Friday, March 8, 2024

Blog Tour: Kilt Trip


I absolutely love books set in Ireland and Scotland. It's one of my favorite settings, so when I heard about Kilt Trip by Alexandra Kiley, I knew I had to read it. Kilt Trip just came out on March 5th, and thanks to Harlequin, I am sharing an official excerpt from the novel today. I heard this novel is perfect for fans of Emily Henry and will make readers want to plan a trip to the Scottish Highlands immediately. 

Learn More About the Book:


Kilt Trip by Alexandra Kiley

Pub. Date: March 5, 2024



About the Book: "For fans of Emily Henry and Sarah Morgenthaler comes a brand-new Scotland-set romantic comedy. In this enemies-to-lovers romance, one woman discovers more than the just the magic of the heartland's lochs and landscapes—but not before clashing with the proud Scotsman she's forced to work with.

Addie Macrae has always followed her wanderlust. As a travel consultant, she turns struggling businesses into world-class tour groups. Her job comes with the perk of jetsetting around the globe, which means never being in one place for too long—just the way she likes it. Since her mom passed away ten years ago and her father never stopped grieving, no place has felt like home anyway. But when she’s sent on assignment to help a family-run tour group in Scotland—the one place she swore she’d never go—Addie has to shed her emotional baggage and turn on the professional charm.

Logan Sutherland’s family business is operating just fine, thank you very much. The Heart of the Highlands was never meant to make the family rich, rather to teach sightseers to appreciate the beauty of Scotland’s hidden gems, which are more captivating than any tourist trap. The last thing Logan wants is some American "expert" pushing Outlander-themed tours and perpetuating myths about the Loch Ness Monster. And for a travel consultant, Addie oddly doesn’t seem interested in learning about the land Logan loves. Equally put off by each other, the new colleagues clash on every company decision.

Then Logan discovers Addie does have a personal connection to Scotland—it was her late mother’s favorite place, one that now lives on in a handful of faded Polaroids Addie kept from her parents’ Honeymoon. She wants to seek out the places in the pictures, but is worried that she's too late to capture the wonder of following in her mother's footsteps. Logan is convinced he can help Addie get some closure, and the two realize, when they agree, they actually work pretty well together. 

But Addie’s contract with The Heart is almost up, and the business is still losing money. They can’t afford distractions, but there’s no denying the intense chemistry between Addie and Logan. Besides, how can Addie do her job properly if she hasn’t explored all Scotland has to offer?"


You can purchase your own copy of Kilt Trip at Bookshop, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, and Amazon. You can learn more about Alexandra Kiley at her website and connect with her on Instagram and Twitter.  

Read an Excerpt From the Novel:


    Addie Macrae’s internal compass was irreparably damaged. For all the traveling she did, and the relative ease of navigating a city with English street signs, Edinburgh’s jigsaw puzzle of gray-toned buildings and twisting streets left her head spinning.
    Under different circumstances she might’ve been swept away by the city’s lantern-topped street lights and cobblestone roads, but not while the architecture and charm conspired against her. She’d missed a full thirty minutes of her newest client’s city tour, the last one before their meeting tomorrow.
    If she was going to turn The Heart of the Highlands around, revamp their tours, and pull them from the brink of financial ruin, she needed to know what she was walking into. The thrumming in her chest slipped into the realm of heart palpitations, one tier below racing for a connecting flight.
    Which she’d already done today.
    Striding along another street lined with red and teal storefronts, she tugged at her collar, letting the chilled air slice through the humidity inside her plasticky yellow raincoat. Nothing in sight resembled a staircase at the bottom of Calton Hill—the starting point mentioned on the website.
    Gigi, the irritatingly sunny voice of Google Maps, shouted, “Turn left.” She was hopelessly laggy, sending Addie in one direction, then two minutes later changing her mind.
    Addie followed another skinny tunnel between buildings constructed long before the invention of motor vehicles. It deposited her into an unmarked courtyard, paths fanning out in all directions.
    Grinding her teeth, Addie restarted Gigi, tripped over a cobblestone, and cursed.
    Side-eyeing the red battery icon on her phone, she checked the time again. Dammit. At this rate, she’d miss the entire itinerary.
    Cars rumbled by on the wrong side of the road as she wound through the bustling downtown and crossed the construction zone that was the North Bridge. A light drizzle began to fall, dripping from her hood and curling the end of her blond braid. Great.
    A low brick wall to her left did nothing to contain the oldgrowth trees threatening to hop the street. She walked right past a staircase tucked between the disheveled, leafless forest before backing up.
    Begging to be missed, a miniature blue sign attached to a lamppost pointed up the stairs to Calton Hill. Addie shook her head. How were tourists expected to find this?
    Her annoyance drowned out any relief at finding the tour.
    As she headed toward the steps, her phone rang. Boss Babe lit up the screen. Devika filled all the roles in Addie’s life: best friend, coworker, mother hen.
    They were kindred spirits—always stayed late, snuck champagne and slippers into the office to work through the holidays, and sent each other postcards from airports around the world. Every time one of them got to a new destination, they checked in. Like the lone-women-travelers’ buddy system. In the haze of lost luggage and misdirection, Addie had forgotten. She answered, “Sorry. I’m here safely, although sans suitcase.” Her green hardside—scuffed, covered in stickers, and affectionately referred to as Frank—had taken an impromptu side trip without her permission.
    “That blows. Do they know when it’ll be back?”
    Addie started up the stairs, dragging her fingers over the sculpted lion’s head at the base of the shiny black handrail. A tower in the shape of an old-fashioned spyglass rose out of the knotted trees above her. “Hopefully tonight, or I’ll be wearing my airport-acquired rain gear to my meeting.”
    Devika laughed. “What’s on the books for today?”
    The answer to their running joke was, of course, always, work. Six months ago, her mentor, Marc, started a new agency—Dawsey Travel Consulting—and took Devika and Addie with him. It could hardly be called poaching when she would follow them to the ends of the earth. Addie wanted to be them when she grew up.
    Devika was a powerhouse karaoke song. She brought people to their feet with her magnetic presence and got shit done like a boss.
    Marc was quieter, more serious, but in an industry full of power-hungry men, he always listened, remembered vegetarian and gluten-free options, and cut off interrupters with a stern  
    “Addie wasn’t done talking.” He was the one person who’d taken a chance on her when she’d been at her lowest, who’d taught her how to keep moving when she wanted to give up.
    They were in a million different time zones right now, hustling to build a name for themselves in the competitive world of travel consulting. With ironclad non-competes from their old firm, their client roster currently consisted of Marc’s friends and whatever referrals their favorite clients could muster.
    Every project had to go perfectly to make their new business turn a profit. The future of their venture depended on it. And as the junior partner—the first one to be cut if things went sideways—Addie’s job did, too.
    She scanned the spider web of paths at the top of the hill.
    A random cannon sat in the median. This had to be the right spot. “Research,” Addie said. “I’m already docking them three points for starting the tour in an obscure location.”
    There. A group of ten or so people carrying colorful umbrellas huddled around a man in a kilt. Bingo.
“Are you spying?”
    Her stomach clenched at the censure in Devika’s voice. “I’ve got this.” Maybe it was the jet lag making her a bit desperate, or the fear of what would happen if she failed, but she’d take whatever edge she could get. “Besides, gathering intel isn’t illegal,” Addie defended, even though Devika was right to worry.
    Rebuilding trust with the client took time she didn’t have, but this was a calculated risk. As a rule, executives didn’t take kindly to corporate espionage in any form. However, executives were also rarely objective about their own tours. They chalked lagging sales up to uninspired marketing or internet algorithms, never to generic itineraries, up-charging for headphones on an audio tour, or rambling guides.
    Metrics on destination costs and ticket prices were important, but the way people responded to their guides told an indisputable story. One day trip could show her more about a company’s weak spots than five board meetings combined.
    “You better hope you blend in.”
    Addie bit her lip as she looked down at her attire. Between the yellow raincoat and poppy-splashed wellies, she looked about as unobtrusive as a knockoff Paddington Bear waving a sign that read I’m crashing your tour. But it was fine, she could totally pass as a tourist. “You’re not helping at all. I have to go be sneaky.”
    Devika laughed and made the word bye last for three syllables.
    Addie moved to the back of the group where two people speaking Japanese, having clearly forgotten their raincoats, wore see-through Heart of the Highlands–branded ponchos.
    Practical and effective swag, 1 point.
    Gigi shouted, “Keep right at the fork!”
    All eyes swung to Addie and heat flooded her cheeks as she struggled to turn off the speaker. “Is this the Hidden Gems tour?” she asked the approaching guide. “I got lost…” Addie looked up into crinkling gray eyes.
    Curls fell over his forehead, a wavy sea of honey and bronze. On anyone else, she’d have said he was in dire need of a haircut, but it worked for him—matched the close-trimmed beard and the power of his shoulders.
    He would be intimidatingly rugged if he wasn’t draped in clear plastic.
    “Aye. Welcome. Are you Heather Munro?”
    Her gaze slipped down to his navy blue and forest green kilt… Damn.
    She’d never considered herself one to swoon over a kilt, but his work boots and rounded calves were doing something to her stomach she couldn’t feasibly attribute to her bumpy flight. The navy cable-knit sweater, too—much better than the frilly pirate shirt that usually accompanied this getup.
    Although, it did little to set their guides apart.
    Gimmicky uniform, minus 2 points…on anyone else.
    The last words he said filtered back to her, and heat crept up her neck. Shit.
    “Oh, yes. Hi. That’s me.” Addie was more accustomed to sleeping on planes than in her own bed, but she was clearly more jet-lagged than she’d realized if she couldn’t remember her own fake name.
    The guide’s lips curved into an amused smile. “I’m Logan.”
    She could tell a lot from a handshake.
    Crushing: domineering and a pain in the ass to work with.
     Limp: kind but required vast emotional resources to make decisions.
     Wet-fish: well…that was never a good sign.
     But Logan’s firm handshake was warm. It said: I know what I want. I’m not afraid to ask for help or entertain new ideas.
    Not that it mattered. She’d be working with the owner and his son, not the guides.
    His grin sent tingles whispering over her skin as he dropped her hand and turned back to the group. “This way to the National Monument of Scotland, built to commemorate those who fought in the Napoleonic Wars.” Logan gestured to the Parthenon-style structure missing two and a half sides of pillars. “Or, as it’s affectionately called, Scotland’s Shame. As you can see, funding ran out rather quickly.” A few snickers and an abundance of smiles followed his remarks.
    “Edinburgh is nicknamed the Athens of the North, and these buildings celebrate our architectural feats and enlightenment. But long before the monuments were constructed, Calton Hill was a site for many pagan rituals. My favorite is Beltane, the Celtic festival hailing the reappearance of summer and the fertility of the land. Fire represents the return of the light, and revelers celebrate in its glow.”
    Logan could have described the architecture, the historical figures, or the politics at the time of construction. Addie had been on that kind of tour in the real Athens and knew firsthand how hard it was to keep guests’ interest with dry facts. Instead, Logan’s tales of rejoicing and fire, spirits and drums, enthralled the tourists. The group huddled around him, his voice low and soothing like it’d wrapped around everyone and pulled them in.
   If all the guides were this good, Addie wouldn’t need to bring in a story-crafting coach; Logan would make a dishwasher manual sound interesting.
    Engaging the guests, 3 points.

Excerpted from Kilt Trip by Alexandra Kiley. Copyright © 2024 by Alexandra Kiley. Published by Canary Street Press.

So, what do you of the excerpt? Is Kilt Trip on your TBR list? I hope to dive into this novel very soon and can't wait to be swept away to dreamy Scotland. Let me know what you think in the comments below.



  1. I've been seeing this one around a lot lately and it sounds so good!!

    1. I am reading it now and it is making me want to plan a trip to Scotland! Thanks for visting, Angela!


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