A disgraced Scot... a misplaced Quaker
(The Renegade and the Runaway 3)
The story that began with Unkilted and Unbroken concludes in this novel.
Gregory and David—a Highland Scot outlaw and a Quaker-trained Philadelphia native—are seeking a future together, in a place where they can live and love far from the censure of society. But the men learn that they cannot pull free from the forces that have shaped this new land called America, and from the past that has shaped each of them as individuals.
A dissatisfied trainer of warriors and a would-be healer of men find more than they could ever have imagined—a famous trapper with a rifle and a guilty conscience… native Indians as complex as their enemies…a former slave who forgives his tormenters…a bounty hunter whose reward becomes more than money—all this and more, in the wilderness of America’s blue-ridged mountains.
Can two men who love each other be happy in a land where retribution and violence seem to be the answer to every unacceptable question?
Frontier Highlanders and its two companion novels really tell a love story. You’ll find explicit sex, adventure, humor, and a smattering of history—but above all you’ll unravel a unique romance.
Publisher: New Dawn Press
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 18-25
Tropes: Coming of Age, Cultural Differences, Opposites Attract, Slow Burning Love, Tease and Denial, Thrill of the Chase
Word Count: 54350
Setting: North Carolina to Kentucky
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
From Chapter One: "Go North, Young Man!"
“A sluggard may die in bed. Is this how you want to go?”
The Scot, offering his bottle, opened one eye and managed a grin. “Aye. With a son of Adam between my legs.”
Biting his lower lip to hide a smile, David turned away and spoke to the paper-thin wall.
“You’re too drunk to remember anything at all. I’ll be back when you’ve slept away the fumes.”
And then Gregory was standing behind him—his customary position, close enough that an outlaw groin rode the crack of his bum.
“Dinnae leave, David.”
“The people behind these walls, Gregory—they can hear every heartbeat.”
“Then we’ll no’ say a word.”READ MORE
Laughing, David turned in his arms and kissed his bristled chin. “You’ll probably remember this moment very differently than I. So just let me say this. We’ll wait until we leave the, um, polite society of Bath. In a burn somewhere, far from men’s eyes and ears.”
“But I want to turn ye over, the same way—”
“Shush, Gregory. Save it for our ears alone.”
“Did ye say our ‘rears,’ David?’
He laughed. “So ye agree. I’ll save it for your rear alone.”
He shook his head. “What is it about bums that fascinates you so?”
“Ye dinnae remember the Bermuda bibby…the way ye seduced me?”
David untangled himself from Gregory’s arms and walked the few paces to the clapboard wall.
“You need to hush, Gregory. I know as much about seduction as I know about…witchcraft.”
Gregory cocked his head, his eyes a deep fire, a small smile playing around his mouth David’s testicles began to ache.
“I—I need to tell you about Boone. Let’s find something to eat and sit in the woods, away from walls. All right?”
“Whatever ye say, David. I agree. My skin shrivels when a man sits too heavy on it.” He walked close again and whispered in his ear, far too loud, “Unless ’tis you, my braw lad. Then it prickles and tickles and—”
The fumes of alcohol made his nose hairs shrivel. “You are drunk Mister MacGregor.”
“Aye, but a walk in the fresh air will cure that, eh? Let’s find those woods, verra soon.”COLLAPSE
Move Over, Mr. Cooper
James Fenimore Cooper has nothing on Erin O'Quinn when it comes to setting the stage and exploring the underbrush of pre-Revolution America. That's because Ms. Quinn puts us right there on the ground from North Carolina northward to Philadelphia and back again before crossing the Appalachians into Kentucky.
With Daniel Boone providing some direction along the way.
When I was a kid I was a Fenimore Cooper freak--I would go to the library and read every one of his books over and over again and revel in the deep sense of history and the subtle, but sometimes obvious, personal tensions between the main characters.
Ms. Quinn's tale doesn't quite give us a Natty Bumpo or Chingachgook throwback but she does give us Gregory the Scottish Highland outlaw and David the scholarly Philadelphia Quaker whose stormy and completely unabashed lust and love for each other is the linchpin which holds this one together.
That she throws in Daniel Boone is hardly gratuitous because she also gives us a runaway slave and a teenage Native American nicknamed Sky who carry the narrative along in many wonderful ways.
This is logically the end of a brilliant series--bravo!
The novel you’re about to read is the third and final of a series. You can read it as a standalone, but of course a deep burn runs through the first two (Unkilted and Unbroken) and continues its flow in the pages that follow. Another novel in the same universe, Owl & Sky, tells parts of the story, in a coming-of-age tale with different main characters. If you decide to read Owl & Sky (and I hope you will), think of it as a low heat palate-cleanser in between the second and third novels.
Some sharp-eyed readers who’ve read the earlier novels in “The Renegade and the Runaway” series—and those who’ve read Owl & Sky—may notice that I may repeat part of a scene from time to time. When I do, it’s always from a different point of view than the original. Just keep in mind the old literary technique of the “unreliable narrator.” As in real life, no two people ever see or remember the same thing the same way. Ever. For instance, Gregory remembers an intimate scene with David (at the end of Unbroken), but it’s through a haze of alcohol. The first chapter that follows here is from his sober companion’s point of view. Just saying… Who are you going to believe—a horny drunken Scot, or his Quaker-trained companion?
By the way, the smattering of history in these pages is just enough to keep a story going. The history of the Indians and Black slaves in pre-Revolution America, especially, is greatly simplified. I need to confess that both Scots and Indian blood course through my own veins, so I have no bias. Or maybe I take all sides (except the side of bigots and cowards).