My Seductive Highlander – from Random House Loveswept
In this scintillating novel from the author of My Tempting Highlander(“Another exciting and heartwarming time-travel romance.”—Vonnie Davis), the ladies’ man of Loch Ness meets a hot-tempered lass who sets his heart aflame.
Though part of a legacy of time-traveling sisters, Lilia Sinclair is planted firmly in twenty-first-century Edinburgh. Her granny’s matchmaking with thirteenth-century Highlanders isn’t about to lure her into the past, especially as ancient Scotland enters troubled times. After all, Lilia is blessed—or cursed—with dire prophetic visions. To protect herself, she’s put up an icy emotional wall no man could cross—until a pair of gorgeous, rippling arms breaks right through.
Graham MacTavish is pure trouble. Once the dragon bound to Loch Ness, he’s transformed into a philanderer of the first order. In fact, because of his dalliances with other men’s wives, a rival clan wants his head on a pike. Before he provokes an all-out war, Graham is banished to the twenty-first century, where he must win Lilia’s hand—or return to die. But after meeting a lass as fierce as any Highland warrior, Graham knows one thing: life with Lilia, in any century, is a fate
“Dammit, man! Did ye no’ think to learn her name afore ye decided to bed her?” Gray MacKenna, chieftain of Clan MacKenna, moved to the edge of his seat as though ready to lunge across the room, wrap his hands around Graham’s throat and choke the livin’ shit out of him.
Graham MacTavish edged back a step whilst rubbing the nape of his neck. He stole a quick glance about the room. All eyes were locked on him and ‘twas no small wonder. This was thrice in a fortnight that the MacKenna had publicly chewed his arse over what he had honestly deemed as sound choices at the time that he’d made them—but apparently, once again, he’d chosen poorly.
Dammit all ta hell and back. Graham swiped a hand across his mouth, vainly attempting to wipe away any forthcoming words that might damn him even further. He’d ne’er picked his words wisely. He thought back to the particular debacle in question. Nay. Neither lass had hinted at their surnames. Why had the one no’ mentioned her husband was bloody chieftain to the Buchanans?
Ah well…it doesna verra well matter now. What’s done is done. He squared his shoulders and locked his fists to the small of his back. Lifting his chin, he boldly met Gray’s infuriated glare. “I didna take her to m’bed. We stayed in the stables.”
From the purplish shading of the MacKenna’s face and the vein twitching along the man’s temple, perhaps that was no’ the best defense Graham couldha chosen. He’d better try again. “But ye’ll be pleased to know, I didna lift any of their cattle—nor a single horse this time.”
“I should turn ye over to the Buchanan and be done wi’ ye.” Gray huffed out a rumbling growl, fixing Graham with a murderous look. The sorely annoyed chieftain threw himself back in his ceremonial chair centered on the dais. The great meeting hall fell silent, all poised to hear what Graham’s punishment would be.
Graham’s gut tightened. That would no’ be good at all t’be turned over to the Buchanans. But if that was the MacKenna’s wish…
Snorting out a silent humorless laugh, Graham shook his head. ’Twould be a damn shame to die o’er one such as that lass and her maid.The women’s shrill tirades and dead aims with clods of dried horse shit on the morning after the quite enjoyable romp had taught him a thing or two—mainly that ye best ne’er get too deep in yer cups when charmin’ the lasses because their druthers could sorely change when ye sobered up and faced them the next day.
A soft clearing of a throat drew Graham’s attention to the chieftain’s wife sitting quietly at her husband’s side. Lady Trulie smoothed a hand atop her husband’s tensed forearm and sat taller in her chair. “Now, now. We can’t do that, Gray. You know what would happen if we turned him over to the Buchanans.”
She leaned forward the slightest bit, staring down at him from the raised platform as though he were a disobedient child. “We understand your need to experience all that you missed while cursed but—” Lady Trulie’s face darkened like a building storm. “—dammit, Graham, pull your head out of your ass and stop endangering the peace and safety of this clan just because you can’t keep your britches on and your hands off what belongs to somebody else.”
Britches? What the hell are britches? Perhaps the Lady Trulie was referrin’ to his trews? Actually, he’d nay even removed his léine while samplin’ the sweet lasses but perhaps now was nary the time to get into the particulars.
Graham slightly bowed to his chieftain’s wife. “I am truly sorry to bring such strife to this clan that has so graciously taken me in. Ye ken my fealty to the MacKenna is true. I’d ne’er wish to cause the clan harm nor bring dishonor to the name.”
“He wants yer head on a pike, ye ken?” The MacKenna’s voice had calmed to a more congenial snarl. He even came close to smiling as he covered his wife’s hand still resting atop his forearm. “And I can no’ say that I blame the man. Ye bedded both his wife and his mistress under his verra nose.” The chieftain stretched forward and jabbed a finger toward the center of Graham’s chest. “And perhaps ye didna personally help yerself to any of the Buchanan livestock, but whilst ye were busy dippin’ yer wick, Angus managed to lead away the Buchanan’s favorite pair of roans.”
Aye. Well—there was that. Said roans were currently resting quite comfortably in their new stalls in the MacKenna stables. “Perhaps, we could return them?” Graham turned and waggled a brow at Angus who was currently doing his damnedest to stay hidden in the shadows of the gallery over-hanging the right side of the crowded meeting room. “If Angus releases them close enough to Buchanan Keep, the pair would surely find their way back to their stable.”
Angus yelped as Mother Sinclair came up behind him and latched hold of his ear. She yanked him out of the shadows, jerked him to the center of the room and firmly positioned him in place beside Graham. Leaning her slight body against the support of her twisted staff, she shook a bony finger in both their faces. “Those who play together, pay together.” She stamped her staff hard against the stone flooring, the blue crystal ensnared in the claw of roots in its top sparking with an angry blue-white glow.
Ever so slowly, she ambled over to the head of the room, hitched her way up the narrow stone steps and eased herself down into the smaller seat beside Lady Trulie’s chair.
The thick braid knotted at the base of the old woman’s neck shimmered with a silvery white gleam beneath the flickering light of the torches as she nodded toward Graham. “We owe him protection…guidance while he adapts. He’s wild as a buck deer in rut after being trapped in the form of a dragon and locked to the land around Loch Ness for over three centuries—but he was Ronan’s protector, his best friend. And Ronan is now family.” Granny Sinclair leveled the softly glowing crystal of her twisted cane until it pointed directly at Graham. “But you keep endangering Clan MacKenna with your thoughtless actions and we don’t owe you a damn thing, Graham.”
Aye, well, he’d no’ exactly been entirely shackled to the land around Loch Ness. After all, he’d traveled quite freely whene’er he’d kept to the sea. Graham forced the memories of those long ago adventures to the back of his mind. He was quite thankful that part of his life was well behind him. He cleared his throat and remained silent. He’d best concentrate on gettin’ his arse out of this current mess—especially now that Granny Sinclair was involved.
Granny’s gaze shifted and she angled her staff at Angus. “And you know better than to pull such stunts against an allied clan. What the hell were you thinking, Angus? You’re supposed to keep him out of trouble.”
Angus tucked his chin to his chest and anxiously shuffled back and forth in place. Sidling closer to Graham, he shot him a dark, threatening look. “I’ll ne’er harken a single word from yer lyin’ arse again, ye wicked bastard,” he hissed under his breath.
Still fidgeting in place, Angus hooked his thumbs in his belt. His face deepening to a ruddier shade as he turned his back to the dais and continued the shielded rant in a huffing whisper. “And if ye wish to return those horses, yer own goat-swivin’ arse can do it alone. I’ll no’ be goin’ back there. I nearly took an arrow in me tail.”
Graham stood taller, rolling his shoulders at Angus’s words. He’d no’ let another be held responsible for his own behavior. Best get on with this and find out what his punishment was to be. “Leave Angus be. Me actions are me own.”
Mother Sinclair’s narrow-eyed gaze slid aside to meet with Lady Trulie’s. The women smiled in unison—cold, calculating smiles that stabbed a sense of dread deep in the center of Graham’s heart. May the gods have mercy on me soul and doubly watch over me arse. He shivered against the sudden eeriness to the air, chilling him to the bone. “Pray speak my fate. I accept whate’er ye decide. I ne’er shirk my responsibilities, ye ken that well enough.”
“It pleases me greatly to hear that. Doesn’t it you, my husband?” Trulie turned and smiled at Gray with a slow meaningful nod.
“Aye.” Gray flexed his hands then curled his fingers over the ends of the carved arms of his chair. His gaze trailed about the hall, studying the many folk standing along the walls and seated at the long rows of trestle tables. He slowly rose, stepped forward then stopped atop the last step of the raised stone platform as though he were about to announce clan war.
“After much consideration and consultation…” Gray paused, tossing back a quick glance at Lady Trulie and Mother Sinclair before returning his attention to Graham and Angus. “I have decided upon yer punishment since ye seem so incapable of exhibiting the least bit of self-control.”
Angus hid his mouth by rubbing the tip of his nose with his fist; his voice dropped to an even deeper whisper. “Oy, yer doomed straight t’hell now, man.”
Graham eased a step forward and threw out his chest. “Aye. Am I to be turned over to the Buchanans then—to face the pike or the dungeons?”
“Oh no, my friend.” The MacKenna shook his head. “I have decided on something much worse. Ye shall face the severest punishment of all. A life sentence, in fact.”
Graham swallowed hard. He didna suppose he could blame the man. After all, a clan could no’ verra well go to war over the womanizing ways of one individual—especially when that individual wasna even blood kin. “Aye. I would hear it then. What is this severe punishment I’m ta receive?”