Today we bring you evidence, written in the hand of Lady Aileana MacDonald, that all was not always well between clans MacLeod and MacDonald. This report, found in an old trunk provides a fascinating look into the past of Scotland.
My sister-in-law, Lady Brighde, has fallen in love with our clan’s gravest enemy, Tormund MacLeod, the Demon of the Seas! A secret she has begged me to keep, for her brother who is my husband, Jamie, would never approve. I just caught them nuzzling each other, except… Tormund wasn’t the monster We’ve always thought, but gentle. They were teasing each other secretively, laughing. The fearsome demon can laugh? Can smile?
Now Tormund has stripped his tunic and is lumbering onto the field to compete in the corn cutting, joining Jamie and the other lairds, and sakes, it seems as if the royal seneschal has…paired the two together? Every year enemies are paired to clear the barley fields, in attempts to force them to work together and broker truces betwixt them—for the winners split the harvest to take home to their people. But have there ever been greater enemies than Tormund, the Demon of the Seas and Jamie, the Devil MacDonald? The blood feud betwixt them spans generations!
Yet I can see the verra stars of heaven blooming in Brighde’s bonny blue eyes as she watches him and he, her, like a hawk tracking its quarry. And Brighde seems so…happy. Of course, she’s always happy. But oft I fear her smile is a mask that hides deeper wounds. Yet as Tormund, all muscle, dark braid woven down the crest of his shaved head, and his body adorned with tattoos, casts his battle-hardened glances at her I realize I see…fondness returned. Tenderness? From a demon?
Sakes, she even wears his talon necklace about her throat. She is too far smitten and I fear, so is he—
Nay, what is this!
Jamie is confronting Tormund! They’re…arguing! Goodness, knives are unsheathing! Brighde is fretting beside me, twisting her necklace about her finger, for it’s clear Jamie is antagonizing Tormund and Tormund isn’t one to back down from a challenge. Our clansmen have charged the field! As are Tormund’s men! A sea of red tartans and yellow kilts snapping together like the jagged jaws of a dragon—
Wait, Brighde! “Where are ye going!” She didna’ hear me! She’s crying out for them to stop but if she’s caught in the melee, oh, I cannae bear to think, for the men have drawn weapons and she’s…wait, Tormund is…shouting at his men to back down! Racing down the field for Brighde who is beseeching them to stop and he has scooped her into his arms and carried her from the fray. He cares more about her safety than about his fight with her brother!
Oh, he has protected her! There’s no denying the love and worry contorting his visage. Silence has fallen. The menfolk have stopped. Except now Jamie knows the truth about his sister’s secret tryst, too. How can one ignore what we have all just witnessed? Both men love Brighde dearly, I can tell. Perhaps a peace between these two headstrong men is possible…if their love for her is stronger than their feud?
About Highland Rogue to Ruin: 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.
About E. Elizabeth Watson: Elizabeth is an Amazon Top 100 and #1 Barnes and Noble Ebook bestselling author. She is convinced life is better with good coffee, chocolate, and a pair of hiking boots. Ever since her elementary school librarian “published” her epic childhood tales–complete with laminated handmade covers–she’s enjoyed exploring the world through literature.
While studying prehistoric Britain at Newcastle University, Elizabeth found story inspiration in the tumultuous history of the British Isles and the folklore of Scotland. As an undergrad at the University of Texas at Austin, her rock art research drew her to the harsh Texas desert where she imagined charismatic cowboys and the stubborn women who tame them.
An archaeologist and biomed research coordinator, Elizabeth spends her days penning heroes ranging from Scottish and Medieval warriors to Texas cowboys crowned with Stetsons. Whether in kilts or pearl-snaps, her heroes wear plaid! She currently lives on a mountainside in West Virginia with her husband, sons, and various pets.
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