When forced to choose between duty and honor…
Darach MacKenzie vowed never again to let a woman near his heart after his betrothed betrayed him. It sparked an intense feud between his clan and the Frasers. With all-out war on the wind, Darach can’t be distracted—not even by a sweet and charming lass who desperately needs his help.
This Highland Laird will find a way to have both
When Darach rescued Caitlin MacInnes from the clutches of vile Laird Fraser, she vowed to never let men or misery rule her life again. With Darach and the MacKenzie clan, Caitlin finally feels safe. But when Laird Fraser shows up to claim what’s rightfully his, or go to war, Darach will have to use all his brawn and brains to protect Caitlin—even if it means losing his heart.
1) The Secret—Julie Garwood
When I was asked to write a blog about my five favorite Highlander romances, the first thing to pop into my mind were ALL of Julie Garwood’s Highlander historicals: Le sigh…Just thinking about them brings up ALL THE FEELS. When you read a Julie Garwood book, it’s like being cocooned in happiness, and nothing could possibly be wrong with the world. You want to stay in that warm, fuzzy place she’s created and never leave. Am I right? I chose The Secret (although The Bride is a close second) because Judith and Iain amuse me to no end (as do most of Garwood’s characters). It’s the way Judith stubbornly, yet kindly, refuses to be ordered around by him, and he can’t help falling in love with her because of it.
2) Voyager—Diana Gabaldon
As impossible as it is to make a list of favorite Highlander romances and NOT start with a Julie Garwood book, it’s just as impossible NOT to include Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. She’s created this unforgettable, iconic romance between Jamie and Claire all wrapped up in some of the most interesting and tumultuous times in Scottish history. I’m going to choose book three, Voyager, for one big reason: the REUNION. Le sigh…again. You begin the book, knowing that Claire and Jamie will reunite after so many years apart, and then you have to wait…and wait. Or was I the only one who didn’t jump ahead? Finally, Claire walks into Jamie’s shop, and they kiss, but we still have to wait as Jamie grabs the drunken Mr. Willoughby from the pub, gets chased, and takes Claire back to a whore house, before…the moment. It starts with an awkward kiss and nose bump before Jamie takes control and says to Claire, “Give me your mouth, Sassenach.” Excuse me while I melt. That, right there, is why Voyager is on the list.
3) Kiss Of The Highlander—Karen Marie Moning
Where would a list of favorite Highlander romances be without a MacKeltar? Here’s another series where I had trouble choosing which book to feature. There are so many good books in Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander series and so many yummy heroes. Ultimately, I chose Kiss Of The Highlander and Drustan MacKeltar. Can I get a Le Sigh? I loved all the funny/sexy character moments between him and Gwen—how he tackles her to the ground when she tries to run from him, is intrigued by her clothes (or lack of them) compared to what women wear in his century, and sees her crimson thong after he rummages through her pack and thinks it’s her hair tie (that one made me snort). The scene where he goes into a modern-day store to buy new clothes and wants a purple track suit is priceless. And that all happens before they go back in time and he forgets her…and she has to make him remember her. So good.
4) The Chief—Monica McCarty
Monica McCarty’s Highland Guard series is one of my favorite concepts for a Highlander romance—I just wish I’d thought of it! Since this series is complete, I’m going to put the first book, The Chief, as number 4 on my list, and then you can happily wade through the rest. Think Navy Seals meet Hot Highland Lairds. Does it get any better? Another book set in a really interesting historical time period where the history drives the story—ten elite Highland warriors are handpicked to help Robert the Bruce regain Scotland. Hooyah! Tor MacLeod is the warrior chosen to lead the guard, but he’s reluctant. Through trickery, he’s forced not only to marry Christina Fraser, but to assume leadership as well. Tor is determined to stay emotionally (but not physically!) distant from Christina, and she’s determined to win his heart and slowly bring it back to life with kindness, good will and passion. Another Le sigh.
5) Stolen By The Highlander—Terri Brisbin
My last book on the list is a new author for me—Terri Brisbin. She’s been on my radar for a while, but I may not have picked up her book if it weren’t for a mutual friend of ours recommending I read Stolen By The Highlander. And boy, am I glad I did! I really got into this book. Terri’s style/voice is quite different from mine, and I enjoyed it tremendously. I liked how Brodie and Arabella fall in love slowly as they reveal their true selves layer by layer, growing to trust, respect and admire one another. It’s steeped in historical fact—no smudging for the sake of romance!—and you won’t find any kilts or even plaids in the book. Nope, Brodie wears trews, Arabella is not a spy, and she doesn’t know how to use a sword or shoot an arrow—she’s a lady, born and bred to duty, and she acts like one. How…refreshing, lol.
Alyson McLayne is a mom of twins and an award-winning writer of contemporary, historical, and paranormal romance. She’s also a dog lover and cat servant with a serious stash of dark chocolate. After getting her degree in theater at the University of Alberta, she promptly moved to the West Coast of Canada where she worked in film for several years and met her Prop Master husband.