Return of the Highlander

Return of the Highlander

by Sara Mackenzie

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What is this world he has awoken into—where metal "monsters" roar down smooth stone paths and people parade in unfamiliar costumes? Where is the home that once stood on this pile of ancient rubble? And who is this woman who sees him when no one else can . . . and who stirs the fire in his soul?

Her research into the legend of a notorious 18th-century Highland chieftan has brought Arabella Ryan to Scotland's storm-swept Loch Fasail. And now the Black Maclean himself has invaded her dreams. The sensuous caress of her mysterious "ghost lover" is no mere fantasy, lifting Bella to heights of ecstasy she never imagined existed. But fate has a reason for bringing them together across the centuries—a perilous mission that could change history as it tests the power of their desire and their love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060795405
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/25/2006
Series: Immortal Warriors Series , #1
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

About the Author

Sara Mackenzie has long had an interest in the paranormal, and it seems appropriate that she should live in an old house with a resident ghost. When she's not writing she spends time reading or watching movies and trying to keep up with the housework. She also pens historical romance for Avon Books as Sara Bennett.

Read an Excerpt

Return of the Highlander

By Sara Mackenzie

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Sara Mackenzie
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060795409

Chapter One

Late Summer
Drumaird Cottage
Present day

"I'm waiting for Maclean."

Bella was dreaming. She knew she was dreaming, but it seemed so real. She was standing in the ruins of Castle Drumaird and there was someone with her, an old, old woman with a green plaid or arisaid wrapped over her white hair, her skull-like face peeping out. It was a hag, a creature common in Scottish myth and folklore. Bella had dreamed about her before, but she had always been on the fringes of the dream, a distant figure who watched but did not speak. This time she was center stage.

"He's been away for two hundred and fifty years, and now he's almost home. At last this day is come."

The hag leaned closer and Bella flinched. This was definitely no living creature, despite the rasp of her sour breath. No woman could neglect her skin care quite this badly.

"With him comes danger for us all, but redemption, too, if he is brave and lucky. Aye, he is coming." Her voice grew sly. "Braw, handsome Maclean. Soon, soon. . . ."

Bella was waking up.

But the hag's face was pressed up against hers and would not go away. "You must beware, Arabella Ryan," it whispered.

"Of Maclean?"

The hag breathed a laugh. "Och, no, but there is danger. The door has beenbreached and she doesno' know it yet."

"She? Who are you talking about?"

"She! The Fiosaiche. The door has been breached and the creatures of the between-worlds can come through. You must beware especially of the each-uisge, the water-horse. It will harm ye if it can."

Bella's eyes opened and she groaned. What a weird dream. Her dreams had been particularly vivid lately, but this one hadn't really seemed like a dream at all.

He is coming. . . .

Bella shuddered. She eased her toes onto the floor by her bed and whimpered. It was cold. Make that freezing. The Highland version of central heating had failed to come on again.

Moving quickly, she snatched up her sweater and pulled it over her head, wincing when her long dark hair became tangled. She slipped on her red woolen coat, and wrapped it around her, ignoring the way it stretched over her rounded hips and large boobs. She wasn't a small girl and never had been. Bella was voluptuous, a look that was very much out of fashion these days, but she had been born this way and usually it didn't bother her. Except that, recently, she had begun to feel more self-conscious about her size than ever before.

Brian's doing.

There were warm socks on the chair and she pulled those on, too, and then her sweatpants. Better, but it was still icy. Her breath was forming her own personal cloud in front of her as she made her way down the narrow, creaking stairs and into the kitchen.

At least the fire in the Aga was still alive and well. It had taken months of her landlord's patient instruction, but Bella felt as if she had finally mastered the difficulties of getting peat to burn properly.

Bella reached out her hands and felt the warmth. She sighed and drew a chair up close, enjoying the sensation of thawing out. Much better.

Except that now the worries that had kept her awake most of the night returned. First in line was: Where is Brian? They'd argued last night and he had walked out and he hadn't come back. At first she thought he was sulking at the local pub -- but the local pub was in Ardloch, a two-hour trip on winding roads through the hills. Or he had gone over to Gregor's place -- their landlord had a farm on the road to Ardloch and kept his sheep on the moorland around Loch Fasail -- but Gregor and Brian didn't get on that well. Then she thought he might have gone back to Edinburgh to his friends' home, to soak up their sympathy. Bella knew that Hamish and Georgiana had never liked her -- they made it plain enough that they considered Brian was doing her a favor by staying with her.

"Well, the three of them deserve each other. Good riddance!"

Did she really mean that? With a sigh, Bella stepped across to the small window above the sink and peered out. Her car was there, parked in front of the cottage, but not Brian's. As much as she sometimes wished Brian gone, being all alone here was unsettling. For a moment the view distracted her, the sweep down to Loch Fasail, the desolate lake; the stark beauty of the surrounding rocky hillsides with their skirts of heather and gorse. The sun was awake and shining, but there were clouds hovering, as they always were in this northwestern part of Scotland.

Loch Fasail was famous for its unpredictable weather.

She and Brian had been arguing a lot lately. She didn't like to admit it aloud, but things between them hadn't been good for a long while. Bella had hoped that living out here with no distractions would bring them together, but so far that wasn't so. Once Brian had seemed so exuberant, so much the extrovert -- a big bold lion to her scholarly mouse. They were opposites attracted.

But recently the scholarly mouse had discovered that the gap between what Brian wanted her to be and what she was had widened. He was dissatisfied with Bella's weight, her appearance, her career . . . everything. And where once she might have made an effort to change herself to gain his approval -- well, she'd loved him, hadn't she? -- now she wasn't sure she wanted to. The love had withered into mild affection and irritation, and then . . . What did she feel for Brian these days? More often than not he simply made her angry. She was usually a good-natured person, not easily upset, but even Bella could only be pushed so far before she exploded. The thing was, Bella could please herself or she could please Brian, but she didn't think she could please them both.


Excerpted from Return of the Highlander by Sara Mackenzie Copyright © 2006 by Sara Mackenzie. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Return of the Highlander 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Fiosaiche Gaelic sorceress awakens The Black Maclean, Chieftain of Fasail, from his two and a half plus century death sleep to give him a final chance to correct his arrogant deeds that led to so many dead. He last walked the earth in 1746, but now finds metal monsters moving at incredible speeds and his Highland Castle Drumaird in ruins. No one sees him, but he observes all and wonders how a ghost can correct the past. --- Arabella ¿Bella¿ Ryan and her boyfriend Brian reside in Drumaird Cottage while she researches the Black MacLean for a historical book she is writing. However, , her obsession over Maclean drives Brian away though she feels it was more her increasing assertiveness from scholarly mouse to roaring lioness that sent him off as she refused to listen to his criticism of her any longer However, she becomes concerned when she begins to see the Black MacLean in her dreams. As he tries to obtain her help, they begin to fall in love with her assuming he is her fantasy lover and he believing she is his salvation. Can a born again with passion ghost and a recently converted to self-assurance mortal find the path to happiness perhaps with the matchmaking seamstress skills of a Fiosaiche. --- The first Immortal Warriors tale, RETURN OF THE HIGHLANDER, is a terrific paranormal romance that uses elements normally seen in a time travel tale to tell the story of the redemption power of love. Bella and Maclean make a delightful star-crossed couple who fall in love, but both know that in spite of their haunting one another there is no future. Readers will treasure Sara Mackenzie¿s first-rate novel that makes believers out of us skeptics who scoff at the PASSIONS OF THE GHOST --- Harriet Klausner
aromagik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I might have given this book 4 stars, but the heroine turned stupid near the end of the book & kind of ruined it for me. Overall, it was still a pretty enjoyable read.
Chandra-of-Red on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
AUTHOR: A time travel romance. First book written in the Immortal Warriors series. Appears to be the first book that author Sara Mackenzie has written. She wrote books 1, 2 and 3 in the series within the same year, 2006. In my humble opinion, if you have ever read, ¿Oh darling I love you¿ as the sun creeps over the mountain and the violin plays in the background. Well, guess what.SYNOPSIS ¿ 18th century MacLean, 21st century Bella, controlling boyfriend Brian, an annoying book agent, the Fiosaiche, a hag, mean girl Ishbel from the 18th century, a loch monster and the famous door that is open between ¿here and there¿ that must be closed.PASSION SCALE: This book gets TWO STARS for WILL make you wiggle a little. I had to take my imagination to the gymnasium for a good work out. However, it only required lifting 10 pound weights as opposed to 25 pound weights.* NOT very descriptive and requires imagination** WILL make you wiggle a little)*** WISH it was me;**** OH BODY, whew;***** EROTICA and well over the topFAVORITE PART: Brian thinking he was going to get Bella back so easily. HA!LEAST FAVORITE PART: All the running around with a Fiosaiche (Scottish Gaelic for a prophet, soothsayer or fortune teller) and a Hag and a Loch monster.YOU WILL LIKE THIS BOOK IF YOU LIKE: Historical romance. Time travel. Tales of myths and legends brought from the 18th century into the 20th (21st ?) centuryThis book gets THREE Stars. If this book was meant to be an adult romance, author Sara Mackenzie falls short of adult like sizzle. If the book was meant to be ¿YA¿ then it is too descriptive on the sizzle. Where does that leave us? Good question.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rare i give a 4 or 5 star rating. However this book was well written and well paced for the reader to keep it interesting. Scottish history, humanity, romance and fantasy all wrapped up in this one.
LaurieR57 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It is a Scottish romance story and deals with Scottish history, time travel, and magic. I recommend this book, especially if you like reading historical romance stories.
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mjjpower More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this entire trilogy but this by far was my favorite. The author did such a great job in describing the setting that I truly felt as if I had been transported to Scotland. I was hooked after just the first chapter and read the book in record time. I did not read the trilogy in order and I really didn't see that it mattered all that much except to say that in the last book the author did reference the first two couples from the previous books and I did not pay too much attention at the time. I could see where the author could continue this series and am hopeful that maybe she will. These were fun books to escape in...a little romance, mystery and time travel...what more could you wish for!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the first of the series, Sara did an excellent job with the historical references, the plot and the characters. After reading all three, this one is my favorite.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this well written book! I recommend this book to you if you enjoy Scottish romance/time travel/magical. Wonderful characters!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful story. For those who are looking for more then just a romance. This one had me on the edge of my seat. It's a tale of a true hero and heroine. I am always looking for a good author and I've found one in Sara MacKenzie. I can't wait to read more of of her books.