escape the dark fate of his brothers, a noted warrior abandons his identity. Hiding from relentless soldiers who want him dead, Brody MacCaulay vows to protect the woman he loves more than life, more than freedom, more than Scotland. But his presence throws her into danger. A VOW HONORED To escape an arranged marriage to an abusive noble, a Lowland Lady weds a stranger to save his life. But vows spoken do not make a marriage, especially when Megan MacMurry holds a different love inside her heart. A SACRIFICE MADE Outlawed, and with a price on his head, Brody condemns himself to a life of heartbreak without Megan. Wanting her desperately, knowing he can't have her, he heads alone to certain death...

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611160109
Publisher:
Pelican Book Group
Publication date:
10/01/2010
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.65(d)

Read an Excerpt

Masquerade Marriage


By Anne Wilmeth Greene

Pelican Ventures, LLC

Copyright © 2010 Anne Wilmeth Greene
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-61116-026-0


CHAPTER 1

April 16, 1746 - Drumossie Moor, Scotland — the Culloden Estate


Brody MacCaulay woke to a pounding head and gut-wrenching thirst. What happened? The wind and sleet had blown through. Smoke from blazing canons no longer choked him. He no longer heard the deafening din of battle. Silence hung around him, slit at times by weak cries of wounded men.

Cold weight pinned him upon icy ground. He could scarce draw a breath. Fingers dangled in his face. He felt the hand. Cold and stiff. He jerked back his own. Slowly he realized three clansmen crushed him against the frozen earth.

Even as his heart flamed hot hating everything English, the sound of approaching voices alerted him to lie still. He dug numb fingers into blood-dyed ground to keep from springing up and using his dirk.

Duncan, Collin, and Da were dead. He'd seen them fall. Sharp pain bit into his chest. He gritted his teeth. And Angus? Brody's stomach heaved. Only a protecting angel could have spared Angus. Darkness, black as the smoke of gun powder, descended deep inside Brody's mind. For certain his favorite brother lay dead, too.

Brody wedged his anguish deep inside his heart, slammed the door, and disciplined his thoughts into calculated coolness. He was a warrior.

The voices drew closer. Clipped. Not softly burred.

A sliver of moon lit ice upon the ground, casting enough light to see heaps of bodies, twisted limbs. The voices grew close. Two scarlet-clad English soldiers stalked among the kilted bodies.

A wounded Highlander looked up at them and begged. "Water."

With cold-blooded deliberateness, one of the soldiers ran him through with his bayonet, strangling the Highlander's weak voice into silence.

Brody slammed his eyes shut, hardly dared suck in a breath, and counted his heartbeats. English voices spoke so close that hair on the nape of his neck spiked. As the awful sound of a bayonet slashed into a nearby body, he fought back bile rising into his throat. "I say, I do believe we've dispatched all the wounded Scots."

"Right. Nasty job."

The first soldier snorted. "Sure to be an awful stink. Letting all these bodies rot."

"Good riddance, say I."

Boots clumped off. The voices faded.

"'Tis almost light." Brody's own whisper, though hoarse as a rusty hinge, infused him with courage. Somehow he lived. He must fight his way to Ma and Fiona. Protect them before the English hunted them down. A piper's family proved precious booty for scavenger soldiers. With Da and his brothers dead, his duty lay in protecting Ma and Fiona.

He'd do whatever it took.

He struggled free of the weight sprawled atop him. The dirk lay half-frozen to the ground beneath his cheek. He gripped the handle of the sgian-dhu, worked it free, and jammed it into the sheath on his right leg. Panting, numb hands planted on frozen earth, he pushed to his knees. The scent of bog-myrtle and blood clogged his nostrils. He gazed over the silent battlefield.

What he saw would haunt him forever.

Thousands of men lay still in the blue moonlight. The strength and youth of Scotland's Highlands sprawled in heaps across the great expanse of the battlefield. Pale twisted limbs gleamed in the cold light. Bloody clan banners lay beneath bodies already stiff.

A stab of guilt pierced Brody's rage. Why had God spared him? If his brothers hadna sent him to the rear, there would not be a male MacCaulay left alive. Mayhap that was why he found breathing so unnatural. He shook his head. Dizziness. His pulse pounded, increasing the thundering pain. Touching his bloody left temple, he closed his right eye. The carnage before him went black.

He whispered, "Canna see with my left eye. Appears my head's no' as hard as Angus insisted."

Angus.

Brody shoved aside the heart-stopping thought of his brother. For Ma's sake, for Fiona's sake, he must escape before English sentinels spotted him. Hunched double, hiding among the bodies, he retrieved his targe and pipes and strapped them atop the claymore on his back. Despite the cold wind, sweat beaded his forehead. Belly pushed into frozen dirt, he crawled south toward the line of trees growing by the river Nairn. He'd head for high country. Find a place to hide.

Barely able to see his own hands ploughing the earth, he crawled between bodies of family, friends, acquaintances drawn close in the heat of battle. Bodies, clad in blood-drenched tartan stared wide-eyed at the waning moon.

Hurry! Daylight threatened. If the English found him, he'd be murdered.

"I willna give them that satisfaction."

CHAPTER 2

"We'll hunt the Highlanders down. Kill every last man Jack of them!"

Brody held his breath. The English-accented voice outside the cave sounded dangerously close. Huddled inside with eight other wounded warriors, Brody hunched lower. At the metallic clank of bayonets being fixed on muskets he made a swift, practiced movement and silently unsheathed his claymore.

A deeper English voice resonated through the stone barricaded entrance. "Cumberland ordered no quarter given."

Brody's jaw dropped. Hadna he seen the duke's work killing the wounded fallen on the battlefield? But take no prisoners! Kill all Highland warriors! That was dirty warfare. Unheard of. The devil's work.

The shrubbery hiding the mouth to their moldy cave shook. English bayonets and musket barrels slammed against the barrier he and the others had stacked to close off the entrance. Stones thudded inside, stirring dust and sending small insects scurrying.

In the distance, a horse whinnied. When the sound of military accouterments clanked, Brody imagined the red coats turning to listen. In the sudden silence, he heard the sob and heartbreak in the wind whistling around the cave.

His belly growled, audible in the tense silence. He grabbed his gut with both hands to stifle the noise. He was hungry no' merely for food, but for revenge. For the death of Englishmen.

"I smell them, Reginald. The Scots have to be hiding here somewhere. Light a torch. We'll set this whole bloody mountain afire."

The voice sent spiders crawling down Brody's spine. His breathing raced and his blinding headache throbbed. Would he die by fire rather than the blade or ball?

From somewhere down the mountainside a Lowland Scot's burr called, "Halloo, the soldiers!"

"It's Reverend Fergus," the deeper English voice outside stated.

"'Ooo's Reverend Fergus?" a soldier's cockney-accented voice asked.

"Lowland bloke. Pastors the Protestant flocks at Kirkmichael and Inverness. What's he want?"

"Doesn't matter."

The unmistakable sound of flint striking tinder caused Brody's jaw to harden. Huddled together in the darkness, the musky stench of fear overpowered the pungent odor of bloody, unwashed bodies. Brody fought his urge to run from the cave, claymore poised, ready to die a soldier's death rather than burn.

The English voice floated through the half-demolished barricade. "The grass and wood are too wet. Can't get a spark. Bad business that."

"Would you soldiers care for some shepherd's pie and hot cider?" Again, Pastor Fergus called from further down the mountainside.

"Nice, that. These frigid heights aren't fit for man nor beast." English boots clattered on stones and grew softer as the soldiers descended the mountain.

Brody sucked in a breath. He stretched the burning muscles cramping his calves. His mouth watered. Shepherd's pie. He could taste the lamb chunks smothered in gravy, with tatties floating in —

"Thank Ye, God, for delivering us from being roasted alive," Lachlan muttered as he cradled his shattered arm to his chest.

"Aye," other voices whispered.

Brody frowned. Two days past, he would have thanked the Lord as well. His gratitude died with Da on the battlefield. No' his anger. With a blink of His eternal eye, God could've stopped that slaughter. Brody scowled at the wounded men squatting with him on the cave's floor. He slumped on a rock, teeth chattering like a bodhran.

He felt barren. Nay, more than that. Deserted. More hollow even than that. He struggled to name the emptiness binding his chest as though a tree lay across it. Betrayal. That was it. He clenched his fists around the claymore's hilt and plunged the double-edged blade deep into the hard earth. God betrayed his trust.

"Isna a man among us escaped the battle withoot a terrible wound." Lachlan hung his head. "Mine hurts some fierce."

"Sorry, lad." Brody laid a hand on Lachlan's sound shoulder. "Pastor Fergus mayhap will make it through with food for us tonight." His voice sounded hollow. He had no real hope to offer. God was not going to send them manna.

After waiting out the long, frigid, miserable day, night did bring Pastor Fergus and food. Though, the shepherd's pie failed to go far shared among nine starving men. While Brody wolfed his meager portion, Pastor Fergus confirmed that all three brothers lay dead. Tight-lipped, Brody smothered his grief. He would not give way in front of the other men.

"The redcoats didn't even spare some innocent lasses and bairns watching near the battlefield." Tears glinted in Pastor Fergus's eyes.

Iciness inside Brody's chest out-froze the cave's chill.

Pastor Fergus crouched in the center of the circle of wounded men, looking from face to face.

"The English confiscated the Chiefs' lands and homes. Women and bairns scattered to whatever safety they could find. English officers carried off many lasses to the coast."

Brody blinked. His mind numbed. He watched Pastor Fergus's Adam's apple move up and down his slender throat. "No one kens the lasses' fate? Slaves, ye think?"

"Or worse." Pastor Fergus shook his head.

Brody's voice grated, "Ma and Fiona? Do ye ken if they're safe?"

"Safe, for the moment. Hiding inside a well."

Brody sprang to his feet, hunched forward, and duck-walked to the entrance. He pushed aside the demolished barricade and gazed into darkness. The redcoats would hunt down Ma and Fiona. He must find them a safer place.

Pastor Fergus gripped Brody's arm and pulled him back into the group. "This cave's no longer safe. Meanwhile, I have a plan that will help one of you." He glanced around the circle. While a flickering torch cast shadows on the rock wall, Pastor Fergus wrote each man's name on a crumpled paper. Then, deep voice barely above a whisper, the young preacher outlined his plan. When he finished, the wounded men glanced at one another and nodded. A gleam of hope softened the tired lines of their faces.

Pastor Fergus raised his voice, "What of you, Brody?"

"Nay. Yer idea doesna appeal to me. I'll take my chances in the wild Highland bracken." Even as he spoke, Brody questioned what stiffness inside made it impossible to bend his pride and receive the pastor's help?

"Think of your ma, lad. She's lost all sons save you. The English hang or burn alive every fugitive they catch."

Brody shook his head. "Nay, I'll find my own way."

"And what of your wee, tender sister? The English will make sport of such a bonny lass, especially with her being kin of the piper."

Brody grimaced. Hot blood pulsing in his wound kicked his pain higher. He slumped against the cold rock wall.

Was there no other way?

Something strong inside him hated the thought of accepting help. Harder to do than face death. Brody burrowed his forehead against cold stone, lifted long, dirty hair off his neck, and rubbed the tight muscles bunched there. Was he man enough? Forfeiting his name was like surrendering his manhood.

"The Lady is one of the Ladies MacMurry," Pastor Fergus tempted.

CHAPTER 3

"On the morrow I wed." Megan Moria MacMurry, lay full length on the moor that divided the Highlands from their Lowland estate. She propped her chin on her hands and gazed across the soft grass at Cailin, her older sister.

"You've had but three days of mourning your Jamie." Cailin reached across waving grass and squeezed Megan's hand. "It's very soon."

Too soon. The scene that had changed her life three days past rushed back to cloud Megan's senses ...

Despite the extra peat she'd thrown into the sweet-smelling fire, the dovecote remained chill, its small window open to welcome her returning pigeon. She drew the scarlet fur-lined hood of her cloak closer.

For hours the gentle cooing, the ruffling of feathers, the scratching in cozy nests, and bright round bird eyes watching her, kept her company. Soon she'd be forced to return to the castle for dinner. She hugged herself to keep from shivering. She'd been so confident the day would bring news from Jamie. Despite the morning's cruel premonition, she had prayed for God to give the Highlanders another victory. With a gentle whoosh and flapping of grey wings, a feathered form landed on the window sill, clutched the perching bar with pale talons, and waited as she'd trained it.

Megan leaped from her three-legged stool, rushed to the window, and cupped the messenger's soft, feathered body. She felt the rapid beat of its heart and smelled the faint bird odor as she opened the capsule on its leg and slid out the tiny slip of paper. A whisper of cool air fanned by pigeon's wings, and the bird slipped from her hand to fly to its nest.

Megan scanned the note. The handwriting looked unfamiliar. Her heart sank. Her fingers shook. The words blurred. Small inked letters. Devastation on thin parchment, crackling in her fingers.

No. No. No!

She must have read it wrong. She brushed a fist across her eyes and tried again. Letters, in haphazard shapes, jumbled across the parchment. She sorted them out.

She had not misunderstood.

Falling to her knees on the cold hard floor, she dropped her head into her hands to smother her scream.

Jamie was dead. The clans decimated. The Highlands lost.

And with Jamie, Megan's last hope died.

All the dreams of her life gathered in a heavy puddle inside her stomach ...

That was Monday's pain. Today, the agony had not abated. Megan squeezed Cailin's hand. Then let it slide to the grass.

"I must wed before Papa announces my betrothal to that odious earl." Numbness chilled Megan's heart. She hoisted herself to a sitting position and retied the narrow blue ribbon around her bundled love letters. "This is all I have left of Jamie." She spoke with absolute certainty. "And I know with him dead, I shall never love again." She took a deep breath. "So now I must choose."

The hated wedding dress destined for her marriage to the Earl of Mabry lay across her bed. Yards of satin elegance waited to entrap her into a beastly marriage. No. She refused to wed the harsh English lord. He'd not even been angry when he hit her.

Cailin frowned and raised her slender white hand to touch her own enormous betrothal diamond necklace, sending blue-white sparkles over her day gown and cloak.

"Highland warriors hide in those hills." Megan gazed northward across their grassy glen to where the Highlands formed frowning crags and darkly-shadowed passes above bracken and heath-covered slopes. "Pastor Fergus said the English brought in bloodhounds to track the survivors. He said I can save one."

Cailin's lovely heart-shaped face looked worried. "But, Megan, it's your life I'm concerned about."

Megan tilted her chin toward the mist swirling around the mountain peaks where a perfect rainbow arched across the hazy blue afternoon sky. She slipped her hand into the pocket of her dark cloak, pulled out a paper, unfolded it, and glanced at the names.

"Pastor Fergus sent a message that a Lowland Lady marrying a Highland fugitive is the surest way to save his life. He can then pose as a Lowland laird. Since I simply must escape wedding that despicable English earl Papa insists I marry, Pastor suggested this plan. This way, I escape marrying the earl and save a man's life."

Cailin tapped a finger against her chin. "I wish you could simply run away."

"You know that's quite impossible. In this world ruled by men, the earl would easily find me. He would question and bribe every friend, family member, and servant, and search every castle, home, and hut. He said as much when I hinted I wasn't inclined to wed him. He wants control of my dowry and inheritance in the worst way. I have no other choice. I marry a Highland fugitive or a violent tyrant." Megan leaned forward and whispered in Cailin's ear, "And the earl expects a son."

"Yes, he must have an heir for his title."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Masquerade Marriage by Anne Wilmeth Greene. Copyright © 2010 Anne Wilmeth Greene. Excerpted by permission of Pelican Ventures, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Anne Greene delights in writing about wounded heroes and gutsy heroines. Her second novel, a Scottish historical, Masquerade Marriage, won the New England Reader Choice award, the Laurel Wreath Award, and the Heart of Excellence Award. The sequel Marriage By Arrangement releases soon. A Texas Christmas Mystery also won awards. In 2014, her World War II novel, Angel With Steel Wings, about WASPs, women test pilots will release. She makes her home in McKinney, Texas. Tim LaHaye led her to the Lord when she was twenty-one and Chuck Swindoll is her Pastor. In 1990, Anne graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Literary Studies from the University of Texas. View Anne’s other books, her blog, travel pictures, and art work at http://www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com. Anne loves to speak to book clubs, libraries, and conferences. Her love of sailing, horseback riding, history, and art, as well as her Citizens Plano Policy Academy training, and military life sometime figure in her books. She judges the Rita, Golden Heart, Book of the Year, and many other contests. A Critique and Writing Craft group meets at her home on Monday nights. Her highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to an awesome new world and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. Buy Anne’s books at http://www.PelicanBookGroup.com. Or at http://www.Amazon.com.

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Masquerade Marriage 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
JudeUrbanski1 More than 1 year ago
Masquerade Marriage Anne Greene knows how to turn out good and suspenseful, historical romance. Masquerade Marriage keeps you turning the pages and not wanting it to end. Megan MacMurry is a strong-hearted heroine who’s bent on her own wants. Even if that means ‘slightly deceiving’ handsome Brody MacCaulay, my favorite character, into a rather interesting marriage with surprises for both. The author does a fine job of period authenticity, which is a great way to learn history. Greene’s characters are well developed, her dialogue crisp and fetching and her plot takes many twists and turns. I look forward to reading more of Anne Greene. by jude urbanski
Janna6 More than 1 year ago
This book was an amazing surprise to me - I loved it! It took me back in time to 1746 in Scotland and transported me to a place where Scotland and England were at war and sadly, Scotland was losing. After a brutal massacre there are few Scotsman left and they are injured and in hiding. If the English find them they will be killed and one priest has an idea to save one man. A woman with a broken heart has agreed to marry one man to save him from the English, those willing to get married in order to be spared write their names on a list. She then chooses her husband from that list and then the charade begins... I was riveted by this book and it reminded me of another book that I enjoyed tremendously ("Brigid of Ireland" by Cindy Thompson) and everything that I liked about that book. Settings, characters and even the language and clothing of those times that made the story come alive. I was sad when this book ended but very satisfied in the ending. I look forward to seeing more from Anne Greene.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
fictionalromance More than 1 year ago
From the beginning, the tale draws you in with vivid descriptions and scenes. Anne Greene, the author, delightfully found a way to create a plot that leaves you on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next. I picked the book up and fell deep into the mindset that I was actually in Scotland. Her use of Scottish terms, language and traditions made me feel like I was surrounded by moors and castles. My skin tingled as if I was in the story during the dangerous points of the tale. I never once thought anything was odd or out of place throughout the story. Brody and Megan's characters were well developed and strong willed. They had to be to survive the cruel world that Scottish Highlanders suffered in the time setting of the book. The witty fast-paced plot left me clinging to the pages in hopes I could help save the hero and heroine. I truly enjoyed the story and I highly recommend this book to everyone who loves historical romances especially ones with handsome warriors and a woman with a cause.
amdy2011 More than 1 year ago
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.
Bobbie6 More than 1 year ago
This historical romance set in 1746 Scotland gives insight into the cultural environment of the place and time. The conflicts between the occupying English forces and the conflicts between Highland and Lowland scots provide plenty of tension and drama. I appreciated the contrast Ms Greene vividly showed between the Highland husband's expectations and those accepted by the Lowlanders. Megan was a determined young lowland lass set to save a highlander, Brody, from being arrested and executed by the English - by marrying him. Their learned behaviors and cultural concepts frequently clash. Ms Greene uses the Scottish brogue for Brody which adds to the flavor of the book, but can slow the reading slightly to get the meaning of some of the terms. Vivid descriptions of the terrain and the lifestyles of Scotland make the book not only an enjoyable romance but also a lovely learning experience.
www.DebraUllrick.com More than 1 year ago
My only problem with this book was. I had to put it down when I didn't want to! *smiling* I wanted to keep reading and reading and reading but deadlines kept me from doing so. What I really loved about this book was the romantic tension between the hero and heroine. The blood and gore of the war I struggled with but only because I have a weak stomach. However, it is pertinent to the story and war never is a pretty sight. Brody MacCaulay is a hunky Scotland warrior who is masculinity personified. And Megan MacMurry wasn't some wimpy heroine who needed rescuing. Not that I have anything against heroines who need rescuing. I just enjoyed that Megan was a strong, fearless woman, who was willing to die for a cause. What was this cause Megan was willing to die for? And why would she risk not only her life but her families as well? What induced Megan to marry a man she did not love when she was in love with another? Just who was this other gentleman Megan loved? And where was he, and why didn't she marry him? Deception abounds. But by whom? And why? Brody harbors a secret. What is it, and is it a good one or a bad one? What would cause someone to hide out in cold, damp caves? To travel at night with dangers lurking everywhere? If you want to know the answers to these questions, then you have to read, Masquerade Marriage, to find out. You won't be sorry. It's an excellent read. Anne Greene is a truly gifted and talented writer. Her attention to detail is exquisite. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.
SharonALavy More than 1 year ago
From the moment Brody MacCaulay woke on the battle field weighed down by the bodies of three clansmen, Anne Greene takes us on a breath taking journey back in time. Megan's heart was in the right place when she made plans to save the life of one Highland warrior while saving herself the fate of being married to the cruel Earl of Maybry. But in her panic to avoid a fate worse than death, she hadn't thought things through. Anne does a wonderful job of reporting the riveting twists and turns of the story as Megan chooses her future husband. As Brody struggles with accepting the charade. And Megan thinks it will just be a marriage of convenience. But Brody has loved her since she was a child. And now he is all man. Lord Avondale marries Megan's sister. Will he betray Brody? The family dynamics are interesting as two families try to blend, including Megan's mother-in-law and sister-in-law who soon join the mix. I found this story a compelling read.
ButterflyBlessingsBlog More than 1 year ago
I love books about historical Scotland. There is something about the people and that time that tugs at my heart and challenges me at the same time. These were people not afraid to die for what they believed in. They held concepts like loyalty, family, freedom, and faith sacred. I think there is a lot to learn from them. Sometimes they were a wee bit stubborn and prideful... but there was a lot of strength and courage in heroes of Scottish history. This story is a great example of how that sense of honor and self-sacrifice was lived out among not just the giants of history, but so many of the families. It's also a story of how many of them tried to pick up the pieces after Culloden. They had dual desires. Part of them wanted to live to protect their families and fight another day. Another part felt like it was somehow dishonorable to hide and give in to what the English wanted. Unlike many romance novels, there was no silent, aggressive hero and a damsel in distress. Megan also didn't fit the other extreme ~ She wasn't the kind of woman who had to be in charge all the time, wear the pants in the family and didn't like being a woman. She was just a strong woman who was intelligent, capable, practical and wanted to help the patriotic men who had fought and were in danger of losing their lives. She was willing to risk her own life and happiness to do just that. Brody fought for a cause he believed in. War changes him inside though. Afterward he isn't sure what he believes and wishes his life hadn't been spared. When he finds out that Megan has chosen him as husband to spare his life, he hopes for happiness with his friend from childhood. He soon learns that she did it as a patriotic duty and was engaged to someone else who died on the battlefield. His presence puts her family at risk and he struggles with that nearly as much as his feelings for Megan.
LASR_Reviews More than 1 year ago
It's 1746 Scotland. The aftermath of the Battle of Culloden. A Lowland Lady and a Highlander warrior with a price on his head. Could God have a plan for these two? Megan MacMurry has a fiery temper to match her hair. She's tired of living under her father's demands. So she takes her future in her hands when she marries Highlander Brody MacCaulay, wanted by the English for his part in the battle. Megan has a mind of her own, make no mistake. Throughout the book, she jeopardizes her own safety while looking out for others. You have to commend her and yet wonder how she could be so foolhardy. Brody MacCaulay has lived through a terrible episode, losing several brothers in the process. He has no way to protect the females in his family other than by accepting Megan's offer. His moral character is as strong as his love for Megan. You have to love a man who swallows his pride to save the rest of his family. This book takes place in an interesting time in Scottish history as Highlanders battled the English to put their Bonny Prince Charlie Stuart on the throne. Whereas, the Lowland lairds backed down to the English to protect their position and fortunes. Overall the writing is beautiful. The descriptions are magnificent. The scenery, the scents the emotions going on under the surface. Ms. Greene can set a scene and place you right in the middle of it be it a gruesome aftermath of war or a tender love scene. How well I enjoyed the depth that the author got into her hero's point of view. So real as to what a Scottish man of the 18th century warrior would have felt and thought. My one complaint would be the overuse of the Scottish highlander dialect in the hero's dialogue. It was even in his pov internal thoughts. I found it a bit distracting. Over time, though, you do get used to it and figure out what certain words mean. This book is very nicely researched. It's obvious the author knows her period well and writes with such confidence and accuracy. The depth of emotions of these characters is what really drew me into the book and kept me reading. This author has a knack of writing genuine characters that the reader can't help but find interesting and feel sympathetic for from the first page. Deeply emotional story, great plotting and pacing. If you love historicals, especially of the Scottish variety, be sure to pick this one up. Orignally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
Adam412 More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy good writing and wonderful Christian fiction, you need to read Masquerade Marriage. Anne Greene expertly creates characters from the 1700s who leap to life in these pages. Megan Moria MacMurry, a rich Scottish Lowlander,has everything at her disposal but her father's love. Papa has arranged her upcoming marriage to an "odious earl' and English Lord who hadn't even been angry when he hit her. On top of that, Megan is in love with another, Jamie, but he's dead; killed in battle. When she discovers from Pastor Fergus that the surest way to save a Highland warrior's life is to marry him, she chooses one of the injured warriors hiding in a cave. She takes the carriage out on a cold rainy night, picks him up, takes him to the pastor and they recite their vows. She knew him in her childhood and marries him, although she still loves Jamie and she believes her warrior, Broden MacCauly, is in love with her sister. She knows the wrath of Papa and the odious earl will be poured out on her and the man she married. But she's a stubborn gal with a back bone similar to her Papa's and the warrior's. She intends that the marriage be in name only, but the warrior has no intention of following her little plan. What follows is a husband and wife who fuss, fume, seldom agree, but at the same time, although they don't realize it, are courting. So much dangerous conflict from the state of affairs between the English lobster-backs and the Scottish occurs that readers are held over the edge of each page waiting to see what is going to happen among the hills, grassy glens, the Highland's frowning crags, caves and darkly shadowed passes. I've read quite of few books about "in-name-only" marriages and this is the most tastefully done of all, and reflects the Christian label on this book's spine, Note: I was provided a review copy by the author, and loved the book!
KimZzzzzs More than 1 year ago
In the interest of full disclosure, I met Anne Greene at a writer's conference. I was given this book. However, knowing I've visited Scotland and love all things Scottish, a friend recommended this book to me and I planned to order it for my Nook. Before I could do so, I was gifted with the book and as they say, the rest is history. I'm so glad. It is a lovely story. My only concern before I read the book is that historical romance is not my normal read. But since it is about an area of Scotland I love, I decided to not let that stop me. I opened the book on New Years Day and could not put it down. I had to know if Brody and Megan could overcome the obstacles between them. It was after 2 am when I found out and turned out the light! The book begins as the Battle of Culloden ends in April, 1746. I well remember walking that historic battlefield, reading the Clan names posted where they fell as Scot fought against Scot. It has the same hushed silence as our Civil War battlefields. Almost a holy place. With Anne's lyrical words, you feel the chill of the air, smell death, as the fear,horror and brutality of that battle are almost palpable. She does a masterful job of portraying the times. The politics of the time are confusing at best, but Ms. Greene neatly sorts it out so that the prejudices and betrayals that influence the characters are understood without it reading like a history text. I loved all of that, but most of all, I enjoyed the depth of characterization found from the most minor servant to the star crossed lovers, Brody and Megan. All of my senses were engaged in the story--sight, sound, smell, hearing, touch as Anne Greene packs her story full of description and action. I put the book down several times to take a break, but then had to pick it up again to read just a little more to get to the heart of it all, which is the beautiful romance I read Christian fiction for many reasons. I love a great story, but I also want a story that I can learn something from and there are many lessons to be learned here about what truly makes a marriage, God's call to self sacrifice, miscommunication, honor, trust and distrust, and God's providence. Masquerade Marriage is a fun read on many levels--learning about history, a wonderful adventure and a beautiful romance. I highly recommend it!
pencildancerEB More than 1 year ago
The front cover captured my attention with these words: A Secret List, A Fugitive Warrior, One Life-Saving Option.. How could anyone resist? Masquerade Marriage takes place in Scotland in 1796. I've read many books in this time period and often find myself yawning by chapter three. Not so with this treasure by Greene. The characters are fresh, there is a lot of action, danger and I found myself having to read just one more page. Another pleasure in reading this book is learning about Scotland during that time. Greene has presented enough setting details and information about the warring communities in a way that is not lecturing. She has included it as a part of the story and you won't find yourself skipping over those parts. And if you do run into a word you aren't familiar with there is a glossary in the front of the book. Give it a quick read through and you'll have no trouble understanding what the words in the story refer to. I'd recommend picking this one up. It's a great book to read on a cold winter day.
EdgyInspirationalRomance More than 1 year ago
I did not intend to commit my entire Sunday to this book (after all, it's Nano month and I'm supposed to be writing). But when I picked up Masquerade Marriage this morning, the first chapter hooked me and the following pages propelled me toward the end! Anne Greene crafted two irresistible characters (one of which was a hunky highlander), threw them into a heap of danger, and ratcheted up the tension with each passing chapter. The romance in this novel is pitch perfect and though it's based on a marriage of convenience, I didn't find the storyline predictable at all. In fact, my stomach was clenched right up until the last page wondering if Brody and Megan were actually going to get their happily ever after. I won't tell you if they did or not, you'll just have to read it to find out. :P If I could change one thing about this book, I would choose something that has nothing to do with the writing. I wish that the cover more accurately portrayed what a compelling story this is. Even for e-books, covers are what catch my attention first and I think this one was just a little too dark to do justice to such a fantastic story.
RachsRamblings More than 1 year ago
To protect his mother and sister, a warrior is willing to abandon his identity and marry into a Masquerade Marriage. To keep from marrying the abusive man that her father has picked out for her, and to save a man's life, a Lady marries into a Masquerade Marriage. This book was written with  the backdrop of Scottish history during the time of Bonnie Prince Charlie. The history is wonderful and adds to this story, but the story line in this book holds its own-without the history! This was a fascinating and enjoyable read. I was "in the book " from the very beginning. This book moves very fast, and it doesn't drag at any point. The dialogue between Brody and Megan is enjoyable yet tense. I felt as if I was flying through this book and on the edge of my seat. Will they be able to make their marriage a real one? Can they learn to trust each other? Can love grow? I found myself thinking of this book even after I put it down. Megan agrees to marry a man on a list to save his life. This list comes from a pastor that she obviously strongly trusts. This got my mind to thinking about so many things in the area of marriage, trust, faith in people and more. Also, they began to read the Bible together, and the readings become meditations that each tried to put into practice. I truly enjoyed the story, and I enjoyed the journey of the characters...and my own journey in thought as the story made me think long after the read was complete. I received a copy of this book courtesy of The Book Club Network for my honest review which I have given.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“A Secret List” “A Fugitive Warrior” “ One Life-Saving Option” "A Vow Honored" "A Sacrifice Made" Masquerade Marriage is an intriguing story set in 1746 Scotland. Waking up on the battlefield, near fatally wounded, and realizing that his father and brothers and most of his kinsmen lay dead around him, Brody MacCauly wonders why God has spared him. His vow now becomes that he must do whatever he has to do to save his mother and sister. Their safety lies with him alone. He does the one thing; he gives up his birthright, his name, and his identity to wed (a marriage in name only) Lady Megan MacMurray and take on her family name. His mother and sister would be safe as long as they kept the ruse going. “I Do”. Two words that save the both of them; him from being found and killed and she from an arranged marriage to a vile and abusive man. This is a story of faith through the adversity, faith in God, faith in those around you. To learn if, in the end when all is said and done, this Masquerade Marriage ever becomes more than that… you will have to read book If you are a fan of well-written historical romance, you will enjoy Masquerade Marriage. *Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through the “For Readers Only” group at The Book Club Network, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review. *Reviews of this book were posted at the following locations: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Deeper Shopping, and Goodreads
MitziAB More than 1 year ago
Ever since the year my friend went to Scotland with her Grandmother to visit the land of her ancestors, Scotland and her history has been intriguing to me. This may have been what led me to request the ebook from Fred, but in no wise was this what kept my eyes glued to my Ipad and on the edge of my seat. Drama, from the very first page where Brody woke up on the battlefield to the last page where he is running from the Red Coats, is the name of the game. Vivid imagery has the reader seeing the battlefield through Brody's eye, as well as smelling and tasting the stench, hearing the Red Coats dispense with  the living wounded and feeling first the panic and then the determination to escape. Anne does a superb job of showing the story instead of telling, and making the reader feel like the main characters, Brody and Megan as being close friends. As both learn to trust each other and God, I learned to see God in a clearer way. I do not feel I would have the courage to step out like they did, and yet, with God all things are possible.  Thank you to Fred at The Book Club Network, Author Anne Greene and the Pelican Book Group for giving me the opportunity to read and review this ebook. Which I was given for the purpose of writing an honest review. The opinions are my own.
dun1 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this story; it was a sweet suspenseful romance and that kept it very interesting. You wonder if the English would ever come after Brody and loved how Brody and Megan's marriage progressed through the story. I want more of this couple; I would love to see what happens as they start a new life in the New World and what becomes of Fiona. I receive a free copy of this book courtesy of The Book Club Network for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago