Rogue with a Brogue (Scandalous Highlanders #2)
St. Martin's Press / July 29, 2014 / $7.99 print, digital
London, 1817: Stuck in a Mayfair ballroom thanks to his lovestruck brother, highlander Arran MacLawry wants nothing but a bit of distraction from an arranged betrothal—and a clever auburn-haired lass in a vixen’s mask promises just that...until he discovers that she’s the granddaughter of the Campbell, chief of clan MacLawry’s longtime rival. Despite their families’ grudging truce, falling for fiery Mary Campbell is a notion too outlandish even for this Highlander…
Raised on tales of savage MacLawrys, Mary is stunned to realize the impressively strapping man in the fox’s mask is one of them. Surely the enemy shouldn’t have such a broad chest, and such a seductive brogue? Not that her curiosity matters—any dalliance between them is strictly forbidden, and she’s promised to another. But with the crackling spark between them ready to ignite, love is worth every risk…
Aaran MacLawry and Mary Campbell belong to feuding Scottish clans who have declared a temporary truce. To shore up the truce, their families have arranged marriages with other clans that will support them when the truce is inevitably broken. Sounds like we got us a Romeo and Juliet story here. But wait, Mary says no.
She couldn't even explain it. For goodness' sake, she was one-and-twenty. He was not Romeo, and she was most certainly not Juliet. This wasn't love at first sight. But there was something. They'd begun something, touched something, she and Aaran. They'd said they would end it when the time came, but given the way she felt at this moment, she wasn't certain how she would have parted from him.
So, not Romeo and Juliet, though they did meet at a masked ball, dancing a waltz together before they realized who the other was. They know they should avoid each other, but they keep managing to “accidently” run into each other and have delightful conversations.
“I thought all the MacLawry men had cloven feet and breathed hellfire,” she noted, stopping to peruse some hair ribbons.
“Nae,” he returned. “It's ten toes and air for the lot of us.” He spoke with the same deep, teasing brogue he'd used during the waltz - when he hadn't known who she was.
“That information might have spared me some nightmares as a child.”
Mary met his gaze. “I grew up hearing frightful tales about you and your kin. One of my cousins once told me that you captured the son of one of our chieftains, and you roasted and ate him.”
His sensuous mouth twitched. “Nae. He was too scrawny. We threw him back.”
And once they share a kiss…
He tilted his head. Then, before she could move, he closed the short distance remaining between them, leaned down, and touched his mouth to hers. He tasted of warmth and whisky, and sin. It was surprisingly delicious.
Realizing she had a hand splayed against his chest, Mary swiftly lowered her arm, curling her fingers into her palm. “You…You just kissed a Campbell,” she whispered, her voice sounding husky to her own ears. “Lightning may just strike you dead.”
He shook his head, a lock of his wavy black hair falling across his brow. “I nae kissed a Campbell. I kissed ye, Mary.”
…they're goners. Aaran and Mary are soon discovered by their families and prove themselves to have a bit more spunk than Romeo and Juliet. The second half of Rogue with a Brogue is an adventurous road trip from London to Gretna Green with their families hot on their trail.
Aaran and Mary are a great couple who quickly form a true friendship and an even truer love. No “unction of a mountebank” required.
Learn more or pre-order a copy of Rogue with a Brogue by Suzanne Enoch, out July 29, 2014.
Cheryl Sneed reviews for Rakehell.com.