"Adorable and sexy! An exotic vacation and a feel-good chick flick rolled into one." - Tawna Fenske, USA Today bestselling author.
Aspiring blogger Janie Milan is finally on her dream trip to Thailand. But when an unfortunate piña colada incident lands her in the path of a hot Scotsman, Janie finds herself dying to find out what's under his kilt. Only the frustratingly sexy man isn't who he's pretending to be…
After cutting a deal to keep his brother safe, Scottish heartthrob Blaine Galloway is hiding from the press. But his secret identity starts to slip the second he meets small-town blogger, Janie. Now the press is hot on their heels and Blaine’s life is tumbling into a tabloid-sponsored hell. Coincidence? He’s not so sure.
About the Author
Michele was born in the mid 1970’s amid a burgeoning sprawl of vineyards and new retirement homes. With two teachers as parents, her love of reading and books was cemented at an early age. Being a writer however, was not was she was supposed to do when she ‘grew up’. Despite training in law (or perhaps because of it) she has been a dancer, producer, writer, and all round arty type in various countries for most of her life.
Moving into writing full time in 2010 was like being a part of a contemporary romance – perfect! Creating new worlds for her characters, or rather letting those same characters show her their worlds is now a highlight of Michele’s daily life. And falling in love over and over as each hero and heroine allow their true feelings to surface is something very special. What a treat to do it every day! Now back home in New Zealand after travelling extensively, Michele writes from an office where the sound of the tapping keyboard is only rivalled by the whisper of wind in the trees.
Being a writer was not what Michele De Winton was supposed to be when she ‘grew up’. But then neither was being a dancer! It’s no wonder a little sparkle of the stage is often in her work. Living in in New Zealand with her husband and two small boys after traveling aplenty, she writes from an office where the sound of the tapping keyboard is the only distraction. Okay, that’s a lie. Those boys are noisy, and busy, and into everything, but then, what boys ain't She finds wine very useful for tempering reality, and chocolate helps too, especially when it’s mixed with alcohol.
Michele likes her heroines smart and sassy. Girls can do anything right? But the heroes have to be a match as well, so you can count on men who know just how to make a woman melt. And she always kisses and tells. Come distract her on Twitter or Facebook.
Read an Excerpt
Her Scottish Mistake
A Leaving Little Acre Romantic Comedy
By Michele de Winton, Alethea Spiridon
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2017 Michele de Winton
All rights reserved.
You're safe. Hamish is safe. Chill out, man.
Blaine Galloway lay back on his deck chair and scanned the pool, trying not to be obvious about it. Nine thousand miles. Those three little words were enough to drop his shoulders and have him reaching for a beer. He'd made it. To Thailand. Far enough away from the British press for him to relax. Finally.
No one had followed him and no one on this side of the world knew, or cared, who he was.
He took a deep pull on the chilled beer and let the sunlight ease his shoulders. He and his brother had done some dumb stuff when they were young, but dressing up in a superhero cape and mask and going on a gambling spree was a stupid thing to do. Even for Hamish. Not being able to pay his gambling debt was worse though, and now Blaine was having to wear the consequences like a badly fitting kilt. Blaine took another pull on his beer and tried not to frown. The price of getting Hamish out of debt this time? Making the loan shark's sister famous.
The deal was supposed to be simple: Stephanie Johns got the attention of being "engaged" to a Scottish TV personality for six months; Blaine's brother Hamish kept all his fingers. Happily Stephanie had a knack for attracting paparazzi, and Blaine grimaced thinking about how she would be poring over the weekend tabloids right now, checking whether her butt looked Kardashian enough from various angles. Blaine didn't know how she did it. He'd had some press attention when he'd started out, sure, but with her on his arm, the press had decided he was front-page material. Either that or they could smell the bollocks and wanted to be there when the whole thing turned into a fetid pile of burned haggis.
Trouble was, the media attention was doing Blaine's head in, and it wasn't helping his attempts to be taken seriously as more than TV man candy. Thank goodness Stephanie had bought his agent's idea of this "retreat." It meant she could milk the press on her own for a bit, play up the abandoned-sweetheart angle.
When he got back to Scotland, Blaine's six months of living the lie would almost be over and he could move the hell on from pretending he was happy about being seen with someone whose biggest talent seemed to be wearing bad shoes and having the world's worst lip implants.
Blaine sighed again and took another long gulp of his beer. In front of him, an infinity pool stretched, leading his eyes out to the ocean, a sweet-looking temptress ready for him to explore. Much more like it. Damn sight different from his usual view out the window back in Edinburgh, that was for sure. In fact, the view here looked just like the pictures in the National Geographic he'd hidden behind on the plane.
Blaine smirked. Okay, not quite. At no time was there ever a picture of a monkey doing that to a coconut. Was he really going to try to fit that in ... yep, yep he was. He snorted as the monkey, partway up a casuarina tree, failed at coconut copulation and half fell, half leaped his way through the branches, dropping the coconut onto the beach. A local yelled, and Blaine chuckled again. He shouldn't have; a coconut landing on your head could be deadly, but if whoever had been hit with that one knew where it had been ...
He drained the rest of his beer, then closed his eyes, and slid his sunglasses off. This he could cope with. This was the best idea his agent had had in a lifetime. Get away for a bit, he'd said. Smooth your kilt down so no one else sees your lily-colored arse. Blaine practically felt the oxygen coat his lungs as he took a deep, happy breath. Wait it out. He could do that. The press would find something else to talk about rather than his fake engagement to Stephanie Crazy-Lips if he wasn't there to provide them stupid headlines that they ate up like mince on toast. The "all publicity is good publicity" didn't count when the woman on your arm had a family who were a might too handy with switchblades.
Jesus, he'd bailed his brother out of some scrapes before, but this one took the cake. Thank goodness he'd been on a break from shooting The Highlander's Cure, or his career would have been toast along with his reputation. And messing up his career was something he wasn't willing to do, not even for his baby brother. This was his year. Or it would be once he got Fake-Lips off his arm and the tabloid press off his doorstep. Next stage for his career was going to be Hollywood, but his agent had warned him that too much of the sort of press Stephanie attracted would pigeonhole him as a career soap opera star, not a leading man, and that was not going to happen. Not to Blaine Galloway. He wasn't going to have anything else in his life, no wife, no kids. So his career was going to be it. Nothing slowing him down, nothing standing in his way.
Right, time for another beer. He opened his eyes and was momentarily blinded by the bright sunlight, and when he stood, there was something in the way. Something warm, and soft, and very, very wet. "Och, shite. What the hell?"
"Oh Lordy. Oh jeez, I'm so sorry." Through the blur of bright sun, a short woman with golden hair that damn near looked like a halo dabbed at the mess her cocktail had made on his shirt but only managed to pour more of the sticky coconut cocktail over him.
"Whoa, enough with the touchy-feely, lass." She was sunshine on a stick, and he was not going to touch her. Blaine put his hands up to keep them from reaching for her waist and shifting her bodily out of his personal space. He was never going to touch a woman again. Seriously. No touching, no kissing. Stephanie had made sure he agreed to a zero infidelity clause as part of their six-month agreement and it seemed like a good philosophy to stick to. Heck, he'd go with not talking to a woman if he could manage it, but he knew himself too well for that. Show him a pretty woman, and the lines came out of his mouth whether he wanted them to or not.
"I'm just — Look, it's dripping worse than my pop's tractor." The woman scanned the area for a napkin and then used the tiny cardboard coaster his beer had sat on to scrape ineffectually at the mess.
Blaine took a step back. "I think you should stop that. Now, lass."
"Right. Yes. Probably. Jeez, sorry." She grimaced, still focused on the shirt that had now molded to his chest.
He looked at her properly and saw golden eyes framed by honey-colored hair that really did flow down her back like some sort of Disney meme. The eyes were as soft as the body he'd crashed into. Eyes a man could fall into. Good one. Thoughts like that were what made you weak, like Hamish.
"My hotel room's through here." She pointed. "Like, just there. Let me clean you up some. I have tissues, and cloths and towels and, here, let me show you." She fumbled the key card out of the book she was holding, then proffered it like a sword.
"Thanks and everything, but it seems a bit weird you wanting to rush me back to your room, lass. You could be anyone." He tried for humor, but it went wonky.
She raised an eyebrow and instantly looked more demure. Huh. "Sure I could. But it's not like I'm about to mug you. I mean look at me, and look at you."
He did. He looked at her too long, and those golden eyes didn't budge from his. It was harder than he expected to drag his gaze away from hers. "Okay. So you might not be a mugger," he said. Her five-foot-not-much frame, coated in only a flimsy pale pink beach dress, wasn't going to be up to much against his six-foot-two Highlander build.
She snorted. "Bless your heart. I'm about as close to a mugger as this place is to Texas."
"But nonetheless ..."
Her face flattened, the humor disappearing, and he missed the sparkle immediately. "I guess you have your own room to go to. Sorry."
He frowned. "Actually, housekeeping are still cleaning mine."
"Well then." It was only a half smile, but the stretch of her mouth opened her face up. Made her eyes sparkle even more. "What? You're still scared of me?" she asked. "Or is it something else?" She tipped her head to the side and put a finger to her lips. Moist, full lips. Stop it. "Perhaps you're scared I might hypnotize you and make you spill your darkest secrets and bury you in a beet field."
That did it. Gorgeous eyes or not, he needed to be careful who he talked to, even here. She must have sensed the shift. "Wait, do you have deep dark secrets to spill? Oooh, now I am interested. Did I spill my drink on someone famous? Perhaps Tina will know who you are." She turned, apparently to call over to the woman on the other side of the pool.
"Wait. It's okay. Thanks for the offer of a towel. Sorry for acting all cagey." Standing around dripping and acting like an arse was hardly keeping a low profile. "I'm sure you're just trying to help me out."
Sticking out her hand, the woman squared her shoulders. "I am. I'm the woman who messed up your shirt and wants to make it right. Janie. Janie Milan. From Little Acre, Texas. I have three brothers and a dog called Boston."
* * *
Him? You had to spill a drink on the hottest hottentotty in the place?
Janie looked the guy dead in the eyes again and boom, her ovaries practically melted. The way those blue eyes looked at her? Lethal. The light shifted, and through the lust haze clouding her vision like fog, she changed her mind. They weren't blue eyes. They were some sort of crazy, ocean full of sequins with blue curaçao punch mixed together eyes. And were they sparkling? Hells yes they were. It took everything she had not to melt into a blubbering mess, but she'd promised herself she wasn't going to do that ever again, so she straightened. She could talk to men. She would talk to men. That was part of what she came here for.
"Boston, cute name. Not very Texan, but cute. What sort of dog is he?"
Gawd, that accent. What was it, Scottish? Did someone forget to tell McDashing that this was Thailand and not the set of Outlander? "A stupid one," she said, keeping her voice as steady as she could as she waited for the lust fog to lift. "Likes to chase mice down holes down at the tractor sheds and gets stuck with his ass waving in the air all the time."
He chuckled, and those eyes were sparkling and they were looking at her like she was supposed to say something more. Like she should do something. Hell, those eyes almost wrapped her up and took her to bed. Girlfriend, you need to sit down a second. Guy could be a serial killer and you're lust-whoring after his eyes and insisting he come to your room? Since when do you do that? Janie gave herself a little shake. She'd clearly only just gotten out of Little Acre in time before she lost all sense of reason. Putting a hand to her stomach, she tried to still what felt like a giant herd of Thai elephants rather than butterflies trampling through her intestines. What the heck was that? There were no feels to be felt here. She blinked hard to try and focus, and the lust fog finally lifted.
"Boston is a mongrel. Floppy thing, a bit like Ryan Gosling's mutt. Not that you care about Ryan Gosling enough to know what his dog looks like. Or even know who Ryan Gosling is. Still, Boston's mine and despite his stupidity I love him to bits. Saved him from getting himself shot." Janie made herself shut up. Oversharing much? "Anyway. I'm Janie. My room is over there, I'm as normal as a steering wheel on a tractor, and you're still dripping." She pointed to his shirt.
He looked down and sighed. "So I am." He unbuttoned the first couple of buttons and pulled the shirt over his head to reveal an intricate tattoo that took up most of his left chest and shoulder. And also ... Holy six-pack of heaven. Her fingers itched to touch it, to smooth the dampness away. The elephants in her stomach trumpeted their agreement.
Then he put his hand in his shorts pocket. "Och, damn and bollocks."
"What?" Janie managed to get the words out past the saliva. Heck, at least she wasn't openly drooling.
"My cell. It's got your cocktail on it." He looked at her again. "So you're really American? From deepest, darkest Texas?"
"I wouldn't know about dark. But yes, Little Acre is about as far from anything as you can possibly get." She sighed. "And if the accent didn't give it away, I'm not sure what else will. I'm not about to sing 'The Star-Spangled Banner.' I don't sing. Ever." Janie bit her lip. Getting your snark on at the same time as swooning over him? Emotional overload much?
He either didn't notice her snark or didn't care. "Right then. Lead the way, Miss Janie. Like I said, my room isn't ready yet, and my bags got 'misplaced' on the way here. I could use a cloth or something to dry my phone if nothing else."
They stood there, and Janie realized she was supposed to be leading the way. She turned before she said anything else stupid or actually drooled on his bare chest, and then she waved over at her new friend Tina on the other side of the pool, whose eyes were practically falling out of her head, and set off to her room.
"Not bad. You didn't want an ocean view?"
"I couldn't afford one." Janie looked around the room and yanked a pair of panties off the back of the chair where she'd been drying them.
He stood there. Again. And she waited for him to say something else. He cleared his throat. "You were going to get me something to clean my phone? And my shorts?"
"Oh, yes, right, of course." She rushed over to the kitchenette, pulled a dishcloth out of the cupboard, and ran it under the tap to get it damp. Handing it to him, she avoided looking at his chest, but that only meant she ended up looking at his tattoo, then his six-pack. Look away if you want to maintain your capacity for speech, stupid. She looked at the painting on the wall behind him. He didn't seem to be mopping his phone.
She looked up and saw his raised eyebrow and ... her panties in his hand! "Oh my jezzzzus, give them here." She grabbed at her underwear and thrust the damp dishcloth at him. Thank goodness they were a pair of her black cotton lace ones rather than the faded gray briefs she wore to work.
He dabbed at his shorts and she couldn't bear it. "Why don't you grab a robe from the bathroom, and I'll see if I can get the stain out. You can sort out your phone." She pointed to the bathroom, a clean halo of white tiles visible through the doorway.
"Sounds grand. If you don't mind."
Mind? She gulped, thinking of him undressing in her bathroom then standing around in nothing but a robe. Nothing? Okay, so he probably had boxers on under those shorts, but still, almost nothing.
Once he left, Janie sat heavily on the chair where her panties had been only minutes before. What the heck was wrong with her? Freaking out over some guy within two seconds of meeting him? Okay, he was a guy who had sparkletastic eyes, washboard abs, a nutcracker jaw, chocolate hair, and a ridiculous, kill-me-now, I-need-your-babies accent. He was so far removed from the hopeless man-child examples of masculinity left in Little Acre, it didn't seem like they could be from the same species. She got up and ran the tap in the small kitchenette to try to get the fast-congealing cocktail out of his pants.
"You don't even know his name," she muttered to herself.
"True," came the superhot accent from behind her. Oh man, the elephants stomped again, and for a moment she let her imagination put him behind her, his breath tickling the hairs on her neck. Then she shook the image away.
"It's ..." He paused, and she turned, then wished she hadn't; it was much easier to concentrate when she wasn't looking at him.
"Bevan," he said. "Bevan MacGreggor."
"Well, Bevan," she managed, "I hope you have better luck with your phone, because these shorts are ruined. I don't know what they-all put in their piña coladas, but it stains like a bitch."
Bevan threw his head back and laughed, and Janie looked up in shock. Men didn't usually laugh at her jokes. Rather than killing her softly with his smile, his laugh lit him up and made him somehow more human. Gorgeous, sure, but easier to look at, not harder.
"At least we're in Thailand," he said and took them from her. "I'll get a new pair. Appreciate you trying to help out."
"It's what we do in my family," she said. "Helping is obligatory. My pop raised me good."
McDashing smiled. "Sounds like you have a great family."
"They have their moments," she said, thinking of the time she convinced her brothers to hide a dead fish in her ex's hubcap.
McDashing just stood in the middle of her room, taking up all the oxygen, making her brain practically short-circuit, and Janie wasn't quite sure what she was supposed to do next. "Um, so, yeah, are you sure you want to go yet? Do you, I don't know, want a tea or something? Is that what you drink? Tea?"
Excerpted from Her Scottish Mistake by Michele de Winton, Alethea Spiridon. Copyright © 2017 Michele de Winton. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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