Title: The Wolf of Kisimul Castle
Author: Heather McCollum
Genre: Scottish Historical
Mairi Maclean is kidnapped on her wedding day by the enemy of her dead husband. Taken north to the water-surrounded Kisimul Castle, she is held captive in the name of retribution. But The Wolf of Kisimul Castle soon learns Mairi is not a docile pawn in this game of war between neighboring Scots. Nor will she be frightened into walking down the aisle to wed the fierce Highland chief.
Alec MacNeil is set on revenge. When he finds his enemy dead, he takes his wife to replace the one that was murdered. An eye for an eye. A bride for a bride. But Mairi is more tiger than kitten and refuses to bend to his will. Set stubbornly against one another, the passion that flares between them threatens to tear Alec's strategy to shreds.
The man wrapped his hand around her arm, slowly reeling her in with constant, gentle pressure until she had to tip her head back to see his face. He radiated authority and determination, as if he could order the mountains to move, yet chose to hold her instead. Her heart hammered in her chest as he set his hand on her cheek.
“A kiss, and then we go,” he murmured, moving his thumb across her jaw. She had time for only a quick inhale as he descended. Mairi had expected a bruising press of his mouth like Geoff had given her when he’d asked her to wed. But this man’s kiss was gentle and warm. With slight pressure, he tipped her head to seal their lips together, moving against her as if tasting an aged whisky.
Heat flowed down through Mairi, wiping away all rational thought. Her knees numbed, but the man seemed to accept her weight easily as he held her against his hard body. His height made him loom over her, but Mairi felt safely surrounded by power instead of fearful. Her fingers reached behind his head to feather through his wavy hair. They were still woven in the dark mass when he gently pulled back, ending the most sensuous kiss Mairi had ever experienced. What bloody foolishness was Geoff thinking? Her traitorous body begged for more, but she stepped back, hands to her flushed skin above her low neckline. The man adjusted himself through his kilt, proving that he too had been affected by the kiss.
“Who are ye?” she asked.
His inhale seemed to help him gain his senses, and he returned to look out the window at the courtyard. “Your escort.”
“I mean your name,” she said. Could she really go through with wedding Geoff now that she knew such kisses existed? Damn Geoff. The man turned back to her, an intense hardness to his features.
“Alec.” Alec? She didn’t know the name. Hadn’t she met all Geoff’s men at Kilchoan?
Without a word, he grabbed her hand, pulling her toward the door. “Wait,” she said and grabbed the bouquet of pink roses from off the bed as they passed. Although, the word meant more than a simple pause to collect her favorite flowers. Because hadn’t she just failed Geoff’s test? She dug in her heels, jerking back. “I said wait.”
He turned to her. “There’s no time.”
She huffed. “Something like this can’t be rushed. I mean, do ye live here? Why haven’t I seen ye before? I don’t know if I can—” Her words cut off as his hands encircled her waist. In a fluid motion, as if she weighed no more than a suckling pig, he lifted her, setting her over his shoulder.
“God’s ballocks,” Mairi cried out and thrashed him on the back with her bouquet, scattering pink petals. “Put me down.” But he didn’t comply. Instead, he strode with purpose out through the decorated, vacant, great hall.
Her outstretched hand hit the tower of spiced cakes sitting on a table by the exit into the courtyard. Arching upward, she watched them topple. With it came the realization that she was not being taken to the chapel.
“I said put me down.” She sucked in sporadic inhales as he carried her slung over one massive shoulder. He pulled his sword as they neared the dogs and lowered her feet to the ground. With a furious look, he raised his sword with the hand that wasn’t anchoring her to him. For an instant Mairi wondered if he’d slaughter the dogs, but he sliced through their ropes, freeing them.
“If ye don’t walk, I will carry ye,” he said.
“Who the bloody hell are ye?” she asked, her rose crown hanging before her eyes. She slapped it back and quickened her steps to prevent him from dragging her.
On the other side of the garden gate, in the thick wall surrounding Kilchoan, sat two men on horses in a dense stand of young trees. They wore green plaids, making them hard to spot. A white horse with roses in its mane stood to the side of the pebbled road next to an unconscious man tied to the trunk of an oak. This was definitely not a foolish prank or loyalty test.
She turned to Alec, a thousand questions on her tongue. What was happening? Who was he? “Why did ye kiss me?” fell from her mouth. Of all the questions, she’d chosen the most foolish of them all.
“Ye kissed her?” the warrior with red hair asked, his eyebrow rising high. The other man scrunched his face.
“That wasn’t part of the plan.”
“The plan changed,” Alec said.
“But the plan never changes,” red hair said, scratching his chin. “Unless it involves dogs.” As if on cue, the three freed dogs ran up to the horses, tails wagging. Some watchdogs they were.
“I can’t believe he bloody kissed her,” the other man said, a grin spreading across his lips. Without another word, the large warrior hoisted her up onto his black horse and climbed behind her. He pulled her up against his hard chest.
“I have a right to know who is stealing me away,” Mairi said, twisting to peer up into his face. A glint sharpened his steely blue-gray eyes. “Who are ye?” she whispered.
Without warning he clicked his tongue, and his horse took off, making her turn forward to grasp the pommel. His lips, the ones that had made her question meeting Geoff at the end of the aisle, came up next to her ear. “I am Alec MacNeil, and ye are Mairi Maclean MacInnes…my new wife.”
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Entangled Publishing - https://entangledpublishing.com/the-wolf-of-kisimul-castle.html
Why is your featured book a must-read?
"The Wolf of Kisimul Castle was a delight to read. It was heartwarming, had me laughing and crying. This book is a must read!" - USA Today bestselling author, Madeline Martin.
Alec is a single dad and chief to his clan. A perfect read for June and celebrating dads.
Enter to win an e-book bundle of all 17 books featured in the Celebrate Fathers Bookish Event:
Runs June 18 – 21, 2020.
Winner will be drawn on June 28, 2020.
Heather McCollum is an award-winning, historical romance writer. With over twenty books published, she is an Amazon Best Seller and a Readers’ Choice winner.
The rugged beauty and rich history of Great Britain captivates Ms. McCollum each time she visits. The country’s history and landscape have been a backdrop for her stories since her very first book.
When she is not dreaming up adventures and conflict for brawny Highlanders and feisty heroines, she spends her time educating women on the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer. She is a survivor and resides with her very own Highland hero and three spirited children in the wilds of suburbia on the mid-Atlantic coast.
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