Genre: New Adult Historical Fiction
Word Count: 64,000
Defeated and wounded, Bonnie Prince Charlie is fleeing from government soldiers thirsting for his blood. Local girl Flora MacDonald is enlisted to aid his escape, but no-one could have predicted the prince’s falling in love.
The knock on the door was the first indication that something was not quite right.
In her quiet life in Benbecula, Flora knew only three types of callers. The first consisted of the islanders, most known to her by name, the friends and family who called at all times of day and night. The door was always open to them, and they knew never to knock. The second type was the tradesmen, the milkman and the baker, who would ride through the village ringing their bells. Each one was greeted by name and with a smile. The final sort terrified her, those monsters she hardly dared think about, the Hanoverian forces. They did not knock, or so she had heard, but slammed down the door and bathed the cottages in blood, searching for any trace of the missing prince.
The knock was repeated, louder this time. Automatically Flora glanced over her shoulder to the armchair by the fire for guidance, feeling a twinge of pain in her throat when she remembered that it was empty, and would remain so forever. Her mother, the rock to whom she had clung for as long as she could remember, had passed away only a few weeks ago.
At the sound of a third knock, the most urgent of all, Flora picked up the largest breadknife and wrapped it under her apron, feeling comforted by its reassuringly sturdy handle. She took a deep, steadying breath, straightened her back and neck until she stood at her full height, and drew back the latch to let the heavy oak creep open.