Mon
Oct 9 2017 11:08am

Highland Romance Excerpts from Sabrina York, Lecia Cornwall & May McGoldrick

May McGoldrick, Lecia Cornwall and Sabrina York

SMP Sampler

We may be Sassenachs, but that doesn't mean we don't appreciate a good Highland romance! Today we're getting not one, but three excerpts from Highland romance favorites Sabrina York, Lecia Cornwall, and May McGoldrick! Sit back, get cozy in your plaid, and enjoy. 




Enchanted by the Highlander

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Gillian MacLeod is shy and quiet, the least likely of all her sisters to seek out excitement and adventure. But on a moonlit night at a masquerade ball, Gillian steals a kiss from a mysterious stranger, knowing she’ll never see him again.

John Erly, disowned by his noble English father, started a new life in Scotland. Most people are suspicious of the foreign mercenary and he does everything is his power to avoid romantic entanglements. But he can’t forget the bewitching beauty who kissed him in the dark, and stole his heart, even though he has no idea who she might be.

A year later, John is given the duty of escorting Gillian to her wedding and immediately recognizes her as the temptress he’s dreamed of for months. There’s not much he can do when she's promised to another man, but fate intervenes and this time, passion—and adventure—can’t be denied. Honor demands he stay away from the MacLeod’s enchanting daughter, but love has a very different ending in mind...

Read a selected scene:

Gillian was barely listening. She couldn’t look away from John. She felt heat filling her face, and every nerve grew taut as the Englishman held her gaze. Usually, when someone met her eyes, Gillian looked away, but this time, she couldn’t. She wished she were close enough to know what color the eyes were that stared into hers. It was impossible to tell across the hall by candlelight.

Her father and Fia were leaning across her, and Fia was still trying to explain the point of a masked ball to their father.

“Sometimes it’s not about talking. Sometimes it’s a look or a touch, and not knowing who might be behind the mask,” Fia said.

Gillian watched John Erly raise his cup to his lips and drink, his eyes still holding hers, and she swallowed with him, her mouth watering.

“D’ye mean to tell me ye wouldn’t know Dair no matter how canny the disguise he wore, or he wouldn’t know ye?” her father asked Fia.

“Well, of course I would, but—”

“Then if ye know the ones ye know, and have no care about the ones ye don’t, it makes no sense to go about in disguise,” Donal said stubbornly.

“Oh, Papa,” Fia said. “We shall have to find very clever costumes to fool you.”

The sound of their voices drifted away, and Gillian was only aware of the sound of her own breath, the beating of her heart—and John Erly.

Then Fia nudged her and broke the spell. “You were a thousand miles away again—I’ve asked you twice what costume you might wear to my masked ball. What on earth are you thinking about?” She followed the direction of Gillian’s gaze to John Erly and gave a little gasp of surprise. “Were you staring at English John?” she whispered, casting a quick glance at their father, but he’d turned to converse with Dair. Fia squeezed Gillian’s arm. “Oh no, sweeting—John’s not for you. He’s a rogue of the worst sort.”

“Is he unkind to women?” Gillian asked, surprised.

Fia’s lips tightened. “No, worse—he’s charming. There’s not a lass at Carraig who hasn’t had her head turned by English John. Flattery gets him everything, and he knows just what to say to win a lass’s heart and her—Well, he isn’t for novices, Gilly, and he certainly isn’t for you. Stay away from him while you’re here.”

“But how did an Englishman come to be at Carraig Brigh, serving as captain of the guard?” Gillian asked, curious.

Fia sipped her wine. “He’s the son of an English earl, but his father disowned him.”

“Why?” Gillian asked.

Fia’s eyes slid away. “Something about a lady, or a series of ladies, that’s all I know. John was in gaol in England when the English captured Dair’s ship, tortured Dair half to death, and murdered his cousin. If English John hadn’t convinced the guards to let them both go, Dair would be dead.” Fia regarded the Englishman with gratitude. “John brought him home, Gillian. He’s as brave as a lion and a very fine swordsman.” She blinked back a tear, then straightened her spine and gave Gillian a sharp look. “Don’t mistake me. In many ways John is a wonderful man, just not in love. He’d make a dreadful husband, even if a lass could catch him. Many have tried. I’ve tried myself to find him a bride, but he’ll have none of it. He likes widows, women with experience, the kind who want nothing more than—” Fia blushed. “Well, they don’t want a husband.”

Learn more about or order a copy of Enchanted by the Highlander by Lecia Cornwall, available November 14, 2017:

Buy at Amazon

Buy at B&N

 

 


Romancing the Scot by May McGoldrick

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Hugh Pennington—Viscount Greysteil, Lord Justice of the Scottish Courts, hero of the Napoleonic wars—is a grieving widower with a death wish. When he receives an expected crate from the continent, he is shocked to find a nearly dead woman inside. Her identity is unknown, and the handful of American coins and the precious diamond sown into her dress only deepen the mystery.

Grace Ware is an enemy to the English crown. Her father, an Irish military commander of Napoleon’s defeated army. Her mother, an exiled Scottish Jacobite. When Grace took shelter in a warehouse, running from her father’s murderers through the harbor alleyways of Antwerp, she never anticipated bad luck to deposit her at the home of an aristocrat in the Scottish Borders. Baronsford is the last place she could expect to find safety, and Grace feigns a loss of memory to buy herself time while she recovers.

Hugh is taken by her beauty, passion, and courage to challenge his beliefs and open his mind. Grace finds in him a wounded man of honor, proud but compassionate. When their duel of wits quickly turns to passion and romance, Grace’s fears begin to dissolve…until danger follows her to the very doors of Baronsford. For, unknown to either of them, Grace has in her possession a secret that will wreak havoc within the British government. Friend and foe are indistinguishable as lethal forces converge to tear the two lovers apart or destroy them both..

Read a selected scene:

Looking the shipping crate over for damage and seeing none, he retrieved an iron crow from a workbench. Jo was standing inside the doors, eyeing the box doubtfully from a safe distance.

“Come closer. It won’t bite.”

“Not a chance. From the smell of that thing, a person would think you’re importing cadavers. Have you also taken up being a Resurrectionist as a hobby?”

He patted the crate affectionately. “This sweet thing has been sitting in the bowels of a ship from Antwerp. You know what the hold of a ship smells like?”

“Actually, I don’t.” She held a handkerchief to her nose and drew closer. “But I think you’re correct with the reference to ‘bowels.’”

Hugh took the first nail out. “Well, stand back, since you’ve become so prissy. Though I recall a younger version of you leading the rest of us through bogs and marshes that smelled no better.”

“Of course! But as I recall, we had frogs and turtles and the occasional dragon that needed hunting,” she replied with a smile. “Very well. Open it and let’s see this treasure of yours.”

Prying off the top took him only a moment. Throwing it to the side, he pulled back the tarp that covered the basket and then stared curiously at the dark green rags bundled at the bottom.

Leaning in, Hugh’s enthusiasm evaporated as a horrid realization settled in. This was no pile of old clothing. A shock of blond hair. A shoe. A hand. The body of a dead woman lay curled up in the gondola.

“Bloody hell.”

“What is it?” Immediately, Jo was at his side. “Good God!”

Hugh climbed in and crouched beside the body. He took her hand. She was cold to the touch. His heart sank. The crate had been shipped from Antwerp. To be trapped for so many days with no water, no food, in the cold and damp of the ship’s hold. He had no idea who this woman was or how she came to be in here.

The thought struck him. Perhaps it wasn’t an inadvertent act. Perhaps she was murdered and her body had been dumped into the crate.

Dismay and alarm clawed at him as he pushed away the matted ringlets of golden hair. She was young. He lifted her chin. The body had none of the stiffness of postmortem. He stared at her lips. He may have imagined it but they seemed to have moved.

“Bright . . .” The whisper was a mere rustle of leaves in a breeze.

The fingers jerked and came to life, clutching at his hand.

“She’s not dead,” he called to Jo, relieved. “Send for the doctor. I’ll take her to the house.”

His sister ran out, calling for help, and he lifted the woman. She emitted a low groan. Her limbs had been locked in the same cramped position for so many days. Hugh propped her over the side of the gondola.

“Stay with me,” he encouraged. “Talk to me.”

Holding the woman in place, he clambered from the basket and then gently lifted her out, cradling her in his arms. She weighed next to nothing.

As they went out into the rain, he feared she was about to die. The exertion of trying to breathe showed on her face. He’d seen this on the battlefield. The final effort before death.

Starting up the path, he stumbled, not realizing the woman’s skirts were dragging on the ground. He staggered but caught himself before they went down. Her head lolled against his chest, her face gray and mask-like. She appeared to be slipping away. It would be a shame that she’d survived the crossing only to perish now.

A dagger point of anger pierced Hugh’s brain as he recalled another dismal day when he’d lifted two other bodies, wrapped in burial shrouds, from a wooden box.

“Talk to me,” he ordered. “Say something.”

Learn more about or order a copy of Romancing the Scot by May McGoldrick, available November 14, 2017:

Buy at Amazon

Buy at B&N

 

 


The Highlander Is All That by Sabrina York

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Elizabeth St. Claire has always been hard to please. Dreaming solely of Highlander men her whole life, no prancing London Lord can stand a chance at winning her heart…

…But perhaps a Scotsman can.

Elizabeth watches intrigued as the Highlander of her dreams, a Scotsman named Hamish Robb, arrives to oversee her season at the behest of her cousin, the Duke of Caithness. Elizabeth doesn’t hide her feelings for the striking Scot. But Hamish, determined to obey his order to protect the St. Claire sisters, steadfastly rejects her every seducing lure.

Believing that the debutante Elizabeth deserves a better, wealthier man, Hamish continues to turn away from her affection, even though he doesn’t exactly want to. Can this Highlander Scot resist the tempting seductress’ attempts to win his heart?

Read a selected scene:

Something like annoyance slammed into her and she frowned. That had been the most wondrous moment of her life . . . and he regretted it?

She fought for and achieved a ragged element of aplomb. “It was only a kiss.” Ah, but how the words burned, bitter and bile filled as they were.

He whirled around, and she thought perhaps she saw a hint of outrage in his eyes. “Only a kiss?” he thundered.

“A very nice kiss?” When he simply stared at her, she continued. “I enjoyed it very much.”

His face went a bit red. “Do you often kiss strange men with no provocation?” A bark.

Really, he had no call to be snippy.

“You provoked me,” she pointed out.

“I most certainly did no’.” Oh yes. Outrage indeed.

“You smiled at me.”

You smiled at me.”

“And when I tripped”—she had not actually tripped—“you caught me.”

“That was the bluidy gentlemanly thing to do.”

“But you kept holding me. And staring at me. And breathing on me. And, in fact, you are the one who kissed me.” Again, untrue. It had been a mutual thing.

“This conversation is beside the point.”

She gaped at him. Was it? Was it really? “What is the point, exactly?”

“I shouldna ha’ kissed you.” She loved that as his dander rose, his accent became more pronounced.

“It was a nice kiss.”

“I am here to protect you from blackhearts who would kiss you like that.”

“But I enjoyed it.”

“Stop saying that!” He raked his hair again until it stood on end.

“But it’s true.”

“Elizabeth. Please. This canna happen again.”

“All right.” She had every intention that it would, but for some reason, her quick capitulation seemed to annoy him even more.

“We should go back to the house,” he said.

“Of course.” He flinched when she took his arm as they started on the path, but then he settled into the expected role.

They walked in silence for a bit, but mostly because Hamish was brooding. When he spoke, it was in something of a grumble. “So, do you?”

She glanced at him. His expression was tight. A muscle bunched in his cheek. She noticed that the speckles of his beard caught the sun in glints of gold and red. “Do I what?”

“Kiss strange men?”

Ah. He was jealous. She hid her smile. “I do try to avoid the strange ones.”

Oh! He did not like that. He bristled like a hedgehog.

Her smile deepened.

“How many men have you kissed?”

She couldn’t tell him the truth, so she merely shrugged.

“Can you even remember?”

She could. The answer was one. “It does not signify,” she said, waving her hand dismissively.

“It most certainly does.”

“You are here to help find us husbands, not catalog my kisses.”

He seemed vexed by the reminder, but said, “Just so. I was sent here by the duke to do a job, and I assure you, kissing his cousin was no’ what he had in mind.”

Learn more about or order a copy of The Highlander Is All That by Sabrina York, available November 10, 2017:

Buy at Amazon

Buy at B&N

 

 



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Copyright © 2017 by Sabrina York, Lecia Cornwall, & May McGoldrick
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1 comment
kahintenn
1. kahintenn
These look great! Thanks for the excerpts.
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