Her Christmas Highlander by @AnnaCampbelloz is a Christmas in July Fete pick #historicalromance
Title: Her Christmas Highlander: Four Luscious Scottish Romances Previously Published in the Lairds Most Likely Series
Author: Anna Campbell
Genre: Historical Romance
What about a Highlander or four under your Christmas tree this year?
Spend the Festive Season in the beautiful Highlands with these four romantic, heart-warming tales of dashing Scotsmen and the bonny women who enchant them! All stories previously published as separate titles in the Lairds Most Likely series.
The Highlander’s Christmas Quest: The moment Kirsty Macbain sees strapping Dougal Drummond, she tumbles headlong into love, but he has no plans to stay on her island. Perhaps it’s time to try some sabotage! Will her scheming stop Dougal from sailing away to a life without her?
The Laird’s Christmas Kiss: For years, shy Elspeth Douglas has pined for Brody Girvan, Laird of Invermackie, but the rakish Highlander doesn’t even know she’s alive. This Christmas, she realizes that she’ll never be happy until she stops loving her brother’s handsome friend. But what is she to do when it turns out Brody has other ideas entirely?
The Highlander’s Christmas Lassie: After years of searching, Malcolm Innes, Laird of Dun Carron, finally finds his beloved Rhona and the son they had together. But their reunion is far from what he expected.
The Highlander’s Christmas Countess: Kit the stableboy has a secret! She’s actually Christabel Urquhart, Countess of Appin, running from her violent stepbrother. Gallant Quentin MacNab guesses Kit is no boy – she’s far too bonny. When a snowstorm traps Kit and Quentin together overnight, the discovery of her identity sparks a rushed marriage between these wary strangers.
Excerpt from The Laird’s Christmas Kiss:
Achnasheen Castle, Western Highlands of Scotland, December 1818
Brody Girvan, Laird of Invermackie, was altogether a dashing fellow. Or at least so people told him.
But as he sauntered down from his bedroom at Achnasheen, crossed the medieval hall with its decorations of holly and pine, and approached the breakfast room, he harboured the unwelcome suspicion that he wasn’t quite as dashing as he wanted people to think.
On his first night back in his cousin’s home, he’d stayed up with Hamish and Diarmid, drinking too much of Fergus’s excellent whisky. It was good seeing his friends, but he greeted the morning with a headache and the grim knowledge that he frittered away his youth on pleasures that palled.
For months, this feeling had grown. At first, he’d given it the cut direct. After all, what else could any man want but plenty of reckless women to warm his bed and freedom to pursue whatever vices beckoned?
But his lurking dissatisfaction hadn’t taken its dismissal in good spirit. It had pursued him, like bailiffs harrying a laddie who hadn’t paid his tailor’s bill. Over recent months, its clamor had risen to the point where ignoring it took more effort than anything else in his hedonistic, useless life.
Good God, was that really how he’d describe his gilded existence?
He refused to admit that it was. But last night and too many nights before that, he’d sat up late carousing with cronies, while wishing he’d gone to bed with a good book instead.
A shameful admission for a rake to make.
There was no arguing that today he hadn’t slept until noon as usual, but instead was up at the unheard-of hour of eight. The devil knew why. Nobody else seemed eager to face the snowy morning. The castle was quiet as the grave, and as was the norm in Scotland in December, outside it was howling a gale. In such dreich weather, even a bloody parson could find an excuse to sleep late.
Grumpily Brody slouched into the breakfast room. He caught the smell of bacon and kippers and whatever the hell other instruments of torture his cousin Fergus set out in the name of sustenance. His stomach rebelled. He swallowed sour bile and told himself that under no circumstances would he start his day by casting up his accounts.
Anyway, he placed the blame in the wrong quarter. He should credit the menu to that black-eyed, half-Italian witch Fergus had married a year ago.
Except that wasn’t fair. Brody liked Marina, Fergus’s unconventional bride. Although he couldn’t help noting that his restlessness with a perfectly pleasant life dated from seeing his once self-sufficient cousin in thrall to a woman. And as happy as a Scotsman in a haggis factory.
Blast it, at this rate, Brody might start considering marriage, too.
At first, he thought the breakfast room was empty—which suited his curmudgeonly humor. Then he saw a girl watching him from the shadowy corner beside the buffet.
“This room is as dark as a deuced coalmine in Hades,” he growled, before reminding himself that he was supposed to be a gentleman, with at least a distant acquaintance with manners.
“And good morning to you, too, Brody,” the girl said in a flat tone, carrying her plate across to the table. She chose a seat that offered her a view across the snowy lawns to the loch.
It was the Douglas chit, the youngest sister, the quiet one. The only brunette in a family of blazing, golden blonds.
“I’m sorry. I’ve got a devil of a head,” he said, before wondering if confiding the night’s excesses to a well-born virgin was quite the thing either.
“Then by all means, don’t feel you have to make conversation,” she said, with more of the faint sourness that had tinged her greeting.
Shocked, Brody paused on his way to the buffet, seeking not food but the coffee pot. The lassie spoke as if he didn’t deserve her attention. When he appeared, girls always brightened up and played with their hair and went all giggly and arch.
He frowned at this wee brown wren. She didn’t look giggly or arch. In fact, she showed no pleasure in his company at all.
The lassie ate her porridge with dogged dedication, as if he wasn’t there. Surprise thundered through him, stole his breath. Good Lord, she ignored him. Girls never ignored him.
He shouldn’t be piqued. But he was.
Grumpier than ever, Brody prowled across to the coffee pot and raised it in her direction, wondering if he’d catch her observing him under her lashes. She wasn’t. Instead, she stared out the French doors at the unencouraging weather. With Christmas four days away, today promised snow all through the festive season.
“Would ye like some coffee?” he asked, to interrupt whatever profound, non-Brody-related thoughts she enjoyed.
She inspected him the way she’d look at a slug on her salad. “My name’s Elspeth.”
He became seriously annoyed. Too much whisky must make a man short-tempered. Which was odd, because as a rule, he was the most easygoing of laddies, even after a night of kicking his heels up.
You’re easygoing only because you always get your own way, a nasty wee voice sniped in his mind. That nasty wee voice had moved in at the same time as his general dissatisfaction. He’d spent a year wishing it to Jericho, but it remained entrenched, and inclined to offer opinions when least welcome.
“I know that,” Brody responded with a hint of impatience. “You’re Hamish’s wee sister.”
Elspeth’s lips tightened. Had he said something wrong?
“I wasn’t sure you remembered me.”
“Of course I remember you. Our families get together two or three times a year. I’d need my head fixed, if I didn’t remember you.” He waved the coffee pot at her, just missing spilling it. “Now, Elspeth, Miss Douglas, Hamish’s wee sister, would ye like some coffee?”
“No, thank you,” she said, with a politeness that shouldn’t irk, even if it did.
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What I love most about the holiday season:
Hearing from all my wonderful friends across the world with good wishes for the Holidays.
Why is your featured book a must-read to get you in the holiday mood?
Who doesn’t love a Highlander? Four marvelous examples of the breed feature as heroes in four romantic Christmas stories. Not to mention the smart, feisty women they fall in love with during the course of a wintry Yuletide in Scotland.
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon (US) gift card.
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win.
Runs July 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on August 1.
Australian Anna Campbell has written 11 multi award-winning historical romances for Avon HarperCollins and Grand Central Publishing. As an independently published author, she’s released more than 30 bestselling stories. With The Worst Lord in London, she’s just launched a new series called Scoundrels of Mayfair, set amidst the glamour and sensuality of Regency London. Anna has won numerous awards for her Regency-set stories, including RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice, the Booksellers Best, the Golden Quill (three times), the Heart of Excellence (twice), the Write Touch, the Aspen Gold (twice), and the Australian Romance Readers' favorite historical romance (five times).
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