Posted in Between the Pages, Kees2Review, Meet an Author

What Happens in the Ruins by Kelsey McKnight

Hands up: who loves a hero in a kilt? Me! Today, it’s my pleasure to welcome Tule author, Kelsey McKnight and her Scottish heroes to the blog.

From Scottish lairds to billionaire businessmen, Kelsey McKnight will ignite your soul, no matter what century it lives in. Kelsey is a university-educated historian from southern New Jersey. She has married her great loves of romance, history, and literature to create her own tales of dashing heroes, sultry bad boys, and lovable heroines who have their own stories to tell. They will take you through the ballrooms of Victorian London, to the hills of the Scottish Highlands, and into New York City penthouses, all at the flip of a page. When she’s not writing, Kelsey can be found reading, drinking too much coffee, spending time with her family, and working for two separate nonprofit organizations.

Hello everyone, and thank you to Juanita for having me on as a guest blogger today, to talk about my latest release, What Happens in the Ruins, book two of The What Happens Series.

I’ve always loved Scotland—the mystery, the lore, the history, the kilts…well, the kilts weren’t a deciding factor in my love of the land of my forefathers, but it certainly helps when imagining a romance. And to me, nothing is more romantic than the thought of a hot Highlander wooing you in the shadows of a castle older than America.

When I wrote the first book in the series, What Happens in the Highlands, I really focused on the dream of an American girl finding love in a land of rolling green hills and the sort of brogue that makes your toes curl. With What Happens in the Ruins, I took a more serious turn, exploring the aftershocks of loss and finding love despite closing off your heart. The main character, Sorcha, is such a flash of joy in the first book, no one would see that her party girl ways are just covering up for a deeper grief.


Can she stop her past from ruining her future?

Sorcha Mackinnon isn’t your typical tortured artist. She is also a party girl, a vintage shopper, and the heiress to a whisky fortune. But when inspiration suddenly flies out the window, she’s left with an empty whisky glass and a blank canvas…until a childhood friend waltzes back into her life.

She’s known Danny Gordon since birth, but they lost touch as their careers took them in different directions. He offers to show her the parts of Scotland he swears will spark life back into her brushes. And as they tour the sights on the back of his motorcycle, Sorcha realizes that under the tattoos and smart mouth, Danny may inspire more in her than just a new painting.

But as a good time begins to morph into an ever after, Sorcha is reminded of old wounds that just won’t heal. Danny tries to open her heart, but her self-imposed isolation makes things harder than ever. Now she must decide what to do, because what happens in the ruins doesn’t always stay there.


The automatic floodlights turned on, filling the gardens. I blinked several times as I tried to register what I was seeing. At the base of the hedges, on a massive black horse, sat a knight. His armor shone in the florescent lights and he held a shield in one hand, a sword in the other. I thought someone must have spiked my champagne.

“Um, guys?” I called over my shoulder, not taking my eyes off the medieval sight. Katie and Rose came up behind me. “Are you seeing this?” I asked.

“Who is it?” Rose leaned over the railing, but Katie pulled her back.

“Stop! What if it’s Lachlan? You still have the veil on. Come on, let’s put it in your room for safekeeping.”

They disappeared again, leaving me alone with the guy in the tin can. “Lachlan, is that you? Is that the suit from the entry way?”

“Fair maiden!” the knight yelled. The sound of his tinny voice startled the horse and he began to trot from side. The knight pulled on the reigns in an apparent attempt at calming his mighty steed and carried on his proclamation. “Sorcha, I—” The horses reared and began to stamp. “Bollocks, this bloody—”

“What the fuck is going on?” I asked.

Thistle meowed at my feet and I picked her up. We both continued to watch the spectacle with interest. The knight dropped the sword first, then the shield. I wondered if whoever was in there even knew how to ride a horse.

“Sorcha, I’ve come to—stupid horse—um…Sorcha, let down your hair!”

I just rested my elbows on the railing, Thistle tucked in the crook of my arm. “Okay, what the bloody hell is this?”

The horse trotted backward, knocking over a potted plant and making its rider curse in Gaelic. It was oddly fascinating, like watching an antiquated train wreck. The horse went side to side while the knight struggled to stay upright. They were completely at odds and getting worse by the moment. I loved it.

“Princess, it is I—” The horse reared one last time and the knight fell hard to the ground with the sound of someone taking out the recycling bin.

The horse began to bolt and Lachlan appeared from the shadows, chasing it down. The knight rolled from side to side, unable to get up, and Rhys and Sean ran to help him. Their brash laughter echoed around them and I had to join them as the knight’s helmet was removed.

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Award Winning Author; RWA RUBY Nominee; Diploma in Proofreading, Editing and Publishing; Published author since 2012; Debut Author with Harlequin's digital pioneer, Escape Publishing.

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