Shopaholic Ties the Knot PDF book (Shopaholic) (Shopaholic Series) Read Online or Free Download in ePUB, PDF or MOBI eBooks. Published in April 30th 2002 the book become immediate popular and critical acclaim in womens fiction, chick lit books. The main characters of Shopaholic Ties the Knot novel are Becky Bloomwood, Luke Brandon. The Square Knot is a very ancient knot and is also referred to as the Reef Knot or Hercules Knot. The Square Knot has been used for millennia by human kind for various purposes, including artwork, binding wounds, sailing, and textiles. This knot should not be used to tie two pieces of rope together nor be used in critical situations, as it.
September 21, 1808
Dear Captain Logan MacKenzie,
There is but one consolation in writing this absurd letter. And that is that you, my dear delusion, do not exist to read it.
But I run ahead of myself. Introductions first.
I am Madeline Eloise Gracechurch. The greatest ninny to ever draw breath in England. This will come as a shock, I fear, but you fell deeply in love with me when we did not cross paths in Brighton. And now we are engaged.
Maddie could not remember the first time she'd held a drawing pencil. She only knew she could not recall a time she'd been without one.
In fact, she usually carried two or three. She kept them tucked in her apron pockets and speared in her upswept dark hair, and sometimesâÂwhen she needed all her limbs for climbing a tree or vaulting a fence railâÂclenched in her teeth.
And she wore them down to nubs. She sketched songbirds when she was supposed to be minding her lessons, and she sketched church mice when she was meant to be at prayer. When she had time to ramble out of doors, anything in Nature was fair gameâÂfrom the shoots of clover between her toes to any cloud that meandered overhead.
She loved to draw
Well, almost anything.
She hated drawing attention to herself.
And thus, at sixteen years old, she found herself staring down her first London season with approximately as much joy as one might anticipate a dose of purgative.
After many years as a widower, Papa had taken a new wife. One a mere eight years older than Maddie herself. Anne was cheerful, elegant, lively. Everything her new stepdaughter was not.
Oh, to be Cinderella in all her soot-Âsmeared, rag-Âclad misery. Maddie would have been thrilled to have a wicked stepmother lock her in the tower while everyone else went to the ball. Instead, she was stuck with a very different sort of stepmotherâÂone eager to dress her in silks, send her to dances, and thrust her into the arms of an unsuspecting prince.
Figuratively, of course.
At best, Maddie was expected to fetch a third son with aspirations to the Church, or perhaps an insolvent baronet.
At worstÂ .Â .Â .
Maddie didn't do well in crowds. More to the point, she didn't do
in crowds. In any large gatheringâÂbe it a market, a theater, a ballroomâÂshe had a tendency to freeze, almost literally. An arctic sense of terror took hold of her, and the crush of bodies rendered her solid and stupid as a block of ice.
The mere thought of a London season made her shudder.
And yet, she had no choice.
While Papa and Anne (she could not bring herself to address a twenty-Âfour-Âyear-Âold as Mama) enjoyed their honeymoon, Maddie was sent to a ladies' rooming house in Brighton. The sea air and society were meant to coax her out of her shell before her season commenced.
It didn't quite work that way.
Instead, Maddie spent most of those weeks
shells. Collecting them on the beach, sketching them in her notebook, and trying not to think about parties or balls or gentlemen.
On the morning she returned, Anne greeted her with a pointed question. “There now. Are you all ready to meet your special someone?”
That was when Maddie panicked. And lied. On the spur of the moment, she concocted an outrageous falsehood that would, for better and worse, determine the rest of her life.
“I've met him already.”
The look of astonishment on her stepmother's face was immensely satisfying. But within seconds, Maddie realized how stupid she'd been. She ought to have known that her little statement wouldn't put paid to the matter. Of course it only launched a hundred other questions.
When is he coming here?
Oh, er .Â .Â . He can't. He wanted to, but he had to leave the country at once.
Because he's in the army. An officer.
What of his family? We at least should meet them.
But you can't. He's from too far away. All the way in Scotland. And also, they're dead.
At least tell us his name.
MacKenzie. His name is Logan MacKenzie.
Logan MacKenzie. Suddenly her not-Âreal suitor had a name. By the end of the afternoon, he had hair (brown), eyes (blue), a voice (deep, with a Highland burr), a rank (captain), and a personality (firm, but intelligent and kind).
And that evening, at her family's urging, Maddie sat down to write him a letter.
.Â .Â . Right this moment, they think I am writing a letter to my secret kilted betrothed, and I am filling a page with nonsense instead, just praying no one looks over my shoulder. Worst of all, I shall have no choice but to post the thing when I'm done. It will end up in some military dead letter office. I hope. Or it will be read and passed around whole regiments for ridicule, which I would richly deserve.
Stupid, stupid, stupid. Now the clock is ticking, and when it strikes doom I will have to confess. I will firstly be compelled to explain that I lied about attracting a handsome Scottish officer while staying in Brighton. Then, when I do, I shall have no further excuse to avoid the actual rejection of countless English gentlemen come spring.
My dear imaginary Captain MacKenzie, you are not real and never will be. I, however, am a true and eternal fool.
Here, have a drawing of a snail.
October 5, 1808
Dear not-Âreally-Âa-ÂCaptain MacKenzie,
On second thought, perhaps I won't have to explain it this year. I might be able to stretch this for a whole season. I must admit, it's rather convenient. And my family looks at me in a whole new light. I am now a woman who inspired at least one headlong tumble into everlasting love, and reallyâÂisn't one enough?
Because, you see, you are mad for me. Utterly consumed with passion after just a few chance meetings and walks along the shore. You made me a great many promises. I was reluctant to accept them, knowing how our nascent love would be tested by distance and war. But you assured me that your heart is true, and IÂ .Â .Â .
And I have read too many novels, I think.
November 10, 1808
Dear Captain MacWhimsy,
Is there anything more mortifying than bearing witness to one's own father's love affair? Ugh. We all knew he needed to remarry and produce an heir. To take a young, fertile wife made the most sense. I just didn't expect him to enjoy it so much, or with so few nods to dignity. Curse this endless war and its effect of hampering proper months-Âlong honeymoons. They disappear together every afternoon, and then I and the servants must all pretend to not know what they are doing. I shudder.
I know I should be happy to see them both happy, and I am. Rather. But until this heir-Âmaking project takes root, I think I shall be writing you fewer letters and taking a great many walks.
December 18, 1808
Dear Captain MacFantasy,
I have a new accomplice. My aunt Thea has come to stay. In her youth she was a scandalous demimondaine, ruined at court in France by a wicked comte, but she's frail and harmless now.
Aunt Thea adores the idea that I'm suffering with love and anxiety for my endangered Scottish officer. I scarcely have to lie at all. “Of course Madeline doesn't wish to attend parties and balls in London! Can't you see, the poor dear is eaten with worry for her Captain MacKenzie.”
Truly, it's a bit frightening how much she cherishes my misery. She has even convinced my father that I should be served breakfasts in my room now, like a married lady or an invalid. I am excused from anything resembling public merriment, I am permitted to spend as much time as I please sketching in peace. Chocolate and toast are delivered to my bedside every morning, and I read the newspaper even before Papa has his turn.
I am starting to believe you were a stroke of brilliance.
June 26, 1809
Dear Captain Imaginary MacFigment,
O happy day! Ring the bells, sound the trumpets. Swab the floors with lemon oil. My father's bride is vomiting profusely every morning, and most every afternoon, as well. The signs are plain. A noisy, smelly, writhing thing will push its way into the world in some six or seven months' time. Their joy is complete, and I am pushed further and further to the margins of it.
No matter. We have the rest of the world, you and I. Aunt Thea helps me chart the routes of your campaign. She tells me stories about the French countryside so that I might imagine the sights that will greet you as you drive Napoleon to the other side of the Pyrenees. When you smell lavender, she says, victory is near.
I must remind myself to appear sad from time to time, as though I'm worried for you. Sometimes, oddly enough, it's quite an easy thing to pretend.
Stay well and whole, my captain.
December 9, 1809
Oh, my dear captain,
You will be put out with me. I know I swore my heart to be true, but I must confess. I have fallen in love. Lost my heart to another, irrevocably. His name is Henry Edward Gracechurch. He weighs just a half stone, he's pink and wrinkled all over .Â .Â . and he is perfect. I don't know how I ever called him a thing. A more beautiful, charming angel never existed.
Now that Papa has an heir, our estate shall never pass to The Dreaded American, and I will never be thrown into genteel poverty. This means I do not have to marry, and I no longer need a fictional Scottish suitor to explain it.
I could claim that we've grown apart, put an end to all these silly letters and lies. But Aunt Thea is ever so fond of you by now, and I am ever so fond of her. Besides, I would miss writing.
It's the oddest thing. I do not understand myself. But sometimes I fancy that you do.
November 9, 1810
When A Scot Ties The Knot Pdf Free Download Windows 10
(Surely we can claim a ChrisÂtian-Âname familiarity by now.)
What follows is an exercise in pure mortification. I can't even believe I'm going to write it down, but perhaps putting it on paper and sending it away will help rid me of the stupid habit. You see, I have a pillow. It's a fine pillow, all stuffed with goose down. Quite firm and big. Almost a bolster, really. At night I put it on one side of the bed and place a hot brick beneath it to warm it all up. Then I nestle up alongside it, and if I close my eyes and fall into that half-Âsleep place .Â .Â . I can almost believe it's you. Beside me. Keeping me warm and safe. But it's not you, because it is a pillow and you are not even a real person. And I am a bug. But now I've grown so accustomed to the thing, I can't sleep without it. The nights simply stretch too long and lonely.
Wherever you are, I hope you are sleeping well. Sweet dreams, Captain MacPillow.
July 17, 1811
My dear Highland laird and captain,
You have pulled off quite a trick for a man who is no more than a pillow stuffed with lies and embroidered with a hint of personality. You are going to be a landowner. Aunt Thea has convinced my godfather, the Earl of Lynforth, to leave me a little something in his will. That “little something” being a castle in the Scottish Highlands. Lannair Castle, it's called. It is meant to be our home when you return from war. That is the perfect ending to this masterpiece of absurdity, isn't it?
Dear Lord. A castle.
March 16, 1813
Dear captain of my heart's true folly,
Little Master Henry and Miss Emma are growing like reeds. I've enclosed a sketch. Thanks to their doting mama, they have learnt to say their nightly prayers. And every nightâÂmy heart twists to write itâÂthey pray for you. “God bless and keep our brave Captain MacKenzie.” Well, the way Emma says it, it sounds more like “Cap'n Macaroni.” And each time they pray for you, I feel my own soul sliding ever closer to brimstone. This has all gone too far, and yetâÂif I were to reveal my lie, they would despise me. And mourn you. After all, it's been almost five years since we did not meet in Brighton.
You are part of our family now.
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June 20, 1813
My dear, silent friend,
It breaks my heart, but I have to do it. I must. I can't bear the guilt any longer. There's only one way to end this now.
You have to die.
I'm so sorry. You can't know how sorry. I promise, I'll make it a valiant death. You'll save fourâÂno, sixâÂother men in a feat of courage and noble sacrifice. As for me, I'm devastated. These are genuine tears dotting this parchment. The mourning I shall wear for you will be real, as well. It's as though I'm killing off part of myselfâÂthe part that had all those romantic, if foolish, hopes. I will settle into life as a spinster now, just as I always knew I would. I will never be married. Or held, or loved. Maybe if I write those things out, I'll get used to the truth of them. It's time to stop lying and put aside dreaming.
My darling, departed Captain MacKenzieÂ .Â .Â .
Maddie's hand jerked.
Ink sputtered from her pen, making great blots on the wing structure she'd been outlining. Her delicate Brazilian dragonfly now resembled a leprous chicken.
Two hours of work, gone in a heartbeat.
But it would be nothing if those bubbles signified what she hoped.
Her heart began to beat faster. She set aside her pen, lifted her head just enough for a clear view of the glass-Âwalled seawater tank, and went still.
Maddie was, by nature, an observer. She knew how to fade into the background, be it drawing-Âroom wallpaper, ballroom wainscoting, or the plastered-Âover stone of Lannair Castle. And she had a great deal of experience observing the mating rituals of many strange and wondrous creatures, from English aristocrats to cabbage moths.
When it came to courtship, however, lobsters were the most prudish and formal of all.
She'd been waiting months for Fluffy, the female, to molt and declare herself available to mate. So had Rex, the male specimen in the tank. She didn't know which of them was the more frustrated.
Perhaps today would be the day. Maddie peered hard at the tank, breathless with anticipation.
There. From behind a broken chunk of coral, a slender orange antennae waved in the murky gloom.
she silently willed.
Go on, Fluffy. That's a girl. It
's been a long, lonely winter under that rock. But you're ready now.
A blue claw appeared.
“Stop being so missish.”
At last, the female's full head came into view as she rose from her hiding place.
And then someone rapped at the door. “Miss Gracechurch?”
That was the end of that.
, Fluffy disappeared as quickly as she'd emerged. Back under her rock.
“What is it, Becky?” Maddie called. “Is my aunt ill?”
If she'd been disturbed in her studio,
must be ill. The servants knew not to interrupt her when she was working.
“No one's ill, miss. But there's a caller for you.”
“A caller? Now that's a surprise.”
For an on-Âthe-Âshelf Englishwoman residing in the barren wilds of the Scottish Highlands, callers were always a surprise.
“Who is it?” she asked.
“It's a man.”
Now Maddie was more than surprised. She was positively shocked.
She pushed aside her ruined dragonfly illustration and stood to peer out the window. No luck. She'd chosen this tower room for its breathtaking view of the rugged green hills and the glassy loch settled like a mirror shard between them. It offered no useful vantage of the gate or entryway.
“Oh, Miss Gracechurch.” Becky sounded nervous. “He's ever so big.”
“Goodness. And does this big man have a name?”
“No. I mean, he must
a name, mustn't he? But he didn't say. Not yet. Your aunt thought you had best come and see for yourself.”
Well. This grew more and more mysterious.
“I'll be there in a moment. Ask Cook to prepare some tea, if you will.”
Maddie untied her smock. After pulling the apron over her head and hanging it on a nearby peg, she took a quick inventory of her appearance. Her slate-Âgray frock wasn't too wrinkled, but her hands were stained with ink and her hair was a travestyâÂloose and disheveled. There was no time for a proper coiffure. No hairpins to be found, either. She gathered the dark locks in her hands and twisted them into a loose knot at the back of her head, securing the chignon with a nearby pencil. The best she could do under the circumstances.
Whoever this unexpected, nameless, ever-Âso-Âbig man was, he wasn't likely to be impressed with her.
But then, men seldom were.
She took her time descending the spiraling stairs, wondering who this visitor might be. Most likely a land agent from a neighboring estate. Lord Varleigh wasn't due until tomorrow, and Becky would have known his name.
When Maddie finally reached the bottom, Aunt Thea joined her.
Her aunt touched a hand to her turban with dramatic flair. “Oh, Madling. At last.”
“Where is our mysterious caller? In the hall?”
“The parlor.” Her aunt took her arm, and together they moved down the corridor. “Now, my dear. You must be calm.”
calm. Or at least, I
calm until you said that.” She studied her aunt's face for clues. “What on earth is going on?”
“There may be a shock. But don't you worry. Once it's over, I'll make a posset to set you straight.”
Oh, dear. Aunt Thea fancied herself something of an amateur apothecary. The trouble was, her “cures” were usually worse than the disease.
“It's only a caller. I'm sure a posset won't be necessary.”
Maddie resolved to maintain squared shoulders and an air of good health when she greeted this big, nameless man.
When they stepped into the parlor, her resolve was tested.
This wasn't just a man.
This was a
A tall, commanding figure of a Scotsman, dressed in what appeared to be military uniform: a kilt of dark green-Âand-Âblue plaid, paired with the traditional redcoat.
His hair was overlong (mostly brown, with hints of ginger), and his squared jaw sported several days' growth of whiskers (mostly ginger, with hints of brown). Broad shoulders tapered to a trim torso. A simple black sporran was slung low around his waist, and a sheathed dirk rode his hip. Below the fall of his kilt, muscled, hairy legs disappeared into white hose and scuffed black boots.
Maddie pleaded with herself not to stare.
It was a losing campaign.
Taken altogether, his appearance was a veritable assault of virility.
“Good afternoon.” She managed an awkward curtsy.
He did not answer or bow. Wordlessly, he approached her.
And at the point where a well-Âmannered gentleman would stop, he drew closer still.
She shifted her weight from one foot to the other, anxious. At least he'd solved her staring problem. She could scarcely bear to look at him now.
He stopped close enough for Maddie to breathe in the scents of whisky and wood smoke, and to glimpse a wide, devilish mouth slashing through his light growth of beard. After long seconds, she coaxed herself into meeting his gaze.
His eyes were a breathtaking blue. And not in a good way.
They were the sort of blue that gave one the feeling of being launched into the sky or plunged into icy water. Flung into a void with no hope of return. It wasn't a pleasant sensation.
“Miss Madeline Gracechurch?”
Oh, his voice was the worst part of all. Deep, with that Highland burr that scraped and hollowed words out, forcing them to hold more meaning.
He said, “I'm come home to you.”
“H-Âhome .Â .Â . to
“I knew it,” Aunt Thea said. “It's him.”
The strange man nodded. “It's me.”
“It's who?” Maddie blurted out.
She didn't mean to be rude, but she'd never laid eyes on this man in her life. She was quite sure of it. His wasn't a face or figure she'd be likely to forget. He made quite an impression. More than an impression. She felt flattened by him.
“Don't you know me,
She shook her head. She'd had enough of this game, thank you. “Tell me your name.”
The corner of his mouth tipped in a small, roguish smile. “Captain Logan MacKenzie.”
The world became a violent swirl of colors: green and red and that stark, dangerous blue.
“Did you .Â .Â .” Maddie faltered. “Surely you didn't say CapâÂ”
That was as far as she got. Her tongue gave up.
And then her knees gave out.
She didn't swoon or crumple. She simply sat down, hard. Her backside hit the settee, and the air was forced from her lungs. “
The Scotsman stared down at her, looking faintly amused. “Are ye well?”
“No,” she said honestly. “I'm seeing things. This can't be happening.”
This really, truly, could
Captain Logan MacKenzie could not be alive. He could not be dead, either.
He didn't exist.
To be sure, for nigh on a decade now, everyone had believed her to be first pining after, then mourning for, the man who was nothing but fiction.
Maddie had spent countless afternoons writing him lettersâÂmissives that had actually just been pages of nonsense or sketches of moths and snails. She'd declined to attend parties and balls, citing her devotion to the Highland hero of her dreamsâÂbut really because she'd preferred to stay home with a book.
Her godfather, the Earl of Lynforth, had even left her Lannair Castle in his will so that she might be nearer her beloved's home. Quite thoughtful of the old dear.
And when the deceit began to weigh on her conscience, Maddie had given her Scottish officer a brave, honorable, and entirely fictional death. She'd worn black for a full year, then gray thereafter. Everyone believed her to be disconsolate, but black and gray suited her. They hid the smudges of ink and charcoal that came from her work.
Thanks to Captain MacKenzie, she had a home, an income, work she enjoyedâÂand no pressure to move in London society. She'd never intended to deceive her family for so many years, but no one had been hurt. It all seemed to have worked for the best.
Now something had gone terribly wrong.
Maddie turned her head by slow degrees, Miss Muffet fashion, forcing herself to look at the Highlander who'd sat down beside her. Her heart thumped in her chest.
If her Captain MacKenzie didn't exist, who was this man? And what did he want from her?
“You aren't real.” She briefly closed her eyes and pinched herself, hoping to waken from this horrid dream. “You. Aren't. Real.”
Aunt Thea pressed a hand to her throat. With the other, she fanned herself vigorously. “Surely it must be a miracle. To think, we were told you wereâÂ”
“Dead?” The officer's gaze never left Maddie's. A hint of irony sharpened his voice. “I'm not dead. Touch and see for yourself.”
Oh, no. Touching him was out of the question. There would not be any touching.
But before Maddie knew what was happening, he'd caught her ungloved hand and drawn it inside his unbuttoned coat, pressing it to his chest.
And they were touching.
A stupid, instinctive thrill shot through her. She'd never held hands with any man. Never felt a man's skin pressed against her own. Curiosity clamored louder than her objections.
His hand was large and strong. Roughened with calluses, marked with scars and powder burns. Those marks revealed his life to be one of battle and strife, just as surely as her pale, ink-Âstained fingers told hers to be a life of scribbling .Â .Â . and no adventure at all.
He flattened her palm against the well-Âworn lawn of his shirt. Beneath it, he was impressively solid. Warm.
“I'm no ghost,
Just a man. Flesh and bone.”
He kept using those words. She wasn't fluent in Gaelic, but over the years she'd gathered a few bits here and there. She knew
meant “my heart.”
The words were a lover's endearment, but there was no tenderness in his voice. Only a low, simmering anger. He spoke the words like a man who'd cut out his own heart long ago and left it buried in the cold, dark ground.
With their joined hands, he eased aside one lapel of his coat. The gesture revealed a corner of yellowed paper tucked inside his breast pocket. She recognized the handwriting on the envelope.
It was her own.
“I received your letters, lass. Every last one.”
God help her. He knew.
He knew she'd lied. He knew everything.
And he was here to make her pay.
“Aunt Thea,” she whispered, “I believe I'll be needing that posset after all.”
This is the girl.
At last he had her in his grasp. Madeline Eloise Gracechurch. In her own words, the greatest ninny to ever draw breath in England.
The lass wasn't in England now. And pale as she'd grown in the past few seconds, he suspected she might not be breathing, either.
He gave her hand a little squeeze, and she drew in a gasp. Color flooded her cheeks.
There, that was better.
To be truthful, Logan needed a moment to locate his own composure. She'd knocked the breath from him, too.
He'd spent a great deal of time wondering how she looked. Too much time over the years. Of course she'd sent him sketches of every blessed mushroom, moth, and blossom in existenceâÂbut never any likenesses of herself.
By the gods, she was bonny. Far prettier than her letters had led him to imagine. Also smaller, more delicate.
“So .Â .Â .” she said, “this means .Â .Â . you .Â .Â . I .Â .Â . gack.”
Much less articulate, too.
Logan's gaze slid to her aunt, who was somehow
as he'd always pictured her. Frail shoulders, busy eyes, saffron-Âyellow turban.
“Perhaps you'll permit us a few minutes alone, Aunt Thea. May I call you Aunt Thea?”
“But .Â .Â . certainly you may.”
“No,” his betrothed moaned. “Please, don't.”