Title: A Magical Highland Solstice
Author: Mary Morgan
Genre: Time-Travel Medieval Scottish Romance
Laird Cormac Murray has witnessed how love destroyed his own father after the death of his mother, and he vows to never take a wife. Yet, when he comes upon a bewildered lass traveling alone, he finds his heart will no longer listen to his mind. In the end, Cormac risks everything to claim the love of a woman not of his time.
Eve Brannigan loves helping others and baking. After winning a contest, she is stunned to learn that the Clan Murray has requested her assistance to cater to their guests during the holiday season. When a lost path in Scotland leads her to a handsome but gruff Highlander, Eve fights the temptation to allow love to enter her heart for the first time.
Can the Fae and the magic of the Yule season bring together two souls who have forsaken love? Or will tragedies from the past separate the lovers forever?
His mouth gaped open at the sight before him. A woman stood in the middle of the road. She was a vision as the sunlight danced all around her, creating a golden halo of light. Cormac’s heart pounded within his chest, and he found it difficult to draw breath. Her beauty undid him.
“Sweet Brigid! Surely an angel,” stated a stunned Gordon.
Swallowing, Cormac shook his head to rid himself of the image, but she remained standing in their path. “I dinnae believe in angels,” he spoke, his tone more gruff than he intended. The lass angled her head to the side and frowned.
Cormac ignored his friend and dismounted. “Who are ye?”
She took a few steps backward. “I’m…umm…Eve. Eve Brannigan. Who are you?”
“An English woman,” spat out Wallace.
Cormac held up his hand to silence the man. He stepped closer. “Why are ye traveling the road alone? Where is your horse? Your guards?”
“Guards? Why on earth would I need any guards?” She snorted. “A horse? Really? If you must know, I lost everything when I took a fall off the main road. Thank God a couple found me—”
Finding it difficult to follow her words, he held up his hand. “One does not venture onto my land without my knowledge and surely not a lass walking alone. I have no dealings with the Brannigans and dinnae ken the clan.”
Fury shown in her eyes, and she met his stare. “I don’t know who the heck you are, but I was invited by the Clan Murray to help with the Yule feast.”
Cormac folded his arms across his chest. “Truly ye jest?”
“What is wrong with you?” She peered over his shoulder. “Why are you traveling on horses? Is it because the road is too narrow for cars?”
Again, Cormac took another step toward the lass. She brushed back a mass of golden curls, and his fingers twitched, longing to touch them. Clenching both hands by his side, he replied, “To travel by horse is more sensible than by foot. If ye were invited, I would ken.”
“Why is that?” she countered. “Are you someone special?” She looked him over and shook her head. “No one said we had to dress in medieval garb for the occasion.”
Hearing his men snickering behind him, Cormac let out a growl. “I would ken, because I am Laird Murray of the Clan Murray.”
The lass’s eyes went wide. “Oh. Sorry.” She bit her lip and rubbed a hand over her forehead. “I was invited, honestly.”
Whoever the lass was, Cormac was not about to leave her wandering the hills by herself. If she was English, it would be far wiser to have her remain close.
Furthermore, he wanted to find out her true purpose for being here.
“Oh, for the love of Mother Danu, just bring her along,” protested Glenna.
“Ye say ye were sent to help with the Yule feast? For what reason?”
She lifted her chin. “I assume it was to help with the baking.”
Cormac glanced at Gordon and raised a brow. “Surely not Fae.”
“Fae as in faery?” She burst out in laughter, and Cormac thought her voice was the most beautiful melody he had ever heard.
When he recovered, he whistled for his horse. The animal trotted aimlessly to his side. Taking her elbow, he saw her flinch. “Would ye prefer to walk up the steep path to the castle? Or ride?”
Again, she bit her bottom lip. “I don’t know how to ride a horse.”
She waved him off. “I’m not scared of the animals. I’ve never had the opportunity to learn.”
“Interesting,” muttered Gordon.
Cormac smiled. “Dinnae fear. Ye shall ride with me.”
Giving her no time to protest, he grabbed her around the waist and hauled her up onto Fingal. When he mounted his horse and settled behind her, Cormac felt her body stiffen as he placed an arm around her waist. He leaned next to her ear. Her mass of curls brushed his face, and he inhaled her scent—one of different spices. Lust instantly surged forth, powerful and intense. “Relax,” he urged in a hoarse voice. Though he found it difficult to do so himself.
He felt her tremble, but she nodded. Giving a tug on the reins, they moved up the path.
With each steady trot, her body swayed and Cormac tried to focus on the road. The castle. Fighting in the lists. Bathing in the icy waters of the loch. Anything, but the soft curves of the lass’s body pressing against his own. What was wrong with him? He prided himself on being a man always in control of his emotions—especially his lustful ones. Yet, now he found himself confused, tongue-tied, and his gut twisted into knots.
So deep in his thoughts, he did not notice Fingal veering off the main road until the lass let out a giggle. She had the most musical sound, and he found himself smiling. Guiding his horse back to the path, he could hear his men doing their best to contain themselves. A glance back confirmed William was coughing loudly and Gordon trying his best not to fall off his horse.
“I swear Fingal, I am tempted to trade ye in for another horse. Ye must be going blind, or worse, old.”
His horse let out a large snort.
Eve clicked her tongue in disapproval. “For shame, Mr. Murray. How cruel. I think he’s a kind animal. Perhaps it’s the man holding the reins who can’t see clearly the path in front of him?”
The lass was quick with the wit, he mused. “I dinnae ken your word, but ye may call me Cormac.” He leaned near her again. “And I can assure ye, I am nae blind, nor old.”
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What I love most about the holiday season:
The holiday season brings a sense of stillness, peace, joy, and profound love within me. I always want to bottle it up and sprinkle this euphoria on times when I require (or others) healing. I believe it started when I was a young girl. No matter what was going on in our family, the season was one of immense joy.
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Award-winning Celtic paranormal and fantasy romance author, Mary Morgan, resides in Northern California with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return.
Mary's passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. Inspired by her love for history and ancient Celtic mythology, her tales are filled with powerful warriors, brave women, magic, and romance. It wasn't until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling by writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories.
If you enjoy history, tortured heroes, and a wee bit of magic, then time-travel within the pages of her books.
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