Some Like it Kilted
A woman's heart needs a loving home--Dear Reader,
Even if it's a little bit haunted.
Mindy Menlove lives in a castle that was transported stone-by-stone from Scotland. But when her fiancé dies in scandal and Mindy decides to sell the gloomy estate, her plans unravel. She must travel to the Hebrides, where she's confronted by the castle's original builder-who happens to be maddeningly irresistible and seven hundred years young.
Bran of Barra was a legendary chieftain. Since then he's enjoyed his ghostly pleasures, until Mindy's appearance disrupts them. Now, if the roguish Bran doesn't change Mindy's mind about his bonny homeland-and himself-neither of them will ever find any peace.
Do you like it kilted?
I sure do. In fact, I love men in kilts. They're incredibly sexy, have cute knees, and know how to flash a smile that's as dashing as their plaid. They're fearless, proud, fiercely loyal, and they know how to treat a lady. And don't forget their deep, buttery-rich voices. Smooth as molten honey and smoky as the finest single malt, a Highlander's burr is pure seduction.
To me, no man makes a greater hero.
But don't take my word for it. One of the secondary characters in Some Like It Kilted says it much better in the book's opening quote:
"While I'll no' argue that a man in a kilt is greater than any other, I'm here to tell you that a kilted Highlander is more. He is a god." —Saor MacSwain, Highland ghost, master of carouse, and kilt-wearer extraordinaire.
Saor might get his own story someday, but Some Like It Kilted belongs to his friend and fellow 14th C. Highland chieftain and ghost, Bran MacNeil, known as Bran of Barra. And I'm so excited to see his book releasing because Bran really stole my heart. He's the hero I'd most love to have stride into my office, sweep me into his arms, and carry me off into the sunset.
He's big, strapping, and bold. He's lusty, gives great neck nuzzles, and he has a wonderful sense of humor. He's honorable. And because he's one of my heroes, he loves dogs. He's also unashamedly roguish, open-handed with his friends, and he loves his home as only a Highlander can: with a passion so deep and abiding that even the passing of 700 years can't sever his attachment to Barra.
As a ghost, he's been there all that time, enjoying nightly revels in his hall and living the high life with his spectral friends. And that's what sets Bran apart from my previous Highland ghost heroes. Bran of Barra wasn't cursed into his ghostly state. Nor is he seeking to undo his otherworldly existence.
He loves being a ghost.
The last thing he wants is for his world to change.
Unfortunately, Mindy Menlove brings change and more into Bran's life. (I used life deliberately, because Bran would be the first to assure you that he lives, and quite well) Mindy has been unlucky in love and when she unexpectedly inherits a Scottish castle that's been transported stone-by-stone to Pennsylvania, things take an even darker turn.
She's forced to see the castle restored to its original setting, the remote Isle of Barra in Scotland's Outer Hebrides. The transplanted castle is Bran's beloved tower. But until Mindy arrived on the scene, he'd lived in bliss, unaware that in the world of the moderns, his stone-and-mortar home had been dismantled and sent across an ocean.
Now he knows.
And when Mindy travels to Scotland to do what she must, both she and Bran discover that change can be good. And that, sometimes, the very thing we think we don't want is exactly what we need.
I think Bran knew his fate all along. That he'd fall for one of my Pennsylvania heroines. Readers familiar with my previous Highlander and Kilted books will recall that Bran has seen several of his ghostly friends succumb to Bucks County temptresses. Bran resisted, but between us, I suspect he did so because he had fun resisting.
He's like that—always up for a good time.
That was one of the reasons I smiled through this book's deadline. Bran was a joy to write.
Mindy also kept me smiling, but for different reasons. Like me, she's an ex-flight attendant. Many of her quips and thoughts about her flying days come from my own twenty-three year airline career. And while I love Scotland passionately, Mindy dreaded going there. To her, the Highlands meant cold, mist, and rain. A place filled with sheep, haggis, rock, and bogs, with little else to commend it.
I love all those things, including rain and haggis. And while I wish autumn would be all year, Mindy lives for summer, sunshine, and soaring temperatures.
Here she is on the ferry to Barra. She's at the rail when Bran appears. You'll see that he's the perfect hero to make her appreciate Scotland (and to love him).
* * *
A kilted man stood at the rail.
Mindy was certain he hadn't been there before.
He stood in shadow, his chin lifted proudly and his gaze on the sea, but he didn't need to be looking Mindy's way for her to recognize him.
He was Bran of Barra.
And here—in his element, his powerful silhouette limned against the rolling sea and dark clouds—he was magnificent. Glorious in a way no modern man could compete. Wind lifted his hair and tore at his plaid, but he stood tall and unbending, as if the gusting spray and damp didn't faze him.
She surely looked like a bedraggled wet hen.
He was breathtaking.
And he wasn't just hewn of this wild, watery world. He was its master and wasn't shy about proclaiming his supremacy. It thrummed through every brawny inch of him and shimmered in the air around him, leaving no doubt that he ruled these dominions. And that he loved them with a fierceness that almost fringed on unholy.
Mindy swallowed, her heart thumping.
When he turned and looked at her, a wave of heat swept her, clear to her toes.
"So-o-o, Mindy-lass, tell me true"—he didn't move, but his voice came as close as if his lips had brushed her ear—"are you awed yet?"
"No, you don't awe me," she lied, glaring at him. "I think you're—"
"Oh-ho, what's this?" He held up his hands. "I didn't mean my own self. I wanted to know"—his blue eyes sparkled and he flashed one of his crooked smiles—"if you've fallen under the spell o' my isles?"
* * *
Mindy does fall under the spell of the Hebrides, eventually. But she kept me hopping as I wrote her because she didn't share my passion for wild places and even wilder weather. I really loved seeing her come around. I knew she would as I'd dare anyone to go to Scotland and not fall in love.
And how could she resist Bran? I certainly couldn't and I hope you'll enjoy watching them find the love they never expected and both deserved so much.
I love hearing from readers. Visit me and learn more about Bran and Mindy's world at: www.alliemackay.com
With all good wishes,
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