EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: A Highland Rogue to Ruin by E. Elizabeth Watson

Jump back to the Highlands in this new romance from E. Elizabeth Watson! A Rogue to Ruin is set to release August 21, 2023. Be sure to secure your copy and find out where to pre-order here.


Tormund swallowed hard, a boulder lodged in his throat. He slipped his talon necklace over his head and over hers, depositing the trinket upon her bare bosom.

“But I didna’ win,” she protested. “’Tis yer brother’s, ’tis special…”

He laid a finger over her mouth to silence her.

To remember him by.

While they’d played their games, one by one he’d broken his rules: kissing her, swiving her. He toyed with his brother’s talon around her neck contemplatively, letting go of this piece of the man long dead, breaking this tiny bond with the past to bond him to another he’d never see again. Then he unsheathed a sgian achlais from beneath his arm. Lifted her long tresses, and sliced a tiny lock away.

He never bedded women. What the hell had he been thinking? He hadn’t been.

He brought the clipping to his nose. God, so sweet

“Where is she?” a man said in the distance.

Battle sense spiked, he spun the dagger to the ready. James MacDonald. He’d know that voice anywhere. Their heads whipped toward the bonfire blinking from afar through the trees. What the hell was he doing here?

“Spread out. If anyone has touched her, he’ll answer to me,” James continued.

The lass scrambled from his lap as Tormund shoved to his boots, tucking himself back into his trews and checking his weapons under each arm, his body cold where moments ago, she’d warmed it. “God nay, my brother, I…have to go.”

Her what?

“Sakes, he’ll come looking.”

“Breathe, angel.”

She nodded frantically as he tried to sort out what was happening, detangling the lacing up her stomacher and cinching it tight for her while she shook out her leagues of hair. He picked up her mask and handed it back as she plucked pine needles from her locks, the aftershocks of rutting still ringing through his blood.

“Let’s begin a search,” James said in the distance, once more intruding on this moment.

She started to leave but he snagged her arm. What in the hell is going on?

She looked back at his touch. Cupped his cheek fondly as his palm came up to envelop hers, brushing her mouth with his thumb one last time. Her lips felt so swollen from his devouring. She softened in his arms, kissed his thumb like a long-lost lover.

Male affirmatives echoed James. Knives unsheathed.

“My kin are coming,” she whispered, startled out of their trance. “I have to go. My brother’s nay someone to challenge.”

She darted away, and a sick feeling roiled in him when she whirled back, gripped both his cheeks, pushed up on her toes, and kissed him, shoving him away, dragging him back and kissing him again.

He chuckled at the sweetness of her antics, despite it all. She giggled and once more turned to leave—

“Over there. In the trees…” one of her brother’s men said, and hell, the search party began crunching their way.

“Sister!” boomed James.

They were getting closer. Thundering over the underbrush like a charging army.

Go,” she whispered. “Please. Or my brother will kill ye.”

He snorted. James could try. God knew it wouldn’t be the first time, or the last.

Now ye send me off,” he quipped, earning another laugh from her as he did what his blood warred within him not to do—for there were consequences for what they’d just done: let her go.

Cover for A Highland Rogue to Ruin by E. Elizabeth Watson

For fans of Diana Gabaldon and Scarlett Scott comes a story of warring clans, illicit longing…and the brutish Highlander who risks it all.

Known as the “Demon of the Seas,” Tormund MacLeod only wants vengeance for his brother’s murder. At this year’s Lughnasadh festival, the vicious and unyielding Laird of the powerful MacDonald clan will know the bite of his sword. But the festival offers many distractions—including a fair and bonny masked vixen whose touch disarms Tormund, body and soul. And och, like the cursed MacLeod he is, he wants what he shouldn’t have…

Lady Brighde MacDonald might understand her brother’s overprotectiveness—but she doesn’t have to like it. What she needs is the reckless freedom in the arms of an imposing, rough, and sweet-talking Highlander. Only too late, they both recognize that they’re enemies. She’s the sister of the man Tormund wants dead. And he is the brutish blackguard of the clans…

Now their tryst could mean war. Brighde would see a truce, but it means she must convince her brother and the man she loves to lay down their swords. But Tormund hides a long-buried secret that could destroy both clans.


Author photo for E. Elizabeth WatsonE. Elizabeth Watson writes historical romance and lives in West Virginia with her sons, husband, and various pets. With degrees in Archaeology and Anthropology, Elizabeth instead began pursuing a career in fiction writing after earning an Honorable Mention in the 2013 Texas Observer short story completion, and making it to the quarter-finals in the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. Elizabeth is a member of RWA and Maryland Romance Writers. Join her newsletter at https://eelizabethwatson.com/contact/. Follow her on Facebook @Author.E.Elizabeth.Watson. Find her on Twitter @AuthorEEWatson

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