Oh, the life of a romance author, surrounded by sexy men, all just waiting for her to tear their clothes off… Okay, so maybe those men are all in my head, but boy, is it fun to imagine!
When I’m getting ready to write a book, I really like to find pictures of what I think the hero might look like—and not only naked. I like to think of the way he moves, the way he looks when he’s angry, sad, passionate, laughing. I love to study him. One of the most fun parts of the book process is the cover. When the hero comes to life! I typically get the cover while I’m writing.
Now, don’t think me too shallow. I do love to look at a hot, brawny, masculine body, but often there is also something else that draws me in—eyes, intensity, all those things that make a man sexy. On to the eye candy!
Sexy Hero #1: Magnus – Look at those arms… Arms can work magic! They can fight off enemies and hold a woman in their tender embrace.
Sexy Hero #2: Blane – Gulp… Look at those abs!! I just want to stroke my fingers over the ridges…
Sexy Hero #3: Daniel – Um, why yes, I do love men in kilts. Especially men with six-packs, swords and an ultra-alpha confidence that makes me drool. Plus, look at that landscape? It’s snowing and I love winter when I can curl up with a hero…hehehe…
Sexy Hero #4: Ronan – His back. A strong, determined back. He’s fiercely loyal and carries so many burdens. I need to rub his shoulders…. I just know he’s powerful and protective and I want to sink into his embrace.
Sexy Hero #5: Brandon – Kilts… Can’t get enough of those! Love the intensity in his gaze—even though its facing down. He has a lot on his mind, a lot of demons to battle, and I want to help him out! A nice, crisp sprinkling of chest hair, too!
Sexy Hero #6: Duncan – Oh, those abs, arms, sword, kilt, face… I love his face. I love that he too looks troubled. I want to leap into his strong arms and soothe away the pain of his past. I could stare at him all day…
A little about my newest release – The Highlander’s Sin. Then a fun excerpt…
Book Title: The Highlander’s Sin
He stole her away… But she set him free…
They called him The Priest. Maybe because of his billowing black robes and the steel crucifix that hung around his neck. Or perhaps it was because those who met him were compelled to pray. But Duncan Mackay was anything but a saint. He was a sinner—a paid mercenary. Until he met her, and she made him want to change his ways.
Lady Heather Sutherland has never been compelled to follow rules. And this time, she’s gone too far. Following in the footsteps of her brothers and cousins, she chooses to join the fight for Scottish freedom—and gets herself abducted by a handsome, rogue warrior whose touch is sweet sin.
Duncan’s duty was clear—steal Heather away from Dunrobin Castle. What he didn’t expect, was to be charmed by her spirit and rocked by her fiery kiss. Now, he doesn’t want deliver her to those who hired him, instead he wants to keep her all to himself.
“Who’s there?” Her voice echoed through the chapel.
A shadowy figure lurked just beyond the benches in the corner where their chaplain’s chamber was. Looked like a hulk of black. If she’d been more superstitious, she might have thought the devil was coming to pay her a visit like Aunt Fiona always threatened.
“Father Hurley?” She swiped a drip of sweat from her eyes. “Is that ye? Come away from the shadows.”
A shiver of fear skittered over her spine, settling like a solid stone in her belly.
The figure didn’t move.
Heather swallowed her fear and stood up, straightening her shoulders as much as she could, squaring her jaw. “Come into the light at once,” she ordered.
The shadow moved along the wall toward the front of the chapel. Heather followed him with her eyes. ’Twas not the devil but a man. Most definitely not Father Hurley. He was taller by at least a foot—and wide by about the same. His black robes billowed around his form, swishing around his ankles with each step, and sending whispers of fear with every move. The silver chain around his neck swung the large crucifix it held like a pendulum. Back and forth.
A man of the cloth? Her hair prickled. He looked like death come to take her.
Heather stared at the cross, at the man in robes, hypnotized by his stealthy, calculated movements, her eyes wide and immobilized. She finally blinked when they stung with dryness.
“Are ye new to Dunrobin?” she asked, refusing to believe he might be the reaper and wondering why no one had told her there was a new priest.
He stopped a few feet away, just outside the line of light from the candles.
“Nay.” His voice was deep, dark, and slid over her body shamefully, in a way that made her want to hear him speak again.
Lord, help her impetuous nature.
Heather made a sign of the cross. “I’ve not seen ye before now.” The slight quiver in her tone made her angry.
He didn’t answer. A long pause of silence ensued, making her uncomfortable. Her skin prickled.
“Where is Father Hurley? What are ye doing in here?” The questions tumbled from her tongue.
The man pointed toward the chaplain’s chamber. “He is there. Sleeping.”
Again that voice. Why did she like it so much? “And ye? What are ye doing out here? I’m…I’m praying. I want privacy.” She lifted her chin another notch, hoping the odd priest would leave her be, that he hadn’t noticed the slight stutter of her words. When she saw her brother Magnus, she was going to tell him about this odd priest and how uncomfortable he made her. Zounds! She wouldn’t get the chance before she left… The dawn of her new life would begin today. A note then. She would tell Magnus in a note.
“I’m afraid ye won’t be getting any privacy, my lady.” Confidence dripped from his words and slid over her skin in a way that felt wicked.
“Ye are not to talk to me in such a manner.” No matter how hard she tried, she sounded petulant rather than in control.
“And ye need to hold your tongue, ye saucy wench.”
Heather gasped, blanched. Pressed a hand to her chest and took a step back in shock. “What?”
“Ye heard me.” An underlying tone of amusement captured his voice.
Indeed she had, but no one had ever, ever, talked to her like that before.
“How dare ye?” She seethed, gripped her fingers around her dagger, though what she’d do with it, she had no clue. Killing a man of the cloth was a sin she’d never be able to pay her way out of.
“Enough bluster, my lady. I need ye to come with me.”
“Come with ye? I’ll be doing no such thing.” She shook her head vehemently and took another step back. Only about a dozen more, and she could bolt for the door.
Perhaps today was not a day to run away. Outside dangers had never been a consideration before now. She’d just assumed she’d be able to reach Wallace’s camp unharmed. With her dagger, a bow and arrows, she could protect herself. Keep hidden in the bushes and not get caught.
But that was before being confronted by this man who made her feel…scared and hot all over. Now she just wanted the safety and tranquility of her bedchamber. How naïve she’d been to think her plan was solid.
“My lady,” he said in his calm, smooth voice. “Ye must. There is no choice in this matter.”
Slowly, he opened one side of his robe, and she squeezed her eyes shut, not wanting to see what he revealed.
“Open your eyes,” he demanded.
She shook her head, bit her lip. But when she heard the click of his boot heels on the floor, her eyes flew open. He stopped moving, maybe a dozen paces away and removed the hood from his head. Beneath his robe, he was cloaked in a white leine, leather jerkin and tightly pleated plaid of dark colors. But what she couldn’t take her gaze off of, was the cruel-looking battle ax strapped to his chest with a leather belt of sorts. The ax glittered where it caught the light. Silver carved on its handle. It wasn’t a regular ax blade either, but elongated, curved and hooked where it should have been flat and triangular.
Heather raised her eyes to his. He’d stepped far enough forward that the candles lit what parts of his face weren’t hidden by the hood of his cloak. Strong chin and nose. And his eyes, they flashed out at her like blue lightning, ready to snuff out her life with one blink. His hair was pulled back in a queue, but shaved along the sides, making him resemble a savage.
Her hand involuntary rose to her chest as she pressed against her quickly beating heart. Realizing what she’d done, Heather forced her hand back to her side, not wanting the stranger to know how much he was affecting her.
He touched a strong-looking hand to the handle of the ax. “Dinna make me use it, lass. I’d hate to mar your pretty face.”
He thought her pretty? She almost cocked her head and gave him a coy smile, until reality struck and she again realized who he was. A stranger who was attempting to abduct her. A savage-looking warrior priest who threatened to cut her with that horrid-looking blade.
THE HIGHLANDER’S SIN is the sixth book in the Stolen Bride series, but it can stand alone.
Check out the other books in the series!
The Highlander’s Reward
The Highlander’s Conquest
The Highlander’s Lady
The Highlander’s Warrior Bride
The Highlander’s Triumph
And releasing early 2014 — The Highlander’s Temptation
Read it! Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Smashwords
Eliza Knight is the multi-published, award-winning, Amazon best-selling author of sizzling historical romance and erotic romance. While not reading, writing or researching for her latest book, she chases after her three children. In her spare time (if there is such a thing…) she likes daydreaming, wine-tasting, traveling, hiking, staring at the stars, watching movies, shopping and visiting with family and friends. She lives atop a small mountain, and enjoys cold winter nights when she can curl up in front of a roaring fire with her own knight in shining armor.
7 thoughts on “Inspiration for Sexy Heroes: Guest Author Eliza Knight’s Highlanders”
Love those covers and your reasons for enjoying them! 😉
Fabulous excerpt! Thank you for sharing.
How could one not like those covers!! And the excerpts. I tweeted.
@Tina — Thanks so much!!!! I’m glad you liked the excerpt 🙂
@Ella — Thanks you!!!!! Love the Twitter love 🙂
Oh. My. Love all your heroes, Eliza! Great excerpt. Can’t wait for the new book! Woot! Tweeted as well.
I’m with everyone else here! LOVE those covers!!! Yowza! Loved the excerpt too!
I got so involved with checking out your inspirations that I almost forgot to comment LOL. Your newest sounds delightful, Eliza! Can’t wait to get it. Best of Luck.
Don’t you just love Fridays? Thanks for sharing those lovely covers.