Beyond the Highland Mist (Highlander Series #1)

Beyond the Highland Mist (Highlander Series #1)

4.2 1266
by Karen Marie Moning

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He would sell his warrior soul to possess her. . . .

An alluring laird...

He was known throughout the kingdom as Hawk, legendary predator of the battlefield and the boudoir. No woman could refuse his touch, but no woman ever stirred his heart—until a vengeful fairy tumbled Adrienne de Simone out of modern-day Seattle and into medieval…  See more details below


He would sell his warrior soul to possess her. . . .

An alluring laird...

He was known throughout the kingdom as Hawk, legendary predator of the battlefield and the boudoir. No woman could refuse his touch, but no woman ever stirred his heart—until a vengeful fairy tumbled Adrienne de Simone out of modern-day Seattle and into medieval Scotland. Captive in a century not her own, entirely too bold, too outspoken, she was an irresistible challenge to the sixteenth-century rogue. Coerced into a marriage with Hawk, Adrienne vowed to keep him at arm's length—but his sweet seduction played havoc with her resolve.

A prisoner in time...

She had a perfect "no" on her perfect lips for the notorious laird, but Hawk swore she would whisper his name with desire, begging for the passion he longed to ignite within her. Not even the barriers of time and space would keep him from winning her love. Despite her uncertainty about following the promptings of her own passionate heart, Adrienne's reservations were no match for Hawk's determination to keep her by his side. . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Moning offers the promise of a terrific plotline in her debut romance: a troubled young woman, Adrienne is transported from the 20th century to 16th-century Scotland by an evil jester to take revenge on a Scottish laird. The author has the right characters: there's the heroine who doesn't trust beautiful men and a handsome hero cursed to love a woman who will not return his love. Add gypsies and Scottish mysticism, against the backdrop of the stark beauty of the Highlands, and you've got an intriguing story. The lovers endure quite a bit of torment in order to find happiness, a downer that even Moning's doses of humor can't always leaven. Unfortunately, Moning doesn't fully deliver: she too often relies on transparent plot devices, and while her falconry imagery is both poignant and sensual, it will remind readers of Elizabeth Lowell's Untamed. (Mar.)

Product Details

Dell Publishing
Publication date:
Highlander Series, #1
Product dimensions:
4.28(w) x 7.04(h) x 1.15(d)

Read an Excerpt

Hawk shrugged. "Tit for tat, lass. 'Tis the way of this world. If a villein has beans and no meat, he finds someone with meat and no beans. I'm merely offering you a mutually satisfying trade."

"Do I get coffee too?" she asked shrewdly. "Tomorrow morning? For the kiss tonight? Toll troll paid in advance?"

"Och, wee lassie, who taught you to drive such a hard bargain?" But if he had his way, he'd coax enough sweet kisses from her tonight that he'd need only roll over in the morning to kiss her again. In his bed.

"Was that a yes, Hawk?"

"Cease and desist, lass! Shoot me another one of those beguiling looks and I'll be giving you my buttery with the coffee and perhaps toss in a few horses."

"I have your word, then?"

"You have my word and my pledge."

"Deal." Adrienne sealed their bargain hastily. Answers, coffee, and the excuse for a kiss. How could she ask for more? "My answer first," she demanded.

Hawk's great dark head fell forward, his mouth to her ear. Shivers slid up her back when his breath fanned her neck. "What? I can't hear you?" she said, as he mumbled something indistinct.

"It's really too foolish to bear repeating. . . ."

"A deal's a deal, Hawk!" she complained, shivering violently as his lips grazed her neck again and again.

Hawk groaned. "He wished for me the perfect wife. That my wife would be all that I ever dared dream of . . . all I ever hoped for. And then he wished that she would refuse to love me. Refuse to touch me. Refuse to share my bed."

"Why would a friend wish such a thing?" she asked indignantly.

"Why would a wife do such a thing?" he counteredsmoothly against the tender lobe of her ear.

She felt the tip of his tongue against her skin, and wondered why herself. Why would a wife say no to this impossibly beautiful, intriguing man?

Her pulse quickened; she turned her head and stared straight into burnished ebony eyes of unfathomable depths. Bewildered by the flush and quiver of emotion, she touched a finger to his perfectly sculpted lips. Her mind cried out to identify this new feeling, to control it, but her body demanded that she know him in a sense that had nothing to do with reason or logic.

"Let me love you, lass. I won't take anything you don't wish to give." His eyes lingered on her face, a seductive visual caress that heated her blood, and she wondered what might have been--if she'd only met him when she'd still believed in happily ever after. What would it feel like to let him run his beautiful strong hands all over her shaking body, to be kissed and teased and finally completed with the raw, pulsing steel of his hunger. Her senses were overwhelmed by the Hawk; the spicy, male scent of him, the silky feel of his hair, the rock-hard press of his body against hers.

I'll stop him in just a moment, she promised herself as he scattered kisses along her jaw. One kiss on his lips was the deal, she reminded herself.

Her conscience momentarily assuaged, she permitted the glorious rasp of his callused palms against her skin, the whisper of his shadow beard against her neck.

Suddenly she was doing more than permitting. Her arms crept up to circle his neck. She buried her fingers in his silky dark hair, then slid them down his neck to his powerful shoulders, tracing the contours of each sculpted muscle.

Adrienne drew a shaky, bewildered breath. She couldn't get enough oxygen in her lungs, but that ceased to matter as Hawk replaced her need for air with a need for his lips, a need for his tongue, a need for his need of her.

"I am the one, lass," he warned her softly. "It all stops here. With me. The best and last. Oh, definitely your last."

My last, she reluctantly acknowledged, for she doubted that any other man could match this one.

In that breathless moment, the past blurred into utter insignificance. It was as if Eberhard had never touched her, as if the twentieth century had never existed. As if all her life she had been heading toward this moment. This man. This magic.

Hawk traced kisses across her jaw, over every inch of her face; her nose, her eyelids as they fluttered closed, her brows, and then he stopped, his sensual lips hovering a flicker of a tongue away from hers. Would she? Dare she?

Adrienne's tongue flickered out and she tasted the man she'd wanted since the moment she'd laid fascinated eyes on him. "Oh my," she whispered. She wanted him, wanted this, more than she'd ever wanted anything in her life. A husky sound rumbled deep in his throat; he splayed his hand at the base of her neck and arched her head back to receive his kisses. The pink tip of his tongue circled her lips, tasted every corner, every fullness, teased her senseless; until it was too much for her, and her lips relaxed beneath his, molded to his, opened for him as her whole body seemed to be opening and crying for him. She was the bud of a rose, unfurling to the golden heat of the sun. "Magnificent," she whispered, unaware that she'd spoken her thoughts aloud.

But the Hawk wasn't unaware--he heard her one word and desire slammed through him so savagely that he shuddered. Hot and hard, ruthlessly, the Hawk moved his mouth over hers. He slanted across her lips with a relentless hunger that caused stars to shimmer behind her shut eyes.

Adrienne's eyes flew open for the sheer pleasure of looking at him and she saw that he was looking directly into them with such a smoldering promise of passion that she whimpered against his mouth.

Hundreds of feet below, nature conspired with the raw, unquenchable mystery of passion in its rhythm; the sensual tempo of the waves as billions of gallons of water came in with a fury, then eased out. Wave after wave of sensation crashed over Adrienne; she was adrift in a sea of such passion that she literally felt herself being reshaped, molded to this man's touch, just as the rocks below her were molded by the ocean's relentless caress.

The Hawk's tongue was hot silk, exploring her mouth, teasing her tongue. "Oh," she whispered, "I never knew. . . ."

"Is kissing me so bad, then, lass?"

"It's not the kissing that's bad ..." Her words were lost in a soft moan as she tipped her head back for more kisses.

"What's bad, my heart?" Hawk nipped her neck, gently.

"Oooh!... you!"

"Me? I'm bad?" He wouldn't let her answer for a long moment while he nibbled at her lower lip, teased it, sucked it into his mouth, then slowly released it.

Adrienne drew a shaky breath. "Well . . . I mean . . . you are a man ..."

"Yes," he encouraged.

"And very beautiful at that. . . ."

"Mmm . . . yes?"

"And I hate beautiful men. . . ." Her hands moved over his shoulders, his broad muscled back, and tapered down over his tight waist to his muscular buttocks. She was shocked at her own daring, thrilled by the groan of pleasure she coaxed from him.

"I can tell. Hate me just like that, lass. Hate me like that again. Hate me all you need to hate me."

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