By Brenda B. Taylor
Today, I am introducing the first novel in the Highland Treasures series. A Highland Pearl is a sweet romance set in the Scottish Highlands in 1508 A.D. The novel tells the story of a love between Laird Andrew Dubh Munro and Maidie Cameron Munro.
A gift copy of the soon-to-be-published book will be awarded to a commenter when it is available for purchase.
A sweet romance blossoms amidst feuding and war. With her reputation at stake after being accused of practicing witchcraft and hated as a member of a rival clan, Maidie considers leaving Clan Munro and returning to the home of her birth in Clan Cameron. Fierce battles, a tragic encounter, and a handsome clan chief compel her to make crucial decisions in this haunting romance set in the 16th century Highlands of Scotland.
Excerpt from A Highland Pearl.
The sun’s rays streamed through the window and across the bed with a warm glowing light when Andrew opened his eyes. Someone messed with his hair. He could feel warm water running along his scalp. His head lay propped on two towel-covered pillows. An angel dressed in a linen blouse with sleeves rolled up past the elbow stood over him. Maybe he had died and gone to heaven. The angel ran her fingers through the strands of his hair and rubbed his scalp. The white skin of her wet arms glistened with droplets of water while the damp cloth of the blouse clung to round breasts, and a smell of roses penetrated the air around her. He was in heaven for sure. What would such an angel be called? He reached for the slender arm crossing his face.
“Ach! You’re awake,” bright blue eyes smiled into his.
“How can a mon sleep with an angel scrubbing his hair?” Light encircled the angel’s golden tresses that were tied back with a kertch of Munro colors. Her face shone with a health rosy glow. White teeth glinted between the pink lips that smiled at him.
“Have I died and gone to heaven? Surely heaven can be no finer than this moment.” Water dripped from the wet arm to his bare chest. She quickly jerked her arm away and wiped his chest with a towel.
“Nae, M’Laird. You’re in bed at Fàrdach Castle recovering from a battle wound.” Her voice sounded like tinkling bells.
Aye, now he remembered the skirmish with the Camerons and MacKenzies. The vermin were stealing cattle from his tenants, and he took a band of men to put a stop to their reiving. One large warrior who wore the Cameron colors slashed at him with a Lochaber ax. He remembered no more.
“How long have I been in this bed?” He tried to sit up. A sharp pain shot through his belly. “Saints in heaven.” He lay down again, pulled back the sheet to look at the bandaged wound, and closed his eyes in pain. “I remember the pain now.”
“You have a verra bad wound on your belly, M’Laird. Please dinna try to get up again, and let me finish rinsing the soap from your hair.”
The angel straightened his hair over the pillow. She took a bowl from behind his head and threw the soapy water out of the window. On replacing the bowl behind the pillows, she took a pitcher of warm water and poured it through his hair, guiding the flowing water with her free hand. Andrew’s mind turned from the burning in his abdomen to the soft touch of the woman’s hand. The sudden onset of pain brought his thoughts back to earth, but this lovely lass running her hands through his hair was indeed, heaven on earth.
When the pain subsided once more, he asked, “Who are you, lass?”
“I am Maidie Munro, M’Laird. I’m a healer in the village and the widow of your cousin, Kenneth Munro. I’ve been taking care of you.”
“Did you stitch my wound, Maidie Munro?” He hoped she had been the one to suture the large gash. He vaguely remembered asking for her. She did a fine job on Davina’s arm, and he wanted the same on his belly.
“Aye, I did. The time has come to change the dressing.” She searched his face with those large eyes. “If you’re up to it, M’Laird.”
“I’m up to it if you change the dressing.” A good reason to keep this angel and her tender touch close.
“I’ll change the dressing, M’Laird.” She gently lifted his head, and took a fresh towel from Colin. She wrapped the towel around his head, rubbed the water out of his hair, then removed the wet towels from the pillows. Maidie handed Colin the towels and bowl of rinse water. She removed the towel from Andrew’s hair, took a comb from the table and began combing the tangles from his hair. Never had his hair been given such fine treatment. A man could get use to such service.
When she finished combing, he caught her arm before she walked away. “Thank you again, Maidie Munro. Never has my hair had such fine and gentle handling. I think I remember asking you to call me Andrew.” He smiled at her discomfort.
“Aye, so you did.” She looked out of the window, clearly ill at ease.
“Why do you turn from me?” He pulled on her arm. “Look at me.”
“I dinna turn from you, Andrew. I only feel uneasy calling our chief by his given name.” She looked into his eyes again. Hers grew dark. “I-I-It seems too familiar for our relationship. I hardly ken you.”
“You saved my life. That’s a very intimate relationship. Now, I owe you a life for the one you saved.”
“You owe me naught, M’Laird. I am a healer, and I tend the wounds of any who need me.”
“But you will call me Andrew?” He pressed the fair arm.
“If you request it. I will.” She pulled her arm free and backed from the bed.