Carnal Giftby Pamela Clare
"I expect you to show my friend just how grateful you are. Your willingness is everything."
With those harsh words, the hated Sasanach earl decided Bríghid's fate: Her body and her virginity were to be offered to a stranger in exchange for her brother's life. Possessing nothing but her innocence and her fierce Irish pride, she had no choice but to comply.… See more details below
"I expect you to show my friend just how grateful you are. Your willingness is everything."
With those harsh words, the hated Sasanach earl decided Bríghid's fate: Her body and her virginity were to be offered to a stranger in exchange for her brother's life. Possessing nothing but her innocence and her fierce Irish pride, she had no choice but to comply.
But the handsome man she faced in the darkened bedchamber was not at all the monster she expected. His green eyes seemed to see inside her. His tender touch calmed his fears while he swore he would protect her by merely pretending to claim her. And as the long hours of the night passed by, as her senses ignited at the heat of their naked flesh, she made a startling discovery: Sometimes the line between hate and love is dangerously thin.
- Pamela Clare
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By Pamela Clare
Copyright © 2004
All right reserved.
Brighid held tightly to Aidan's chilly hand and hurried down
the rutted road behind Ruaidhri. She couldn't wait until they
were safely home again and sitting in front of a warm fire
Ruaidhri was in a rage, but all she could feel was
overwhelming relief. She knew she'd come horribly close to
losing her brother. It was almost too good to be true, given
the young earl's liking for cruelty. He was worse than his
She was so relieved Ruaidhri was safe she didn't know whether
to hug the life out of him or slap him soundly. He'd let his
tongue get the best of him again and had almost paid the
price. The Sasanach earl would surely have had him
beaten-perhaps even hanged-had the other Sasanach not
intervened. She had watched as the strange, fair-haired
Englishman had argued with the earl, though she hadn't been
able to hear their words. Both men had been angry.
She didn't want to think about the other Sasanach lord, the
one with the fine gray horse. She'd been taken aback when
she'd looked up to find him staring at her with his sea-green
eyes. Her breath had stopped. His gaze had seemed to pierce
her, to slide beneath her skin. No man had ever looked at her
that way before. He sat tall and proud on a beautiful gray
stallion, dressed in his fine, warm clothes.But he was
different from the other lords she'd seen. He wore no hat, no
silly wig, his fair curls ruffled from his riding. And his
face was bronzed like that of a man who worked the fields or
spent his life at sea. She'd found herself staring back at
him, and she'd been furious with herself.
Why had he stayed the earl's hand?
"Ruaidhri, slow down!" She glanced down at Aidan, who was fair
running beside her. "We can't keep up."
"Ruaidhri stopped, glanced back, then froze, his eyes wide.
"Run! Into the trees!"
Brighid whirled about, saw riders in the distance. They were
the earl's men, and they were riding hard up the ribbon of
road. A thin stand of trees ran along the north side of the
road, but it was a good fifty paces away up a steep hill.
Ruaidhri scooped Aidan up and dashed uphill toward the dark
line of forest.
Brighid lifted her skirts and ran after them as fast as she
could. She could hear the approaching thunder of hooves.
Had the riders seen them? And if they had been seen, would it
matter? Just because these men worked for the earl didn't mean
they were after Ruaidhri. The earl had set him free. But
Brighid knew better than to trust English promises.
Her heart hammered in her breast. Harder she ran until trees
Ruaidhri had hidden behind a low hedge of gorse, Aidan in his
Brighid fell flat on the cold earth beside them, tucked her
red skirts in.
Aidan's eyes were round with terror. Brighid stroked his
cheek. The boy laid his head trustingly on Ruaidhri's
shoulder. Their heavy breathing mingled, slowed.
The hooves drew near.
She watched as Ruaidhri held a finger to his lips, his signal
to Aidan not to make a sound. Her brother's gaze met hers, and
she saw the fury that boiled inside him-and the fear he tried
valiantly to hide. She wrapped her fingers around his and
squeezed, feigning a calm she did not feel. He might be on the
verge of manhood, but he was still her little brother.
A group of four Sasanach rode into view on the road below.
They slowed their mounts until they rode at a walk. The man in
the lead reined his horse to a stop.
"They've disappeared," he shouted back to the other men. "I
swear I saw them walking along this stretch."
"I saw them, too."
Brighid watched, her heart in her throat, as the men scanned
the horizon, then turned their eyes toward the trees.
One of the men laughed, a low hissing sound. "I think it's
time for another hunt. We'll flush them out like bloody
The four riders turned their horses off the road and started
slowly up the hill. The man in the lead drew his pistol,
Panic pulsed in her veins. There was no way they could avoid
being discovered. The gorse grew low to the ground and
sheltered them only on one side. As soon as the riders reached
the trees, the three of them would be sitting targets.
Her gaze darted to Ruaidhri's, and her fear grew stronger. She
could tell he was plotting something. His hand slipped to the
waistline of his breeches and grasped the hilt of a dagger.
She swallowed hard. She knew what she must do.
Ruaidhri had just closed his fingers around the hilt of the
dagger, when, to his horror, Brighid spoke-in English.
"Please. Don't shoot." Her voice quavered. Slowly, she stood.
Ruaidhri cursed under his breath, released the dagger. What
was she doing?
The Sasanach were startled, but only for a moment.
"Oh, we would never shoot a lady," said one.
"Not one as pretty as you," said another.
The men laughed.
Ruaidhri heard the lust in the men's voices, slowly stood. It
was him they wanted. If they got him, they'd leave his sister
Aidan leapt up, wrapped his arms around Brighid's waist.
"What did I say? Flushed out like pheasants."
Cruel laughter filled the air.
"Why are you followin' us? The earl showed mercy and released
The man who seemed to be the leader of the group rode over to
Brighid and began to dismount. "He didn't send us to fetch
your brother, poppet."
The realization hit Ruaidhri like a blow to the stomach. They
were here for Brighid.
In a flash, the dagger was in his hand. He pulled Brighid
behind him, barked at Aidan to lie flat on the ground. "You'll
not be takin' her."
For a moment there was silence. Then he heard the metallic
clicks of three more pistols being cocked. He looked about.
All were aimed at him.
"The rapparee thinks he's a cat with nine lives." The leader
smiled, revealing a row of rotted teeth. "You've already used
up one today, boy. Are you sure you want to use another?"
Rage. Desperation. Helplessness. Raw emotion surged through
Ruaidhri until he thought he would explode. He was
outnumbered. They had pistols.
But Brighid was his sister. He loved her. It was his job to
protect her. "You can't be takin' her!"
The nearest man lifted his pistol, aimed it at Ruaidhri's
"No!" Brighid broke free from Ruaidhri's protective grasp,
shielded him with her body. She turned to face Ruaidhri,
cupped his cheek in her palm. Her gaze met his, her eyes a
mirror for the turmoil within him. Her face was pale. She
peeled the knife from his fingers, dropped it on the ground,
turned to face the Sasanach.
The Sasanach leader wasted no time. He reached out, pulled her
"Brighid!" Aidan cried out, ran forward, would have been
kicked by the Sasanach's cruel boot had Ruaidhri not pulled
The child's desperate tears tore at Ruaidhri's gut. They
reminded him of another time years ago, another act of English
cruelty. "Tell the whoreson you call a lord he's dead if he
touches her! May God curse all English!"
"No one's going to harm a hair on her pretty head." The
Sasanach who had Brighid mounted on his horse, pulled her
roughly into the saddle in front of him. "The lord simply
wishes to have a word with her."
Ruaidhri didn't believe that for a minute.
Brighid's gaze met his once more before the Sasanach spurred
his horse down the hill, taking her with him.
Excerpted from Carnal Gift
by Pamela Clare
Copyright © 2004 by Pamela Clare.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Kaleo Griffith, who has been called "powerful, with the presence of a young Timothy Dalton" by the Hollywood Reporter, has won multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards. He holds an MFA in acting from Rutgers University, and his film and television credits include Oliver Stone's Talk Radio, Law & Order, and All My Children.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Pamela Clare is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. Great characters pull you into this tale of a legally doomed relationship. I couldn't put it down once I was 50 pages into the story.
Isn't it great to find a new author? I feel like I'm getting in on the ground floor, only one book on her backlist. *G* Now to Jamie and Brighid, they are in for a hard road, him being English/American & her being Irish! Of course love doesn't pay any attention to where we're from or what our politics is! Ms. Clare has a rare ability to get to the meat of the matter. I love the way she mixes history with a GREAT story, allowing me to learn something while enjoying my favorite kind of book. She takes us on a wonderful ride through Ireland's country side, While he's protecting Brighid from his Oxford chum! The sensual scenes are so well written that you want to jump Jamie's bones! Superb job, Pamela, I'll be standing in line for your next book. THANK YOU!!
Wahooo! Ms. Clare has done it again. This is a fantastic follow up to her debut SWEET RELEASE. Jamie and Brigid are heartwarming and blood boiling characters who capture the reader. Ms. Clare had given the reader a vivid experience where we can feel Jamie's confusion as a forgeiner and Brigid's uncertainty in the class systems. This is an emotional ride. One, quite frankly, I didn't want to end. Can't wait for the next installment.
If you read Pamela's first book, Sweet Release, you had some background to Carnal Gift, but it wasn't needed & now you have that one to look forward to & don't have to wait for her next book like the rest of us!*G* This one is about Jamie who was a little boy in SR. But he's grown into a VERY HOT young man & fills the bill of Knight in Shining armor to the HILT!! Ms. Clare is a WONDERFUL writer, she knows how to bring passion & feeling into her books that make them read like your watching a movie!! I 'SEE' her story as it unfolds & the scene's are OUTSTANDING, if only the movie makers could give us something close to this!!! Thank you Pamela & when is the next installment???
Ms. Clare has done it again. This book as good as her first, 'Sweet Release'. Set in 1750's in Ireland and England. You will not want to put this book down, i didn't. Very passionate, exciting and heartwarming. Poor Alice, we know what happens to her in the end. Don't miss this book, you'll enjoy it.
English Protestant Jamie Blakewell hopes his Oxford University friend Lord Sheffield Tate III can influence the House of Lords to employ a navy against the French. However, Sheff is not the same caring person Jamie knew and respected. Instead he seems abusive, mean spirited and obsessed, especially with Irish Catholic lass Brighid. Jamie decides to keep Brighid safe by hiding her from his former friend though he pretends to help a man he believes is mad. Brighid hates the English though her warden seems nicer than most. She grew up with memories like the English overlords starving her mother, selling her father into slavery, and stealing his land. Star crossed as any couple could be, Brighid and Jamie fall in love while their religions excommunicate each other¿s believers. Then there is the psychopath Sheff who willingly will kill a friend to possess Brighid and he is coming. The second medieval romance (see the delightful SWEET RELEASE) CARNAL GIFT is a wonderful historical because the audience can understand the obstacles that the lead couple face if they want their love to forge a permanent relationship. Brighid and Jamie should never be able to find a love as their nations' war and their religions squabble even more, but it is their courage that makes this more than a prisoner of love tale. Though Sheff is too much a lunatic, fans will enjoy Pamela Clare¿s fine tale of hate turning into a ¿taboo¿ love. Harriet Klausner
This is a fabulous book--takes place in Ierland and England and has forbidden love between and Englishman and a young Irish girl--he saves her repeatedly, and there is a strong love. It is sweet and romantic and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.
It is just a glance but all that is necessary. He is an English Protestant and she an Irish Catholic. Heaven help them! Jamie Blakewell has come to England on behalf of his brother-in-law to encourage the use of naval vessels in the war against France. He is counting on the influence his friend Sheff has in the House of Lords. Many lives depend on it. But, Sheff is not the same man he was during their days at Oxford. He has turned into a cruel, hateful man and is obsessed with Brighid, the beautiful Irish lass Jamie has in hiding. Sheff must find her and destroy his friend. The game has begun. Brighid grew up hating the English. They starved her mother, sold her father into slavery and stole her family's land. She and Jamie's paths cross. They have no business caring for one another. Their nations are enemies and their churches condemn one another. They can never build a life together. Tell that to one's heart. Brava! Ms. Clare, Brava! You've gifted us with yet another story so beautiful, so compelling, so heart-rendering, sometimes I forgot to breath. I laughed, wept, cheered and celebrated. CARNAL GIFT is balm for the soul, a triumph of the heart. Begin your journey with SWEET RELEASE, the first book in this spell-binding trilogy (be still my heart). Run to the nearest bookstore for CARNAL GIFT and then look forward, as I am, to the final chapter by this master storyteller. If you read only one author in 2004, please let it be Pamela Clare. In one word: PERFECTION.
...For a Romance novel. But then, what else did I expect from Pamela Clare? She's a wonderful writer who does her homework. The character's attitudes were believable, and so too were the situations they found themselves in. Plus she didn't mess up the Gaelic! That right there is a miracle in and of itself. :)
Even though I have only read 2 of her books I have realized I have found a new favoite author I cain't seem to put her books down and look forward to reading more.
Pamela Clare does it again with another hot, thrilling romance! Good job, Pamela!
This was a great book! Much better than your typical romance novel. I really enjoy this writer. Am looking forward to her next book in this series.