The Highlander from Boy to Man
Like so many who are inspired to write highlanders, I LOVE Jamie Fraser from Outlander. He is my second-favorite red-haired, oversized Scot (the first being William of Dunashie from Anita Mills’s Winter Roses). I have been SO EXCITED about the Starz series, especially once I heard Ron Moore was involved (Loved the Battlestar Galactica reboot.) And I’ve enjoyed the show, and been listening to the audiobook, so I know the show is faithful to the source material.
I’m a little surprised, rereading and watching, at Jamie. Yes, he’s brave and sweet and romantic, but he’s not JAMIE yet, ye ken? He’s not the quick-thinking, cunning, take-charge guy yet. I know he’s only 23 (laws, the age my son is now!) in Outlander. He has a lot of living ahead, and Lord knows he has challenges. Some of the upcoming challenges make me cringe, but I look forward to seeing JAMIE come to life on the screen.
My hero in “To Love a King’s Man” was inspired more by the aforementioned William of Dunashie, who was a bastard son, but awarded a small keep and a wife. My hero Conal is a soldier who, though a bastard, is favored by the king because of his prowess. He feels he has more to offer my heroine, Evanna, than he did when he was younger, because of this favor. But in addition to convincing her, he also has to get her brother, his best friend, to see he is everything Evanna needs.
I used Stephen Amell from Arrow as my inspiration, because I think he’s done a good job portraying a boy growing into a man, don’t you?
Here’s an excerpt:
“You won’t be the first man I’ve bathed. I am a widow.”
He’d known her husband, the old lecherous bastard, about the size of one of Conal’s arms, and with half the number of Conal’s teeth. Conal doubted the old man had shown his young wife the pleasures that could be had between a man and a woman.
The pleasures Conal wanted to show her. If he took off his clothes in his current state, his intentions would be clear.
How would she react? The way she watched him now, he couldn’t be sure.
“The water is cooling.” She folded the towel in front of her expectantly.
Perhaps a cold bath was the better choice. “I can bathe myself. I do it often.”
She lifted her chin. “Conal.”
“Evanna.” Even in the privacy of his bedchamber, he knew he shouldn’t be calling her by her given name. He stepped forward to take the towel from her. “I’m sure you have other duties.”
“I wish to do it.”
The words were soft, but strong, and she met his gaze. She wished to do it. She was a widow, and the way she looked upon him…
He eased away and stripped the linen shirt over his head, thinking she would change her mind when he met her challenge. She would scurry off and he would bathe in peace. Instead, she held her ground, her gaze lowering to his chest, her eyes darkening, her lips parting.
His balls tightened. He knew that look of arousal on a woman’s face. He hesitated with his hand on his belt. If he removed his plaid now, she’d see him in all his aroused glory, because God help him if he could control it right now. Her gaze dropped to his hands on his belt as if willing him to act.
“You might turn your back,” he chided.
Her cheeks flamed and she pivoted with a swirl of skirts. He unfastened his belt and placed it on the bed, removing his plaid and folding the length of it, holding it against his cock lest she try to get a peek. He placed the plaid on the bed, removed his boots, and stepped into the water, his back to her. Only when he was safely submerged, a washcloth floating over the most errant part of him, did he speak.
“You may turn around,” he said, his voice rough.
I’d love to offer a free download of either my historical bundle or my cowboy bundle to one lucky winner! Just comment below! Are you watching Outlander? Have you read it? Have you read Winter Roses (I see it’s been rereleased!)? Who is your favorite highlander?
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