Highlighting Historical Romance: Dawn Ireland gives us the story about kilts
Highland Yearning is a time-travel romance set in Dunrobin Castle (Scotland) in the year 1775. My hero in the story wears a kilt. Now, before you say the ban on kilts wasn’t lifted until 1782, you need to consider the following:
Like many Highland clans, the Mackays supported the government against Bonnie Prince Charlie in the Jacobite rebellion of 1745. In the aftermath of the Jacobite defeat, the king gave the Duke of Cumberland (the Butcher) free reign to set about the ‘pacification’ of the Highlands. This involved the systematic destruction of Gaelic culture and included a ban on the wearing of Highland garb, although dispensation was made for those who signed up to the government’s Highland regiments.
This book is set thirty years after that terrible battle, when many of the clans, including those who supported the Hanoverian army at Culloden, were distraught at the indiscriminate persecution meted out by Cumberland and his troops in the time known as ‘the harrying of the glens’. This book works on the premise that the Mackays were permitted to wear the kilt on the basis they were part of these regiments, but on another level I’d like to think clan Mackay – and others like them – continued to wear Highland garb in defiance of the English.
Caden Mackay would never bed a Sutherland, let alone marry one. Bloody hell, what had possessed his twin brother to propose to one of the she-devils? And what is Caden to do with the Sutherland beauty who appears, as if by magic, in his library? The defiant intruder is the enemy, but she is unlike any woman Caden’s ever known, and her tantalizing curves and wide green eyes could tempt a monk. He must devise a way to stop the wedding. But can he stop the desire that makes him long to make Ariel Sutherland his own?
Ariel’s life had never gone the way she’d hoped, but ending up in eighteenth century Scotland was a stretch, even for her. If not for her dog, Scruffy, she might have thought she’d walked into a romantic daydream. Especially since the object of her desire appears to be entirely too virile. But can she find her way back to her time, before her too-handsome Highlander makes her believe that love can conquer in any century?
Caden turned to his cousin. “We’ll search the windows above. By now the coward has fled, but we may yet find something to unmask our would-be assassin. Then we’ll attend to your urgent matter.”
He drew Ariel aside far enough that Ian couldn’t hear them. His expression screamed, I’d rather fight a dozen well-armed warriors than be in debt to a Sutherland. “Thank you for . . .” He simply stared at her.
“Saving your life?” She waited. Nothing. “Kissing you?” She raised her eyebrows. “Just trying to fill in the blank here.”
He blanched, but then heat filled his eyes. “Aye.”
“Well, one of us had to take the bull by the horns.” Okay, best not to dwell on that image. “I mean, I was curious. I wanted to kiss you. No big deal. It was just a kiss.”
“Will you stop agreeing with me.”
His smile was genuine and she felt it to the tips of her toes. Good heavens, the man had charisma.
“I’ve nae had a woman who wanted me to disagree with her.”
“Well, I’m not like most women.” That was true enough. She’d never done the ‘let’s talk about boys, clothes and makeup thing’ with a group of girls. Somehow, she’d never fit in.
He smiled down at her. “Aye.”
“There you go, agreeing again.”
“Perhaps it’s because you make yourself so agreeable.”
She couldn’t contain the laughter that burst from her lips. “Really?” The word came out between gasps. “Oh, I wish you could have been there to tell my teachers. Not that they’d believe you. They thought I questioned everything.”
“Then they didn’t ken you.” His brows drew together. “I believe the stone was meant for me, but just in case, I want you to take care.
Her laughter died. “Why would anyone want to kill me?”
“Have you offended anyone aside from Ranald, the Countess or Robertson since I met you?”
“I don’t-So, I speak my mind. Is there a law against that in this century?”
“No. And I prefer plain speaking, but I’m nae most men.”
“No, you’re not.”
About the Author
“Once Upon a Time” are four of Dawn’s favorite words, because she never knows where they will lead. She writes stories to remind herself that even though things may seem bleak, there is always the possibility of a “Happily Ever After.” If along the way she makes readers smile, cry or see the magic in their everyday lives, then she’s done her job.
Dawn’s written several award-winning novels set in Georgian England and the Highlands – an era filled with rules and intrigue. Her characters often defy “Society” as they pursue love, run away, pursue, run away – well, you get the idea.
Then again, she might write romance in order to do the research. What other profession encourages you to sit in the audience at Harlequin’s Male Model search, and take notes, or just sigh?
When she’s not writing, Dawn may be found singing, gardening, learning to play the harp or wood carving. She lives in a Victorian home in Upstate New York with her husband and very independent cats.
Dawn hopes you’ll read her books, and together you’ll bring to life characters that aren’t perfect, but have a story to tell.