Disgraced in her father’s eyes, Isobel Maitland travels to Scotland, determined to purchase her sister’s happiness at the cost of her own. But when her coach is held up and she is abducted by a dangerous highwayman, she faces an unexpected choice: suffer the loveless union to which she has resigned herself, or marry this ruthless, Scottish outlaw who can ignite her desire with a single touch.
They call him Diabhal Dubh – Devil Black – and he spends his days terrorizing the countryside, trying to outdistance the memories that torture him. The King has decreed he must settle and take a wife. And when he steals the alluring woman betrothed to his enemy, Dougal MacRae sees a way to both answer the King’s demand and obtain the revenge he has sought so long …
“Perhaps you should offer for her,” Lachlan suggested a bit spitefully.
“Me?” Again Dougal crooked an eyebrow. “Why would I do that?”
“Because the King has virtually decreed it. Do not say you fail to remember the message that arrived from London last month?”
“London is a long way off.”
“Maybe so, but that letter was nothing save a veiled threat. He implied if you do not settle seriously into running your father’s estate, take a wife, and begin a family, he will have to consider confiscating your lands.”
“MacRae lands! We have held these hills since the time of Christ. No one will take them from me now.”
“He can do as he pleases—he is King.”
“On these lands, Lachy, I am king.”
Lachlan muttered, “There lies your problem, I am thinking.”
Ignoring his friend, Dougal tossed his head and laughed. “Besides, can you imagine me, with bairns? Now, there’s an unholy prospect—the Devil’s spawn!”
Lachlan scowled and said nothing. A brief silence fell, during which the fire popped and the wind heightened its wail around the stones of the keep until it sounded like droning bagpipes.
“What will you do,” Lachlan asked then, “King does require you to wed, if he issues a decree?”
Dougal MacRae’s teeth flashed white in an unholy smile. “Well, then, if it comes to that, I suppose I shall just have to steal myself a suitable wife.”
About the Author:
Born and raised in Western New York, Laura Strickland has been an avid reader and writer since childhood. Embracing her mother's heritage, she pursued a lifelong interest in Celtic lore, legend, and music, all reflected in her writing. She has made pilgrimages to both Newfoundland and Scotland in the company of her daughter, but is usually happiest at home not far from Lake Ontario, with her husband and her "fur" child, a rescue dog. She practices gratitude every day.
Author website: www.laurastricklandbooks.com
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