Thu
Sep 29 2016 4:00pm

First Look: Suzanne Enoch’s Hero in the Highlands (October 4, 2016)

Hero in the Highlands by Suzanne Enoch

Suzanne Enoch
Hero in the Highlands (No Ordinary Hero #1)
St. Martin's Press / October 4, 2016 / $7.99 print and digital

Scotland, 1812: He’s ferocious and rugged to the bone, an English soldier more at home on the battlefield than in any Society drawing room. And when Major Gabriel Forrester learns that he’s inherited the massive Scottish Highlands title and estate of a distant relation, the last thing he wants to do is give up the intensity of the battlefield for the too-soft indulgences of noble life. But Gabriel Forrester does not shirk his responsibilities, and when he meets striking, raven-eyed lass Fiona Blackstock, his new circumstances abruptly become more intriguing.

Like any good Highlander, Fiona despises the English?and the new Duke of Lattimer is no exception. Firstly, he is far too attractive for Fiona’s peace of mind. Secondly, his right to “her” castle is a travesty, since it’s been clan Maxwell property for ages. As the two enter a heated battle of wills, an unexpected passion blazes into a love as fierce as the Highlands themselves. Is Fiona strong enough to resist her enemy’s advances?or is Gabriel actually her hero in disguise?

The hero of Suzanne Enoch’s Hero in the Highlands, Major Gabriel Forrester, is a professional soldier. He is both equally feared and revered for snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, earning the moniker of “The Beast of Bussaco.” He is not at all pleased to learn that he has unexpectedly inherited a Dukedom from an unknown relative, and even less pleased that he must travel to the Highlands to deal with some suspicious doings on his Scottish estate. But he tackles the problem the only way he knows how—as a soldier.

He was accustomed to responsibility and command, but owning land, being responsible for people who carried rakes and hoes rather than muskets and rifles, fell so far out of his realm of expertise he couldn’t even sight it over the horizon.

Gabriel took a slow breath. He knew battle. And Lattimer had just become his battleground. If he looked at it that way, the castle was his command tent. The Highlands was his battlefield, and the Highlanders were either his troops, or the enemy’s. In the next few days he would have to decide which, and then act based on that fact.

He believes he can quickly take care of any problems he finds and return to his regiment in the Penninsula. It takes Gabriel a while to work out that his life has forever changed - that he will never be a soldier again. And a funny thing happens on his journey to that realization: he becomes seduced by the Highlands.

Gabriel pushed aside the heavy curtains, then stilled with his hands gripping the green, linen-lined silk. “Good God,” he breathed, his bare feet, the chill in the air, the rumbling hunger in his stomach, all forgotten.

Before him, stretching out over perhaps half a hundred miles, lay the Scottish Highlands. The land directly beyond Lattimer’s formal gardens sloped off gently to the shore of a vast blue lake that curved to the east out of sight beyond a cluster of tumbled ruins on the rocky bank. Trees edged down to the western shore and up the hill beyond, with patches of purple heather and thistle carpeting open meadows. Beyond the lake, rough, rock-tumbled hills lifted into craggy white mountains which stood starkly silhouetted by the rising sun.

Of all the place he’d been in this word, of all the things he’d seen, this . . . humbled him.

And speaking of seduction... His steward, Fiona Balckstock, quickly becomes an even more powerful lure in his transformation from soldier to duke.

“Friends,“ he repeated, his tone unexpectedly thoughtful for a man who compared sex to battle. “Friends are a tricky concept. If you have them, I envy you.”

She frowned. “Ye have friends, surely. Kelgrove’s yer friend.”

“I’m fond of him; I’ll concede that. For most of my life I’ve been surrounded by people, and I’ve been alone in the middle of them all. It’s difficult to befriend men when I have to order them into battle, and I have to watch them die. You make me think of other things, and as long as you do, I’m going to be after you. It’s a powerful attraction, seeing something other than death. You’re a powerful attraction, Fiona Blackstock. And kissing isn’t enough.”

It’s a difficult journey for Gabriel, one filled with frustrations and denials, but one that eventually finds him coming home to acceptance and love.

***

Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Hero in the Highlands by Suzanne Enoch, available October 4, 2016:

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H&H Editor Picks:

Hero in the Highlands Exclusive Excerpt

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Cheryl Sneed reviews for Rakehell.com

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