Valentine's Day Bonus Scene Blog Hop!

Welcome to our special Valentine’s Day Blog Hop!

First, I want to send a big thank-you to A.S. Fenichel for connecting to us! If you didn’t see her post yet, be sure to read it here.

Next, here’s the special treat we have for you today! For Valentine’s Day only, each author on the hop has posted a short, original scene just for this event. That’s right – you haven’t read any of these scenes before!

All fifteen participating authors have posted a bit of original fiction involving the characters of one–or some–of the author’s books. Comment to be entered to win a gift card—and most stops will offer a prize for that site only. Hop to the next author and repeat!

If you comment on this blog post before 5 AM EST on Feb. 15, 2021, you will be entered into the gift card drawing AND a drawing for a free copy of my new book, A Wild Winter.

I chose to write a scene featuring Ronan and Adelina, the hero and heroine of my first book, A Highland Autumn. I imagined this happening after their first kiss, but before the action really takes off. I hope you enjoy it! Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments 🙂

Ronan had to go to the library. Most days, he went for his morning Latin lesson and left promptly, staying far away until the following morn.

It would be fine, he assured himself. All he had to do was retrieve last year’s records and he’d be on his way back.

The trouble, of course, was that the laird’s new advisor was in the library. The laird’s feisty, red-haired, blue-eyed, witty new advisor. Temptation incarnate.

Whom Ronan might have kissed once on accident. Just because he’d kissed her once did not mean ‘twould happen again. He’d be sure of that.

The fact remained that she was entirely unsuitable. She was English. She was common-born. She was a woman doing a man’s work. His father, Laird Calder, hated her. Ronan was already betrothed to a woman of his father’s choosing. The list went on.

But somehow, every time she laid those sky-blue eyes on him for a proper tongue-lashing, Ronan forgot Adelina could not be his.

Taking a long, deep breath and reminding himself for the fiftieth time that morning to keep his hands off her, Ronan opened the door to the large stone cottage that served as Clan Calder’s library.

Adelina sat at a table poring over an unrolled parchment. She was so engrossed in her reading that she didn’t even notice the door open.

Ronan made absolutely certain not to look at the sunlight streaming through the window. That way he wouldn’t see the strands of shimmery copper and bronze it highlighted in Adelina’s fiery tresses. He shut the door loudly behind him, breaking her concentration.

“You’re back?” She stood, moving toward him. “Did you forget something after this morning’s lesson?”

He cleared his throat. “The laird asked for last year’s records,” he replied. “Apparently there were no errand boys to see to the task, so here I am.”

“I see.” She narrowed her eyes at him, biting her bottom lip in thought.

The same lip Ronan had tasted not so very long ago.

“Well,” she said, spinning around and marching behind a tall shelf, “I think Brother Gilbert said they were over here.” Her fingers tumbled over the rough parchments, as though by feeling them she could divine their contents. “I must admit, I haven’t had much reason to look for them yet.”

After opening several rolled parchments and lifting a few that had been laid flat, a bright smile lit her face. “Is this it?”

Ronan glanced at the top of the sheet without getting any closer to Adelina. “Aye,” he mumbled. “Thank you, lass.”

She handed him the roll of parchment, walking back toward her work table without another word. Ignoring him.

She even had the gall to turn her back to him, holding herself at arm’s length from the table to return to her studies.

He knew it shouldn’t upset him. But it did.

“What are you doing?” he growled, unable to keep the frustration from his voice.

Adelina turned, leaning back against the table. “I’m reading,” she shot back. “I believe you’re familiar with the practice.”

Lord, she had a mouth on her. And he couldn’t take his eyes off it.

“I mean, why did you walk away from me?” Instinctively, as though to prove his point, he moved toward her.

She raised her eyebrows. “What else would you have me do?” Her voice dropped to a whisper. “I never know whether you’re going to shout at me or try to charm me out of my skirts.”

“Which do you prefer?” God’s bones, what was he doing?

The lass didn’t even flinch at his question. Nay, she looked him dead in the eyes, pinning him with her ice-blue gaze, challenging him even before she spoke. “Which do you prefer?”

Desire raged within him. Ronan closed the space between them, dropping his parchment so that his hands could grip the feminine curves of her waist. Lifting her onto the table, he raised one hand to her cheek.

“‘Tis the one I prefer as well,” Adelina offered quietly.

Ronan’s thumb traced her smooth lips, caressing each one while he remembered the sweetness of her kiss.

The breath caught in her throat as his hand cupped her face. “Are you going to kiss me?”

“You know I can’t.”

The words hung between them for only a moment before Ronan knew he had to leave. He’d already lingered far too long. When he was near Adelina, reason abandoned him.

He saw the same need in her eyes as he felt burning through his chest. Without another thought, he dropped his hand, turned away from her, and strode out the door.

Really, that had gone remarkably well. He took the steps to the great hall two at a time, basking in the knowledge that he had finally been strong enough to resist her pull. But then he looked down, and noticed his hands were empty.

He’d left the scroll.

If you enjoyed this bonus scene, be sure to check out my book below!

And don’t forget to visit our next blog. Anastasia Abboud will not disappoint–be sure to stop by and say hi! You’ll find her original scene here.

When a no-nonsense Highlander afraid to love…

The last thing Ronan Calder needs is marriage. He’s got enough to worry about without a wife. His sister and mother both died in childbirth, and he has no interest in reliving such tragedy. If he could convince his father as much, everything would go according to plan.

Unfortunately, his brutish father insists on parading potential wives before him as often as he can arrange it. Not once has a single simpering lass captured his attention. Not once, that is, until Ronan mistakes the clan’s new scholar for his father’s latest attempt to sway him to marry.

Meets the only woman who’s ever tempted him…

There is absolutely no way Adelina is giving up on her dreams. She’s going to be the first female scholar at Oxford, or die trying. And no, she’s not overly dramatic if that’s what you’re thinking. When Adelina lands a post in some far-fetched corner of war-torn Scotland, murder and treason are very real threats to Adelina and Clan Calder.

To complicate matters further, the beastly laird has a distractingly dashing son who won’t leave her alone. It makes the stress of her new position a lot easier to take, what with all the kissing, but it’s also interfering with her ability to prove her skills as a scholar.

Their love threatens to destroy everything.

Can Adelina take the heat, find the traitor, and save the laird to earn her seat at Oxford? Or will Ronan prove too great a distraction?