on October 27, 2018
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Deck the halls with mistletoe! For years, shy wallflower Elspeth Douglas has pined for the attentions of dashing Brody Girvan, Laird of Invermackie. But the rakish Highlander doesn’t even know she’s alive. This Christmas, she realizes that she’ll never be happy until she stops loving her brother’s handsome friend. Except it turns out that Brody isn’t singing from the same Christmas carol sheet—Elspeth decides she’s not interested in him anymore, just as he decides he’s very interested indeed. With interfering friends and a crate of imported mistletoe thrown into the mix, the stage is set for a house party rife with secrets, clandestine kisses, misunderstandings, heartache, scandal, and love triumphant.
Down with love!
Ever since she was fifteen, shy wallflower Elspeth Douglas has pined in vain for the attentions of dashing Brody Girvan, Laird of Invermackie. But the rakish Highlander doesn’t even know she’s alive. Now she’s twenty, she realizes that she’ll never be happy until she stops loving her brother’s handsome friend. When family and friends gather at Achnasheen Castle for Christmas, she intends to show the world that’s she’s all grown up, and grown out of silly crushes on gorgeous Scotsmen. So take that, my gallant laddie!
Girls just want to have fun…
Except it turns out that Brody isn’t singing from the same Christmas carol sheet. Elspeth decides she’s not interested in him anymore, just as he decides he’s very interested indeed. In fact, now he looks more closely, his friend Hamish’s sister is pretty and funny and forthright – and just the lassie to share his Highland estate. Convincing his little wren of his romantic intentions is difficult enough, even before she undergoes a makeover and becomes the belle of Achnasheen. For once in his life, dissolute Brody is burdened with honorable intentions, while the lady he pursues is set on flirtation with no strings attached.
Deck the halls with mistletoe!
With interfering friends and a crate of imported mistletoe thrown into the mix, the stage is set for a house party rife with secrets, clandestine kisses, misunderstandings, heartache, scandal, and love triumphant.
Lovely to be back here at Buried Under Romance. It’s always fun to visit.
This time round, I’m talking about the next installment in The Lairds Most Likely series, The Laird’s Christmas Kiss which was out on 27th October. As you can probably tell from that title, it’s also doubling as this year’s Christmas story.
The Laird’s Christmas Kiss was meant to be about 100 pages long, but I was having such fun with the characters that it ended up being nearly 200 pages. A bonus for my readers. Not only that, but you’ll catch up with a lot of the people who appeared in Book 1 in the series, The Laird’s Willful Lass. You can read Lisa’s lovely review for TLWL HERE
There’s something else extra in this one – my heroine is short and curvy. It was fun writing a girl who wasn’t the usual tall, willowy Regency heroine. Luckily my hero has a soft spot for a generously proportioned lassie!
I hope you enjoy the excerpt. It’s the lead-up to the first kiss, something I always really like to write. There’s so much delicious promise in such a scene!
Shy, bookish Elspeth Douglas has always had her heart set on handsome rake, Brody Girvan, Laird of Invermackie. But at this year’s Christmas house party, she vows to give up her hopeless crush because it’s just making her miserable to no purpose. When Brody starts to notice her, she knows it doesn’t mean anything – he’s bored and flirting to pass the time. But as long as she keeps her head, a girl can learn a lot from kissing a libertine, can’t she? So that’s what she decides to do when the chance presents!
Achnasheen, Western Highlands of Scotland, December 1818
“Brody,” Elspeth squeaked, doing nothing to stop him from hauling her into the morning room to the left of the magnificent carved oak staircase. “What on earth are you doing?”
“Whisht, lassie,” he whispered. “We’ve only got a minute. If you’re late upstairs, people will want to ken why.”
When she shivered, she wasn’t sure whether it was from cold or excitement. Through the fine silk of her dress, his grip on her waist was warm and possessive. The morning room, on the other hand, wasn’t. The fire was only lit in here during the day.
“I want to know why, too,” she said, although she kept her voice to a murmur.
He held up a sprig of something green and waved it in front of her nose. “I want to test out Ugolino’s magic plant.”
The mistletoe! This time the shiver was definitely a thrill. A handsome laird bustled her away to steal a kiss. What a perfect end to an evening where nobody had even thought to call her a mouse. “You want to kiss me?”
“I do indeed.” She caught the flash of a reckless smile, before he pushed the door shut and trapped her in darkness vibrant with anticipation. In the closed room, the scent of pine from the Christmas greenery around the walls was heady enough to make her dizzy.
Or perhaps the pine branches had nothing at all to do with her giddiness.
“I’ve never been kissed,” she said softly.
His groan came from somewhere above her. He’d moved closer. Her eyes slowly adjusted, and she made out the shape of his tall, lean body against the black. “Dinnae say things like that. What about all those kisses under the mistletoe ye told me about?”
“I was about six. I don’t think they count.” She paused. “I suppose you think it’s shocking that I’ve never kissed a man the way a woman does.”
“No, not shocking, arousing.” When he shaped his hands around her face, the air jammed in her throat. “And cruel when I only have ye to myself for a minute or two.”
The hands cradling her face were unsteady, and he was close enough for her to hear the erratic rhythm of his breath. In her wildest dreams, she’d never imagined Brody Girvan saying such things or shaking with need for her.
The Brody of her girlish fantasies had been a poor-spirited creature, who spouted bad poetry and begged for the privilege of holding her hand. The real version was much more dynamic and enthralling. It was a good thing she didn’t love him anymore, or she’d be quite beside herself and likely to do something stupid.
“You’d better make the most of the opportunity,” she was startled to hear herself say. The old Elspeth would never have found the nerve to encourage a young man’s attentions. It seemed changing her hair and clothes had changed a few other things as well.
And about time, too.
“Ye don’t have to ask twice, my bonny.” With a husky laugh, he tilted her face up and brushed his lips across hers.
You can read a longer excerpt – and get a better picture of just what’s going on in roguish Brody’s mind! – on my website: HERE
You can buy The Laird’s Christmas Kiss: The Likely Lairds Book 2 at:
I’ve got a Kindle download of The Laird’s Christmas Kiss to give away to someone who comments.
No geographical restrictions.
So here’s my question for you:
My heroine Elspeth is very fond of Scottish shortbread – and who can blame her? What’s your favorite biscuit/cookie? I bake quite a lot and I think my favorite (at least this week) is gingernuts. I love the rich, spicy flavor and they’re just perfect for the lead-up to Christmas.
Here is a picture of my most recent batch: