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Authors: Sophie Renwick Cindy Miles Dawn Halliday

A Highlander Christmas

BOOK: A Highlander Christmas
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Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

 

Winter Heat - DAWN HALLIDAY

Chapter One - DECEMBER 1715 SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

 

Yuletide Enchantment - SOPHIE RENWICK

Chapter One - DECEMBER 20, 1869 THE HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

 

A Christmas Spirit - CINDY MILES

Chapter One - DECEMBER, PRESENT DAY NORTH WEST HIGHLANDS SOMEWHERE NEAR INVERNESS

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

 

About the Authors

Praise for the Author of

 

A HIGHLANDER CHRISTMAS

 

 

Dawn Halliday

 

“Dawn Halliday is the
hottest
new voice in Scottish romance.”

—national bestselling author Monica McCarty

 

 

 

Sophie Renwick

 

“Sophie Renwick cooks up a spicy romance hearty enough to satisfy any appetite.”

—Megan Hart, author of Tempted

 

 

Cindy Miles

 

“When it comes to delivering charming, funny, and tender romances, Miles is at the head of the class.”

—Romantic Times
SIGNET ECLIPSE

Published by New American Library, a division of

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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:

80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

First published by Signet Eclipse, an imprint of New American Library,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

First Printing, November 2009

Copyright © Penguin Group (USA), Inc., 2009
“Winter Heat” copyright © Jennifer Haymore, 2009

“Yuletide Enchantment” copyright © Jennifer Featherstone, 2009

“A Christmas Spirit” copyright © Cindy Homberger, 2009

All rights reserved

SIGNET ECLIPSE and logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Library of Congress Cataloging-i n Publication Data:

Halliday, Dawn.

A highlander Christmas/Dawn Halliday, Cindy Miles, Sophie Renwick.

p. cm.

eISBN : 978-1-101-15133-4
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be repro

duced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means

(electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permis

sion of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

Publisher’s Note

These are works of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the au

thors’ imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, busi

ness establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or

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Winter Heat

 

DAWN HALLIDAY

 

 

For Lawrence
Chapter One

 

DECEMBER 1715 SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS

 

 

Atiny bud of hope bloomed within Maggie MacDonald as she peered out the frosty pane of her window. A storm approached—the air was thick, heavy with the promise of snow. Meager light from inside the cottage dappled the gray graveled path leading toward the village road. Fog wisped lazily above the ground, and the clouds hovered low enough to caress the thatched eaves.

Perhaps Innes Munroe would leave her alone until the storm passed. Perhaps Innes would spend the next ten days sotted, the drink would wipe his wish to claim her from his memory, and the New Year would dawn with new hope for Maggie’s independence.

A pretty dream. It’d take a cudgel to the skull to make Innes forget his intentions when it came to her.

A puff of cold air brushed Maggie’s face, and she closed the curtain against the chill that swept through her. Pulling a plaid tight across her chest, she knelt to tug on a second pair of stockings.

Beyond the partition dividing the cottage into two rooms, one of the servants moaned softly in her sleep. It was late, and tomorrow would be a long day, for they’d planned to make the three-m ile journey to her cousin Torean’s castle for her annual fortnight-l ong visit. Every December, the MacDonald laird summoned family members to his castle, where they observed Christmas prior to the raucous revelry leading up to Hogmanay and the New Year.

This year Maggie thought the festivities might be muted, for the recent uprising against the Hanoverian King hadn’t proved to be the great success they’d all anticipated. Yet the MacDonalds of Beauly had lost none of their men in the Battle of Preston, and that in itself was a cause for celebration.

Maggie snuffed out the two oil lamps and returned to her bed. Leaving her plaid wrapped around her body and pinned at her shoulder for additional warmth, she slipped beneath the heavy wool blankets, shivering.

 

Crack!

The sound of splintering wood jolted through the cottage, jerking Maggie awake. She bolted upright, but before she could decipher what had happened, a big masculine hand clamped over her face.

Every muscle in Maggie’s body went stiff. The taste of mud washed over her tongue. She bared her teeth and bit down hard on the thick flesh padding the man’s palm. Snarling a curse, he released her mouth, and Maggie let out a pealing scream.

The intruder bent over her, a looming black shadow with yellow-h ued teeth gleaming in the dimness, and hefted her from the bed.

“You don’t wish to make this easy for me, do you? ” he spat into her ear.

Maggie recognized the voice instantly, for it belonged to Innes Munroe. His familiar oniony smell overlaid with the essence of whisky washed over her, and the greasy ends of his pale hair brushed over her cheeks.

“Damn y—”

He dropped her lower body, and again his hand clapped over her lips, filling her mouth and nose with the coppery taste and scent of blood.

“I’ve waited too long, Maggie MacDonald. My patience is at an end. You’re coming with me.”

Something sharp prodded her between her collarbones. Maggie glanced down at the glinting blade of a dagger, its point probing her flesh.

“Dare to bite me again, and I’ll sink it deep, I promise you,” Innes growled.

She realized he’d already pulled her halfway to the gaping doorway. He’d splintered her door and pulled it from its hinges, and its remnants lay on the snow just beyond the henchman who loomed at the threshold, leering at her. He gripped his sword hilt, ready to impale anyone who attempted to hinder his master.

“Ah, what have we here?”

BOOK: A Highlander Christmas
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