Saturday, October 10, 2009

Highland Hijinks 1: Great Scots! by Shara Azod

Highland Hijinks 1: Great Scots!
by Shara Azod

Cover art by Marteeka Karland
ISBN: 978-1-60521-501-9
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy
Theme(s): Interracial, Ménage, Elves, Dragons & Magical Creatures
Series: Highland Hijinks
Length: Novella

Fearing for his sanity after being trapped on the Other Side for so many eons, all Conaire wanted was to get back to the human realm. So when the evil Fae Queen Elphame gave him the chance, he took it, completely unaware of the spell she cast as he stepped through the ancient circle.
His mother Scota, seeing the spell and knowing it would bind not only Conaire to the first female he slept with, but also his brother MacKay, found the perfect woman for her boys.
If only someone had told Tasha about all this before she slept with the arrogant Scottish god. Now she finds herself bonded to not one but two arrogant Scottish gods.


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Tasha brought her glass slowly to her lips, contemplating the dark liquid. How many did this make? Did it matter? Shrugging, she tilted her head back and let the rich brew slide down her throat. The first several glasses had been a tad bitter and a heck of a lot richer than any American beer. Sometime after the fourth or fifth glass, the bitterness had faded. Drinking wouldn't make her problem better, but she couldn't think of a damn thing to help her out of the mess she currently found herself.
At least the pub was warm and dry. Outside, flakes of snow fell silently to the ground, blanketing everything in a coat of pure white. She had enough money left for a hotel for maybe a week. More than that if she could find a decent smaller inn. One thing was for certain, she would have to check out of the four-star hotel she was supposed to have shared with Derrick.
"Let's go to Scotland for vacation, he says," she muttered under her breath, her head drooping because she just couldn't find the strength to sit upright anymore. "It'll be romantic. Yeah, for you and the whore you ran off with."
She could probably get over the fact her so-called boyfriend had run off with some woman he'd just met. It was the fact the asshole had taken her freaking passport, the return ticket to America, and most of her money with him that really hurt. God help him if she came across his lying, conniving ass again. She would personally castrate him. Especially after the local cops told her there was nothing they could do because she had given him her stuff. They were on vacation together. Getting dumped hadn't crossed her mind.
What the hell was she supposed to do now? She'd spent most of the day pleading with the jerkwads at the American embassy in London. The results were far from promising. They told her she had to make her way to London before anything could be done, and even then, the chances of her being home anytime soon were slim to none. Not only did she not have enough money to make it to London, she couldn't legally work anywhere without a visa.
What had really galled her to no end was the way the snooty clerk treated her. First the woman had acted all surprised that she was an American in Scotland. The woman even had to nerve to ask her why she had decided to vacation there. A black woman couldn't vacation in Scotland all of a sudden? Was there some kind of restriction against such a thing? She'd had to restrain herself from punching the bubbly bimbo in the face. She was well and truly stuck. Damn Derrick Fuck-face to hell!
"Such a bonnie lass all alone. Why the long face, hen?"
Tasha's head snapped up. The irritable words "Leave me the hell alone" died on her lips as her bleary eyes focused on what had to be the most beautiful woman she'd ever seen. The woman was at least six feet tall with generous curves and not an extra ounce of fat. Her dark red hair fell in waves to her waist; her emerald eyes seemed to sparkle. Maybe it was a trick of the dim pub lights, but those eyes almost glowed, and her skin appeared to be dark gold.
She was dressed unlike anyone else in the small bar. Either she didn't realize it was snowing outside, or she was oblivious to the cold weather. The embroidered blood-red silk dress with spaghetti straps didn't quite reach her knees. She looked far too elegant and sophisticated for the small, run-down pub Tasha had chosen to sit and mope in peace and quiet.
The mysterious woman slid smoothly onto the bar stool beside her. Tasha cast furtive glances around the room. No one seemed to notice the woman, which was odd. In fact, people seemed to be looking everywhere else, almost as if they were purposely avoiding looking in their direction.
"What could be so bad that it has you drowning your sorrows in such a place?"
There was something about the woman's voice, smooth and comforting, that caused a fleeting memory of Tasha's mother to float through her head. She found herself wanting to crawl into the woman's lap and cry her heart out. It was the weirdest thing. Tasha didn't talk to strangers easily. Life had taught her not to trust people. Yet, before she knew what was happening, she found herself pouring her heart out to this woman as if she was her best friend. Something about this woman inspired trust. And damn if it didn't feel good to just let it all out.
"Oh, you poor lass," the mysterious woman cooed, putting her arm around her. "You will need a place to stay until this can be all sorted out. You must come with me at once. All will be well."
Tasha found herself nodding at the soft, lilting voice. Maybe it was the accent, maybe it was living so long without letting anyone too close, but Tasha allowed the woman to lead her off the bar stool and out of the little pub.
Had she been sober, she might have stopped to wonder that despite the fact the snow fell in earnest, the chill of the night air that should have bit into her skin never came, or that the white flakes falling steadily from the sky never once landed on her or her companion. Maybe one fewer Alba Scots Pine Ale and she would have realized though they were walking, their feet weren't touching the ground, and they were moving far away from the lights of the Edinburgh night.

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