The Highlander's Redemption
RELUCTANT SAVIOUR… WILLING SEDUCER On her first night in Scotland, Madeleine Lafayette is rescued from danger by brooding Highlander Calumn Munro… Why Calumn agrees to take Madeleine under his protection, he doesn’t know – the unconquerable demons of his warrior past are burden enough without adding the demands of one bewitchingly brave Frenchwoman!Yet her innocence soothes the jagged edges of his soul, and her beauty fires his blood… He might be her reluctant saviour, but he’ll be her willing seducer…Highland Brides Warriors take a wife!
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âYou, Madeleine Lafayette, are a captivating wee witch.â
âI am not a witch,â Madeleine said, flustered and indignant. She could feel the heat of his body, though they were hardly touching.
âNo? Maybe a fairy, then,â Calumn said, wondering fancifully if she had indeed cast a spell on him. Mere foolishnessâbut he hadnât come across her like before, and he didnât seem to be able to make himself stop what he knew he shouldnât be doing. For he wanted suddenly, urgently, to kiss her. He leaned closer and caught a trace of her scent, remembered that too, from last night, like the wisps of a dream.
âWhat are you doing? Let me go.â Madeleineâs lungs seemed to have stopped working. Her heart was pumping too hard. Calumnâs eyes sparkled blue like the summer sea. He looked as if he was going to kiss her. Surely he would not dare? Surely she would not â¦?
Calumn kissed her. It was the softest of kisses, just a touch of his lips on hers. A warmth, a taste, a curl of pleasure inside her, and it was over. âOh! You should not â¦â
In the eighteenth century it was relatively common for young Scotsmen like Calumn, the hero of my story, to join the British army as part of their educationâjust as the sons of English noblemen were accustomed to do. Prior to the â45 Rebellion there was little conflict between the British Government and the Highland clan system, since both operated almost independently.
The Young Pretender changed all of this. Contrary to popular myth, the Jacobite uprising wasnât a case of Highlanders led by Bonnie Prince Charlie fighting an English army. It was a much more complex and far more harrowing scenario than that.
The forces of the Crown, led ultimately by the Kingâs brother, the Duke of Cumberland, were made up from the regular army, supplemented by a number of clans loyal to the King (mostly but not exclusively Presbyterian, including my local clan, the Campbells of Argyll), who did not want to see the Catholic Stuarts on the throne. Though efforts were initially made to keep Highland regiments out of the fighting, by the time of Culloden there were four Scottish regiments involved. Ranged against them, the Jacobite army comprised a mixture of Highland clans (largely Catholic and Episcopalian), lowland recruits, plus French, Irish and even some English volunteers and mercenaries. Kin faced kin across the battlefield, just as Calumn finds himself doing.
Following the defeat of the Jacobites, the feudal power of the clans was systematically removed and the landscape of the Highlands changed for ever, regardless of whether the laird had supported the Government, as Calumnâs father did, or Bonnie Prince Charlie.
Charles Edward Stuart fled to France from where, having become an embarrassment to the French court, he was packed off to Switzerland. He eventually died in Italy, reputedly of drink. He never returned to Scotland.
The retribution which followed Cullodenâthe disarming of the clans and the ban on Highland dress, the confiscation of lands, the burning of crofts and the decimation of the population (commonly known as the Clearances)âwhich is depicted in my storyâis entirely factual. âButcherâ Cumberlandâs nickname, and reputation, was well earned.
About the Author
Born and educated in Scotland, MARGUERITE KAYE originally qualified as a lawyer but chose not to practiseâa decision which was a relief both to her and to the Scottish legal establishment. While carving out a successful career in IT, she occupied herself with her twin passions of studying history and reading, picking up first-class honours and a Masters degree along the way.
The course of her life changed dramatically when she found her soul mate. After an idyllic year out, spent travelling round the Mediterranean, Marguerite decided to take the plunge and pursue her life-long ambition to write for a livingâa dream she had cherished ever since winning a national poetry competition at the age of nine.
Just like one of her fictional heroines, Margueriteâs fantasy has become reality. She has published history and travel articles, as well as short stories, but romances are her passion. Marguerite describes Georgette Heyer and Doris Day as her biggest early influences, and her partner as her inspiration.
Marguerite would love to hear from you. You can contact her at: [email protected]
Previous novels by the same author:
THE WICKED LORD RASENBY
THE RAKE AND THE HEIRESS INNOCENT IN THE SHEIKHâS HAREM (part of Summer Sheikhs anthology) THE GOVERNESS AND THE SHEIKH
and in Mills & Boon>Â® HistoricalUndone!eBooks:
THE CAPTAINâS WICKED WAGER
THE HIGHLANDER AND THE SEA SIREN BITTEN BY DESIRE TEMPTATION IS THE NIGHT
The Highlanderâs Redemption
For Johanna, Catriona and Fiona, who amazingly claimed to be flattered to have a lochan named after them!
The wind ripped mercilessly across the bleak, rolling moorland, driving the icy sleet straight into the grimly set faces of the Jacobite forces ranged opposite. Calumn peered through the haze of smoke at the ragged Highland line in a desperate attempt to make out the Macleod colours, but it was useless. There was no doubt Rory was among them somewhere. Best not to know exactly where.