Every romance reader has their favorite hero archetype. For some it is cowboys; for others it’s a man in a uniform or a billionaire or a shifter. One of my favorites is the Scottish Highlander. If the popularity of the Outlander series and the prolific sale of Highlander romance novels are any indication, I’m not alone. What is the appeal of these heroic hunks from the highlands? I can give you five good reasons why romance readers love men in kilts. Maybe you can add another reason!
Kin and clan
Highlanders are family men. They are known for fiercely protecting their strongholds and lands. So strong is the tie to family that over time tartan plaids have become associated with certain clans. Highlanders and their kin take great pride in their heritage. In fact, many clansmen weren’t blood relatives but tenants who took a chief’s family name to show solidarity and loyalty.
Rough and rugged
Unlike their period counterparts—the elegant Earl and the superlative Duke—Highlanders come across as a bit untamed. Maybe it’s the remoteness of the Scottish highlands or the tales of fearsome Highland warriors. No matter the reason, this raw masculinity is a compelling feature of these heroes.
The allure of Celtic myth and legend
With a history more than 10,000 years in the making (research has shown that people occupied this region as early as 3500 BC), Scotland’s culture is rich in myth and legend, including Celtic mythology. This colorful folklore adds an element of mystery to Scottish romance and its heroes and heroines.
Sexy is as sexy says! The lilt or purr or growl of a Scottish burr is enough to make even the primmest of readers shift uncomfortably in her seat. When reading a Scottish romance, does your hero sound like Sean Connery, Ewan McGregor or Gerald Butler? No matter—each is pure aural pleasure.
Let’s face it—Highlanders are all about the kilt. No other garment is more of a contradiction to masculinity, yet nothing is more manly than a Scot in a Feileadh Beag. There’s also that eternal question: What lies beneath a kilt?
Scotland, 1817 — The Duke of Manchester’s sister, Lady Sarah Lacey, always abides by the rules of etiquette. Fate, however, has no such confines. On a journey to the Scottish Highlands, Lady Sarah is set upon by misfortune-leaving her without carriage or chaperone, and left to the mercy of a kind and handsome gentleman. Whom (in order to secure a room at an inn) she announces is her husband.
When she proclaims they’re married in public, Professor Braeden McKinnon can’t bring himself to correct the lovely Lady Sarah. After all, her reputation would be ruined. Nor can he tell her that her proclamation is not only legally binding in Scotland, but sharing a room is considered to be an act of consummation…
Now they are bound together until death do they part-even if Sarah has no intention of becoming any man’s wife.
Purchase The Highlander’s Accidental Marriage:
Callie Hutton, USA Today bestselling author of The Elusive Wife, writes both Western Historical and Regency romance with “historic elements and sensory details” (The Romance Reviews). She also pens an occasional contemporary or two.
Callie lives in Oklahoma with several rescue dogs, two adult children, a daughter-in-law, twin grandsons and her top cheerleader husband of thirty-eight years (although thankfully not all in the same home!). Living in the Midwest provides plenty of opportunities for Callie do pursue her interests: researching American history, meeting readers, spending time with family and discovering new adventures.
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