Once Upon a Highland Christmas

Once Upon a Highland Christmas

by Sue-Ellen Welfonder

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Once Upon a Highland Christmas by Sue-Ellen Welfonder

"Few writers can bring history to life like Sue-Ellen Welfonder! For anyone who loves historical fiction, the books in the Highland Warriors trilogy are a true treasure." -- Heather Graham, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author


Warrior Grim Mackintosh understands why his friend Archibald MacNab has decreed there be no trace of Christmas in his castle. After a devastating attack destroyed everything-and everyone-in Archie's life, he prefers to stew in his own misery until the holiday passes. But Duncreag has seen enough tragedy. Grim decides to throw a grand Yuletide feast, one that the bards will sing about for years to come, one that will remind his laird how beloved he is. He can't do it alone, though. Grim needs an accomplice . . .

There's nothing Breena O'Doherty won't do for Archie, so she's thrilled to help Grim with his plan. Yet she has a Christmas wish all her own-to win Grim's heart-and this might be her only chance to make it come true. As Breena and Grim work together to bring the joy of the season to the cold, gloomy castle and to the heart of the cantankerous chieftain, an undeniable passion ignites between them. But when a shocking secret about Breena's past comes to light, threatening everything she holds dear, will it ruin Christmas in Duncreag forevermore?

(35,000 words)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455527120
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 12/03/2013
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 100
Sales rank: 106,735
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Sue-Ellen Welfonder is a Scotophile whose burning wish to make frequent trips to the land of her dreams led her to a twenty-year career with the airlines.

Now a full-time writer, she's quick to admit that she much prefers wielding a pen to pushing tea and coffee. She makes annual visits to Scotland, insisting they are a necessity, as each trip gives her inspiration for new books.

Proud of her own Hebridean ancestry, she belongs to two clan societies: the MacFie Clan Society and the Clan MacAlpine Society. In addition to Scotland, her greatest passions are medieval history, the paranormal, and dogs. She never watches television, loves haggis, and writes at a 450-year-old desk that once stood in a Bavarian castle.

Sue-Ellen is married and currently resides with her husband and Jack Russell terrier in Florida.

Learn more at:
Twitter, @se_welfonder.

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Once Upon a Highland Christmas 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
NavyWave62 More than 1 year ago
QUICK READ! There is a sweet love story, passionate lovemaking (within marriage), not vulgar, mildly descriptive. I was disappointed in one part of the story, it centered on Archie not wanting to celebrate Christmas. Not wanting to give too much away, I would have liked to experienced Archie's while it happened (when they returned), not after the fact, sort of anticlimactic. There is no action in this story, it does have a surprise ending, I didn't see. There is an Epilogue, but only a few hours in the future, THAT ISN'T AN EPILOGUE!!!!! The last 1/4 of the book is about other books, so know this is a Novella. I did not go into the storyline, as other's have done that, just enough to let you know what you are getting. The love story between our H/h is sweet though. (ljb)
arlenadean More than 1 year ago
Title: Once Upon a Highland Christmas Author: Sue-Ellen Welfonder Reviewed By: Arlena Dean Rating: 5 Genre: Historical Romance, Holiday-Christmas, Series: Scandalous 0.5 Review: "Once Upon a Highland Christmas by Sue-Ellen Welfonder was a very sweet 'Scottish Historical Romance novella' which was the first book in this 'Scandalous Scots series. This was the story of Breena O'Doherty and Grim Mackintosh during the season of Christmas. Ms. Welfonder gives the readers a quick and fast paced read that once you start reading it will be hard to put it down until the end. We find this story is all about helping a friend Archibald MacNab bring happiness back to 'Duncreaq castle.' This is when Grim and Breena teamed up to bring back this festive atmosphere...by doing something magical. However, who knew that for Breena and Grim would be the ones who finds such passion as they are able to find a 'true friendship' of love for each other. The characters are all so very well developed, colorful as well as likable with Grim being such a 'kindhearted person and Breena a beautiful 'Irish lady.' This author did a wonderful job with her descriptions of the surrounding of the said areas making it seem as if you were there. If you like Christmas romances that is full of romance and a sexy 'Highlander' you have come to the right place for "Once Upon a Highland Christmas' would be the read for you. Truly Grim and Breena bring back Christmas to the Duncreaq castle with a little help of the 'mistletoe.' Would I recommend? Yes!
AVoraciousReadr More than 1 year ago
*Book source ~ NetGalley When Archibald MacNab decrees there will be no Christmas at Duncreag, Captain of the Guard Grim Mackintosh and once-captive-now-free Breena O’Doherty try to change his mind. But the old laird is stubborn as a mule, so Grim comes up with another plan, one he needs Breena’s help implementing. Breena has a plan of her own and she hopes Grim will be receptive. It is the time of Christmas miracles, after all. This is such a sweet historical romance. And it’s a Christmas one, too! Grim and Breena are just adorable. They like each other, but they each think the other isn’t interested. This type of plot device can be kinda hokey if not done skillfully, but here it works. I could have done without the surprise twist towards the end. It made me roll my eyes. But the rest of it is a great read.
dana_lass More than 1 year ago
Sue-Ellen has won my heart all over again. Even tho I read this book out of order the reading was still as sweet. A physically hardened warrior who thinks he is no' good enough for the likes of a beautiful Irish lass has a time showing her the possabilities of not only some wonderfully visited Scottish Christmas traditions but their chance at love as well. Two thumbs up for the imagery and a warm romance as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im not sure what to say.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Doodlebug4444 More than 1 year ago
4 out of 5 for this reader folks! WOW .. that was a whole lot of story in a novella.   Once Upon a Highland Christmas by Sue-Ellen Welfonder is the prequel to her Scandalous Scots series.  Really ... she had me at Scandalous Scots.  LOL  A joyous read that made my heart warm and sprinkled a great dose of Christmas Cheer! :) Breena O'Doherty is our Irish heroine who lives in Duncreag Castle under circumstances that she had accepted a long time ago.  Her laird Archie, has lost his wife a few years ago and with that loss went the loss of anything full of joy and happiness.  Once the Christmas place to be, Duncreag no longer hangs holly, mistletoe, candies fruit, sings and gets a little silly due to over indulgence of honey mead.  Duncreag is a sad place now, especially during the holiday season. Grim Mackintosh a loyal warrior of Duncreag has had enough of a sad castle.  Especially is this castle has Brenna living in it.  Both Brenna and Grim have been in love with each other for a long time, but feared the other would reject them.  After a chance passionate embrace, Grim decides it's time to claim the woman he loves.  He decides to visit surrounding castles with Brenna in tow to convince fellows Scots to bring the joy to Duncreag and cheer Archie up once and for all. As the joy is being spread, a secret surfaces that threatens Brenna and Grims new love.  Will the Christmas magic protect them?? A short, full of love and smexy scenes, it is so easy to love Brenna and Grim.  I appreciated the old bahhumbug Archie who was totally channelling Scrooge, but we all know that even Scrooge gets his HEA! ;) MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY READING!
LindaTownsend More than 1 year ago
Sue-Ellen writes wonderful Highland romances and this one is overflowing with Christmas cheer!                                                                                              I totally loved her characters: Grim, our hero, a fierce kind-hearted warrior, and Breena, our heroine, a beautiful Irish lady. The story begins as Archie, Duncreag castle's clan chief, is miserable and he doesn't want any Christmas cheer. Sadly, Archie MacNab has decreed that Christmas spirit at Duncreag castle will not be tolerated this year.  However, Grim and Breena have other ideas! As they endeavor to put the spirit of Christmas back in Duncreag castle, they discover magic together. I inhaled this story in one day.  If you want to be in a Christmas mood, just let yourself be enchanted by this sweet Scottish romance. You won’t be disappointed. VERY GOOD! 4 1/2 stars! 
stanhope3234 More than 1 year ago
This was a sweet but at times slow historical Christmas romance. The main characters Grim and Brenda had very good chemistry and I liked their characters a lot and there was really good secondary characters as well. I'm a huge fan of historical highlander romance and I really wanted to love this book but as I said before it was to slow for my taste. To much inner thoughts of the two main characters.
RhondaRFK More than 1 year ago
Another winner, as it can only be, from this great author! This novella includes everything Christmas and within the great spirit of Christmas. Overcoming, with help from those who cares, the missing and loss of a loved one, strength, love, friendship, sharing, caring, even enemies coming together to overcome, hope, dreams, romance, lust, yule logs, mistletoes, and miracles, or so it seems. Giving hope where everything is not really as it appears this book is a curl up by the fire with a warm seasonal drink and read from start to finish. But get comfortable because you will not want to put it down until the last word is read. You then will simply sigh, close your eyes, lean your head back and smile while wishing it was longer. Two people from different classes of life, who both have struggled to rise above past horrors and disappointments, begin a journey under pretense to help a laird they both love find peace and happiness. They find friendship, joy, and love between themselves. They begin the journey thinking more of helping one in need and end up with great happiness. The heroine is a strong lady kidnapped years ago from her own clan and now living among a clan that rescued her from the kidnappers and treats her as one of their own. Her entire family was destroyed during the raid and she has no home to return to. The hero is a busty highlander whose confidence level is high as long as a battle is involved, but not so great when a lady is involved. Who in their right mind would want a scarred rustic highlander, especially a beautiful lady with tragic memories. The two begin a journey with the goal of helping their laird find some happiness within the season. Their home in the past at this time of year was filled with joy, fun, peace, and the spirit of a highland Christmas. It is now filled with sadness and loss and a wish that the season would just disappear. A decorated hall that used to be filled to the walls at this time of year was now an empty space filled with grouchy humbug sadness, even to the point of sneaking around at night and dismantling any decoration fixed there during the day. This great novella even delivers, as the great spirit of a highland Christmas should, a miracle of all things, which helps bring happiness where it is deserved. “……Warrior Grim Mackintosh understands why his friend Archibald MacNab has decreed there be no trace of Christmas in his castle. After a devastating attack destroyed everything-and everyone-in Archie's life, he prefers to stew in his own misery until the holiday passes. But Duncreag has seen enough tragedy. Grim decides to throw a grand Yuletide feast, one that the bards will sing about for years to come, one that will remind his laird how beloved he is. He can't do it alone, though. Grim needs an accomplice . . . There's nothing Breena O'Doherty won't do for Archie, so she's thrilled to help Grim with his plan. Yet she has a Christmas wish all her own-to win Grim's heart-and this might be her only chance to make it come true. As Breena and Grim work together to bring the joy of the season to the cold, gloomy castle and to the heart of the cantankerous chieftain, an undeniable passion ignites between them. But when a shocking secret about Breena's past comes to light, threatening everything she holds dear, will it ruin Christmas in Duncreag forevermore?.....” Sue-Ellen Welfonder is an author who delivers throughout the book. Through her writing the reader can close their eyes and be transported to a different place and time and actually feel the space, characters, and landscape while becoming a part of the story. Not every author has this ability. This is one book I highly recommend!!!! You will not be disappointed. The book holds enough passion, magic, and adventure you will want to read it any time during the year!
WorldsCollide More than 1 year ago
A sweet historical romance read about two people totally in love but unable to admit it. Once Upon a Highland Christmas was a lovely novella. I really enjoyed reading it. Both of the main characters were great. Breena was a very kind type of character. One that you can't help but like because she's just so nice. But, she also had her own brand of strength. She wouldn't let anyone stop her from getting what she wanted. I really liked her. I thought she was great. Grim was also wonderful. He was really sweet and determined to win over the woman he loved. I thought he was adorable. The romance was sweet. Both Breena and Grim were insecure about themselves and that kept them from admitting their feelings early on. Breena worried that a noble knight wouldn’t want a commoner, while Grim worried that a dainty lady, as he insisted on seeing her despite her protests of not being a lady, wouldn’t want such a huge, rough man. It made me want to whack them both upside the head, but they got over it. I thought they were lovely together. The plot was okay. It was a little slow, but I was still kept interested the entire way through. I really enjoyed the sweet story and the ending was wonderful. Once Upon a Highland Christmas was a lovely historical romance novella. I really enjoyed reading it. Lovers of romance, if you want a sweet holiday read, then you should check this book out.  *I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
Can one ever get enough of Holiday Romance? Add one big and brawny Highlander, a beautiful and strong Irish woman and mix with the magic and miracles of the season and the Scottish Highlands and out comes Sue-Ellen Welfonder’s Once Upon a Highland Christmas! Sprinkle liberally with romantic spice, lust, hopes and of course, dreams, sit back and enjoy, calorie free bliss. The fierce warrior longs for the Irish beauty, but feel unworthy of someone so delicate looking. The Irish woman longs for the attentions of the warrior, but feels unworthy of someone of his station. One kiss under the mistletoe and slowly the walls between them come inching down. How will others look upon their union? She is only a commoner, he is a man who could have a titled woman, or is there more to this story? Will the season bring about more than just the miracle of their love? Sue-Ellen Welfonder loves all things Scottish and it shows with her attention to detail and her ability to build a world that feels real. With dialogue filled with the flavor of the Scots, but not so overpowering as to detract from the story, this delightful character-driven romance is a light and quick read that fits perfectly with the season! For lovers of historical romance and those who love to sneak one in every once in a while, this is the time of year to overindulge, guilt-free and Once Upon a Highland Christmas is just sweet enough to savor, warm enough to curl up with and naughty enough to melt the chills away! I received a copy from Forever(Grand Central Publishing)in exchange for my honest review.
MedievalLady More than 1 year ago
Scottish Highlands - Winter 1398 Duncreag, home of the MacNabs. The clan had been brought low by a bunch of rogue warriors who were looking for gold they thought hidden at Duncreag. A clan who once boasted the best celebrations were now at an all time low and it became known that no Yuletide celebrations would be held. Archibald had called them off. Everyone was unhappy but quiet about it except for Grim and Breena. They were determined to bring Duncreag, and the clan, back to life. Breena was taken captive when her entire family and village in Ireland were killed by the rogue warriors who then took her to Scotland with them with plans on selling her as a slave. When the warriors had been beaten, Archie took her in as seneschal and treated her as a daughter. She is in love with Grim and has been from the beginning. Grim, Duncreag's captain of the guard, is a huge, fierce warrior with a big heart and a weakness for animals, always watching out for the weaker ones making sure they are comfortable. He is a master at wielding his war ax and he wears beard rings made from the steel off the swords of conquered foes. It's his way of honoring the brave dead. Breena is trying to decorate the castle with Yuletide greenery against Archie's wishes and the decorations keep disappearing. They suspect Archie of snatching them away. Grim takes advantage of some mistletoe and kisses Breena under it while getting caught by Archie. Many men have tried to catch her eye but she tells them all her heart is taken by another. Grim thinks it's someone in Ireland. It bothers him why this one woman makes him feel this way over a simple kiss. He wants her badly but how can he win a heart that's given elsewhere? Breena, meanwhile, feels she isn't worthy of him and his status. Grim is always calling her "Lady Breena" and she keeps telling him she's no lady! He has a plan to bring Yuletide to the castle and tells Breena that in order for it to work, she has to make a journey with him. Archie does not like this one bit but they go anyway. They set off toward Greer MacGregor's castle who is an enemy of Archie. They plan on making stops along the way gathering people to go to Duncreag for the Yuletide. They travel as a betrothed couple and Grim decides he wants it to become reality and he asks Breena to handfast with him. "I have wanted Breena since I first set eyes upon her," he admitted, the truth putting wings to his heart, freeing his soul. "Ne're have I loved a woman more. Indeed, I ne're even believed in love. Leastways, no' for me." Later that night, they wed by the old ways.... speaking their heart to each other and promising forever to each other. Soon they would be wed by a priest so no one could question their marriage. They arrive back at the castle to find it full to bursting with everyone celebrating Christmastide. Archie and Greer are bantering back and forth. Breena sees her Uncle Dermot in the crowd and can't believe her eyes. She thought all of her family had been killed in the raid. She soon finds that his appearance has a meaning that will change her life forever. Secrets will be revealed and promises made. A wonderful story smack full of Yuletide feeling. I loved visiting with old friends whom I've missed and was thrilled to see love abounding everywhere including places that it's been a long time coming! Grim is special to me. I was thrilled to see him find his Happily Ever After and wouldn't be surprised if I ever found myself out in the mist one day squinting my eyes and seeing him through the thin barrier between here and there. :) As always, Sue-Ellen has taken me into another time and place and set me firmly down. You just cannot go wrong when you pick up one of her stories! ARC received from Netgalley for an honest review. I also received a copy from the author for an honest review.
Mirabelle8 More than 1 year ago
Heartwarming & captivating Scottish romance 5 stars I absolutely love all Scottish romances and I had to read “Once Upon a Highland Christmas” written by Sue-Ellen Welfonder. This novella was special for me, because I visited the Highlands last June! This author is a very descriptive writer, so much, that I could feel the surroundings. I adored her characters, Grim, a fierce warrior but also a kindhearted man and Breena, a beautiful Irish lady! If you want to be in a Christmas mood, just let yourself get pulled into this Scottish story, you won’t be disappointed. It all started, when Archie MacNab, decided that he did not want a festive atmosphere at Duncreag castle, although his castle was renowned to welcome guests on special occasions, but this year, nothing would be done. Until, two of his friends decided otherwise and then the fun began! Grim and Breena teamed up together but something magical happened…sparks started to flare and ignited a passion between the two. Beautiful sensual chemistry between the two! Ms. Welfonder is an author of Scottish romance full of tenderness and passion. I devoured this very well written novella so much that I read it in an evening. I really had a hard time putting it down because I wanted to know what was coming next. This is the first book in the Scandalous Scots series and I will definitely be reading more books by this author. I highly recommend this Scottish historical romance to be released on December 1st! I will surely watch her next one titled “To Love a Highlander” to be released in 2014. I just want to mention that I read the first chapter and soon got again captivated by this one too.
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
ONCE UPON A HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS by Sue-Ellen Welfonder is an exciting Scottish Historical Romance novella. This is Breena O’Doherty and Grim Mackintosh and the power of the Christmas holiday. Written with Ms. Welfonder’s usual finesse and love of Scottish lore, and history. A fast paced, quick read. Grim and Breena have a plan to help Grim’s friend Archibald MacNab bring Christmas spirit back to Duncreaq. What they find is passion,the meaning of true friendship, the Christmas spirit and love. Ms. Welfonder never disappoints her readers and “Once Upon a Highland Christmas” was no exception. If you enjoy holiday reads, the Highland spirit, and a great read,than pick up this title you will not be disappointed in your choice of reading material. I can hardly wait for the rest of the story…..Received for an honest review from the author and/or publisher. RATING: 4.5 HEAT RATING: MILD REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More