Blurb: Kelcie Roberts has finally found the spot in Scotland where she's certain Mary Queen of Scots' chalice is located. If she and her archeological team can dig it up, she'll change history and become famous, finally earning her a doctorate from back home in Minnesota. There's only one problem—the owner, famous soccer player and businessman Graham McGregor, is putting restrictions on the dig, making her play as if she's his girlfriend just to make his ex-girlfriend jealous. Graham's mother doesn't like Kelcie because of a centuries old feud between their families, and Kelcie also can't tell anyone she's the daughter of a U.S. Senator who hates Europe. She just wants to get the chalice, but it seems as if the world has other plans for her, played out in the media while Graham worms his way into her heart.
"Hey, Laddie! This here's me property!"
Kelcie Roberts spun toward the man running in her direction. Who was this guy? Maybe she was at the wrong house? No. She'd checked more than once and this was right. It was private property near Airdrie, Scotland.
Wait. His property? Was he Mr. McGinty? He didn't look like Mr. McGinty—this guy was too young. The closer the man got, she more she could make out his large blue eyes, brown hair, and slight dimples—more handsome than most of the models she'd dealt with in the past.
"Are you Mr. McGinty?" she asked. "If so, you sound much older than you look."
The man slowed and approached her, his hands going to his hips. "McGinty? No. Now get off me land. This is me home. I don't like trespassers."
Trespasser? She was far from it.
"But I talked with Mr. McGinty. He owns this land. I'm not a trespasser. My name's Kelcie Roberts. I traveled here from Minnesota and was promised I'd be allowed to conduct an archeological dig…" She looked downward and stamped her foot. "On this exact spot."
"Not in my yard, you don't." He moved her baseball cap upward slightly.
"Hey. Hands off, Buster!" She swatted his hand away and straightened her hat.
"You're a ginger woman? Ye look like a man with that hat and ponytail."
She glared at him right in the eyes, since he towered over her height by a few inches. Since she was about five foot ten, that made him around six feet. "Don't touch me or I'll call the cops."
"Don't get so regina," he said, in a flippant tone.
"Regina? Are you deaf? No, my name's Kelcie."
He rolled his blue eyes. "It's slang and means upset, kind of like maddy."
"My name's not Maddy, either. Are you trying to upset me or is it your natural personality?"
He blew out a sigh and pursed his lips. "I'll keep the slang to a minimum for your American brain." He assessed her hair, which seemed weird to her. "You're really tall for a woman. Do they feed you growth hormones over in the States?"
"I beg your pardon?" Her hands flew to her hips, narrowing her eyes as she moved toe-to-toe with him in a challenge. "Are you making fun of me?" She was ready to take him down.
"Women should be short and petite." He took a step back and raked his eyes down over her. "You look like an Amazon with no meat on her bones."
She'd never been described like that before, but it told her she'd managed to reach her goal of not being recognized. However, this man was downright rude and she had to put him in his place. Being almost six feet tall was no crime. "Are you serious? Do you always speak your mind to strangers?"
"If they're on my land without me permission, I do." He crossed his arms. "Why are you still here? I told you to get off me property."
"I was to meet Mr. McGinty, who promised to help me rope off the allotted amount of space, so we'd both agree on it. He checked to make sure there were no power lines or pipes in that area and gave me permission—"
"And shouldn't have."
"Stop interrupting me! I have permission—"
"It's not his permission to give." The man's mouth formed a scowl as he moved closer to her face. "Do ye know who I am?" His nose rose an inch into the air, showing his arrogance.
Her stomach fell in disappointment. "No, but Mr. McGinty promised me—"
"I'm the owner of this property. It's been in our family for generations, passed down from my grandmother on me mother's side. I didn't give you permission to do anything on me property." He turned and pointed to the metal marker from where she'd begun counting her twenty-six steps to find the spot she'd been waiting to uncover. "See that? That's got me mum's family name on it. This here's the old homestead and I intend for it to stay intact. This is me home and I don't want anyone messin' with me property while makin' lots of noise, either."
All the wind was forced from Kelcie's lungs, stunning her. "But you don't understand. I was promised. I have all the paperwork. I was given legal permission by the town as well as from Mr. McGinty." She reached into her overalls pocket and pulled out the contract, handing it over to him. "I even have the workers lined up to start early tomorrow morning. Mr. McGinty gave me two weeks to dig, and even though I know that's not enough time, I'm sure there's something here I can find from the original house that burned. He told me he owned this land."
"He doesn't anymore." As the man rubbed his chin, he looked up at the cloudless sky, not even glancing at the paperwork in his hand. "I did give McGinty permission to see fit as he wanted, because I've been out of town." The man lowered his gaze to her face, narrowing his eyes to a squint. "Me answer is no. I want you to leave me land. Not two weeks from now, but now." He shoved the contract back into her hand. "Or I'll call the constable and have him remove you."
Anger rose in her cheeks, certainly turning red. "Go ahead. I have a legal contract, Buster, and traveled here with permission." She waved the paper in her hand. "Even the constable knows about this."
"But I have power in this country. You're out of luck. I need this land so me team can walk over to the football field I just had installed. It was very expensive and I'm not about to jeopardize you hurting me home's curb appeal." He pointed toward her car. "Now be gone, woman. This is a manly home and you're not welcome."
Her mouth fell open in shock while her shoulders sagged in defeat. What a male chauvinist pig—and a Scottish one at that. She didn't have time to play these games. However, there was no talking sense to him, reminding her of her own evil brother.
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