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To Win a Highland Scot (Paperback)

To Win a Highland Scot (Paperback)

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Fate brought them together—or was it something else entirely?

The Fae took everything Scottish warrior Boyd Macleod had. Cursed and alone, he existed for a hundred years but never truly lived. Not until she arrived. The Sassenach is quick-witted, outspoken, and entirely too beautiful for his peace of mind. She stirs in him a hunger he hasn’t felt in…he can’t even remember how long. Now, that hunger won’t be quenched by anything short of possessing her—mind, body, and soul—forever.

Maya Harris has no idea what kind of strange magic threw her into the past. All she knows for sure is that she doesn’t belong here. She can’t afford to let herself get too attached to Boyd. The powerful, sensual Highlander is not for her. But the longer she spends with him, the harder it becomes to remember why she shouldn’t give in to his heated seduction…

A river of time flows between them. Will love be enough to bridge it? Or will Boyd and Maya remain star-crossed forever?

PAPERBACK

Paperback

298 pages

Dimensions

5 x 8 inches (127 x 203 mm)

ISBN

9780645113877

Publication Date

November 28, 2023

Publisher

Tamara Gill

 

Read a Sample

Druiminn Castle 2021, Scotland

Maya Harris stood at the gates of Druiminn Castle and watched as bus after bus unloaded its many tourists, all eager and excited for their tour of the old Scottish stronghold. Maya shaded her eyes and glanced up at the castle, forever in awe of this estate and still home to the Laird Macleod.
How lucky she was to be working here for the summer and helping out in the kitchens when they needed more staff. With the multitude of tours every day, she was constantly cleaning up after the sightseers. Yet, she loved every minute of her work. Just to be within the ancient walls, looking up at the magnificent portraits of past lairds, the tapestries, the oldest dating back to the 15th century was one that had always captured her notice.
Her employer and head housekeeper, Mrs. Holmes, had stated it depicted a standoff between Chief Boyd Macleod and the Fae Queen in the early fifteenth century. Maya had inwardly scoffed at the old folk tale, as an English woman, born and raised in Kent, she never believed in the Scottish superstitions. Still, the tapestry was unbelievably well kept and lifelike. Not that she could touch it to see how perfect it really was since it sat behind a wall of Perspex to stop grubby, oily hands from feeling it.
Hers included.
She strolled around the side of the castle, entering through the kitchen that also served as the staff entrance. Maya greeted the chef Samuel, Molly, and Heidi, her two closest friends she'd made in Scotland, who were eating their lunch.
"Oh, Maya, you'll be so excited to hear what we have to tell you today. Mrs. Holmes was stating this morning that she needs to clean the Perspex covering the tapestries in the great hall this afternoon," Molly said, her eyes bright with excitement.
"If you're sneaky and quick enough, you may be able to feel one for the first time. We all know you're a little obsessed, just like the rest of us who want to touch things we're not supposed to," Heidi joked.
Samuel, who had been standing kneading dough, scoffed, didn't comment on Heidi's words.
"I wouldn't dare touch it. Mrs. Holmes would sack me on the spot, and I would hate to lose this job. I love it here." Maya pulled off her coat and hung it in a small closet before sitting down at the table. "Have you just finished your morning shift? Are we still on for drinks down in Druiminn tonight?"
Every Friday night, the staff would get together and have a few wines or beers at the local pub. The week had been extremely busy, what with the height of the tourist season, and they would all have earned their night of relaxing and partying before another busload of people arrived tomorrow.
"I can't make it tonight," Molly said, her tone dejected. "I'm training for my night job at the petrol station. It's only from eight to eleven every night, so I'll still be able to work here, but it'll mean more money for me, and I'll get to Dubai for my holiday even more quickly."
Maya smiled at the thought of a holiday in Dubai. All that warm, hot air, the beaches, the amazing architecture, and the people. "I would love to travel there. What an amazing place it would be." One day, Maya promised herself.
She had very few holidays in her life. As an orphan, she never knew her parents, didn't even know who they were. From what she could find out from Child Services, they had left her on the doorstep of a hospital in Kent and never returned.
Her life hadn't been too terrible, however. Not like what so many other children had to endure when in foster care. She had been put with kind people, if not a little distracted and not too involved, but at least they never hurt her.
She had finished high school, attended university, and earned a degree in media studies, but found after she left that gaining employment in that field was a hard gig to score. With her money running out, she had seen the advertisement for cleaning work required on a Highland estate during busy tourist seasons and had applied.
The moment she had walked up from Druiminn toward the castle, watching as it slowly revealed itself through the trees, she had fallen instantly in love and under its spell. When summer was over, she would ask to be kept on or seek employment locally. There was something about Scotland that pulled at her heartstrings and made her feel at home.
"She's only going because she has fantasies of marrying a rich sheik," Heidi teased, grinning. "If you do happen to land one, see if he has any brothers. I could endure quite well a life of luxury."
Molly laughed, sipping her can of soft drink. "Oh, I will, and I can find one for you too, Maya. If you like."
Maya chuckled, pushing back her chair when she noticed the time. "If you find a sheik, it'll be enough for me that you'll be happy." She went over to the uniforms closet and pulled out a clean apron. "I better get going, the morning tour will be gone by now, but I'll see you tonight, Heidi?”
Heidi saluted, grinning. "Oh, yes, you'll see me for sure. I'll probably beat you there since you're working this afternoon, but I'll have a wine waiting for you."
"Thank you. Seeya, ladies," she said, striding out into a passage that led toward the great hall. Maya found Mrs. Holmes ordering a bevy of men to remove the Perspex from several tapestries in the great hall, her deep frown showing her concern, not to mention she was hovering over the men's work like a panicked mother hen.
"Do you need any help?" Maya asked, coming to stand beside Mrs. Holmes and watching as three men worked on the Fae tapestry she loved so much.
"Oh, Maya, just the girl I wanted to see. You'll be with me today. We've roped off the Great Hall, the tourists can walk past the hall, but they canna enter. I'm sure they will not mind since they'll see the restoration of sorts that we're doing. No point in looking at the tapestries when you can't see the actual needlework."
"I would love to help you. What would you like me to do?"
Mrs. Holmes pointed toward several buckets and cleaning items. "Once the Perspex is down, we'll need to clean and dry them thoroughly. The men will come back later today to put the Perspex back up, so we won't have them waiting around for us to finish, but we'll try and get this done today."
"Of course," Maya said, inspecting the cleaning items before turning to watch as another group of men had the first Perspex down. It was not her favorite tapestry, but another work that depicted a lady looking out over the ocean from Druiminn's Castle walls, but she was turned toward the artist, a cheeky grin on her face as if she was laughing at something that was said behind her.
"I know you love the Fae tapestry, but this is my favorite," Mrs. Holmes said, staring up at the work now free from its plastic bonds. It had faded of course, they all had over the hundreds of years since they had been sewn, but they were all still so beautiful.
"Who is this of?" Maya asked, unable to look away from the striking woman grinning back at them all from the tapestry.
"Her name was Abigail, but everyone from historical records called her Abby. She married Aedan Macleod, laird here in 1601. It is rumored she was from foreign shores, but nobody really knew for certain which ones. I've always thought she has an air of mischief and knowledge about her that you doona often see in paintings or tapestries. Like she knows something we do not."
Maya had to agree. The woman looked so happy, like the tapestry had caught a moment in time, similar to a photo today. "She's very beautiful. Is this the same woman in the painting in the upstairs gallery? The large one, over the fireplace?"
"Oh aye, the very same. Laird Macleod and Abigail were a love match. Devoted to each other to their very last days. He had many portraits commissioned of her."
How lovely to have found a love such as they had and in 1601. Not the easiest time in history to be a woman or wife to a man with such responsibilities. Scotland's history was as savage and as rough as the highland mountains.
"Right now," Mrs. Holmes said, cutting into her thoughts. "Enough of the past, let us finish our jobs so we may enjoy our weekend. I know you wish to get to the tavern and enjoy a night out with your friends."
"Are you doing anything this weekend, Mrs. Holmes?"
"Nay, just a spot of gardening and cleaning up around the yard. The usual."
Maya smiled at the older woman before rinsing out her cloth and wiping the Perspex, ensuring it was spotless and free from any smears. They worked for several hours. The large, rectangular-shaped Perspex covers were dustier than Maya had assumed them to be when they were on the wall. They placed the ones that were finished in front of the tapestries they belonged to before Maya turned to the last Perspex that needed to be cleaned.
Mrs. Holmes stood, clutching her back as she came into a standing position. The older woman looked tired and pained from the day's work. Maya took pity on her. "I can finish this one, Mrs. Holmes, if you wish to head home. I'll let the laird’s staff know that I'm leaving, and they can lock up the rooms they have open to the public."
Mrs. Homes didn't look sure, and Maya smiled, trying to put her at ease. "Truly, I'm more than happy to finish this one alone. It'll only take me an hour at most, and I'll be done. You head off, enjoy your weekend, and I'll see you on Monday."
"You're rostered on for tomorrow. Are you sure you doona want me to stay and finish this one? I doona have to be back here until Monday."
Maya waved her concerns away, rinsing out her cloth. "It's no trouble at all. I love being here, and at this time of the evening, it's lovely and quiet. I can almost picture myself as the lady of the manor, going about her chores in the house."
Mrs. Holmes chuckled, stretching out her back yet again before throwing her cleaning rag into the bucket beside her. "I am aching a little, so if you're sure? I doona want to leave you in the lurch."
Maya shook her head. If she showed she was willing to go the extra mile while working for the laird during their busy season, perhaps it would lead to a full-time position. She would love to live and work here full time. One of the most beautiful places in the world, without a doubt. "Not at all. You go. I'll finish soon enough. You enjoy your weekend."
Without further prompting, Mrs. Holmes picked up her bucket and started for the door. "Thank you, Maya. You're a real asset to this estate. I canna thank you enough."
Maya smiled, bidding Mrs. Holmes goodnight before turning the Perspex and scrubbing it. She finished the last cover within the hour, placing it before the tapestry for the men to rehang tomorrow. It took her minutes only to empty her bucket and pack away the cleaning products they had used.
She entered the Great Hall, tidied up the chairs, a few display items that were moved during the day's work, and put the room back to rights before leaving. Standing in the central hall, she was amazed as she looked up at the tall stone walls, the dais at the end of the room that so many lairds had sat, ate, and laughed with their people. It was a magical feeling. It wasn't hard to imagine times of old, the people, the music, and laughter that must have passed within these walls.
Maya wasn't sure what it was about this place, but she felt like she was coming home the moment she had arrived at Druiminn Castle. That this was where she was supposed to have always been. Not Kent. Not England. But here, the Isle of Sky, the Highlands. Scotland.
She walked over to her favorite tapestry, studying the masterpiece yet again. This one was lifelike, almost like a photo, and the laird in this time was so handsome with his cutting features, his build worthy of a romance book. They rarely made men like that in her time. Not that she had been looking much these days. Men, in general, had been a disappointment, and so she had decided to concentrate on herself and no one else. Make herself happy before attempting to make others so.
The castle was quiet, not a breath of wind or a creak to be heard. Maya frowned, looking about the hall when a shiver stole down her spine. The sense that the castle was waiting for something, someone, trembled through her.
She crossed her arms, hugging herself and looking again to see if anyone was about. There was no one there, and she shook her head, disregarding her silly notions. Not that it would surprise her to find the castle to be haunted, but she didn't believe in those sorts of things.
With a sigh, she turned back to the tapestry, the urge to feel it, just once, overwhelming. If the laird found out, she would be sacked on the spot, her dream of living and working here full time over.
And yet, she was alone, there were no security cameras…
A voice in her head taunted her, told her to touch it. That this was her only chance. It could be years before they took the covers off again. With a need, a yearning that burned through her body, she reached out, wanting to touch the handsome laird.
With a will of its own, her hand would not stop, and then, finally, the pad of her finger touched the tapestry, the silk thread soft and smooth to the touch. "Beautiful," she gasped on a breath. And then everything changed.
The room spun, voices echoed, faces she could not recognize came in and out of view.
What is happening to me?
Fear froze her to the spot. She tried to run toward the door, but the room turned at an increasing rate, making it impossible to flee. Something bad was happening—something she couldn't control.
She screamed for help, but even though her mouth was open, and her mind shouted the words, no sound emerged. What had she done! Why did she touch the tapestry!
So, this was how she would die, her final thought before the blackness enfolded her, and there was nothing.
Nothing at all.

Main Tropes

  • Enemies to Lovers
  • Hot Highlander
  • Scottish Time Travel Romance
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