An archaeologist with a zest for life finds herself stranded in small-town North Carolina—with a brooding Highland hunk who’s straight out of ancient Scotland.
Ramsay MacDara wishes the goddesses had left his arse back in the tenth century. That way he never would have met the gold digger who made a fool out of him. A loner at heart, Ramsay is riding his beloved horse through the woods near his family’s North Carolina theme park, Highland Life and Legends, when he hears tires squealing—followed by a thud—and rushes to the scene to help. That’s when he sets his eyes on a pair of long legs sticking out of the moon roof of a car. His interest piqued, the rest of her will soon arouse his greatest desires . . . and deepest fears.
Archaeologist Katie Jenson is on a six-month sabbatical from her job at Princeton University. Following the death of her beloved father—whose dying request was for Katie to live life to the fullest—she’s headed to a friend’s beach house in North Carolina. But a momentary distraction takes her off the road and on the journey of her life . . . with a sex god in a kilt at her side. Ramsay’s passion is the stuff of legend—and it just may be Katie’s greatest discovery.
Praise for “Katie's Highlander”
“Maeve Greyson knows how to create swoon-worthy heroes and sweet sexual tension. Ramsay MacDarus stole my heart!”—Vonnie Davis, author of Highlander’s Beloved series
“Outlander fans must get Katie’s Highlander! It’s a book you’ll never forget!”—Sharon Cullen, author of Lost to a Spy
“I found myself unable to put Katie’s Highlander down once I was absorbed in it. I love a good time-travel romance—throw in a little bit of Scotland and Druids and I am in. I will be purchasing the other installments in this series as soon as possible.”—Romance Reviews Site
Read an Excerpt:
Brady, North Carolina
Somewhere in the woods
“Come on, you stubborn piece of crap! Give me a break—will you?”
Hanging upside down through the moonroof of her wrecked car was not the way Katie Jenson had envisioned her scenic drive through North Carolina ending. A cute little bed-and-breakfast with a feather bed and a hand-quilted comforter? Yes. Wedged between a downed tree and a high embankment that led her to believe she’d managed to launch her poor sports car into a muddy creek bed? No.
Her frustration vented loud and long in the form of a screeching guttural roar that only succeeded in making her throat feel even more raw than it already was. The choking dust from the deployed airbags had done a number on her lungs and all her growling did was make it worse.
And while such venting really didn’t solve anything, it did manage to tap into another surge of adrenaline and fuel more frenzied poking with the crooked stick she’d found stuck in the earth wall on the driver’s side of her car. The strap of her backpack remained just out of reach and in the yellow-green haze of the phosphorescent glow sticks she’d snapped and scattered around the interior of the car, it looked like the sagging flap of the canvas bag was smiling at her—obviously mocking her and her efforts.
I knew I should’ve seatbelted that damn thing in.
Maybe then it wouldn’t have ended up on the floorboard when she’d overcorrected, hit her brakes, and shot into the ditch. My laptop’s got to be okay. Oh hell. Did I back it up to the cloud before I left? The end of the useless poking stick snapped off and bounced down to land beside her bag.
“Shit! Shit! Shit!” She repositioned her hands and stretched as far as she could reach. If she’d had any sense, she would’ve grabbed the stupid thing before she’d climbed out of the car the first time.
“But nooo.” Katie wiggled deeper into the car and swung the remainder of the stick at the elusive strap of the bag.
“Why would I want to make things easier? Why would I actually think before I acted for a change? Damn, damn, dammit!”
Story of her life. Nine times out of ten she was her own worst enemy. She propped an elbow atop the driver’s seat and swiped her other arm across her sweaty forehead. What a way to enjoy a moonlit night. At least she’d scattered enough of the emergency glow sticks both in and around the car so that freaking satellites could probably see her. Seeing the bag wasn’t a problem—snagging hold of the son of a bitch was.
She sneezed hard, whacking her head against the roof of the car in the process. Dammit! She rubbed the back of her smarting skull then throttled up on the infuriating stick again. No way was she about to climb all the way back into the car and swim around in all that nasty powder from the airbags again. But she couldn’t leave the bag behind. Her laptop and journal were irreplaceable.
“Ho, there! Down in the ditch! Are ye injured?”
Katie froze, then cocked her head to one side and listened harder, attempting to block out the night noises of chirping crickets and buzzing katydids chi-chi’ing through the dark Carolina woods. Was that the sound of help on the way? Which direction had it come from?
“Hello?” she cautiously called out, praying that the wonderfully deep voice she’d just heard had come from a real person and not her currently overactive imagination. “Hello?” she repeated louder, forcing her voice to sound a hell of a lot stronger and calmer than she felt.
She curled to one side and tried to peer up through the debris-covered glass at her waist. Please hear me and answer. She contemplated screaming as loud as she could but how loud would that really be with a moonroof shoved against her gut and gravity sending everything else up against her lungs? She waited, holding her breath and blinking hard against the combination of powdery airbag dust and burning sweat trickling into her eyes.
Still no response. Well shit. Had she really heard somebody or was it just wishful thinking? Surely, she wasn’t hallucinating. She wasn’t hurt. She was just pissed. She readjusted her hold on the back of the seat and inched her way closer to the driver’s side windows. Of course, she had been hanging upside down for quite a while trying to snag that damn bag. Her blood pounding in her ears had her feeling as though her head was about to pop off her neck. Maybe she had only thought she’d heard someone.
She sucked in as deep a breath as she could manage, turned her face toward the cracked window in the driver’s door, and yelled louder. “I need help! Is somebody out there?” Please be a person. Please be real. She wiggled around, attempting to retreat out of the vehicle by scissoring both legs that were currently sprouting out of the roof.
Struggling against the headrest, Katie walked her hands back across the narrow top of the driver’s seat. If she could worm her way back out of the car, maybe she could make them hear her and hopefully even spot her potential rescuer. She accidently bumped the moonroof button with her right elbow and the panel made a high-pitched whining sound as it snugged up tighter against her waist. Panic mounting, she banged her arm against the ceiling of the car, managed to hit the button again, and stopped the closing panel before it got even tighter. She sagged forward and rested both hands on the high headrest of the compact car’s sporty little driver’s seat. Can’t give up now. Inhaling deeply to make her waist smaller, she tried to push herself backward but came to a halt when her rib cage thumped against the glass. The moonroof opening was now too narrow to back out of or go through.
“Oh God. I think I’m stuck.” A grunt escaped her as she bumped the button again to reopen the panel. The mechanism shot any hope of freedom when it let out a wheezing grind that gradually wound down to deathly silence.
Shitfire! Can this night get any better? “Hello? Is somebody out there? Please really be somebody out there.” She sounded pathetic even to herself. Letting out a high-pitched frustrated growl, she beat her elbows against the ceiling and screamed as loud as she could. It might not do any good, but it made her feel a hell of lot better. From now on, only SUVs. Or Jeeps. No more little clown cars that look cute until they try to eat you.
“Hold tight, mistress. I’m comin’ down t’ye. Hold tight. ’Tis a bit of a puzzle how best t’reach ye. But ne’er ye fear, I’ll get there and have ye safely out in no time.”
Hold tight? Really? If she hadn’t been so frustrated with the situation, she would’ve laughed out loud. “At least it’s a real person.” She blew out a relieved breath, sneezed again from the airbag dust, then wiped the back of her hand across her tingling nose. “It’s gonna be okay,” she reassured herself under her breath. “Help is finally on the way.”
Solid thuds hit the ground, sounding as though they came from somewhere near the back of the car. Leaves crunched. Sticks snapped. Something sounded like it was either sliding through the leaf mold covering the woodland floor or being dragged down into the ditch with her. She could’ve sworn she’d heard a horse snort or whatever it was that horses did to make that weird snot-blowing sound. She twisted and tried looking out the side windows and then the back but all she could see in the light of the full moon and the greenish-yellow glow rising all around her from the phosphorescent sticks was a hellatiously large downed tree trunk on one side of the car and the dirt embankment on the other.
“Hello?” she called out. “You didn’t leave me hanging here, did you?”
“Close yer eyes, mistress,” instructed the deliciously deep voice made all the richer with a lovely Scottish accent.
“And keep them closed until I say, aye?”
Mistress? Seriously? It was hard listening to what the man said because of the hypnotic way he said it. “Wait—what? Why?” Katie curled herself in half and strained to look out the back window of the car but all she could make out was the movement of a dark form.
A hard thud and shattering glass answered her question and convinced her to close her eyes and turn away from the flying debris. The sound of more breaking glass and metal grating against metal filled the air as the vehicle rocked and groaned.
A great deal of grunting ensued. Car debris rattled and screeched as it was shoved about. And then silence. Katie risked opening her eyes and found herself nose to nose, still upside down, but nose to nose with the sexiest looking rescuer she’d ever seen—even in the eerie yellow-green lighting. Relief flooded through her and she couldn’t help but smile.
Papa always said there’s a bright side to everything. She reached out and cradled the man’s face between her hands. “I’m Katie and you have no idea how glad I am to see you.”
The man’s dark brows arched to his hairline. He gave her an incredulous look then slowly returned her smile. “Aye? Well then . . . ’tis my pleasure t’meet ye as well. But tell me—are ye hurt then, Mistress Katie?”
Mistress Katie? That’s different but I kind of like it. “No . . . no, I’m not hurt.” Katie took a deep breath in then let it out, feeling her cheeks getting hotter by the minute. She was accustomed to the feeling of reddened cheeks. She found herself in situations like this all the time. Common sense was not her strongest trait and she’d learned to live with that failing long ago. Thank goodness the lighting was funky, so this fine-looking gentleman wouldn’t be able to tell that her face was, judging by the current heat level, flaming red due to this latest predicament.
“I am stuck though,” she quietly added with as much dignity as she could find. Even by the light of the glow sticks and hanging upside down, she could tell this guy was trying his best not to laugh. “And this is not funny, by the way.”
“Aye, lass. But it is, truly.” Her knight in shining armor finally gave in to a sexy as hell grin—dimpled cheek included. A low rumbling chuckle escaped him as he reached up and gently pushed at the roof of the car around her and thumped on the glass panel wedging her in place. Admirably regaining his composure, he politely asked, “How d’ye open this thing usually, mistress?”
“There’s a button but I think it’s dead. My car battery must be shot because the interior lights have faded, and my headlights are out now too.” Katie folded her arms on top of the driver’s seat headrest and propped her forehead on top of them. “I think we’ll need a big ass crowbar or a sledgehammer to break out the panel because I don’t think you can kick your way through it with me stuck in here this way.”
“I’ve the next best thing, m’lady. Ne’er ye worry.” He worked his broad shoulders back and forth, emitting a very manly grunt as he shimmied himself around and squinted up at the car’s ceiling. He’d wedged himself in through the back hatch of the car that he’d oh-so gallantly kicked out, but the interior of the compact car was clearly about two sizes too small for the man’s extremely impressive, even by the light of glow sticks, chest and shoulders. He scowled at the moonroof a moment longer then moved to back out of the car the same way he’d entered.
“Hey, wait a minute.” She had to know. After all, she’d been hanging here for this long, what could a few more minutes matter? “You don’t exactly talk like the average North Carolinian. Where are you from?”
The handsome smile with the perfect teeth, shining and bright even by the phosphorescent glow from the floorboard, faded from the stranger’s face and even in the poor lighting Katie could tell that his eyes had gone all narrow and alert as though waiting for attack.
“Highland Life and Legends. Scottish theme park down the road a ways.” He gave her a polite albeit strained smile then shifted to back out of the car a bit more.