American library books » Other » Love in the Time of a Highland Laird (A Laird for All Time Book 3) by Angeline Fortin (bill gates books to read .TXT) 📕

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My special thanks to my fabulous critique partners, Jody Vitek, Joyce Proell, and Terri Schultz. Thank you so much for adding me to the group. Also to my editor Lea Burn for all her hard work.

Most especially to Esther M. Soto for the endless encouragement she’s given me over the past couple of years. It was so great having you just a block away, to pick your brain at any hour. To eat with and drink with…

but then you abandoned me to move to Florida…you B@!*# :P

Chapter 1

Spokane, Washington

Early 2013

“Oh, no. Not again.”

Allorah Maines gaped in horror as a man—yet another man—pitched through the mouth of the open portal. This one was quite unlike the first, wearing the crimson and blue uniform of a pre-Revolutionary British solider. His rows of brass buttons catching the light, he staggered to the side and fell, sprawling facedown on the lab’s pristine stainless steel floor. The clatter of his long, bayoneted musket skidding across the floor was audible even through the glass barrier separating the control room from the inner chamber.

This wasn’t at all how it was supposed to be. When she’d signed on to work this project with the noted astrophysicist Dr. Roy Fielding at Mark-Davis Laboratories, all she’d imagined was the glory of scientific discovery. Making unprecedented strides in the creation of a stable wormhole.

Making history.

Achieving the impossible.

While they had managed the impossible, it had come with a most unexpected side effect.

Often… too often, what was on the other side of the wormhole they’d created found its way through.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck!” Fielding was a bit more vocal in his dismay, slamming his clipboard forcibly against the console again and again. “Shut it down! Shut the fucking thing down!”

Marti and Todd, two of Fielding’s other lab assistants, shared a glance before beginning the slow process of safely tuning down the whirling vortex.

Al was too concerned with the man on the floor to be as worried about the success or failure of their project and by extension, their jobs. There was a man in there. Not just a stray animal, but a human being who’d been cast through the portal and was now lifting himself up, his expression one of confusion and horror as he rolled onto his back.

He wasn’t the first to look so bewildered.

Nor was he to be the last.

She cried out in shock as another man followed the first, this one not clad in the bright red of the soldier but in a full Scottish kilt. His heavy jacket was torn… no, sliced in several places. Darkened by blood. His leg bleeding profusely.

And he was armed with a wickedly long sword.

Her distress had everyone else lifting their heads as the huge Scotsman lurched dizzily, clearly disoriented. His furious howl echoed through the chamber. Even muted by the walls between them, the sound curdled her blood.

He tripped over the other man’s feet and fell on top of him, the sword between them as he collapsed. A muffled scream of pain followed, she wasn’t sure from which one.

There was so much blood. Al rushed for the chamber door and lifted the handle.

“Al, no!” both Todd and Marti yelled.

“They’re hurt,” she shouted back. “We have to help them!”

“You can’t go in there,” Marti insisted, grabbing her hand. “The portal isn’t closed yet.”

“They’re people.” Al shook her off. “I can’t just stand here and watch this happen. Not again.”

Both of her co-workers appeared startled by her vehemence. Well, why shouldn’t they? She wasn’t one to ruffle feathers. She wasn’t normally the one to bear the standard for revolution but this had gone too far.

She would fight for what was right.

“Ms. Maines,” Fielding barked, “I’ve had enough of your bleeding heart. You go in there and you’re fired, you hear me?”

“Then fire me!” she shot back, surprising him and herself. “This is wrong and you know it. You’ve completely screwed this project up.”

Yanking open the door, she rushed into the chamber, ignoring the whine of the alarms and yawning whorl of the still open portal. She dropped to her knees next to the two fallen men. As she did so, the kilted man rolled to the side and heaved himself to his knees.

But for his dazed expression, it seemed like he would live. The redcoated soldier didn’t look like he would be so lucky. He moaned piteously, blood oozing around the sword blade embedded in his chest.

“Fuck it all!” Fielding barked from the doorway. “Will someone call security, for God’s sake?”

Marti rushed to do his bidding.

The sterile clean-room couldn’t be called that any longer. Blood seeped from one while it spurted from the other. Life was doing the same. Cursing under her breath, Al probed the wound, wondering if it would be better to remove the sword or leave it there until he got medical attention.

“Maines, get out of there. That’s an order.”

Or perhaps it would be better to let him die now than subject him to the fate she knew awaited him. They’d gone from scientists to jailers already.

It tore at her heart every time she had to…

A huge hand wrapped around her arm and with a start, she turned to stare into the bluest eyes she had ever seen. Blue eyes sharp with pain and confusion.

“What is this place?”


The maelstrom of the wormhole easing, a security team rushed into the chamber. The kilted man wrenched his sword from the other man’s chest and pushed her protectively behind him, as if he sought to protect her from the quartet of armed men rushing them.

But he shoved too hard and the unexpected move sent her stumbling toward the shrinking portal. It was closing but not closed enough.

Her cry of alarm was lost to the vacuum of the black hole.

Chapter 2

The Drumossie Muir

Near Culloden, Scotland

April 16, 1746

Such a bloody waste.

It was all Keir MacCoinnich could think of as he watched the battle from the relative

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