Adventures of a Scottish Heiress

( 20 )

Overview

She was determined to marry for love, never expecting that her adventures would lead her to a lifetime of passion.

The Runaway Heiress

Like many a Regency miss, Lyssa Harrell longs for love, but knows her duty lies in marriage. Still, when her father promises her hand to a dissolute but well-connected lord, she does the unthinkable ... she flees to Scotland. Not to Gretna ...

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Overview

She was determined to marry for love, never expecting that her adventures would lead her to a lifetime of passion.

The Runaway Heiress

Like many a Regency miss, Lyssa Harrell longs for love, but knows her duty lies in marriage. Still, when her father promises her hand to a dissolute but well-connected lord, she does the unthinkable ... she flees to Scotland. Not to Gretna Green, but to her family -- and to the castle where her mother once had been so happy. In this romantic land she will discover her heart's desire.

A Man Seeking His Fortune

But she doesn't count on Ian Campion. The ruggedly handsome man has his orders: fetch the runaway daughter home! Ian has a price on his head and a dire need for the reward Lyssa's father offers. Tracking Lyssa down is easy enough, convincing her to return is difficult ... and not seducing her is impossible.

And Their Scandalous Adventures

Soon, Lyssa is on the adventure of a lifetime. She has to sleep in the great outdoors, and flee from mysterious attempts on her life. She knows she's ruined in the eyes of society, but she is willing to face true ruin -- and risk everything for the unimaginable passion she finds in Ian's strong arms. And when they return to civilization, the two must confront the most perilous adventure of all ... admitting their unanticipated love.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As the title of Maxwell's newest Regency-era romance (following The Lady Is Tempted) accurately proclaims, this spirited and tender yarn is a joyride that careens from adventure to adventure. When the wealthiest man in London asks bare-knuckle fighter Ian Campion to retrieve his "kidnapped" daughter, Ian devotes himself to the task. The down-on-his-luck Irishman, who is the sole breadwinner for his two sisters and their children, longs to move his family from the London slums to America, and retrieving a runaway heiress seems like an easy way to earn some much needed cash. But when Ian catches up with Lyssa Harrell in Scotland, an attempt on the redhead's life forces the pair on the run-without a chaperone. As disasters pile up in their wake, Lyssa keeps Ian off balance with her endearing combination of reckless bravery and optimism. Meanwhile, plainspoken Ian, who's so unlike pampered society men, earns Lyssa's respect and affection. Maxwell strikes a perfect balance between screwball action and introspection, letting Ian and Lyssa grow up even as they grow on one another. Readers who have enjoyed the works of Julia Quinn and Victoria Alexander shouldn't miss this winsome tale. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060092962
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/29/2003
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 606,068
  • Product dimensions: 6.72 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Cathy Maxwell spends hours in front of her computer pondering the question, "Why do people fall in love?" It remains for her the great mystery of life and the secret to happiness. She lives in beautiful Virginia with her children, horses, dogs, and cats.

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First Chapter

Adventures of a Scottish Heiress

Chapter One

London
August, 1816

Ian Campion was bloody tired of being poor.

Making his way through the foul and narrow streets of the rookery known as the Holy Land for the Irish inhabitants who lived one on top of another there in unrelenting poverty, he wondered how he could have ever believed he could create a better life for his family here than the one they'd had in Ireland. He hated the closeness of the buildings, the crushed spirit of the people, and the soot in the air from the hundreds, no, thousands of smoking chimneys.

Of course, the last time he'd lived in London, he'd been on his way to becoming a man of means as a student of the law at Lincoln's Inn. The streets he'd walked had been vastly different then. His future had been full of promise until he'd returned to Dublin and destroyed everything with his pride and arrogance.

His dark thoughts were interrupted when a half dozen children in ragged clothes dashed past him on the chase for a rat one of them had spied. Their mothers sat on the front stoop sucking down gin and laughing wildly at some joke one of them had shared. The women fell silent, their expressions speculative, when a party of barefoot, unkempt sailors newly off their ship swaggered by on their way to one of the area's many brothels. Meanwhile, in the entrance of a supposed butcher's shop, pick-pockets, lazy and in good humor from working richer areas, haggled with the "butcher" over fencing their stolen goods.

Ian walked through the party of sailors. They had the good sense to move out of his way, as he knew they would.

He was a big man, a hard one, and willing to use his size to his advantage. The wide brim of the hat he wore low over his eyes added to his dangerous air. His hand rested on the strap of the leather knapsack he'd stolen off the body of a dead French soldier during the war over a year ago. In it was everything he owned, including the flintlock pistol that could get him transported if it was found on his person. The English weren't comfortable with the idea of an Irishman walking their streets with a gun.

Not that they would need the gun as a reason to see Ian gone.

A whore sitting in a window across the street called in greeting, "Well, look who has finally returned home." She leaned forward, her breasts practically tumbling out of her bodice. "Hey, Campion, are you going to give me a go this time?"

Ducking into the narrow, open doorway of a corner building, Ian ignored her, as he always did. He didn't consort with whores. There was no time in his life for women or other pleasurable pursuits -- not while he had a family to support.

The rickety stairs groaned under his booted tread. Sound carried through the thin walls. A baby cried for milk. A man and woman argued, an argument that came to an abrupt end with the sound of a fist hitting flesh. A door slammed and there was silence, then crying. Ian stepped out of the way as a heavy-jowled man, his eyes red from drinking, barreled past him down the stairs.

Three more flights up and Ian reached home to the flat he shared with his two sisters and their children. But what he saw made his heart stop.

The door to the flat had been broken off its hinges. It hung cockeyed and loose, the wood splintered.

Alarmed, he charged in, his fists clenched and ready to do battle. However, instead of a deadly crime, he ran in on the sight of the little ones, Johnny and Maeve, at the table saying their grace before supper. His sudden, angry entrance startled his sister Janet, who stood over them. With a startled cry, she dropped the wooden platter she was holding. The supper sausages hit the floor, but the children didn't care. They leaped from their chairs, their arms wide.

"Uncle Ian!" they shouted in unison. Johnny tackled Ian's knees while Maeve stretched her arms for him to take her up, which he did.

"You're prickly," Maeve laughingly complained, rubbing her fist against his beard stubble. "And you have a cut, too." Maeve, no older than five but a sweet, gentle soul, traced the line above his eye where Tommy Harrigan's beefy knuckles had split the skin open.

"It's nothing but a nuisance," he assured her and then addressed his nephew, "Johnny, you're growing so fast you're about to knock me over." He'd been gone less than a month, but children change rapidly at this age.

His words only served to make the lad determined to do more damage. There was nothing for Ian to do but set Maeve down and give her brother the quick wrestle he so dearly wanted.

Janet broke them up. "Here now, that is enough. Welcome home, brother." She gave him a kiss on the cheek at about the same time Ian's other sister Fiona, the oldest of the three of them, walked in the door. They were all dark-headed, the girls with eyes so blue they sparkled like jewels, while Ian had the sharp, silvery gray ones of his father.

"Ian," Fiona greeted him with undisguised relief. "I am so glad to see you home."

"What happened to the door?" he asked.

"Later," she whispered as she gave him a sisterly kiss. "After the children have eaten."

He pulled out the cloth pouch he wore on a cord around his neck. Taking it off over his head, he tossed it to Janet ...

Adventures of a Scottish Heiress. Copyright © by Cathy Maxwell. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 20 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

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    A refreshing romance

    In 1816, Irishman Ian Campion uses his fists to earn money to support his two widowed sisters, two nephews, and niece. When Dunmore ¿Pirate¿ Harrell offers him an opportunity to make a fortune, he is interested, as Ian knows he can move his family to a safer locale than the London slums they currently reside in. Pirate has made a fortune in business and has married a duke¿s widow, but is willing to spend a large sum to bring safely home his missing daughter Lyssa. Pirate thinks someone kidnapped Lyssa, but Ian believes she ran away from home to elude her snobbish fiancé Viscount Grossett.<P> After a few days on the trail, Ian catches up with Lyssa, being escorted by a group masquerading as Gypsies. However, before he can return with her, thugs try to kill her. Ian escorts Lyssa to her deceased mother¿s Scottish family while struggling to keep her safe. They fall in love, but Ian feels he is not good enough for the heiress, who must persuade her rescuer that he is that and more to her.<P> This Regency romance stars two delightful lead characters that the audience will enjoy watching fuss, fight, and their efforts to stay alive. Though the reason for the assault seems strange (perhaps this reviewer is too baby boomer middle class to comprehend), the story line is fun to follow anyway because Cathy Maxwell always provides a fun tale good to the last word. Sub-genre readers will appreciate this fine historical It Happened One Night romantic suspense.<P> Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Gotta Love Redheads!!!

    A fiery redhead and a sexy irishman equal a passionate tale of forbidden love with a wave of action to heat things up. Daughter to a pirate lord and hopeless romantic, Lyssa is being forced to marry and decides it would be better to run away. Her father hires an outlaw irishman to hunt her down and bring her home. Along the way both find themselves unable to resist the pull and eventually fall in love. Loved it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2007

    Romance, intrigue, suspense!!!!

    This book was fantastic, I purchased it because I recently discovered Cathy Maxwell and wanted to try some of her other books. I am so glad that I did! I read this book in one day! The hero was terrific, the heroine was on a touching journey that was more about growing up than running away. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone that loves a great romance.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2004

    A true love story.

    Wow! This book was great. Tons of chemistry, just enough adventure and not too many obstacles. I just finished the book and am going to read it again immediately.

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