We’ll all be crazy busy this weekend with the Romance Festival, sponsored by our new publisher HarperImpulse (and counting down the days to our sexy paranormal anthology Dark Desires). Look for surprises and news as well as lots of fun chat and a few prizes.
Nessia Stephenson’s world was safe until a threat from a neighbouring clan forces her to accept a betrothal to a man whose family can offer her the protection she needs. The real threat lies in her intense attraction to the man who arranged the match—the clan’s chief and her intended’s brother, Fergus MacKay.
When powerful warlord Fergus MacKay arranges a marriage for his younger brother, William, he has no idea the price will be his own heart. Fergus is captivated by the wildly beautiful Nessia, a woman he can never have.
When the feud between the MacKay and Sutherland clans escalates, Nessia, William, and Fergus all must make sacrifices for their future. Longing and loss, honour and duty. How can love triumph under such desperate circumstances?
Intrigued? How about an excerpt? Well, here you go —
William paced while Fergus leaned back in his chair with his long legs stretched out and his arms crossed over his chest. Stephenson was late, not by much, but enough to make William fidget and Fergus take notice. Their three younger siblings, Freya who was in her sixteenth year, John who was fourteen, and eleven-year-old Stephen, waited as well, all in various states of impatience.
The great hall was large and welcoming with dark wooden beams framing the ceiling and walls. Fergus had counted the eighteen beams along the length of the room about a hundred times. William had worn a permanent path on the wide plank floor in front of the red sandstone hearth beneath the many MacKay hunting trophies. Young John sighed again.
“You know, for a man who isn’t eager to meet his future wife, you’ve got quite a set of nerves there lad,” Fergus said to William.
William straightened his linen shirt and smoothed his tunic as he glared at Fergus. Yet, the comment was absorbed and William ceased his pacing to sit on a chair near the fire. Fergus watched his brother adjust his belt again. The young man wore his usual dress, but had taken greater pains today to perfect his appearance. Fergus glanced down at his linen shirt and leather sleeveless tunic. William’s long hair was tied at his nape while Fergus’s was left hanging loose. Fergus recalled having to take extra pains upon his betrothal. Thankfully, those days had passed and he needn’t overly worry anymore. A young lass would surely find William’s neat, respectable appearance appealing. He hoped so, but before he could dwell on it further a servant entered, announcing the arrival of Thomas Stephenson, his daughter Nessia and several of their clansmen.
William sprang to his feet and crossed the floor in a few quick strides to greet them. He continued to fidget as Fergus sauntered up from behind.
“Thomas! Welcome. We thought we’d have to send out a search party soon.” Fergus led the stout man into the great hall.
“Aye, the road was a bit rough with a wagon in tow.” The man’s brow was streaked with sweat and he looked weary from his travels.
“We’ve had a lot of rains this harvest, there’s no doubting that.” In truth he would have gone searching himself had another hour passed. Earlier that day he’d heard more rumours about Ronan Sutherland. Apparently, the lad had agreed to his father’s suggestion and would commence his campaign in the coming days.
Fergus sensed William stiffen beside him as Thomas began the introductions.
“Fergus, William, this is my brother Neville and these three are my sons, Colin, Robert, and Camden my youngest. And this is my daughter, Nessia.”
Fergus acknowledged each man in turn. When the introduction came to the girl and his gaze fell on her, his breath caught in his throat. With black hair and bright blue eyes, she stood proudly before him with her chin lifted and all the regal confidence of a noblewoman. She displayed no fear or reservation at all, something which was unusual in most men he met, but was more so in a woman. The gentler sex usually cowered before him—not this lass.
Fergus stared at her, his heart drumming hard inside his chest. His guts clenched as if he’d been punched. He had to force himself from moving toward her to touch her hair, which looked like spun silk, for surely it could not be real.
Fergus remembered his brother then, and tore his gaze from her to find William’s eyes wide and his jaw slacked. An unexpected pang ran through him. When he turned back it was to find her still staring at him, seemingly unabashed for staring openly at a man. A bold one, then. Fergus drew his brows together. What did she want?
Ebook available at these links.
Kate Robbins writes historical romance novels out of pure escapism and a love for all things Scottish, not to mention a life-long enjoyment of reading romance. Kate loves the research process and delving into secondary sources in order to blend authentic historical fact into her stories. She has travelled to Scotland twice and visited the sites described in her Highland Chiefs series. Her Highland Chiefs series is set in the early fifteenth century during the reign of James Stewart, first of his name. Kate is the pen name of Debbie Robbins who lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada with her man-beast and two man-cubs.
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