He is the father of her child, but the secrets they are hiding are tearing them apart....
Megan MacKeage escaped the smothering protectiveness of the Highland MacKeage clan to work as a scientist on the Canadian tundra. But when fellow researcher Wayne Ferris breaks her heart by rejecting her, Megan returns to Maine alone.... Then she meets the town's new police chief, Jack Stone -- the man she knew as Wayne Ferris. Instead of the quiet scholar he posed as, he's an aggressive private eye who's willing to fight for what he wants, just like all the overbearing men in her clan. So why is Megan still feeling a dangerous attraction? And though Jack claims he followed her here because he loves her, can she ever trust a man with so many secrets?
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January 28, 2008
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Excerpt from Secrets of the Highlander by Janet Chapman
Megan MacKeage slipped out the front door of her home and strode across the footbridge guarding the entryway. Discovering she no longer was able to button her coat, she pulled it against her rounded belly and headed to the stable. It had been almost two weeks since anyone had last seen Gesader, and Megan didn't buy her sister Winter's explanation that the semiwild panther was merely hiding from the throng of people that had descended on Gu Brath eight days ago.
The social chaos had started with her and her sisters' birthday party four days before Christmas and wouldn't wind down until after the new year. The annual two-week-long celebration had become a tradition since Heather's birth thirty-three years ago -- which had been followed by six more babies over the next ten years, all girls, all born on the winter solstice. As Grace and Greylen MacKeage's seven daughters had grown up and started traveling their own paths, the once-intimate gathering had expanded when the girls returned every December to Pine Creek, several towing husbands and an ever-increasing number of children in their wake.
Two weeks was too long for Gesader to stay away, Megan fretted as she pushed open the huge stable door, and walked to Goose Down's stall. "Hey, big boy," she crooned, giving the huge draft horse's nose an affectionate pat. "How would you like to help me search for
She lifted Goose's bridle off the peg under his nameplate and opened the stall door. "The snow is only up to your knees and there's no icy crust, so the trek should be easy." She slipped the bit in his mouth and tucked the bridle straps over his ears. "I haven't seen that black devil since before the solstice and I'm worried about him, even if no one else is." She led Goose into the aisle, hooked him in the cross ties, then leaned her forehead against his large, warm cheek. "What if he's hurt?" she whispered. "What if he got tangled up in a coyote trap or gored by a buck he was trying to bring down?"
Goose's only answer was a long-winded sigh. Megan headed to the tack room and wrestled the heavy saddle from its stand. "You have to help me sneak off without being seen, Goose, because I don't need any more lectures from anyone, telling me what I should and shouldn't be doing." She grunted, pulling the saddle free. "I'm pregnant, not incapacitated."
"They only lecture because they love ye," a rich-timbered voice said behind her.
Megan spun around with a gasp, dropping the saddle. "Kenzie," she sputtered.
She'd met the imposing highland warrior six days ago at Winter and Matt Gregor's wedding. Kenzie was Matt's long-lost brother, Matt had explained when he'd proudly introduced Kenzie to everyone who had gathered in the high meadow on Bear Mountain for the wedding. Or to be more precise, his thousand-year-old brother. For Matt was also known as Cram de Gairn, a powerful druidh who had traveled a thousand years forward in time to seduce an equally powerful wizard -- who just happened to be Megan's baby sister, Winter -- into helping him right a terrible wrong.
No one had been surprised by Kenzie's mysterious appearance, considering that Megan's father, Laird Greylen MacKeage, as well as her uncles Morgan and Callum MacKeage and Michael MacBain, were also time travelers.
Megan's mind reeled at the realization that the magic she had known since birth appeared to be spiraling out of control lately. Or maybe her head was spinning because she'd stopped breathing again -- which seemed to happen whenever she found herself around Kenzie Gregor.
"A lass in your condition shouldn't be lifting heavy saddles," he said, his golden eyes dark with reproach. He picked up the saddle, set it back on its stand, then turned and walked out of the tack room. "Nor should ye be riding."
Megan stared at the door he'd disappeared through, taking deep breaths as she counted to ten. But when she heard Goose plodding back to his stall, she lost what was left of her patience. She ran into the aisle, swiped the reins out of Kenzie's hand, and led her horse back to the cross ties.
"I am quite capable of deciding what I should and shouldn't be doing," she said, striding back to the tack room.
Kenzie's golden eyes lit with amusement as he arched a brow at her glare.
"I understand you've barely been in this century a week," she said. "But you'll soon discover that things have changed in a thousand years. Twenty-first-century women -- pregnant or otherwise -- don't want men lecturing them. We can take care of ourselves."