“Rogue of the Highlands” is the first book in a series featuring Clan MacLeod and “Rogue of the Moors” is the transition book that introduces Clan MacDonald through the marriage of Bridget MacLeod to Alasdair MacDonald…who has a lot of rowdy brothers!
Summary of “Rogue of the Moors”
Newly widowed Bridget MacLeod’s arranged marriage had been pleasant, but not passionate. When she arrives at her sister’s home in the western Highlands for a visit, she finds the house empty. She has no choice but to accept neighbor Alasdair Macdonald’s invitation to stay at his home until her sister returns.
Alasdair recalls the way Bridget’s cool fingers touched his skin as she stitched his thigh wound the year before when he’d fought for the MacLeods. His resolution to act like a gentleman burns to cinders in the heat of the mutual attraction.
But a jealous female rival notices their connection and will stop at nothing to make Alasdair her own. Trickery, seduction, blackmail…even murder.
Opening Three Lines:
“Your secret will be safe with me forever.”
Bridget MacLeod whispered the words, placed a sprig of rare, white heather on her husband’s grave, and stood. Her marriage to Brodie Cameron had been comfortable, if not passionate. They had understood and respected each other. No one would ever know the truth they kept shrouded.
- Legend has it that Clan MacLeod descended from a Faerie queen.
- The original “faerie flag” that she left to guard her human son is framed in Dunvegan Castle, Isle of Skye.
- A faerie reappears in the book to save the clan once more.
Bridget MacLeod is featured in the previous five books as the eldest, take-charge and give-no-quarter sister who never expected to experience passion or love. Her duty was to raise her younger sisters. Now is her time.
Likewise, Alasdair MacDonald is the oldest of ten rowdy brothers who stay in trouble more than they stay out of it and one very feisty younger sister. He has his hands full without having to deal with a stubborn, opinioned lass who challenges him at every turn. But then, he finds out he quite likes it.
If you could place yourself (literally) in a scene from your favorite book, which scene would it be?
Alasdair entered the marine building the next morning, said hello to the harbour master, and went into the small office Robert rented. Alasdair had no real reason to be here this morning since no ships were anchored in the loch, but staying at the house and spending the day in Bridget’s presence might just drive him barmy.
He raked a hand through his hair as he sat down at the desk. He’d had the devil of a time getting to sleep last night knowing she was in the room next to his. He’d been sorely tempted to knock on Bridget’s door to inquire if her chamber was adequate, but he knew that was just an excuse. He should never have given her that room, idiot that he was. Even though lustful thoughts were inappropriate, he had to be honest with himself. He wanted to see Bridget in her night rail with her hair loose. Hell, he wanted to see her naked with her hair loose. When he had finally drifted off to sleep, his dreams had been filled with images of the flame-haired woman with eyes the color of fine whisky looking at him in wild abandonment. Thankfully, there was no adjoining door between the rooms or he might have given in to temptation.
Damnation. What in the world was wrong with him? What had happened to the ironclad willpower his brothers admired him for having? He was nearly thirty and he’d had his share of women. None of them had ever caused him sleepless nights, nor had they given him fantasies he wanted to fulfill.
By the saints, he remembered how his cock had stirred when Bridget had stitched his wound last spring and she’d leaned so close to his shaft. He’d used his willpower to put the incident out of his mind, knowing she was a married woman.
She was a widow now.
Alasdair shook his head, picked up some loose papers and stacked them together. Bridget had only been widowed a few months. She had said she needed a change. That’s why she had come to Arisaig. Obviously, she needed time to grieve. He would not be loutish and infringe on that. Perhaps a trip to Glasgow to slack his lust would be good once Robert returned. He could use the excuse that he needed to see how the displaced crofters who were now working with the soda ash production were doing.
For now, he would stay away from the house as much as he could. Seeing Bridget at supper would be hard enough. He didn’t even want to think about another sleepless night.
The door to the small office opened. Alasdair looked up and nearly dropped the papers. Bridget stood in the doorway. Had he somehow conjured her?
She looked equally surprised to see him. “What are ye doing here?”
“I came to check to see if any paperwork needed tending while Robert is away,” he said. “Why are ye are here?”
“For the same reason.”
Alasdair wasn’t sure he’d heard correctly, but then maybe it was her slightly spicy scent that had distracted him. “The same reason?”
“Aye.” Bridget closed the door and crossed over to the desk. “I ken Shauna helps Robert with the books. I plan to take that over for her until the bairn is born.” She held out her hand, palm up. “Might I see those?”
He looked at her hand, not small and delicate or soft and lily white. Hers was a
strong hand with long fingers. He noticed a callus on the thumb. Unbidden, the thought crept into his mind of how easily Bridget could wrap those long fingers completely around his shaft and rub her thumb across his tip, the callus providing good friction.
She wiggled her fingers impatiently, and he blinked, his wayward mind snapping back to reality. Alasdair handed her the stack, allowing his hand to brush against those long, lovely fingers. A pleasant shock rippled through his arm, and he thought Bridget made a strangled sound, but she looked serene as she took the papers.
He dropped his hand. What the hell was he doing? He must be losing his bloody mind. “Ye really doona need to work in the office. When Aiden—he’s the second oldest of us—returns with Robert, he can handle the office.”
“Nonsense,” Bridget said briskly and propped herself up on the desk to read the invoices. “I cannae simply sit around doing nothing.”
Alasdair really wished she wasn’t sitting on top of the desk right now. He could see the curve of her thigh where the muslin of her gown was pulled tight. Her curvy bottom was much too close to where his hand rested. He had the strongest urge to trace that curve.
He jerked his hand back abruptly. Had Bridget bedeviled him somehow? The MacLeod clan believed they were descended from a faerie queen, even keeping what they called a faerie flag at Dunvegan on Skye. Were the Fae somehow tampering with him? Having a bit of sport?
The sound of a female voice speaking to the harbour master broke into his thoughts. He heard footsteps and the office door opened.
“Your mother said you would be here,” the young woman said and then stopped and narrowed her eyes at the sight of Bridget still perched on the desk. “Who are you?”
“This is Bridget MacLeod, Shauna’s sister. She’s come to visit,” Alasdair said and then turned to Bridget. “Meet Isobel Howard, the parson’s daughter.”
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Left widowed and penniless after a loveless arranged marriage, Jillian reluctantly accepts the job of “refining” a Scottish Highlander who’s inherited an English title. The man infuriates and intrigues her, as well as shakes her resolve to never again let a man close.
Ian MacLeod never wanted to come to England, but his clan needs the profits he can gain by claiming his inherited English lands. When he meets the very proper Lady Jillian Newburn, he’s fascinated by what he suspects is a warm heart and fiery passion underneath her icy demeanor.
Getting past her chilly resolve to keep him at arm’s length will be a challenge, but this MacLeod has never backed down from a challenge in his life. But it’s not all fun and games and stolen kisses. There’s something about Jillian’s stepson that raises the hair on the back of Ian’s neck, and he’s knows better than to ignore the sign of danger that has never steered him wrong.
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