Heart of the Highland Wolf

Heart of the Highland Wolf

by Terry Spear

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"Spear gives the werewolf romance a new and different twist."—Night Owl Reviews, 5 stars, Review Top Pick!

In the rugged highlands of Scotland, romance writer (and red werewolf) Julia Wildthom has a serious case of writers block. But when handsome gray wolf Ian MacNeill catches her trespassing on his property, the chemistry between them in downright inspiring!

Modern day werewolf laird Ian MacNeill reluctantly allows a film production company to use his castle, but he knows his secretive clan has a big problem when a beautiful red werewolf female who insists she's working on the film keeps showing up in the wrong places...and a matter of pleasure.

Julia Wildthorn is not who she says she is—she's sneaking into Argent Castle to steal an ancient relic for her grandfather and to do research for her next werewolf romance novel. When she catches a glimpse of Ian, she realizes he's the perfect hero.

Highland Wolf Series:
Heart of the Highland Wolf (Book 1)
A Howl for a Highlander (Book 2)
A Highland Werewolf Wedding (Book 3)
Hero of a Highland Wolf (Book 4)
A Highland Wolf Christmas (Book 5)

Praise for Legend of the White Wolf:
"A thrilling, engaging, wonderful ride." —Seriously Reviewed
"Romance, adventure, and a paranormal twist...If you like your werewolf stories with a bit of a bite, then pick this series up now." —Night Owl Romance (Reviewer Top Pick)

Praise for Seduced by the Wolf:
"With just enough wolf detail and werewolf lore, this action-packed story crackles with mystery, adventure, violence, and passion." —Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402245541
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 06/01/2011
Series: Highland Wolf , #7
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 174,862
File size: 954 KB

About the Author

A retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry Spear has an MBA from Monmouth College. An eclectic writer with a PW Best Book of 2008, she writes paranormal romance as well as historical and true life stories for both teen and adult audiences. Spear lives in Crawford, Texas.

USA Today bestselling author Terry Spear has written over two dozen paranormal romance novels and medieval Highland historical romances. In 2008 Heart of the Wolf was named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry also creates award-winning teddy bears that have found homes all over the world. She lives in Crawford, Texas.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

The ghostly fog made Julia feel as though she had slipped into the primordial past. She couldn't believe she'd made it to the Highlands of Scotland where a castle beckoned, filled with secrets, intrigue, and hunky Scots-with any luck. Hopefully, none of them would learn why she was really here and put a stop to it.

Nothing would dampen her enthusiasm as she and her friend Maria Baquero headed for Baird Cottage, within hiking distance of Argent Castle-and the end of her writer's block.

At least, that was the plan.

After flight delays and missed luggage, they'd had trouble getting their rental car at Inverness Airport-following a mix-up when a Scotsman declared their car was his. Another man had creeped Julia out when she realized he was watching them, and she'd felt apprehensive at the way his thin lips hadn't hinted at a bit of friendliness. But then she dismissed him as she and Maria finally set off in late afternoon with Maria driving the rented Fiat into the deepening fog.

The laird of Argent Castle, Ian MacNeill, had been a royal pain to deal with concerning filming the movie at his castle. Luckily, as assistant director, only Maria had to do business with him. Pretending to be Maria's assistant, Julia was to watch from the sidelines and take notes. But not for the film production. For her breakout novel. Julia Wildthorn was one of the United States' most successful werewolf romance novelists and the only one, she was sure, who had ever suffered a writer's block like this one.

Dense fog obscured the curving road as it ran through rocky land on either side. Pine trees in the distance faded into the thickening soup, which offered glimpses of quaint dry-stone dykes that must have stood for centuries, snaking across the land and dividing someone's property from another's.

Despite Julia's enhanced wolf vision, she couldn't see any better than a human in the soup.

Eyes widening, she caught sight of something running in the woods. Something gray. Something that looked a lot like a wolf and then melted into the fog like a phantom.

Heartbeat ratchetting up several notches, she tried to catch another glimpse, her hand tightening on the door's armrest as she peered out the window, her nose almost touching the glass. "Did you see anything?" she asked Maria, her voice tight.

Maria gave her a disgruntled snort. "In this fog? I can barely see the road. What did you think you saw?"

"A... wolf." Julia strained to get another glimpse of what she'd seen. "But it couldn't have been. Wolves here were killed off centuries ago."

Off to Julia's left, the mist parted, revealing older aspen, the bark covered with dark lichen stretching upward, while tall, straight Scots pines and stands of willowy birch clustered close together in the distance. But no more signs of a wolf. Julia blinked her eyes. Maybe because she was so tired from the trip, her eyes were playing tricks on her.

Julia straightened and faced Maria. "Maybe it was a lupus garou, if I wasn't imagining it." She smiled at the thought. "A hunky Highland werewolf in a kilt."

She'd never considered she might run across a lupus garou in Scotland. Not as elusive as their kind were, hiding their secret from the rest of the world. Unless she bumped into one and could smell his or her scent, she wouldn't know a lupus garou from a strictly human type.

"Hmm, a Highland werewolf," Maria said thoughtfully, sliding her hands over the steering wheel, "although getting hold of a Spanish conquistador would be just as intriguing."

An Iberian werewolf whose ancestors had been turned by a wolfish conquistador, Maria was a beauty with dark brown hair and thick, long eyelashes.

Being a redhead with fair skin, Julia turned heads on her own, but the two of them together often stole the show.

Maria was still stewing about the laird who was in charge of Argent Castle. "Laird Ian MacNeill is being a real hard ass about the filming particulars-restricting our use of the castle and grounds, the times, the locations, and who knows what else when we arrive."

"Maybe he won't be so bad once the filming begins." Although Julia didn't believe that-and the sour look on Maria's face said she didn't, either. Julia pulled the laird's photo from her purse. Maria's boss had paid a private investigator good money to obtain the picture. "Exactly how did the guy get a picture of the laird like this if it's so difficult to catch a glimpse of him?"

"The P.I. followed him to a Celtic festival. The laird was surrounded by his men and a couple of women, so the detective snapped one shot right before the laird took part in a sword-fighting demonstration."

"Who won?"

"The laird and his men. According to the P.I., the MacNeills had a real workout against the Sutherlands. Bad blood has existed between them for centuries. The fighting looked so real, he thought organizers of the show might step in and stop the demonstration."

In one word, Julia summed up Laird Ian MacNeill's appearance: dangerous.

It wasn't his handsome features-his short, very dark coffee-colored hair, the rich color of his eyes, the rigid planes of his face, and his aristocratic nose-that made him appear that way. Not his broad shoulders or firm stance or unsmiling mouth, either. It was his unerring gaze that seemed so piercingly astute, like he could see into a person's very soul.

That worried her.

In the photo, the man was prime hunk, wearing a predominantly green and blue kilt, an ermine sporran belted in front, and a sword sheathed behind him. From the looks of the hilt partially peeking over his shoulder, the sword served as a warning that he was armed and deadly, much more so than just his looks. He wore a shirt belted, hanging open to the waist, and revealing sexy abs a woman would love to caress. At least this woman would. Just as rugged, his castle sat in the background, formidable, commanding, and resilient.

She could just imagine him wielding that lethal sword against his enemy.

Maria shook her head. "He's arrogant, hard-nosed, too far above us, and on top of that, we're Americans and working-or at least he'll think you're working-with the film crew he so despises. So just remember that in case you're getting romantic notions from that picture of him. He's too wickedly sexy for his own good... or maybe I should say, for your own good."

Maria was probably right. Julia wanted to see the laird up close and personal for the sake of writing her manuscript, but she didn't want to hear the disparaging things he might say to her. That would ruin her image of him as the hero type. And if he looked at her the way he did in the picture, she feared he would see right through her.

Just then, they topped the hill and faced a sea of white, curly fur blocking their way. Maria gasped and slammed on the brakes. Julia's heart rapped a triple beat, and she grabbed the dashboard. Like a pastoral scene from an old-time painting, the mob of sheep was making its way to the other side of the rocky glen. Several sheared sheep-ewes, a curly horned ram, and lots of lambs-crossed the road, along with a sheepherder with a gnarled walking stick in hand and his collie.

Instantly, Julia thought about the wolf.

Once the sheep had passed, Maria started driving slower than before and cleared her throat.

"As soon as we drop off our carry-on luggage, I have to drive over to the estate for a meeting."

Harold Washburn, the producer of the film, and most of the staff were staying at a local mansion. Maria had insisted on leasing Baird Cottage, citing its closeness to the castle. In truth, it was to hide that she and Julia were lupus garous and that Julia wasn't truly working for Maria.

"At this rate, I'm not going to make it in time. I haven't seen a sign in a while, and... I thought we would have been there by now," Maria continued.

Julia strained to see into the distance, searching for another road sign, but the fog that had parted in places for her to glimpse the trees was again too thick to see a thing.

A shadow of gray bolted across the road. The wolf. A gray wolf.

Maria gasped and slammed on her brakes. Julia's mouth dropped open, but the squeal died in her throat as headlights reflected off her side mirror. The headlights barreled on top of them. It was too late.

Rubber and brakes squealed behind them. Heart pounding, Julia braced for the crash, the wolf forgotten.

Bang! The rental car flew off the road like an airborne mini-plane. Then it landed hard, tearing down the incline. Bouncing. Jolting. Teeth jarring. A white cloud filled Julia's vision and she gasped.

A shotgun blast! A horrible jolt. Another bang!

Before Julia could process what had happened, the white air bag deflated, and a snaking wall of rocks loomed before them only a couple of feet away in the fog.

"Hit the brakes!" Julia screamed.


As soon as he heard the explosions ahead, Ian MacNeill slowed his car and watched the road and the shoulders, looking for signs of a collision. Some poor fool must have been driving too slowly in the fog, while another had been driving too fast, hence the horrendous noise in the distance.

His youngest brother, Duncan-which being quadruplets meant only by minutes-peered out the passenger window.

"It had to be a car wreck," Duncan said, his tone concerned.

"Aye." Ian watched for lights that might indicate vehicles ahead. Their wolf hearing was so enhanced that the sounds made could have been some kilometers distant.

"I don't see anything, Ian. Not a thing. No tire skids, no broken glass. But the explosive sounds were loud enough that the vehicles had to have damage."

Unease scraping down his spine, Ian agreed.

Duncan leaned against the passenger door and then motioned toward the incline. "Taillights in the fog, down there."

"And scraps of red metal from a vehicle up here," Ian said as his headlights glinted off pieces of metal and part of a taillight reflector.

He pulled off onto the soft shoulder, turned off the ignition, and exited the vehicle. With Duncan at his side, he hurried down the incline toward the cherry-colored fog.

"Hello, anybody hurt?" Ian called out, his dark voice traveling over the glen. He took a breath and swore he smelled a hint of the acrid odor of gunfire.

No one answered his call, and another trace of unease wormed its way into his blood. Then he heard a moan. A woman's moan.

"Hell, probably a woman driving way too slow and got hit," Duncan growled, quickening his run.

Duncan should know since he'd smashed into the rear bumper of a woman's car just the month before for the same reason. Ian hoped to hell no one had life-threatening injuries.

The odor of burning tires, scraped raw metal, and refrigerant gas leaking from the car's air-conditioning system drifted to them. Then smoke.

"Smoke," Duncan said, racing to the car.

"Hello!" Ian called out again as they scrambled to reach the vehicle smashed into the dry dyke, the front bumper looking like an accordion, the red metal crumpled against the windshield. Glass everywhere sparkled like diamond shards on the ground. The windshield was shattered, and the driver's side window, a spider web of cracks. White sheets of material covered the shattered dash-deflated air bags.

The two rear tires had blown out, and the rear bumper was smashed and the metal torn from its moorings, one end now touching the ground. But Ian didn't see telltale signs of another vehicle's paint on this one. Yet after considering the rear bumper, he assumed someone had to have hit the car hard.

Ian reached the driver's door first, but the frame was so badly bent that the door wouldn't budge. He peered in through the window as Duncan reached him. No one inside the vehicle. He glanced around, raised his nose, and smelled... petrol, hot and burning.

"Duncan!" Ian grabbed his brother's arm and yanked him away from the car.

Boom! The forceful explosion threw them several meters away, heat singeing their eyebrows and zapping the moisture out of the cool, wet air. His ears ringing, hearing deadened, eyes and nostrils filled with smoke, Ian lay still in the grass, dazed. Then he jerked to a sitting position and looked for his brother.

Duncan was sitting nearby, shaking his head as if clearing the fog from it. "Hell. The driver had better sense than we did." His black clothes were now covered in gray soot and splotches of brown mud.

Ian agreed. "The car had a couple of small suitcases-someone on holiday."

"A lass from the looks of it," Duncan added.

"Aye, one of the suitcases was pink, and I glimpsed a handbag sitting on the center console."

They both watched as orange flames consumed the car. No worry of anything else catching fire, as damp as it was. The rains that morning had turned everything to mud, which Ian's light khaki-colored trousers were now soaking up. Ian stood and wiped the mud off his hands and onto his trousers. "You okay?"

"Aye. Can't hear anything worth a damn. Your voice sounds a million kilometers away. And my head is splitting."

"Same here. Come on. Let's find the woman. She's probably in better shape than we are." Ian cast Duncan a dark smile. "You look like hell, brother."

Duncan snorted. "You don't look much better."

Ian slapped him on the back, and the two made a wide circle around the car, looking for any indication of where the driver would have gone. Heel marks. Not one, but two sets of prints. "Two," Ian said, pointing to the tracks. "Lassies, both of them."

"Do you smell something?" Duncan asked.

"If you mean burning rubber, petrol, smoke, hot metal, and mud, aye. Was there something else you smelled then? A woman's perfume, maybe?"

Duncan tilted his head up, took another deep breath, and then coughed. "Let's move away from the fire. I can't smell anything but smoke. But I thought..." He shook his head.



Ian moved away from the burning car, but something in Duncan's voice made him take another long look at his brother. Duncan was frowning, concentrating, and sampling the air, trying to locate the women.

"Blood?" Ian asked, thinking maybe Duncan had smelled an injury and was concerned about it. The smoke and burning petrol were wreaking havoc with his own sense of smell now.

"Aye, well, that and..." Duncan looked at him with an odd expression. "...the faint scent of wolf."

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Heart of the Highland Wolf 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 72 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Julia MacPherson and her friend movie assistant director Maria Baquero are staying at Baird Cottage just a short walk from Argent Castle where a movie is being shot. Better known at least back in the States as Julia Wildthorn, author of Highland werewolf romances, she expects her trip to Scotland will end her writer's block and she hopes to find an ancient secret box her grandfather says the family hid there. The castle laird Ian MacNeill has been a pain in the butt but that is Maria's problem muses Julia. However, starting with flight delays, the trip goes awry. A car accident leads to Ian carrying Julia into the castle. MacNeill realizes the American he holds is a wolf just like he is. Since she hid her heritage, he distrusts her but to his chagrin the wolf wants her. She wants to reveal the truth though she is unsure what that is to her mate, but fears he will kick her back across the ocean. This is a fun werewolf romance starring two likable leads and a strong support cast; mostly his clan. The story line is fast-paced yet the refreshing scenes occur when Wildthorn goes into writer's mode. Fans will appreciate Terry Spear's entertaining tale even though the wolves are more in the background than usual, but the romance between the writer and the laird is an enjoyable contemporary. Harriet Klausner
LASR_Reviews More than 1 year ago
What if a Highland warrior of old could fight with swords just like they used to but in modern times and women could ogle all they wanted? Of course, I'm getting ahead of myself. Those kilted action heroes do their thing in this story and it was exciting and full of daring do, and I got a kick out of how Ms. Spear wrote it with such passion and intensity. It's what lead up to those well written and high powered few chapters that made it all worthwhile. Julia is the heroine and she's delightful. In fact I had a ton of fun reading her point of view, mostly because she's a romance writer. What made it so fun? Ms. Spear had the heroine experiencing a scene, a place or dialogue and she'd zone out into writer land and start plotting in her head. I never knew when she'd do it or where she'd take it but it never failed to get me to smile or chuckle. Julia is unusual for a wolf and she has a few secrets. I adored that fact that the author had the heroine, when the time was right; communicating when things needed to be said to the person it needed to be said to. The author refused to fall into that old tired out ploy and rut of angst filled suspicions and mistrust. Sure some was there, it had to be but it was in a natural amount that I could accept and believe in. It wasn't the sole focus of the story or the conflict and I really appreciated that. I like Julia's sense of adventure, her stubbornness and her enthusiasm for all things Ian. Ian is the hero and, wow, did Ms. Spear create a man to drool over. He shoulders a lot of responsibility yet is fair and hard working. He also was like a laser, zeroed in on Julia and his pursuit was delicious and quite swoon inspiring. When she wasn't' driving him nuts, that is. Ms. Spear did a wonderful job of describing Ian in all his emotional states, from anger to lust, from wariness to ardent alpha - there was nothing about Ian that I didn't enjoy. And when growl came to bite, Ian was everything a woman needs in a man and more. Plus, a reader gets to enjoy some rollicking good descriptions of Highlanders and their kilted plaids. That pulled giggles from me as well as a few wishful sighs. What I didn't expect was the helpful cold in the tunnel. That was a really cool addition. Not to mention the fact that Ian and clan have been around for a long time and that presented some rather fascinating discussions and dialogue for readers to enjoy and ponder. And I have to wonder about his cousin. Can someone like Flynn ever have a happily ever after? Only readers will know why that is such a challenge. But if a man is judged by his actions it makes me wonder if Ms. Spear might have something up her sleeve for his character sometime in the future. Sure, Ian's brothers all rocked and were developed enough to get me curious about how'd they'd fair in future books. Ms. Spear seems to be good at hooking future readers with the personalities and quirks of her characters and I couldn't be happier. The secondary characters sure helped give the environment solid ground for the hero and heroine to work with. Maria is Julia's best friend and she's a hot ticket. I wonder who is going to ruffle her fur in the future. Read the Full Review at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOVE THE HIGHLAND WEREWOLVES!!! I also love the the subtle connection of this book with her historical highlander series. These books are addicting!
bookluvaSJ More than 1 year ago
OMG its only ONE DOLLAR!?!?!?! i came on here ready to buy it expecting it to be 10. I love Terry Spear and can't wait to finish reading this one! All of her characters are amazing and so well developed. Then those romance scenes are steamy ;)
Dorothy Turney-Stacy More than 1 year ago
Film production in the highland castle. Writer of wearwolf stories, 4 scottish brothers all wearwolfs ofcourse. Loved it.
bjm65 More than 1 year ago
A very enjoyable book. Its one of those (I want a man just like that books) Hot choc anf this read yep
vampiregirl76 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This latest installment in the werewolf series is one of my favorites, along with the first book Heart of the Wolf. There is always something fresh and exciting with each new book. I love shifter stories so I'm glad this series hasn't gotten old for me.Heart of the Highland Wolf was a tantalizing read. A story that had a wonderful blend of romance and suspense. Terry Spear's sexy alpha heroes and strong heroines make for one delicious recipe. With this book the hero is a highlander and the setting is in Scotland and for me that is like the cherry on top. One of the great things about this series is you don't necessarily have to read this series in order. If you love shifters you have to check out this series.
celticlady53 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Heart of the Highland Wolf is 7th in a series by Terry Spear about werewolves and the second one that I have read. The main character, Julia Wildthorn an author joining a movie company so she could research her next werewolf novel, also has a secret mission. Ian MacNeill, laird of Argent castle is quite reluctant to have this movie company anywhere near his castle. A very enjoyable and easy to read story. A romantic, sexy modern day tale that has men in kilts, a castle, violent wolf packs, lots of steamy sex scenes and a secret from centuries ago that changes the lives of Ian and Julia. I like paranormal stories that are written in a believable way. Fans of the paranormal, werewolf genre will want to add this book to their collection.
samantha.1020 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
From back of the book:"It's a matter of pride....Modern day werewolf laird Ian MacNeill reluctantly allows a film production company to use his castle, but he knows his secretive clan has a big problem when a beautiful red werewolf female who insists she's working on the film keeps showing up in the wrong places...And a matter of pleasure...Julia Wildthorn is not who she says she is-she's sneaking into Argent Castle to steal an ancient relic for her grandfather and to do research for her next werewolf romance novel. When she catches a glimpse of Ian, she realizes he's the perfect hero..."My Thoughts:A hunky highland werewolf, an old haunted castle filled with secret tunnels, and a romance writer with secrets of her own....this story had a great setup to it. Ian is the oldest of quadruplets and the leader of his werewolf pack. He has reluctantly allowed a movie production company to film at his castle in hopes to alleviate some of his money troubles. Enter Julia, a romance writer who writes about werewolves, and is a wolf herself. Julia has come to the castle pretending to part of the film crew but trouble follows her wherever she goes. She instantly catches the attention of Ian and the attraction between them instantly ignites. One of my favorite things about this book was the descriptions of Argent Castle. It had everything you would expect an old castle to have including trapdoors, hidden tunnels and passageways, and a ghost. It helped to create the perfect setting for this paranormal romance. I also liked the mystery aspect of the story as Julia is getting mysterious phone calls from someone that seems to know all of about her secret reasons for wanting to get in the castle. There were times that I couldn't put the book down as the author was great at creating a tense, suspenseful environment.That being said though, I really struggled with the romance between the two characters. Or more accurately, I needed Julia to have more of a backbone to her. There were times when her strength of character showed through but unfortunately it was far and few between. I also struggled a bit with the switching of viewpoints between characters at times. There were a couple of times where I was thrown off balance and had to go back and reread a bit. Overall though while I didn't love this book, I did like it and I plan on reading more by this author. I'm sure that there will be romance lovers who can't get enough of this one so I would recommend it but with a few hesitations.Disclosure: I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of this book for review from the lovely Danielle at Sourcebooks. My thanks!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Liked the storyline really well. Moved along at a good pace.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Delightful. Intriguing. Fun. Hard to put down. Dreamy highland men included.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The ending was a little trite though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book. Interesting plot. Not your typical werewolf romance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always enjoy reading books by this author
JenMcN8 More than 1 year ago
Highlanders & Werewolves, Oh My. This was my first Terry Spear book and it was awesome. Ian McNeill and his whole family have strong bonds that keep them together and safe. I love the fact that Julia is a Romance writer and that they have "steamy chemistry". I will definitely read many more in this series
msplmbrcss More than 1 year ago
I enjoy reading Terry spear,her whole werewolf series is great. Can't wait for the next one in the series.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the story
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My favorite author Terry Spear.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it
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