Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Showcase Highland Sword by May McGoldrick

Today I'm showcasing #3 in May McGoldrick's Royal Highlander series, Highland Sword.

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Release Date: 3-31-2020

 320 pp
Royal Highlander #3


Scottish pride, persuasion, and passion—this is Highland romance at its breathtaking best.

From USA Today bestselling author May McGoldrick comes Highland Sword, the third book in the Royal Highlander series.

Fleeing to the Highlands after her father’s murder, fiery Morrigan Drummond has a score to settle with Sir Rupert Burney, the English spymaster responsible for his death. Trained to fight alongside the other rebels determined to break Britain’s hold on Scotland, she swears to avenge her father’s death—until a chance encounter with a barrister as proud and principled as she is presents her with a hard choice…and a bittersweet temptation.

Aidan Grant has never encountered another woman like dangerous beauty Morrigan—and he has the bruises to prove it. Yet she could be the key to defending two innocent men, as well as striking a death blow to the reprehensible Burney. Convincing Morrigan to help him will take time, but Aidan is willing to wait if it means victory over corrupt government forces and freedom for his people…and Morrigan’s hand in marriage. Can two warriors committed to a cause stand down long enough to open their hearts to a love fierce enough to last…forever?

Read an excerpt:


Dalmigavie Castle, the HighlandsSeptember 1820
The afternoon sun cast a golden glow over the high-walled garden beside the keep. The scents of autumn—rich and earthy—hung in the air, filling Cinaed’s senses. His mother paused before a pair of rose bushes. The leaves were beginning to grow spotted and yellow, but a few red blooms lingered steadfastly in the protected space.
Caroline of Brunswick, Queen of England and Ireland, turned her gaze to him. Cinaed could see she was trying to keep up a cheerful façade, but her smile had been growing dimmer, her eyes mistier. She was leaving in the morning, and they both knew the likelihood of them ever meeting again was slight.
“If I could do it over, live my life over, I wouldn’t make the mistake of letting you go. I would have been smarter. Fought harder.”
Regrets almost always came too late, Cinaed mused. But he couldn’t help his feelings. She’d made choices that didn’t involve a four-year-old boy she’d sent off to be raised by strangers. All those years left their scars.
Growing up, he’d simply been Cinaed Mackintosh, orphaned son of a sailor and Anne, the laird’s sister. At the age of nine years, he’d been cast out by the only family he knew to become a ship’s boy. No home. Unwanted. For years, he’d blamed Lachlan Mackintosh. No longer. The laird of Dalmigavie had a lad thrown at his feet. A boy who brought danger to his door.
Cinaed now knew why the Mackintosh clan protected him. He was the grandson of Teàrlach, the Bonnie Prince. He was the son of Scotland.
Caroline took his arm, and they walked in silence between the beds of flowers. The purples and yellows and reds were fading. Any night now, a killing frost would lay them all to waste.
“Family can inflict the deepest cuts and the sharpest pain. Disloyalty. Jealousy. Vindictiveness. The marks they leave rarely show to those on the outside. If you can survive, you become hardened to the world perhaps, but stronger.”
He had become stronger, but she had no idea of what it cost him.
“I’ve survived,” she continued. “As you have. I’m queen of a great land. You’ve made yourself into the man you are today. Master and commander of the seas. A hero to your people.”
Cinaed thought about his lost ship, the Highland Crown. Of the men lost in that wreck. Not long ago, he thought he would be returning to the sea. Taking Isabella to Halifax. Building a life with her. All those plans, however, were now swept away by an ever-changing tide.
“For so many in the Highlands and throughout all of Scotland,” she said, her voice growing stronger, “you are the future. You are the promise of a new rising. You embody the hope of a better world.”
It was no secret a radical war of change was upon them. Passions were running high. From the streets of Glasgow and Edinburgh to the docks and manufactories of Inverness. From the rolling farms of the Borders to the rocky coasts of the Northern Isles. Every week, protestors were assembling in the face of armed dragoons and being cut down by them.
“The time is now,” she asserted. “You are the Highland prince emerging from the mists of the past with the royal blood of the Stuarts flowing in your veins. You are the warrior king who will set to rights the villainy of—”
He held up a hand and stopped her. “I have no desire to be king.”
“Everything lies ready before you. We have important friends, both here and abroad. In coming here, I have affirmed who you are, who your father and grandfather were. Your time is now. Your people and your kingdom await. It is your destiny.”
I shall decide my own destiny. No one else.”
“Not a fortnight ago, I watched powerful clan chieftains gather here at Dalmigavie to swear their allegiance to you. They’re ready to go into battle for you against their English overlords.”
“I’ll not sacrifice Scottish blood in a futile campaign like the one that ended on Culloden Moor. I’ll not blithely lead these Highlanders on a doomed, romantic quest that will crush us for another hundred years. War alone will not free Scotland from the oppressive yoke of England.”
“Nations need leaders. Scotland needs a king to follow. They need you. A symbol to believe in. With you as their king, they will avenge the spilt blood of their ancestors, their fathers and mothers, their brothers and sisters.”
Vengeance. This is what it came down to for Caroline. It was woven into the fabric of her soul. Vengeance for what her family did to her. Vengeance for the public venom of her husband. Vengeance for all those loveless years in exile.
“They have a king, despicable as he is. But no matter how desperate you are to see him gone, King George and his henchmen will never be ousted by a Highland revolt.”
“Revolutions move earth and heaven. They pull down dynasties. But people can’t rule themselves. They need a ruler.”
“Not a ruler but a leader,” Cinaed corrected. “What I want is justice for Scotland. I wish for a free and independent voice for its people. But to do this, we need a path that will unite the Highlanders of the north with the Lowlanders of the south. We need to become one Scotland.”
Cinaed gazed at the silent figure standing before him. His earliest memory of her was of a young woman dancing with him in a garden like this one. The warm sunlight enveloped them as she sang a lilting French song and held him to her. She lived in a fairy tale.
She wanted reparation for what she’d lost. Caroline wanted her son to be king. She believed it was his by right. This was the world she had always lived in. It was all she’d ever known. Kings and courts. Power and conflict. Blood and passion. Thrust and parry. And revenge.
“I know who I am. And I know the path I must follow. I am the son of Scotland, and I’ll do what I must, but I’ll do it in the way that is best for the people.”

Copyright © 2020 by Nikoo K. McGoldrick and James A. McGoldrick
The Series

About the author:
USA Today bestselling Authors Nikoo and Jim wrote their first May McGoldrick romance using historical figures that Jim researched while earning a PhD in sixteenth-century Scottish and English literature. Nikoo, a mechanical engineer, is a born storyteller. She is all about characters and feeling. Jim is about action and sense of place. Together, they have crafted over forty fast-paced, conflict-filled historical and contemporary novels and two works of nonfiction under the pseudonyms May McGoldrick and Jan Coffey. Their beloved romance series include The Pennington Family, The Scottish Relic Trilogy, and Royal Highlander.


  1. This sounds pretty interesting and I love the cover. Hope you guys are doing well! Sending some air hugs your way. RO

  2. I enjoyed chapter one Debbie. Thank you for sharing it.

  3. I love highlander books! Thanks for sharing Debbie :)

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  4. I always think a Highlander book is a good safe bet of enjoyment!