I’m spotlighting Marguerite Kaye’s new book today. I only recently discovered Marguerite’s books when I read NEVER FORGET ME but she is already on my must-read list. Isn’t that a beautiful cover?
Genre: Historical Romance (Early Victorian)
The secrets behind the wedding veil
For penniless widow Ainsley McBrayne, marriage is the only solution. She’s vulnerable yet fiercely independent, so shackling herself to another man seems horrifying! Until handsome stranger Innes Drummond tempts Ainsley to become his temporary wife.
Once married, Ainsley hardly recognizes the rugged Highlander Innes transforms into! He sets her long-dormant pulse racing, and she’s soon craving the enticing delights of their marriage bed. She has until Hogmanay to show Innes that their fake marriage could be for real…
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Ainsley stared at him in astonishment. ‘Your father’s will sets up a trust that requires you to marry?’
‘No, it establishes a trust to control the family lands which will remain in effect until I marry,’ Innes replied.
‘Lands?’ She only just managed to prevent her jaw dropping. ‘As in – what, a country estate?’
‘A little more than that. I’m not sure what the total acreage is, but there are about twenty tenanted farms as well as the home farm and the castle.’
‘Good heavens, Mr Drummond – a castle! And about twenty farms. Is there a title too?’
He shook his head. ‘My father was known as the Laird of Strone Bridge, but it’s just a courtesy.’
Laird. The title conjured up a fierce Highland patriarch. Ainsley eyed the impeccably-dressed gentleman opposite her and discovered it was surprisingly easy to imagine him in a plaid, carrying a claymore. Though without the customary beard. She didn’t like beards. ‘And these lands, they are in Argyll, did you say?’
When he nodded Ainsley frowned in puzzlement. ‘Forgive me Mr Drummond, but did you not say you had spent most of your life in England? Surely as the heir to such a substantial property – I know nothing of such things, mind you – but I thought it would have been customary for you to have lived on the estate?’
His countenance hardened. ‘I was not the heir.’
She waited, unwilling to prompt him further, for he looked quite forbidding. Innes Drummond took a sip of whisky, grimaced and put the glass back down on the table. ‘Dutch courage,’ he said, with a shadow of her own words and her own grim little smile. ‘I had a brother. Malcolm. He was the heir. It is as you said, he lived on the estate. Lived and breathed it, more like for he loved the place. Strone Bridge was his world.’
He stared down at his glass, his mouth turned down in sorrow. ‘But it was not your world?’ Ainsley asked gently.
‘It was never meant for me. I was the second son. As far as my father was concerned, that meant second best, and while Malcolm was alive, next to useless, Mrs McBrayne.’
He stared down at his glass, such a bleak look on his face that she leaned over to press his hand. ‘My name is Ainsley.’
‘I don’t think I’ve heard that before.’
‘An old family name,’ she said.
He gave her a very fleeting smile as his fingers curled around hers. ‘Then you must call me Innes,’ he said. ‘Another old family name, though it is not usually that of the laird. One condition I have been spared. He did not specify that I change my name to Malcolm. Even he must have realised that would have been a step too far. Though then again, it may simply have been that he thought me as unworthy of the name as the lands.’
I was born and raised in Scotland, the eldest of a large family of siblings, which explains why I’m so bossy, and why my books feature so many sisters.
I’ve been a voracious reader since a very early age, but despite winning a children’s national poetry competition aged nine, it didn’t occur to me that I could write for a living. For reasons I can’t explain now, I did think I’d make a good lawyer, and I clung doggedly to that belief right through university where, to everyone’s astonishment, not least mine, I graduated with a degree in Scots Law.
Several years into a rather boring mainstream career in business, I took up history with the Open University (which I loved) and wrote and submitted my first ever romance to Mills&Boon. Set in a garden centre, it had an orchid-growing heroine called Flora and an instantly-forgettable arrogant hero. It was declined very politely but firmly. I still have the letter, my very first rejection.
A few years later, I plucked up the courage to abandon my career, do a bit of travelling and take up writing. I wrote all sorts – travel pieces, food pieces, short stories, a column in my local newspaper. Finally, after finishing one of my favourite Georgette Heyer’s for the umpteenth time I thought, why don’t I try writing what I love to read. So I wrote my first ever historical romance, I submitted it to Mills&Boon, and I got the call!!!
These days, I have moved back to my native Argyll, where I’ve now set a number of books. It’s a beautiful place but it rains a lot. When the going gets tough or I need to escape for a while, I go hill-walking or cycling. I love gardening, cooking, and I do a bit of knitting too.
My writing view
Connect with Marguerite:
Website – http://www.margueritekaye.com.
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/margueritekayepage
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter – @margueritekaye
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/margueritekaye/