Message From The Author

Author's Message

I love a good Happily Ever After. But when researching my books, I all-too-often come across some bit of real history that breaks my heart. Years ago, I stumbled into an essay about seventeenth-century chimney sweeps. Many of these “climbing boys” would simply be stolen, taken as property and transported to faraway lands where they became forced laborers. At the time, some people argued that working in the fresh air and fields was healthier for the boys anyhow.

This stuck in my craw for years. So many questions haunted me: What would come of such a child? Who would he be as a man? What of the family he left behind? And so my Clan MacAlpin series was born. 

The MacAlpins are a large and loving family whose lives were shattered on the day young Aidan was kidnapped. Fifteen years have passed, and they remain steeped in secrets and tragedy. There are several siblings, devilish Highlanders all of them, and they run wild, without parents or other relatives, claiming castle ruins as their home.

Aidan MacAlpin is a man now, and he’s made a daring escape, vowing to exact revenge on the pirate who stole him so long ago. But when he returns to Scotland, the home he knew is long gone. His parents, a proper education, a chance at love—all gone. 

Aidan’s siblings rejoice to see him alive, but after he’s survived hell on earth, they feel more like strangers to him than kin. His sister is the only one who guesses the secret obstacle that stands in the way of his dreams: growing up in captivity means he never learned to read.

Elspeth Farquharson had already resigned herself to life as a spinster when her dear friend, Anya MacAlpin, asks her to tutor Aidan. The man is dark and brooding, just like one of the dashing, tragic heroes of the books Elspeth loves to read, and she becomes secretly smitten. She longs to show Aidan her true self, believing hers to be the heart of a pirate queen. But try as she might, she keeps appearing as no more than a nervous, stuttering bookworm.

Aidan hasn’t been around a genteel woman since he was a child, and though this Elspeth is a mouse of a creature, he’s enthralled. Her quiet reserve has him longing for something gentle and unsullied after his long years suffering barbaric captivity. Aidan eventually feels the nagging spark of attraction, despite himself. And, even more dangerous, these sparks begin to burn in his heart as well. He longs for the simplest of pleasures, shared with such a kind and unassuming woman.

When Aidan shows Elspeth a clue to his tortured past, she’s thrust into a dangerous game of passion and deception that will awaken the sexy heroine within—if it doesn’t kill her first…

The idea for Devil’s Own might have sprung from some real-life, very dark and very heartbreaking seventeenth-century practices, but you can bet there’s a Happily Ever After that came straight from my heart. I hope you enjoy it!

Slàinte mhath and all my best,

- Veronica Wolff

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