How we all love men in kilts. Colin "Hawke" MacPherson is the leader of the clan. He has sworn vengeance against the Whitcomb's. Little does he guess that he will soon fall in love with Callie Whitcomb daughter of the man who he believes is his enemy.
Christine Young gives the reader refreshing characters that are strong and direct, especially the ones within the MacPherson castle. She gives them all character and makes each believable in their own way. From the start of the book, she hooks them like a fisherman hooks a fish with a great adventure and never a dull moment. With roller coaster events, she gives an entertaining read that grasps and holds until the end. Throwing in some passion, intensity and soothing heat that tugs at Callie and Collin, she weaves a story of two people fighting for love and commitment, as well as seeking the truth. High flying rollicking fun that doesn’t skip a beat with more on the way with the MacPherson clan that is sure to delight in more ways than one. This is one read that shouldn’t be missed. Be sure to check out www.rougephoenixpress.com and get your copy today where the essence of love continues to live within every breath of wind of the MacPherson Castle.
Sincerely good reading,
Excerpt: from Hawke's point of view
"Hawke?" Callie's voice filtered through the stable doors.
His heart sped and he felt the searing heat of frustration and the deep unrelenting need for revenge surface anew. Had Callie kept her own secrets? "Wait," Hawke said to Jarrod before turning toward Callie. "This will have to wait. I will come back tonight when she is asleep."
Hawke smiled as if he had not been embroiled up to his neck with intrigue only a few moments earlier and walked toward Callie. She was silhouetted, framed in the opening of the stable.
"I'm here," he said, his voice gentle.
"What are you doing? The sun has barely risen." Her voice floated on the air, whisper soft and enticing, the scent of jasmine following. He eyed the rafters above and the hayloft with a rapidly beating pulse.
"And what are you doing out of bed?" His imagination soared to the heights above, yet common sense willed him to temper those ideas. "I thought ye would sleep until noon." He stood in front of her now, his fingers itching to hold her, to touch her and feel the silken softness of her body beneath his. There was nothing stopping him, save Jarrod's presence and the very real possibility Elizabeth would walk through the stable doors.
And...there were Jarrod's words condemning her father. He cautioned himself to be wary.
"You didn't answer my question," she told him a bit gruffly and with a bit of impatience.
"I was restless," he said, "and I didn't want to wake you. I found Jarrod in the stables working. He's a longtime and trustworthy friend." Hawke looked to Jarrod who had risen and was once again putting hay in the stalls. "Callie, this is Jarrod. I don't remember if you met him last night."
"Good morning, Jarrod," she said sweetly. The old man smiled and winked at her.
"Would the two of ye like to ride?" he inquired politely, as if he knew something they did not. "I'll saddle the horses. Just say the word."
She shook her head. "No."
Possessively, Hawke wrapped his arm around Callie and nodded toward Jarrod. His man seemed to understand Hawke wanted to be alone with his wife because Jarrod rose and strode away from them. "I have chores outside," he said, and walked through the stable doors.
Hawke turned Callie in his arms, his hands around her waist. "Ah, a bit sore from yesterday?" he asked, his thoughts wandering once more to the hayloft above and the endless stream of possibilities. Yet the knowledge they could be interrupted in something very private and intimate rose to the forefront of his mind. He wanted to push those thoughts away.
Callie didn't answer. Instead, she cocked her head and looked at him critically before she turned and started walking back to the lodge. "Stay," he said, hoping she would. Then he reached out a hand to stop her.
Callie stopped and whirled around, her hair flying, the sun catching it and highlighting the silken wisps. Her lips thinned in sudden anger, her eyes simmering. "You were searching this morning. Did you find anything?" A note of accusation laced her voice.
"I should have known you'd see through my ploy." He said each word softly, his impatience rising quickly. "No, I found nothing." He raked his fingers through his hair, frustration with her tenacity and fear for her life ever present in his mind. She treaded in dangerous territory.
He would do anything to stop her. To keep her alive.
She stepped closer to him, her eyes fired with fury. "Would you admit it if you found information? Would you tell me?" she queried as if she already knew the answer. "I have the right to know."
He agreed with her right to know but her life came first. "No."
"I see," she said and turned again, her slim back rigid, her shoulders squared. "Ye said ye'd put the past behind ye." This time when she walked, there was no delicate feminine sway to her hips, no lightness about her feet; nothing flirtatious met his eye.
He wished she understood how dangerous this was for both of them. He wished she understood the fact that Bertram had accompanied Huntington bothered him too. What was one of the king's men doing with a minor Lord? There could only be mischief afoot.
Long strides carried him quickly to Callie's side. Placing his hand on her shoulder, he stopped her then turned her. The curve of her breasts brushed across his chest. Gently, he cupped her face in his hands. With purpose and determination to keep her safe from all the world's harms, his mouth closed over hers. She swayed into him and to his delight blessed him with a little whimper of sexual desire.
His tongue plunged inside her mouth, delved and explored. Her hands rose to his chest, her fingers closing around the fabric of his shirt. He deepened the kiss, pulling her closer, needing to feel more of her and to know she was safe. Yet this was not the place. Any of his men could walk in and find them. Jarrod could return as well as Elizabeth. He knew Jarrod had read his mind and would not return for some time. Still, he pulled away from her, his breathing heavy, his heart racing.
Control was underrated here.
"Jarrod?" she questioned impatiently while she pulled him closer.
He ignored her question then nodded to the loft above, damning himself for his need and yet applauding his ingeniousness, all the while telling himself, he was a fool. Arguing with himself, he fought every instinct he possessed.
She followed the line of his gaze. He saw the surprise in her eyes. When she began to shake her head no, he knew in order to have his way, he had to promise something infinitely sweet in return, something she could not resist.
"There is something I want to show you," he told her, his breath whispering across her cheek as he nibbled lightly down the long column of her neck. She smelled of early morning sunshine and jasmine and she tasted sweet as honey.
He watched her swallow and noticed the set of her jaw. In her eyes, he read fear. When he followed the line of her gaze, he saw the long, dangerous ladder looming in front of her. She feared nothing but the height of the ladder. At least that was what he told himself.
"Up there?" she questioned, her voice wavering as she studied the long, precarious ladder she would have to climb if she were to give in to his wishes.
"Aye. 'Tis worth the climb," he promised softly.
"Ye are sure?"
He was pleased to hear the teasing quality in her voice, yet her tone retained an element of fear which he wanted to wipe away.
"I am sure." He kissed the tip of her nose, her forehead, then gently brushed her lips with his own.
She turned away and now her back rested against his chest. His arms wrapped around her, and once again he thought he might not be able to wait to have her until he convinced her to climb to the loft above. The overpowering need for his new bride claimed him. Now nothing else mattered. Truly, by now, she should be an expert at climbing long, rickety ladders.
She inhaled deeply, her breasts rising and falling against his forearms, teasing him and tantalizing every sense he possessed. "Very well," she said and began the short walk to the ladder.
"I will be right behind you."
She paused in front of it, her hands trembling as she placed them on a rung. "To catch me if I fall?"
"You will not fall. I would never allow such a thing," he told her. And yes, he would be here to catch her if she fell. Yet she was nimble, graceful and exquisitely formed. She had just not had older brothers who would taunt and tease until she followed along behind. No, she had had an evil stepbrother, who treated her badly.
A man she hid from and feared.
She gazed upward once more and with a small laugh, said, "And you can be so sure of all these things? I would almost wish to prove you wrong, but I do not want to fall."
"You wish to prove your husband wrong?" He didn't know what to think of her statement. Yet he found it in some ways amusing even when the words caused anger to flare.
"Aye, but only in this matter. To erase some of your arrogance," she told him sweetly.
He didn't say anything in return, for there was nothing he could think of to say that would not make him sound like a lovesick fool. He held her hand in his and placed a small kiss on the back before turning it over and kissing the heart of her palm.
"One would think you had some hidden motive," she told him, her voice soft, her lashes lowered suddenly as if in shyness. But he understood the coquettish game she played. Aye, she was shy but she truly knew the natural ways of women and flirtation. She would take advantage of him if he allowed such a thing.
He smiled down upon her, "'Tis a gamble for sure. Your virtue could be ripped to shreds were you to ascend the ladder with me. And yet I know your heart races. The intrigue has you nearly breathless with anticipation. There is something up there for me to show you, and you must risk something in return to discover my surprise."
She gasped slightly, her lashes fluttering, her eyes wide open and beautifully shimmering. "Very well," she said and turned to the ladder, scooping up her dress and placing one hand on the rung, her fingers gripping tightly.