Title: A Magical Highland Solstice
Author: Mary Morgan
Genre: Historical Romance
Story Setting: Castle Creag, 1207,
Published by: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Published Date: December 2, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Order of the Dragon Knight’s Series — click to order from Amazon:
About the Story: Laird Cormac Murray has witnessed how love destroyed his own father after the death of his mother, and he vows to never take a wife. Yet, when he comes upon a bewildered lass traveling alone, he finds his heart will no longer listen to his mind. In the end, Cormac risks everything to claim the love of a woman not of his time.
Eve Brannigan loves helping others and baking. After winning a contest, she is stunned to learn that the Clan Murray has requested her assistance to cater to their guests during the holiday season. When a lost path in Scotland leads her to a handsome but gruff Highlander, Eve fights the temptation to allow love to enter her heart for the first time.
Can the Fae and the magic of the Yule season bring together two souls who have forsaken love? Or will tragedies from the past separate the lovers forever?
My Thoughts: I just love starting one of Mary Morgan’s stories. Curling up into a chair, I’m prepared to love her hero and heroine and get a booster shot of time travel. I hated to let this series go when I finished Dragon Knight’s Ring. But she thrust me in the midst of a kitchen battle, and again I was enjoying the best of Mary Morgan!
From the cover to the last page, this novella had all the components of why I delight in her stories.
Let the festivities begin for the Yule Tide!
Where and when? Scotland, 1207.
The delightful tone of this novella is set by Ranald and Bran, lads who’ve turned the kitchens topsy-turvy. Cormac Murray, laird of Creag Castle is facing dire circumstances. Cook and assistant have been injured and must be moved from kitchen duties. But what about preparation for Yule Tide? Duly punished by the laird, we learn the kind of man he is – firm with the lads—they take their punishment.
Cormac pinched the bridge of this nose to word off the impending pain creeping in behind his eyes. “Enough!” he roared. “I can tell by your arguing in front of me—your laird—that neither of ye has any remorse from this mishap.”
Both lads immediately went quiet and bowed their heads.
Both nodded silently in agreement.
“Ye should not be allowed to step foot inside the castle. Mayhap I shall banish ye to the stables for the rest of the month.”
“And miss the Yule feasting?” both protested in unison.
Cormac crossed his arms over his chest, glaring at them. In his heart, he would never banish anyone to the cold, foremost a child, but he would not let the lads ken this yet. “Pray tell, what would ye have me do? Surely, ye dinnae believe ye can be forgiven so easily?”
Ranald narrowed his eyes in thought, and Bran started to tap his foot, which told Cormac they were fully prepared to come to some sort of deal.
Bran raised his hand. “If I may be allowed to speak my laird?”
“Granted,” stated Cormac.
The lad stole a glance at Ranald. “First, we will clean both kitchens. From hearth and stone.” He paused and scratched at his chin.
“Then we will see to the kitchen duties and tend to Moira.”
Ranald gave Bran a scathing look.
“Do ye deem it wise to be in the verra place that would tempt ye to snatch foot?” Cormac held up his hand when the lad started to utter a protest. “I agree to the first part of your terms. But for the second, ye will clean all muck from every place inside and outside the castle. From the stables, to the urinal pots. Since ye have mentioned Yule, this is a time of preparation and we need all hands to help.” Watching as their races grimaced and then went to wretched horror, he fought the smile forming on his own face. “Are we in agreement?”
“Aye,” muttered Bran.
“Are ye saying we have to do this for one day, or for the entire month?” asked Ranald.
The truth revealed itself with the lad’s question. Cormac knew him to be the leader in this devious plan. “For as long as I deem necessary. What say ye?”
“Aye,” both mumbled in unison.
“Off with ye.”
Cormac watched their slow retreat from the Great Hall. Placing both his hands on the table, he whispered, “What am I going to do now?” with no cook, he would have to rely on one of the young lasses.
While the Fae guardians were busy setting the scene in 1207, in preparation for their chosen, Eve Brannigan, she had her own set of circumstances. She had entered a baking contest at The Blushing Rose Bakery. Her prize was $5,000. She sure could use the money, but her friend, who also entered the contest, needed it more. With this scene, Eve, shows her compassion, understanding and loyalty of a good friend. The guardians set her up for a trip to Scotland, to work in the kitchens of Castle Creag, in preparation for the Yule. Eve was delighted. She’d always wanted to visit Scotland. Fae do what they do so verra well—make things happen to give love a chance. Once off the flight her trip poses difficulties. From one snow bank to another, Eve’s life changes. She expects changes, after all she was in Scotland. But these people were taking things a wee bit too far, living in medieval times! Cormac happens upon Eve. If Eve is confused, so, too, is Cormac. What sort of lass did he find? And why out here alone in the brush? Feisty thing, she was.
If you haven’t read any of Mary Morgan’s work, Christmas time is a great time to start. Although this story is connected to the above referenced series, you needn’t read them in order. Maybe Mary will write Melinda (Eve’s best friend) into a continuation of this series. That would be totally awesome! If I were you, I’d get out there and purchase book one, or ask for the set as a Christmas gift. You will fall in love with this writer!
I am a constant daydreamer and have been told quite often to remove my head from the clouds. Yet, this is where I find the magic to write my stories. Not only do I love to weave a good tale, but I have a voracious appetite for reading. I worked for Borders Books for almost fourteen years. Imagine my delight to be surrounded by so many books, talking to others about them, and getting paid.
I have traveled to England, Scotland, Ireland, and France. There are those who know me well when I say, “My heart is in the Highlands.” I believe I have left it there or maybe in Ireland.
When not writing, I enjoy playing in my garden–another place where magic grows. Of course, there is time spent with my family. They are the ones that keep me grounded.