Hand me a Scottish romance and I’ll drop whatever I’m doing to read it. Unless, of course, I’m at the Highland Games, in which case slobbering over real torsos and real legs trumps even the sexiest hero on the page. Where else but on the moors can I find such a large concentration of half-clad, testosterone-filled Scots tossing cabers and sweating it out for my delight? I started writing Pitch Imperfect after a day out at the Highland Games, and I kept these images fresh in my mind—purely for research purposes, of course. Visual writing and all that. But though hunks in kilts are definitely Scottish and fantastic eye-candy, I look for more than this feature in a contemporary Scottish hero
My hero has to own his Scottish masculinity; he wears his clan plaid without boxers or Y-fronts between his heritage and his…haggis. Whether he pairs his tartan with a rugby jersey, a Prince Charlie jacket, or with his naked, rippling chest, my hero is proud of his culture and rocks his family colours. Then there’s his voice. Deep, with a rolling, sensual brogue that wakes up my pretty parts the second I hear it. He’s considerate, and doesn’t shout to get his point across. He listens to the woman in his life, giving her his undivided attention as soon as she’s sharing the same space. When passion overcomes him his accent thickens so much you want him to sweep her into his lair—castle or cave.
My ideal Scottish hero also cares about his family and his community, whether it’s a city in the highlands or a village in the Scottish Borders, like Rob cares about Heaverlock in Pitch Imperfect. He gets involved in local affairs and takes a stand for what he thinks is right, unafraid of upsetting the status quo. But above all, whether historical or contemporary, my perfect Scottish hero is a bit of a caveman. Loving his heroine makes him feel raw, so primitive he sometimes reverts to his ancestry and acts the reiver, swinging her into his arms and…well, that would be telling!
What about you? Which character traits do you think make the best contemporary Scottish heroes? Drop me a comment, and if I agree, when I write my follow up to Pitch Imperfect I’ll add this trait to my new hero—Rob’s twin brother Ben—and mention where it came from in the my acknowledgments.
Once-famous singer Anjuli Carver has returned to tiny Heaverlock Village alone and nearly broke. She’s poured every last penny into a rambling Victorian manor, hoping to start over. Trouble is, her money pit is falling to pieces and the only restoration architect for miles is Rob Douglas…her ex-fiancé.
For eight years, Rob has regretted not telling Anjuli why he never answered her letters. Being left at the altar broke his heart, but being used for sex one night in London after the fact nearly drove him to the edge of sanity, and he’ll be damned if he allows Anjuli to wreak havoc on his life again. He’ll restore her manor, all right, and give her a taste of her own medicine while he’s at it.
But how long can revenge last when memories of their shared past keep rushing to the surface?
Soon, Rob wants answers. Why did Anjuli leave the international spotlight to become a recluse in the Scottish Borderlands? And why does she refuse to sing? Anjuli wants nothing more than to be left alone with her grief, even as she struggles to keep her sexy fantasies about Rob in check. With gossipy villagers, interfering friends and more secrets between them than notes on a scale, Anjuli and Rob will need to find forgiveness in order to work together, then decide if they’re willing to risk it all on an encore performance.
Elise reads, writes and revels in romance, and is never happier than when caught up in a heart-thumping, sweat-your-socks-off tale–hers or somebody else’s. She loves creating stories about flawed characters, people for whom love isn’t simply a question of boy-meets-girl, but a gut-wrenching journey of transformation.