The Highlander Who Loved Me
by Tara Kingston
Highland Hearts #1
Publication Date: December 12, 2016
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Select, Historical Romance
Synopsis: He may be her fiercest ally…or a scoundrel waiting to betray her.Johanna Templeton is on a life-and-death quest. Swept into an intrigue that rivals the tales she pens, she joins forces with a Highland rogue to find the treasure that will save her kidnapped niece—a prize the Scot seeks for reasons that have nothing to do with ransom. Engaging the Highlander in a sizzling battle of the sexes, Johanna shields her heart.
Connor MacMasters, spy for Queen Victoria, is a man on a mission—keep a legendary gemstone from an evil man. Trailing an American novelist who holds the key to the treasure should’ve been simple, but Johanna awakens feelings he’d long thought dead. Torn between duty and desire, he wants her in his bed, but loving her would be a fool’s game. Blasted shame his heart doesn’t agree.
“Will you please get dressed?”
Her breath caught as he reached for a length of plaid that lay carelessly strewn over a quilt rack.
“As ye wish.” With a bold wink, he wrapped the fabric around the lower half of his body.
“That’s better.” The words burst from Johanna. Suddenly, she could breathe again.
He leaned back, and his gaze sauntered over her. The heat in his eyes, nearly a physical touch, warmed her. Once again, her defiant heart beat a wild dance. Definitely not a waltz. No, this was a tarantella. Exhilarating. Thrilling. Utterly rebellious.
“Aye, ye are indeed a temptation. I’ve seldom seen a more appealing sight. Most women would don silk or satin or some ridiculous lacy get-up that left them half bare. But you…you, Miss Templeton…have chosen cotton from head to toe.”
“Oh, my.” Had the whisper actually made it past her lips? Mortification spiraled through her veins. She’d forgotten the matronly nightdress she wore.
“Ye’ve decided to maintain yer mystery.” The mischief in his eyes transformed into something far more dangerous, laced with desire and unspoken promise. He slipped his hands over her shoulders. The low rumble of his voice stirred a deep, languorous need deep within. “I like it.”
He was teasing her. Of that, she was quite certain. He was no fool. Surely he knew the truth of her purpose in his chamber.
But that did not dilute the power of his attraction, the magnetic pull of the hunger in those penetrating green eyes. She did not pull away. In truth, Johanna doubted she could’ve willed herself to reject his gentle touch. The beat of her heart punctuated each moment of contact.
He drew her close. His arms encircled her, and he pressed her to his body, to the hard length beneath the plaid that betrayed his most primal need. The flicker of amusement in his gaze had transformed into a far deeper emotion, a yearning that transcended the hunger of the flesh.
“Ah, ye are a bonny lass.” With one hand, he smoothed tendrils of hair behind her ear. “A temptation too sweet to resist.”
The heat of his body seared her. She should push him away. Really, she should. But some rebellious instinct deep within demanded she savor this moment. She’d never been in the arms of a man such as Connor MacMasters. Never luxuriated in the intoxicating essence of a vital, powerful male in his prime.
Never allowed herself to be swept away.
His mouth brushed her cheek. Skimmed her flesh with the gentlest of touches, with a seductive lack of haste, as if he drank in every moment of contact. Roaring currents of desire drowned out the feeble protests of her logical mind.
“I know what ye want, Johanna.” His words were a raw whisper. Ragged. Her name on his lips unfurled a deeper longing.
“How can you know?” she whispered. “I don’t understand myself.”
“I know what’s brought ye here…why ye’re in my arms tonight.” His warm breath tickled the curve of her jaw. He pressed a kiss to the tender spot at the base of her throat where her pulse throbbed. Pleasure raced through her veins, and she wanted more.
More of his touch. More of his kiss. More of him.
Tara Kingston’s Playlist for The Highlander Who Loved Me
- Make You Feel My Love — Adele
- Something — The Beatles
- Open Your Heart — Madonna
- Breathe — Faith Hill
- Stay With Me — Sam Smith
- Take My Breath Away — Berlin
- Maybe I’m Amazed — Paul McCartney
- Love Me Like You Do — Ellie Goulding
- Skyfall — Adele
- Unconditionally — Katy Perry
- Nobody Does It Better — Carly Simon
- Kiss Me — Ed Sheeran
- I Choose You — Sara Bareilles
Oh my, my. Victorian Romance? Check. Suspense/Mystery? Check. Scotland? Check. An American that is feisty, smart and thrown into a situation that she honestly thinks she can handle on her own? Check. A sexy Scot that I kept imagining NOT wearing a kilt? Check. That sexy Scot, Connor, can dirty talk to me anytime he wants? Check. Okay, maybe he didn’t dirty talk but he sure did know how to get Johanna’s motor running. The smexy times were just awesome.
What was especially intriguing to me was the suspense/mystery element to the story. Sure the romance was awesome and sexy but for me, it was how Connor and Johanna worked together to figure out the mystery, rescue her niece and all the while, falling in love. The pacing of the story is great. I don’t like a slow, historical romance. I get bored and move on. Ms. Kingston just kept the plot moving for me and having characters that I truly cared about and wanted together made it for me.
The secondary characters are a hoot. I especially liked Connor’s family and I hope that his brothers get their own stories in the series. Plus, now that know the musical playlist to this story…Ms. Kingston nailed it. Just nailed it. Beautiful music for a beautiful couple and story. I normally don’t care about a playlist in a story. I read in complete silence but this one touched me. It is one of those details that some authors fail in. She did her homework and I can’t wait to read more from her.
Overall, I highly recommend this story to anyone. Oh yes, anyone. It’s that good.
ABOUT TARA KINGSTON
Award-winning author Tara Kingston writes romance laced with intrigue, danger, and adventures of the heart. A Southern Navy brat transplanted to a quaint Pennsylvania town, she lives her own love story with her real-life hero in a cozy Victorian. The mother of two sons, Tara’s a former librarian whose love of books is evident in her popping-at-the-seams bookcases and collection of unusual bookmarks. It goes without saying that Tara’s husband is thankful for the invention of digital books, thereby eliminating the need for yet another bookcase.
When she’s not writing, reading, or burning dinner, Tara enjoys cycling, hiking, and cheering on her favorite football team. Learn more about Tara at www.tarakingston.com.