I blogged over at Harlequin Junkie recently and they threw THIS puzzle at me: Tell us about the book with this fun little challenge using the title of the book!
H is for Hot Highland Lairds—five of them plus their foster father in The Sons Of Gregor MacLeod series!
I is for Injustice. All the lairds fight injustice to bring peace to the Highlands.
G is for Gregor MacLeod. Twenty years earlier, Gregor defeated his enemies and fostered their sons,—Darach, Lachlan Callum, Gavin and Kerr—bonding them to him and to each other so they became brothers, thereby honor his wife’s dying wish: to bring peace to the Highlands.
H is for History. Set in 1452, Highland Conquest brings medieval Scotland to life.
L is for Laird Lachlan MacKay. Lachlan is the hero of Highland Conquest. Five years ago, his older brother was murdered, and Lachlan vowed to avenge him, leading Lachlan to the MacPherson clan and straight into their bewitching healer.
A is for Amber MacPherson. Amber is the heroine of Highland Conquest. She’s also the MacPhersons’s healer, and when Lachlan attacks her clan’s castle to get to the treacherous MacPherson laird, she rushes into the thick of battle to help the injured…and after the battle, blackmails Lachlan into leading her clan.
N is for Niall. Niall is the old MacPherson steward, who helps Amber escape a the evil MacPherson laird, sneaking her out of the castle…and straight into Lachlan and his men, who are lying in wait to attack the castle.
D is for Disguise. Before Amber leaves the castle, Niall helps her look like a lad by cutting her hair and dressing her in a boy’s plaid. She climbs over the castle wall and when Lachlan captures her, he has no idea Amber is actually a lass.
C is for Clan. The MacPhersons and the MacKays join together under Lachlan to flush out the evil MacPherson Laird, Machar Murray, who escaped during the battle and still plans on defeating Lachlan—any way he can.
O is for Obsessed. Machar Murray, is obsessed with the beautiful, stubborn, too-smart-for-her-own-good Amber, who’s kept him at arms-length for years by playing on his superstitions and pretending to be a witch—all so she could continue to heal her clan.
N is for Nemesis. Machar Murray is Lachlan’s nemesis and visa versa. Murray has tried to kill Lachlan several times and Lachlan has survived (barely) every time.
Q is for Quit—as in never quit. Highland Conquest is full of strong, stubborn characters, including Lachlan and Machar Murray, both of whom will never quit until the other one is dead.
U is for Underground. Murray escapes Lachlan time and again because he spent years digging out tunnels under the castle wall and in the surrounding woods, planning for his survival.
E is for Exchange. Murray kidnaps Lachlan’s niece, Adaira, and gets a message to Amber saying that he’ll exchange the lass for Amber. Amber knows she’ll probably die, and after sending Lachlan off on a wild goose chase, she goes anyway to save Adaira.
S is for Surrender. Amber surrenders to Murray, but she’s a fighter, and just when he thinks he’s won, she fights like hell, getting Adaira to safety and maiming Murray. Still it’s not enough, but Lachlan arrives at the last minute and dispenses justice on Murray.
T is for True Love. Amber and Lachlan are finally safe and in love, and have their HEA.
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They also asked for 3 Fun Facts about the book…I really had to dig. Here’s what I came up with, lol!
- We got a chocolate lab puppy at the start of the writing of this book and… Oh, did you say Fun Facts? I thought you said Dumb Acts. Never mind.
- No puppies were hurt during the making of this book…just twin four-year-olds, two grown ups, a newly landscaped back yard, and all the wooden furniture in the house. And the floors got peed on. A lot.
- Re: numbers 1 & 2—Do Not Try This At Home!
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And lastly, Harlequin Junkie asked: If you could have given your characters one piece of advice before the opening pages of the book, what would it be and why?
Things change. Life changes. Don’t get so stuck in a belief or a mindset that you can’t let it go and happiness passes you by.
Amber and Lachlan are both determined never to marry, never to surrender to someone else or let someone in. They have to let go of their old perceptions and who they think they are and what they want, in order to make room for each other in their lives—and start a new beginning together.
Callum (Lachlan’s foster brother) said it best when he was talking to Lachlan about Amber choosing a husband: “You have to decide whether ’tis worse to stand out here and let Amber choose someone else, or to step inside, knowing she might choose you.”
• • •
Here’s a fun excerpt between the two of them! Amber has recently been attacked by the villain and seriously hurt. But she is sick of being an invalid and wants out of bed. Lachlan wants her to stay put.
“I feel a spell coming on. You will soon be vomiting frogs, and your cock will fall off if you doona let me up.” Amber tried to sound wicked but her chest and shoulder hurt like a sinner in hell, and she couldn’t inhale enough air to put the requisite menace into her voice.
Lachlan just smiled at her, his arms on either side of her body on the bed, his torso leaning over hers. “Such sweet talk.”
She tried to pinch him, but he laced their fingers together and put their clasped hands on the pillow over her head. She had no more strength than a bairn.
“Where is Mary?” she asked.
“She went home to help her mother. Against my wishes, you told her she could leave last night. Doona you remember?”
Vaguely, now that he mentioned it. “Lachlan, I want up.”
“As soon as you drink the pain draught she left for you. Amber, you were moaning in your sleep last night. The wound obviously hurts you.”
“Maybe I was dreaming of tupping some courtly Frenchman.”
“Have you e’er met a Frenchman?”
“Nay, just in my dreams.”
“I have, and you wouldnae want to tup them—in your dreams or elsewhere.”
He lovingly brushed her hair back from her face and put a cold compress on her forehead. She scowled. She’d been putting up with this for three days, and she’d had enough. “I doona need a man taking care of me!”
“I’m not a man. My cock just fell off, remember?”
She laughed, she couldn’t help herself, then scowled again, but it was a half-hearted effort. “Lachlan MacKay, let me up. I want to have a bath—a real one—not just Mary helping me with a cloth.”
His eyes lit with interest. “I can help you with a real one.”
She met his gaze, losing herself for a moment in the sea of deep blue. The color had become so familiar to her these past few weeks, like she’d known him all her life.
Images from the last time he caught her coming out of the tub played in her mind, and her body warmed and tingled in all her secret places. Her dreams—day and night—haunted her. She’d been thinking of his hands, his mouth on her for so long now.
Yet just three nights ago, she’d decided against being intimate with him. Now she couldn’t remember why. Oh, aye, she didn’t want to pine for him when he left. Well, she was likely to pine for him anyway.
So maybe she should just allow herself this one pleasure. She’d almost died three days ago, and Murray was still out there. Would she want to die not knowing what it was like to be stroked by Lachlan?
He would be sure to restrain himself because of her injury. Would there ever be a better chance?
“All right,” she said quickly. “But no tupping.”
His eyes widened, and a flush crept up his cheeks, putting her back in control. Aye, she liked that.
He tried to speak, but all that came out was a strangled groan. Finally, he said, “God’s blood, you mean it, doona you?”
He blew out a breath and dragged his hand over his face. “You’re injured. I canna, canna…”
“Touch me? Lick me? Watch me?”
His gaze jumped to hers. “All of those things. ’Tis not right. I canna take advantage of you in such a state.”
She stared at him, then slowly caressed her palm down the middle of her chest and underneath her shift.
Thanks for reading!
**This blog was originally published on the Harlequin Junkie blog on February 21, 2018.