I’ve written four historical romances either set in Scotland or featuring a Scottish hero or heroine. The people fascinate me, the countryside is gorgeous and the history is full of conflict, heroism and tragedy. Besides, I could never resist a man in a kilt. Seriously. There is something very sexy about a man confident enough to wear a skirt. There are also plenty of titillating jokes about what men wear (or don’t wear) under the kilt. I’ve personally never been brave enough to ask or look, so I don’t know for certain. But I wouldn’t mind finding out!
In Scots speak, the word kilt means “tucking the clothes around the body.” The kilt actually started out as a cloak wrapped around the upper part of the body and then tucked in, belted or fastened with a brooch. It wasn’t until the late 17th century that the walking kilt, or the skirted kilt, was worn by men. Scottish clans used the kilt as a way of identifying and distinguishing themselves. The kilt itself enjoyed great popularity in Scotland until they were banned in 1746 by the English king who felt that the kilts permitted the Scots to display too much fevered nationalism.
THE THORN & THE THISTLE starts six years after the English king subjugated the Scottish Highlanders and forbid them to wear the kilt, play the bagpipes or own land. One Scottish Highlander, Robert MacLeod, refuses to stop his struggle against the English and his daring antics have caught the attention of the King himself. The King sends one of his most trusted lords, Rolf St. James, to capture MacLeod and bring him to London for a public execution. Rolf expects the challenge to be daunting, but he never thought his greatest resistance would be in the form of a fiery Scottish woman.
In honor of the release of the THE THORN & THE THISTLE, I’ll do a random drawing and give away a free copy of the novel to anyone who comments on this post or offers insight as to what they like best about men in kilts. Have fun, be creative, and good luck!!
The cover blurb for THE THORN & THE THISTLE:
The MacLeods are a strong clan, united with their fellow Scots to resist English rule. But when their leader, the Black Wolf, is struck down in battle, it is up to his daughter to keep the rebellion alive. Megan knows she must act quickly or risk losing the fight for their ancestral lands. Desperate, she secretly assumes the Black Wolf’s mantle, fooling their enemies into thinking he’s still alive. If she can keep going for a bit longer, the clan’s future will be secure…
Rolf St. James has been sent by the king to settle the Scottish lands once and for all. He’s not about to let a woman get in his way, no matter how desirable he finds her. He must put aside his attraction and fulfill his duty to permanently quell the rebellion, regardless of the cost.
Rolf represents everything her father hated, everything she’s been fighting against. But as the days pass and Rolf’s code of honor reveals itself, Megan finds it’s not so easy to hate him anymore. Can she risk her people’s future for a chance at personal happiness?
Julie Moffett is a bestselling and award-winning author who writes in the genres of historical romance, paranormal romance and mystery. Learn more about Julie and her books on Facebook, Twitter and her website.