The Devil of Kilmartin
by Laurin Wittig Series: A Kilmartin Glen novel ISBN:
978-0-9892379-0-1 Genres: HIGHLAND ROMANCE
Hidden deep in the rugged Scottish Highlands lies the Highland Targe, an ancient relic guarded for centuries by clan MacAlpin. It is said the Targe can shield the heart of the Highlands from invaders and now, as part of his plan to crush the Scottish rebellion, the English king wants the Targe for himself...GOODREADS AMAZONAMAZON UK
ITUNESBARNES & NOBLE
Rowan MacGregor, orphaned niece to the chief of the MacAlpins and the rock her family depends upon, is worried. With the dwindling health of her aunt, the Guardian of the Targe, the protections that have kept the clan safe and prosperous are fading, and the new Guardian, one of her cousins, has yet to be chosen. Rowan wants nothing more than to see the clan protected again, but when it seems that will never happen, she despairs—even when a handsome and charming stranger comes to her aid.
Nicholas fitz Hugh is not what he seems. Half-English, half-Scottish, he turned his back on his Scottish heritage early in his life, giving his loyalty to England instead. Now he is a talented and cunning spy charged with finding and stealing the Highland Targe for his king.
But when Nicholas finds himself falling for the bonny Rowan and wanting to protect the family she holds so dear, he is forced to choose between his king’s will and his own: Will he betray his king and his mission? Or will he turn his back on the woman he has come to love?
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Symon sensed a change in the lass, a spark in her eye that hadn’t been there a moment ago. “Elena?”
“What do you offer me for my help?”
Surprise whipped through him. “What do you wish?”
He watched her square her shoulders, as if she braced for a fight, and was startled to realize she was nearly as tall as he. “You are no prisoner within these walls,” he said, circling around her. “Did I not offer you hospitality?”
“Aye, but ‘tis not what I wish.” She turned to face him. “If I help you, and I am not saying I will, you must ensure my safe passage to wherever I choose.”
“In Scotland. I do not wish to venture beyond the Highlands, just away from all who know me.”
“Why does your clan hunt you?” He watched as the determination in her eyes wavered, then burned even brighter than before.
“That has naught to do with this, Symon. Will you give me what I ask?”
He thought it over for a moment. How could he wed the lass, fulfilling the prophecy and promise her what she asked? “Where do you plan to go?”
Confusion slipped into her eyes, and fear. “I have not decided as yet.”
“You have nowhere to go,” he said quietly, sensing an opportunity.
“I have not decided.”
Symon nodded knowingly. Perhaps he could convince her that Kilmartin Castle was where she wished to be, in that way he could wed her and grant her wish. What he needed was time, but the only way he would get that was to accept her terms. “Very well. But you must stay until my affliction is gone.”
“Nay. I told you. I cannot cure your affliction, but I think I can dampen its effects, at least for awhile. I stay only until I deem it time to go. I will not be bound to you, no matter what Auld Morag has to say.”
Symon moved toward her slowly, indirectly, weighing her strengths and weaknesses as if he faced her in armed combat. “Yet the clan expects otherwise.”
“That is due to your own folly. I care not what your clan expects of me. I will help you as I can, but you must assure me of safe passage when the time comes that I decide to go.”
“Very well. But for now, we will allow the clan to believe we will wed.” She started to interrupt but Symon, close now, stopped her with a finger to her garnet lips. The heat of her breath seared his skin. “My clan needs hope for the future.”
“You’ll not tell of my gift?” Her lips moved softly against the pad of his finger sending tails of fire up his arm. “Nor force me to use it on any other person?”
“Only Ranald knows of my suspicions.” He was close enough now to feel her breath on his face, to measure its rapid pace. “I will instruct him to say nothing. You have my word.”
“The word of a madman,” her voice was husky, a whisper, “The Devil of Kilmartin?”
“Nay.” He moved closer now, the urge to place his lips upon hers overwhelming. “The word of Symon, Chief of Clan Lachlan.” He dipped his head to hers and sealed his promise with a chaste kiss. At least that’s what he had meant to do.