by Lecia Cornwall, Anna Harrington, May McGoldrick, and Sabrina York
E-Original published by Swerve Publication Date: June 20, 2017
ISBN: 9781250158383 Price: $3.99
You are formally invited to the Highland wedding event of the year. These four lasses are about to meet their matches in an original digital anthology featuring stories from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sabrina York, Lecia Cornwall, Anna Harrington, and May McGoldrick.
HOW A LASS WED A HIGHLANDER by Lecia Cornwall
In this retelling of The Princess and The Pea, Laird Alex Munro of Culmore has just five weeks to find a bride and marry her…or else the clan will be cursed with ill luck. Cait MacLeod finds herself caught in a clan feud, and when she tries to stop a deadly raid, she ends up as Alex Munro’s prisoner. With timing running out, is this couple meant to be?
A MATCH MADE IN HEATHER by Anna Harrington
She was the laird’s daughter. He was nothing more than a penniless, nameless Scot with nothing to offer but his heart. Fate tore them apart, but now he’s back in her life with status, money and a title. Can they let go of past hurts and find love?
A MIDSUMMER WEDDING by May McGoldrick
Their marriage was two decades in the making. The young, educated woman and her highland, pirate husband, betrothed when they were still children. But on the day of their wedding, Elizabeth Hay and Alexander Macpherson are in for a surprise.
THE SCOT SAYS I DO by Sabrina York
Catherine Ross’s world is turned upside down when her brother gambles away every penny they own. But to make matters worse? He’s lost everything to none other than Duncan Mackay, the rugged Scot who Catherine loved for years–but he never noticed her, and now she positively loathes him. But her brother’s in danger of going to Newgate, and the despicable Duncan has a plan– she can claim back the money and save her brother. If she marries him…
Read an Excerpt from The Scot Says I Do by Sabrina York:
“Why do you want to marry me?”
“Oh! That!” He huffed a laugh and then sobered. His lips closed as he pondered the question.
And, really? Did he need to ponder the question?
“Don’t you know?” she snapped.
“Of course. Of course I do. I . . . need a wife.”
He nodded and stepped back, looking rather pleased with himself.
She shook her head and his smug smile deflated like a soufflé. “Any woman will do if you simply need a wife.”
“I need heirs. I have an estate now”—she assumed he meant Peter’s—“and I need heirs.”
“Again. Any brood mare will suffice.”
His brow furrowed. “You are hardly a brood mare.”
“Well, thank you very much for that. But you still have to answer the question. Why do you want to marry me?”
His throat worked again. “Isn’t it obvious?”
She crossed her arms. “Apparently not.”
Another thing it was not, was even remotely romantic, but she supposed a woman in her position knew better than to expect such fribbles.
“Well, you are . . .” He waved at her person. Up and down in an illustrative manner that was not illustrative in the slightest.
“I believe we have established the fact that I am a female of child bearing years.” A brood mare, if you will.
“You are more than that, Catherine.” Ah. Now we were getting somewhere.
“You are elegant. Genteel. Trained in the art of social niceties. You would make a proper wife.”
She sniffed. She was hardly proper. And she certainly did not care to be proper. “There are a thousand debutantes in London who fit that bill.”
He made such a face that she was tempted to laugh. Had she not been so adamant about discovering his true motives, she might have. “Debutantes? London debutantes? What a revolting thought.”
“I, sir, am one such creature.”
“You are nothing like them, my wee Cat.” His adamant tone stirred her, as did his intent stare. She insisted those feelings recede. “You have a highland heart. You love heather. You ride bareback. You run barefoot in the grass at dawn—”
“Good Lord, Duncan. None of those things are proper. And I did those things when I was a child.” She hadn’t known such joy since her father locked her up in Miss Welles’ Finishing School for Girls in Kent. Despite Elizabeth’s friendship, the school had done much to squeeze the wild child from her soul—a loss she felt deeply, even now. But, apparently, she was a proper English lady doomed to marry a proper English lord, and—
But no. She wasn’t. Not anymore, was she?
How strange that this thought filled her with unaccountable joy.
“You are no’ like them,” Duncan, oblivious to her epiphany, continued on. “You are clever and funny and interesting. Those girls have nothing of interest to say.”
“Most likely because I was ruined early,” she “said, tongue in cheek. “I did spend my formative years with savages, I’m told.”
It took a moment for him to realize she was jesting, and then his glower turned to a smile. “Aye.”
“So you want to marry me because I am better disposed to tolerate your unrefined manners?” She was teasing him now, but frankly, he deserved it.
His face went ruddy and he began to sputter.
“Or because I can converse with you on lower subjects, such as offal and breeding?”
“Or is it—”
“I would stop if you would tell me why you want to marry me—so much that you would blackmail me into saying my vows.”
“It was never my intention to blackmail you.” He seemed offended at the suggestion.
“Really? What were those threats about Newgate for then?”
His brow lowered. “Those were a statement of fact. And to be sure, I doona want a wife who felt compelled to wed me, one who felt trapped with a lesser soul as a husband. In fact, if that is the case, I firmly rescind my offer.” He stared at her for a moment, his eyes red-rimmed, then whirled around to leave the room.
Oh dear. Perhaps she had gone too far. She had not intended to insult or wound him, or disparage his person.
“Duncan.” Her voice was small, but he heard her. He stopped stock still, but did not look at her. “I do not feel that you are a lesser soul. You have to know better than that. You are and always have been one of the finest men I’ve met.” It cost her to admit that because of the bitter waters between them, but it was true.
SAY YES TO THE SCOT is a quality collection of four novellas. Each story held a different appeal for me, but they are all well written and very enjoyable. I don’t think I can choose one favorite from the bunch, so I recommend them all!
HOW A LASS WEDS A HIGHLANDER by Lecia Cornwall
Legend has it that if Laird Alex Munro fails to wed by Midsummer’s Eve, which is only five weeks away, he will die shortly thereafter, and bad luck will befall his clan. Nothing but bad luck has been happening due to his late father’s negligence and incompetence. Also, the Sutherlands have been raiding them, stealing their crops, and destroying property. With the few men Alex has, he can’t protect his clan the way he wants to. Though he doesn’t believe in the legend, an alliance by marriage could benefit his clan, so four potential candidates arrive, intent on charming him and becoming his wife.
Cait MacLeod received a marriage proposal from her cousin, the laird of the Sutherland clan, and she fully intended to accept him. However, when she travels to his keep, she finds him a bully, and a cruel man who enjoys the destruction he causes. Cait ventures out and is captured by Alex, who believes her a Sutherland, despite her protestations that she is the powerful MacLeod’s daughter. Alex sends a message to MacLeod, but in the meantime, he’s keeping Cait as his guest.
Cait’s sweet personality soon charms everyone, and even Alex is captivated by her. Though there are four potential brides clamoring for his attention, he only sees Cait. Alex is a decent, hard working man, but he never wanted love. Yet it seems to have found him. HOW A LASS WEDS A HIGHLANDER is a warm and romantic novella that has wonderful characters, a touch of magic, and a very satisfactory resolution that gives everyone their just deserts.
A MATCH MADE IN HEATHER by Anna Harrington
When Arabel Rowland was just eighteen, she fell in love with Garrick McGuiness, the son of a blacksmith. Because her wealthy, highborn family will never approve a match between the two, they plan to elope. Garrick has just been hired as a head groom, and they need to leave today in order for him to arrive at his new position, and allow time for them to marry. Yet, on this very day, Arabel receives some tragic family news, and she chooses to remain. Garrick not only has to endure having his heart broken, but his body as well, since the estate agent was instructed to have him badly beaten before he leaves. It seems their secret romance was not to secret after all.
In the following ten years, there has been a reversal of fortune for both Arabel and Garrick. He became a soldier and a hero, and was awarded an earldom. He has also lived a rakish life, intent on forgetting how his fist love rejected him. Arabel’s family, on the other hand, have lost their fortune, and have suffered scandal. Arabel never married, though she is now engaged to a banker she doesn’t love. A surprising bequest from her deceased uncle brings her face to face with Garrick. It seems that in an attempt to make amends for meddling in their love affair years ago, and for having Garrick beaten, Arabel’s uncle has left Highburn Castle equally to both of them, stipulating that they both must live there for thirty days before any action can be taken. If either fails, the whole castle reverts to the other party.
Garrick is only too eager to take up the challenge, as he’s never forgiven Arabel for putting her family ahead of him. Arabel is eager to claim some property and try to restore her family to prosperity and respectability. As old hurts come to the surface, along with anger and bitterness, two very stubborn people find that they are again falling in love. I began to despair of this couple ever forgiving each other or having a future together, but love does conquer all in A MATCH MADE IN HEATHER.
A MIDSUMMER WEDDING DAY by May McGoldrick
Elizabeth Hay and Alexander MacPherson have never met, though they’ve been betrothed since they were children. Initially, Elizabeth harbored romantic longings, and eagerly looked forward to Alex claiming her when she reached the typical marriage age of eighteen. But he didn’t show, and as time passed, Elizabeth’s dreams turned to dust. She became well educated, traveled with her father, and became a member of the queen’s court. She hears stories of Alex’s prowess as a ship commander and pirate. If he ever does show up, she has no intention of marrying him, being shipped off to his castle, and languishing with people she doesn’t know, while he sails off to sea. Now, at age twenty-three, Elizabeth is looking forward to an exciting trip with her father, when her long lost fiancé arrives in town, and the wedding date is set.
Alex has no intention of upholding a betrothal agreement made without his consent when he was just a child, especially to some flighty member of the royal court. He needs someone from his own clan in the highlands. But he feels honor bound to discuss ending the arrangement with Elizabeth face to face.
Through a series of amusing, then terrifying events, Alex and Elizabeth are forced to spend time alone together as they struggle to stay alive. Their prejudices soon turn to admiration for each other, and attraction turns to passion. I love both these characters, and there are several light moments that had me smiling. My first read by May McGoldrick was very enjoyable, warm, and sexy. A surprise twist had me wondering if there was going to be A MIDSUMMER WEDDING DAY.
THE SCOT SAYS I DO by Sabrina York
Catherine Ross, the daughter of a baron, spent the years before her debut living in Scotland, where she experienced her first love, Duncan Mackay, the family’s groom. Duncan fell in love with her, as well, but knowing any relationship was impossible, he kept her at bay with biting remarks, cruel teasing, and treating her like a child. Catherine’s father was far from blind, so he sacked Duncan before either of them decided to act on their attraction. Catherine was never told what happened, she assumed that Duncan just left without saying goodbye.
Now back in London, Catherine’s brother has inherited the title due to their father’s death. He’s very anxious for Catherine to marry and be gone from his household. Unfortunately, Catherine’s suitors have a variety of failings, all hilariously described by Sabrina York. One day Catherine is summoned to meet with her brother, only to find Duncan there, as well. It seems that her wastrel brother has gambled away their home, and Duncan has purchased the notes, which were held by one of her suitors. Catherine is shocked to hear Duncan suggest that they marry.
What follows is a very brief and steamy engagement. Duncan was determined to make a success of himself and come back for Catherine someday. They are both wonderful characters and I loved watching their rekindled young love flare into passion. Catherine and Duncan are perfect for each other, and reading THE SCOT SAYS I DO is pure delight.
Lecia Cornwall is the author of steamy Regency romances set in England and Scotland including the Highland Fairytale series for SMP Swerve, starting with Beauty and the Highland Beast. Her books are known for their layered plots and intriguing characters. Lecia lives in Calgary, Canada with four cats, two teenagers, a crazy chocolate lab and one very patient husband.
Anna Harrington is the author of The Secret Life of Scandals series with Forever romance. When she isn’t writing, she spends her time trying not to kill the innocent rose bushes in her garden. She is the author of The Secret Life of Scoundrels series, including Along Came a Rogue.
USA Today bestselling authors Nikoo and Jim McGoldrick (writing as May McGoldrick) weave emotionally satisfying tales of love and danger. Publishing under the names of May McGoldrick and Jan Coffey, these authors have written more than thirty novels and works of nonfiction. Nikoo, an engineer, also conducts frequent workshops on writing. Jim holds a Ph.D. in Medieval and Renaissance literature and teaches English in northwestern Connecticut. They are the authors of Much Ado About Highlanders, Taming the Highlander, and Tempest in the Highlands in the Scottish Relic Trilogy with SMP Swerve.
Sabrina York is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of more than twenty hot, humorous written works. Her stories range from sweet and sexy to scorching romance. She’s the author of Hannah and the Highlander with St. Martin’s Press.
Lecia Cornwall Website: www.leciacornwall.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lecia-Cornwall-147981455226519 Twitter: https://twitter.com/Leciacornwall