I’m all about sharing the love and paying it forward so today let’s celebrate the new release of A Friend at the Highland Court by Celeste Barclay! Enjoy this excerpt, my lovelies, and happy reading!
Alex entered the Great Hall with his men. They followed the Elliots toward tables that kept them away from the Scotts or anyone else they wished to avoid. However, their path took them past the table he most wanted to avoid. He caught sight of the dark hair and olive skin he knew so well. He could glimpse Caitlyn’s profile, the smile that graced her face as she laughed at what the woman who sat beside her said. He watched as her eyes widened, and she twisted on her bench to find him. Her smile radiated warmth and excitement, and Alex’s heart stuttered before he forced the wall back around it.
Caitlyn stepped over the bench and straightened her skirts before making her way toward Alex. He fought, and barely succeeded, to keep his eyes from feasting on Caitlyn’s petite stature. His relationship with Caitlyn had been a constant for nearly his entire life, but once again the dynamic had shifted. He watched her weave through people until she came to stand before him. He watched her eyes widen for a moment and prepared for the pity or disgust that inevitably came when people caught sight of his scar for the first time. He was unprepared for her smile to brighten as she took another step closer.
“Alex.” Caitlyn’s melodic voice filled his ears. He’d listened to her sing alongside her mother and sister, Cairren, countless times over his years fostering with her clan. Even her speaking voice reminded him of a songbird’s trill. He was aware she expected as warm a greeting, but he kept his gaze fixed beyond her. She turned to glance behind her, but she appeared confused when she faced him again. Alex knew she couldn’t figure out at what he stared. He intended to stare at anything or anyone but her. Unable to ignore her, he continued to gaze past her.
“Caitlyn? When have I ever been aught but Caity?” Caitlyn asked, and Alex heard the surprise and hurt in her voice.
“It is a pleasure to see you,” Alex said instead of answering. He made to step around her, but Caitlyn shifted with him.
“You make it seem like seeing me is the most unpleasant chore you’ve ever had. In fact, I’m uncertain you have seen me since you refuse to look at me,” Caitlyn accused. Alex wanted to say that he’d seen everything about her that he loved. He’d seen her twinkling gray eyes with the green flecks, the sun-kissed light brown skin, the figure he’d spent years fantasizing about. But his adolescent dreams died on the battlefield six months ago.
“Then you will have to excuse me.” Alex tried once more to move away, but she grasped his left arm. He was unprepared and couldn’t keep from flinching. Caitlyn’s eyes opened to saucers, but there was still none of the pity he expected. She released his arm, clasping her hands before her instead.
“What happened?” Caitlyn whispered.
“Battle. Good eve.”
“Arse,” Caitlyn mumbled. Alex glanced down at Caitlyn and regretted it at once. He’d seen the pain in her eyes before, but this was the first time that he was the cause.
“Caity,” Alex murmured. He made to reach for her, but his left arm refused to cooperate. It was a blinding reminder of why he needed to keep his distance.
“Mayhap this isn’t the right place. Will you talk to me later?” Caitlyn asked, hoping discretion was all that he needed.
“No.”This time Caitlyn moved aside when Alex attempted to walk past her. She swallowed before turning away. She didn’t understand what had transpired, but she was certain it was Alex’s injuries and nothing else. The Armstrongs and Kennedys were still allies, and Alex and Caitlyn hadn’t said a cross word to one another in years. She returned to her seat, her eyes on her trencher rather than following Alex.
A Friend at the Highland Court
By Celeste Barclay
Alexander Armstrong, heir to the Clan Armstrong lairdship, took for granted his strength and size until that strength was taken from him. Injured during a skirmish with another Lowland clan, Alex finds himself struggling to wield his sword. His once handsome face is now marred by a vicious scar. Forced to attend court as his father’s representative, Alex’s anger and bitterness threaten to chase away the one woman who’s loved him most of her life.
Lady Caitlyn Kennedy usually finds the bright side of everything. Friends with Alex since childhood, when he fostered with her clan, Caitlyn attempts to lure Alex back from the brink of self-destruction. But their once budding romance seems destined to fail. Alex recognizes he’s losing the woman he’s loved since he was a boy by pushing away the one person who can heal his unseen wounds.
Can these friends-turned-enemies turn into lovers?
If you love a steamy wounded hero romance, then you’re sure to enjoy Celeste Barclay’s sizzling new Highlander romance, A Friend at the Highland Court.
Welcome to Robert the Bruce’s Highland Court, where the ladies-in-waiting are a mixture of fire and ice. The Highland Ladies, the STEAMY spinoff series from Celeste Barclay’s The Clan Sinclair series, returns to the Medieval royal court for love and intrigue.
Buy Link: www.books2read.com/friendhighland
About the Author:
Celeste Barclay, a nom de plume, lives near the Southern California coast with her husband and
sons. Growing up in the Midwest, Celeste enjoyed spending as much time in and on the water as
she could. Now she lives near the beach. She’s an avid swimmer, a hopeful future surfer, and a
former rower. Before becoming a full-time author, Celeste was a Social Studies and English
teacher. She holds degrees in International Affairs (BA), Secondary Social Science (MAT), and
Political Management (MPS). She channels that knowledge into creating rich historical romances
that bring the steam.