It was the last thing he expected, and the last thing she wanted.
Newlywed Isobel Shaw lost everything. The king’s men seized her property and killed her husband. Turned out of her home, she sets out on foot for her family’s estate in the Highlands of Scotland.
Highland rake Charlie MacDonell is on his way home. After five years abroad as a mercenary soldier, he has realized he’ll never outrun his troubled past. When he meets Isobel on the road, she assures him she’ll manage quite well on her own. He admires her stubborn self-reliance but refuses to leave her alone and defenseless.
As they travel together, he finds himself wanting more. To his surprise, she’s immune to his charms—and he’s helpless to hers.
In April, a pipe burst and flooded more than half of our house. I am thrilled to say that (much as I love our contractor and his crew) the last worker left this afternoon, and the work is done! It will be a bit easier to write without the sweet sounds of nail guns and wet saws—not to mention being relegated to my great room dining table because my office was in the flood zone.
Nevertheless, I have powered through and completed a book. The Wanderer is with the editor now, and on target for a September 20 release. I’m especially pleased with this final book of the Highland Soldiers series, as I hope readers will be.
I’m now beginning a new project that I’m very excited about. I’m finally writing the Christmas story I’ve wanted to do for some time. Watch for it this Christmas season!
I came across my Moleskine journal from last summer, and this took me back to that day—my first day back in Edinburgh, Scotland. I’d slept part of the night and awoken on New York time. So I went for a walk very early in the morning, and I wrote:
Friday, August 11. 2015
At eight in the morning, the Princes Street Gardens smell sweet—a vague scent of flowers and grasses I can’t name. The rubbish collectors are out picking up trash left on the grass and walkways. I’ve never been here before at this time to see it. I tip the solid wooden bench aright and sit down as a workman calls up to his friend at street level. The accent, as always, charms me as he answers the other with that Scottish upturned inflection, “Fuck yourself off!”
Only one other person (non-worker) is here—an artistic sort in Doc Martens, holding a notebook and writing. (Another writer.) The Waverley speakers announce arrivals and departures in an unintelligible blur as a train pulls away, and I wish I were on it. I should come here again in the morning, while the city is only beginning to waken.
Remembering Pat Conroy (excerpt from The Prince of Tides):