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Highland Weddings #1

The Wrong Bride

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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.

373 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published October 27, 2015

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About the author

Gayle Callen

55 books479 followers
USA Today Bestselling author Gayle Callen writes historical romances for Avon Books. Her twenty-second novel, The Wrong Bride, was published in November 2015.

Gayle’s novels have won the Holt Medallion, the Laurel Wreath Award, the Booksellers’ Best Award, and finaled in the National Readers Choice Awards. She was a nominee for RT Book Reviews Magazine’s Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She also writes the contemporary romances as Emma Cane.

Gayle resides in central New York with her husband. Now that her three children are grown, she has time to read, sing, and delve too deeply into historical research. A past President of the Central New York Romance Writers, she is also a member of Romance Writers of America and Novelists Inc. Visit her website at http://www.gaylecallen.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 158 reviews
Profile Image for UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish.
1,166 reviews1,598 followers
November 20, 2015
Full review now posted...

The Wrong Bride is a great start to the Highland Weddings series as Gayle Callen weaves a tale that makes me wish I could travel back in time and step into Riona’s shoes for just a bit


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.

My thoughts…

Being the huge fan of Highlander historical romances that I am, parts of this story did sound vaguely familiar while other parts were refreshingly unique. The characters and their trials and triumphs captivated me, start to finish, and had me falling in love with them all. I'm excited to have a new Highlander author whose books I can look forward to!

An ARC was provided by Avon Books. In appreciation I’m giving them an honest review.
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,077 reviews13.3k followers
November 28, 2021
This was such a fun kidnapping highlander romance! Hugh was betrothed to Catriona since he was a child and now, the clan is in dire need of her bride price. Hugh decides to take matters into his own hands and kidnap Catriona in the night and force her to finally marry him. Riona is staying with her aunt and uncle and finds herself being carried off into the night by her cousin's betrothed. Riona tries to tell Hugh that he has the wrong woman, but he refuses to believe her and takes her to his clan in Scotland to marry her. I loved their journey to Scotland and how Riona was trying to run away but slowly found herself falling for him. Once she's at his home, I really loved how she grew closer with his family and actually helped them deal with the pain that Hugh's father left behind that was still lingering among them and the clan. I know some people are annoyed because Hugh doesn't realize until well into the book who Riona really is and she had spent literally the entire book telling him the truth, but I didn't mind! Hugh honestly thought she was lying to him and never thought there could be another woman with her name from the same family. It was really fun seeing how that conflict was going to play out and I am definitely intrigued enough to pick up book two!
Profile Image for Zoe.
763 reviews175 followers
March 13, 2016
I didn't like the book so much but somehow I wanted to read on. The story reads like the characters are playacting. They did and said what they did and said because the writer wrote them that way. It just felt like one choreographed dance with no spontaneity in it.

But the book has its moments. I thought the book rather bland but I have to give a blank book credit for keeping me reading.
Profile Image for Lily (Night Owl Book Cafe).
555 reviews464 followers
December 14, 2015

Hugh McCallum has kidnapped the wrong bride. When Lady Riona is awaken in the middle of the night by a Scot that has found his way into the room, the last thing she expected was to be swept away out of her home and into the highlands. Hugh claims that she is his promised wife, due to a contract between their families to ensure peace among their clans, a contract her "father" was refusing to honor. Riona is lived with the highlander that doesn't seem to get it, or refuse to acknowledge the fact that this is all just a case of mistaken identity, but as she grows to understand Hugh - the contract is not the only thing that ends up in jeopardy.
Thoroughly enjoyed Callen's step into the Scottish world. Hugh and Riona were such a wonderful pair to follow through the book and as I watched the two fall in love, something wonderful settled within my heart. It wasn't easy for Hugh and he had some persuading to do, but their interaction was fun and amusing at times. I liked the little twist and a sort of mystery that Callen throws into the book about Hugh, the little boy and Hugh's father. I found Hugh admirable and not at all the brute Riona thought him to be at first. He took the fact that he had an arranged marriage in stride, even if it took him years to get used to the idea. Riona on the other hand, needed some convincing, but watching the attachment towards Hugh grow, gave me all sorts of warm butterflies.

Hugh had never told a woman he loved her before, but he didn't think abject sobbing was the right response. "Riona?"

The story was well done and I found myself enjoying it. I loved Maggie, Hugh's sister and can't wait to see what is in store for her in the next book, especially with the kind of curve ball Callen had tossed at us, setting up book 2 perfectly.

"So ye have to work that hard to win her?" Maggie prodded. "She didn't swoon at the sight of your fine face?"

The only thing I wished was that the part of Hugh and Riona travelling to the Highlands were cut shorter, it took up a good part of the book.
I also wished a bit that Hugh would have stood up for himself instead of living in the shadow of the events his father had created. Since the man was long dead, I didn't see a reason for him to continue living with the lie.

I kept waiting for something to transpire between Hugh and Dermot, the book felt like it was setting up for that, but in the end it never went anywhere and was a bit disappointing.

Overall, for her first Highlander book I thought Callen did a great job. I really liked Maggie and so looking forward to her own book.

 This review was originally posted on Night Owl Book Café

December 4, 2017
I read this as a buddy read with my buddy, Nenia, whose review is here.

Read for the URR 2017 New Year's Reading Challenge prompt 'Scottish/Highlander Romance'

27/10 - I didn't think much of this one. The 'she's lying because she doesn't want to face the responsibility of an arranged marriage' story line lasted way too long and Hugh's persistent disbelief of Riona made it impossible for me to warm to him. Riona's non-stop thoughts of how to get Hugh to believe her and who of his clan she could sweet-talk into aligning with her against Hugh were really irritating. Despite all the internal monologuing that the reader has to read, she only makes one attempt to curry favour with the one member of the clan who she determines is the least friendly with Hugh (and I didn't feel like there was a real explanation for Dermott's anti-Hugh stance). For me it felt like she was constantly threatening to expose him, but never did anything about it so all her internal threats were pointless noise and a way to drum up drama so that there was a reason for her to not immediately fall in love with him (and thus make the book longer).

Also, what's with the cover? The one I read had some very strangely placed flowers that made it look like Hugh was wearing a floral shoulder pad and there seemed to be something weird going on with the placement of Riona's legs underneath the wedding dress she's wearing (something which never happens in the book). The only bright point was the introduction of Maggie and Owen and their story, I would definitely like to read The Groom Wore Plaid.
Profile Image for Dorine.
600 reviews31 followers
January 30, 2016
THE WRONG BRIDE by Gayle Callen is an exceptional stolen bride story that includes a hero who will convince the reader of his value right along with his intended bride. If you love Scottish historical romance, don’t miss this one! Recommended Read!

Soon to be Highland Chief, Hugh McCallum kidnaps his betrothed from her home in Great Britain. Lady Riona Duff is frightened at first, then enraged at the man who claims they have a marriage contract arranged by their fathers. The contract was drawn between their two clans when Hugh and Riona were children so that shared land could benefit both clans. Riona’s clan has benefited over the years by the contract. It’s now time for Hugh’s clan to claim her dowry and the marriage that will insure peace. Riona is determined to convince Hugh that he took the wrong woman, and if that doesn’t work, she’ll find a way to escape. Can she protect her heart from this brave man determined to safeguard his people?

Catriona Duff shares the same family name with her cousin because their fathers refused to change their intent, so everyone calls her Riona and her cousin, Cat. Riona is staying with Cat’s family while her own family is in France, hoping to cure her terminally ill sister. Riona’s uncle took her cousin off to the country, unexpectedly, and suggests that Riona stay in Cat’s room while hers is cleaned and painted. Did her uncle purposely set Riona up for this kidnapping to get out of the contract between their clans?

Riona is determined to convince this barbarian that she’s not his intended bride. Hugh is determined to seduce his bride-to-be so that she will no longer resist their marriage. Will Lady Riona outwit the man who wants to win her heart?

I thoroughly enjoyed Riona and Hugh’s story, even though I doubted they would find their happy-ever-after because of a very viable conflict. That doubt that lingered created great tension and made the conclusion an exciting end to their story.

I love romance novels that build the love between couples with the fear that it may be torn away. Hugh and Riona were both convinced that they knew the truth about one another and it was fun watching them fall in love.

There are some intriguing secondary characters that add to the plot of this first book and hopefully they’ll all contribute to the future of the HIGHLAND WEDDINGS series. I’m especially intrigued by Hugh’s seer sister who defies her talent. We’ll get to know her better in THE GROOM WORE PLAID due out in March 2016.

There’s something so appealing about these stolen bride stories and especially when it’s done in error. I laughed at how Riona could agitate and entertain Hugh in the same moment. Hugh is a likable hero who feels a great responsibility to his clan. He tried to comply with the contract through her father first, but his refusal forced Hugh to take action. He wants a good marriage, even considering the circumstances, and he works hard to woo Riona. Hugh hasn’t always been agreeable about an arranged marriage and his past slowly comes out in the book and adds to the emotion. By the end, I was thoroughly convinced they were perfectly matched, and I loved the anticipation as well as not knowing how their happy-ever-after would ever happen.

Riona is realistically outraged, but she recognizes Hugh’s commitment to his people as honorable, even though she wants no part of this arranged marriage. How Hugh wins Riona’s heart is entertaining. He’s quite determined and truthfully, Riona doesn’t stand a chance at denying him the love he desires.

I thought this was the first book I’ve read by Gayle Callen, until I discovered she also writes contemporaries as Emma Cane. I now know why I enjoyed Emma Cane’s book so much when I thought she was a debut author. It’s hard to hide experience and talent such as this from an avid reader. Although her styles are distinctly different under the two published names, Gayle Callen’s storytelling skills engage the reader in the time-honored dance of a loving relationship. I recommend THE WRONG BRIDE to historical lovers of Scottish romance as a captivating love story full of promise for the future of a series.

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Review by Dorine, courtesy of Romance Junkies and The Zest Quest. Print copy provided by the publisher.
Profile Image for Niki (mustreadalltheromance).
1,147 reviews84 followers
December 20, 2022
3.5 stars rounded up.

When she’s roused from her bed and taken off to the Highlands by a large Scot she’s never met, Riona Duff is afraid, then furious. Clan chief Hugh McCallum is adamant that a marriage has been contracted between the two of them since their childhood to cement peace between their clans. He stubbornly refuses to believe Riona when she insists he’s kidnapped the wrong Catriona Duff and instead sets out to patiently seduce her.

Hugh is initially only interested in the marriage for how it can improve the lives of his people. Soon enough, he begins to enjoy spending time with Riona because of who she is, but when he finally realizes she was telling the truth all along, her true identity threatens the contract and his clan’s future. Unless they’re willing to take a huge risk, Hugh will lose his heart and the loving marriage they could have together along with the lands he’s fought so hard to preserve for his clan.

To be perfectly frank I really didn’t care for the first half of this book. I loved the kidnapped bride trope, but Riona’s dialogues/protestations (though all completely valid) were just a bit repetitive to me. That said, once she spent some time with Hugh and it was clear she was developing feelings for him, and he for her, this improved, and I wound up really enjoying it. I loved seeing these two fall for one another, especially from Riona’s side as she believed a relationship between them would be impossible but still couldn’t help herself. Hugh was surprisingly sweet and a genuinely good man trying to help a distrustful clan and I loved that Riona really stepped up to take her place at his side and help him cement his role as clan chief. In addition to this solid relationship development, Riona and Hugh both undergo quite a lot of character development with him learning how to step out of the shadow of his abusive, drunkard father and her learning how to voice her own opinions and desires now that she finally has people who will listen. It also seems that we don’t get all that many highlander romances set in this time period (early 1700s), so I found that pretty refreshing and it just made me want to read all the highlander romances ever written (even more so than I already do). I loved the way everything came together in the end and how this seemed to be a redemption story for all involved and it left me feeling rather hopeful, which is always a positive for me. This was my first read from this author, but I want to finish the series now.

Blog link: https://mustreadalltheromance.blogspo...
Profile Image for Caz.
2,676 reviews1,011 followers
September 17, 2016
I've given this a B- at AAR, so 3.5 stars.

The Wrong Bride, the first in a new series from Gayle Callen, is one of those books that’s hard to grade. It’s well-written, the author allows time for her romance to develop and there’s a nicely sensual undercurrent to many of the interactions between the central couple; but it’s the sort of book I had no problem putting down when I had to, rather than one that compelled me to keep reading and ignore everything else around me while I did.

We jump right into the story on the opening page, as Catriona (Riona) Duff is rudely awakened in the middle of the night by a hand over her mouth and an intruder in her bedroom telling her that she’s his betrothed and must go with him. She quickly realises that struggling will be to no avail and tries to talk the man out of his intent, insisting that she’s nobody’s intended bride – but he will have none of it. Once they are underway, the man introduces himself as Hugh McCallum, chief of Clan McCallum and informs her that her father, the Earl of Aberfoyle, had betrothed her to him when she was just a baby, as a way of putting an end to the enmity between their clans, and that her dowry is payment for the shared land rights which were agreed at the time of their betrothal. But when Hugh had called on the earl in London, the man had tried to renege on the deal, leaving Hugh little alternative but to resort to desperate measures.

Riona is stunned, and tells Hugh that she is not the earl’s daughter but his niece, and that his betrothed is her cousin, whose name is also Catriona Duff – but of course, he doesn’t believe her, thinking her just as duplicitous as Aberfoyle.

The journey from London to the Highlands is long and arduous, and even though Riona is constantly on the look-out for a means to escape, she eventually realises it’s not going to happen, contenting herself instead by throwing sharp-tongued remarks at Hugh whenever she can. Once arrived at Larig Castle, however, Riona begins to see a different side to her abductor. His reception by the clan after an absence of ten years is not an especially cordial one, and there are many among the men who appear to distrust him. At first Riona sees this as an opportunity – if she can win one of the powerful clansmen to her side, then perhaps he will help her to escape. But the longer she resides at Larig, the more she comes to realise just what the revelation of her true identity will mean for Hugh and for his clan; no peace with the Clan Duff, no influx of cash from her dowry… and Hugh will be blamed for the resulting hardship.

The love-story unfolds at a leisurely pace, but that makes sense considering the fact that Hugh and Riona’s relationship gets off to such a terrible start. It’s not surprising that Riona resents Hugh and insists on insulting and needling him whenever she can, and one of the best things about the book is the way in which the author slowly reveals the truth about him. The romance is sweetly sensual, and there is a real sense of Riona’s slowly falling in love at the same time as she is coming to know Hugh for the caring, honourable man he is. He cares deeply for his clan and his family, and will do whatever it takes to keep them safe and happy, even if it means appearing in a less than favourable light himself.

The early eighteenth century setting allows the author to explore some of the political and social issues of the time; the continuing support for “the King over the Water”; the disrespect shown to Scottish MPs in parliament (of which Hugh was one); the problems Hugh encounters in persuading his tenants to adopt more modern farming methods – and I always appreciate that in an historical romance. It doesn’t have to be a history lesson; I just like to feel that the word “historical” is justified.

Ms Callen is also able to make use of a number of traditions that surround marriage in Scotland, one of which is that of “bundling” – whereby a betrothed couple could sleep in the same bed and spend time talking and getting to know each other, but they remained clothed and the woman’s legs would be tied together so as to prevent them having intercourse. Hugh has to spend so much of his days working hard, training with his men and looking over his lands that the only time he can spend with Riona is at night – and as he has promised not to take her before she consents to the marriage, he avails himself of this particular custom. That doesn’t prevent them doing a bit more than just talking, however, showing Riona how close she is to succumbing to Hugh’s gentle seduction.

While I don’t normally like stories built on misunderstandings, the premise does work, and the author has set up Hugh’s initial distrust of Riona so that his refusals to believe her protestations that she’s not his betrothed are plausible. The central characters are likeable and well-drawn, although Riona’s insistence on sniping at Hugh goes on for a little too long, and the revelation that leads to Hugh’s being finally accepted by all is a little too pat for my taste. The resolution to the problem created by the fact that Hugh has fallen for the wrong woman is also a little too easily come by, and the ending does feel somewhat rushed. Overall, though, The Wrong Bride is a solid and enjoyable read, and I certainly appreciated the use of an historical setting that’s slightly different to the norm.
Profile Image for Helen 2.0.
284 reviews780 followers
June 1, 2017
I really wish The Wrong Bride had more general plot. This book was so slow paced it threatened to put me to sleep. For a book of around 350 pages, remarkably little happened until the very last 40 pages or so.

We start with Riona being kidnapped in the middle of the night by a stranger who claims she was promised to him in a contract settled by her father. However, Hugh McCallum has accidentally kidnapped his intended betrothed's cousin, Riona, who shares the same name. That's the premise that kicks off the plot. For the next 200 pages or so, the only real plot point is Riona's arrival at Hugh's castle while Hugh takes his place as laird of the McCallum clan. The rest of the book is a replay of this basic conversation, with slight variations every now and then:

Hugh: Marry me Riona.
Riona: No. You've got the wrong bride. Marry my cousin.
Hugh: I don't believe you. Marry me.

Aaaaaaaand repeat.
So yeah, it took a lot of willpower to keep reading to the end resolution, which ironically felt rushed.

The one part of the book I enjoyed, the reason I gave 2 stars and not 1 star, is the slow-burning romance. Luckily there was no sign of insta-love, Gayle Callen took her time bringing her characters together.
Profile Image for Andrea.
299 reviews556 followers
July 28, 2019
The Wrong Bride was a cute, fast-paced story. I enjoyed it, but...the entire "wrong bride" bit could have actually been solved if Hugh McCallum actually opened his ears and listened to what Riona *repeatedly* told him, which was he had the wrong bride. Lack of communication is a big, bookish pet peeve of mine. The real bride was actually her cousin, same name, same home, same room, which is what led to the wrong bride being stolen. I told you it was cute.

Though I wasn't overly wowed by The Wrong Bride, I think it has a good bit working for it. The author's use of Scots dialect and culture was great. I liked both Hugh and Riona, and thought their "courtship" was very endearing (particularly the tying of legs before bed). I really appreciated that despite this lifelong betrothal, there was an honest effort to make the marriage a true one. The secondary characters' stories were a nice touch, especially Maggie, Owen, and Brendan.

With a fun plot and a made-to-order perfectly tied ending for Hugh and Riona, I think many readers will find The Wrong Bride very enjoyable.
Profile Image for Caz.
2,676 reviews1,011 followers
December 15, 2015
I've given this a C+ for narration and a B- for content at AudioGals.

The first in a new series by popular author Gayle Callen, The Wrong Bride is an entertaining story that revolves around the idea of mistaken identity. While I at first thought the whole thing was going to turn out to be one of those stories that turns on the Big-Misunderstanding-which-could-easily-have-been-cleared-up, Ms Callen manages to make the misconstruction in this book plausible so that I wasn’t constantly yelling (in my head) at the central characters to “just TALK to each other, you idiots!”

You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.
Profile Image for Nanou.
473 reviews20 followers
November 29, 2016
Bon c'est pas inoubliable... hyper prévisible, des dialogues qui sont pas trop naturels et franchement les sentiments arrivent un peu comme un cheveu sur la soupe :/
Je suis limite plus intéressée par les personnages secondaire, dont le couple qui sera dans le tome 2.
Profile Image for Ouadi Imane.
546 reviews118 followers
July 25, 2017
Very highlander-ish- everything was on point altho the romance dragged a little bit at first but again that's understandable seeing as he kidnapped her , will most definitely check other books this author wrote
Profile Image for Tatianna Bluel.
230 reviews1 follower
July 26, 2021
Just meh.
The hero is a huge idiot. Literally kidnaps the wrong girl, and doesn’t piece it together until the end. Like she talks, at length, about having too many siblings and bel dude does not do the math *at all*.
Profile Image for AnnMarie.
1,156 reviews32 followers
October 11, 2015

The Wrong Bride by Gayle Callen is the first book in her new series Highland Brides.

Catriona Duff is staying with her uncle in London while her parents take her sister abroad to hopefully help improve the consumption she is plagued with. During her stay she finds herself being kidnapped by a highlander and taken to his castle in Scotland.

The highlander is Hugh McCallum. Years earlier his father and Catriona's make a contract that brings peace to their feuding clans. McCallum's prime land is shared with the Duffs and in exchange Catriona is betrothed to Hugh which will ultimately seal a peace treaty between the clans. When Hugh visits Catriona's uncle to claim his bride after his father's death, he is furious to learn that the man has no intention of sticking to his part of the contract. In desperation Hugh returns in the night and kidnaps her.

The problem is that she is the wrong Catriona Duff! Her uncle, knowing that Hugh might resort to something like this, sends his daughter, with the same name, to the country, and gets his niece to sleep in the vacated room. Hugh knows he has the right room, but has no idea that he has the 'Wrong Bride'.

The story follows where Catriona tries to get Hugh to believe she isn't the woman betrothed to him, at first it's purely because she wants to be free from him. Later on though, when she realises that she may have feelings for him, she is desperate for him to believe her because the dowry he is expecting from their marriage won't be, and all that he had planned to use it on to help the clan would be impossible. Hugh won't believe her though, and he is more and more flummoxed when he thinks she has feelings for him yet still won't own up to her true identity.

I loved this story. I couldn't read it quickly enough to find out Hugh's reaction when he finally realises he has the wrong Catriona. Would he end up having to wed the correct Catriona, who I might add knew nothing about the contract. Would she marry Hugh when she found out the truth. Would she feel betrayed by 'our' Catriona for falling for her betrothed? What would our Catriona do if she had to give up Hugh. I couldn't see how the story would end, and was very happy with the way the author decided things should go. All of the characters in the story were well developed and connected, and we get a teaser at the end of the book about two of the other characters becoming betrothed. We will get their story in the second book in the series and I very much look forward to reading it. Gayle Callen has definitely made my list of authors whose books I must read.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for kris.
937 reviews186 followers
May 31, 2016
Hugh McCallum kidnaps Catriona Duff from her Uncle's house after said Uncle refuses to honor a long-standing betrothal between the Duff and McCallum clans. Except he takes the wrong Catriona Duff. OOPS. After whisking her away to Scotland, they canoodle and fall in love!!

1. Riona is pretty much like "NOPE" from the get-go. The first few chapters were kind of a delight, actually, seeing her resourcefulness and intelligence at work as she figured out what was going on. Except it isn't until the 50% mark of the book or so that she begins to soften towards Hugh. Which--fair. Hugh's a can of jackass. She was kidnapped. It makes sense. But it also makes the flow of the book feel very uneven: the first half is almost all set up: get everyone to Scotland and introduce all the necessary characters. Which leaves the second half to spiral out of control towards emotions and feelings.

2. I'm intrigued by the something between Maggie and Owen??? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN???

3. This was kind of a slog to get through? And was bundling really a thing? It felt like a lot of conveniently hand-waving to allow Hugh and Riona to spend ~physical time together?? I was extraordinarily skeptical, to be blunt. ETA: APPARENTLY BUNDLING IS A THING. (Thank you, Juliet-Camille!) I really wish there had been more historical context for this nugget because DUDE. LIGHT BONDAGE AS A MEANS TO EMOTIONAL BONDING??? ACTUALLY HAPPENED IN HISTORY???? I LIKE IT SO MUCH?

4. I wanted a straight up kidnapped the wrong woman but now you're the only woman for me story. Which this was, almost. But there was a little too much ... everything else: clan angsting; family drama; etc.
Profile Image for Edwina " I LoveBooks" "Deb".
1,343 reviews17 followers
November 6, 2015

Laird Hugh McCallum has come to kidnap his betroth Catriona Duff, but wait there are two Catriona Duff's cousins with the same name. Of course Hugh kidnaps the wrong one. Two brothers one a Earl decides to give there two daughters the same name. One goes by Riona and the Earls daughter is called Cait.
No matter how much Riona tells Hugh he has made a mistake he won't listen. He believes The Earl Riona's uncle is trying not to honor the betrothal agreement made between the McCallum's and the Duff clans. I like both Hugh and Riona. The stories proceed a bit slow and it is almost the end when Huge realizes he has The Wrong Bride. After Huge finally takes Riona's virginity and she sticks to her story about not being his betroth. Then he does realize what a mess he has made. They have been together for over a month and have fallen in love. I found myself rooting for them and hoping they get there HEA They had some good side stories going on. Like who was the young boy Brendan? Why did he look so much like Hugh? Why was Hugh and his mother Lady McCallum estranged? So of it the reader will figure out easily and there is a surprise that is thrown in at the end. I Liked The Wrong Bride. I just Didn't Love It.
Profile Image for Danielle.
346 reviews236 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
September 29, 2015
Not really feeling the set up and can't seem to get into this one :( DNF for now, may come back to it later...
Profile Image for Angela Reads Romance.
464 reviews209 followers
June 8, 2022
This book is tedious.

Riona Duff is kidnapped by Hugh McCallum and told she’s been betrothed to this man most of her life without her knowledge. BUT, Hugh’s got the wrong girl and he really should’ve kidnapped Riona’s cousin.

Enter 300 pages of the same conversation over and over and over again.

Riona: You got the wrong girl!
Hugh: Quit lying already!

This book is dense in history with the most dense hero of all time. WHO decides to finally believe Riona only after he’s slept with her. Cause apparently that’s the only way the dude can think clearly. *enter eye roll and gritted teeth and throwing the book into a wall*

I have only read a few other books where the meet cute is actually a kidnapping and I’ve no memory of their titles so can’t reference them, but*** I always imagine these situations to be more gimmicky and comedic or “I’m kidnapping you to keep you safe” kinda scenario where the heroine just forgives the weird intro and it becomes less hostage situation from the start. Or it’s ya fantasy and it is a hostage situation but I truly don’t care. I can get down with some kidnappings in fantasy vs historical/contemporary romance settings.

I understand why Hugh kidnapped Riona because I was beat over the head with it on almost every blasted page. I get it. I really reaaaally get it, but Hugh is still a jerk for not listening and believing Riona even when he supposedly “loves her.” That to me is what bothered me so much about this book. Riona is screaming YOU GOT THE WRONG GIRL and she’s the one living with horrible guilt for falling for her cousin’s betrothed, knowing that the clan isn’t going to get the massive dowry they think they’re gonna get while Hugh is over here like, “Why can’t she just fall in love with me already??? I’m being nice to her while she’s held hostage here????”

Uuugggghhhhh. I hated how the kidnapped girl was the one feeling guilty the whole book and the nonexistent grovel reaaaaaally annoyed me.

This book has definitely more of a Stockholm Syndrome feel than a romantic feel and after 75% of the book where Riona is STILL wanting to get away………..??? I needed more of her being convinced she wanted to stay at 30%. Instead the ending and feelings all felt rushed and I wasn’t buying it.

And I just didn’t like Hugh. Dude is DENSE. The whole seduction of Riona just creeped me out. Idk. This whole trope didn’t work for me in this book.

I was gonna give it two starts, but whatevs, I didn’t like it at all, no redeeming characters or plots, 1 star.
94 reviews
February 20, 2023
As if I didn't already have an obsession with Scotland....

Actual rating more like 3.75 because sometimes it felt like it dragged. But I really enjoyed the plot. I had to suspend my belief because the entire time I was like STOCKHOLM SYNDROME, but like still enjoyed it despite that. And I really want to read the next book. I'd say this was the most random find and I love it when that happens. I wanted another book by the same title and I happened upon this one instead. I'm really glad I did because I now have another entire series to binge.
Profile Image for Golden Time.
410 reviews15 followers
October 6, 2019
There are those things that I like about this book and things that I wouldn't care about that there's nothing that I hate or dislike therefore the 4 stars, but reading and finishing book 2 of this series first didn't help me compare the two books' stories. I love the second book more but this one is also enjoyable.
Profile Image for Alice.
1,492 reviews45 followers
April 17, 2022
3.5 stars. Overall a fun story, enjoyed listening to this. I might pick up the others in the series (they don't seem to be available on audio so might not be for a bit).
Profile Image for Beatrix.
587 reviews5 followers
May 2, 2019
Sokkal laposabb, mint egy Julie Garwood könyv, sajnos. Pedig kedvenceim a felföldi románcok.
Profile Image for Izzie d.
4,055 reviews272 followers
July 20, 2017
A good story. I liked it, you felt for the poor 'wrong bride' kidnapped, impossible situation, how can she prove who she is?
When certain things happened I thought the ending was obvious and it took the characters a lot longer to figure it out.
Profile Image for Sabrina (Soter) Sally.
1,748 reviews55 followers
March 19, 2018
3 e 1/2

"«Ti fidi di me?» le sussurrò. La fissò con quegli occhi grigi che un tempo Riona aveva creduto essere freddi come il gelo dell’inverno, ma che adesso si stavano sciogliendo, come se tra loro fosse arrivata la primavera, il tempo dei nuovi inizi.
«Mi fido con tutto il mio cuore» rispose piano."
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