Following her wildly popular Callahan Brothers trilogy, national bestselling author JoAnn Ross begins the sparkling Stewart Sisters trilogy with this fun, sexy riff on the classic movie To Catch a Thief -- with a Scottish twist!
Lily Stewart is busy planning the summer Highland Games at her family's Great Smoky Mountain resort. So the last thing she needs is some arrogant, demanding Scotsman -- no matter how sexy -- arriving to film the annual festival. It's bad enough that he's constantly interrupting her days -- but even worse that he's tempting her to rev up her nights with a Highland fling.
Filmmaker Ian MacDougall MacKenzie is actually there to steal back the Brooch of Lorn, which has gone back and forth between the Stewarts and the MacDougalls ever since it was ripped from Robert the Bruce's tartan in 1306. But when Ian realizes Lily has stolen his heart, he wonders whether love can prevail once she discovers he's been deceiving her all along....
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September 30, 2003
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Excerpt from Out of the Mist by JoAnn Ross
It was dusk -- too late for sunset, too early for stars. Ian MacKenzie had expected at least another hour of daylight, but night was coming fast to the Smoky Mountains. Making matters worse was the storm blowing in from the west. Slate-gray clouds rolled across the rounded mountaintops; thunder rumbled ominously in the distance.
Before being talked into this damn fool scheme, he'd been on his way to Monte Carlo, where he'd planned to spend the next two weeks sailing and romancing super-models and princesses.
Instead, he'd come to this remote mountain borderland between North Carolina and Tennessee to catch a thief. The plan was to reclaim his family's property, by stealing it back if necessary.
Then, his duty done, his conscience cleansed, he was heading to Monaco to begin making up for six long months of celibacy.
The sky darkened like a black shawl settling over the mountains. The dashboard thermometer revealed that the temperature outside his rental car was plummeting, and ominous drops of rain began spattering the windshield.
"This is insane." Ian had been saying that ever since he'd landed in Washington, D.C., from Edinburgh, by way of London. He'd then climbed aboard a commuter jet at Dulles International Airport to Asheville, North Carolina, where he'd rented a car for this final leg of his journey.
The Hertz rental agent had told him Highland Falls was approximately sixty miles from Asheville. "As the crow flies," she'd said as she handed him back his credit card. "It's a bit longer by road."
That was proving to be a vast understatement.
The wind picked up; the rain began to slant. He hadn't passed another car for at least an hour and it had been nearly that long since he'd seen any of the small cemeteries, with their worn gravestones grown over with rambling honeysuckle and blackberry briars, or the weathered cabins tucked into the protective, fog-shrouded hollows.
Beginning to suspect he'd taken the wrong fork ten miles back, Ian considered turning around. The problem with that idea was that he'd undoubtedly end up getting mired in the mud. Besides, he hadn't come all this way to give up because of a little squall. He was a Scot, accustomed to miserable weather.
Thunder shook the mountain and rumbled from ridge to ridge, and soup-thick fog reflected the yellow beam of his headlights -- which was why Ian didn't see, until it was too late, the storm-swollen creek that had overflowed its banks. Clenching his jaw, he plowed ahead.