Tomorrow is the big day! Hooray! I can hardly stand the wait until Thimbles and Thistles moves off pre-order status to sale status!
I thought I’d share some fun teasers with you all today… and say thank you – for your kindness, encouragement and support. You are so appreciated and make my heart all warm and fuzzy!
Although I shared their photos a few days ago, as you read through the snippets, here’s how I envision Maggie and Ian.
Okay – without further ado:
In the bright spring morning, Maggie took note of the way the sunlight glinted off his hatless blond head. He wore his hair longer than she deemed appropriate and more often than not, it was tousled and wild, rather like the man himself.
Broad shoulders looked like they could carry the weight of the world while forearms corded with muscles drew her attention as he stopped the wagon beside her.
Brilliant blue eyes twinkled with humor as he leaned forward and rested an arm on his upraised knee.
When he lifted his gaze to Maggie’s, her face hovered just inches away from his. Time ground to an abrupt halt as he studied the dark, almost black ring around the iris of her eye while the inner circle lightened to a beguiling shade of topaz.
Slowly inhaling a deep breath, the scent of sage mingled with her sweet perfume, further ensnaring his already entangled senses.
Of their own volition, his eyes trailed over her face, taking in her determined chin and stubborn jaw as well as her creamy cheeks and rosy lips, just begging for a kiss. Bereft of the ability to stop himself, he started to lean toward her, causing her to gasp and jerk away from him.
Maggie could have sworn Ian had stood at the door listening to them talk by the knowing look on his face. “I’m sure nothing we discussed would interest you – just topics of importance to women. Girl stuff.”
“Girl stuff, huh? Why do you think that wouldn’t interest me?” Ian waggled his eyebrows at her. “I’m interested in girls in general, you in particular, and would love to discover more about your stuff.”
Too amused to be offended, Maggie laughed. “Mr. MacGregor, you do say the most outlandish things. What am I going to do with you?”
Ian gave her a rakish wink. “I’ve got a few ideas. Care to hear them?”
“No, sir. I don’t believe I do.”
She assumed he was teasing, but his comments made her cheeks flush with embarrassment. “Is your father as full of idle flattery and hot air as you?”
Ian chuckled. “Where do you think I got my good looks and appeal?”
“Who said you possess either?”
Maggie’s saucy grin made his heart pound wildly in his chest. He ached to kiss her, to hold her, love her.
“Many a lady has assured me it’s true. Are you telling me they lied?”
“Not exactly.” Maggie wondered how he so often managed to back her into a conversational corner. She had a hard time keeping her wits about her when she was alone with him.
“Tell me the truth then, Maggie. Am I a homely mutt with all the charisma of a chunk of wood?”
Her laughter made him smile. “No, you incorrigible man. Why must you constantly need reassurance that you are, in fact, capable of charming the bees out of their honey and handsome enough to turn the head of most any girl? If it wasn’t for that tousled mess you call hair and that scruff you allow to grow on your face like mold on a wedge of overripe cheese, who knows what might happen.”
Ian appeared affronted as he ran a hand over one jaw then the other. “Och, lass, you’re breaking my heart. How dare you compare this fine growth on my face to moldy cheese? That is an insult of the worst kind.” Mischief danced in his eyes as he stepped closer to her. “I dare you to touch it and tell me that it isn’t as soft as one of your finest pieces of fabric.”
Maggie had never been able to pass up a dare, even when she knew better. Boldly reaching up, she ran her hand along Ian’s jaw, surprised how soft his beard felt beneath her fingers. The contact of her hand to his face caused flames to leap up her arm and sear her chest, but she lifted her other hand and bracketed Ian’s cheeks with both of her palms.
The sassy smirk on her face drew one from Ian as she turned her snapping brown eyes to his liquid blue ones. “I suppose it’s more like the bristles on a boar’s behind, but you might someday find a girl who enjoys that sort of thing.”
“It’s a lovely night, isn’t it?” Maggie asked, leaning against Ian as he stood with an arm around her. She hadn’t felt so cherished and secure for years.
“Lovely? Yes, Maggie, my love, it is the most lovely night I’ve ever seen.” Ian’s gaze rested not on the twinkling stars overhead, but on the woman beside him. “In fact, it’s about to get even better.”
Maggie looked up at him and raised an eyebrow. “Is that so? How could it get better? I’ve never seen such a beautiful June night. You can smell the sagebrush blended with the flowers from the reception. It’s not too warm or cool. The stars are glowing up above. It’s perfect.”
“All that is pleasant, I agree.” Ian swept her into his arms and started toward the house. “It is a beautiful night, lass. But sagebrush and posies hardly hold a candle to your alluring fragrance. The stars are mere specks compared to the twinkle in your eyes. And you’ve had me overheated for the past several hours, anticipating the moment when I can peel that verra pretty dress off you and make you my own, Maggie. I do believe the perfection of this night is yet to be discovered, but I can hardly wait to get started.”
Wishing you all a verra bonny day!