Series: Morna's Legacy Series - English #10
Published by: Bethany Claire Books
Release Date: March 27, 2018
Genre: Scottish Time Travel Romance
Her destiny lies in the past. So does her heart.
After surviving a fire that almost killed her, Kate worked hard to rebuild her life post-amputation. She knows her own strength. In life and in work, she never backs down from a challenge. But when she travels into the past to be with her sister, she meets a man who forces her to face truths about herself she’d rather avoid—that when it comes to love, nothing terrifies her more.
Maddock enjoys his duty on The Isle of Eight Lairds, but dreams of more. After seeing his friend find love, he opens his heart to the belief that perhaps there is a lass out there for him, as well. When he meets Kate, the bonny sister of one of his dearest friends, he falls for her hard and fast. But she doesn’t make it easy for him. Her own fears keep her distant. No matter how much he opens himself up to her, she struggles to do the same.
Can they find a way to overcome the fears holding them back? If they do, can they work together to keep the evil that rules over the Isle at bay?
Excerpt (from Chapter 11):
As my unnecessary panic came to an end, I was able to relax enough for my jet lag induced exhaustion to catch up with me, and it didn’t take long for my eyes to begin to close as I drifted off to sleep. Just as I reached the cusp of full-on unconsciousness, a sudden clanging began in the bathroom attached to my room, followed shortly by what I could only assume was Gaelic cursing.
Our escorts had arrived.
I waited for a moment before turning on the lights in the hopes that whatever trouble the man was having would end, but the unusual sounds only continued. Eventually, I decided that if I didn’t go to help him, he would wake up the whole castle.
Reaching over to the small lamp on the nightstand, I flipped on the switch and walked over to the door before attempting to address the man inside.
Knocking gently, I spoke to him. “Do you need some help?”
The clamoring stopped and a deep, accented, ridiculously sexy voice answered me. “Aye. I’d be much obliged if ye would show me how to work this, this…” He hesitated as if he were trying to remember the word shower.
As he finished, I heard his hand reach for the knob. I looked up at him as he came into view, and the light from the bathroom spilled into my own barely-lit room.
He was a good foot taller than me, and while he was lean, he had broad shoulders that showed how strong he was and made him look especially masculine. His hair was short, but had a little bit of length on top and I couldn’t help but think that the style of his hair was remarkably modern. Except for the filthy linen shirt and kilt, he didn’t look that out of place in this time.
I scanned him for longer than was probably appropriate before I actually looked up at his face. When I finally did, he was smiling. The beauty of him caused my breath to catch in my chest on an almost auditory level.
With most of his body now in the shadow of the doorway, I couldn’t quite make out the color of his eyes, but his smile was wide and bright and his nose, while larger in the middle from what I assumed was a past break, was endearing. It made what would’ve been an intimidatingly handsome face just a little more approachable. He even had a smattering of freckles on both cheeks that I could just make out in the semi-darkness that allowed me to immediately picture what he must’ve looked like as a boy.
“Ye must be Kate, lass. Ye and yer sister resemble one another greatly.”
Taking in an embarrassingly shaky breath, I nodded as I tried to act like the grown woman I was. “Yes, I’m Kate. You’re…” I paused as I scanned through the portrait I’d seen of The Eight during my research. “Maddock?”
He grinned again and something in my stomach turned over. “Aye. How did ye know that?”
“I’ve read quite a lot about you. I did some research once I knew Laurel was there. In one of the books, there’s a portrait of all of you, and your names were below.”
There was a brief moment of awkward silence and my mind starting screaming at me to just do something. I reacted by thrusting out my left hand so he could shake it.
“It’s nice to meet you, Maddock.”
He turned his head as he looked down at my hand and chuckled softly. “Ye too, Kate.” Taking my hand, he raised it to his lips and gently brushed them against my knuckles. My stomach clenched and I grew hot all over.
“Um…how about I get this shower started for you?”
“Please, lass. I canna wait to see how it works.”
He stepped aside so I could enter the bathroom, and my shoulder brushed against his chest as I passed him.
“Did Sydney not offer to help you? I’m surprised.”
I could feel the heat of him as he turned and took a step toward me.
“Ach, she did, but the lass was verra tired from waiting up for us, and Paton needed her help as well, so I told her I could manage on my own. I never dreamed ’twould be so difficult to manage.”
I turned and looked around the bathroom to see if he’d laid any clothes out. I imagined he hadn’t. “Do you have anything else to wear after you get out of the shower?”
He scrunched up his nose. “I dinna think of it. No, lass, I doona have a thing.”
I gently touched the side of his arm to scoot him over so I could get to the cabinet behind him. “Well, those are too dirty to put back on. I think I saw a robe in here that should fit you. There are towels, too.”
He didn’t say anything, and I could see by his expression that he was just watching to see what I meant by all of that.
I grabbed the towel and twisted my arm behind me to hand it to him.
“To dry off with. You can hang it on the hook beside the shower.”
When he took it from my hand, I reached for the robe and shook it out before me. It was plenty big for him.
“And you can put this on afterwards if you want something to sleep in.”
He laughed as he took the robe from my hand. “I doona sleep in anything, lass. Not unless I’m outdoors. Even then, I prefer to do so only if ’tis so cold I canna stand it.”
Images of what he might look like naked flashed through my mind, and I quickly stepped around him again to reach into the bathtub-shower combo.
“You were probably closer to getting this to work than you think. You have to turn on both knobs and adjust them until it gets to the temperature you want.”
“The hot water comes right away?” His voice sounded astounded.
I turned on the water and let it warm. “Pretty quickly, yes. How hot would you like it?”
“Hot, lass. I doona know if I’ve ever been so excited before.”
I smiled as the water began to run hot and I turned around and slammed my face right into his chest. I’d not realized that he’d leaned in so close to watch what I was doing.
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
He reached up to grip both my arms as he steadied me. “No need to apologize, lass. I should’ve said I was behind ye. I wanted to see how ye worked the water.”
“Why don’t you feel that and see if it’s warm enough for you? If it’s too hot, let me know, and I’ll cool it down a bit.”
He didn’t give me time to move out of the way before he leaned in and reached around me.
Our faces were inches from each other, and I smiled as his eyes widened as he placed his hand beneath the faucet.
“Good. You see that little knob sticking up above the faucet?”
“Pull that up, and the water will come out of that head at the top.”
He did as I instructed and let out a gasp as the water began to fall behind my back.
“I may stay beneath it all night.”
I laughed and reluctantly scooted to the side to step away from him. “I’ll leave you to it then.”
I made it to the door when he called back to me. “Kate?”
I twisted and had to suppress my own gasp of delight. In the seconds it had taken me to walk toward my bedroom, he’d removed his shirt in his haste to get into the shower. He was every bit as perfect looking as I’d imagined him. Every muscle strong and sculpted.
I smiled and swallowed the needy lump that had suddenly risen in my throat.
“You’re welcome. Enjoy that. I’ll see you in the morning.”
I cast my eyes to the ceiling as I walked into my room and closed the bathroom door between us.
Shit. This man was trouble. Trouble that was already making me feel way more than I was comfortable with.