The truest of Scotsmen…
What’s not to love about a romantic Scottish hero? He’s generally tall, brawny, and insular. He’s fiercely passionate about whatever he loves, and more than likely, he wears a kilt. This stereotypical image of a Scotsman is a well used lure hooking romance lovers to pick up historical and contemporary romances. The kilt itself is unmistakably eye-catching, falling to just above the knee, and as an object, has moved from the traditional attire of a Scotsman to fetish wear. I don’t believe there has ever been a man in a kilt who hasn’t been the subject of the inquisitive side glance, or even the unwanted hand under the hem. But there is nothing girly or androgynous about a kilt. The most masculine of men wear their kilts with pride, no matter what wildly unpredictable reaction awaits. Personally, I have witnessed the ear-splitting frenzy that some women — and men, exhibit when they see a man in a kilt. And I must admit, the sight did make my heart drum a tattoo in my chest.
It’s a shame that the kilt has been reduced, primarily to being a historical garment worn for special events, like weddings and national holidays. The fact that they rarely come out of the closet actually makes the wearer even more of a spectacle, more mysterious and more exciting.
My characters Sam and Declan, from my novella, “As You Wish”, both sport kilts for the wedding of their siblings, at a Scottish castle. During the story Declan Ramsay has to teach Sam the ‘right’ way to put on a kilt, and the resulting interplay between the two men while donning their Highland dress together — and removing it at the end of the day, became a wonderful, playful seduction.
Declan Ramsay is Scottish to his bones. When we first meet him, he comes across as a loner, surly, dour, and moody. Declan’s work life in London may be successful, but his personal life is a disaster – he is a serial dater, commitment phobic and hasn’t has a relationship that lasts more than three months. However, his boss’s son, Sam Aiken is a very special kind of man, and in getting to know Sam, Declan undergoes a miraculous transformation. He falls in love for the first time. When the kilt comes off, what we find under his bear-like, grumpy Scotsman exterior is that Declan is a puppy of a man, and a deeply romantic. The experience of feeling loved for the first time sets Declan on his long journey to becoming a hero.
In the sequels “Illuminate the Shadows” and “Return to Zero” we find in the development of his back story and character, that Declan Ramsay has all of the traits that accompany the archetypal Scottish romantic hero. He is a loyal lover, has a huge heart, and he doesn’t do anything by halves. He always thinks of where his next meal is coming from, he loves big, he battles big and will suffer and fight for his love. He will never give up on the one he has given his heart to, and will never surrender when it comes to protecting that love.
I hope you fall for Declan, and that you see that whether he is in a kilt or a well-cut Saville Row suit, Declan Ramsay is most definitely the truest of Scotsmen.
©Isobel Starling 2016
Blurb for As You Wish:
1 wedding, 2 best men, one hell of a love story!
Declan Ramsay’s brother Oliver was marrying Annabelle Aiken at a fairytale castle on the banks of Loch Ness in Scotland. The bride and groom decided, so that he didn’t feel left out, that Annabelle’s gay younger brother could share the best man duties with Declan.
Declan had never met the kid who was to be his joint best man. Sam Aiken was abroad, working as an interpreter and finishing his studies. He wouldn’t meet Declan until a few days before the wedding, so the best men communicated and planned their speech by email for more than a year. But on meeting Sam Aiken, Declan is surprised to realise the kid isn’t a kid at all, but a tall, blond and athletic young man. Declan is sure he’s straight, so he’s alarmed by the ferocious attraction he feels for Sam. And as the attraction is reciprocated, the events at Dunloch Castle change everything Declan has ever believed about himself. But, is Samuel Aiken all that he appears to be?
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