||Sept 1, 2007
Beth finds the secret pathway to the past discovered by her friends Liz and Andrew in White Clover, only to discover a changed man from the lovable rogue, Travis, described by Liz.
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Tricia McGill Romance author
When beth Anderson arrives to help her friends renovate their dilapidated Scottish castle she is stunned by Liz's story of how she and Andrew were swept back in time.
Beth discovers their method of time travel, but the Travis she meets is now driven by revenge and has little time for another woman from the future.
Beth settled herself as best she could before the hearth. A meal had been eaten in comparative silence, then the tables cleared and stacked up at the side of the hall. Liz had said they were a rowdy bunch, but there'd certainly been no evidence of that during the meal.
It was as if a completely new set of characters occupied the castle from the ones Liz had talked about. She'd met Win, the sister married to Gregor, apparently another of Travis's right-hand men. Win had a boy of about two and a new-born baby. Shyly she'd queried Beth on Liz, and had seemed genuinely pleased that Liz was so happy with Andrew.
Travis sat with a few of his men around him. It didn't take Beth long to learn they were discussing a raid on their enemies. The name Dugal MacGriers came up frequently. And from the gist of it they planned to kill this Dugal along with his followers. This news bewildered and terrified Beth.
Some women tended their children and babies while others sat weaving or talking quietly.
The men dispersed and Travis stared into the fire. He appeared to have lost interest in her after she'd told him about Liz, Andrew, and how they intended to refurbish the castle. And how she'd come to Scotland to help them.
When the silence became oppressive Beth asked, "Can I go back to where you found me now? You have lots to do by the sound of it, and I don't wish to be in the way."
His dark head jerked up and his gaze rested on her until she felt uneasy. When he sauntered over to stand before her Beth cringed.
He frowned. "Dinnae look so, lass. I am not about to harm ye."
"I didn't think you were." That was the truth. Why she should think he wouldn't do her any harm she had no idea--she just knew it.
"Then why did ye back away from me as if I was about to take to ye with my blade?" Hands on hips he stared some more, then said, "Go on up to yon tower room. That's where yer friends appeared, so perhaps if ye do the business with this." He poked at the badge on the cloak Beth had kept close to her side. "Then ye can go home."
That upset Beth, and for the life of her she didn't know why his eagerness to be rid of her should annoy and upset her so. Now he'd learnt all he wanted to know about Liz, he had no time for her, wasn't the least bit interested in plain, boring Beth.
It was clear he'd loved Liz a lot and still pined over her.
"All right." Dragging the cloak about her shoulders, Beth stood. As she staggered beneath its weight he stepped forward, his brows beetling as he helped her to adjust it and fix the clasp. "I'll say goodbye then." Holding out a hand, she felt silly. What a ridiculous situation. "What shall I tell Liz about you? Will I explain about your sister and your fiancée?"
He shrugged. "Tell them what ye will. I dinnae think the lass will be interested in what goes on here. Not now she has a bairn on the way." His mouth curved down at the corners.
Beth put a hand on his arm, then pulled back sharply when he glared down at it. "I'm so sorry that things turned out so badly for you. And you're wrong. Liz will be very interested in your welfare. And sad that your mother died and your sister was treated so cruelly by your enemies." She looked up to the door at the top of the staircase. "I'll be off then." That sounded so absurd she laughed. Then straightened her expression when he didn't seem in the least amused.
"Ye're so sure ye'll be going, are ye?"
No, not sure at all. But there was no point in sitting around here where she was so obviously not wanted, waiting for something to happen. She shook her head.
Tentatively she made for the stairs. It hit her then that she would like to stay for longer; would love to explore his castle. She shared Liz's fascination for all things ancient and here she was, stuck in … ? "What year is this?" she asked.
"'Tis the year one thousand and fifty one."
"That's amazing." She stopped and glanced his way. "One year has passed since Liz and Andrew were here and it's the same in our time."
"What is so unusual about that?" There seemed little doubt he took this whole time-traveling business lightly.
"Doesn't this surprise you at all?"
"Lass, nothing in this world surprises me any more." A world of weariness colored that sentence.
And nothing made him happy either. He was morose, almost melancholy. According to Liz he hadn't loved Flora, his fiancée, so it couldn't be the fact that she was gone that was upsetting him. Still, he'd lost his mother and one of his sisters. And Liz had said he was devoted to his family.
"Well." She turned once more for the stairs. "I'll be going then, it's been a pleasure." That was a lie, but what else could she say?
"Nay, it hasnae. And I'm not fool enough to think it has. Go on with ye--an' I wish ye luck." With a flap of his large hand he waved her on her way.
She would need a lot more than luck. If he gave her the smallest encouragement she would put this off. But he was glad to see the back of her, couldn't wait for her to go.
"Is the door open?" She was prevaricating and knew it.
"The door hasnae been locked since the one ye call Liz was here."
Perhaps he'd lived in hopes that Liz would return by the same route.
Clearing her throat, Beth put her foot on the lower step and with a feeling of dread began to climb, knowing he watched her. And likely wished her haste on her way out of his life.
Travis slumped onto his chair, his eyes riveted to the woman mounting the stairs, hesitancy stamped on her every movement.
Why had she come to this time? It was strange indeed. She was so unlike the other Beth. This one was fair, instead of dark, her hair cut short so that it curved about her ears. This one had no fire in her, looked like a scared hound at times. Her blue eyes were outstanding, but because she lacked the fire of the other Beth, they seemed dull. She hadn't known happiness, for sure.
She reached the door. For a long moment she stood with her hand on the wood, as if trying to come to a decision. The straightening of her shoulders could be clearly seen as she pushed. Then, she faltered, turning until she faced him. Those blue eyes stared down at him. Should he say something? Did she expect him to beg her to stay?
There was scant room in his life for a woman such as she--for any woman truth be told. Until he'd taken revenge for his dear Megan's death at the hands of Flora's brother and then caught up with Dugal MacGriers he had no room for the tenderness of a woman's touch or look. Best he let her go before she could worm her way into his heart and deter him from the bloody tasks ahead.
What she did then struck him to the core, made his heart lurch. She lifted a hand in farewell. Without thought he returned the small salute.
As she disappeared into the darkness of the tower room a strange urging to run up there and stop her caught him in the gut. Then common sense took over and he sat fast. Would she return to her time in a maelstrom as the other Beth had with Andrew? Or would she just quietly disappear in a puff of dust or smoke?
"Where is Beth?" Travis turned his eyes away from the door at the top of the stairs at Wenda's question. His sister held out the jug of mead he drank every day at this time.
"Gone back to where she belongs," he said tersely.
"Where she belongs? You mean she has gone back to the future as the other two did?" His family knew the story of how Beth had gone down that black pit to rescue Andrew, so enabling the pair of them to return to where they hailed from.
They also knew just how Flora had tried to poison Beth. How their mother had lent a hand in Flora's attempt to kill the pair of them. Andrew had been mistaken for him, and so set about the turn of events that had seen him buried alive. If Andrew had not been mistaken for him, Travis, he would likely be dead now, buried and never found beneath the ruins of Angus Castle.
A movement at the top of the staircase brought him out of his morbid thoughts. The fair woman stood there, her face showing her distress. Without thought, Travis bounded up the steps and stood before her. "Ye changed yer mind?"
"No...no, I don't know what I did wrong, but nothing happened. Not a thing." Her narrow shoulders and hands lifted. There were certain things about her that differed greatly to the other Beth. One of these was her slimness. She was thin almost to the point of being skinny. The woman looked as if she never ate decent food. The other Beth had paint on her lips and around her eyes when she'd arrived, but this one was pale and unpainted. It was as if she had purposefully gone about making herself unattractive.
"Nothing happened, ye say? Well then, my guess is ye have to go back to where I found ye. That would be the place for it, nay doubt."
Her lips took punishment as she chewed on them. Without thinking he pressed a finger to her mouth. As if he'd hit her she flinched back. Was he so frightening? It had been months since he'd lain with a woman, since he'd shown one a hint of kindness. Mayhap he had lost the knack of showing tenderness.
He stepped back. "No sense in worrying about it now. Come down and we'll go back to the spot on the morrow. Ye might as well rest now." He went down the stairs and she followed him. Wenda smiled a welcome and he glanced at Beth to see the wan smile she gave his dear sister in return.
Still wearing a puzzled frown she sat, her hands twined on her lap as she fidgeted a bit. Then she undid the clasp and let the cloak fall about her back. Sighing, she patted it. Her eyes troubled as she looked at him with a directness that startled him, she asked, "What if I can't get back to my own time?"
That thought had occurred to Travis. "Ye'll find a way if ye're meant to. 'Tis my belief that everything happens for a reason."
"If that's the case why have I come here? According to Liz, Andrew was sent here to save your life." Her expression changed, and she stared at him anxiously. "Do you think that's why I'm here? To save your life."
"You? Now what could a skinny lass like you do to save my life?" That had upset her, for sure. Her frown deepened.
"I don't know, do I? I was just surmising." Now she sounded and looked more upset.
"'Tis my belief that whatever will happen will happen. Now, calm yourself and be still."
JoEllen Conger of Conger Books Reviews
Multi-published author Tricia McGill does it again! You can’t help but fall in love with her Highlander chief, Travis Mac Allister, the masterful clan leader in 1051 Scotland from her previous book… WHITE CLOVER. Even without running water and central heating this time-travel novel will make you wish you could be transported back into Travis’ castle… for a good, old fashioned candle lit romance.
Beth Anderson visits her friend Liz and her husband, Andrew, in their hodgepodge Scottish castle, enthralled by their exciting tale of time travel into 1050 Scotland, where the year before they had met Andrew’s enigmatic ancestor, Travis Mac Allister. If you’ve ever fallen in love with a man in a portrait painting, that’s what happened to Beth. Then she plots to join her Highlander by using the brooch and mantle that had transported Liz the year before. And find him, she does.
What she hadn’t expected was the intense feuding and fighting between the clans, and the harsh conditions found in 1051 Scotland. Still, Beth must make up her mind whether or not to return to the present... or brave it out and stay in the past with her Highland lover, by destroying the time travel mechanism. This is a fast paced action tale of the rough conditions of by gone days, and the man Beth couldn’t leave behind.
Lisa at Romance Junkies
When Beth visits friends at their Scottish Castle, she is told a story of how her friend, Liz, and her husband traveled through time to 1050 A.D. using an old cloak and broach. Liz recounts meeting her husband’s ancestor Travis McKenna. Liz believes the cloak must transport the wearer in a time of need because they saved Travis McKenna’s life while in the past.
Beth wants to believe Liz. She’s never been one to lie. Beth is quite intrigued by the notion of visiting the past. Both Liz and Beth have studied and can converse in the Gaelic language. While both women are enthusiastic about their pursuit of history, Beth especially loves the past, so much so she would gladly leave the present. Recently widowed and freed of an unhappy marriage that shattered her self-esteem, Beth needs some magic in her own life and seeks out the cloak.
She finds herself transported to the time of keeps and lairds when men lived by their swords. She also meets Travis McKenna and he immediately recognizes her as another visitor from the future.
Travis’ keep is experiencing a period of mourning. When Liz visited, he was betrothed, but the young woman attempted to poison Liz, and he broke the betrothal. As a result the young woman reportedly committed suicide and her family in retaliation kidnapped and murdered Travis’ young sister, Meagan.
There is an instant attraction between Beth and Travis, but can Beth accept a man who lives by his sword, one who will kill to protect his clan if necessary? And can Travis choose a woman from the future to be his bride?
This is a wonderful book. Tricia McGill is a wonderful writer. She kept me spellbound. Ms. McGill wrote MY HIGHLAND LOVE as a sequel to an earlier novel, White Clover, which I haven’t read, but she does a wonderful job filling in what the reader needs to know. MY HIGHLAND LOVE stands alone wonderfully. The heroine, Beth, is such a sweet character who is fully embraceable and the hero, also wonderfully written, is a man of honor all the way. If you enjoy suspense, action and a great romance this is a must read.
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