Title: Fooled & Enlightened: The Englishman’s Scottish Wife
Author: Bree Wolf
Publisher: WOLF Publishing
Release Date: May 2020
Length: 316 pages
Series?: Love’s Second Chance: Highland Tales #5
Genre: Historical, Romance
Scotland 1812: Returning to England after ten years, Maggie MacDrummond finds herself confronted by a man of her past. Long ago, she lost her heart to her childhood friend, only to have it crushed upon the first test of devotion. While Maggie spent the summer in Scotland with her family, the man she loved married another…without a word. Without warning. Without any thought for how his decision would crush her.
Ten years later, Maggie still cannot forget the man who’d once stolen her heart…and possesses it still. She is haunted by the moments they shared together, her heart foolishly longing for someone who treated it without care. Determined to finally rid herself of his influence over her, Maggie travels to London to face him.
Nathan Penhale, Earl of Townsend, lives from day to day, from one distraction to another. His life holds no meaning, no depth, no substance. He is but a shadow of the man he’s once been. Until the day Nathan glimpses the woman with the fiery-red hair who captured his heart long ago at a ball. It takes no more than a look into her soulful blue eyes, and his dead, shrivelled, dysfunctional heart once more begins to beat in his chest.
Shocked, Nathan can do little else but stand and stare at the ghost from his past, returned to torment him after ten years of agony. Nathan knows he ought to turn and leave, ignore her siren’s call, for it will only lead him to his doom. But his foolish heart urges him down a different path
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Margaret Brandley is the daughter of an earl, the Earl of Tynham. At eighteen she travels to Seann Dachaigh Tower in Scotland, her mother’s clan, where she still thinks of her childhood ally and friend, Nathan Penhale, Earl of Townsend. How could she not? She loves him.
But there are others who strictly do not want them to be together. Ever. So a lie is manufactured: Nathan is engaged. A date set. Perfect way to keep her sequestered in Scotland, away from learning the truth. And pushing her into a loveless marriage with Ian MacDrummond.
More than two years had passed since Ian had died in a tragic accident, freeing them both from a vow they’d come to regret.
Ten years later, Maggie must return to England. Now she is a widow with two young children. She follows her new clanswoman Claire back to England, seeking out her brother and his family, as well as a way to either break from Nathan or break her heart again.
Except Nathan has broken several hearts in England, including his own sister’s upon learning of a young boy named Collin. In fact, he acts heartless as well.
“I know she broke your heart,” she told him once again as though he could ever forget it, “but that doesn’t give you the right to treat others as though they’re worthless.”
And that’s exactly how Nathan lives. There is nothing that has meaning for him any longer. He survives in a world only to numb himself to everything around him. He is not the man he was ten years ago. Until he sees her again and that cold, dead thing in his chest beats once more. Now he must backtrack down the trail of broken hearts and painful memories he’s left in Maggie’s wake the last ten years to right the wrongs he’s done.
Throughout the book, we’re shown that young Blair has a special gift, which again featured in the epilogue, hinting at another book to come. Blair also pushes her mother to open and bare her heart once again. She is a healer of sorts as well. My heart broke learning the true story of Maggie’s “capture” in Scotland, and I’m glad she didn’t repeat that same process.
I think this has been my favorite of the series so far. I’ve read at least half a dozen, and I think the family element of Maggie and her two children, as well as the romance rekindling, secondary family, and other tidbits of Nathan’s past was just the right amount of everything.