Highland Fairy Tales, #2
by Lecia Cornwall
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Genres: Historical, Romance
She is his greatest enemy and his only salvation…
Malcolm MacDonald, a lawyer in Edinburgh, unexpectedly inherits his father’s title of Laird of Dunbronach, forcing him to return to a place he hasn’t seen since he was a small child. To gain the trust of a wary clan, Malcolm must act upon their insistence that he cast aside his English betrothed and marry a Highlander.
However, they have one condition—no lasses of the barbaric clan MacLeod.
When he finds an unconscious woman in the sea, he brings her back to his clan but not before doing the one thing that could save her life—hiding her all too telling MacLeod plaid. When she wakes with no memory of who she is, Malcolm vows to keep the little he knows about her identity a secret. As new dangers threaten his clan, the mysterious lass teaches Malcolm some very important lessons about how to be a Highlander and a laird.
But secrets never stay secret for long, and when she finds her plaid, her memory returns and she flees. Malcolm is forced to make a difficult choice to win her back, facing his darkest fears and his worst enemy for a chance at true love.
Malcolm MacDonald’s lodgings were cramped with unexpected visitors.
He knew the three Highlanders felt it too. They were more used to the wide-open spaces of their MacDonald homeland, perhaps, where there was naught to contain their big bodies but peaks, sea, and sky. They looked unhappily around the wee closet Malcolm called home. He followed their gaze. There was a narrow bed with a small table beside it. His clothes hung on pegs along the wall and his books were stacked in teetering piles under the window. Writs, wills, and deeds covered the surface of the table like a fall of new snow, deep, crisp, and legal.
He could smell the salt that clung to the damp wool of their plaids, the smoky tang of peat fires, and the whisky on their breath, though they were neither dirty nor drunk.
It made Malcolm aware of his own smells—the leather binding of his books, the sharp gall of ink, and the burned oat smell of his neighbor’s breakfast, seeping through the thin walls. He went to the narrow window and opened it, letting in a few inches of air. Now the stench of the city drifted in, gutters, livestock, and cookshops, borne on the sluggish wind that came from the docks. The Highlanders wrinkled their noses, and Malcolm resisted the urge to lower the warped sash again.
He stood back and let them see the view instead. His fifth-floor lodgings looked down upon the Royal Mile. If one leaned out the window and looked to the left, the Palace of Holyroodhouse stood golden and grim against the startling green of the hills. If one looked straight down, there were pigs blocking traffic, and merchants with their wares spilling out of crowded shop fronts into the street. The fifth floor was a fine, middling place to live for an unmarried junior lawyer of modest means. Richer folk lived on the floors below him, and the people who made their homes above Malcolm’s meager room were ever-so-slightly less respectable than he was. There was a widowed seamstress upstairs, and a one-eyed poet above her. The poet was nearly as old as Malcolm’s three visitors, who had introduced themselves as the elders of the MacDonalds of Dunbronach, his kinsmen.
Dougal MacDonald was bent and bandy legged, and his green eyes flitted about the room like trapped birds.
William MacDonald was as tall as a tree and twice as broad. He stood ramrod straight and nodded silently when Dougal introduced him. He kept his eyes on Malcolm and his hand on the hilt of the sword belted to his hip.
Fergus MacDonald sat in the only chair, his hands clasped on his bony knees, his face was a mask of cold disapproval.
Lecia Cornwall lives and writes in Calgary, Canada in the beautiful foothills of the Canadian Rockies, with five cats, two teenagers, a crazy chocolate lab, and one very patient husband. She’s hard at work on her next book.
Come visit Lecia at www.leciacornwall.com, or drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.