Devil of the Highlands

Devil of the Highlands

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by Lynsay Sands
     
 

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They call him the Devil . . .

He is the most notorious laird of Scotland: fierce, cold, deadly . . . and maybe even worse. Yet Evelinde has just agreed to wed him. Anything, she thinks, is better than her cruel stepmother. Though Evelinde should be wary of the rumors, she can't help but be drawn to this warrior . . . for the Devil of the Highlands inspires a

Overview

They call him the Devil . . .

He is the most notorious laird of Scotland: fierce, cold, deadly . . . and maybe even worse. Yet Evelinde has just agreed to wed him. Anything, she thinks, is better than her cruel stepmother. Though Evelinde should be wary of the rumors, she can't help but be drawn to this warrior . . . for the Devil of the Highlands inspires a heat within her that is unlike anything she has ever known.

They may call him whatever they wish, but Cullen, Laird of Donnachaidh, cares only for the future of his clan. He must find a wife, a woman to bear him sons and heed his commands. He has no need for beauty or grace, but one taste of his lovely bride's sweet lips and the sultry feel of her skin arouse an untamed passion. Perhaps there's more to marriage than he thought . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061344770
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/27/2009
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
221,488
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 13.90(h) x 13.10(d)

Read an Excerpt


Devil of the Highlands



By Lynsay Sands
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
Copyright © 2009

Lynsay Sands
All right reserved.



ISBN: 9780061344770


Chapter One

Northern England
1273

"My lady!"

That anxious cry made Evelinde pause in what she was saying to Cook and glance around. Her maid was rushing across the kitchens toward her, expression both angry and worried. It was a combination usually only engendered by Edda's actions. Wondering what her stepmother had got up to now, Evelinde quickly promised Cook they would finish their discussion of menus later, and went to meet her maid.

Mildrede caught her hands the moment they reached one another. Her mouth turned down grimly as she announced, "Your stepmother is calling for you."

Evelinde grimaced. Edda only sent for her when she was in one of her foul moods and wished to cheer herself by abusing her unfortunate stepdaughter. For one moment, Evelinde considered ignoring the summons and finding a task away from the keep for the rest of the day. However, that would only make the woman's mood—and the subsequent abuses—worse.

"I had best go see what she wants then," Evelinde said and squeezed Mildrede's hands reassuringly before moving past her.

"She's smiling," Mildrede warned, following on her heels.

Evelinde paused with her hand on the door to the great hall, trepidation running through her. A smiling Edda was not a good thing. It usuallymeant Evelinde was about to suffer. Not that the woman ever dared hit her, but there were worse things, tasks so unpleasant one would almost prefer a beating. Biting her lip with worry, she asked, "Do you know what has set her off this time?"

"Nay," Mildrede said apologetically. "She was railing at Mac for not pampering her mare properly when a messenger arrived from the king. She read the message, smiled, and called for you."

"Oh," Evelinde breathed faintly, but then forced her shoulders straight, raised her head, and pushed through the door. It was the only thing she could do . . . That and pray that someday, she would be free of her stepmother's control and abuses.

"Ah, Evelinde!" Edda was indeed smiling—a very wide, beaming smile that really didn't bode well.

"I was told you wished to speak with me?" Evelinde said quietly, aware of Mildrede hovering at her back. The woman always offered her support during Edda's little attacks.

"Aye." Edda continued to flash a wide, toothy smile, although toothless would have been as good a description. The woman was missing half her teeth. and those remaining were brown and crooked. Edda rarely smiled, and certainly never widely enough to show off the state of her mouth. Her doing so now made Evelinde's anxiety increase tenfold.

"Since your father's death, seeing to your welfare has fallen to me, and I have been most concerned about your future and well-being, my dear," Edda began.

Evelinde managed not to sneer at the claim of concern. Her father, James d'Aumesbery, had been a good man and a faithful baron to their king. When Henry III had requested he marry the troublesome Edda and remove her from court, where she was making a nuisance of herself, her father had bowed to the task gracefully. Edda had not. She'd resented being tied to a man who held only a barony and had seemed to take an instant dislike to Evelinde on reaching d'Aumesbery.

It hadn't been so bad at first. With the presence of Evelinde's father and her brother, Alexander, Edda had at least behaved cordially to her. However, Alexander had ridden off to join the Crusades with Prince Edward three years earlier. While the prince had since returned and been crowned king on his father's death, Alexander was still in Tunis. Worse yet, no sooner had he left than their father died of a chest complaint.

James d'Aumesbery hadn't even been placed in the family crypt before Edda dropped any pretense at civility and let her true feelings show. These last three years had been a hell Evelinde feared she would never escape. Her only hope was to await her brother's homecoming so that he might see her married and settled far away from the woman. Unfortunately, Alexander seemed in no rush to return.

"I have decided 'tis well past time you married," Edda announced, "and the king agrees with me."

"She means the king decided you should marry, and she was forced to agree," Mildrede muttered behind her, low enough that Edda couldn't hear. "You don't think she'd willingly give up tormenting you. It's her favorite pastime."

Evelinde barely heard her maid, she was too busy trying to absorb what Edda was saying. Part of her feared it was simply a cruel attempt on Edda's part to get her hopes up, then dash them.

"And so I chose a husband for you, and the king negotiated a marriage contract," Edda announced grandly. "I have just received a message that 'tis all done. You will be married."

Evelinde simply waited, knowing there was more. Edda would either explain it was all a jest, or name some perfectly horrid, smelly old lord that Evelinde would surely be miserable with.

"Your betrothed is on his way here from his home even as we speak. He is the laird of Donnachaidh," she announced triumphantly, pronouncing it Don-o-kay.

Evelinde gasped. This was worse than a smelly old lord, this was—"the Devil of Donnachaidh?"

Edda's expression was full of evil glee. "Aye, and I wish you all the unhappiness in the world."

"Bitch," Mildrede hissed furiously from behind Evelinde.

Ignoring her maid, Evelinde managed to force away the horror and dismay and keep her features expressionless. She would not add to Edda's pleasure by revealing how deep this blow had struck. The Devil of Donnachaidh? The woman didn't just hate her, she despised her if she was willing to hand her over to that infamous Scottish laird.

"Now be gone," Edda said, apparently having had her fun. "I do not wish to look on you anymore."

Evelinde nodded stiffly and turned, catching Mildrede by the arm to lead her out of the great hall and the keep itself.



Continues...


Excerpted from Devil of the Highlands by Lynsay Sands Copyright © 2009 by Lynsay Sands. 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

Lynsay Sands is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historicals and anthologies. She’s been writing since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career out of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there are occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus. Please visit her on the web at lynsaysands.net.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
London, Ontario
Place of Birth:
Leamington, Ontario
Website:
http://www.lynsaysands.net

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Devil of the Highlands 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 178 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1273 England, Lady Edda asks King Edward to arrange for her stepdaughter Evelinde of d¿Aumesbury to marry the ¿Devil of Donnachaidh¿. The stepmother loathes her late husband¿s offspring and detests sharing the fruits of her deceased husband¿s barony, which is beneath her needs as it is She also wants to punish Evelinde for being the brave daughter of her despicable dead spouse; so assumes the Scottish aristocratic barbarian will be a perfect brute for Evelinde. The monarch arranges for the couple to meet. Each is shocked that their preconceptions re the other is totally wrong. She expected an abusive thug, but he is kind and caring; he anticipated a cold aloof shrew, but she is warm and daring.

After they exchange marital vows, they head to his home in Scotland as she wonders why the nickname as he nothing like his ferocious reputation. She learns the epithet was given to him due to the murder of his father and the alleged suicide of his cousin; everyone assumes he caused both. Everyone except Evelinde until someone tries to kill her. She wonders if her husband is actually insane or is someone trying to make him seem like a berserker murderer; she plans to learn the truth or die trying.

Starting with the evil stepmother, DEVIL OF THE HIGHLANDS is a fabulous medieval romance starring two charming courageous characters. Evelinde is somewhat typical of the sub-genre except that she matures with a keen understanding that the man she loves proves his caring of her and his people through what he does for them. The whodunit adds to a strong thirteenth century tale as the heroine realizes her spouse is the angel of Donnachaidh.

Harriet Klausner
hjp112 More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book as well as Lynsay Sands, she is down right amazing. I did a little crying, a lot of laughing, and even some hating, but in the end I was willing to tell all my friends this is a MUST read and one of my favorite books. The plot was great, the characters seem so real and I was free falling into a story of old but a plot of new. I have read almost every book Lynsay Sands has written and have yet to be disappointed. If you are a person who loves romance and a good suspense then I would recommend reading every one of Lynsay Sands books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did enjoy this book, but not enough to buy the next one. I absolutely love her vampire series and i just read kresley coles highlander series, so i was jonesing for more scots. I say stick with the vamps for ms sands, but if you want a good highlander read, go with kresley cole or karen marie moning
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
it is nice to read a book where the man chases the woman instead of the other way a round. i loved the book will keep to read again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put this book down, made me laugh at times. It keeps you wondering what will happen next
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Her style of writing is great. Love her characters, her humor but havent read any of her vampire stories yet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For its genre, this is a great read. Highly recommend Taming the Highland Bride and Hellion and the Highlander. They combine for an exceptional reading delight.
MPRLC More than 1 year ago
This book was extremely enjoyable. I loved the intrigue, the romance, the suspense and the humor was through out. This book was a terrific fun read. Couldn't put it down.
Momof4IN More than 1 year ago
Let me start by saying that I love Lynsay Sands, her writing style and sense of humor are fantastic. But this book kind of fell flat for me. It lacked the humor that I know and love. The characters were just okay, the story line was just... Eh. Not what I come to expect from a Lynsay Sands book
VeldaC More than 1 year ago
I loved, loved, LOVED, this book.  I found it funny, sexy and serious.   I didn't want to put it down!  Thank you, Lynsay Sands, for a fantastic book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lovely and suspenseful story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. Cant wait to read more of Lynsay Sands books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As much a mystery as a romance. Great hero---great heroine. Good mystery. Nice secondary characters.
Jetches More than 1 year ago
Well…I’ve fallen in love with another highlander. And he is nicknamed ‘The Devil’. How, awesome is that? I liked this book. It started off with some awesome passion, and then there was some mystery added in, and I was a goner. Cullen really got me from the first meeting. He didn’t fit his nickname, but he doesn’t talk a lot so I can see how people can come to that conclusion, but then he goes and totally woos Evelinde in a very, very nice scene by the water. *SWOON. I also really liked the mystery aspect of this novel. I liked that it affected them at ‘home’ and wasn’t about some enemy clan. Now I thought I had ‘The Villain’ all figured out, but this book was tricky and when it was all revealed I was happily surprised.  This book kept me on my toes, kept me thinking, and kept me falling for Cullen.  Good: Cullen—I loved when he tells her he will try and tell her as well as show her what he is thinking. Damn….just damn. Evelinde—She had a pretty crappy life, but is not willing to settle for anything other than what she wants. Bad:  I find there was a lack of depth in their romance. I guess I just wasn’t feeling their love too much. Overall (Writing style, story line, and general): Overall I really enjoyed this novel. I liked the mystery, I enjoyed the characters, and swooned over the male character, and I found the writing as easy to follow as any writing about Scotland during the time of Lairds and Highlanders could be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It lacks a proper ending. I felt like it just stopped. Was more about other things than the romance. Which is fine, but i wanted romance not just mystery
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read and re-read this series of 3 books! They are so good and i wish she wrote more in this series
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