If you haven’t already indulged in the book or TV show Outlander, but love fantastical romances spanning centuries, you definitely should. Originally written by Diana Gabaldon and turned into a series by Ronald Moore in 2014, Outlander follows 20th-century British nurse Claire Randall who time-travels back to 18th-century Scotland, finding adventure and romance with the dashing Highland warrior Jamie Fraser. Full of fantasy, romance, and time travel, the series has reached a worldwide audience over the past few years. While the premise may be different, it’s perfect for history buffs and lovers of brawny Scottish rogues. And of course, one of something is never enough, so here are some Scottish romances that are just as steamy as Outlander.
Veil of Time by Claire R. McDougall
In the tradition of Outlander, a woman finds herself transported to ancient Scotland and to nobleman Fergus, brother of the king. Fergus desperately wants Maggie to stay and create a life with him, but she’s torn. Will she choose her future or his past? A compelling tale of two Scotlands — one modern, one ancient — and the woman who parts the veil between them.
The medication that treats Maggie’s seizures leaves her in a haze, but it can’t dull her grief at losing her daughter to the same condition. With her marriage over and her son away at school, Maggie retreats to a cottage below the ruins of Dunadd, once the royal seat of Scotland. But is it fantasy or reality when she awakens in a bustling village within the massive walls of eighth-century Dunadd?
In a time and place so strange yet somehow familiar, Maggie is drawn to the striking, somber Fergus, brother of the king and father of Illa, who bears a keen resemblance to Maggie’s late daughter. With each dreamlike journey to the past, Maggie grows closer to Fergus and embraces the possibility of staying in this Dunadd. But with present-day demands calling her back, can Maggie leave behind the Scottish prince who calls her “mo chridhe,” my heart?
At The Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen
In the midst of the Second World War, a couple of unlikable Americans have just made their way to Scotland — purportedly to search for Nessie, but really to escape a recent public humiliation. Maddie, our narrator, is a spoiled socialite who’s been dragged across the pond by her husband, a man whose only ambition seems to be drinking himself into a daily stupor.
As weeks turn into months, Maddie finds herself gradually embraced by her newfound Scottish friends… especially Angus, a bereaved local innkeeper who finds solace in Maddie’s arms. The drama of their affair is heightened by the shadow of the war, with frequent air raids and tense telegrams from the front. Can Maddie and Angus ever be truly together — or will the war and her volatile husband threaten not just their relationship but their lives?
The novel tells of Maddie’s social awakening: to the harsh realities of life, to the beauties of nature, to a connection with forces larger than herself, to female friendship, and finally, to love.
Highland Wishes Series by Jessi Gage
Single-and-pregnant museum worker Melanie voices an idle wish while examining a Scottish artifact that a Highland warrior would sweep her off her feet and help her forget her cheating ex. The last thing she expects is for her wish to be granted. Magically transported to the middle of a clan skirmish in the 16th-century Highlands, she comes face to face with her kilted fantasy man.
Tall, handsome, and heir to his uncle’s lairdship, Darcy Keith should be the most eligible bachelor in Ackergill. Instead, thanks to a prank played on him in his teenage years, he is known for being too large under his kilt to ever make a proper husband. “Big Darcy” runs his deceased father’s windmills and lives alone at his family manor, believing he will never marry.
But a strangely-dressed woman he rescues from a clan skirmish makes him long for more. When the woman’s claims of coming to Ackergill by magic reach the laird’s ears, she is accused of witchcraft. Darcy determines to protect her however he can, even if it means binding her to him forever.
Love Beyond Time by Bethany Claire
Unlucky in love, teacher Brielle “Bri” Montgomery wonders where all the good men have gone. They certainly don’t waltz through her safe and meticulous life in Texas. Venturing out of her comfort zone, she joins her archaeologist mother on a dig in Scotland… and finds herself transported 400 years into the past just moments away from marrying an impossibly handsome Scotsman…
Eoin Conall has no interest in wedding the woman who irritates him to no end. But with a promise made to his dying father fresh on his mind, he ties the knot with his insufferable bride. Once wed, to his surprise, he notices something has changed about her. Something irresistible. Could he be falling for the wife he never wanted?
Love Beyond Time is the first book in the enchanting Morna’s Legacy Series of 19 time-travel romances all filled with bold, handsome highlanders, strong-willed heroines, and adventures that transport you across time.
True to the Highlander by Barbara Longley
Sitting atop this powder keg of bloodthirsty rivalries, Malcolm of clan MacKintosh takes the mysterious, lone maiden he finds along his road as a bad omen…though an undeniably beautiful one. When he attempts to save her from a rogue within his own garrison, she deftly brings Malcolm to his knees. Who is this willful lass who has so quickly laid siege to his heart?
Alethia Goodsky has met all kinds working at the New York Renaissance Festival, but no one like the fortune-teller who tasks her with a cryptic life-saving mission and flings her into the fifteenth century. Now Alethia must rely on her wits to unravel the mystery in this violent land. Malcolm has sworn to protect her, but her gifts may soon make her his protector. With enemies closing in, Alethia must choose between finding a way home…and remaining true to her Highlander.
This is book 1 of 4 of The Novels of Loch Moigh Series, so there are plenty more hunky highlanders to explore for fans of Longley’s writing.
Master of the Highlands by Veronica Wolff
Lily Hamlin has finally realized that her life isn’t as perfect as she once thought. Making a pilgrimage to Scotland, a land she’s only heard about in lullabies, Lily hopes that she can find her place again. But while exploring the Highlands, she discovers an overgrown maze and a strange stone map—and lands in the Lochaber of 1654.
Ewen, Chief of Clan Cameron, is a busy man who must figure out how to save his people from the brutal redcoats and has time for little else. Having sired an heir, the widowed Ewen has no need—or room—for another romance. Then into his life drops a saucy lass with a peculiar accent and no regard for his title. Drawn to each other despite their differences, they both realize that they don’t want Lily to go back to her own time. But with battles brewing between the Camerons, the redcoats, and a rival clan, staying could mean putting both their lives in danger.
Another first book out of the 4 book Highlands Series, all are filled with handsome Scots and romance brought on by time travel.
Indeed, all these books provide a measure of escape: both emotional and, as is the case for any well-done historical fiction, almost spiritual in our experience of another time and place. And of course, all of them are full of hunky highland heroes!
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