From New York Times bestselling author Julia London, comes TEMPTING THE LAIRD—the fifth standalone novel in her Highland Grooms Series!
TEMPTING THE LAIRD is now available where all fine books are sold. Grab your copy today!
TEMPTING THE LAIRD Synopsis:
Mystery and desire cloak the Scottish Highlands
Unruly. Unmarried. Unapologetic. Catriona Mackenzie’s reputation precedes her everywhere she goes. Her beloved late aunt Zelda taught Cat to live out loud and speak her mind, and that’s exactly what she does when Zelda’s legacy—a refuge for women in need—comes under fire. When her quest puts her in the path of the disturbingly mysterious Hamlin Graham, Duke of Montrose, Cat is soon caught up in the provocative rumors surrounding the dark duke. Never one to retreat, Cat boldly goes where no one else has dared for answers.
Shrouded in secrets, a hostage of lies, Hamlin must endure the fear and suspicion of those who believe he is a murderer. The sudden disappearance of his wife and the truth he keeps silent are a risk to his chances at earning a coveted parliamentary seat. But he’s kept his affairs tightly held until a woman with sparkling eyes and brazen determination appears unexpectedly in his life. Deadly allegations might be his downfall, but his unleashed passion could be the duke’s ultimate undoing.
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“Milord, Mr. Stephen Whitson at your service,” the man said, bending over his outstretched leg.
“He wants to take the abbey, that’s what,” Catriona said angrily.
“Cat.” Aulay had come around on the other side of her. He took her hand and placed it firmly on his forearm, then covered it with his hand, squeezing so tightly that she winced. “Allow the man to speak, aye?”
“It is true that the abbey is a concern for the Crown,” Whitson said, and casually flipped the tail of his bobbed hair over his shoulder. “I have been sent by the Lord Advocate’s office.”
“The Crown?” Cailean repeated skeptically, and stepped forward, putting himself before Catriona. “I beg your pardon, sir, but we are in the midst of a wake for Miss Griselda Mackenzie.”
“My condolences,” Whitson said. “I regret my arrival is inopportune, but our previous correspondence went unanswered. As I attempted to explain to Miss Mackenzie, I’ve come with an urgent matter for the laird.”
“Aye, bring them forth, Cailean,” Catriona’s father called from the other end of the room.
Whitson did not wait for further invitation. He neatly stepped around Cailean and began to stride across the room, heedless of the others gathered.
The room had grown silent, all ears and narrowed gazes on this man.
Cailean followed Whitson, but when Catriona tried to move, Aulay tugged her back. “Stay here.”
“I’ll no’ stay back, Aulay! That’s my abbey now.”
But Aulay stubbornly tugged her back once more. “Then I would suggest, if you want to keep it, you mind your mouth, Cat. You know how you are, aye? Particularly after a wee bit too much to drink.”
She was not going to debate how much she’d had to drink with him. “What of it?” she snapped. “Zelda is gone and I have drunk my sorrow.” She shook his hand off and hurried after the others.
Her father had come to his feet. He leaned heavily on a cane, but he still cut an imposing figure and was a head taller than Mr. Whitson. Her father was a good judge of character, and he had judged this man’s character quickly, for he did not offer him food or drink. He said curtly, “What is your business, then?”
Mr. Whitson lifted his chin slightly. “As you are to the point, my lord, so shall I be. Kishorn Abbey was used unlawfully in the aiding and abetting of Jacobite traitors who sought to displace our king in the rebellion of ’45, and in return for that treason, the property as such is forfeited.”
Catriona and her family gasped, but her father, Arran Mackenzie, laughed. “I beg your pardon? Kishorn Abbey sits on land that has been owned by the Mackenzies for more than two hundred years. There was no aiding and abetting. We’ve been loyal subjects, sir, that we have.”
“Kishorn Abbey was used to house fleeing rebels after the loss at Culloden and was operated by a known Jacobite sympathizer in the form of Miss Griselda Mackenzie. It is pointless to deny it, my lord—we have the witness of two of the sympathizers. As the property was used to house traitors, it is forfeited to the Crown by order of the king.”
“By order of the king?” Cailean echoed incredulously. “Are you mad, then? Ten years have passed since the rebellion.”
Mr. Whitson shrugged. “It was a crime then and is yet, sir.”
Julia London’s TEMPTING THE LAIRD – Review & Excerpt Schedule:
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GhostPepperBabes/ Pimpers’ Dungeon – Excerpt
Tania’s Book Blog – Excerpt
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The Book Addict’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt
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About Julia London:
Julia London is the New York Times and USA TODAY best-selling author of more than thirty romantic fiction novels. She is the author of the popular Cabot Sisters historical romance series, including The Trouble with Honor, The Devil Takes a Bride, and The Scoundrel and the Debutante. She is also the author of several contemporary romances, including Homecoming Ranch, Return to Homecoming Ranch and The Perfect Homecoming. She has over 100,000+ Facebook followers, is the recipient of the RT Book Reviews for Best Historical Romance and a six-time finalist for the prestigious RITA award for excellence in romantic fiction. You can visit her website JuliaLondon.com. She lives in Austin, Texas.