Hi Lynsay and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Surrender To The Highlander!
Hi All! It’s nice to be here again! 😉
Please summarize the book for the readers here:
Edith is in a bad way and no one can help her…at least that’s what those closest to her think.
Having heard nothing from Edith for quite a few weeks now, Saidh asks her brothers to check in on her. When the Buchanans are finally allowed to see her they find Edith is at death’s door and do all they can to save Saidh’s friend.
When Edith awakens to find a bunch of strange men in her bedchamber, she immediately thinks the castle has been invaded. Although initially a little overwhelmed by the Buchanan brothers, Edith is immediately drawn to the gentle, dark-haired Scotsman named Niels who scoops her off the floor the first day she regains consciousness.
Niels can’t help but feel a tug at his heart for the fiery haired lass that is Saidh’s friend. She’s kindhearted, sweet, stubborn, has a fire in her belly that matches her red locks, and Niels can’t stop thinking about her. But the last thing he wants is to get involved. He has career plans and getting married, even to a woman as fine as Edith Drummond, just doesn’t fit into them right now…
What’s your favorite line(s) from the book?:
Alick said this as they teased Rory…
“Ye like to stay home in the nice warm castle with yer herbs and such, while Saidh likes to travel and wrestle and would as soon skewer a man as look on him. ’Tis as if she was meant to be another brother, and ye the sister.”
When you sat down to start this book, what was the biggest challenge you faced? What were you most excited about?
It took me a bit to figure out which of the Buchanan brothers would end up with our Edith and who he was as a person. With seven brothers to think about I had to map out who each was in relation to one another, not just in personality but career and passion as well.
Although slow to start, Niels’ character came along quickly once I figured out his passion for training dogs and his practicality as a sheep farmer. Then his personality gelled in to place.
I was pretty excited to see Ronson, Edith’s young charge, and Laddie, Edith’s dog, show up in the story. And the way those two followed Niels about, as if he were the pied piper, was too cute.
Please tell us a little about the characters in your book. As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?
I like how well rounded Niels is. He’s quite the authority figure in his own right, which is good considering he’s younger than three of his brothers. He has career plans and a successful sheep business so he’s no charity case. And he’s good with kids, which would tug at the heartstrings of even the most severe woman.
I was a little surprised by the fact Niels can sleep through anything, even people falling on top of him. Also the fact he jumped on the back of a bull and wrestled it to save his brothers from getting maimed was pretty impressive.
As for Edith, she has a huge heart and is beautiful both inside and out. She’d make a good lady of the castle as she thinks of others over herself. Even when it was a certainty that she’d be sent to the nunnery when Brody returned to Drummond, she still remained to look after the welfare of her people rather than flee and avoid that. Luckily she also has a stubborn streak to go with that red hair of hers so won’t be taken advantage of when push comes to shove.
What have you learned about your own writing process/you as an author while writing this book?
That the writing goes much smoother if I’m enjoying my characters and I was really entertained by pretty much every character in this story. The Buchanans are always a fun lot to come back to and I look forward to continuing to write about this boisterous family that just keeps getting bigger and louder and more intrusive.
The First kiss…
She started to turn forward again, but paused when he said, “Edith?”
“Aye?” she asked.
Niels opened his mouth, closed it and then simply shook his head and put the brush back in the bag. “Yer hair is done.”
“Thank ye,” Edith said softly, but eyed him with curiosity. There had been purpose in his eyes for a moment. She was quite sure he’d meant to say something else, but had no idea what. And apparently he’d changed his mind.
Shrugging, she pushed herself to her knees and helped gather up the rest of their picnic items to pack away, then helped him roll up the furs as well. She carried the food sack while he carried the furs and the larger sack with the wet linens and their soiled clothes and they walked to his horse. While he set the furs in their sling and hung the large bag from the saddle, she reached up to try to affix the smaller bag as well and was still struggling with the task when he finished his own chores. Seeing that she was having problems because she wasn’t quite tall enough to attach the bag to the pommel, he stepped up behind her to help.
Edith stilled the moment she felt his chest against her back. There was something so intimate about it, and then she realized that Niels had gone still as well. They both stood there for a moment, back to chest, both holding their breaths, and then he lowered his hands to her waist. He clasped her so lightly that she could have escaped if she’d wanted to, but Edith found her feet unwilling to move and simply stood there waiting. An era seemed to pass and then he murmured, “Yer hair is so beautiful.”
“Thank ye,” Edith breathed, swallowing when he brushed her hair away from her neck. When he then bent to nuzzle her there, she bit her lip to stifle a soft gasp, and found herself leaning back into him. Niels let his arms drift around her then, to cross under her breasts and Edith clasped them lightly, her head tilting as he nibbled at her ear. When he lifted one hand to catch her chin and turn her face up and back to his, Edith went willingly, even eagerly, and closed her eyes as his lips covered hers. His tongue slid out to nudge its way between her lips, and she opened with surprise and then stilled as his tongue swept in. Edith met the invasion with a moan as a cacophony of sensation burst to life inside her. She was vaguely aware of his hand drifting down her throat and then her chest, but didn’t really pay attention until it stopped to cover one breast and squeezed lightly.
Edith gasped into his mouth as her body responded, her back arching instinctively to push her breast more fully into the caress as his other hand suddenly rose to claim the other one. She had no idea she was pushing back into him with her bottom until she felt the hardness that met her, and then one of his hands slid inside the neckline of her gown to touch her without the cloth between them and Edith cried out into his mouth as he began to pluck at the already hard nipple.
Edith was so distracted by that she definitely didn’t notice his other hand leaving her breast to drift downward until he cupped her between the legs through the cloth and almost lifted her off her feet. This was nothing like it had been when she’d been poking at herself earlier out of curiosity. Even with the cloth between them, this aroused an unbearable excitement in her that she’d never dreamed possible. And it made her want more. The problem was, she wasn’t quite sure what more she wanted. But her body seemed to have ideas of its own and was shifting against his hands, writhing into first one caress and then the other in search of something she didn’t quite understand, and then a high-pitched scream made them both freeze.
In the next moment, Niels was breaking their kiss to mutter, “Ronson,” and then his lovely hands were leaving her and he was gone. For one moment, Edith simply stood there, her brain slow to put everything together, and then she turned and peered around the empty clearing. Even Niels was gone.
Did any scene have you crying or laughing (or blushing) while writing it?
“Should we—” Ronson began, but paused at once when she hushed him.
Edith closed the door carefully, and then ushered the lad up the hall. They were at the stairs before she stopped to eye him and asked, “Does yer grandmother ken where ye slept last night, or has she been worrying herself sick wondering where ye were?”
“I told her,” he said just a little too quickly, and then babbled, “Lord Niels told me to go below and ask would it be all right, so I did.”
“Ye did what? Ask her or tell her?”
Ronson grimaced, but then sighed and admitted, “She was heading into the garderobe when I came down, so I asked her through the door and she did no’ say no, so I came back up.”
Edith clucked her tongue and shook her head. “She probably did no’ even hear ye. Ye ken her hearing is bad, Ronson. Why did ye no’ just wait fer her to come out and ask her then?”
“Because she takes forever in there,” he complained.
“Aye well, I’m afraid when we get old we all take a little more time in the garderobe,” Edith said.
“Hmm.” Ronson scowled. “No’ like Gran. Sometimes I think she falls asleep doing her business, she takes so long.” Heaving out a heavy sigh, he shook his head and said woefully, “I’m never getting old, and that’s the truth, m’lady. I’m no’ spending all me time crapping in the gong.”
Edith’s eyes widened incredulously, and then, deciding a change of subject was in order, she asked, “What were ye going to say when we were leaving the bedchamber, Ronson?”
“I was just thinking mayhap we should wake Niels so he can keep ye safe from the murdering pimple-arsed whoreson who done poisoned yer father and brothers,” Ronson said earnestly.
Edith blinked down at the boy several times as her brain tried to accept the words that had just come from his mouth. She’d never heard Ronson use such foul language, but didn’t have to think hard to know where he’d learned the words. The Buchanans did have a very colorful way of speaking. Even Saidh had a mouth so foul it could make your ears pinken.
“Er . . . aye, well I’m sure I’ll be safe enough from the . . . er . . . pimple-arsed . . .” Edith paused and then just shook her head and started down the stairs, saying, “I’m sure we’ll be safe enough at table, do ye no’ think?”
“But Laddie’ll have to go outside or he’ll be pissing everywhere like a warty prick,” Ronson protested.
“Oh, dear,” Edith breathed faintly. Goodness. A little time with the Buchanans was certainly a lot of time when it came to learning, it seemed.
“So I gotta take him out,” Ronson continued anxiously, following her down the stairs. “And then ye’ll be all alone. I can no’ leave ye alone, m’lady. That murdering whoreson might get ye!”
“I’m—Oh!” Edith gasped with surprise when she was suddenly swept off her feet and into someone’s arms. Turning her head, she gaped at Niels and protested, “I can walk, m’lord.”
“Aye, but ye’re too slow. Ye were blocking the stairs,” Niels argued with a shrug as he continued down the stairs, and then he added grimly, “And ye should no’ have left the room without me.”
“I was just telling her that, m’lord,” Ronson assured him firmly, on their heels. “I told her as how we needed ye to keep her safe from the warty prick what poisoned her da and brothers.”
“Actually, I believe he was the pimple-arsed whoreson, and Laddie would be pissing like a warty prick,” Edith pointed out dryly, glaring at Niels as she did. When he just grinned at her, she whispered sharply, “His grandmother is going to kill me fer letting ye teach him such things.”
Niels raised his eyebrows and then paused on the bottom step and turned to tell Ronson, “A man does no’ use such words in front o’ a lady.”
Ronson looked confused and pointed out, “But ye do.”
Niels pursed his lips and nodded. “Aye. I do,” he admitted and then turned to cross the bailey floor, muttering, “I tried, m’lady, but by God’s tooth he’s right. I fear me brothers and I all swear something awful.”
“Aye,” Edith said on a sigh. “So does Saidh. I suppose there are worse habits.”
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of the main characters?
This scene shows a lot. Niels taking the usual razzing from his brothers, but then getting a little embarrassed by telling Edith about their tricks on him over the years. Edith being initially amused but then coming to Niels defense upon hearing how cruel and dangerous some of them actually were, and even reprimanding Geordie and Alick for their antics.
“What’s no’ true?” Niels asked with a smile, stopping next to Tormod and wondering if it would be rude to ask the man to move over so he could sit next to Edith. He was supposed to be guarding her after all. Well, technically, his guard duty was over, still—
“Niels,” Geordie and Alick said together.
He glanced to his brothers and nodded and then spotted Edith’s smile and returned it as she greeted him with a cheerful, “Good morn, kind sir. I hope ye slept well.”
Niels stilled and it was Alick who said on a laugh, “Oh, that’s just cruel, that is.”
“What?” Edith asked with a frown, and then her eyes widened with dismay. “Oh, I never meant—’Tis just a greeting, I did no’ mean to—”
Waving away her apology, Niels dropped to sit on the bench on the other side of Tormod and leaned forward to look past him to see her. “Ne’er fear, I’m no offended,” he assured her, and then added with self-disgust, “’Tis no less than I deserve fer sleeping on guard duty.”
“Aye, well, asleep or no, I’m sure just yer presence there at my door was enough to keep anyone from poisoning me in my sleep,” she told him firmly.
Niels bit his lip and held back the smile that wanted to claim him at her words. Poisoning her in her sleep? That would be a new trick. Did the woman think he’d sat outside her door all night to prevent her being poisoned? It was in case the poisoner wasn’t Victoria and decided to move on to other tricks now that poisoning was not on the table.
“Besides,” Edith added with a concerned expression, “ye must ha’e been exhausted to sleep so soundly. Why, ye did no’ even stir when I fell on top o’ ye.”
Niels stiffened and asked sharply, “Fell on me? Rory said ye only tripped.”
Edith grimaced, but admitted, “Aye, well, I tripped and then fell on ye.” She shrugged. “I suppose I’m still recovering and a little clumsy.”
“So, ye’re saying ye actually fell on top o’ me and I did no’ wake up?” he asked with dismay. His brothers were forever teasing him that he could sleep through a battle raging around him, but good God, if he’d actually slept through Edith’s falling on him . . .
“Aye, I was most concerned I’d hurt ye, and mentioned me worries to Geordie and Alick when they came out o’ their room, but they assured me ye were fine, just a sound sleeper. And as they escorted me below they began regaling me with tales o’ other times ye’d slept soundly.”
Niels stiffened, dismay sliding up his back. Clearing his throat, he asked warily, “They did?”
“Aye, like the time when ye were sixteen and yer brothers shaved ye bald while ye slept,” Edith added.
Niels felt his jaw tighten and glared at his brothers for telling such embarrassing tales about him.
Looking uncomfortable, Geordie muttered, “Aye, well to be fair, it was no’ that he slept through that so much as he was unconscious,” he admitted. “’Twas a wedding, and the first time he was allowed to drink. Niels was in his cups and that’s really why he did no’ wake up.”
“Really?” she asked with a frown. “Ye shaved him bald while he was unconscious?”
“What other tales did they tell?” Niels asked dryly.
Edith was still frowning at his being shaved bald, but finally said, “They told us about another wedding when they were able to cart ye, bedding and all, out to the bull’s pen. They said they even dropped ye a time or two and yet ye still did no’ wake up, and they left ye lying there in the pen til morn.” Turning back to Geordie and Alick she asked, “Was he in his cups that time too? Is that really why he did no’ wake up?”
“Aye,” Geordie admitted, looking uncomfortable when Niels stared at him.
“Oh, aye!” Tormod said suddenly. “I recall this tale now. I thought it sounded familiar.” Turning to Edith he explained, “Yer father, Laird Drummond, was at the wedding and told it to me when he got back.” Glancing past Edith to Geordie and Alick now he added, “But ye left out the best bits.”
“What did they leave out?” Edith asked with curiosity.
“Well.” Tormod glanced past her again to eye Geordie and Alick as he asked, “Did ye boys no’ then wait around for hours until he finally did wake up and then let the bull loose as Niels tried to drag his bedding out o’ the pen?”
“Ye did no’!” Edith gasped with horror and his two brothers nodded guiltily.
“Aye.” Sitting back, Tormod shook his head. “Laird Drummond said ye laughed yer fool heads off as ye watched it chase yer brother about . . . until Niels ran straight fer ye lads and leapt over the fence right in front o’ ye. The bull chased after him, smashing the fence to pieces, but Niels was still running while the rest o’ ye were standing there with yer fiddles in hand, making perfect targets. He said as how the bull would have mown ye down had Niels no’ turned and run back at yer screams. He said the lad jumped on the bull’s back, grabbed him by the horns and steered him back into the pen and away from harming anyone until the older men could get there and get a couple o’ ropes around the bull. Once they had it under control, Niels got off and out o’ range and they repaired the fence.”
Edith frowned on hearing the end of the tale and turned to Geordie and Alick to say heavily, “Ye did no’ mention that part.”
Both men avoided her gaze and Geordie muttered, “Aye, well . . .”
“What about the story about the piglet ye dressed in a lady’s gown and placed in his bed with him?” Edith asked now, her tone suspicious. “Ye said ye thought it would wake and startle him, but rather than trample all over him as ye expected, the piglet settled right down and cuddled up to Niels and the two slept for hours with him blissfully unaware he was sleeping with a pig.” She raised her eyebrows. “What perchance did ye leave out o’ that tale?”
Niels watched both men squirm briefly, but then decided to put them out of their misery and change the subject. However, as he opened his mouth to do so, Alick blurted, “We’d painted the piglet’s lips and cheeks red, and Conran wrote the name Annie on the pig’s forehead.”
“Annie?” Edith asked curiously. “Why?”
“Because, at the time, Niels had a fancy fer our neighbor, Annie,” Alick admitted reluctantly.
“So ye put her name on a piglet?” Edith asked with dismay. “What if she and her family had come to Buchanan and seen it? Aside from insulting the lass, you would have humiliated yer brother in front of her.” Mouth flattening out, she shook her head and said firmly, “Ye ken, now that I think on it, ye boys were very unkind to yer brother.”
Niels’s mouth had been tightening with each example she’d given of what his brothers had shared with her. But now, as Geordie and Alick began to look dismayed, he began to smile. His brothers were actually looking shamefaced, their heads hanging . . . and it nearly made Niels laugh out loud. He’d done or been a party to tricks as bad or worse against each one of his brothers. They all had. But he’d never had anyone stick up for him like Edith was doing. She was lecturing Geordie and Alick like they were a couple of young lads, still wet behind the ears.
“Shaving off his beautiful hair the way ye did was bad enough,” Edith said now with disgust and Niels sat a little straighter, his ears perking up at her description of his hair as she continued, “But ye could have killed him with that bull nonsense. And ye’re verra lucky that he troubled himself to save ye from that bull the way he did too. I would have let it tear ye to shreds were it me and I knew ye’d set out to get me gored, fer surely ye must have realized that could happen.”
“Oh, nay, we would no’ have let the bull hurt Niels,” Geordie said at once.
“Aye,” Alick assured her. “Niels was always the fastest runner of us all. We knew he could outstrip the bull, and we surely would have rushed in to save him if the bull had even gotten close to goring him.”
Readers should read this book….
It’s just plain funny. The Buchanans and the hilarity that surrounds this family has made this series a pleasure to write and I hope my readers enjoy it as much as I do while writing it. As I add more stories and therefore more characters, there are more friends to be made, more family to contend with, and more trouble they keep ending up smack dab in the middle of! <G>
What are you currently working on? What are your up-coming releases?
As for what I’m working on right now…
I just finished Conran Buchanan’s story, the seventh book in my Highlander’s series. The poor man gets kidnapped by a real beauty only her personality is as thorny as a hawthorn bush.
And I’m getting ready to start writing the next Buchanan story, this one involving a brother we haven’t heard from much. There are many surprises yet to come the Buchanans’ way.
As for my upcoming releases…
Argeneau book #27, Twice Bitten, is set to be released soon after it on March 27th. This story is about Elspeth who we met way back in the first book, A Quick Bite, and she’s having a heck of a time with her life mate. Suffice it to say there are just some times when a gal wishes she could control her life mate, and there are some mortals who can give an immortal a run for their money. 😉
And Book #6 of my Scottish Highlander’s series, The Highlander’s Promise, is scheduled to come out on June 26th. This one involves the eldest Buchanan brother, Aulay, and a shipwreck survivor they find floating in the water clinging to the mast of a ship. When she comes to she has no recollection of her past life or even her name but she assumes Aulay is her husband. Poor Aulay’s forced to keep up the ruse…doctor’s orders!
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Excerpt from Surrender To The Highlander:
Niels stared at his brother-in-law blankly for one moment and then exploded, “Are ye daft? We’re no’ going anywhere near Drummond. We’re traveling to McKay in the north. Drummond is south.”
“Aye,” Geordie agreed next to him, scowling at their sister’s husband for good measure. “We only stopped here to drop off Rory and see our sister.”
“I ken,” Greer growled, his eyes shifting from the four Buchanan brothers sitting at his table, to the upper landing as if expecting his wife to appear at any moment.
Niels followed his glance, but there was nothing to see. The landing was empty. He looked back to his brother-in-law in time to see his mouth firming with determination as he turned his attention back to them
“I ken it would add to yer journey, and I’d no’ ask, but Saidh is really worried about her friend Edith Drummond. In the last letter she had from her four weeks ago, Edith was feeling poorly, and she’s no’ heard from her since. Saidh’s had no’ response to her last three messages and is concerned.”
“Then send a damned messenger,” Niels snapped impatiently. “Good Lord, man. Drummond is almost as far south as Buchanan and then it’s another day’s ride east. We’d ha’e to ride all the way back there, and then return here just to continue on with our original journey.”
“It would add at least a week to our travels,” Geordie put in scowling.
“More,” Alick commented with a grimace. “We have to ride slow with the cart.” Shaking his head, he said, “Niels is right. Ye’d do better to send a messenger.”
“Did you no’ hear me just say that Edith has no’ responded to the last three messages we sent?” Greer growled with frustration. “Me last messenger could no’ even get inside Drummond bailey. He was made to leave the message at the gate. He returned with no news at all. Saidh is bound and determined to ride to Drummond herself and see that Edith is all right.”
“So?” Niels asked with bewilderment. “Saidh has traveled before and will again. What—?”
“She is with child,” Greer roared as if they had forgotten that little fact.
“Aye, with child, no’ dead,” Niels said with disgust. “Good Lord, she has five more months before the babe is due. Surely ye’re no’ trying to wrap her in swaddling and keep her from doing anything jest because she—Good Christ!” he ended with dismay as Saidh appeared at the top of the landing and started down the stairs. His dear—usually lithe—sister looked like she’d swallowed a calf . . . or two. Good God her belly was so swollen and rounded out she could be carrying three calves in there, he thought with dismay. She looked so ungainly he feared she would overbalance and roll down the stairs like a ball.
Apparently, he was not the only one with that concern, for Greer MacDonnell was even now leaping to his feet to rush to his wife’s side. They all watched in silent amazement as he hurried up the stairs, scooped her up into his arms and carried her down the rest of the way.
“I told ye to ha’e yer maid fetch me when ye were ready to come below,” Greer was saying with exasperation as he approached the table.
“I am with child, no’ cripple, husband,” Saidh grumbled with irritation. “I am perfectly capable o’ walking without help.”
“Mayhap, but I can no’ bear to watch it,” Greer growled, setting her in the chair next to his with a care not presently notable in his voice. “Every time ye start down I fear ye’ll just tip forward and roll down like a—” Greer’s words died on an apologetic grimace as he noted Saidh’s stiff expression. “I jest worry,” he ended lamely and then offered a conciliatory smile and said, “I’ll let Cook ken ye’re below and ready to break yer fast.”
“Thank ye, husband,” Saidh murmured, smiling when he bent to press a kiss to her forehead before moving off. She watched him cross the great hall for the kitchens, her face soft with affection and appreciation, both of which were definitely absent when she turned back to her brothers. Her gaze slid over their gaping expressions and then she gave a little huff of disgust and snapped, “Well? Are ye no pleased to see me?”
Niels raised his eyebrows at the grumpy question and let his eyes drift to settle on her overlarge stomach. “Aye. We are all just surprised that there is so much to see.”
“Ye look ready to burst,” Alick said with awe. “I thought ye were only four months along?”
“I am,” she muttered unhappily, one hand rising to rub across her protruding belly. “I think I may be carrying two bairns.”
“I’m thinking six,” Geordie said and promptly received a hard kick from their sister for his trouble.
Niels bit back a laugh and turned to Rory, eyebrows raised. “Should she be this big a’ready?”
Rory snapped his mouth closed and stood to move to Saidh’s side. Placing a hand at her elbow, he tried to urge her to her feet. “We should retire above for a few moments.”
“Above stairs?” Saidh asked with a scowl and then shook her head and jerked her arm free of his hold. “Nay. I jest got below. Besides, I’m hungry and—”
“And I need to examine ye,” Rory countered firmly. “Ye can eat after.”
“Or,” she suggested just as firmly, “Ye could examine me after I’ve eaten.”
“Or, I could examine ye right here in front o’ everyone,” he said in a tone of good cheer that didn’t soften the threat.
Saidh’s eyes narrowed, and her hand moved to the sgian-dubh at her waist. “Try it and I’ll skewer ye where ye stand.”
“Saidh,” Rory complained with exasperation, and then heaving out a breath, tried reason. “Ye’re much larger than ye should be at this stage in the game, lass. It can be dangerous. I need to listen to yer heartbeat and see that it’s no under strain. I also wish to—”
“I’m fine,” she said grimly, and when he opened his mouth to argue further, added, “But I’ll make a deal with ye.”
“What’s that?” Rory asked and Niels couldn’t help noticing his brother was suddenly wary. He would have been himself. One never knew what would come out of their sister’s mouth.
“Promise to accompany me to check on Edith and I’ll let ye examine me,” Saidh said firmly.
Rory scowled. “Saidh, ye can no’ seriously be thinking to ride a horse in yer shape. Ye—”
“Fine. Then I do no’ need examining,” Saidh waved away his diatribe and turned to face the table.
Niels lowered his head to hide his amusement as Rory cursed, but then his brother heaved out a breath. “Fine. If ye let me examine ye, I’ll see what I can do fer yer friend Edith,” he said shortly. “Now . . . will ye please let me examine ye and be sure all is well?”
Saidh relaxed and even smiled faintly, but then she grimaced and said, “Aye. But give me a minute to rest at least. ‘Twas a tiring bit of business getting below.”
That last part was admitted almost shamefully, which told them that it was true. Saidh disliked showing weakness.
“I shall carry ye up,” Rory offered gently.
She blinked at the very suggestion and began to laugh, but it died quickly as Saidh looked Rory over. Eyes widening slightly, she took in their previously lithe brother and said, “Ye’ve put on weight and yer arms have muscle.”
“Aye.” Niels grinned at her comment. “He’s been working out in the practice yard with the rest o’ us ever since we got home after escorting Dougall and Murine to Carmichael.”
“Why?” she asked with surprise.
Rory grimaced and answered, “Our brothers have been working hard at convincing me that while kenning how to heal others’ injuries was good, it may be prudent to learn how to defend meself as well so that I could remain healthy enough to do so.” He smiled crookedly and added, “After all the trouble both ye and Dougall and yer mates ran into recently, it did seem they may be right.”
“Aye,” Saidh said solemnly. “They are.”
Rory nodded, and then raised an eyebrow. “Shall I carry ye up?”
Heaving a sigh, she shook her head and stood up. “I’ll walk. Ye can hold me arm though to be sure I do no’ overbalance and tumble backward down the stairs.”
Rory merely nodded and took her arm to lead her away.
Niels watched them go, his gaze narrowing with concern on Saidh’s protruding stomach.
“Surely she should no’ be that large already?” Geordie murmured with a frown.
Niels shook his head. “I’ve never seen the like this early on.”
“Aye, and ye ken what that means,” Alick said gloomily. When the other two men merely looked at him in question, he rolled his eyes and pointed out, “We’ll have to go to Drummond now. We can no’ let Saidh try to ride there in her state. Hell, she was puffing and weary just from walking down the stairs and Greer carried her most o’ the way.”
Niels blew his breath out on a sigh, but nodded. “We’ll make a detour that way on our return from McKay and—”
“Ye can no wait that long.”
That determined comment drew his gaze around and he saw that their brother-in-law was returning. Mouth thinning, Niels said, “We have a delivery to make, Greer. The McKays are expecting their woven cloth by the end of the week. We can no’ just—”
“I’ll have six o’ me men make the delivery in yer stead,” Greer said firmly. “But ye ha’e to head to Drummond straightaway else Saidh’ll insist on going herself.”
Niels pursed his lips as he considered the offer and then countered, “Twelve men.”
“Twelve?” Greer scowled at the suggestion. “There were only going to be the three o’ ye seeing it there yerselves.”
“Aye, but ’tis expensive cloth, and one Buchanan is worth four o’ yer average warrior,” he pointed out. “O’ course, if ye want to travel with them, then ye can get away with eight and yerself.”
Somewhat mollified by the implication that he was as good a warrior as his brothers-in-law, Greer sighed and then nodded. “All right. Twelve warriors will escort the woven cloth to McKay.”
Niels smiled slowly. He’d just traded a long, uncomfortable two-week journey to McKay and back, for a much quicker two-day jaunt to Drummond. Life was good when the heavens smiled on you like this.
Excerpts. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
In New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands’ captivating romance, a lass targeted by an unknown foe is saved—and seduced—by a bold Highlander
Edith Drummond owes her life to Niels Buchanan and his brothers. Waking after an illness to a castle overrun by rugged Highlanders is disconcerting, but so is learning that she’s slowly being poisoned. Niels insists on staying by her side, and Edith soon discovers that even more dangerous is her wild attraction to the fierce warrior.
Niels has never met a more courageous—or enticing—woman than Lady Edith. The idea of such a bonny lass being forced to enter a nunnery is more than any red-blooded Scotsman could bear. He’ll gladly marry her himself. But while sweeping her off her feet is easy, it’ll take all his skill to defeat her family’s relentless enemies and convince her to surrender to his sweet embrace . . .
Meet the Author:
My name is Lynsay Sands and I’m the author of the Argeneau series and many hysterical historicals (as my readers tend to call them). I have written over fifty books and twelve anthologies, which probably tells you I really enjoy writing. I consider myself very lucky to have been able to make a career out of it.
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