A Little Highland Magic

Book Five In The Guardians of the Isles

To have a future, she must face her past…

Half human, half fairy, Aria traveled to the human realm seeking safety with her family, the powerful MacLeods where she is welcomed and accepted as a warrior. But Aria fears her happiness will be short lived if they discover her inadvertent role in their beloved mother’s death and the kidnapping of their infant brother, Kieran, by the cruel fairy king. Aria longs to right the wrong by rescuing Kieren but traveling to the fairy realm is dangerous and potentially a betrayal, for she must use the legendary Fairy Flag and its one last miracle to barter Kieran’s release. 

Graeme Duff and his ancestors have served as flag bearer and protectors of Clan MacLeod for centuries. It’s his duty to guard the Fairy Flag, and when the beautiful, fierce, and intriguing Aria proposes using the flag to negotiate Kieran’s freedom, Graeme suspects treachery. He determines to accompany her, vowing to ignore the passion she evokes.

Can two independent warriors learn to trust? Or are they risking the destruction of everything they know and love?

Buy it now at Tule Publishing, Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, and Kobo

“Nonstop action and adventure in this lively fifth book in the series and is truly a great read. Both character development and storytelling are exceptional and pull the reader quickly into this fantastic tale.” –Kathy, Amazon

“A truly magical and enchanting story loaded with romance.” –Paula, Goodreads

A Little Highland Magic is a historical Highland romance with a magical twist, with the MacLeod clan and fae. It is not to be missed!” –Elaine, Goodreads

“You were very brave this morning to take on all of the MacDonalds by yourself.” Graeme’s voice was deep and cultured, betraying his education. The burr of his accent was less pronounced when he spoke with her than with his men, she suddenly realised. It was as if he put careful thought into what he said to her and how he said it.

“I was never in any danger. They did not want to hurt me, but to understand how a female could best them in battle when they are twice my size.”

He raised an eyebrow. “I have been trying to figure that out since the moment you arrived.”

She couldn’t stop the smile that came to her lips. “Have you come to any conclusions?”

He shifted closer, and Aria felt the heat of his body against her own. “At first I believed it was fairy magic.”

“And now?” At his closeness, her heart caught in her throat as she glanced into his eyes. Despite his fine clothing tonight and his gentility, this man was used to danger. He had a raw and primitive edge, yet he was not reckless, though at this moment she somehow wanted him to be just that. If he leaned a little closer, he could bring his lips to hers. But did she want him to?

Unaware of her thoughts he continued, “I think you worked tirelessly to hone your skills. The reason you best everyone is because you were defeated many times in the past and resolved never to let that happen again.”

His insight startled her. How could he know that?

She saw a flash of white teeth above her and the smile that came to his lips. “I am right, aren’t I?”

“Lucky guess.”

“Nay,” he said softly. “You and I are more alike than I had ever imagined. We both battle to fight against our own feelings.”

Disconcerted, she shifted to the far side of her chair, putting some distance between them. “Perhaps we should go to the lists now and battle?” It was what she always did when emotions overwhelmed her as they did in this moment. Gwendolyn and Fiona were right. She was attracted to Graeme even though she shouldn’t be. For she belonged to another.

“Not tonight. I would not want to ruin your beautiful dress. Besides, I believe the MacLeods have other plans for entertainment.” He nodded to the musicians who entered the hall just then, who sent a sparkling refrain of music through the murmur of voices. A sudden hush came over the chamber as new musicians joined the piper: Callum with his mandolin, followed by a dulcimer, a second piper, and a lute chimed a steady beat. A cheer rose and an instant later, the tables were pushed back to make room for dancing.

Two lines formed for the Scottish country dance. At the lead were Rowena and Marcus, the couple they were celebrating tonight, along with Alastair and Gwendolyn, Tormod and Fiona, Orrick and Isolde. They all looked so happy as they came together and parted to the tune of ‘Trip O’er the Tweed’. The MacDonald laird took the hand of Mrs Morgan, the chatelaine, and led her into the fray, followed by several of his men and many of the MacLeods, while others remained on the sidelines clapping their hands. Even Aria could not still the light tapping of her foot as the music filled the great hall.

“Dance with me, Aria.” Graeme stood and held out his hand.

She stared at his fingers, and before she could answer he took her hand in his and hauled her from her chair and into the line of dancers. He sent her into a spin then caught her about the waist before releasing her.

Aria’s cheeks warmed, and for a moment she considered moving away, back to her seat. She was attracted to Graeme, but not free to act on her emotions. Besides, she had a reputation around the castle as a fearless warrior. Would the men see her as something less than that if they saw her enjoying herself in the dance?

Graeme smiled at her and looped his arm through hers, turning her around and around as the dance demanded. A bubble of laughter came from deep inside her. It had been so long since she had allowed herself a few moments of pleasure. With the next turn, Aria decided she did not care what the men thought, or about other attachments made for her when she was a child. She was happier in that moment than she ever remembered being and she wanted to extend that feeling as long as was possible.

The room spun by in a whirl of colours. She closed her eyes and let joy flood her spirit. Opening her eyes again, she allowed the rhythm of the music to move through her and into Graeme. They were dancing so close she could feel the heat of his body against her own. What was it about Graeme that allowed him to break through the barriers she had erected to keep others out?

At the next pass of their bodies, she looked up into his eyes and smiled. He truly was the most handsome man she’d ever known, and that was saying something when compared with the beauty and perfection of the men in Fairyland.

And just when she thought she couldn’t be happier, a lash of pain seared her heart. She went rigid, her feet stalling. A sob of anguish cut through the music as Graeme pulled her towards the side of the chamber.

“Aria! What is wrong?” Concern etched the lines around his eyes and mouth.

She tried to speak but the pain was too intense. Instead, a desperate sob escaped her.

Graeme drew her against his chest, trying to comfort her, but the pain intensified, sending agonising streaks of fire through her limbs. The music faded as her world collapsed into just the excruciating pain radiating through her body and the feel of Graeme’s warmth against her chest. “He . . . found . . . me.”

“Who found you?”

“Oberon,” she gasped. She had let down her guard and had revealed her emotions for Graeme, allowing Oberon to sense where she was in the human realm. In that moment of joy, she’d forgotten that her defences were not just to shield her heart, but to keep her soul safe from the fairy king. With a sinking sensation that dropped into her stomach like a shard of ice, Aria knew she was no match for the king of the fairies.