Title: Promised to the Highlander: Highland Chiefs Series Author: Kate Robbins Word/Page count: 80k
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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?
“What was that all about?” Fergus’s rich voice startled her from behind. Nessia drew in a deep breath as the effect of his voice swept shivers over her body. She turned to face him and braced herself. Would they quarrel this time? Or would he pull her to him? One thing was certain. Nessia would not betray Freya.
“Nothing. Freya and I were wondering which of us is the best rider and felt it’s too bad we cannot find out today.” Nessia hoped her lie wasn’t obvious. She raised her chin and he grinned. God’s blood, he had the dimples too, though his were harder, deeper than William’s.
“You’re right about that. ’Tis, too dangerous out there.”
He said that as if she was the one acting reckless. Nessia placed her hands on her hips. “I know that.” Freya needed the lecture, not she. He was as irritating as ever.
“When is our guest expected?” She could give as good as she got.
Fergus’s grin disappeared and he took a step closer. Nessia had to strain to look up at him.
“Within the hour,” he said, standing over her.
“And where will she stay?”
Fergus took another step closer. “That’s not your concern, lass,” Fergus said, his voice hard. Nessia jumped. His mood had not improved since yesterday, and she had been a fool to try to engage him in any serious conversation. She was like a trapped animal, about to be toyed with then devoured.
The air around them crackled as she became ever aware of their proximity. Nessia was transfixed. Part of her wanted to flee and the other wanted to pull him into the nearest stall. The closer he drew, the more her body awakened in response. Her pulse drummed, her blood humming in her veins.
“Do you wish to ride?” he asked, breaking her thoughts. The duality of his question made her insides clench.
“No, of course not.” She tried to sound convincing, but her voice cracked, sounding more than a little pathetic instead. She then realized that she was covered in sweat from the kitchen and much of her hair had come loose from her braid and was now matted around her face and neck. She must look a fright.
Unable to think of anything intelligent to say, Nessia turned on her heel to walk away from him. Fergus’s hand shot out and grabbed her wrist. As Nessia turned back to face him she felt the warmth from his fingers radiate up her arm. Her breath caught. She was defenceless against his strength and intense gaze.
“Is there anything I should know about Freya?” he asked, his thumb stroking her wrist.
“No.” Her voice was but a whisper. “We spoke of riding.”
Fergus’s gaze travelled down to her mouth as her lips moved over the false words. Watching his hazel eyes turn darker was intoxicating. Mere seconds felt like an age as he studied her mouth.
Gripping her wrist tighter, he pulled her forward so that their bodies pressed together. Only the arm he used to hold her rested between them, just under her breasts. Fergus’s gaze dropped to her chest and his lips parted.
A great jolt shot straight to her core as the juncture of her thighs clenched. She couldn’t move even if she wanted to. He was close enough for his breath to fan her face. He smelled of leather and sweet mead. She wanted to taste him.
Fergus bent his head and then stopped. His gaze flew to hers and a pained looked crossed his features. She tried to pull her arm away, but he pulled her tighter to him. His teeth were bared and his brow drawn tight.
Nessia’s heart pounded. Why was he suddenly so furious? What had she done?
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 traveled to Scotland twice and visited the sites described in her Highland Chiefs series.
Her debut award winning novel, Bound to the Highlander, is the first of five books 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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