An unthinkable scandal drives Darcy Clarke from her jet-set life as a marriage counselor to the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. Taking on another identity to escape the hounding media, she accepts a job as a yoga teacher at a remote Scottish castle, where the owner Aidan McAllister counts on her to save the place from going under. Aidan, jarred by life and determined not to get hurt in love, reluctantly warms up to Darcy and starts to believe in a bright future once again. With Darcy’s lies building up just as steadily and inevitably as her attraction to Aidan, life in the countryside becomes more and more complex. Then, one day, her past comes back to haunt her.
She stood there for a minute, watching the view as though she wanted to imprint every detail in her memory. He couldn’t see her face but wondered what she was thinking. Did she miss the States? Was she wondering how anyone could live in such a desolate place? Or was she in awe? He hoped the latter. A ray of sunshine broke through the clouds, shooting straight across the mountain—Beinn Tomaidh, as it was called—into the Loch Darroch, from which the town had gotten its name. The light reflected in the water and made it shimmer green and gold. Then, the clouds closed in on themselves again, and the loch grew dark, an unblinking black eye by the foot of the mountain.
“I understand now.”
He blinked, drawn from his thoughts by the sound of Daisy’s voice. She turned around to face him. With her face aglow, her eyes shimmering and her soft colors, he was struck by the sudden notion that there was something in the room whose beauty competed with that of the view.
“This is Scotland. This, right here. Its soul. Does that sound cheesy?”
He cleared his throat. “Not at all.”
“I understand why people would come here. All year-round. We must make sure they know it exists.” She chewed her lip and sent the view another glance. “How bad is it?”
Her brows furrowed with impatience. “I’ve already understood your financial situation is bad. But how bad? How long do you have before you have to close down?”
Darkness. It lowered itself over his senses as quickly as the disappearing ray of light over the loch. Suddenly, it became hard to breathe, and the sudden panic made him take a step back.
“I think we’re done here,” he said. He didn’t quite recognize his own voice. It was as though someone was talking through him—and that person’s voice was both deeper and rougher.
Blindly, his airways tightening, he made his way to the door and headed downstairs, without taking care to see if she followed.
Linda Govik is Swedish, born and bred. She grew up in what could be described as a ghetto to Gothenburg, but survived it fairly unscathed (in those days, bomb threats to the school meant a day off, and wasn’t really a big thing), and when she met her husband, they moved further up north to a small coastal town, where she now resides, a stone’s throw from the sea.
Cats, coffee and exercise is what sustains her (but unfortunately so does food, which is why the effects of all this exercise still doesn’t make her look like Tinkerbell… but she’s also (fortunately) old enough not to care), and, needless to say, she also loves writing. And reading, any genre.