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Bound to the Highlanders

Highland Fling Brides : 2

By: Katie Douglas
Published By: Blushing Press
Copyright: ©2018 by Blushing Books® and Katie Douglas
45,000 words
Heat Level:
4.5 Out Of 5 (4.5 on 10)   |  Write a review
Price:
$3.99

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Can she handle three dominant husbands?

Welcome to Glenash, the cozy Victorian Highland village where one woman marries more than one husband! 

In 1875, Fiona Magellan moves from London to Glenash as she mourns the loss of her parents. Her kind aunt insists it would be good for her to go to the annual Highland Fling to meet more people from the village.

Little do they expect Fiona to accidentally marry two huge Highlanders. Then her beau from London arrives and convinces her to elope with him - but the Highlanders catch up with them and the mayhem really begins...

How can one woman navigate the joys and pitfalls of being married to three men if she still doesn’t know how to bake bread?

Publisher’s Note: This light-hearted Scottish historical romance is a reverse harem. There are elements of menage and power exchange and a HEA is guaranteed. Although it is book two in the Highland Fling Brides series, it can be read and enjoyed as a standalone.

 

Chapter One

 

Glenash Village, Scotland, 1875.

Fiona Magellan opened her eyes and had to rub them before they would focus on anything other than green. Everything was green in Scotland. It was something she’d learned in the few weeks since she arrived in Glenash, an out-of-the-way fishing village on the west coast of the Highlands, barely a month after she had turned twenty-one.

She must have fallen asleep in the field. Looking to either side of where she lay, she realized she was surrounded by two enormous men. The pain in her head was making it difficult to think. That, and the chilly early morning draft that… wait. She was naked. Naked, in a field, flanked by ginormous highlanders. And her ears were ringing.

It took her reluctant brain a few moments to piece together what had happened, then all the memories of the Circle Dance overwhelmed her. Fiona groaned, rolled onto her front, and buried her face in the dewy grass. This was about the worst predicament she’d ever gotten into in her entire life.

She had accidentally married two men, right after writing to a third one in the hope that he would come and propose.

***

The Night Before

“Ah, c’mon, Fee, you’ve never been to a real Highland midsummer fling, you’ll love it,” her aunt Trina had coaxed.

Fiona nodded, then frowned, sucking on the top of her pen. “It’s certainly not something I’ve ever seen in London, but what do I wear? How do I speak to people? What are the rules?” She grimaced at all the uncertainty.

The older woman laughed warmly. “Dinnae fret about things like that, lass. Just turn up. As long as you dinnae dance the Circle Dance you’ll be fine. And even if you do, I’m no fussed. Finding a husband or two at your age is no bad idea. Heck, when I was your age, I had two husbands.”

Fiona stared at her aunt in shock. “You… two? How?”

“The Circle Dance. You were probably too wee to remember your other uncle, Trevor. The poor man got taken in the terrible floods we had fifteen years ago.”

Trina’s face fell for a moment, and Fiona’s heart wrenched. Not wanting to add to her aunt’s grief, she didn’t say anything, but she did remember an uncle Trevor, from the one visit she’d made to Glenash as a small child of four or five. She remembered her own parents sniffing their disapproval about so many things in the village, and at the time she hadn’t known the cause of their distaste. Perhaps that was why they had left the village in favour of London. She also remembered uncle Trevor and uncle Keith, one holding each of her hands as they swung her around like a tiny monkey. It had been so much fun.

Perhaps it had been those happy memories that had drawn her back here after her parents died. She craved companionship and friendly faces, and this village was the only place she had ties to and which had both of those things in abundance. If they wanted to have strange ancient—probably pagan—rituals, she wasn’t going to judge them, even if she found them peculiar. They all went to church on a Sunday, and none of them took the Bible too literally. Anyway, there had been a movement over the past thirty-five years for a growing minority of churchgoers in London to attempt to speak with ghosts—spiritualists, they called themselves—and although Fiona didn’t believe in any of that nonsense, nobody seemed to think there was anything wrong with other people doing it, or that it conflicted with anything else people believed.

Fiona frowned, and absently signed the letter she was writing to her dear friend Martin, back in London. She didn’t especially want a husband from the locals. Rather, she had high hopes that when Martin received this letter, he would catch the next train here and sweep her off her feet and down the aisle. They hadn’t said as much, and she’d never so much as walked out with him, but after what happened to her parents, he had insisted they exchange addresses, and they had been corresponding at least weekly ever since.

She had heard that midsummer was when all the matching happened in the village for the year. It seemed a long time to wait for anyone who met their true love on the twenty-second of June, but as traditions went, she was curious. London held little of the folkloric old ways which still took place in little pockets of culture which had been kept mostly safe from the reach of mass-manufactured goods. Getting hitched only on one day of the year, before the whole village, seemed like an interesting one, although she wanted no part of it.

Another thing occurred to her. “They do remain fully clothed during the Circle Dance, don’t they, Aunt Trina?”

“Aye. During the dancing. You’re fretting o’er the wrong things, lass. Propriety, decency, these are nothing to concern yourself with at your age. That city filled your head with too many rules about what you should and should’nae do, and not enough with interest in the world beyond your own front door. It’ll be fun. You’ll see.” Trina winked at Fiona, who tried to stop worrying about how to know if speaking with anyone at the fling would be too forward if they hadn’t been introduced, yet.

Fiona finished addressing the envelope for her letter, then she took it to the post office and sent it first class, hoping that Martin would act quickly and get her out of this barmy village with its bizarre customs before she ended up going native.

She was grateful to her relatives for taking her in after her parents’ death, but the steadfast and earnest men from the village weren’t what Fiona wanted out of life.

***

When it was time for the dance, Fiona dutifully followed her aunt out of the house, smoothing her dress down one last time and patting her hair before she stepped out into the balmy June evening. Up here, it was rare for it to be warm and dry, but through summer, the weather redeemed itself. So far, Fiona hadn’t needed the scarves and cloak she had brought with her when she packed her trunk and headed into the distant north.

The light was still bright at this hour, and the local villagers were gathering in the green. Already, at barely seven o’clock, some bonfires were being lit from expertly-stacked cones of logs. Fiona trailed behind her aunt, who occasionally stopped to greet people she knew, until they reached the centre of the action.

There, a small crowd of eligible men was assembling and talking amongst themselves. Trina didn’t concern herself with formalities as she waved and greeted people.

Fiona stopped dead when she stood three feet away from the tallest, most incredible, and finely-chiselled man she had ever met. He was breath-taking. She completely forgot her manners and just stared. Her eyes widened as she caught his twinkling azure gaze.

“Have you met my niece, Fiona, yet? She’s just arrived this past month from London,” Trina said by way of introduction.

“Well met,” the perfectly-formed man said amiably, but there was an undertone of something else beneath his words—something commanding—and Fiona could tell that he wasn’t someone to get on the wrong side of.

Fiona’s tummy reverberated as she continued to stare. His brown hair was rugged and his entire appearance was untamed yet alluring. Eventually, her brain noticed that Trina was elbowing her in the ribs, and she remembered to breathe for a moment, then curtseyed, mumbling a sheepish, “How do you do?” before she was too overcome with nerves and racked her brain for an excuse to hurry away.

“Th-there’s Lindsey, I need to ask her about n-needlepoint,” Fiona stuttered, then she practically bolted toward an eighteen-year-old redhead who stood thirty feet away.

“Fee, whatever’s wrong?” Lindsey asked, as Fiona nearly ran through her in an attempt to get as far from the human god-man as possible.

“Uh… nothing. I don’t know. I don’t think so…” Fiona’s voice trailed off as her brain pointed out that the words she was speaking didn’t fit with what Lindsey had said. Worse still, she looked over her shoulder and found his eyes were still on her. Fiona turned away quickly, but Lindsey followed her gaze.

“Oh. William McCall. Aye, he’s enough to make any lassie flee.”

“He’s so… tall,” Fiona finished lamely.

“Aye, he’s that. And he’s almost never here. He’s a hunter. Exactly the sort of fellow the Circle Dance was made for. You ken that it came about because a lot o’ the chaps around these parts are in dangerous lines o’ work? So, at some point in the mists o’ time, someone said, once a year, any two men from the village can claim the same woman.”

Fiona nodded; she knew that already. “But why is it on Midsummer’s day?”

“It’s the solstice. It’s traditionally the day when the boundaries between our world and the spirit world are weaker. So we can marry anyone at all who walks the Earth. An’ we hardly lose anyone in the summer. So everyone gets at least a few months o’ happiness, and if the worst happens, there’s still someone to take care of the young lady and any babies she might have on the way.”

Fiona passed no comment on the idea of a spirit world. She didn’t truly understand the connection that all the people of Glenash seemed to have with the natural world, let alone their predilection for attributing nature with a vast folklore of magic and myth. Even if it weren’t real, it still shaped the way everyone here saw the world.

“You’re thinking tae much again,” Lindsey told her. That was the other thing about the people of Glenash: They always told people what they truly thought, even if it wouldn’t be especially polite in London. At first, that had upset Fiona greatly, but now she was getting used to it, she had to admit that she liked knowing straight away what people thought and felt, without necessarily having to deconstruct shrouded meanings and allusions. That was now one of her favourite things about the Highlands.

The Highlands were like a foreign country compared to London.

“You should leave our good Highland men alone and go back to that city of yours!” Millie Woodward snapped as she wandered past. The woman had been giving Fiona sideways glares ever since she arrived.

“Oh, pay her no mind.” Lindsey waved a hand dismissively. “She’s only jealous.”

“So, what’s the story with William McCall?” Fiona tried to ask the question casually, but somehow, she was far too interested to succeed.

Lindsey smiled and put an arm around Fiona’s shoulder. “He’s the meanest man in the village. I’m not sure if he even counts as a resident of Glenash, any more. He spends so much time out of the village hunting that people have started wondering if he’s gone wild. He hardly speaks to anyone, and he’s so… I dinnae ken how to describe it…. serious, maybe? He keeps everyone at arm’s length. Naebody e’en kens if he likes girls or not.”

Fiona stared at Lindsey in amazement. The idea of even suggesting a man liked other men was scandalous.

“Dinnae look at me like that, lassie, it’s something we’ve all wondered. O’course, if he did have a thing for the menfolk, the main problem he’d have is that he’d struggle to find a man to come home to. We’re a little lacking in options.”

“Are there any… men who like men?” Fiona had never even come across anyone who would speak of such things, let alone speculate so casually. She couldn’t decide if it was nice to be open about it, or improper to talk about anyone in such a way.

“They’re very few and far between. But if two chaps get into the Circle Dance wi’oot a lassie, naebody pays them any mind.”

“Doesn’t the vicar call a stop to it?” Fiona couldn’t imagine any man of the cloth letting two men marry a single woman or one another.

“There’s no vicar involved. The Circle Dance is older; more natural and visceral than the new ways of church and Sunday hats. Naebody can stop a match if all the parties are in the circle. The spirit world; the fey, the dryads, all those, simply bind the correct people together. As long as they consummate within three days, they’re as good as wedded.”

Fiona was more surprised than ever. She had thought, despite how her aunt had described it, that the Circle Dance was to be presided over by a religious man. How else could one have a wedding? She knew weddings were very different in Scotland compared to England, and she had heard of people from London eloping to Gretna Green, just over the Scottish border, and being married at the village’s smithy, but she hadn’t ever thought about how that might happen.

More to the point, she was sure that Martin wouldn’t approve of any such nonsense, and she was still hopeful that he would come and marry her, soon. Perhaps she shouldn’t even speak with any highlanders, but the men here seemed so friendly, and the divide between the sexes wasn’t enforced so rigidly, that it would clearly be very rude to only speak to the women.

“Dinnae think about it tae hard, lass. There’s more pressing matters. Like whether you’ve tasted Andrew Callanish’s apple ringey.”

“Ringey?”

“Aye. It’s named after how it makes your ears ring the morning after.”

“Oh.” Fiona accepted a cup as it was handed to her, and she took a polite sip. “This is very syrupy. And tart. It’s like someone made whisky out of apple pie.”

“That’s aboot the long and short of it, aye.” Lindsey took a drink and grinned. “A dozen more swigs an’ you’ll be oot there talking to the fellows.”

Usually, Fiona didn’t drink much, so the warming feeling in her chest lasted a long time and seemed to bring with it an altered state.

It wasn’t long before she strode confidently into the circle and stood in front of the towering highlander.

“William McCall,” she said, then tried to tip her hat to him, but she wasn’t wearing one.

“That’s my name. You’ll mind not tae wear it out.” He winked at her and she giggled.

“How tall are you?” she asked, noting that he had a glass of his own in one hand, filled with a colourless liquid that could only be more of the apple ringey.

He stared at her with his intense, penetrating gaze, and for a moment she was sure he was going to eat her, but then the corners of his mouth turned up and a moment later he was laughing.

“That’s the strangest way anyone’s ever started a conversation. I’m six feet and four inches tall. Let me guess… you’re four feet eleven inches, but you tell everyone it’s five feet because it’s less embarrassing.”

She widened her eyes as a hot flush stole over her face and neck. He was too insightful by far. “How did you know?”

“You’re the same height as the top of the wooden entrance tae the whisky store. You were stood beside it earlier, and I remember thinking tae myself that you must be the only adult here who wouldn’t have tae bend tae get inside it. And I ken for a fact it’s an inch shy of five feet. Like you.”

It seemed strange that he had noticed her at all before this moment, let alone thought about her enough to guess her height. She giggled and sipped the ringey whilst trying to think of something deep and thoughtful to say; something that would really impress him. In a complete failing, her brain came up with, “Do you live in the village?” then it ran away.

He paused for a moment, the amusement still evident on his face, then he nodded. “Anyway, I need tae go and speak with Frazer over there. He owes me a few shillings.” William nodded to her, touched his forelock, although she was sure he did it in jest, then walked away. Given her stellar attempts at conversation, she didn’t blame him in the slightest.

The ringey was going to her head quickly, and she sat down heavily as she tried to understand why she cared whether a conversation with a strange, intense hunter had gone well or not. Since her parents died two months ago of consumption, she had promised herself she would wait before seeking a husband. Somehow, it didn’t seem right to think about it at the moment, even if it was all everyone else was thinking about.

 

Toni L on 07/29/2018 08:08pm
There seems to be plenty of time travel books available at the moment but this one seems to include not only time travel but also a couple of other tropes as well. I found it an entertaining and easy read with characters that were all distinct from each other - no way to confuse them.
Goldie Nut on 06/14/2018 12:44pm
Fiona leaves London to go to Glenash to be with her Aunt and Uncle. She falls
into a circle where she becomes bound to 2 Scotland Dominants Graham and William.
She tries to come to terms that she has 2 husbands but he gets even crazier with her
beau from London and now she has 3 husbands. Fiona never was one that knew how
to cook but she keeps trying and finally seems to know how to cook. This is an absolutely
wonderful novel with many twists and turns.
DB on 06/13/2018 08:55am
This book did take me some chapters to get into as it did not have as much dialogue as I like. Fiona, William and Graham get together at a Circle Dance the village has and wake up after a night of sex, married. Fiona can't believe she is married to two men and has written a letter to a man she left in her hometown asking him to come to her because she is in love with him. Now what is she to do? She loves both William and Graham and can't think of living without them and is waiting on another one! This book had drama, alpha males, romance, danger, hot lovemaking, few spankings and a good overall story. 4 Big Stars
Redrabbitt on 06/12/2018 07:00pm
I enjoyed this second addition to the Highland Fling Brides, but the story will hold up well as a stand-alone. The town of Glenash, Scotland, in the Highlands, hold different customs that the rest of Scotland, in that, two men will marry one woman. In the area, many of the men hold dangerous occupations like hunters or fishermen, making the possibility of an early death a risk to a woman and their children. Mythical creatures also enchant the town and area around it. The story has several humorous moments, but plenty of passion too. But what happens when Fiona Magellan returns to Glenash from London to be near her relatives after the death of both of her parents? She left behind Martin Roberts, a man who she is infatuated with, and one she corresponds with frequently.
On Midsummer%u2019s Day, in the village of Glenash, they will celebrate the summer solstice with festivals, and couples will meet up, and new people will become acquainted. For a newcomer, Fiona, she will be introduced to William McCall, a hunter, and Graham Brannigan, the town mechanic. But when the night wears on, parents take their little ones home; it is the time for the single folks. When the drums began, then the fife is played, if its time, the trinity will be formed when two men and one woman are drawn to each other and dance.

The Circle Dance will call to Fiona, William, and Graham. Not only will they dance and hold hands, but they will also consummate the union, right there on the lawn. There is nothing that will change the events; it is stronger than their free will.

Now, these three are bound together in a magical union of three, but there are angst and confusion between them. None of them had planned to be bound, there is animosity between William and Graham, and Fiona is still in love with Martin. When Fiona escapes to the forest, she will meet up with the nymph Kellie.

What happens when Martin shows up, and Fiona finds him? Can she just escape with him and marry him? What about William and Graham, they are bound by the spirits, and it cannot be broken. There is much more to come between them. There is a love formed between them, and it all revolves around Fiona. Can she be with three men instead of just two? How can they make that work?
The story is full of mystery, suspense, spiritual elements, mythic creatures, constant rivalry, angst, not to mention passion, desire, romance, and spankings. The story has several spanking scenes, as well as explicit sex scenes, including mnage encounters with Fiona, William, Graham, and eventually the addition of Martin. There is no M/M sex involved but does include sex in public places, and on the lawn at the Circle Dance. There is also a humiliating public spanking within the stocks of the town square when Fiona intentionally throws a fit and goes into the village.
Nancy Hughes on 06/11/2018 05:35am
A fun read of Fiona and the Circle Dance, that causes her to be married to two dominant highlanders. They don't hesitate to spank her when she's having a tantrum, however they are very caring and want her. Later, a 3rd husband comes into play, and Fiona loves them all. This is well written, not awkward at all considering there's a full house. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
Lalaland on 06/11/2018 12:58am
This is number two in a series but it is new to me. Sadly this is not for me, I have no problem with fantasy and supernatural or even real fairytales but this is all just a bit to silly for my tastes, sorry. The actual concept was good but the way the story developed was just a bit too, out there. Some discipline and some hot erotica but just not for me I guess. Sorry. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy
Margaret Corcoran on 06/10/2018 03:16pm
I enjoyed reading this book. It's different. Not very realistic but sweet and sexy. There are some disciplinary spankings and menage scenes. It's very well written. The characters are well done. I received an ARC copy of this book and I highly recommend it. It can be easily read as a standalone as I did not read the first book in this series.
Joanie M on 06/09/2018 03:12pm
I enjoyed this fun read although I didn't read the first book in the series. It truly is a stand-alone about Fiona and her husbands. I liked the village of Glenash and the creative traditions there. I also liked the spiritual aspect of the story and that it made the marriage of Fiona to the highlanders more sacred than a traditional wedding would have. The men in the story were as different as night and day, each with their own well-developed character. Fiona has a big heart with room for all of them. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
Ajjmb on 06/08/2018 08:55am
This new book by Katie Douglas has potential. I like the reverse harem type novel and yet I felt like Fiona was committing adulatory when she decided out of the blue to take a third husband after she had just gotten married to two other men. I felt like the book built up the suspense for the prophetic new that something dark was coming but then the book just ended and hinted at what the darkness might have been. I feel like the ending was cut short and the darkness conflict went unresolved. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book.
Jessica N on 06/08/2018 05:07am
Bound to the Highlanders is the second book in the Highland Fling Brides Series. Fiona%u2019s life is in upheaval, and while she%u2019s been in Glenash for only a month, she goes to the Circle Dance, not expecting to be drawn in to dance with two strangers, especially not after she sent a letter to a man in London, whom she might love. But the spirits have chosen Fiona to match up with Graham and William, and it%u2019s not an easy match. They all must learn the meaning of compromise. But just as things start to settle, Martin comes into the picture. Is it possible for one lady to be matched with three men and find love?

Oh my gosh, I absolutely loved reading this book! I was completely drawn in to the plot and the characters, and I loved watching them get to know each other and test the boundaries of their new relationship. Fiona was so lost after she woke up at the Circle Dance, but I loved watching as she came into her self and found her strengths and the love for her men. William, Graham, and Martin were all extraordinary in that they all matched a different piece of Fiona%u2019s heart and personality perfectly. They were all so different, but I loved that all four of them learned the importance of compromise in a relationship! I loved the play that the spirits had in this book, as well, but I also appreciated the more logical and scientific outlook that was given for the Circle Dance, too! I have really loved these two books and would recommend them to other historical romance lovers!

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