A taste of the third book in the McDougalls series!

Hello and happy Wednesday! I hope you are having a wonderful week, wherever in the world you are. I hope your weather is beautiful and you are able to enjoy the outdoors and get lots of reading in!

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If you have already read Treasures of the Wind, this is the same book, but a sweet and wholesome version. If you’d like to leave a review for either book, I would love for you to do so! The links are below.

Wondering if you'll like this book? I've included a taste for you below. Enjoy!

“What are you—? Rebecca, we dinna have the time for a swim,” Adam said to her, before she heard him sigh as he walked toward her.

“I’m not swimming!” she called back to him from where she had finally made it to the water’s edge. “For I do not know how!”

She heard him curse as he began to make his way out toward her. Wearing only his kilt, he had no clothes to shed and quickly unlaced his ghillies and set them to the side.

“It’s no’ very shallow!” he yelled out to her. “Do not fall in!”

“I won’t!” she replied, smiling at his concern. “I actually have very good balance!”

She had pity on him, however, and waited for him where she stood before gingerly putting her toes into the water. It was cold, and despite the warm summer air, she shivered as the waves lapped at her ankles. She had never felt such a sensation before, spending most of her life within the city of London.

“Is it always like this?” she asked breathily, as she felt Adam’s strong, solid presence beside her.

“Like what?”

“So beautiful. So peaceful. So … free.”

He gave her a strange look but shrugged his shoulders and looked out beyond him. “I suppose so. You become somewhat used to it when you have seen it nearly every day of yer life. Although when I’ve been to the city — whether it be Edinburgh or even Inverness — I always feel the yearn to return home to this. It’s in my blood. It’s part of me.”

She looked over at him. It was the most poetic thing she had ever heard him say, and it spoke to something within her — to a piece of her that had never known a home where she felt she truly belonged.

“Have you not somewhere you feel the same?” he asked as if reading her thoughts, his gaze turning from the lake beyond them to her face. She was taken aback somewhat by the intensity of his dark eyes and the strong features of his face that were always so serious, so deep in thought.

“No,” she said, turning away from him to stare back out at the water. “I have no place, really. I have the house I grew up in, I suppose, but it is not home. It is simply a place where I eat and sleep, where I live. I could leave it forever and never miss it.”

His head dropped before he followed her stare toward a seagull that swooped down in front of them.

“That’s rather sad,” he said.

“I suppose it is,” she responded, smiling wistfully. “For they say home is with those you love, and there truly isn’t anyone that holds my heart. I respect my father, for certain, but I’m not sure … well. We have never had that close of a relationship. And there has definitely never been a man.”

She cleared her throat, no longer wanting to speak on the subject.

“You said the lake is deep. Are there a few feet of shallow water? Can I wade in?”

“A few,” he said, his brows furrowing above concerned eyes. “Here, take hold of my arm in case the ground falls away. I know these waters fairly well, but there are still mysteries that lurk beneath the surface.”

“Mysteries? Like what?”

“Well, now, lassie, dinna tell me you haven’t heard of the monster that lives in these waters?”

He took hold of her elbow then, and she felt fire shoot up her arm from where his fingers lightly held her. She tried to deny how affected she was by his solid presence next to her, but she knew she was only lying to herself.

“Monster?” she asked, trying to concentrate on his words.

“Aye,” he said, mischief lighting his eyes and turning up the corners of his mouth. “We call her Nessie. She’s lived in these waters for years now, longer than any of us have been alive, that’s for certain. Now and then, when one is out swimming, ye may feel something brush by your foot with no explanation. That’s Nessie. She knows us and is just being friendly. Strangers though … she doesna like those who do not belong.”

“Like the English?” she said, trying not to laugh at his outlandish story as she turned to face him.

“Aye, like the English,” he said, smiling now in earnest. Their bare feet were planted next to one another in the water, his face so close to hers. Close enough to touch … and she did, reaching out a hand to brush a lock of hair off his forehead and back behind his ear. As she did so, their eyes met, and she knew the monster of the lake could have reared up right next to her and she would not have been able to turn away.

Love always,

Audrey

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Giveaways and More

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Audrey's Books

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Steamy

Love for All Times Series

Read as a Box Set

The McDougalls Series

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Sweet & Wholesome

The McDougall Family

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