When a Laird Takes a Lady
Genre: Historical, Scottish Romance
Elements/Tags: medieval, 13th Century
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Publishing Date: May 6, 2014
Series: Claimed by the Highlander, #2
Format: Print and Ebook
Words: 368 Pages
In the Highlands of Scotland, honor and loyalty are worth more than life itself. But when a haunted woman meets a wronged warrior, love will prove more powerful than anything they have ever known.
Isabail Grant has had to be strong all her life. Over the years, she has lost everyone close to her, and now she’s seeking justice for her brother’s murder. But en route to Edinburgh to petition the king, she is kidnapped by a fierce warrior—and is shocked to find herself irresistibly drawn to her captor.
Aiden MacCurran is an outlaw. The laird of a small clan, he’s been falsely accused of killing the king’s courier and stealing the Crown’s property—and the key to clearing his name and redeeming his clan lies in Isabail’s memories. But Aiden and Isabail must first weather deceit and treachery before they can find the truth and claim the love that’s growing between them....
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I love Scottish heroes. They maybe a little rough around the edges, but they fight for what they believe in...and that usually involves the heroine. Any Scottish warrior is worthy of a sigh, but a Scottish laird—especially a medieval one—can truly make your heart pound. What makes a Scottish laird so interesting?
He occasionally lets the heroine push him around...
Her entourage took one look at his face and scattered into the night.
Isabail scrambled to her feet, knocking the three legged stool to its side. “I did not seek them out, they sought me.”
She backed up several steps. “Th-they lack guidance.”
The tremble in her voice registered, and he bit back the snarled response that leapt to his lips. He had no idea what expression lay on his face, but clearly it frightened her. Mindful of his brother's advice, he attempted to soften his features. Her gaze darted away, and he had the distinct impression his efforts hadn’t entirely been successful.
Still, she persevered. “Guidance that is typically given by the lady of the keep."
"My mother is grieving. Her attention is justly scattered."
Isabail nodded. "I understand. But a castle runs more smoothly when all within are assigned specific duties and are held accountable.”
He frowned. “My people have served the clan for many a year. They know their tasks."
“Would your soldiers be well organized if their captain had been slain in battle?”
“A new captain would be appointed.”
She smiled tremulously.”Exactly. The seneschal is the captain of the household. Without him, even your seasoned staff feel lost and at cross-purpose.”
“It’s my mother’s duty to appoint a new seneschal.” He shrugged. “She’ll take care of it in due time.”
“And while she grieves, your caretakers struggle to work together and keep food on the table.”
The note of disapproval in her voice did not sit well. “We are surviving,” he said coldly.
“Aye,” she said, “you will continue to survive…until you do not. But how much longer do you have? A week? A month? Without someone regularly counting the supplies and visiting the menus, how can you know?”
Aiden crossed his arms over his chest. Her words were an echo of his own concerns. And the conversation he'd just had with his men had only heightened those concerns: food was becoming a problem. According to Udard, the reason the hunting party had been captured by MacPherson was that they were venturing farther north in search of game. The forest around the hill fort had been hunted out. Still, Aiden wasn’t willing to cede the point. Not to Lady Isabail. "My household is none of your concern."
“Of course it is,” she insisted. "I am your prisoner. My safety is at stake. A brave warrior can hold off an attacking army indefinitely. A starving warrior has only days before he must bow in defeat.”
Her brazen challenge drew Aiden forward. “Now you impugn my ability to keep you safe? By god, woman, you are too much.”
She took a hasty step back, a rapid pulse fluttering in her long, elegant neck.
A very obvious sign of fear, which twisted his guts. She believed he would harm her. Good sense told him to back away, to let her run. But he did not. Instead, he gave into impulse and closed the gap between them to mere inches. Her eyes widened, and one trembling hand flew to her throat.
Aiden grasped that hand in his.
It was cool and delightfully soft-skinned. The temptation to press a kiss to her knuckles came and went as he stared into her eyes. This was not the time for such an indulgence. He placed her hand on his chest, just above his heart. "Know this. Never, no matter how angry my words or how furious my stance, will I do harm to a woman," he said. "If ever you need to know that you are safe in my presence, simply place your hand here and push. You have my word that I will back away."
He let his hand drop. Hers remained on his chest.
With their gazes locked, he pressed lightly forward, encouraging her to test his vow.
And she did. She pushed.
Aiden stepped back.
Meet Author Rowan Keats:
Rowan Keats pens historical adventures involving hot Highland heroes and the women they claim. Both TAMING A WILD SCOT and WHEN A LAIRD TAKES A LADY have earned 4 1/2 star reviews from RT Book Reviews, which labelled her "a rising star of medieval romance."
When not writing, Rowan can frequently be found in a dark movie theater indulging in a large bag of popcorn, or watching the sunrise with a mug of steaming coffee wrapped in her hands. She lives in Central Canada with a goofy black lab, a very talkative cat, and a daughter whose own creative talents awe and inspire her every day.
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