And what if beneath his boisterous behavior and her chilly reserve, Andrew and Jane are not nearly as different as they suppose? Can Scotland and England reach a harmonious union at last?
From Suffering the Scot, Brotherhood of the Black Tartan, book 1
Andrew spread his hands wide. “It’s a problem for all us Scottish men, tae be honest. Our cross tae bear.”
Lady Jane opened her mouth. Shut it. And then shook her head. “I am sure you are both quite delusional.”
“Nae, the lasses cannae help themselves,” Andrew said.
“Aye. A man strolls by in a kilt, and the lasses go all shoogly in the legs.” Kieran sagged in his chair, mimicking the motion of a lady swooning.
“That is simply ridiculous.” Lady Jane shook her head.
“’Tis the Lord’s own truth, Lady Jane.” Andrew pressed a hand over his heart.
“Aye,” Kieran chimed in. “They dinnae call a kilt the passion pleats for nothing.”
“Passion pleats?!” Peter hooted, slapping his knee.
“Dinnae mock a fine kilt, Peter. The kilt swish is no’ tae be underestimated.”
“The kilt swish?” Lady Jane’s tone dripped with scorn.
“It’s a well-known fact that the lasses appreciate watching a man’s passion pleats swish as he walks.”
“Particularly from the backside,” Kieran helpfully clarified.
“Aye, allow me to show ye.” Andrew stepped away from the table, walked to the door with extra swagger in his step, turned, and strode back to the table. His kilt swinging like a bell back and forth with every step.
He spread his hands wide. See what I mean.
She shook her head. I’m not convinced.
Andrew motioned to Kieran. He stood with a grin.
“Watch carefully,” Andrew said.
Side-by-side, he and Kieran walked to the door, shoulders back, head high. Andrew’s kilt bumped his knees as it swung. He could practically feel the intensity of Lady Jane’s eyes drilling him between the shoulder blades.
Turning around, Andrew held Lady Jane’s gaze as he walked back. She tried to maintain a demur posture, but Andrew knew she had been looking.
Rare was the woman who could resist a braw Scot in a kilt.
Lady Jane pressed her lips together, clearly not wishing to give him the satisfaction of a reaction.
Andrew was having none of it.
He wanted Fiery Jane.
Folding his arms across his chest, he angled forward. “Now, I dinnae want to argue with ye, Lady Jane, but I have noticed ye eyeing the kilt swish a time or two. Not just tonight.”
“I have done no such thing, Lord Hadley.” Lady Jane’s brows drew down, while a hot flush crept up her neck, challenging her denial. “Precisely how much whisky have you imbibed this evening?”
“I willnae allow you tae change the subject, Lady Jane.”
“I am hardly changing the subject.” Lady Jane surged to her feet. “I am merely pointing out that you are wrong, my lord—”
“I’m no’ wrong.”
“—and furthermore, calling a kilt the passion pleats is the most absurd phrase—”
“Accurate. Ye mean the most accurate phrase.”
“I most certainly do not!” Lady Jane hurled the words at him.
As they spoke, Andrew found himself leaning toward her, fists pressed against the tabletop, his entire body angled. For her part, Lady Jane motioned widely, all pretense of decorum forgotten—gray eyes flashing, chest heaving, auburn curls framing her fine-boned face.
Fiery Jane, at last! Utterly freed and snapping with life.
She was magnificent.
It had taken nearly ten days of constant harassment, but Andrew had finally broken through her reserve.
He felt like crowing from the rooftops.
Right after he throttled her.
Excerpted from Suffering the Scot by Nichole Van, Copyright © 2021 by Nichole Van. Published by Fiorenza Publishing.
A Scot Reads an excerpt from Suffering the Scot by Nichole Van
A Scot Reads an Excerpt from Romancing the Rake by Nichole Van
About the Author
Nichole Van is a writer, photographer, designer and generally disorganized crazy person. Though originally from Utah, she currently lives on the coast of Scotland with three similarly crazy children and one sane, very patient husband who puts up with all of them. In her free time, she enjoys long walks along the Scottish lochs and braes. She does not, however, enjoy haggis.
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