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

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

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by Connie Brockway

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As Connie Brockway’s spellbinding Highland trilogy continues, a man with sin in his smile falls for a femme fatale who might be an angel of mercy . . . or death.

Restless, daring, proud, they are the Merricks: Raine, the second son, the reckless one; Ashton, his older brother, the passionate one; and Fia, their sister, the ravishing one. Born of


As Connie Brockway’s spellbinding Highland trilogy continues, a man with sin in his smile falls for a femme fatale who might be an angel of mercy . . . or death.

Restless, daring, proud, they are the Merricks: Raine, the second son, the reckless one; Ashton, his older brother, the passionate one; and Fia, their sister, the ravishing one. Born of bad blood, they were raised in the Scottish Highlands on lands that belonged to their mother’s kin, the McClairens—until their English father seized the ancestral stronghold for his own. Yet all are destined to find loves as wild and glorious as the isle they call home.

Even for a scoundrel as brash as Raine Merrick, his fate seems impossibly cruel: trapped in a French prison until his father deigns to pay the ransom. After years of waiting, a miracle finally arrives in the form of a striking mystery woman who releases him one moment—and betrays him the next. At least Raine is free to return to McClairen’s Isle and claim its secret treasure. But strange surprises await in the Highlands, where the beautiful traitor is masquerading as an honored guest . . . and tempting Raine with all the lust in his wicked soul.

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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."

From the Paperback edition.

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Connie Brockway is an eight-time finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award. She has twice been its recipient, for My Dearest Enemy and The Bridal Season. Brockway lives in Minnesota with her husband, David, a family physician, and two spoiled mutts.

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McClairen's Isle: The Reckless One 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
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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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harstan More than 1 year ago
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.

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.

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.

Harriet Klausner