Book I: THE RETURN OF THE HIGHLANDERSPocket
Four fearless warriors return to the Highlands to claim their lands and legacies. But all their trials on the battlefield can't prepare them for their greatest challenge yet: winning the hearts of four willful Scottish beauties.
After years of fighting abroad, Ian MacDonald comes home to find his clan in peril. To save his kin, he must right the wrongs from his past . . . and claim the bride he's long resisted.
As a young lass, Sìleas depended on Ian to play her knight in shining armor. But when his rescue attempt compromised her virtue, Ian was forced to marry against his wishes. Five years later, Sìleas has grown from an awkward girl into an independent beauty who knows she deserves better than the reluctant husband who preferred war to his wife. Now this devilishly handsome Highlander is finally falling in love. He wants a second chance with Sìleas - and he won't take no for an answer.
GET LOST IN THE STORY
The room fell away as Ian stared at the young woman who stood in the glow of the firelight. Her hair was the most beautiful shade of red he had ever seen. It fell in gleaming waves and framed a face so lovely it squeezed his heart to look at her.
When she lifted her gaze and met his, the air went out of him. There was something very familiar about this lovely, green-eyed lass, but Ian could not place her.
"Ian." Alex jabbed him in the ribs.
Ian knew he should stop staring at her, but he couldn't help himself.
"Hmmph," Alex grunted as he pushed past Ian. He strode across the room and greeted the young woman with a kiss on her cheek, as if he knew her well. "Ach, you are a sight to behold," Alex said. "If I were your husband, Sìleas, ye can be sure I wouldn't have kept ye waiting a single day."
Sìleas? Ian shook his head. Nay, this could not be...
The young woman was nothing like the scrawny thirteen-year-old he remembered. Instead of gawky limbs and pointed elbows, she had graceful lines and rounded curves that made his throat go dry.
"Welcome home," the young woman said to Alex in the kind of throaty voice a man wanted to hear in the dark.
"Ye two must be hungry after your travels. Come, Sìleas, let us get these men fed," his mother said, taking the lass by the arm. His mother gave him a wide-eyed look over her shoulder, the kind she used to give him when he was a lad and had committed some grievous error in front of company.
When Ian started to follow the two women to the table, Alex hauled him back. "Are ye an idiot?" Alex hissed in his face. "Ye didn't even greet Sìleas. What's the matter with ye?"
"Are ye sure that's Sìleas?" Ian said, leaning to the side so he could see past Alex to the red-haired lass.
"Of course it is, ye fool," Alex said. "Did ye no hear your mam just say her name?"
From the corner of his eye, Ian saw the back of Sìleas's skirt disappearing up the stairs. It occurred to him he had the right to follow her up and take her to bed. Tonight. Right now. Before supper, if he wanted. And again, after. The part of him between his legs was giving him an emphatic "Aye!"
His reaction startled him. For five long years, he had planned to end the marriage as soon as he returned. He'd harbored not a single doubt.
But he made that plan before she turned into this enchanting lass with curves that would have him dreaming of her naked as soon as he closed his eyes.
Aye, he most definitely wanted to take Sìleas to bed. Any man would. The question, however, was whether he wanted her to be the last woman he ever took to his bed.
~ ~ ~
Margaret Mallory started out as a Midwest girl. Except for two years in Africa, she grew up in small towns in northern Michigan, where her dad was a county extension agent. She received degrees from Michigan State University and the University of Michigan Law School, and then headed to Washington, DC to save the world. When that failed, she packed up and moved to the Pacific Northwest for no reason except that it was beautiful and far from her last jobs and boyfriends. She admits to having a vague notion of finding herself a park ranger with a dog. The man she met was not a park ranger, but he was willing to get the dog. Marriage and children soon followed.
Margaret spent many rewarding—but rather wearing—years in jobs devoted to improving services for abused children and care for the elderly. Not long ago, she surprised (shocked?) her friends and family by abandoning her legal career—and steady job—to write novels. She is thrilled to spend her days writing stories of love and adventure, instead of going to endless meetings. After all, she has always loved romantic tales, heroic deeds, and happy endings. And, at long last, she can satisfy her passion for justice by punishing the bad and rewarding the worthy—in the pages of her novels.
With her two children off to college, Margaret spends most of her time working on her next books. She loves to hear from readers.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
ANGI: How often do you get lost in a story?
MARGARET: It’s the only way I write well, so I can’t get lost often enough! I know I have a good scene when I make myself weep. If I cry revising it the tenth time, then it’s a really good one.
ANGI: What’s the first book you remember reading?
MARGARET: Pipi Longstocking, but maybe I remember that one because Pipi is a redhead. ;)
ANGI: What’s your favorite “love” word?
MARGARET: A chuisle mo chroí. It’s Gaelic and means pulse of my heart. Sigh.
ANGI: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
MARGARET: It’s more of a legend than a fairy tale, but I’d say the tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
ANGI: What’s your favorite cartoon character?
MARGARET: Road Runner
ANGI: Where do you read and how often?
MARGARET: Embarrassing, but I have a hard time putting a book down at night. Sometimes I take it into the bathroom with me when I wash my face, and then I make the mistake of deciding I can read just a couple more pages. After fifteen minutes, I get tired of reading standing up so I sit on the toilet. Then an hour will go by...
ANGI: What was the first story you remember writing?
MARGARET: That’s easy because it wasn’t that long ago. I had one “practice book” before I got published. Before that, I hadn’t written a word of fiction since high school English.
ANGI: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
MARGARET: I am a huge movie fan, so I can’t say just one. Some of them are The Gladiator, Clueless, the 6-hour BBC production of Pride & Prejudice, Strictly Ballroom, Horseman on the Roof (French), Lord of the Rings, When Harry Met Sally, Bend it Like Beckham, Last of the Mohicans, There’s Something About Mary, Casa Blanca….OK, I’ll stop.
ANGI: Be honest, when reading...do you put yourself in the heroine’s role?
MARGARET: Of course!
ANGI: Is writing or story-telling easier for you?
MARGARET: Writing, but it isn’t easy for me.
ANGI: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?
MARGARET: Thank you for the lovely messages! I am honored every time a reader tells me that my book kept her up half the night or helped her escape the stresses of her day.
ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: So, Margaret, it’s been awesome getting to know you over the past couple of years. I’m a huge fan of your first medieval series and can’t wait for The Guardian. It’s the first of a four book series, can you give us a real quick peek into the next three?
MARGARET’S GOTTA ANSWER: The four heroes of THE RETURN OF THE HIGHLANDERS series are close friends and cousins, so readers get to meet all of them in THE GUARDIAN. A lot of readers have already been asking me about Alex’s book, THE SINNER, which is next and comes out November 1st. After that is Duncan’s book, THE WARRIOR, and finally, Connor’s book, THE CHIEFTAIN. Readers can find more information about my books on my website: http://www.margaretmallory.com/.
MARGARET’S QUESTION FOR YOU: I love prologues, both as a reader and as a writer. I attended a writing workshop, however, in which the presenter said that prologues are a big turn-off for a high percentage of readers when they pick up a book while browsing in a bookstore. So I'm very curious. Do you like prologues? If you saw a prologue when you opened a book in a store, would you be less likely to buy it?
LEAVE A COMMENT and you might… Margaret is giving away a copy of KNIGHT OF PLEASURE, which was a RITA & Booksellers' Best Award finalist and won the historical category of The Maggie & The Beacon Contests last year.
Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only. If an electronic Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.
YOU CAN FIND MARGARET on her Website on Facebook and on Twitter. Maraget has terrific photos of Scotland on her website & Facebook!
DON’T FORGET OUR WEEKLONG contest and updates on The Crew beginning Sunday with prizes drawn on JULY 4th. LIKE us on Facebook and FOLLOW us on Twitter for daily updates on who’s “Getting Lost.” Come back Friday when Donnell interviews Misty Evans and return tomorrow when Maureen hosts Mary Sullivan & Victoria Essex. ~Angi
USA Today Bestseller Angi Morgan is an 11th generation Texan who plots ways to engage her readers with complex story lines, in actual Texas locations. She shares her research and photos on her daily blog: A Picture A Day.
I love to chat with readers. Join Angi's friends through my Fan Page.