Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Book by Mary Wine

Debut Mass Market

To Conquer a Highlander
by Mary Wine
ISBN-13: 9781402237379

Buy the Book

In this first in a trilogy of sexy Scottish Highland romance, Laird Torin McLeren kidnaps his neighbor’s daughter attempting to quell a treacherous plot sure to bring English retribution, only to find the lass he’s captured would serve him much better as an ally than as an enemy…

Excerpt from To Conquer a Highlander
(c) Mary Wine

He blew out a breath that she heard because the hall was so quiet. No one was near and that heightened her awareness of him. Her heart beat faster because she knew they were alone. Every sense became sharper making her keenly aware of details that she normally didn’t notice. The way his lips curved or the manner in which his eyes darkened when he looked into her eyes.
And she could not deny that she was enjoying having his attention upon her.
“Maybe I need to show ye that my touch does nae have to be that of a barbarian. You were correct when ye told me to seek out yer father. My quarrel is not with ye Shannon.”
His voice deepened and the grip on her arm loosened becoming almost as gentle as the touch he’d laid against her cheek. She was keenly aware of it. The skin on her face still warm where he’d touched her. But on her arm, the layers of her robes did little to protect her from noticing how warm he was.
“Does that mean I am free to leave?”
“No, it means that I am left wondering what exactly is between us, since it is no a quarrel.”
Excitement leap up inside her, shaming her with how quickly it heated her belly.
“I prefer the quarrel, for you are not to my liking. I have never fancied a Highlander.”
He grunted softly, her barbed words finding their mark. Fury danced across his eyes and a moment later he tugged her forward. She stumbled past him and ended up in the corner with the stone wall at her back. Her captor took one long step and caged her there with his huge body, both of his hands flattening on the wall behind her.
“Be careful what ye demand of me lass, I am a Highlander and part of me will be happy to prove ye truthful in what ye say I am.”
Her heart froze and then jerked hard beneath her breast. Her lungs began working faster to keep pace and that drew his scent into her once more. This time her body responded with another twist of excitement running through her belly. The heat stained her cheeks, flowing lower and lower until it encased the tender globes of her breasts. The delicate skin tingled with a longing that shocked her but also added to the growing excitement pooling in her belly.
“But that is no the way I’d like things to be between us.” His gaze touched on the mark her father had left on her face. “What is it you long to return to lass?” The emotion that crossed his eyes was one of distaste and that was something that no amount of talking might have convinced her of. There was sincerity in his eyes that she witnessed only because she was so close.
His hand lifted and gently touched the healing bruise. She shivered, jerking her head away from his fingers only to feel them sliding along her cheek once more. Slowly, gently, but there was nothing soft about the man. His hands were covered in smooth skin but other than that he was as hard as she had witnessed last night.
Which made his tender touch more sweet than she might ignore.
“I want to return to what I know, my kin. It is where I belong.” There was firm determination in her tone.
“What ye have known appears to be a hard life best left behind.”
Shannon discovered that she liked his words far too much. She reached up and pushed his hand away from her cheek.
“No one chooses who their parents are. It’s my duty to return to my father.”
His gaze settled on her bruised face again.
“As it is mine to keep you from doing that.”
She gasped but saw his determination to do exactly as he said burning in his midnight eyes.
“You are being unreasonable, acting like a barbarian in keeping me here against my will.” She had to force each word out, past protesting lips that did not want him to give her leave to depart. It was insanity but she craved more of his touch, which was why she had to escape before she lost the will to resist.
“Yer father should have found you a man worthy of yer spirit. The right sort of man would give you a place to utilize all of the passion brewing inside ye, and it would not be by insulting him with that sharp tongue of yers.”
“I’ve no ever met the man he sent me towards. It’s unchristian to think ill of a stranger.”
Torin chuckled, the sound deep and very male. “As ye noticed lass, I’m nay feeling very Christian at the moment. But more of the barbarian ye accused me of being.”
“Bringing me here as your captive was barbaric.”
“Humm…but as ye noticed, I am a Highlander and we steal women from time to time.” His eyes darkened dangerously. “Especially when their kin is not worthy of them.”
His fingers slid down until they touched her lips, one single finger tip teasing her lower lip. Insanity shot through her. It stole her breath and every logical thought from her mind. There was suddenly nothing save the twisting of excitement in her belly and the way her lips enjoyed being touched. Never once had she noticed how sensitive they were. She was suddenly frightened of how much sensation roared through her, uncertain if she might recover from it.
“I’d prefer a strike when ye are displeased with my words.”
His lips parted to show her his teeth while a large, wolfish smile beamed at her. “But ye’ve no yet had a sample of the alternative.” His voice deepened, dropping low and turning husky. “Ye can nae make a good choice unless ye have experienced both, sweet Shannon.”
“I’ll take yer word on the matter—”
His mouth sealed whatever else she might have said inside her own. She turned her head away but he followed her, the contact become a firm kiss that refused to allow her to escape. But it wasn’t hard. His hand cupped the back of her head to hold her captive and still the hold wasn’t brutal.
No, what was brutal was the assault on her senses.
His lips were hot against her own, slipping along the sensitive surfaces while his tongue boldly licked along her lower lip. That unexpected action sent a shaft of hot delight through her. He enticed her to move in unison with him and she discovered a need to do exactly that. She angled her face so that their lips met more completely and the reward was sweet pleasure. It flooded her senses, intoxicating her. Her boldness drew him forward, almost in the moment that she moved to bring their lips closer together. His large body pressed against hers so that her softer curves yielded to his harder form. A gasp rose up and opened her mouth in spite of her initial thought to resist his kiss. He took instant advantage of her parted lips, pressing her mouth to open wider with his own. The hand cradling the back of her head tilted her face upwards towards his while his tongue invaded her mouth.
She shivered but not in revulsion. Sweet sensation surged through her as powerful and uncontrollable as a spring river. She felt as helpless as a tree branch being tumbled in the turbulent current. The only solid thing in reach was Torin. Her hands sought out his strength and she quivered once again when her fingertips landed on the hard ridges of muscles that were solid and unyielding just as she’d imagined him to be.


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