Here is an excerpt from the book Lords of Love and Legends by Allie Mackay, Brenda Jernigan and Sue-Ellen Welfonder.
Some Like It Kilted
by Allie Mackay
A legendary Highland chieftain and a modern American woman aren’t prepared for the passion that flares between them, or the ancient secrets that would tear them apart.
(Set-up to excerpt: Heroine Mindy is in Scotland and taking a ferry to an island in the Hebrides – in the excerpt below, she spots the hero Bran of Barra at the ship’s rail)
On the Ferry…
A kilted man stood at the rail.
Mindy was certain he hadn’t been there before.
He stood in shadow, his chin lifted proudly and his gaze on the sea, but he didn’t need to be looking Mindy’s way for her to recognize him.
He was Bran of Barra.
And here – in his element, his powerful silhouette limned against the rolling sea and dark clouds – he was magnificent. Glorious in a way no modern man could compete. Wind lifted his hair and tore at his plaid, but he stood tall and unbending, as if the gusting spray and damp didn’t faze him.
She surely looked like a bedraggled wet hen.
He was breathtaking.
And he wasn’t just hewn of this wild, watery world. He was its master and wasn’t shy about proclaiming his supremacy. It thrummed through every brawny inch of him and shimmered in the air around him, leaving no doubt that he ruled these dominions. And that he loved them with a fierceness that almost fringed on unholy.
Mindy swallowed, her heart thumping.
When he turned and looked at her, she almost choked. She did flush. A wave of heat swept her, clear to her toes.
“So-o-o, Mindy-lass, tell me true” – he didn’t move, but his voice came as close as if his lips had brushed her ear – “are you awed yet?”
“No, you don’t awe me,” she lied, glaring at him. “I think you’re-”
“Oh-ho, what’s this?” He held up his hands. “I didn’t mean my own self. I wanted to know” – his blue eyes sparkled and he flashed one of his crooked smiles – “if you’ve fallen under the spell of my isles?”
The Duke’s Lady
By Brenda Jernigan
Images filled her dark world.
First, a flash of blue—beautiful, tranquil—then flashes of white as two ships bobbed like tiny corks in the middle of a stormy sapphire sea. Billowing canvas sails flapped in the wind, catching her attention just before someone yelled, “Come about!”
Suddenly, a loud explosion jarred her, followed by shouts of panic from all directions. The sails came tumbling down, and she saw blood . . . lots of blood.
Jewel tossed and turned in her fever-induced sleep, trying to cry for help, but the sound wouldn’t come.
Somewhere a man screamed in agony. Blood oozed between his fingers as he turned and glared at her. She gasped at the sight. His cheek had been ripped open from his mouth to his ear.
The grotesque face was too close for comfort as he reached out and grabbed her wrist, sending the small, bloody knife she held skittering across the deck. Jewel tried to swing out, but someone held her arms. She couldn’t move.
She couldn’t breathe.
She was going to die.
When she looked again, her attacker had disappeared, and Jewel slipped back into the timeless void she’d been in before.
Peaceful sleep … no pain. Such a blissful state. She wanted to stay here forever.
She felt something cool on her forehead, and her eyelids fluttered open and she found herself staring into the Devil’s black eyes. Her bottom lip quivered as she pleaded, “Please, don’t hurt me.”
The words had barely been uttered before she drifted back into a foggy state of sleep. She felt the comfort and warmth of the Devil, and vaguely heard his softly spoken words, which left her with a feeling of contentment.
Strong arms cradled her close, yet she sensed those same arms were capable of crushing the very life from her body. But for now they offered her comfort.