At this point, it’s no surprise that I am a die-hard fan of Doon. I reviewed the fabulous fantasy just over a year ago, and if you’re here because you’re curious about the gorgeous castle header and what it means, here‘s all you need to know before reading on. Oh yeah, and there’s also an interesting (and weird, mostly weird) interview with Carey and Lorie right here, and, yes, that’s right, I have more for you lovely folks. Be sure to check out the Destined for Doon cover reveal we did quite recently, in case you missed that. And, if you’re wondering, yes, I’ve read said sequel and there’s a pretty fancy review coming along that’ll feature music and other odd pop culture, but you won’t be hearing about any of that for another month or so. All my apologies. Or, well, some.
In the meantime, enjoy one of Carey’s favorite cut snippets from Doon!
Kenna’s First Dance in Doon
(This scene takes place during and after chapter 16. We get to see what Kenna and Duncan are up to after Vee goes off to dance.)
With a complete lack of subtlety, Vee waggled her brows at me. Any moment now, she would break out in “Kenna and Duncan sitting in a tree…K—I—S—S—ING.”
Desperate to cut her off, I interjected, “Go dance, Vee. Before you gyrate out of your stockings.”
Duncan took Vee’s arm and propelled her towards the frenetic floor. “Feel free to join in. We have many fine dancers in Doon. Even my brother is most accomplished in this area.”
“Really?” She paused to watch Jamie in the middle of an animated group of young women, including lovely Sofia. Her face darkened for a few beats but then turned determinedly bright. “If you will excuse me, the music calls and I must obey.”
With a lithe skip, Vee wove her way toward the center of the dance floor. She leapt into the melee, her feet an elegant flurry of rhythm and improvised high-steps. More than a natural, she was sublime. The room began to take notice as she moved in perfect sync around the other dancers and into the direct sightline of a certain blond Laird.
“Look.” Duncan gestured with his head toward the spot where moments before, Jamie had been in intimate conversation with Sofia Rosetti.
In a rare, unguarded moment, the MacCrae had stopped paying attention to anything except Vee, who whirled with the grace of a ballroom dancer and the enthusiasm of a child. While he watched, a stunning smile of appreciation lit his face. His eyes seemed to drink her in as if she was the elixir of life. But I’d seen enough of the prince’s ever-changing moods to know whiplash would soon follow.
I shrugged. “She’s always been like that. When Vee dances, the whole room notices.”
Duncan’s fingers brushed my arm in a phantom touch. “She’s not the only lass in the room worth noticing.”
Desperate to change the subject, I blurted out the first thing that popped into my head. “I’m sorry about your dad.”
The sweet smile on his face faltered as his lips turned downward. “Thank you. I daresay he’s not much more for this world.”
I recalled his father’s interaction in the throne room. “You’re very close to him.”
“Aye. My father and I are very similar in temperament. We naturally comprehend one another.”
“And your brother?”
“Jamie reminds my father of my Ma. Lord rest her soul. He’s verra like her.” At the mention of his mother, Duncan eyes turned distant and glassy. His next words were wistful. “She always spoke of the special bond that existed between a mother and her first born son.”
I watched Jamie take a couple of automatic steps toward Vee before catching himself and turning back toward Sofia. “Did you envy his closeness with your mom?”
“Nay. I know she loved me. But my brother misses her terribly—even more than I do. He confided in her, and since she died, he’s been adrift without an anchor.”
“But he has you, right? And friends, like Sofia?” It was a shameless attempt to get the 411 on the boy who’d captivated my bestie’s fragile heart.
“Aye. She and Jamie have been close their whole lives. Don’t tell Jamie I told ye, but as babes they shared a tub a time or two.” He quietly laughed. “My Ma was very fond of Sofie.”
“What about you?” I teased. “Who did you bathe with? Gabriella?”
The sadness in his eyes vanished, replaced by his asymmetrical grin. His soft rolling brogue dropped a whole octave into a deep rasp that sent shivers across my skin. “Why, Mackenna? Jealous?”
“Nope.” The image of Gabby and Duncan bathing together filled my mind. But in my unsettling version, they were far too grown up to be innocent babes. “Why are you afraid to tell me?”
“I can’t be divulgin’ all my secrets. A lad’s got to retain some mystery, now.”
“Never mind.” I tensed my posture as if I were about to leave. “I’ll just go ask Fiona.”
As I made a big show of turning away, Duncan caught my arm and spun me back towards him. “Fine! Twas Fergus, if ye must know.”
Taken off guard by the last thing I expected to come from his mouth, I howled in laughter. Duncan glowered at me, but the light in his eyes told me he appreciated the humor of his embarrassing revelation. “Now don’t ye go making a thing of it. I like lasses—verra much—and am quite willing to prove it to you if need be.”
The challenge in Duncan’s dark features caused me to immediately back down. I wasn’t sure what he would or wouldn’t do in a public setting—but I wasn’t about to find out. My breath caught and strangled my laughter as my face began to flush. My heart went into manic tap-dance mode. “I believe you. No demonstration necessary.”
Duncan leaned in slightly to test the sincerity of my concession. Determined to ignore his nearness, I feigned interest in the far side of the dance floor. As Vee twirled past Jamie, the MacCrae’s hands reached for her. With a frown, he fisted them at his sides before darting a guilty glance in the direction of his former bathing partner.
I voiced my thought as I analyzed the unfolding drama. “He’s upset by our coming.”
Duncan’s voice carried a soft reprimand. “I wouldna be too quick to assume what my brother thinks or feels. He’s a complicated person and hardly ever shows his true feelings on the outside.”
I filed that information away to share with Vee at a later time. The music stopped. In the brief pause, Jamie walked toward Vee with renewed purpose. The first strains of the next, slower tune trembled through the hall. Jamie grabbed Vee’s arm and spun her close before she could dance away. The air in the room charged with anticipation and I held my breath to see what would happen next.
What happen was—Duncan stepped in front of me and blocked my view. The intensity of his gaze caused something foreign to uncurl in the pit of my stomach. My whole body felt tingly and strange.
“Your friend’s a right fair dancer, but I fancy a bit more of a challenge.” He nodded toward the floor now populated with couples moving at a slower, if no less complicated, pace. “Care ta dance, yet?”
While I hesitated, he grinned at me with starry eyes. “It’s not like I’m askin’ ye to run through the hall in your knickers or eat a hand full of meal grubs—which’re surprisingly chewy, by the way—it’s just a dance. If ye refuse me now, I’ll be the laughing stock of the kingdom. The lads’ll never let up. If not for the sheer pleasure of having me as a partner, take pity on my reputation.”
Without giving me time to think, he pulled me into the center of the fray in a firm but gentle grip. His large left hand held my right while his other one cupped my waist. Heat radiated from our points of contact so that I felt dizzy.
For a moment, he stared at the juncture where his hand rested reverently against the curve of my hip, and then his eyes climbed to mine. His ridiculously gorgeous face shone with triumph as he pulled my body flush against his and my curves reshaped to his hard angles. My heart pounded wildly in my chest—or was that his heartbeat?—as we slowly began to move to the music.
Add to Duncan’s list of accolades, accomplished ballroom dancer. In less than thirty seconds, I realized I was outmatched. Panic flooded my veins making me desperate to hightail it to the powder room. Dancing had never been my forte. If I had any hope of keeping up, I would need to channel my inner Anna Leonowens. With a lift of my chin, I began to whistle a happy tune in my head imagining he was the King of Siam and I was unafraid—etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
The music shifted into something more upbeat. Duncan’s beguiling brown eyes twinkled mischievously as he increased our pace. Determined to meet his challenge, I whirled with manufactured abandon. Then, just to even things out, I very deliberately and methodically stomped on his foot. Hard. “Sorry,” I mumbled. “Two left feet.”
To his credit, he never said a word. He just grinned, held me tighter, and twirled even faster across the floor. In unison, we danced until our worlds fused together in one dizzying blur.
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Doon Bonus Material
Copyright © 2014 by Carey Corp and Lorie Moeggenberg
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Thank you to the Alan Jay Lerner Estate and the Frederick Loewe Foundation for use of the Brigadoon premise.