Published by Altiora Press on May 17th 2018
A stolen kiss. A forced marriage. Can a Scottish chief and English lady learn to love each other?
The WarriorAfter two rejected proposals, Graeme de Sowlis has no interest in marriage. The Scottish clan chief would much rather preserve his heart and focus on promoting peace along the increasingly contentious border. His best-laid plans change when he accepts an invitation to a May Day celebration at Kenshire Castle in England. When he’s caught in a stolen kiss with the May Day Queen, his integrity requires that he marry her.
The QueenGillian Bowman is so eager to please her father, she’s agreed to marry the ancient Earl of Covington to save the family manor. Though she has every intention of doing just that, curiosity drives her into the arms of a handsome Scottish chief. When they’re caught and forced to marry, she’s horrified. The Earl of Covington has the ability to ruin her family, and her new husband seems reluctant to open up to her outside of the bedroom. Can love bloom from such humble beginnings?
He bowed. “My queen.” Though of course she couldn’t be—he knew that. Just his luck that the only ladies who caught his eye were either betrothed to someone else or nearly so. “Pardon me, my lady.”
He began to move past her, but a tentative hand on his arm stopped him.
“Nay, I will go.” She turned to leave.
“Wait,” he called, suddenly unsure of himself.
She stopped and turned, blinking and obviously nervous. “I just wanted a brief respite—”
“From the leagues of suitors clamoring for a dance?”
Lady Gillian raised her chin. “Not suitors. I am to be wed.”
He looked beyond her and, seeing no one about, pursued the question he’d been most curious about since hearing that very same piece of news from Geoffrey. “To Covington. Why?”
She looked as if he’d asked her a difficult question, when it was anything but.
“Because my father wishes it, of course,” she finally said.
So damn proper.
“Do you wish it?” The devil in him wanted to see the curious girl from last eve, the one who had thrown propriety to the wind, rather than the noblewoman who stood with him here now.
“It does not matter what I wish.”
“Yet sometimes”—he took a step toward her—“it does.”
She shook her head. “Mayhap for you it matters. But for me—”
“Tell me, my queen.” He treaded in dangerous territory but, as usual, would not heed even his own warnings. “What do you wish?”
She opened her mouth, and from the look in her brown eyes, it was to argue with him.
“Nay, do not argue. You are a queen tonight. And a queen’s wishes do come true.” He took one more step toward her.
They stood much too close for propriety’s sake, but he could not bring himself to care.
“What”—he lowered his voice—“do you wish?”
When she pulled her hair to the front, he reached up and pushed it back. He’d done so without thinking, but that simple, intimate touch could not be reversed.
Nor did he wish it to be.
He was a fool.
A fool who was being pulled into a spell stronger than his good sense.
He could see the battle in her eyes. She wanted to flee. She wanted to kiss him. It was no less intense than the war he had waged within himself, but he’d already succumbed. She had not.
“I wish . . .”
In that moment, Graeme’s life flashed before his eyes. His clan, his family. The responsibility heaped on his shoulders so young. The raids, the battles. Catrina, Emma. In that moment, all of it seemed so insignificant and small compared to the answer this one woman would give him. For if she turned away, he’d never see her again. He knew that.
“I wish . . . for you to kiss me.”
Cecelia is giving away a digital copy of The Warrior’s Queen
For a chance to win just comment below with the answer to this question…
The model on the cover of this book has a hairless chest…which do you prefer hairy or hairless?
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
The Warrior’s Queen is the 6th book in the Border series by Cecelia Mecca. Although there is mention of characters from the other books in this series you can still easily read this as a standalone book. Personally, I am glad that I had read the previous books because it was lovely to catch up with how the other couples/characters have been getting on.
Graeme de Sowlis is a Scottish clan chief. He isn’t interested in marriage after wanting to marry two women who ended up choosing to marry somebody else! He puts all his focus into keeping the peace between the English and Scottish living either side of the border. Recently there has been a lot of raids performed by the English, including one where a woman died. Graeme is determined to put a stop to them but has to find a way to do it where he doesn’t end up breaking the fragile truce between the countries.
Gillian Bowman, an English woman, is being forced into a marriage by her father who needs her to marry in order to gain the money he needs to pay off his debts and keep the family estate. He doesn’t want to use her as such but he has no choice. Gillian being a dutiful daughter will go along with his plan but isn’t at all happy about it.
Graeme meets Gillian when he attends a May Day celebration at Kenshire Castle in England where Gillian lives. Her first sight of him is a shock because she catches him pleasuring a woman in the gardens. She can’t look away, and he catches her watching. She can’t keep what she saw out of her mind and while walking in the garden, later on, remembering what happened, she meets Graeme. This time on his own. There is an instant attraction between them and it isn’t long until they are sharing a passionate kiss. Unfortunately, they are caught and Graeme being a gentleman offers to marry her. Gillian’s father is fuming because his plans to marry her off to the old yet rich Earl have fallen by the wayside. Gillian although not wanting to marry anybody without being in love, at least acknowledges that she will be much happier with Graeme so doesn’t resist his proposal at all.
What follows is the trials and tribulations the couple face in their new marriage. They definitely have a healthy lust for each other but Gillian wants more, could she find love with her husband? What of the truce between the Scottish and the English, can it be kept when it seems some are determined to bring the truce down? What of her father and the family home, will he end up losing it and if so, how will he cope with the loss?
There was definitely a lot going on with this story and every part of it was both exciting and in parts worrying. There was also a time when I just wanted to jump into the book and knock Gillian and Graeme’s heads together to knock sense into them. They have such strong feelings for each other but won’t even admit it to themselves let alone to each other. Do they get their happy ever after, will peace reign along the borders? You will have to read the book to find out. I promise you won’t be disappointed. I enjoyed every moment of this story as I have every book in the series.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers’ copy of this book.