Guys, is it possible to be smitten with just an excerpt of a book? Because we might be head over heels for this excerpt of Christy English‘s How To Train Your Highlander. Charming, sassy, and clever? We’ll take 100. And we’re not even talking about the romantic lead–yet.
Harry had just begun to find his rhythm as he dug up the parterre rosebushes so that Simmons might plant them along the east-facing wall when he heard a thump and a curse that belonged on the docks or perhaps on one of his ships at sea.
“Damn and blast it!” the girl said again. “Now I’ve ruined another gown, and Ma won’t give me an allowance for any more.”
He looked up then from his work, knowing what he would find, for it seemed he knew the girl’s sultry voice already.
His siren from the carriage an hour earlier had wandered back into his domain, and had fallen in one of the holes left by the vacated rosebushes, her pink traveling gown covered in a long streak of ochre. He sighed, the last vestige of his peace falling away like the last bit of an orange peel. He watched it go, then turned to the lady, expecting tears at the very least, followed by sniffling and the need for his filthy handkerchief.
He wondered for one benighted moment if the girl had heard from the staff that the Recluse Duke was in the garden and, as a result, had come hunting him. His flesh began to cool, both from horror and from the sea wind touching the sweat on his shoulders. He wished for his waistcoat, which he had abandoned somewhere in the stables hours before, just as he wished for his friend Clyde to appear and occupy this woman with charm while Harry affected his escape.
Harry reminded himself that he was a gentleman and reluctantly started to help the girl out of her hole, when she straightened her skirt and leaped out of it on her own, apparently unscathed.
“Are you the blighter who left this gaping chasm so close to the path?” she asked.
Harry blinked and nodded. “I am.”