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Michelle McLean | Favorite Kilt Facts
Author Guest / July 19, 2019

I have always been enamored of all things Scottish. I’m not sure what it is. The intriguing history and inherent romance of wild heather and windswept moors, perhaps? The castles and incredible scenery, certainly. And the Scottish men in kilts don’t hurt, either 😉 When I first started writing highlander novels, I did a great deal of research on kilts. I didn’t know much to begin with (except how good they looked on the handsome Hollywood hunks who wore them in films. This was before Sam Heughan kilted up to play Jaime Fraser or he’d be top of the list for sure!). But I did know that there were several times throughout history that kilts weren’t widely worn in Scotland, so I wanted to have all my historical facts straight. While researching, I came across several interesting tidbits, as one often does. Here are five of my favorite kilt facts. Kilts are fairly recent, having only been around since the 16th William Wallace, a la Braveheart, would not have worn one as he was both a lowlander and born about 300 years too early. The brightly colored modern clan tartan patterns usually associated with kilts didn’t start coming about until…

Michelle McLean | Ten Things I Love in a Romance
Author Guest / January 21, 2019

I grew up reading romances. In fact, the first adult novels I remember reading were Victoria Holt’s gothic romances. Full of windswept moors, isolated castles, danger, mystery, suspense, and of course, heart-thumping romances, these books seeped into my bloodstream and I’ve been hooked ever since. My newest book, How to Blackmail a Highlander, book 3 in my MacGregor Lairds series, combines quite a few of my favorite romance-book elements to create a funny, thrilling, and utterly romantic romp through the highlands. These are ten things (in no particular order) that I love in a romance: 1. A good believable conflict – there is always a reason the main couple can’t get together right away, but it drives me nuts if the reason is a simple misunderstanding that a two-second conversation would clear up (though even these can work if done well). I prefer a good, solid “someone will die if we get together” or an “I love you but I’m supposed to hate you” type conflict. A reason to stay apart that has some teeth to it 🙂 2. A flawed heroine – I really love a girl that has some weird quirk…maybe she’s klutzy, or always has her nose…

Michelle McLean | 5 Lovable Highland Rogue Requirements
Author Guest / March 15, 2018

My two favorite elements of historical romances are the settings and the heroes. The settings, because there is nothing like escaping into a different time and place. I love immersing myself in Regency and Restoration England, and of course, the Scottish Highlands. Now the heroes *happy sigh*. They just make the romance, don’t they? When it comes to John, the hero in my new book, HOW TO ENSNARE A HIGHLANDER, I combined two of my favorite types of heroes. Highlanders and Highwaymen. There’s just something about those highwaymen…well, the Robin Hood types at least. Gallant, hearts of gold, but with a healthy hint of danger that gives those handsome rogues their alluring edge. Add that sexy Scottish brogue and a kilt flapping in the wind, and I’m sold. Here are my Top 5 qualities for a lovable Highland rogue. A heart of gold – if we’re talking highwaymen, then I’m definitely more for the Robin Hood type. Sure, he might rob your carriage, but he’s doing it to help the poor and is more likely to charm your socks off than steal them. Or, while he steals them, perhaps. 😉 A dangerous side – I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker…

Michelle McLean | Top Ten Hunky Qualities in Heroes
Author Guest / June 11, 2014

A good romance has to have a hunky hero who gets the heroine’s heart pounding. I personally find a lot of different qualities attractive, but when it comes to my romance heroes, here are 10 of my favorites. 1)    A tortured past – he might be surly, grouchy, or just plain mean, but as long as there is a reason behind it (especially one that can be worked through) then this gives the hero a little license to behave badly for a bit. 2)    A rockin’ bod – okay, this probably isn’t politically correct, but we are discussing heroes in romance novels and fantasy guys are just more fun when they are built 😉 3)    A heart of gold – like #1, he might be the meanest guy in the room, but there is a difference between mean and cruel. If he’s a jerk to the heroine at first because he’s just trying to protect himself but deep down he’s really totally in love with her and wants to ride off into the sunset and make her dreams come true, then that totally works for me. If he’s the sort that will kick a puppy just for the fun of…