The Caledonian Chronicles Vol.3 by Passion Books by Passion Books - Read Online

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The Caledonian Chronicles Vol.3 - Passion Books

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Promise

Book Descriptions:

Book 1:  Selena and the Highlander

In 1793, there is quite a bit of civil unrest between the Gypsy and Gadjo people. Selena, a Gypsy, finds it difficult to fit in alongside her mother. That is, until her new friend Erin Macnair makes her feels at home, even in the midst of royalty.  Through her new connection, she becomes mesmerized with Nicki, the oldest son of the Macnair clan. The only problem? Some may not want a Gypsy woman in close proximity to the family, and will do anything to get them out.  When he sees the dark eyed woman named Selena, he is just as taken with her as she is with him. But is there even a chance at their happiness with the hatred that runs between the Gadjo and Gypsies? And what would people say if they knew of his interest? 

Book 2: Loving a Highlander Woman

Scotland, 1794. Sneaking aboard her fathers ship, Erin's only goal is to not miss a chance to be close to the man she loves. At 18, she knows that her rash decision will cause pain, but wouldn't she regret it for the rest of her life if she didn't follow her heart? Erin feels she is fully ready to take whatever adventure may come her way. Having announced his decision to set sail to Boston from Scotland, Van is ready for a smooth trip with little interruption. Little does he know what's in store when he find's his best friends' beautiful younger sister along the way. Unsure of what to do, Van can only trust his gut. 

Book 3: Devoted to a Highlander

Freya McCree is handed a bad card; being promised to the arrogant Shawn Borrail, a family enemy, was not what she imagined in her future.  King George had strategically arranged the union in hopes to bring peace to the McCree and Borrail bloodline, but in doing so, has upturned more hatred across the people. With a wedding day arriving and emotions running high, Freya must decide who she will pledge her allegiance to: her old family or her new one.

Book 4: Bride from the Wildflowers

It's 1830 in Haigsburgen, and Lexi could not be in a more complicated situation. Stowing away a few distant secrets, she accidentally meets one of the most wealthy lairds in the area, Lord Evan Belliston. He, overtaken by her beauty and sharp tongue, knows he must see her again. Her unknown secret with the Bulgarian royals is destined to catch up with them. Lexi must confront her secrets from her past or risk loosing Evan forever.

Contents – The Caledonian Chronicles Volume 3

Selena and the Highlander

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Loving a Highlander Woman

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Devoted to a Highlander

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Bride from the Wildfowers

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

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Selena and the Highlander

Chapter 1

Promise me you will come, Erin MacNair begged. Her huge violet eyes pleaded for Selena to agree.

I promise to think about it. Although I do not believe your Mama will appreciate me attending, Selena refused to commit.

Mother is perfectly fine with it. She thinks you should attend, Erin retorted.

Your mama is all that is good and kind, but I doubt that she will want a gypsy at her affair, Selena grimaced.

You are wrong. You refused to accept our love for you; for I do love you, Selena as does my family, Erin said passionately. I will wait for you at the entry all night if need be. You must come, Selena.

Selena sighed.

Thank you for your kind words but I make no promises, my friend. Do not wait for me overlong. Your vigilance may be in vain, Selena warned.

I will wait, Erin said stubbornly. She then scrambled from the wagon and ran off.

Selena smoothed her small, delicate, tanned hand over the gown that lay across her lap. It was a beautiful white gown with pink pearl embedded in its fitted bodice. The folds of the skirt were full and voluminous. Selena thought of Erin’s invitation and wished that she could throw caution to the wind and accept with no reservation. But it was not that simple. She would be attending an elite Scottish assembly full of rules and strictures to which she was not accustomed. She would be entering another world that would not be accepting of her. She was Gypsy. Yes, Erin Sinclair’s father had given her family permission to reside on his land and he had welcomed them warmly. But that did not mean that he would entertain the idea of a gypsy girl attending his soiree. Mrs. Sinclair would surely swoon; or was that only an English custom? Regardless, the Sinclairs would not appreciate the gypsy Guigons taking advantage of their kindness. Oh, but she wished she could attend. She would love nothing more than to don this beautiful creation. Although, a layer of midnight blue lace would make it exquisite. The curtain was pulled back and Selena looked up to see her mother climbing into the wagon.

So, are you attending the gadjo’s party? Mahala asked.

Selena looked at her lovely mother who sat on the brightly colored floor cushions. Mahala was petite, slender with raven black hair. There were only a few silver strands at her temple to indicate the years that have past. She had sharp blue eyes that could see straight to your soul and her perception was uncanny. She lifted the gown from Selena’s lap and securitized it closely.

No, Selena said firmly.

Why not? You want to go.

What I want to do is not what I should do. My presence there would only cause trouble. It is best that I do not go, Selena said in a low voice.

Your presence oftentimes causes trouble at the market. But you go anyway, Mahala mused.

Selena looked at her mama in annoyance. Her mama knew as well as she that it was not that simple. But the woman who sat examining the gown was highly intuitive and never made random comments. She looked at her mother closely.

It is not the same thing but you know this. What are you saying, Mama?

That you desire to go. So you should do as you want, Mahala said plainly.

"But I cannot! We are—

I know who we are. But being gypsy does not mean we are diseased. We are a people whose blood is red just like everyone else’s, Mahala spoke curtly. How are we to prove to the gadjo that we are not cursed if we do not mingle with them?

We should not have to prove anything, Selena snapped.

True. In a perfect world we would not have to do so. But we live not in a perfect world, Mahala said wryly. We live at the whims of Laird MacNair. It is due to his generosity that we live on his land.

And I would show our appreciation for his kindness by appearing at his party? Selena exclaimed.

He, unlike his peers, does not see you as inferior. Let him know that his opinion is not in error. Wear your courage like a warrior’s shield by accepting his invitation. He stands by us and is willing to show his peers the conviction of his beliefs, Mahala said reflectively. You must demonstrate your character by accepting his challenge. Show the lairds and ladies of the highland that you are not afraid to be gypsy and stand among them.

How easy it is for you to stand your ground. You are not the one walking into the lion’s den, Selena responded.

And you will not be alone, Mahala said. She stood and held the gown up to look at it better. It was very kind of Erin to give you such a beautiful gown to wear. It only needs a bit of adjusting. I will attend to it while you ready yourself.

Mahala left the wagon. Selena did not bother to tell her that there was no need for she was not going. She knew she would go. Her mother had been right. She did want to attend. Her heart raced at the idea of attending such a grand event. She just needed a little persuasion to do it. Well, the decision was made and once made a gypsy never turned away from it.

Chapter 2

Selena looked in the full length mirror and smiled at her reflection. The white gown Erin had given her now looked like a totally different dress. Mahala had expertly applied a dark blue lace over the white fabric and completely transformed the dress. Selena was an angelic vision in the gown. Mahala had swept her hair up in an intricate array of curls. A few strands fell at her temples giving her an innocent yet sensual appeal. Silver dew drops dangled from her ears and a single pearl lay against her chest. The neckline of the gown lay slightly off her shoulders and the sleeves were but short wisps of fluttering white silk with dark blue lace. With feet adorned with white heels Selena stepped from the wagon and descended to the ground. She turned to see her mother gazing at her with tears in her eyes. Selena ran to her.

Mama! Why do you weep?

You are so beautiful. So elegant. No woman present will compare, Mahala whispered.

Oh Mama! I do not compare to you. I wish you were coming with me, Selena moaned.

This is your time. You will shine among the gadjos and show them who gypsies truly are. Do not worry. I will see, even if I am not in attendance, Mahala said as she winked.

Selena laughed as she hugged her mama.

I love you, Mama.

And I love you. Mahala pulled out of the embrace and put a silver silk shawl about Selena’s shoulders. You must go. Vandilo will escort you to the MacNair castle. He will come for you at midnight.

Selena’s brother, Vandilo stepped forward.

I will not be far from the castle. You need only exit the castle if at any time you want to leave. And I will come for you, Vandilo promised.

I am comforted knowing that you will be close by, Selena smiled.

She moved to accept his arm as they walked to the buggy. Vandilo assisted her into conveyance then climbed in himself. Picking up the reins he struck them lightly on the horses’ back. Selena turned to wave to her mama as they moved down the dirt path. They rounded the bend and Selena could no longer see her mother. She sat forward and clasped her hands tightly.

There is still time to change your mind. You do not have to attend the gadjo’s party, Vandilo said.

She looked at her handsome brother. She knew the women would be at the party would be mad for him. His dark, mysterious, good looks would attract the ladies like bees to honey.

I want to attend. Too bad you cannot be my escort. I would not be alone and the women would die for your attention, Selena mused.

I would be happy to escort you but I do not desire the company of a gadji. When I take a wife it will be a gypsy girl, he said.

But you’ve never been around Scottish lasses. You may like them, she grinned.

I doubt it, he said brusquely.

Selena laughed lightly but said nothing. Her brother was stubborn and strong-willed. It would take an equally determined woman, Scottish or gypsy to capture his heart. They arrived at the MacNair castle and Van drove up the circular drive stopped the buggy before the grand steps. He hopped to the ground and assisted his sister. He noticed that the livery did not come to hold his horses. A direct insult. He seethed and wondered why his sister wanted to come here.

Are you sure about this? he asked.

Selena could see the concern in his pale green eyes. She wanted to dispel his worry.

I am. I will be fine. The MacNair family will take care of me. No one would dare insult me in their home. Rest easy, my brother, she encouraged.

Alright. But I will be near if you need me, he reminded her.

I know. I will remember.

Cam! Hold his horse! Be about yer job if ye want to keep it, Boyd yelled.

Selena smiled as the MacNair butler reprimanded the stable boy.

See! I will be well cared for.

Van grunted then escorted her up the steps. As they arrived to the portico the butler smiled at them.

Welcome, Miss Guigon, Boyd smiled broadly.

Thank you, Boyd, Selena smiled tremulously. Her nerves were jumping throughout her entire body.

Selena! Erin rushed forward.

Van kissed his sister’s cheek.

Enjoy, he whispered. He then trotted down the steps.

Selena then turned to face a smiling Erin.

*****

Erin. I am here, Selena smiled.

I knew you would come. I knew it! Erin grinned widely. She turned toward her parents. Mother, Father! Selena is here.

Lady Alison MacNair stepped forward to embrace Selena warmly.

We are so happy you are here. You are always welcome in our home, Lady MacNair smiled.

Thank you, my lady. I am honored that you invited me, Selena said softly.

But of course. Your family is our dear friends. Never doubt that, Alison said sincerely.

I too am glad ye are here. It is time, Gavin MacNair smiled. He hugged tightly then released her.

Selena was overcome by the outpouring of support. Tears threatened to slip from her lovely eyes. She hastily brushed them away.

Do not cry, Selena or I will be balling with ye. This is celebration, Erin said happily. Nicki is home.

Let us move to the ballroom. We were only waiting for you, Selena, Alison smiled. She removed Selena’s shawl and gave it to Boyd. Then she tucked her hand through Selena’s arm and began walking toward the ballroom. I love your gown, Selena. Much better than the dress Erin was supposed to give. Ye look beautiful.

Yes, ye do, Selena. Absolutely exquisite. I don’t mind at all that you didn’t wear the gown I gave you, Erin said merrily.

Thank you but I am wearing the dress you loaned me. This is it, Selena grinned. She paused to hold out the sides of the gown and twirled.

But mother and daughter were astounded.

Why, you’ve added the lace. It looks like a totally different dress. It’s magnificent, Alison exclaimed.

Oh yes! You’re stunning in it, Erin said in awe. I wish I had the resolve to wear such colors. They are so vibrant and striking.

Well, why don’t you? Scottish society rules are not as strict as the English. There are no dictates that say unmarried lasses must wear white, Selena said. You would look gorgeous in colors.

But what would people say? Erin worried.

Who cares? Selena exclaimed then clapped her hand over her mouth in mortification.

Gavin laughed.

That’s quite alright, Selena. It’s time for a change. And you may as well start with your attire, Gavin said. I for one enjoy women in bright colors.

And I for one shall start wearing them, Alison grinned. I shall pay a visit to Mahala tomorrow.

She will be happy to see you, Selena responded.

They now stood in the entrance of the ballroom. Selena was flanked by Lord and Lady MacNair; whose arrogant countenance dared anyone to speak out of turn. People were staring at them and the ladies were whispering behind their fans. A tall, blond haired gentleman stepped out from among the crowd and strode boldly toward them. As he approached Selena could see the resemblance to the MacNair family. This must be Nicol MacNair, eldest son who has been traveling abroad and recently returned home. He stopped before them and kissed his mother and hugged his father.

The two of ye do like to cause a stir, don’t ye?

Really, Nicki! We merely walked into our own ballroom, Alison smiled devilishly.

Indeed. And with whom? Nicol asked. He looked at Selena keenly. His clear grey eyes taking in her every nuance.

"Nicki, this is Selena Guigon—

I am gypsy, Selena cut Erin off abruptly.

Well, nothing like getting to the point of the matter, Gavin murmured with a smile.

So I see, Nicki replied smoothly.

I expect you do, Selena returned. Selena knew her dark skin tone and boldly colored gown would identify her as gypsy.

Nicki smiled. He liked her daring nature. It took guts to come into a Scottish soiree and not be afraid to show who you are. And he didn’t give a fig that she was gypsy.

May I have this dance? Nicki asked politely. He bowed and extended his hand.

Selena hesitated slightly then nodded regally and placed her hand in his large palm. They moved onto the floor in a stately manner and began to dance. The orchestra was playing a waltz. Selena was glad she had spent hours in her wagon perfecting the steps. She didn’t miss a step as Nicol swept her about the room. Selena noticed that no one was dancing aside from themselves and almost stumbled.

It does not matter. Let them stare, Nicol murmured. He pulled her closer to his chest and bent his head to whisper in her ear. Shall we give them something to talk about for weeks to come?

Selena looked into his merry grey eyes in total bewilderment. He laughed then increased their speed. Their pace was so fast that she began to feel light from dizziness. The orchestra leader waved his arms frantically for the musicians to increase their rhythm to keep pace with them. At one point Nicol lifted her from the floor to twirl her about. There was a gasp from the onlookers as that was not a recognized move. Murmurs abounded as the couple spun about the room. All agog at the superb dancers. The music finally ended in a flourish and there was a thunderous applause. Selena sank into a deep curtsey and Nicol bowed. Then they rushed from the floor as they were about to be descended upon by the excited guests. They arrived at Alison and Gavin’s side panting heavily.

Now who likes to cause a sensation? Alison’s quipped.

I’ve inherited my mother’s flair for the spectacular, Nicki laughed. He turned to Selena. "Would you like something to drink? It’s hotter then he—

Nicki! Alison objected.

Than hades in here, Nicki finished. Mother, a drink?

Na, dear. Your father has promised me this dance, Alison said pointedly to Gavin.

I guess I am dancing, Gavin grumbled.

Alison giggled as her husband led onto the floor.

I shall return with your drink, Nicol murmured.

He left Selena’s side and she moved to stand next to a pillar. She gazed about the room and noticed various women staring and pointing at her. They didn’t bother to speak behind their hands. They quite boldly spoke in a voice that was sure to carry to her ears.

Such vulgar behavior!

Did ye see her despicable dancing?

How could ye not see it? She flaunted her promiscuity for all to see!

I thought she danced divinely.

The women looked at the last speaker in disgust and moved away from her. The young woman shrugged and tossed her strawberry blond plait over her shoulder as she approached Selena. Her warm smile radiated on her lovely face. And her glowing blue eyes sparkled with friendliness.

Hello. I am Rebecca McDowell. But please call me Becca. She curtsied.

Selena returned the gesture. Another Scottish custom she had spent hours trying to perfect.

Hello. I am Selena Guigon, Selena said. I heard what you said to your friends. I thank you for not judging me.

Oh you are very welcome. But they are not my friends, Becca said. I was simply standing with them while waiting for Erin MacNair to finish her dance. She is my real friend. I hope you and I can be friends as well.

I would like that, Selena said.

Wonderful! Becca said happily. She tucked her arm through Selena’s. Let us take a stroll about the room and gossip about this one and that.

They giggled as they began to slowly walk the perimeter of the room.

*****

It seems that ye’v lost yer opportunity to impress the beautiful gypsy.

Nicki slanted a wry glance at his best friend Ian Graham.

The night is young.

Ian chuckled as he took the cup of sweet tea that was meant for Selena and drank it. Nicki rolled his eyes at him.

So, ye are smitten with the lovely gypsy.

Her name is Selena Guigon and I have only just met her tonight. Nicki shrugged.

But that does not mean that you are not affected by her. She is a beautiful woman. How could you not be? Ian rejoined.

I want to know her better.

You mean you want to bed her, Ian said sagely.

Do not put words in my mouth. She is a valued friend of my family and I would not incur their wrath, Nicki returned.

Which means you must tread carefully.

Which means I will become better acquainted with her, Nicki said abruptly and moved away.

Ian smiled as he watched his friend strode quickly from the room. He had touched a nerve and it amused him greatly. It wasn’t often that he could raise Nicki’s ire, but he seemed to have found a sore spot. Nicki wanted the gypsy lass. His cock was probably screaming in unfulfilled agony right now. But Nicki’s family stood in his way. What a quagmire to be caught in. It would be entertaining to see how Nicki negotiated these turbulent waters.

Chapter 3

Nicki stood in the courtyard and breathed deeply of the crisp evening air. Autumn was his favorite season. It was fresh, clean with the last fragrance of heather wafting in the cool breeze. Winter would soon arrive and the Scottish blossoms would be dormant until spring. It was such a long wait to smell them again. About as long as it would be before he could sink his cock into the lovely Selena. That momentous event may take even longer. He thought about their waltz and the uproar they had caused. It had been well worth it to feel her tiny waist in his hands as he lifted her from the floor. She had been as light as a feather and had fit his tall frame perfectly. He tensed as he imagined her faultless fit under his naked body. He closed his eyes to erase the image but it remained behind his closed lids. He cursed. He had to figure out a way to bed her soon or he would explode. He was sure to see her often as she was a family friend and it would be torture to see her and not be able to have her. He resolved to find a way as he went back into the castle. He stood in the ballroom entry and saw Ian lead Selena into a dance. He bristled as he watched every step they took.

You are jealous.

Nicki knew his sister’s voice and did not bother to look at her. His gaze remained focused on the dancing couple, who was now laughing gaily.

Boring a hole into their backs will not stop their dance, Erin said in amusement.

You and Ian seem to find much glee tonight. Perhaps you should solicit his attention, Nicki said curtly.

Perhaps we see the same thing in you. You like her. Why don’t you pursue her?

Who?

Erin sighed dramatically.

As if you do not know. Selena, of course. And don’t bother to deny it. That waltz you shared with her said it all, Erin chuckled.

It was merely a dance—nothing more.

Oh it was a lot more. And if it wasn’t, appearances say otherwise, Erin refuted. Tongues have not stopped wagging since the last dip of the dance.

Tongues would flap regardless of what I did. I am recently returned from the Continent and the talk of society, he dismissed.

Society is not talking because of your travels abroad. It is what you have done at home that has them chattering, Erin responded. And I for one am curious as well. What made you do it?

Do what?

Erin was bursting with frustration.

Dance that outrageous waltz with Selena. You knew it would cause a stir.

To make a point. Everyone was already whispering about her. I wanted to show them that it didn’t matter to me that she was Gypsy, he said honestly.

Well, ye certainly made your point. And apparently it does not matter to Ian either, Erin grinned as she waved at the smiling couple as they danced by.

Apparently.