Published by Avon on June 27th 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Love is worth any risk in this seductive finale of USA Today Bestselling Author Gayle Callen’s Highland Wedding series…
The last thing clan chief Duncan Carlyle expects to encounter in the rain-soaked highlands was Catriona Duff, daughter of the corrupt earl responsible for the price on his head. Yet Duncan finds himself sheltering the beauty who claims to have lost her memory. Catriona could be the key to stopping her father, but only if Duncan can keep her identity—and his dangerously powerful desire—to himself.
Duncan may have rescued Catriona, but the gruff outlaw clearly doesn’t trust her. She’s moved by his mission to rescue kidnapped children, but hiding in a network of caves means living in close quarters with everyone—including Duncan. And even as Catriona struggles to remember her past, the present draws her ever closer to this enigmatic man…and to the secret that could change everything.
If you had to title your own life what would it be and why?
“Lucky in Love.” I met my husband a year before we started dating, but once we dated, we married within six months. And I knew that first month that I was in love with him. So any time someone uses love at first sight in a romance novel, I think it could be true, because it happened to me. And we’ve been married 35 years, so it can work!
What is your favorite place to visit?
It may sound cliché for a historical romance author, but I love England. I’ve visited three times now, and everytime I see a different part of the country, I fall in love all over again. Last time, I visited my daughter who was studying for her semester abroad in London. The two of us rented a car and drove north—on the left side of the road!—all the way to Yorkshire. The countryside changes so much, from thatched roofs and abundant gardens, to bleak moors that roll to the horizon. Incredible!
Favorite writing place.
Even though I’ve written most of my books from a small office on the lower level of my house, my favorite place to write is on my patio. I spent all last summer working outside 4-6 hours every day. My yard is mostly trees, but I have an umbrella to sit beneath when the sun is overhead. I planted begonias and impatiens, which do well in the shade. I put up my feet up, my laptop on a lap desk, and I write, listening to the sound of the bees, the birds, and distant lawn mowers. My neighbor has several bird feeders that spill seeds onto the ground, so sometimes birds, squirrels, bunnies, and chipmunks are all cavorting in the grass together, like my own private show. It’s so peaceful!
What are 5 things you must have with you when you write?
Ooh, interesting question. I don’t think I’m superstitious about anything in particular, but there are some constants when I’m writing a book. A laptop is number one—a desktop computer can’t easily be moved, so I’ve used a laptop for years so I can set it aside to research, spread out my index cards, etc. And I want to be able to take it with me, too! Next, I always have ice water in a big insulated mug. I have index cards, because that’s how I keep track of all my scenes. I use a purple pen to write on them. And lastly, markers, because I highlight a corner of each index card to keep track of all my plotlines when I lay the cards out: purple for the heroine’s emotional growth, blue for the hero, pink for the romance plot, then green/orange/red for the various plotlines in the book. Yes, I love to organize and plot things out.
Can you tell us a little about your book?
I was so excited to write LOVE WITH A SCOTTISH OUTLAW, mainly because I finally found a story to fit a plot I’d always wanted to write: amnesia. I opened the book with the heroine, Catriona, waking up in the Scottish Highlands, her head bleeding, not knowing who she is. It was such fun to write! The hero Duncan is the chief of an outlawed clan—and he knows exactly who she is, the daughter of his enemy. While Catriona thinks he is being kind enough to house her while she discovers who she is, Duncan is really holding her captive. And of course, the sparks fly!
“I don’t know.” Six weeks after almost being captured, he was still wary of anything unusual in his part of the Highlands. Dead men would prove her story true, but he couldn’t deal with them now.
“I—I can’t remember—I can’t remember anything!” Though her cry was feeble, it was full of helplessness and fear.
“Ye don’t remember the accident?”
“Not . . . the accident, not even . . . my name.”
He frowned down at her, wondering at what intrigue she was playing—or what her father had set in motion. He wouldn’t put it past the bastard.
She clutched his plaid. “What happened to me?” she cried in despair.
“I do not ken. I must clean that wound. Can ye stand? I can pull ye up on my horse.”
He rose, lifting her up with him until she could clutch the saddle for support. After mounting, he reached down for her. He would have preferred she ride astride behind him, but she seemed so weak that he ended up cradling her across his thighs. She leaned into him, her head lolling onto his chest, her blood staining his black, red, and yellow plaid.
It didn’t take long to reach the rocky overhang he’d used for shelter several other times. Once out of the rain, he searched his saddle pack but found nothing that would do for a clean bandage. He ended up cutting several strips from the end of his shirt with his dirk. The wound seemed clean enough after all the rain, so he wrapped the improvised bandages around her head and hoped they stopped the bleeding.
She looked at him helplessly the whole time, and he felt like she was memorizing his features. He studied her, too. Her high cheekbones emphasized the hollows beneath, and her full lips hinted at an expressive mouth. Her pale face was as remote and beautiful as a statue, making her appeal to him on a primitive level that he would never acknowledge.
Why was she in the remote Highlands? According to gossip he’d heard long ago, she rarely visited her father’s castles. Was she the advance of a larger party headed right for Duncan’s unsuspecting people? She was so close to his hidden encampment. If he let her go, she could bring men to hunt the area, risking his people—risking the good he was trying to do. He couldn’t release her until he knew all the facts.
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~~Reviewed by Monique~~
Catriona Duff awakens outside, wet and cold, with a painful throbbing in her head. There are two dead men beside her, and she doesn’t know who they are, or who she is. Duncan Carlyle, outlawed Chief of Clan Carlyle is riding to his encampment when Cat faints in front of his horse. While the woman sounds English, after a few minutes Duncan realises who she is: the daughter of the enemy, the Earl of Aberfoyle, the man who forced Duncan to go underground. Is she a spy, is her presence a ruse from her father? Duncan’s life changed the moment he tried to stop Aberfoyle from kidnapping and selling children as indentured slaves; if Duncan shows his face, his clan is doomed.
I simply cannot resist an amnesia trope, and LOVE WITH A SCOTTISH OUTLAW is just fabulous! Duncan is a serious and stern man who never smiles, and I loved him right away for his integrity, his honour, and his determination. He is wary of Cat, but as she could be useful to him, he lets her live in his cave with his people while keeping an eye on her at all times. And lovely man that he is, it unsettles him that, even though he wonders if she can be trusted, he still finds Cat very beautiful. I felt Ms. Callen depicted the loss of memory, and the precarious relationship between Cat and Duncan and his people admirably. Duncan’s backstory is riveting and heartbreaking; he is one of the most wonderful heroes I have ever read. Ms. Callen’s storytelling skills are such that, while I am not usually overly fond of clan wars, I did not miss a word and I was utterly captivated throughout.
Ms. Callen’s prose is elegant and effortless, moving the story right along, and yet at times gorgeous turns of phrases or profound thoughts made me stop and think, or simply enjoy the beauty of beautifully turned sentences or descriptions. The intimacy slowly builds between Duncan and Cat, nothing was rushed, it happened organically, and Cat’s memory loss felt real. I enjoyed reading every word of LOVE WITH A SCOTTISH OUTLAW for the sprinkling of historical facts, the intricacy of the plot, the wonderful characters, and mostly that every little prickly detail was handled with such deftness and flair. Cat and Duncan do not have it easy, but what an explosive moment when they do acknowledge their attraction!
What an adventure, what a glorious ending, what a wonderful hero! What a remarkable book!
See my review on: http://www.buriedunderromance.com/201…
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.