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Jennifer Trethewey | What is it with Highlanders?

April 16, 2018

My friends often ask me, what made you choose to write romances about Highlanders? My answer: I fell in love with the Highlands of Scotland, the people, the history, and the landscape. But I have another secret reason that I’ll share with you.

I believe the myth.

I believe the myth of the Highland warrior, the myth born of legendary giants like William Wallace, and Robert the Bruce, and most recently, Diana Gabaldon’s fictional character, Jamie Fraser. And thank you Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns for creating a poetic foundation for the Highland myth.

I love believing that Highland warriors were all seven feet tall, built like brick houses, ruggedly handsome, unbeatable on the battlefield, courageous to a fault, honorable, loyal, and, most importantly, amazingly skilled lovers. And I shamelessly perpetuate that myth in my most recent Highland romance, BETTING THE SCOT: Highlanders of Balforss Book 2.

Let’s start with the kilt. From an American girl’s stand point, it takes cojones to rock a kilt. Wearing a kilt almost demands that a guy swagger a bit. It’s a tease. We get to see some leg (always nice) and we know he goes commando so, we’re waiting for that breeze. The heroine in Betting the Scot, Caya Pendarvis, is from Cornwall, England. To her, a kilt is a novelty, something a gentleman would never wear. Before traveling to Scotland, she’s only seen bawdy drawings of bare-legged Highlanders. So, when her husband appears in a kilt and nothing else for the first time, she thinks it’s very naughty. But she likes it.

Another big part of the Highland myth is clan. A guy who is fiercely loyal to his clan—his family, his tenants, the people he protects—a guy who would fight to the death for his clan is damn sexy. In BETTING THE SCOT, there is a quiet scene in which Flora Sinclair, the matriarch of Balforss, explains what it is to love a Highland man. Here’s the excerpt:

The brandy must have emboldened Caya, for she asked, “Were you always so brave?”

If Flora was surprised or offended by the personal question, she made no sign.

“When you marry a Highlander, you learn to be brave.” She gave more thought to her answer and added, “A Hieland man is, and always will be, a warrior at heart. It doesnae matter if he wears a uniform or an apron, fighting is in his bones, ye see.” She took another sip of brandy and leaned back in her chair. Addressing the fire this time, she said, “A Hieland man can be gentle as a lamb. Sweet as bees’ honey.” She smiled. “And charming. Very charming.” Flora’s eyes darkened. “But cross him, threaten his kin, or the ones he holds dear, and there will be blood.” She looked up as if remembering she wasn’t alone. “You cannae change that about a Hieland man. Dinnae even try. But know this, a nighean: he will love you with body and soul until the day he dies.”

In BETTING THE SCOT, this is the core of who Declan is—gentle, sweet, and lethal. And, after all, doesn’t everyone want a partner who would love them with body and soul until the day he/she dies?

I believe the myth because I want to believe there are men like Declan in the world. Join me. Step inside a Highland romance, believe in the myth, and fall in love with a Highlander.

BETTING THE SCOT by Jennifer Trethewey

Highlanders of Balforss #2

Betting the Scot

Declan Sinclair is a Highlander who believes his dreams never lie. When he spots Caya at a public house, he knows instantly she is the woman in his dreams—his future wife. Though her brother had promised never to gamble again, he engages Declan in a card game—and the prize is the lovely Caya.

Caya Pendarvis has no time for childish things like dreams or fairy tales or love. She’s the sacrificial lamb on her way to the far north of Scotland to wed a wealthy merchant in exchange for settling her brother’s gambling debts.

Winning at cards is one of the many things Declan Sinclair does well. Unfortunately, the ability to court a woman—a talent he lacks—is the only skill he desperately needs to win Caya’s heart.

Romance Historical [Entangled Amara, On Sale: April 23, 2018, Audio Cassette / e-Book, ISBN: 9781640635166 / eISBN: 9781640635166]

About Jennifer Trethewey

Jennifer Trethewey

Jennifer Trethewey is an actor-turned-writer who has moved her performances from the stage to the page. When she traveled to Scotland for the first time, she instantly fell for the language, humor, intense sense of pride, and breathtaking landscape. Her love for Scotland is translated into her series of historical romance novels, the Highlanders of Balforss. The first two books in this sexy, adventurous series, Tying the Scot and Betting the Scot are available on

Highlanders of Balforss


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