My Highland Love
Highland Lords, Book 1
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Broken Arm Publishing
Date of Publication: November 15, 2012
Number of pages: 341
Word Count: ~95,000
How does a woman tell her betrothed that she murdered her first husband?Excerpt:
Shipwrecked in the Scottish Highlands, American heiress Elise Kingston quietly plans revenge for the deaths of her daughter and the brother who sacrificed his life to save her.
When Marcus MacGregor, Marquess of Ashlund, returns to his Highland home to discover a stunning American woman has been taken in by his clan, his attraction is instant and he resolves to make her his--no matter what secret she's keeping.
Elise is shocked by her need for Marcus and, too late, discovers that her feelings make him a target of her enemy--a man powerful enough to destroy even a Scottish nobleman.
"Tavis," Elise snapped, finally within hearing range of the boy and his sister, "this time you've gone too far and have endangered your sister by leaving the castle."Giveaway:
His attention remained fixed on the thickening woods at the bottom of the hill and her frustration gave way to concern. They were only minutes from the village—a bare half an hour from the keep and safely on MacGregor land—but the boy had intended to go farther—much farther. He had just turned fourteen, old enough to carry out the resolve to find the men who had murdered his father, and too young to understand the danger.
Bonnie tugged on her cloak and Elise looked down at her. The little girl grinned and pointed to the wildflowers surrounding them. Elise smiled, then shoved back the hood of her cloak. Bonnie squatted to pick the flowers. Elise's heart wrenched. If only their father still lived. He would teach Tavis a lesson. Of course, if Shamus still lived, Tavis wouldn't be hunting for murderers.
Those men were guilty of killing an innocent, yet no effort had been made to bring them to justice. The disquiet that always hovered close to the surface caused a nervous tremor to ripple through her stomach. While Shamus's murderers would likely never go before a judge, if Price found her, his version of justice would be in the form of a noose around her neck for the crime of defending herself against a man who had tried to kill her—twice.
Any doubts about her stepfather's part in Amelia's death had been dispelled a month after arriving at Brahan Seer when she read a recent edition of the London Sunday Times brought by relatives for Michael MacGregor. She found no mention of the Amelia's sinking. Instead, a ten thousand pound reward for information leading to the whereabouts of her body was printed in the announcements section.
Reward? Bounty is what it was.
The advertisement gave the appearance that Price was living up to his obligations as President of Landen Shipping. But she knew he intended she reach Boston dead—and reach Boston she would, for without her body, he would have to wait five years before taking control of her fifty-one percent of Landen Shipping. She intended to slip the noose over his head first.
Elise caught sight of her trembling fingers, and her stomach heaved with the memory of Amelia's body sliding noiselessly from the ship into the ocean. She choked back despair. If she had suspected that Robert had been poisoning her daughter even a few months earlier—
Elise jerked at Bonnie's squeal. The girl stood with a handful of flowers extended toward her. Elise brushed her fingers across the white petals of the stitchwort and the lavender butterwort. She was a fool to involve herself with the people here, but when Shamus was murdered she been unable to remain withdrawn.
"Riders," Tavis said.
Elise tensed. "Where?"
"There." Tavis pointed into the trees.
She leaned forward and traced the line of his arm with her gaze. A horse's rump slipped out of sight into the denser forest. Goose bumps raced across her arms.
Elise straightened and yanked Bonnie into her arms "It will be dark soon—" Tavis faced her and she stopped short when his gaze focused on something behind her.
Elise looked over her shoulder. Half a dozen riders emerged from the forest across the meadow. She started. Good Lord, what had possessed her to leave Brahan Seer without a pistol? She was as big a fool as Tavis and without the excuse of youth. She slid Bonnie to the ground as the warriors approached. They halted fifteen feet away. Elise edged Bonnie behind her when one of the men urged his horse closer. Her pulse jumped. Was it possible to become accustomed to the size of these Highland men?
She flushed at the spectacle of his open shirt but couldn't stop her gaze from sliding along the velvety dark hair that trailed downward and tapered off behind a white lawn shirt negligently tucked into his kilt. The large sword strapped to his hip broke the fascination.
How many had perished at the point of that weapon?
The hard muscles of his chest and arms gave evidence—many.
The man directed a clipped sentence in Gaelic to Tavis. The boy started past her, but she caught his arm. The men wore the red and green plaide of her benefactors the MacGregors, but were strangers.
"What do you want?" She cursed the curt demand that had bypassed good sense in favor of a willing tongue.
Except for a flicker of surprise across the man's face, he sat unmoving.
Elise winced inwardly, remembering her American accent, but said in a clear voice, "I asked what you want."
Leather groaned when he leaned forward on his saddle. He shifted the reins to the hand resting in casual indolence on his leg and replied in English, "I asked the boy why he is unarmed outside the castle with two females."
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Award winning author Tarah Scott cut her teeth on authors such as Georgette Heyer, Zane Grey, and Amanda Quick. Her favorite book is a Tale of Two Cities, with Gone With the Wind as a close second. She writes modern classical romance, and paranormal and romantic suspense. Tarah grew up in Texas and currently resides in Westchester County, New York with her daughter.
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