The Laird’s Willful Lass
by Anna Campbell
An untamed man as immovable as a Highland mountain…
Fergus Mackinnon, autocratic Laird of Achnasheen, likes to be in charge. When he was little more than a lad, he became master of his Scottish estate, and he’s learned to rely on his own unfailing judgment. So has everyone else in his corner of the world. He sees no reason for his bride—when he finds her—to be any different.
A headstrong woman from the warm and passionate south…
Marina Luchetti knows all about fighting her way through a wall of masculine arrogance. In her native Florence, she’s become a successful artist, no easy feat for a woman. Now a commission to paint a series of Highland scenes promises to spread her fame far and wide. When a carriage accident strands her at Achnasheen for a few weeks, it’s a mixed blessing. The magnificent landscape offers everything her artistic soul could desire. If only she can resist the impulse to smash her easel across the laird’s obstinate head.
When two fiery souls come together, a conflagration flares.
Marina is Fergus’s worst nightmare—a woman who defies a man’s guidance. Fergus challenges everything Marina believes about a woman’s right to choose her path. No two people could be less suited. But when irresistible passion enters the equation, good sense soon jumps into the loch.
Will the desire between Fergus and Marina blaze hot, then fade to ashes? Or will the imperious laird and his willful lass discover that their differences aren’t insurmountable after all, but the spice that will flavour a lifetime of happiness?
Out the end of July!
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Research! Research! Research!
Thank you for having me back as your guest on Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots this month. I had a lovely time when I visited back in March to talk about the release of my last Dashing Widows book, Lord Garson’s Bride.
I’m going to talk about some of the research/location spotting I recently did for my next series, The Likely Lairds. This launches at the end of July with The Laird’s Willful Lass and continues with the Christmas novella The Laird’s Christmas Kiss in October.
As you can probably guess from the proliferation of lairds in the titles, the books are set in Scotland. And for once in my life, I was writing Scottish-set stories while actually in Scotland. Now, that really WAS inspirational.
I’m back in Australia after four lovely months kicking around Europe. I spent nearly half of that in the Highlands writing, and today I thought I’d share some pictures of the landscapes that inspired my stories.
First up is the village whose name I stole for the estate that belongs to my stubborn laird. It’s in the hills behind Plockton where they shot the old Hamish Macbeth TV show, if you’re familiar with that.
In 1985, I did a train trip through this glorious landscape, and I’ve wanted to appropriate that musical Gaelic name Achnasheen (Ark-na-sheen) ever since. Sometimes, it takes a while! Fergus’s Achnasheen has nothing else in common with the village – his estate is wild and isolated and features a castle.
Which brings me to the castle that inspired the one in Willful Lass –world-famous Eilean Donan near Kyle of Lochalsh. Somewhere I read that this is the most photographed castle in the world – there were certainly a million photographers the day we visited last April.
Marina Lucchetti, my half-Italian heroine, has established a reputation as a water-colourist and she spends a lot of the book trying to paint the view of Skye from the hills behind Fergus’s castle. It’s awfully difficult to concentrate on art when at the same time, she’s fighting an impossible attraction to the autocratic laird.
The beach down from my guesthouse on the beautiful isle of Eigg granted me glimpses of the Cuillins on Skye – aren’t they beautiful under snow? Later I moved to Poolewe on the far north-western coast. I caught Skye in the distance when I took this sunset photo from Gairloch, the nearest centre of any size. It was always a thrill to see Skye because I felt like the universe was blessing my project!
I’d like to finish with some photos of Eigg and Poolewe just to give you an idea of the grandeur and beauty of the Highlands. How could I resist writing about these spectacular settings? The views from Eigg are of the Alps of Rum, the next island. The views around Poolewe inspired the setting for my Christmas novella – the hero of that one, Brody Girvan, has an estate in this gloriously wild corner of Scotland.
* Giveaway is now closed. *
So have you been to Scotland? Would you like to go? If you did, what would you like to do? I’ve got a Kindle download of the six novellas in The Dashing Widows boxed set to go to someone who leaves a comment today.
No geographical restrictions!
Giveaway ends 11.30pm BST 10th July 2018 .
The winner will be announced in the comments.
Australian Anna Campbell has written 10 multi award-winning historical romances for Grand Central Publishing and Avon HarperCollins and 17 bestselling independently published novellas. Look out for her new series featuring three roguish Scottish lairds beginning in mid-2018.