Margaret Mallory

ISBN-13: 9780446575164
ISBN-10: 044657516X

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.


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.


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


  1. Prologues are completely fine with me, as long as they don't have to much information packed into it. I remember reading this one book, had only a page and a half prologue, but I was so totally LOST! But the book, after that, was completely and utterly fabulous. So having that experience in mind, books with prologues definitely wouldn't stop me from picking up the book :-)

  2. I have never been particularly turned off with prologues, but I do think not all books need them. It really depends on the purpose of the prologue, is it to inform, to introduce or to set in motion a chain of events. For me, I would prefer for me to immediately capture my attention and pull me into the story. However, a prologue if it's too long or does not really flow with the story it can make it harder to get the story. If a prologue works with the story, then sure include it.

    One thing, a prologue is NOT a deal-breaker with me when it comes to choosing a book to read. Often the description or the cover (yes, I cannot help but be attracted to attractive covers) is what I pay most attention to if it's an author that is knew to me. Other times recommendations will decide the rest.

    I read a lot of historical romances but when it comes to the medieval times, not so much. Your medieval series sound very interesting and that I'd like to check out.


  3. Welcome to GLIAS Margaret. I love that you took the time just before National conference to visit and appreciate your visit.

    Love prologues for all of the above reasons. IF and ONLY IF they develop the story in some way.

    My favorite part of the interview was your favorite LOVE word: "A chuisle mo chroí. It’s Gaelic and means pulse of my heart. Sigh."
    DITTO !!


  4. Hi, Margaret! Angi, thanks for bringing this talented author to GLIAS. First, I love your excerpt. Wonderful. Roadrunner? Beep Beep. What about Wylie Coyote ;) Poor thing.

    Prologues... Argggh that never ending debate. I was at a writing conference where a panel of industry professions... one said, never ever, and the rest of the group nodded.

    Not a popular stance for this woman who has a prologue in almost every book she's written. So, when I sold to Bell Bridge Books, the only one that didn't have a prologue, my editor said, will you write a prologue. Of course I would, I replied.

    Whatever works for your story. The renowned Robert Crais gave me a quote for my web site. He said, and I quote, "Sure you can write a prologue. Just don't write a bad one."

    Thanks for being here!

  5. Thanks for the comments!

    I usually have a cataclysmic event from my hero or heroine's youth in the prologue. I was nervous about my prologue for THE GUARDIAN, because I have it doesn't have that. Instead, I have a humorous scene from when my 4 heroes, at ages 10-12, go to the ancient, one-eyed, clan seer to have their futures foretold. They are hoping to hear what great warriors they will be, but the cranky old woman foretells on a different subject altogether...

    Frankly, I didn't expect to get this prologue past my editor, but she loved it. I've been amazed by the positive response to it from readers and reviewers, too. :)

  6. I don't mind prologues in the least. I think they can provide useful information to set up a story. I have to admit that I prefer epilogues. I love them as a matter of fact. I like to catch up with the couple/couples a few months or years after the HEA. Mostly because epilogues usually mention babies for the couple.

  7. I always include an epilogue. I think they are essential to giving the reader a satisfying Happily Ever After. :)

  8. First off, let me say how much I enjoyed your blurb and your excerpt from THE GUARDIAN.

    I prefer to read prologue written as backstory in the first few chapters of the novel, told in brief bits, as I feel I am being let in on the story a little at a time. For me, this is more intriguing. But honestly? If I like the writer, I will put with almost anything.

  9. I absolutely loved The Guardian!

    Now on to prologues. I appreciate them for sometimes showing me a glimpse into a scene in the back story that is necessary for the story to be understood more thoroughly. Although sometimes they do lead the reader to be a little confused at first, often that confusion turns to vital information. If I don't understand what's happening at first I will go back and re-read it as often as necessary throughout the book.

    In a series, if it's spread apart over time, it's nice to have a small refresher course of information that's usually found in the prologue of those continuances.

    It may lead your reader to be lost at first, but a true writer will always put them back on the right track with the literary path enclosed in the book.

  10. Thanks for the compliments on my excerpt & blurb!

    And Lolarific, thanks for saying you loved THE GUARDIAN. :) You raise an interesting point about series. It's a challenge to include nec info from previous books to ground a reader w/o boring her. Each book must stand alone so a reader can enjoy it w/o reading the previous books & yet carry connecting characters & plots for the series reader. :P

  11. So I really like prologues and epilogues that have scenes that are important to the story and the theme that sets up or ends the story for the reader. I do not like the story dump kind of prebeginnings or afterendings. I also like the 'prophesy' prologues- the ones that forshadow the story that leave the reader guessing.
    The word dump prologue that gives a bunch of info about how a story is set up is a failing for the author to pull the story out naturally.
    But the idea that readers do not like prologues... that is way to general, imo. It all depends on the author :)

  12. I really enjoy prologues and epilogues! The prologue kind of gives me info on the book and the epilogues lets me know what happen to the characters. So bring them on.

  13. I love this discussion. And Margaret, I'm going to be one of those fans that loves yours about your four heroes. Waiting to get my signed copy next week.


  14. Great Interview! I love Clueless too! It is one of secret favorites, that makes me smile everytime.
    I love epilgoues a lot. I love knowing what happened to the characters.
    I do like prologues, especailly if they help set the tone for the story. Sometimes I think they are truly needed to so you can better understand the story. I hate when authors give you some information but don't tell you what it means until the end of the book.

  15. Thanks for the comments!

    With my next book, THE SINNER, which comes out Nov 1st, I decided to NOT have a prologue. I made it through the drafts without one and even submitted it to my editor that way. But in the course of doing revisions, I added a prologue. It's barely over a full page and very different from all my others. I'm wondering what readers will think of it!

  16. As a reader, I enjoy the type of prologue that's part tease and part road map to the joyful ride I'm about to undertake.

    As a writer, I think prologues have to be handled with care. They don't need to be used as info-dumps to explain the nuances of a story.

    Oh...and I ADORE your books, Margaret! :-)

  17. Maeve! Thx so much for saying you adore my books. Yay! :)

  18. C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S !!!
    Virginia is the winner of KNIGHT OF PLEASURE !
    Please contact GetLostInAStory@gmail.com with your information and I'll pass it along to Margaret.

    Thanks to everyone for stopping by!