- Release Date
- January 2019
- Book 5 of Lords of the Highlands
She is the daughter of his sworn enemy.
Famed for his fierceness, Laird Robert Grant is above all a loyal Highland clan chief. But when redcoats capture his rival's daughter, he sets aside their feud and races to her rescue. Aye, Janet Cameron is beautiful, cunning, and so very tempting, but a Cameron lass is the last woman he should ever desire.
He is her one hope of happiness.
Janet refuses to meekly surrender, not even when surrounded by foes. She takes every chance to escape, first from the English soldiers and then from the wickedly handsome Robert. Yet with each day they spend together, his unexpected gallantry chips away at her reserve little by little. As danger and treachery loom, can she trust him enough to choose love over vengeance?
BOOK INTERVIEW on January 2019
Interview by Laura
Welcome, Amy, to The Romance Reviews!
Q: Where did you get your inspiration for the Lords of the Highlands series? How are the books tied together?
I have always been interested in the Jacobite era, and the Lords of the Highlands series centers on and leads up to the 1715 rising led by the Earl of Mar. It is a time of enormous change when the eon's-long way of the Highlanders is crumbling. Misunderstanding is rife as government dragoons are sent into Scotland to effect change. The problem is they created havoc, and I weave this into my stories where rugged Highland men find love as they navigate the perils of their times.
Q: In Book 5, THE HIGHLAND RENEGADE, we meet heroine Janet Cameron. Do tell us more about her. From the blurb, she sounds like she could kick ass.
Janet is the daughter of Sir Ewen Cameron, one of the most feared Highland chieftains. She is no weakling, for with three older brothers, a lass cannot afford to be shy or weak-kneed. She has a big heart and an enormous sense of justice, and when her own brother wrongly lashes out at their father's nemesis, Laird Grant, Janet is the first to step forward and insist that her brother apologize.
Q: What about Laird Robert Grant? How is he a swoonworthy hero?
A fierce Highland laird, Robert's honor and loyalty to clan and kin are oft his undoing. But when it comes to Janet Cameron a wee bit of his loyalty is challenged. When she is abducted by a vile redcoat soldier, Robert casts aside an enduring clan feud and boldly rides to her rescue. An early winter storm impedes their getaway and the pair end up trapped in the mountains with nowhere to go. And who wouldn't want to be trapped in a mountain cottage with the fiercest Highlander in Scotland?
Q: What is his feud with Janet's clan about? Why would he go rescue her when they have this ongoing feud?
The rift between their clans goes back many generations to when a Grant woman was ravished by the Cameron chieftain. Ever since, their kin have feuded, reiving cattle, and putting hearth and home to fire and sword. But at every Highland gathering Robert has attended, his eyes have strayed to bonny Janet. And during the week-long Samhain ceilidh at Inverlochy, Robert and Janet's chance meetings only serve to make their secret attractions grow deeper. When she is abducted, her brother is knocked unconscious and Robert is the only man who can stand between her and the gates of Fort William's prison.
Q: What is their first meeting like?
Though they see and talk about each other in the first chapter, the first time they converse is in the haberdashery, and it doesn't go well:
"No, Mairi. I am not attracted to Ciar." Janet opened the drawer of needles and pulled out an assortment of four pinned on a black piece of cloth. "You found love," she whispered. "Is it wrong for me to want that as well?"
"Not at all. I am the last person in all of Christendom to downplay the merits of a bond with love. To me it is the difference between building a house of stone and one of sticks." Mairi opened her fan and held it up to ensure more privacy. "Do you want to know what I think?"
Janet kept the needles to purchase and closed the drawer. "I'll wager you're about to tell me."
"At every gathering we have ever attended together, you have not been able to avert your eyes from the laird of Clan Grant."
Janet nearly spat out her teeth, she guffawed so loudly. "Oh please. Mr. Grant?"
"I'm telling you true."
"If what you say is actually what you have observed, then 'tis only on account of his vile nature and his insistence on blaming my father for his own livestock losses. I declare, that man is neglectful of his affairs, an unmitigated brute, and a rogue of the worst order!"
The curtain behind them swished open. A tailor with a measuring ribbon around his neck stepped through and gave the ladies a sideways glance. The problem? On his heels was the very man for whom Janet had professed her dislike so profoundly.
Her throat constricted as she drew her hand over her mouth.
"Grant," Mairi said behind her, far too chirpily. "'Tis good to see you this morn."
The man towered over them by a foot, glowering directly at Janet. "Is it? Or would you prefer I collect my horse and leave the profits on my remaining yearlings for your brother to collect?"
Janet's face grew hot. "I--"
"Oh please, Your Lairdship," said Mairi. "You cannot hold Miss Janet and her clan accountable. You ken they would never thieve your cattle."
"I can only go on the facts, m'lady. And the evidence points to Cameron lads."
Shaking off her mortification, Janet stepped forward and shifted her hands to her hips. "My father's men did not thieve your yearlings, sir." She might not be flirtatious like Mairi, but she would hold her own against this brigand. "Did you not hear Kennan yesterday? The Camerons suffered losses, too. Someone else poached your cattle as well as ours."
The laird's polished-steel eyes glared down at her, his jaw hard. Janet's knees wobbled. Good gracious, the man had shaved, and he wore a clean shirt and kilt, looking far too braw for a scoundrel. But Janet could not mistake the hate in his stare; he was glowering as if he might be about to strike. "Then you'd venture to add daft to your litany of dislikes, would you, miss?"
Q: What makes them perfect for each other?
They're both strong, stubborn and fiercely loyal. But most of all, they cannot deny the deep respect and love that grows between them.
Q: What for you is a romantic moment between them?
The scene leading up to their first kiss is one of my favorites. Janet and Robert are trapped in a mountain bothy, sipping whisky, playing a dice game called Hazard, and are wagering secrets…
"Are you planning to roll the dice, or shall I have another go?" No use having the mitten knitter think she can outdo me.
Then he bloody lost the next round. He'd already told her everything he dared reveal to anyone, let alone the daughter of Sir Ewen Cameron.
The vixen sat taller, her eyes becoming heavy-lidded and a bit glazed. Now dry, her hair hung to her waist in waves like the mane of a lion. Moreover, the innocent lass had no idea how tempting she looked. She leaned closer, the motion giving him a delicious view of her cleavage as ample breasts strained against a bodice too frilly for a bothy in the wild.
"Do you have any more secrets, Mr. Grant?" Damn, her eyes met his with a moment of sizzling apprehension.
He took a lock of her hair and wound it around his finger. For all his days, he would never forget the silken feel of it. "I enjoyed combing your tresses…" Drawing the lock to his nose, he inhaled her unique scent. "Ever so much," he whispered.
The intensity of their unwavering gazes grew tenfold. She seemed to be aware of the mounting awkwardness and dispelled it with a smile. "I do believe you are flirting with me."
"Never." He scooped up the dice. "But I need another secret from you, lass. I've revealed far too much."
"Very well. I call nines as main."
"Nines." She threw the dice and rolled two fives.
"Outs." He grinned at her from behind his cup. "I'm listening."
"Ugh." Slapping her hand through the air, she huffed. "Two years ago, I kissed Malcolm MacGowan at the gathering in Inverness. There." She picked up the dice and pushed them into Robert's palm. "I've had enough of this game. It will end in nothing but trouble, I ken it right down to my bones."
He slipped the dice into his sporran. "I'll not utter a word, I give you my oath, as long as you pledge to keep my confidence."
"Of course I will." The lass raised her chin, looking innocent yet worldly, composed yet disheveled.
Without thinking of the consequence, he smoothed his fingers along her cheek. When her lips parted, his finger ventured to trace her bottom lip. "Satiny smooth."
He half expected her to slap him or at least shove him away, but instead she reached up and swirled her fingers around his uninjured cheek. Wonder glistened in her eyes. "Your beard is softer than I imagined."
He cleared his throat. "I should shave on the morrow."
A wee smile played on her lips as she studied him. "I think you are quite braw with a dark shadow. Perhaps you look like a sea captain."
His errant hand threaded through the hair at her nape. "Did you say braw?" he asked, his voice deep and gravelly.
"Mm-hmm." Those rosy lips turned up, bow shaped, pert, trembling a little, and looking exceedingly delicious.
Robert gulped while he lowered his chin. "And you kissed MacGowan two years ago?"
"Anyone else since?"
"Then it has been far too long since a lass as bonny as you has been showered with such affection."
Q: What kind of research did you have to do to write this book? Please share an interesting fact or unique behind the scenes experience.
I like to travel to the destinations I write about and spent a few weeks around Fort William and (old) Inverlochy, as well as time near Glenmoriston and Loch Ness where Grant is from. Hiking through old ruins and through the Highlands gives me a true sense of what it was like during the eras about which I write. Also, Highland museums are a treasure-trove of information. I use genealogy charts to help develop my characters, as well as a great deal of research both online and through old books about the times.
Q: Please give us a sneak peek at book 6 in the series.
The next book in the series is THE HIGHLAND EARL about the Earl of Mar and his marriage of convenience with Lady Evelyn Pierrepont, the daughter of the Duke of Kingston-upon-Hull. I just sent the final copyedits back to my editor at Hachette and I'm super excited for the June 25th release:
Mr. & Mrs. Smith meets Outlander in this action-packed Scottish romance where a marriage of convenience leads to secrets that could be deadly.
With two young sons to care for and a large estate to run, John Erskine, the widowed Earl of Mar, needs to remarry as quickly as possible. And beautiful Lady Evelyn Pierrepont would be the perfect match. But there's more behind the English lass's calm demeanor than she's letting on, including a smoldering allure not even John can ignore.
Evelyn has no desire to wed the rugged Scottish earl, but at least she'll be able to continue her work as a spy--as long as her husband never finds out. Yet the more time Evelyn spends with John and his boys, the fonder she grows of their little family, and the last thing she wants to do is put them in danger. As alliances shift and enemies draw closer, soon everything they hold dear is at risk: their lands, their love, and their very lives.
Q: What's up next for you?
In April, the second book in my Devilish Dukes series, THE DUKE'S UNTAMED DESIRE, releases. This is a fun Regency about two very opposite people…who learn they have more in common than the ever dreamed. I laughed out loud several times while I was writing it:
He's the most notorious rake in London...
Though he uses the reputation to his advantage, the exotic Duke of Evesham is misunderstood and mysterious. He sidles around societal rules, especially when it comes to pursuing a wife. Though when he sets his sights on Lady Georgiana, the rules find a way of bending on their own accord.
She has no intention of courting anyone…
The consummate bluestocking is in London for one thing--to find a financier for her late husband's fire engine. And after six years away from the ton, Georgiana realizes social codes of conduct are different for widows--especially for ladies who catch the attention of the Duke of Evesham--the one man from whom the lady harbors a ghastly secret.
But fate has a way of making opposites attract…
And when this pair unite, the sparks between them are hotter than blue fire. But will Lady Georgiana's secrets lead to their demise? Or can the devilish duke find it in his heart to forgive the woman who has claimed his mind, body, and soul?
Sounds exciting! *grin* Thank you for your time, Amy!
Bio of author, Amy Jarecki:
Multi-Award winning and Amazon All-Star author, Amy Jarecki likes to grab life, latch on, and reach for the stars. She writes historical romance with various series that span many eras and has 30 books in print. She studies karate at the Bobbly Lawrence studio in Saint George and you'll often find her hiking Utah's Santa Clara Hills. Reinventing herself a number of times, Amy sang and danced with the Follies, was a ballet dancer, a plant manager, and an accountant for Arnott's Biscuits in Australia. After earning her MBA from Heroit-Watt University in Scotland, she dove into the world of Scottish historical romance and hasn't returned. Become a part of her world and learn more about Amy's books on amyjarecki.com.