McClairen's Isle - The Reckless One

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Raine: The Reckless One...there was sin in his smile and wildness in his soul....

Raine Merrick's wild, reckless spirit had earned him time in a French prison. When a mysterious beauty gains his freedom only to betray him, Raine Merrick sets out for his father's castle on McClairen's Isle, seeking the treasure hidden within. But strange surprises await him in the Highlands. He never expected to find his deceitful angel masquerading as an ...

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McClairen's Isle: The Reckless One: A Loveswept Historical Classic Romance

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Raine: The Reckless One...there was sin in his smile and wildness in his soul....

Raine Merrick's wild, reckless spirit had earned him time in a French prison. When a mysterious beauty gains his freedom only to betray him, Raine Merrick sets out for his father's castle on McClairen's Isle, seeking the treasure hidden within. But strange surprises await him in the Highlands. He never expected to find his deceitful angel masquerading as an honored guest. Or to want her with all the searing passion in his sinner's soul.

Watch for the crowning volume in the spellbinding McClairen's Isle trilogy, The Ravishing One, coming soon. And don't miss the first book in the trilogy, The Passionate One, available from Dell.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Early praise for The Reckless One:
"Readers will enjoy the excitement and passion."
--Publishers Weekly

Praise for The Passionate One:
"Exquisite romance...McClairen's Isle: The Passionate One is the first in a trilogy featuring the Merrick siblings."
--Library Journal

"This is a glorious book, wonderful reading."
--Romance Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The second entry in Brockway's Scottish Trilogy (after McClairen's Isle: The Passionate One) begins in 1760 France as Raine Merrick, abandoned by his evil father, the Earl of Carr, escapes an unjust imprisonment by participating in a plot involving beautiful and innocent Favor McClairen. Although Raine and Favor share a twisted past tormented by the enmity of their families, neither recognizes the other when fate rejoins their lives. Years before, Favor had unknowingly betrayed her people--a misstep that has haunted her since; in an attempt to regain her honor, she turns up at Lord Carr's castle, reluctantly trying to win his hand in marriage in order to recover her family's ancestral home. Soon Raine arrives incognito, seeking a cache of hidden jewels that should enable him to start life anew. Favor is mesmerized by Raine's charm, and he finds himself reassessing what he wants out of life. Although the climax shifts into melodrama, and a nonstop series of twists and turns may occasionally confuse, readers will enjoy the excitement and passion. (Jan.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Sprung from a brutal French prison only to be betrayed by his lovely rescuer, Raine Merrick eludes his pursuers and eventually makes his way home to McClairen's Isle--and, amazingly, finds that his duplicitous savior is a guest in his father's castle. He now realizes that he knew the woman as a child and that she has every reason to hate him. Deception, vengeance, and a legendary treasure combine in this tale of romance and intrigue, which continues Brockway's "McClairen's Isle" trilogy (e.g., McClairen's Isle: The Passionate One), and is sure to delight her waiting fans. Brockway is an increasingly popular writer of sensual historicals and lives in Edina, MN. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kathe Robin
Complex in plot and character, The Passionate One is a mesmerizing non-stop read. Connie Brockway spins a tale tighter than a spider’s web, luring readers deeper and deeper into a story where romance and history are perfectly blended. Readers will eagerly await the next novel. Sensual.
Romantic Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440226277
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 661,442
  • Product dimensions: 4.21 (w) x 6.88 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

While on a tour of Scotland in 1997, Connie Brockway fell in love. With the country. Since she was traveling with her husband, David, at the time, this was a good thing. She fell in love with clear, cold lochs and pine-cloaked mountains, red stag and single malt whisky, and most of all the proud and sometimes tragic history of this wonderfully evocative country. Once home, she found it impossible to do anything but write a romance set there. So she began what ended up being The Passionate One, the first novel in the McClairen's Isle series, using as its backdrop the majestic north coast of Scotland. She hopes she can bring to her readers some of the Highland magic she so enjoyed.

Also the author of My Dearest Enemy, which won the Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA Award, All Through the Night, As You Desire, and A Dangerous Man, Connie Brockway loves to hear from readers. Please write her at P.O. Box 828, Hopkins, MN 55343 or visit her Web site for excerpts and reviews of all of her Dell books at

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Read an Excerpt

It was possible Madame Noir regretted her decision to choose him; that titillation had taken a back seat to fear.

But this woman was notorious for her outré appetites. The more probable reason for her ostensible fear was that it was all part of some perverse game. A game which, if Raine played it correctly, he might use to his benefit.

If he could convince her to unchain him he would be out of this carriage in seconds, losing himself in Dieppe's twisting alleys. With such thoughts, he crouched low as he entered the carriage, conscious of the part he needed to play.

Mindful of how his shoulders crowded the doorway and blocked the light, Raine slouched down onto the seat opposite her, angling himself in such a way that he did not appear threatening. He could hear her short agitated breaths, feel her tension.

Jacques called out from up top and the horses plunged forward, pitching her across the slick leather seat. Raine flung out a hand to keep her from falling.

"Take your hands off of me," she whispered.

She was not commanding him. She was pleading. As false as he suspected her trepidation to be, her simulated fear worked insidiously on him. His body reacted instinctively to the implicit submissiveness in her appeal. Was she pretending that she was an anxious virgin closeted with a ravening beast? If so, her fantasy marched closer to the truth than she could know.

It had been years since he'd felt such lust.

"Take your hand off me." Her voice quavered. He obliged, releasing her slowly, letting his hands slide down her sleeve. He did nothing to hide the direction of his gaze, allowing it to linger on the agitated rise and fall of her breasts.

Role-playing be damned. He wanted her.

"Madame," he said softly, lifting his arms and spreading open Jacques' cape, displaying his shackled wrists and naked chest, the scars of Pierre's frequent "disciplinary actions" ridging his white, prison-hued skin. "As you can see, I am at your disposal, to do with as you please."

She shrank back against the deep, tufted leather seats. "You don't understand," she whispered.

"I do not," he agreed. "You will teach me, though. What is your pleasure, petite Madame? You touch; I am not allowed to touch? You arouse and then withhold the culmination of the arousal? Is that how you achieve satisfaction? Pray, do your damnedest by me. I am in a lather to be so victimized."


"Just tell me the rules of the game, Madame," he said tersely. He was more than willing to pay whatever price freedom demanded. He sank back against the seat, his aroused body flaunted for her perusal. "You have only to look to see how primed I am for whatever sport you chose," he said.

"Oh Lord." Her whispered epitaph embodied the virgin maiden's horror of a lecherous suggestion. 'Sblood, she was a good little actress.

"I am yours." He leaned forward and gently grasped her wrist, drawing her gloved palm forth until it lay flat low on his belly. He drew his breath in on a hiss of undeniable pleasure. "Can you feel my muscles clench with the promise of that which you withhold?"

She tried to snatch her hand back but he kept it there, desperately trying to gauge the nature of his role. How much to ravish; how much to seduce. His very life depended on his ability to judge her reactions. Once, a lifetime ago, he'd been well on his way to being a master of such sensual expertise.

"I was resigned to my celibacy, Madame," he said grimly, "having long since purged myself of the tormenting memories of a woman's soft body, a woman's sweet mouth, a woman's ardent embrace. You've resurrected those, given them substance, teased me with their reality." His voice grew low and fervent. She tried to tug away, but her efforts lacked conviction. She wanted to hear this confession. Bask in it. Damn her.

He grabbed her other wrist and, heedless of her sudden resistance, yanked, tumbling her into his embrace. He hauled her into the lee created by his wide spread legs. His arm snaked about her waist, the chains locking him to the floor jangling noisily.

She gasped, her hands trapped between them, pushing at his cold chest. The feel of her gloved fingers stroked his nerve endings. His heart thundered in his chest in equal parts fear and arousal.

"Cry out and I'm dead 'ere I've been of any use to you," he grated out. She was svelte and tensile as a young she-cat, her hips narrow. Even through the thick layers of her skirt he could feel the delicate jut of her pelvic bones brand his inner thighs. Her veil settled over his knees in a drift of black silk.

"Let me service you," he whispered, the line between playacting and reality blurring with the heady feel of her. His patience was wearing thin. She would find herself ravished in fact if he played this game much longer. "Let me touch you. Fondle you. Inflame in you a fire to equal my own," he purred. "Enjoy me."

He rocked lightly against her, striving to keep the anger from his voice. Anger as much with himself as with her, at the body that betrayed both his mind and spirit. "Here. Now," he said. "Let me take you. I can not wait. Only unchain me," he ground out urgently, "and I will swive you as thoroughly as a spring stallion at his first mare."

"Let me go!" The veiled face jerked back. Raine cursed his impetuousness.

He released her arms immediately. He'd read her incorrectly, decided that coarseness would appeal to what he knew of her appetites. Instead, she'd been appalled. He was not mistaken in that reaction; no one could act that well.

He forced his features into a submissive expression, dropping his gaze so that she might not see how it burned. Trembling, she scrambled into the seat opposite him.

"Forgive me," he began in a hard, far from humble tone. But he'd been stretched a bit far, worn a bit thin. By this game. By her. "I should not have allowed my desires to make me so bold." His hot eyes lifted contemptuously to her concealed face. "But then, I thought you liked your captives vulgar and base. 'Tis the rumor in the prison where you purchase your toys."

As soon as the words were spoken he cursed himself again. He hadn't planned on speaking thus. The words had simply come. He sneered at his manacled wrists. He'd thought that four years in prison had culled the impetuousness from his soul.

He waited for the inevitable; a blow across his face, an imperious call to turn the carriage around.

Amazingly, it did not come. She only squeezed herself further back against the seat. "Sir. Please. Be still. Be quiet. The guards might hear you. Only wait, I pray you," she urged, "wait!"

"I am your creature, Madame.  You have only to command me," he said flatly.  "As you well know."

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2013

    Didnt connect

    I read a couple of this authors books before this one, and liked them, but i never connected with this one. The characters were likable, and the storyline was promising. Im not quite sure what went wrong but i just never connected with this book.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Enjoyable historical romance

    In 1760 in a French prison, the notorious Madame Noir and her mountain of a servant Jacques arrives to select a foreign prisoner. Everyone associated with her dealings assume she purchases prisoners for her personal pleasure. English noble, Raine Merrick, knows his father the evil Lord Carr, will not ransom him from his incarceration in Dieppe. He sees Noir as a potential way to escape so he volunteers to be her boy toy. <P>As Jacques goes to pay off the guards, Raine escapes, but not before he realizes that Noir is not what she seems. She fears his touch and is much younger than he first thought. She explains that she needs him to impersonate her dead spouse, but once they reach England they can go their separate ways. However, unbeknownst to Raine, Favor McClairen (the person impersonating Madame Noir in France) has plans to marry Raine¿s father in order to regain her ancestral lands. Once in England, the duo meets at the Carr estate and fall in love, but she has a quest to right a wrong she inadvertently once committed and that means Lord Carr only. Beside which, though he feels passion for his former partner, he has no plans for a long-term relationship. <P>In her second MCCLAIREN¿S ISLE tale, Connie Brockway once again provides her audience with a very exciting historical romance as she did with THE PASSIONATE ONE. The enjoyable story line has more twists than a meandering river, but the plot retains an enthusiasm and vigor that will elate sub-genre fans. Fans will avidly wait for the third tale, THE RAVISHING ONE as Ms. Brockway has made the mid-eighteenth century a fun place to read. <P>Harriet Klausner

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    Posted August 15, 2013

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