USA Today Bestselling Author
A city girl allergic to animals (and aliens)
June only registered with a dating agency because she lost a bet. She never expected to be invited to an all-expenses-paid trip to meet some hunky Highlanders.
What nobody told her: the Highlanders are aliens and live on a different planet. And they’re desperate for mates – so desperate that there’s no guarantee she’ll ever return to Earth.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the huge kilt-wearing alien she’s matched to lives on a farm. In the middle of nowhere. With smelly animals all around. This is June’s personal hell, but the moment she lays eyes on him, her body betrays her.
An alien farmer with a dark secret
Eron spends his days tending to his taigeis farm. The fluffy animals are all the company he needs. He’s broken off all contact with society, so when an old friend tells him that he’s been matched to a mate from a distant planet, his first instinct is to refuse the match.
But the instant he meets her, his mating antennae burn and he can only think of one thing: making her his. He desires her with every fibre of her being, but he can’t risk anyone discovering the terrible secret that made him an outcast.
Can he find the strength to push her away before she steals his heart?
We meet June at the beginning of this book as she goes to the Hot Tatties Dating Agency with her friend Anna. She made this decision while hungover and wasn’t sure it was the right thing to do.
We meet Eron as he brings a baby taigeis into his home where he has a nursery set up. He raises the animals once considered feral for both pets and food. I have to say I fell in love with the little critter right away. He’s a bit annoyed when Cyle repeatedly tries to get him to answer his commstick. When he finally answers he gets quite the surprise.
June gets a surprise herself, she’s fired from her job and is considering taking a vacation when she literally trips over the packet from Hot Tatties. She wasn’t planning on a three month one, but it’s all expenses paid so she’s going to do it. She’ll meet with this supposed match and see what happens.
Things were pretty intense between June and Eron and he takes her to his farm instead of the hotel. He couldn’t stand the thought of another male being near her and possibly touching her. Very unusual for a first meeting.
This is a favorite scene.
For a moment, I didn’t know where I was. I was warm, comfy and surrounded by darkness. The sound of slow, heavy breathing came from my right. Somewhere in the same room but not directly next to me.
I rolled onto my back, examining the memories that slowly flowed through my sleepy mind. The Starlight.
Meeting Eron. Sitting on his lap as we travelled to his home. Falling asleep while nestled in his arms. The fact that I was now lying on a bed – or at least something that felt like a soft mattress – meant we’d landed. How did I manage to sleep through that? I never slept this deeply. I must have been tired. Maybe it was the change of atmosphere or gravity. It’s not like I’d ever been on a different planet before. Our bodies probably needed lots of energy to adjust to that.
Something moved on the bed, barely making a sound. I sat up straight, instinctively reaching for the light switch above the headboard – except that there was neither a headboard nor a switch. What if it was a snake? Some kind of predator?
“Eron,” I whispered.
“Mate?” He responded immediately. Maybe he hadn’t been asleep after all. “What’s wrong?”
“There’s something on the bed.”
The lights went on without warning and I squeezed my eyes shut. Way too bright. I blinked only to find a ball of fluff sitting right next to me. It was definitely alive because it was breathing, but what the fuck was it? It looked a bit like a hedgehog that had curled up into a ball, except that it had fur rather than spikes. I didn’t feel threatened by it, but what did I know. Maybe it was poisonous.
Eron whistled softly and the fluffball unravelled, revealing a tiny snout below big brown eyes. Those were the kind of eyes that made you all gooey and happy to spoil the animal however much it wanted. Puppies had nothing on this animal. Its snout twitched as it looked around the room.
“Sorry about that,” Eron said with a sigh. “I thought I’d closed the door. The cub must have got bored. Do you want me to remove him?”
He got up from a chair. Had he been sleeping on that? I took in my surroundings. I was on a bed, a thin yet warm blanket covering me. I still wore the same dress. The room was circular with several cubby holes built into the stone walls. In some places, the white paint had peeled away, revealing the stone underneath. The place had a rustic feel to it. It was the exact opposite of the futuristic, shiny buildings I’d seen while flying over Priomh.
The little animal squeaked when Eron reached for him and ran onto my lap. He looked up at me, sniffed, then curled up again, hiding his face under all the fur. I’d never seen anything cuter.
“What is it? He?” I asked.
“A taigeis. I told you I had a taigeis farm, right?”
“You did, but I assumed the animals were big, like cows or pigs or something. Not adorable, tiny, cute, fluffy, kissable furballs.” I couldn’t believe I was talking about an animal like that. I’d never felt so… gooey. And my eyes didn’t itch, my throat wasn’t closing up and my nose wasn’t running. No allergy, unless the symptoms appeared later than they usually did.
Eron laughed. “I have no idea what cows and pigs are, but I know everything there is to know about taigeis. I’ll be happy to answer whatever questions you have. But first, are you hungry?”
As soon as he said that, I realised I was starving. When had I last eaten? A light lunch on the Starlight before we’d landed, but I’d been too excited to eat much. There’d been nibbles at the reception, which I’d ignored after that embarrassing incident with Eron. My lips tingled at the memory. I’d never been kissed like that and I couldn’t wait to do it again.
“Yes, I could do with some food.”
Short hand for ‘I’m ravenous and could eat half a cow’.
“How about some taigeis steak? I’m told my steak with caramelised neeps is the best in the entire region.”
I stared at him. Was he joking?
“You… eat these?” How could anyone hurt this innocent little fluffball?
“Of course. They’re an Albyan delicacy.”
“But…” I tentatively stroked the cub’s thick fur and it began to purr. Not quite as loud as a cat but just as adorable. No way was I going to eat him.
“Before I set up my farm, taigeis was once of the most expensive dishes. Only few hunters were able to procure wild taigeis and demand for their meat was high. They don’t stay as small as this cub is just now. In about a month, he’ll start growing his teeth. Adult taigeis have powerful jaws and while they mostly avoid conflict, when they’re challenged, they’ll bite. Hard.”
“I don’t care. I won’t eat him.” Eron chuckled. He sat on the bed and reached out to pet the cub. Our hands met and a zing of electricity shot through my body, making my hair stand on end. Eron’s eyes widened. He must have felt the same thing.
Skye MacKinnon. Eron: Starlight Highlander Mail Order Brides 2 (Kindle Locations 919-960). Peryton Press.
I love the taigeis, they’re so dang cute. I sent the book to my fire just so I could take a picture of it, Skye I hope you don’t mind.
There’s still the issue of mating and the intensity, but Eron has a problem he’s going to have to share with June if this is going to work. He’s really afraid she’ll leave when he tells her.
We get to see Cyle accompanied by Jenny as they arrive at the ranch to do some testing.
There’s lots of sizzling heat in this one as well as cuteness, laughs and tears. There’s also a hint about the next book, which I can’t wait for. Oh and I want a baby Taigeis!
5 Contented Purrs for Skye!
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!
Skye MacKinnon is a USA Today & International Bestselling Author whose books are filled with strong heroines who don’t have to choose.
She embraces her Scottishness with fantastical Scottish settings and a dash of mythology, no matter if she’s writing about Celtic gods, cat shifters, or the streets of Edinburgh.
When she’s not typing away at her favourite cafe, Skye loves dried mango, as much exotic tea as she can squeeze into her cupboards, and being covered in pet hair by her two bunnies, Emma and Darwin.