And the Bride Wore Plaid

And the Bride Wore Plaid

by Karen Hawkins

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Devon St John has never had a problem in his life—until now. Born to wealth and privilege, surrounded by a warm and loving family, he has pursued a life of leisure, chasing the most beautiful women London has to offer. All told, he has the perfect life and no intentions of ever settling down in any shape, form or fashion. So resolved, he heads to his friend’s Scottish castle, unaware that fate is already hard at work.

As the illegitimate half-sister to Viscount Strathmore, Melody Macdonald refuses to reside under his roof and instead lives in a thatched house on the edge of the forest that borders Strathmore Castle. Ever since she ran off at the tender age of twelve to become an apprentice to a master of stained glass, Melody has been deplorably independent and wild. When Devon arrives at Strathmore Castle, he is taken aback by the rude, overbearing, illegitimate Scotswoman who refuses even to pretend to possess any feminine wiles. But Devon is determined to teach the strong-willed Melody a lesson in love ...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061739248
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/13/2009
Series: Talisman Ring Series , #4
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 12,191
File size: 488 KB

About the Author

Karen Hawkins was raised in Tennessee, a member of a huge extended family that included her brother and sister, an adopted sister, numerous foster siblings, and various exchange students. In order to escape the chaos (and while hiding when it was her turn to do the dishes), she would huddle under the comforter on her bed with a flashlight and a book, a habit she still embraces to this day.

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And the Bride Wore Plaid

Chapter One

I pity people who think to fool their fellow man. Take poor Mary Gillenwather. She stuffed the front of her gown with paper in an effort to appear better endowed. We all knew she'd done it, but no one said a word; you simply cannot work that sort of thing into a genteel conversation. But it wasn't necessary after all. Last night, at the Pooles' dinner party, she sneezed and dropped an entire issue of the Morning Post into her soup.

Lady Mountjoy to her friend
Miss Clarissa Fullerton,
while sipping chocolate at Betty's Tea House

It was raining. Not a soft, whispering rain, the kind that mists the world into a greener, lusher place, but a harsh, heavy deluge that sopped the earth and saturated the very air with unending grayness. Water pooled, collected, swirled, swelled, and then burst into fields, raged through ditches, and rampaged across roads.

It was in this heavy, unending torrent that the lumbering carriage finally reached its destination late at night. The driver and footmen were exhausted, the horses straining heavily as they pulled the mud-coated ornate wheels through the muck and mire that had once been a road.

Ten minutes later, around the curve of a hill, appeared a looming stone castle that stretched up into the blackness of night. The coachman didn't even bother to wipe the rain from his face as he halted the carriage at the door. Too wet to do more than tilt his hat brim to empty it of whatever water had collected, he squinted at the dark edifice that loomed in front of them. "Gor," he said softly, awe overwhelming the tiredness of his voice.

Beside him on the seat was Paul the footman, a relatively new arrival to Mr. Devon St. John's rather considerable staff. Paul was inclined to agree with John the coachman. "Dark, it is. It fair makes me shiver in me boots. Are ye sure we've come to the right place?"

"Mr. St. John said to go to Kilkairn Castle and to Kilkairn Castle we've come." The coachman shook his head disgustedly. "Though to tell ye the truth, I think Mr. St. John has bumped his noggin."

"Why do ye think that?"

"Just look at the facts. First he leaves his own brother's weddin' afore it even begins and then he orders us to bring him here, drivin' through godforsaken rain fer days on end. And when we do get to this lumbering pile of stone, there's nary a light on!" He sourly regarded the bleak building in front of them. "Looks deserted and hainted by ghosties, if I ain't mistaken."

Paul stood, stealing yet another glance at the dark edifice before them. While he wasn't a great believer in ghosties, the castle definitely left him with an uneasy, spine-tingling sensation that was as unnerving as the constant pour of rain.

Biting back a sigh, Paul made his way down from the seat, landing in a huge puddle of muck that sank his wet boots up to his ankles. "The drive's a rank mess."

"I only hopes they've a barn, though I daresay it is as leaky as a sieve, judging from the looks of things. Didn't they knowed we was comin'?"

"They was tol'. I posted the letter for Mr. St. John meself." Paul tugged his hat lower, though it was so wet it no longer protected him from anything the elements had to offer. He hoped the owner of the castle was not as ramshackle as his edifice and had a place prepared for them all.

Holding this warming thought in place, the footman trudged back to open the door for his master, stopping to collect a lantern from a side hook. It took a while to get the blasted lamp lit.

He carried the lantern to the door and hung it on a hook there, the golden pool of light greatly diminished by the weather. He tugged on the door handle, opened it, and then let down the steps.

Inside the plush carriage sprawled a long, elegant figure dressed in a well-fitted coat and breeches, sparkling top boots, and a perfectly starched and folded cravat, set with a blue sapphire. The jewel echoed the master's blue eyes in an uncanny manner. There was no mistaking a St. John -- black hair and blue eyes, a square, determined chin, and a sharp wit marked them all.

At the moment, though, Paul couldn't make out his master's face in the shadows, which left him momentarily anxious. Though it was rare that Mr. St. John took an irritation, he could be cold and cutting when occasion called for it. Paul cleared his throat. "Mr. St. John, we have arrived at Kilkairn Castle."

The figure inside stirred, stretching lazily. "It's about time. I fear I had fallen into a stupor when -- good God!" Mr. Devon St. John's blue eyes widened as he looked at Paul. "You're drowned!"

"Just a bit wet, sir."

"That is an understatement if I've ever heard one. Go ahead and say it -- it's wretched, horrid, awful, godforsaken rain and you wonder why we're arriving so late at night."

Paul hesitated, then nodded. "Aye, sir. All that and more."

"Indeed," the master said. "The reason I pushed us so hard was because I mistakenly thought we'd be able to outrun the family curse."

"Curse, sir?"

"The St. John talisman ring. It's a curse if there ever was one. It seems that whoever holds the bloody thing is doomed to wed."

Paul had heard of the St. John talisman ring, and it sounded horrid indeed. "Do ye hold the ring, sir?"

"Unknowingly, I've held it since before we left England. My brother Chase hid it in the blasted carriage. He must have known I'd flee before the wedding, the bastard. I didn't discover it until we were well on our way."

Paul shook his head. "Then ye're doomed."

And the Bride Wore Plaid. Copyright © by Karen Hawkins. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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And the Bride Wore Plaid 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Devon St. John leaves his brother¿s wedding early to avoid the family talisman ring being dumped on him. However, he failed to leave quickly enough because the ring has been left in his carriage. So far three of his siblings have succumbed to the magic of the ring, which is find and marry your true love. He hopes to slip it to his only remaining bachelor brother before he becomes caught by its charm.............................. Devon visits his friend Malcolm MacDonald, who is having spousal trouble with his wife Fiona though he loves her dearly. He sleeps in a chamber until a maid arrives and wakes him up. She claims the room is hers as she turns out to be Malcolm¿s half-sister Kat. As Devon finds he likes the aggressive Kat, Malcolm and Fiona bet on whether his half-sister or Fiona¿s sister ends up with the handsome eligible bachelor......................................... The latest St. John talisman ring Regency is a wonderful romance starring a delightful unique lead female protagonist. The story line moves forward rather quickly when Devon tries to gain the attention and ultimately the love of Kat. While Fiona¿s sister is too devious and nasty of an opponent, readers will appreciate this warm story and look forward to learn whom snatched the ring before the final sibling Marcus can have its magic enchant him like it does sub-genre fans........................ Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont know what the other reader complaint is, I found this book just as enjoyable as the rest of the authors books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
zanniati on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Just as a side note at the beginning, this book as made me remember why I love historical romance so much. This story caught me in its web and didn¿t release me until I finished it yesterday. The story follows Katherine ¿Kat¿ Macdonald and Devon St John, who is trying to escape is future as a possible groom. The interesting feature of this book is the use of a talisman ring, the majority of the book has Devon trying to escape the `curse¿ of the ring, which states that the holder will soon marry, as a result, Devon tries very hard to find an entirely unsuitable lady to associate with. Enter Kat in a homespun gown and full of fire. He shortly finds out that the buxom ¿maid¿ is none other then his host and good friend Lord Strathmore¿s half sister. The twists and turns were expected but enjoyed none the less. Then the triangle forms in the shape of one Murien, she wants to marry but, only to a man as rich as possible. With the help of her sister Fiona, Lord Strathmore¿s wife they plot to host a ball to humiliate Kat and prove to Devon just how unsuitable she really is.All in all I would recommend this book for a quick and enjoyable read.
fredalss on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good, plus size heroine, but use of talisman plot device stretched believe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*Excellent read...highly recommend the entire series.
samanthajayne13 More than 1 year ago
I fell in love with this book when I read it. I couldn't put this book down. I loved how in And the Bride Wore Plaid that the heroine, Melody, was a women who wasn't skinny but had some meat on her bones.  It didn't stop Devon, the hero, from loving her the way she was.  Devon and Melody had such great chemistry together.  I love reading books by Karen Hawkins. But I think this is one my favorite books!
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This has lots of humor and romance with some suspense. It centers on Devon’s mothers ring that has a spell to it. He does everything he can to avoid the spell, only when he meets Melody he fools himself thinking he is safe from the spell only he winds up developing feelings for her and has plenty of adventures in the discovery..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really loved this book. It was different and refreshing. Glad I found this book and will be reading more from this great author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a good read.
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