A couple years back, I headed to the local Renaissance fest with two pals and - fueled perhaps by one too many tankards of mead - decided at some point it would be a Very Good Idea to conduct a photo survey while there of handsome young men in kilts.  From the waist down.

As you can see here, the subjects of my piece were good sports indeed, happy to give a pathetic middle-aged romance reader a thrill aid a media professional in her photojournalistic endeavor to capture the very essence of the appeal of men kilted in plaids.

For as any romance fan knows, the bloody Sassenachs may have spanked the Scots at Culloden Moor, but a well-hung Scot skirt trumps a buckskin-breeched Brit any day - especially December 25.  So in honor of Bonnie Prince Charlie  - and out of a burning desire to bring you news of as many holiday reads as possible - allow me to introduce you to the sexy, strapping, yet slightly out-of-the-extraordinary kilted Celts of the new "Highlander Christmas " anthology.

In Dawn Halliday's "Winter Heat," Maggie MacDonald escapes the abusive man to whom she's been promised, only to end up lost and nearly frozen during a savage blizzard.  Luckily Highlander Logan Douglas stumbles upon her as he's looking for shelter on his way home from a bloody battle.  Forced to bide time 'til the storm passes, they find more than happenstance may have drawn them together - and kept them on their own and lonely until now.

Sophie Renwick's heroine, 19th c miss, Isobel MacDonald, has sighted a majestic white hart many times since she was a child, and its current appearance seems to be an omen for mystical change.  When Prince Daegan uses his own brand of mysticism to lure Isobel from the safety of her home into the enchanted woods in which he freely roams, both will make sweet sacrifices to share the love and passion that appear to have been fated for them in a magickal sort of "Yuletide Enchantment."

And Cindy Miles' "A Christmas Spirit" brings present-day MacDonald clanswoman Paige MacDonald face to face with a 900-year-old, plaid-draped Scottish warrior haunting the castle where she's been stranded - and in which he was murdered on Christmas Eve centuries earlier.  Despite the fact that they can't touch, Gabriel Munro has no trouble getting Paige to feel the love.  Yet when the two are ready to take their relationship to the next level - if they can figure out the logistics of that - Paige's distant past catches up with Gabriel's, and threatens to ruin  whatever future they're intent on creating.

While nothing beats an up-close-and-personal, kilted-Scotsman experience, I must tell you: Three sexy Scots in the hand at Christmas time are very nearly as much fun.

What is it about kilted Highlanders that makes them ripe for paranormal romance hijinks?



Does the underestimated bluestocking trump the Ugly Duckling heroine in today's romance?  Check out "Losers in Love" at Unabashedly Bookish and tell me what you think!

 

Comments
by on ‎10-21-2009 04:20 AM

Now why do I have the urge to drag you to the upcomming Highland games? (wicked smile) Lots of beer and men wearing kilts throwing heavy things, all day.

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎10-21-2009 08:52 AM

 Your blog cracked me up. And -- of course! -- I'm getting this book. Hell, if my daughter can put up her Christmas tree in October, I can start reading Christmas books now.

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎10-21-2009 09:04 AM

OMG, how long do you have to me list, nay ramble aboot the charm and appeal for me anyway of those darlins in kilts, and now, and Now they're doing it through time and in the forms of different species. Be still my heart.

Okay for the novella version:

1) I don't want to know what's under the kilt I want to See It, all of it ;-) (that's my dirty old lady coming out)

2) Who couldn't love that accent those rolling rrrrrrrs and such

3) there isn't anyone I'd rather be pulled into a cave, a hut, a castle (you get the drift) then by one of those burly, hulking, berserking hilanders and then tame that ferocious beast (well not too tame)

4) hijinks is the Hilanders middle name.

There that wasn't too long and now I'm left wanting, drooling and unsatisfied.

Thanks Michelle!!!!!

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎10-21-2009 09:05 AM

Oh and this book is definitely on my list, but not Christmas I want it now.

by Moderator Melanie_Murray on ‎10-21-2009 09:25 AM

Gawd, even the lace-up brown boots are amazing to behold, no?

 

The cover of this book is AMAZING - what a gorgeous backdrop and the highlander looks pretty good too...Thanks for letting us know about this one, Michelle!

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎10-21-2009 09:45 AM

Am I allowed to mention one of my personal blogs here? I was talking about kilts in my last post: http://familytreethyme.blogspot.com/

by PrincessBumblebee on ‎10-21-2009 10:02 AM

TiggerBear, where and when? hehe

dhaupt, I think you've got it again. We KNOW what's under the kilts, we just want to SEE, hehe. And their accents are to die for!

Oh, I love the cover. Makes you want to curl up next to a roaring fire...with him, hehe.

by 1lovealways on ‎10-21-2009 05:34 PM

Hi Ladies!  :smileyhappy:

 

That cover is so gorgeous and hot you can see the flames burning around it, but it never ignites!  Whew!  Be still my pitter pattering heart!  What's not to love about a Scottish Highlander.  Those bods, those kilts (what's under the kilts),  those beautiful muscular legs and of course that wonderful, enchanting brogue that just enthralls and surrounds me and causes me to close my eyes in a long deep sigh! 

 

Their strong, brave, have wills of iron, muscles of steel, are handsome and have honor that knows no bounds.  When it comes to their ladies, there's no better at loving her, protecting her and just plain creating a fire in her heart that won't quit!  Lawd, lawd, lawd, what more could a girl ask for on a cold winter's night than one of her own or one in a hot Christmas romance anthologyl!

 

Kudos to some of my favorite authors who know how to create those sexy Highlanders.  Marsha Canham, Karen Marie Moning, Diana Gabaldon and Kresley Cole, just to name a few who write about them and seem to love them as much as we do.  I never get tired of reading about them!  :smileyhappy:

by on ‎10-21-2009 06:20 PM

PrincessBubblebee

 

This weekend, every year second or third weekend in October, Virginia.

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio ‎10-21-2009 10:54 PM - edited ‎10-21-2009 10:55 PM

TiggerBear, I've been dying to go to some Highlander games! My friend's husband's a piper, and she kept telling me she'd take me, we just never made it. Oh, and she has a really interesting theory about why women are so attracted to the kilt, and it has something to do with the aggressiveness of the zipper, and the ease of swinging aside a few folds of wool... sigh... So, we should be heading to your place next weekend? I'll bring the binoculars.

Doing things in reaction to our kids' actions is always a good reason to indulge, becke.

I think you'll enjoy the paranormal bent to this anthology. principessa, the cover is gorgeous. I was thinking it was nearly perfect, then I started worrying about a Highlander gripping the blade like that. Oh, stop. Have you noticed how often this guy's showing up on covers of late? He's on an IAD cover, I think Rydstrom or his bro's.

Yeah, Melanie, the boots add to the appeal. So maybe it's just the gear rather than anything else that makes the Highlanders attractive heroes. Once I asked Loretta Chase in an interview why Americans are obsessed with the Regency hero. I expected her to talk eloquently about his power, place in society, etc. She said it was his tight breeches. Go figure.

Awesome list, deb! I like your point about the berserker, because the Scots/Celts can have that icy-hot Norse blood, too, no? I just hate that you were left "drooling, wanting, unsatisfied." That hardly ever happens w/ Highlanders around.

Whether the honor is reality or created out of whole cloth, I think you're right, 1la, about that being the central character trait of the Highlander hero and even heroine. The willingness and often stubborn adherence to the rules that make one honorable drive him/her. I happen also to love that they're depicted as great soldiers who get bloodied and broken and still go on. Oh, And you happened to mention Marsha Canham's Highlanders? Her trilogy around Culloden is a fave of mine, and I know you like it too. But, maybe I've never mentioned I love Marsha Canham's books? Just kidding. I would hate to repeat myself. :smileyhappy:

by 1lovealways on ‎10-21-2009 11:13 PM

Michelle,

 

Go right ahead and repeat yourself!  I'll do the same, because she is just fabulous!!!  Oh, yes they're the best soldiers!  I can just picture them on the battlefield as you've said.  Yes, indeed!  Wonderful heroes (sighing, placing hand over heart)!!!  :smileyhappy:

by on ‎10-22-2009 12:33 AM

Well all joking aside here's the web site, if anyone's going give me heads up.

 

www.richmondceltic.com

 

No binoculars needed. You can get real close.

Guys these things are a hoot so if they have one in your state, go sometime.

 

It's always around here an interesting switch from October Fest where every guy hits on you. All the ladies go for guy oggling.

 

 

by PrincessBumblebee on ‎10-22-2009 05:13 PM

Michelle, I think you're right and it's the same guy for Rydstrom! Hubba Hubba!

by Gannon_Carr on ‎10-23-2009 01:41 PM
I love a good Christmas romance, and when their are Highlanders in kilts involved, I'm there! Michelle, you need to come to NC in July. The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games is held here every July--just down the road from my house--and it's sooo much fun. Incidentally, it's the largest clan gathering in the WORLD!!! Music, food, drink, and men in kilts....what's not to love?! :smileyhappy:
by on ‎10-23-2009 06:11 PM

 

I love a good Christmas romance, and when their are Highlanders in kilts involved, I'm there! Michelle, you need to come to NC in July. The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games is held here every July--just down the road from my house--and it's sooo much fun. Incidentally, it's the largest clan gathering in the WORLD!!! Music, food, drink, and men in kilts....what's not to love?! :smileyhappy:

All I remeber about those was a childhood clan fight. I think I got too drunk at those as I got older to remeber much.
by pjpuppymom on ‎10-24-2009 09:42 AM

I've read this anthology and thoroughly enjoyed all three tales.  I definitely recommend adding it to your Christmas list!

 

Gannon, one of these summers I'm going to make it up there for the Highland Games!

 

When I was still in the corporate world I was asked to spend a week working a project with a visiting representative from Scotland.  He was about 6'2", black hair, vivid blue eyes and had the most delicious deep voice and Scots brogue.  Sadly, he was married and wore a suit instead of a kilt but that didn't matter to my nightly dreams.  Oh, and what lovely dreams they were!  ;-)

 

 

by Author Keri_Stevens on ‎10-24-2009 12:34 PM

'Tis a cold, gray day. I need this book, a fire, a spot of tea. Then I need Jamie Fraser to burst through the wooden door, rip the book from my hands and . . .

by 1lovealways on ‎10-24-2009 06:53 PM

My goodness Keri, what a gorgeous scenario that would be!!!  That definitely could warm your heart on a cold winter's night!  I love the Outlander Series.  I just finished Voyager.  Diana Gabaldon is such a fabulous writer.

 

My Scotsman would be Bowen McRieve.  I just finished reading Kresley Cole's Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night.  Loved Bowe!  I'm still drooling (sigh). :smileyhappy:

 

 

by temagrl on ‎11-11-2009 11:26 AM

Ahhhh....All I can say is..... Jamie Fraser. (fluttering eyes, beating heart...)  keep reading lovealways- the books just get better and better.  I'll try Cole's book. Sounds good!  I was just surfing around and I think I found a home.  A blog about scottish highlanders! Can it get any better?

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