I'm so happy to welcome my friend Mary Morgan this week to wrap up the Celebration Theme with an excerpt from her delightful A Magical Highland Solstice.
Cormac’s stomach protested fiercely as he descended the stairs. He had eaten little on his journey with Eve—happily content to watch her munch on an apple, or nibble on bread and cheese. She chatted between bites, her hands flying about to match her liveliness. When she complained he had not eaten anything, he relented. He watched in fascination as she wedged cheese and apple slices between the two pieces of bread she tore off for him. It was the most glorious meal he had ever eaten. However, his heart almost stopped beating when she nearly cut her finger with his sgian dubh.
As he attempted to snatch the blade from her hand, she smacked him away, informing him she knew how to handle a knife.
He chuckled at the memory and nearly collided with the golden-haired beauty coming toward him.
“Yikes! I’m sorry, Cormac.” She grabbed his arm, trying to steady the trencher with her other hand.
He lifted the item from her hand as it was about to tumble free. “My pardons. My thoughts were elsewhere.” Inhaling the aroma, he asked, “Wild boar with mushrooms and onions?”
“You have guessed correctly, Laird Cormac.”
He arched a brow. “We are feasting grandly with only a few days before the Yule?”
Eve glanced over his shoulder and behind her before stepping close, as if she was about to pass along some great secret. “They’re experimenting with new mushrooms and herbs from Cathal. I heard it on good authority that a certain laird must approve the dish.” She gave him a wink.
Cormac inspected the dish and then lifted his finger.
“You wouldn’t dare,” she protested, smacking his hand away.
Lifting the trencher high over his head, he replied, “Remember, I am the laird, aye?”
Eve fisted her hands on her hips and glared at him. “And because you are the leader of the clan, you must show some respect.”
His gaze raked over her face and settled on her lips. “I will concede defeat, but only if ye grant me a kiss.”
Her cheeks flushed as she looked around the corridor. “Here?”
“Aye.” As Cormac stepped closer, Eve moved backward.
“What if…someone sees us?”
Cormac’s smiled turned predatory. “All I asked for was a kiss, nae to plunder your body.”
When her back hit the wall, she parted her lips. “One kiss only?”
He arched a brow, understanding her meaning. “I beg for only one. Yet, later, I shall demand many more.”
“Then take your kiss, my laird,” she whispered.
Slowly, Cormac lowered his mouth to hers, and a moan of pleasure slipped through her lips. Powerful, hungry desire spiraled through him as her tongue invaded him, seeking, stroking. He growled, taking all she had to offer. When one of her hands wrapped around his neck, he deepened the kiss. He was lost in her touch, her lips, and Cormac burned for more.
Finally breaking free, Cormac found he was the one trembling.
“Is your arm getting tired?” she asked, breathing heavily as her hand slipped across his shoulder.
She gave him a gentle push back and stepped away from his embrace. “Good. I’ll relieve you of the trencher, though I’ll make sure to place it near you.”
Obliging, Cormac handed her the trencher of food. As he strolled away, he said, “Ye may inform Moira and the others I approve of the meat.”
Eve glanced over her shoulder at him. “Now why would I lie? You haven’t tasted the food?”
“Och, but I have, fair Eve. From your lips.”
Cormac roared with laughter. “I shall leave it to ye to help me make amends for my bad habits, Lady Eve.”
She snorted and walked into the Great Hall.
“By the hounds…what have ye done to me, sweet lass?”
Laird Cormac Murray has witnessed how love destroyed his own father after the death of his mother, and he vows to never take a wife. Yet, when he comes upon a bewildered lass traveling alone, he finds his heart will no longer listen to his mind. In the end, Cormac risks everything to claim the love of a woman not of his time.Eve Brannigan loves helping others and baking. After winning a contest, she is stunned to learn that the Clan Murray has requested her assistance to cater to their guests during the holiday season. When a lost path in Scotland leads her to a handsome but gruff Highlander, Eve fights the temptation to allow love to enter her heart for the first time.
Can the Fae and the magic of the Yule season bring together two souls who have forsaken love? Or will tragedies from the past separate the lovers forever?