Kenzie Jacobs is fascinated by the portrait of the roguish Highlander, Black Ben, which hangs in her ancestral home. There's a mystery surrounding his death, and Kenzie longs to solve it by traveling through time to 17th century Scotland--and perhaps meet the gorgeous laird who haunts her dreams.
Black Ben, Laird of Ross has vowed never to marry again. But Kenzie is more potent than whiskey. As confusing and crazy as she may seem, he can't get her out of his system. But there's no way they can ever work, as she does not fit into his plans.
Kenzie has a life to get back to but leaving her favorite, though infuriating, Highlander behind, might be the toughest thing she'll ever have to do.
Each book in the A Time Traveler's Highland Love series is STANDALONE:
*To Conquer a Scot
*To Save a Savage Scot
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Present Day, Scotland
Kenzie looked up at what was left of Castle Ross. It was hers. As of today, this massive structure, in need of a multitude of repairs, was all hers. She smiled down at the deed to the dilapidated castle.
Thanks, in part, to her own estate that she used as a bed and breakfast, and let out for weddings, and weekend cooking tutorials. Not to mention her large stable and acreage that allowed people to stable their horses for a suitable fee. After taking on Elderridge, a name her mother termed their home, Kenzie had ensured its survival by making it do what a lot of other estates were doing. She took opportunities when they came along, invested in the house, and now, thanks to her hard work, Castle Ross was hers.
In time, this too, would earn its keep. Although she was a couple of years and a lot of hard work away from such a thing.
She squealed and ran to the gate house that still stood, after all its years of sitting on the edge of collapse. Kenzie pinched herself, unable to believe it.
Now, she just had to work with the English National Trust and have them approve all the repairs she wanted. Luckily, she wanted to keep the building exactly the same as it was when it was first built in 1435, although she was looking to add a modernized kitchen, bathrooms, and electrical work throughout.
"I cannot believe you bought this place. And I cannot believe you were allowed to."
Kenzie smiled as her oldest friend, Ann, slammed her car door shut and joined her at the gate. "I suppose you'll need help building it and bringing Castle Ross back to its past grandeur."
"Are ye offering to help me then?" Kenzie asked, smiling at Ann as she looked about the fallen walls and the tree that was well established within what was once the great hall.
"Perhaps, on weekends at least. It's not like I have a life, so I suppose I better keep my friend, who also does not have a life, company."
Kenzie laughed, wrapping her arm about Ann's shoulders and squeezing her. "Thank ye, sweetheart. I knew I could count on you."
"Hmm," Ann said, walking toward the front doors of the building, which was really just remnants of the old entrance. "I gather with this new business venture that you'll not be working at Castle Druiminn for the Laird Macleod anymore. Is he happy with you branching off in this way?"
"Richard is happy for me, and I only helped out at Druiminn while I got my own business up and running. It was only a temporary thing." Kenzie walked through what was left of the front door. There wasn't much left of the place, but Kenzie had support on the way. In two months, university students studying archaeology and architectural studies were due to arrive and help her restore the castle. It was a fantastic program that allowed her free help from skilled students, which in turn, allowed them to use their abilities to restore period and historical buildings.
Not to mention, she planned on opening Castle Ross to the public for tours and hopefully, bring the castle back to its former glory so in the long run, it would pay for itself.
The castle itself wasn't overly large, certainly smaller than Druiminn castle, her ancestor's estate up near the Isle of Skye, but it was not a small dwelling either. And with the support of her cousin, the laird, she'd gained consent to purchase the castle, under strict rules that she would have to abide by in the reconstruction.
Everything she used to restore the building would have to be the exact material used during its construction. Any stone that was required to replace missing or broken stone must be hand carved, sourced from the same quarry or the closest if said quarry was no longer available. The mortar would need to be a mixture of lime, sand, and seashells, since that was what had been used, being so close to the coast as they were. Wooden beams would also need to be cut and crafted by hand; everything would be as it was, except for the modern luxuries that were approved for the inside.
It was no small task and would take months, years even, of work, but Kenzie was happy to do it, especially as she had always been fascinated with the house and the legend who had once lived within its walls.
All her life, she'd heard stories of the last laird who had lived here, the Laird of Ross, Black Ben. The painting her ancestor Gwendolyn Macleod had painted of him that hung in Druiminn Castle had made her wonder about the man all her life.
Black Ben, a devilishly handsome Scot who was famous throughout Scotland for being a brilliant swordsman and loyal to a fault, remained one of the country's biggest mysteries — his disappearance from the history books, to this day, had never been solved.
Not that anyone other than Ann was aware of Kenzie's plan, but that unknown factor of Black Ben's life would hopefully be solved.
If she were game enough to try ...
"You're lucky most of the outer walls still stand. At least they can be strengthened and give you a good base to work from."
"Yes, and that most of the stones removed from the castle proper have been used in a stone fence just up the hill, which we can easily fetch and bring back, since that land was also part of my purchase. Anything else that's needed can be sourced from the local quarry, the same place the building material came from back in 1435."
"I'm so proud of you, Kenzie. I know you'll make this castle come back to life, just as you've always wanted."
Kenzie nodded, marveling at the massive step she'd taken. She walked into the old keep. The fireplace still stood, funny enough, and probably held up an outer wall, by the looks of it. She walked over to it, her hand gliding across the stone mantel, thoughts of Black Ben running through her mind.
Had he stood at this very spot, deep in thought, and touched the stone, watching the fire lick at the wood? He had been one seriously hot Scot, and she liked to imagine him here, thinking, living, drinking, and enjoying his life to the fullest, as he was rumored to have done.
"When are you heading back to Druiminn?"
"Tonight. I brought my car. Had I known you were going to turn up here and surprise me, I would've come down with you."
"Ah, well, as to that," Ann said, her voice echoing as she came out of a room that still had a partial roof, "I'm heading down to London. My mother wants me to meet her there, some appointment she's worried about going to alone."
Kenzie frowned. "Is it bad, do you think?"
Ann laughed, shaking her head. "Oh no, nothing like that. She's seeing her accountant, and no doubt she's spent too much of the allowance that father left her and he's going to tell her to rein it in."
Ann came from the States, and her father had made a fortune by investing in an internet company that was now a worldwide conglomerate. "I'm sure he's not going to tell her off at all. You tease," Kenzie said. "Come on, we better get going since we both have long drives ahead of us. I want to make it back to Druiminn before midnight."
"Are you still planning on traveling back to the time when all of this was still in its glory?" Anne asked, gesturing to the ruins.
"I am, and after being here today, it's solidified my decision. There has to be a reason all of this burned down, was destroyed. Why, after the fire of 1605, Black Ben's remains were never found, nor was he ever seen again?"
"You know, it is possible for people to be so badly burned in such fires that there isn't anything left to find. Just like the history scholars, you may never find out what happened to him."
"I'd love to solve one of Scotland's enduring mysteries, but I'm delusional, I do understand it's a long shot. But the trip will give me an opportunity to see how this castle was laid out, for the reconstruction here." Not that anyone would believe what she found out about Black Ben, but at least she would know the truth.
"And I can't talk you out of it? What if you never return and die in their time? Your mother will be devastated, not to mention Laird Macleod. I'm sure he doesn't wish for you to go."
Her cousin, the current Laird MacLeod, had made if perfectly clear that he didn't wish her to go back, and yet, at the end of the day, it was her choice. Her mama was aware of her plans, and she would ring her tonight and let her know she was going. Not that she planned on staying long, but at least if those she loved knew what she was doing, none of them would submit a missing persons file and have everyone asking nosy questions on her return.
"You know it's something I've wanted to do for a long time. And now that I can control my gift better, I think it's time."
Ann narrowed her eyes. "How have you controlled your gift? Have you been doing stuff that you've not told me of?"
Kenzie picked up a piece of broken pottery and cleared the dirt off the small chip. "I may have tested my ability to choose where I land when I travel. So far, it's been a success."
"Where have you been going? What times have you travelled to?"
"I've travelled to a couple of places, 1818 and the turn of the nineteenth century. During my chant I added a time and place and it worked. I landed each time exactly as I asked. So I'm assuming I can travel from anywhere to anytime should I say the words correctly."
Ann shook her head, walking toward her. "Please take care. All of your family, and me included, would hate for anything to happen to you."
"I know you would. Now come on," Kenzie said, heading toward where their cars were parked. "We better get going."
Ann sighed. "Fine," she said, giving her a hug before getting in the car, reversing on the drive, and heading south. Kenzie watched for a bit before she got in her car, the castle looming above her, the shadows of dusk making it eerie. She shivered as if someone had walked over her grave. Then she, too, started the engine.
Time to prepare to find out exactly what this old stone building was hiding.
Kenzie thought about all the things she wanted to do and see in medieval Scotland. After meeting Abby Cross and ensuring the woman traveled back to her soulmate Laird Aedan Macleod, the thought of doing the same and meeting her ancestors had almost become an obsession. Her ancestor Gwen had the gift of sight, being able to see into the future, and had picked Abby out as the best match for her brother the Laird Macleod. But when their castle had been stormed by a rival clan, Gwen had sent Abby back to her own time, and due to injuries sustained that night, Gwen had not been able to bring Abby back.
Poor Abby had been devastated, thinking that she'd be separated forever from the Laird Macleod. Abby had gone back to Druiminn Castle, heartbroken and resolved to leave the love of her life behind in history. But what Abby hadn't known was that Kenzie held the same ability as her ancestor and could send her back to seventeenth century Scotland. And that's exactly what she had done.
To be able to manipulate time was a gift she wasn't afraid to use, especially if it meant two souls, born in different times, were reunited.
Her great great great grandmother — too many greats to count — was the sole reason she had the ability to time travel. Her ancestor's gift had been passed on through the female blood line. Of course, not everything had been inherited; while Kenzie could time travel, she didn't have ability to see into the future like Gwen, nor was she very good at helping people if they were injured. But she could read people well and knew to trust her instincts when it came to reading the character of people she'd just met.
There were stories about Gwendolyn Macleod that her mother used to tell, of the woman's passion for life and family, a great healer and possibly even a witch. How she'd risked her life numerous times to save those she'd loved. Kenzie had grown up thinking the woman was Scotland's very own Joan of Arc, although that was probably a little fanciful.
Soon, the gates to her home loomed out of the darkness, and turning down a small drive, Kenzie pulled up in front of the house. Lights blazed inside, and she was thankful the house had guests so that she wasn't coming home to an empty home. Mrs. Gibbs, her cook, would no doubt be watching TV in the private living room. She'd been part of the family for as long as Kenzie could remember and looked after the guests very well while she was away.
Coming into the foyer, she shouted out hello to Mrs. Gibbs who shouted back that her dinner was in the oven. "Thank you," she said, heading toward the kitchen. Tomorrow, as planned, Mrs. Gibbs was taking a well-earned holiday. The guests would check out before ten o'clock, and with her mama in London, Kenzie would be free to go back to the year 1605.
She spooned the leek and potato soup into her mouth and daydreamed about medieval Scotland. What she would see and do. What would Gwendolyn think of her arrival? Shock, concern, or happiness? Kenzie would soon find out.
* * *
The following evening, alone in the house, Kenzie went to the library, over to an old tome that had all of her ancestor's recipes for different ailments. The leather-bound book all but vibrated with history, and although Kenzie didn't need to be anywhere specific to travel back to the seventeenth century, it seemed only right that she was near what was once her ancestor's.
She collected the bags she'd packed a few days before, and she checked that everything that she needed for the trip was in them. She hadn't left a stone unturned in planning this journey. Kenzie had scoured Scotland for clothing that would suit the early seventeenth century. The shoes were the only items that she'd struggled with and, finally, had gone with ankle high boots and a few slip-on shoes that resembled slippers, but were sturdier. No one would be looking at her feet in any case.
The gown she wore today was a beautiful piece of clothing, with its elbow length sleeves and corseted waist. It truly was a dress reminiscent of a time long gone. She'd hired a seamstress to make three of the gowns, and the brilliant woman had sewn the corset into the gown, eliminating the need for others to help her dress. It was a perfect solution for someone not of the time period.
Her hair already up in a messy bun, she wrapped a woolen shawl about her shoulders and deemed herself ready enough for the seventeenth century.
"Right then." Kenzie picked up her bags, and taking a deep breath, she started to chant the Gaelic words that would take her back in time. The room spun, slow at first, before gaining speed to the point where her stomach churned. Voices and sounds shouted out around her, the layers of time that separated past and present thinned and allowed the past to intersect with the future.
Kenzie focused on the time and place that her ancestor Gwen MacLeod had lived in 1605 and ignored all the distractions until time morphed into alternate angles, before Kenzie collapsed on the ground and everything went black.
Black Ben, formally known as the Laird of Ross, woke up in a tangle of blankets and straw. The pounding in his head caused vomit to rise in his throat, and he grappled for the cup beside the bed for relief. Once the burning liquid of whisky slid down his throat, his body heaved and he cast up his innards onto the floor, ignoring the loathing he had for himself being in such a state.
Ben flopped back onto the pillow, some of the straw filling prickling the back of his head. One thing he hated about being away from home was the comforts of his bed, the soft linen and feathered mattress. Nothing like the hard boards that came up to greet his back, or the bugs that fed on his person at night — enough to make a man scratch his skin off.
He rolled over and groaned as the movement churned his stomach once again. Perhaps he would partake less of the fine ale and Scottish whisky tonight and concentrate on the pleasurable flesh about the place instead. Waking up in this condition would not do.
The sun moved out from beneath some clouds, and the room lightened considerably. Ben flung his arm over his eyes, not wanting another part of his body to hurt. Everything below his neckline was hurting enough.
The sound of the inn's door slamming ricocheted through his brain, and he made a note to speak to the publican about his rowdy guests. As the Laird of Ross, his comfort while staying here should be the owner's priority.
How long he lay there, the smell of vomit permeating the air, Ben couldn't say, but as night fell, and his stomach finally stopped protesting its abuse, he gathered his things, threw some chilling water onto his face, and made his way downstairs for a liquid dinner. Damn the food, he needed a drink.
Excerpted from "To Save a Savage Scot"
Copyright © 2018 Tamara Gill.
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.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I enjoyed this story of time travel with a modern woman and a rough-edged Scot from the past. A love of an historical mystery pulls Kenzie toward Ben through the ages. She walks a fine line between changing history and having the love of her life. There are moments that had tears in my eyes and a few head shakes. It is a fun read. I received a copy of this story through Netgalley, and this is my unsolicited review.
Couldn’t put it down
I think, Tamara Gill wrote a great book, I have read one of her other books and found the same high quality that is shown in this tale.There is an adventure, time travel, intrigue, betrayal and danger in the offering. It is well written, flows smoothly and is even paced. Kenzie buys a castle, she plans to restore it. So she searches thru history books for some inspiration. She finds out the Laird of Clan Ross. Black Ben, after the battle nothing is heard of him again. His castle is burnt to the ground and his people either killed or runoff. Kenzie is from the twenty-first century and goes back to see what happened and get an idea for the reconstruction. I received this from Net Galley and voluntarily reviewed it.
I thought this book was absolutely wonderful! The time travel aspect of this historical romance was a breath of fresh air and a little different from what you expect with these novels. It was very well written. This is the first book I've read by this author... It seems to be the second installment of a series, but was great as a stand alone. Kenzie going back in to e to solve one of Scotland's greatest mysteries was fun to watch unfold. Her 21st century attitude in 1605 had me giggling a few times. Loved this book and would totally recommend it.
Tamara Gill does it again with her second book in her Time Travel Series. Kenzie Jacobs, our heroine, of present day, lives in her ancestral home with a picture of Highlander, Black Ben on the wall. She has always been intrigued by Black Ben and longs to travel back to Scotland in the 1700's. When her dreams come true and she does land back in his time, Ben is living up to his name after the death of his wife and child. Can you image someone from the future landing in your time years before she was born? Haven't we all kind of dreamed of that? Okay I have and I do not think I am unique. But to try to understand each other would seem a little confusing. But as Ben and Kenzie spend time together, an attraction grows but Kenzie feels she needs to get back to her world and time. Can Ben keep her from going back to the 21st century? A wonderful read that will hold your heart as these two strong forces try to make it work. This is part of a series and although I have read the first book and loved it, this can be read as a stand alone. Be prepared to get lost in a story that have you turning the pages!! PS, don't you love this cover? Lori D
I really enjoyed Kenzie and Ben's story! I loved that Kenzie could send her self to any place and time. I would love to have this ability!! I would visit so many historical events! Kenzie had the benefit of knowing about the time period that she traveled back to and since she planned her trip, was able to travel back with things that she might need. Having heard the story of Black Ben her whole life, she is a little disappointed in the man she first meets. But he grows on her as he gets his life back together after the death of his wife. Kenzie went back in time to solve the mystery of Ben's death, but she ended up falling for the guy. Can she save him so that history as she knows it doesn't come to fruition? I'm hoping that Gill continues with this series as I am throughly enjoying it!
What a brilliant, time travelling adventure this proved to be. Well, if you want an indication of how good it was, I’ve now purchased myself a copy of the first book in this series, To Conquer a Scot, and plan to read it shortly. Here’s my review of the book that inspired me to do so! Kenzie Jacobs is a business woman who has been fascinated by the portrait of the handsome but mysterious Black Ben which hangs in her ancestral home. He lived in the seventeenth century and was the Laird of Ross but somehow disappeared without trace, taking his baby son with him. Kenzie has inherited her family’s ability to travel through time to explore different eras and she’s determined to visit the area during the time of his disappearance in an attempt to discover just what happened to this renowned Highland warrior. She plans for her travel carefully but those were turbulent times with Clan wars and danger lurks as visits her ancestors and meets the charismatic Highlander! This is an enthralling, well written time-slip romance with great characters, plenty of historical information, an intriguing plot and a brilliant ending. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and have absolutely no hesitation in highly recommending it. (Mind you, the fact that I went and purchased the previous book in the series should help reinforce how much I enjoyed this one!) I requested and received a copy of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review after choosing to read it.