Published by Vonda Sinclair on December 10th 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Lady Kristina MacQueen suffered devastating injuries at the hands of a ruthless Highland chief, Blackburn MacCromar. Two years later, he kidnaps her for a journey across the chilly, windblown Scottish Highlands to flush out her sister, Anna—the woman Blackburn forced to wed him. Red Holme, Blackburn's second-in-command, is equally brutal and determined to possess Kristina.
A Highland warrior and future chief, Colin Cameron has no intention of becoming entangled in the whims of another highborn lady. However, upon witnessing Lady Kristina being held hostage by the enemy, a knife to her throat, he resolves to rescue her and bring her to safety. When Red Holme sees Colin Cameron, he recognizes his enemy from a decade earlier and craves revenge even more than he lusts for the lady. But he is determined to have both.
Colin is the most charismatic and heroic man Kristina has ever met, and he awakens her woman's instincts. He might be her only chance to experience a brief moment of passion. Even so, she holds no illusions about marriage, for no worthy man will find her blindness and scars appealing, or see them as beneficial traits in a wife. But she can't see how he looks at her. Though Colin has sworn to never fall in love again, he cannot defend his heart against the strong, spirited and lovely lass who is like none other he has ever met.
Set up: Colin rescued Kristina from the enemy and is hiding her in a cave.
Colin kissed the top of her head, surprising her and making her feel warm and tingly all over. Of its own will, her hand tightened in the material of his shirt. She wanted to pull him closer still. Having a man hold her was a startling new experience for her. She’d never imagined she would enjoy such a thing. Generally, she wanted men to stay a great distance away from her. But Colin was so different. Almost instantly, she’d felt very comfortable with him. His voice had calmed her and inspired trust.
She snuggled closer and fantasized they were lying in a huge, firm bed in his home, no doubt a fine castle. She sighed at how wonderful that would be.
She felt him stiffen of a sudden. “What’s wrong?” she asked.
“Naught.” His response was quick and his voice gruff, making her suspect he was lying. Had he heard a noise she’d missed? She listened for a moment, detecting nothing but silence. One of his hands caressed her back, soothing her again.
He was so sweet and caring. She pressed a small, silent kiss to the shirt covering his chest. She was certain he couldn’t feel it. She hoped. But she wished she could kiss him all over, especially his lips. She wondered what they looked like and, most especially, what they felt like.
His hand moved upward into the back of her hair to gently massage her scalp. Delightful tingles spun down her neck and along her spine. His fingers felt heavenly. She sighed again and, with it, a soft moan slipped out, against her will.
“Kristina?” Her name was a guttural murmur against her hair.
Och, nay! He had heard it. What would he think? “Aye?”
“What are you doing?” He sounded as if his teeth were clenched.
“Naught. What are you doing?”
“Hell if I know. You’re driving me mad.”
Why on earth would the minute sound she made vex him so? She moved back a few inches. “What am I doing that so annoys you?”
He blew out a breath. “‘Tis not annoyance, lass. Surely you ken that.”
Nay, she did not ken the entirety of what he meant. She had no familiarity with men, had never even experienced a real kiss, truth be told. If he was not annoyed, what was he? “What do you mean by mad, then?”
“Damnation,” he muttered.
“I’m sorry I’ve angered you.” She drew farther away.
“Kristina.” He stroked his palm up the undamaged side of her face. “I’m not angry, sweet lass,” he murmured.
The change in his tone from irritable to compassionate brought tears to her eyes. “What then? I’m tired of this riddle. I don’t understand you.”
He tilted her face upward and pressed his mouth against hers. But it wasn’t a simple, quick peck. Nay, indeed. His mouth did not leave hers. Instead, his lips explored hers and then suddenly his tongue was flicking against her lips and teasing her mouth. Good heavens! She had never imagined a kiss could feel like this.
When men had pressed their lips to hers in the past, all she’d felt was repugnance. But this was the opposite. Colin’s mouth was delicious and appealing against hers. She reveled in this contact and wanted more. She opened her mouth as he seemed to want her to do and he delved inside, took the kiss deeper. Tingles spread from her breasts downward. The feeling of wanting was so overwhelming she knew not what to do.
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What is your favorite type of historical romance heroine? Do you prefer unconventional and unusual ladies or the tried and true with no surprises?