Guardians of the Targe Series
By Laurin Wittig
Guardians of the Targe Series
By Laurin Wittig
Releases June 24th
PREORDER : AMAZON
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Although the English king tried to wrest it away, the Highland Targe—ancient relic and protector of Scottish lands—still lies safely in the hands of clan MacAlpin. But for how long?
Jeanette MacAlpin trained her entire life to become the next Guardian of the Targe, but that duty has now fallen to her cousin Rowan—a duty Rowan can’t seem to master. Fearful for her clan’s future, Jeanette seeks the solace of a sacred wellspring, and there encounters tawny-skinned Highland warrior Malcolm MacKenzie.
Wounded in battle, Malcolm is desperate to regain the use of his sword arm and strikes a deal with Jeanette. In return for her skills as a healer, Malcolm will advise the MacAlpins in their resistance against the English. And when he can once again swing a blade, he’ll return to the ranks of the Scottish army to fulfill his duty as a soldier.
But as passion grows between the golden warrior and the fair-haired healer, duty collides with love. Will they follow their hearts, or will clan loyalties keep them forever apart?a Rafflecopter giveaway
Jeanette looked about her to get her bearings and realized that she was very near the one place that had always been peaceful, had always reinforced her sense of calm—the sacred wellspring where she used to watch her mother make offerings and prayers to the power of the Targe.
She quickened her pace up the rocky trail and soon made it to the top of the path, where it turned left around the shoulder of the ben. She stepped onto an almost imperceptible track to the right that she knew wrapped around a large moss-covered stone outcropping. Anticipation had her rushing down the track. She came round the last curve, hopped over the water that escaped down the ben, and skidded to a stop in the small cleared area just outside the cave.
It took a moment for her to understand what she saw there.
A man knelt in profile next to the pool of water. A shaft of sunshine cut through the shadows, turning his bare torso golden, and picking out strands of almost-white-blond hair on his head. He stopped, just as he was about to pour water over his right arm, and looked over his shoulder at her. He smiled and it was dazzling.
Jeanette blinked, and blinked again, as she started considering what she should do. Here was a stranger. Should she run or stand her ground? She slowly let her hand settle over her sgian dhu, her small knife.
“Are you mute, then, lass?”
His voice, deep and laced with humor, shocked her out of her thoughts. She couldn’t help but watch as he reached for the tunic lying by his feet, and pulled it over his sun-kissed skin before rising and facing her, grinning at her now. His shirt stuck to his wet skin, drawing her attention to his chest and rippled stomach, drawing her eye—
She gasped and snapped her gaze back up to meet his. He didn’t look English, with his shoulder-length dark blond hair, braided at the temples, and his well-faded plaid that he wore with ease. But neither had Nicholas, their new chief, looked English when first he came among them. Yet, somehow, Jeanette had always known Nicholas was an honorable man and that had proved true. She couldn’t say exactly why, but she had the same sense about this man.
And then she remembered what her mum had always told her: “You are a fine judge of character, my sweet Jeanette. I do not understand how, but you always seem to ken the truth of someone when first you meet.” The memory was both sweet and melancholy.
“Lass?” he asked, his grin even wider now, lending a twinkle to his green-and-brown hazel eyes.
Instinct warred with recent experience and instinct won out. He might be an honorable man, but that did not mean she trusted him. Not yet.
“What are you doing here?” she finally snapped, setting her fists on her hips. She would find no comfort here in the company of a stranger and she wanted him gone. “Who are you?”
“I could ask the same of you,” he said.
“Nay, you could not. This is my family’s land and you do not belong here. I ask again, Who are you?”
The man folded his arms across his chest and cocked his head at her, his grin firmly in place as if he thought it disarming. Which it was.
Jeanette notched her chin up and waited for him to answer her questions. He was the interloper here. He was the one shattering the serenity of the place with his skin and his smile and his eyes.
“I am Malcolm MacKenzie.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laurin is named after her great uncle, Lauch MacLaurin Magruder (can you say Scottish heritage?)
She once lived on the palace grounds of the Moroccan King in Rabat, Morocco.
She is an only child, but she was raised with her uncle, who she has always considered her brother, and who is also her 6th cousin.
Laurin’s children refer to him as her Cobruncle (cousin-brother-uncle). Laurin just calls him Gordon.
She was once invited to make her debut at the Delta Debutante Ball in Mississippi. She declined, even though her mother and all of her mother’s sisters had made their debuts at that same ball.
5. When asked where she grew up, Laurin always finds it hard to answer easily. Between the ages of 0 and 17 she lived in Mississippi twice and the Washington, DC area twice. She can easily slip into her deep south accent even though she hasn’t lived there in a long time.