on December 18th 2017
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The past haunts them. Treachery awaits them. Love will save them.
A shattered lass…
Scarred by the cruel whims of her late husband, Lena MacLeod lives in fear of men and marriage. So when the king’s edict obliges her to wed Scottish warrior Alex MacLean, she never expects to feel safe, let alone happy. But behind Alex’s fierce exterior lies a gentle, gallant highlander who renews her soul, emboldens her, and offers her the one thing she never thought she would possess—true love. Now that Alex has her whole heart, she’ll settle for nothing less than all of his.
A tortured highlander…
Haunted by violent nightmares of his dark past, Alex MacLean has put off getting married for as long as possible. But now he finds himself the husband of the fragile, beautiful Lena, and he’s drawn to her as he has never been to another. He vows to protect and heal her, and as she grows stronger, so does his love for her. Yet, his horrible memories and a treacherous task are preventing him from giving himself to her entirely, and the secrets he harbors threaten to destroy their life together.
When Lena uncovers a dangerous scheme involving Alex, she embarks on a desperate journey to save the man she loves. But Alex still hasn’t let her in, and he runs the risk of losing her—and his life—unless he can accept that his once delicate wife is now an ally strong enough to light his way.
“What have ye done?” Lena hissed under her breath.
Marion thrust back her shoulders. “All we have done is ensured you’ll not stand in your favorite corner holding up the wall, as usual. Life is passing you by.”
“Did it nae occur to ye or Bridgette that I stand in this corner because I dunnae like to dance,” Lena muttered under her breath.
Marion waved a hand. “Don’t be ridiculous. Iain told me how you used to love to dance and when ordered to bed with the rest of the children you would beg your parents to let you remain in the Great Hall to dance with all your elders.”
“Marion,” Lena said on a fearful gasp. “I kinnae dance with a man. Nae even Alex,” she rushed out in a tortured whisper.
The color drained from Marion’s face as her lips parted in understanding, but it was too late. Alex and Bridgette were before them. As Bridgette released her hold on her brother, she took Lena by the arm and propelled her toward Alex with a chuckle. “Lena, Alex wishes to dance with ye,” Bridgette announced.
A shiver of panic swept through Lena, and she stumbled into the hard surface of Alex’s body. When she looked up to apologize and put distance between him, the words caught in her throat as her hand froze on his chest. It raced as if he was bothered by the prospect of a dance with her just as much as she was with him. Behind her she felt Marion and Bridgette move away while she stood standing there gawking at Alex. As he stared back, it was as if a cloak was momentarily lifted from his eyes, and the tenderness in the depths sucked the air from her lungs.
“I ken ye dunnae wish to dance,” he said in a voice as deep as an endless loch.
For a moment, the masculine beauty of Alex’s face stole her ability to speak. Mahogany hair surrounded his sculpted features and curled below his ears and against his neck. Dark stubble covered his square jaw and above his full lips. His eyes, framed by thick sinfully long lashes, narrowed slightly, the veil she normally saw there, falling firmly back into place and snapping her out of her daze.
She dropped her hand from his chest as he held both of his up, palms facing her. “Lass,” he said slowly, the single word sounding seductive as it rumbled from his chest, “I appreciate why ye would nae wish to dance with a man.”
Heat scalded her cheeks. Of course he knew of her past, almost everyone did, but no one ever spoke to her about it directly, save for the couple of times that two of her now sisters-in-law brought it up in an effort to help her. But not even either of them had ever comprehended that a man’s touch sent a chill of black fright through her. How could Alex know? As a friend of her family’s, he’d known her all her life, of course, or at least the early part when she had been living at Dunvegan before she had been taken by her Uncle who had been intent on hurting her father. Yet, Alex did not know her as a woman, though she had been home almost two years. They’d barely spent much time together, except once when he had aided her brothers in trying to help hide her from her husband who had convinced the king to return her to him. But during that flight to hiding, they had been accompanied by three of his men, so they had never been alone, never spoken of anything other than polite topics such as the weather.
He could not know her secret, yet that veil over his eyes slipped once more, and there was no denying that understanding shone there. “I promise ye,” he said, the words vibrating with their earnest intensity, “my only wish is to see ye smile. I will touch yer hands, and that is all I will touch, and if ye kinnae stand that, then we will dance without so much as grazing one another.”
She frowned as she darted her gaze to the merry makers in the Great Hall. The men swung the women about in various stages of handholding or with their arms about the women’s waists. She swallowed hard, a sudden desire to try to allow him to hold her hand for a simple safe dance flaring bright in her. “We would look foolish if we have to dance without touching,” she replied in a low voice, fearful of someone hearing, though no one was close enough to overhear.
“I promise if anyone dares to utter ye look foolish, I’ll kill them,” he said, his tone teasing but his narrowed, ruthless gaze anything but. A surprising sense of safety at his words, though only witty banter, filled her. He flashed a grin, displaying two enticing dimples that made him appear every bit as trustworthy as he did lethal with his tall, powerfully built body. He held his hand out to her. “Trust me, just for a single dance. Ye must start somewhere, aye?”
You can follow the Highlander Vows: Entangled Hearts series on Goodreads.
For a chance to win a Print or ebook copy (winner’s choice) of the first book in the series- When a Lord Loves a Lady…
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