Ravished by a Highlander (Children of the Mist Series #1)

Ravished by a Highlander (Children of the Mist Series #1)

4.3 184
by Paula Quinn

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Davina Montgomery is no ordinary English lady. For her own protection, she's been locked away from society, her true identity the Crown's most closely guarded secret. Until a shocking betrayal—and a bold rescue—land her in the arms of a fierce Highlander, a powerful warrior whose searing gaze and tantalizing touch awaken her body and soul



Davina Montgomery is no ordinary English lady. For her own protection, she's been locked away from society, her true identity the Crown's most closely guarded secret. Until a shocking betrayal—and a bold rescue—land her in the arms of a fierce Highlander, a powerful warrior whose searing gaze and tantalizing touch awaken her body and soul.


As the firstborn son of a powerful Scottish laird, Robert MacGregor has no loyalty to the English throne, but he's not the kind of man to leave a woman in distress, even if she is English. He vows to deliver Davina to safety, unharmed and untouched. Yet one stolen kiss leaves them both smoldering with desire...and desperate for more. With Davina's secret threatening to destroy his clan, Rob must choose between everything he holds dear and the one woman he can't live without.


Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Top Pick!...4 1/2 stars! Quinn uses her wit and whimsy to develop memorable characters who steal your heart. Take a meticulously researched backdrop interwoven with real historical personages and you have a romance that brings passion and history to life." —RT Book Reviews"

With plenty of humor, romance, and characters you can't help but fall in love with, this charming story is sure to please and leave you sighing for more." —Romance Reviews Today


Pitch perfect medieval romance...This outing proves that relative newcomer Quinn is an author to watch." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)"

Expertly crafted historical romance." —Booklist


Top pick! Quinn captures the aura of the Highlands brilliantly, delivering a tale rife with Scottish lore and infamous fueds. She combines passion, history, danger and intrigue to perfection." —RT Book Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The first installment in Quinn's Children of the Mist series deftly combines historical fact and powerful romance. In 1685 Scotland, Lady Davina Montgomery is hiding at St. Christopher's Abbey, hoping no one will discover her true identity. When soldiers attack, highlander Rob MacGregor, heir to a clan chief, risks his life to save Davina from the burning building. She remains both stoic and secretive, but the shared dangers of their journey across Scotland and their burgeoning attraction slowly encourage her to open up. There's much more than just sizzling sensuality: history buffs will love the attention to period detail and cameos by real-life figures, and the protagonists embody compassion, responsibility, and unrelenting, almost self-sacrificial honor. Quinn's seamless prose and passionate storytelling will leave readers hungry for future installments. (May)

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Children of the Mist Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.28(w) x 6.86(h) x 1.02(d)

Read an Excerpt

Ravished by a Highlander

By Quinn, Paula


Copyright © 2010 Quinn, Paula
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446552387

The Firstborn


Chapter One

High atop Saint Christopher’s Abbey, Davina Montgomery stood alone in the bell tower, cloaked in the silence of a world she did not know. Darkness had fallen hours ago and below her the sisters slept peacefully in their beds, thanks to the men who had been sent here to guard them. But there was little peace for Davina. The vast, indigo sky filling her vision was littered with stars that seemed close enough to touch should she reach out her hand. What would she wish for? Her haunted gaze slipped southward toward England, and then with a longing just as powerful, toward the moonlit mountain peaks of the north. Which life would she choose if the choice were hers to make? A world where she’d been forgotten, or one where no one knew her? She smiled sadly against the wind that whipped her woolen novice robes around her. What good was it to ponder when her future had already been decreed? She knew what was to come. There were no variations. That is, if she lived beyond the next year. She looked away from the place she could never go and the person she could never be.

She heard the soft fall of footsteps behind her but did not turn. She knew who it was.

“Poor Edward. I imagine your heart must have failed you when you did not find me in my bed.”

When he remained quiet she felt sorry for teasing him about the seriousness of his duty. Captain Edward Asher had been sent here to protect her four years ago, after Captain Geoffries had taken ill and was relieved of his command. Edward had become more than her guardian. He was her dearest friend, someone she could confide in here within the thick walls that sheltered her from the schemes of her enemies. Edward knew her fears and accepted her faults.

“I knew where to find you,” he finally said, his voice just above a whisper.

He always did know. Not that there were many places to look. Davina was not allowed to venture outside the Abbey gates so she came to the bell tower often to let her thoughts roam free.

“My lady—”

She turned at his soft call, putting away her dreams and desires behind a tender smile. Those she kept to herself and did not share, even with him.

“Please, I…” he began, meeting her gaze and then stumbling through the rest as if the face he looked upon every day still struck him as hard as it had the first time he’d seen her. He was in love with her, and though he’d never spoken his heart openly, he did not conceal how he felt. Everything was there in his eyes, his deeds, his devotion; and a deep regret that Davina suspected had more to do with her than he would ever have the boldness to admit. Her path had been charted for another course and she could never be his. “Lady Montgomery, come away from here, I beg you. It is not good to be alone.”

He worried for her so and she wished he wouldn’t. “I’m not alone, Edward,” she reassured. If her life remained as it was now, she would find a way to be happy. She always did. “I have been given much.”

“It’s true,” he agreed, moving closer to her and then stopping himself, knowing what she knew. “You have been taught to fear the Lord and love your king. The sisters love you, as do my men. It will always be so. We are your family. But it is not enough.” He knew she would never admit it, so he said it for her.

It had to be enough. It was safer this way, cloistered away from those who would harm her if ever they discovered her after the appointed time.

That time had come.

Davina knew that Edward would do anything to save her. He told her often, each time he warned her of her peril. Diligently, he taught her to trust no one, not even those who claimed to love her. His lessons often left her feeling a bit hopeless, though she never told him that, either.

“Would that I could slay your enemies,” he swore to her now, “and your fears along with them.”

He meant to comfort her, but good heavens, she didn’t want to discuss the future on such a breathtaking night. “Thanks to you and God,” she said, leaving the wall to go to him and tossing him a playful smile, “I can slay them myself.”

“I agree,” he surrendered, his good mood restored by the time she reached him. “You’ve learned your lessons in defense well.”

She rested her hand on his arm and gave it a soft pat. “How could I disappoint you when you risked the Abbess’s consternation to teach me?”

He laughed with her, both of them comfortable in their familiarity. But too soon he grew serious again.

“James is to be crowned in less than a se’nnight.”

“I know.” Davina nodded and turned toward England again. She refused to let her fears control her. “Mayhap,” she said with a bit of defiance sparking her doleful gaze, “we should attend the coronation, Edward. Who would think to look for me at Westminster?”

“My lady…” He reached for her. “We cannot. You know—”

“I jest, dear friend.” She angled her head to speak to him over her shoulder, carefully cloaking the struggle that weighed heaviest upon her heart, a struggle that had nothing to do with fear. “Really, Edward, must we speak of this?”

“Yes, I think we should,” he answered earnestly, then went on swiftly, before she could argue, “I’ve asked the Abbess if we can move you to Courlochcraig Abbey in Ayr. I’ve already sent word to—”

“Absolutely not,” she stopped him. “I will not leave my home. Besides, we have no reason to believe that my enemies know of me at all.”

“Just for a year or two. Until we’re certain—”

“No,” she told him again, this time turning to face him fully. “Edward, would you have us leave the sisters here alone to face our enemies should they come seeking me? What defense would they have without the strong arms of you and your men? They will not leave St. Christopher’s, nor will I.”

He sighed and shook his head at her. “I cannot argue when you prove yourself more courageous than I. I pray I do not live to regret it. Very well, then.” The lines of his handsome face relaxed. “I shall do as you ask. For now though,” he added, offering her his arm, “allow me to escort you to your chamber. The hour is late and the Reverend Mother will show you no mercy when the cock crows.”

Davina rested one hand in the crook of his arm and waved away his concern with the other. “I don’t mind waking with the sun.”

“Why would you,” he replied, his voice as light now as hers as he led her out of the belfry, “when you can just fall back to sleep in the Study Hall.”

“It was only the one time that I actually slept,” she defended, slapping his arm softly. “And don’t you have more important things to do with your day than follow me around?”

“Three times,” he corrected, ignoring the frown he knew was false. “Once, you even snored.”

Her eyes, as they descended the stairs, were as wide as her mouth. “I have never snored in my life!”

“Save for that one time, then?”

She looked about to deny his charge again, but bit her curling lip instead. “And once during Sister Bernadette’s piano recital. I had penance for a week. Do you remember?”

“How could I forget?” he laughed. “My men did no chores the entire time, preferring to listen at your door while you spoke aloud to God about everything but your transgression.”

“God already knew why I fell asleep,” she explained, smiling at his grin. “I did not wish to speak poorly of Sister Bernadette’s talent, or lack of it, even in my own defense.”

His laughter faded, leaving only a smile that looked to be painful as their walk ended and they stood at her door. When he reached out to take her hand, Davina did her best not to let the surprise in her eyes dissuade him from touching her. “Forgive my boldness, but there is something I must tell you. Something I should have told you long ago.”

“Of course, Edward,” she said softly, keeping her hand in his. “You know you may always speak freely to me.”

“First, I would have you know that you have come to mean—”


Davina leaned over the stairwell to see Harry Barns, Edward’s second in command, plunge through the Abbey doors. “Captain!” Harry shouted up at them, his face pale and his breath heavy from running. “They are coming!”

For one paralyzing moment, Davina doubted the good of her ears. She’d been warned of this day for four years, but had always prayed it would not come. “Edward,” she asked hollowly, on the verge of sheer panic, “how did they find us so soon after King Charles’s death?”

He squeezed his eyes shut and shook his head back and forth as if he too refused to believe what he was hearing. But there was no time for doubt. Spinning on his heel, he gripped her arm and hauled her into her room. “Stay here! Lock your door!”

“What good will that do us?” She sprang for her quiver and bow and headed back to the door, and to Edward blocking it. “Please, dear friend. I do not want to cower alone in my room. I will fire from the bell tower until it is no longer safe to do so.”

“Captain!” Barns raced up the stairs, taking three at a time. “We need to prepare. Now!”

“Edward”—Davina’s voice pulled him back to her—“you trained me for this. We need every arm available. You will not stop me from fighting for my home.”

“Orders, Captain, please!”

Davina looked back once as she raced toward the narrow steps leading back to the tower.

“Harry!” She heard Edward shout behind her. “Prepare the vats and boil the tar. I want every man alert and ready at my command. And Harry…”


“Wake the sisters and tell them to pray.”

In the early morning hours that passed after the massacre at St. Christopher’s, Edward’s men had managed to kill half of the enemy’s army. But the Abbey’s losses were greater. Far greater.

Alone in the bell tower, Davina stared down at the bodies strewn across the large courtyard. The stench of burning tar and seared flesh stung her nostrils and burned her eyes as she set them beyond the gates to the meadow where men on horseback still hacked away at each other as if their hatred could never be satisfied. But there was no hatred. They fought because of her, though none of them knew her. But she knew them. Her dreams had been plagued with her faceless assassins since the day Edward had first told her of them.

Tears brought on by the pungent air slipped down her cheeks, falling far below to where her friends… her family lay dead or dying. Dragging her palm across her eyes, she searched the bodies for Edward. He’d returned to her an hour after the fighting had begun and ordered her into the chapel with the sisters. When she’d refused, he’d tossed her over his shoulder like a sack of grain and brought her there himself. But she did not remain hidden. She couldn’t, so she’d returned to the tower and her bow and sent more than a dozen of her enemies to meet their Maker. But there were too many—or mayhap God didn’t want the rest, for they slew the men she ate with, laughed with, before her eyes.

She had feared this day for so long that it had become a part of her. She thought she had prepared. At least, for her own death. But not for the Abbess’s. Not for Edward’s. How could anyone prepare to lose those they loved?

Despair ravaged her and for a moment she considered stepping over the wall. If she was dead they would stop. But she had prayed for courage too many times to let God or Edward down now. Reaching into the quiver on her back, she plucked out an arrow, cocked her bow, and closed one eye to aim.

Below her and out of her line of vision, a soldier garbed in military regalia not belonging to England crept along the chapel wall with a torch clutched in one fist and a sword in the other.


Excerpted from Ravished by a Highlander by Quinn, Paula Copyright © 2010 by Quinn, Paula. 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

New York Times bestselling author Paula Quinn lives in New York with her three beautiful children, three over-protective chihuahuas, and a loud umbrella cockatoo. She loves to read romance and science fiction and has been writing since she was eleven. She loves all things medieval, but it is her love for Scotland that pulls at her heartstrings.

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Ravished by a Highlander 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 181 reviews.
BookAddictPatti More than 1 year ago
You know I love my highlanders; nothing's sexier than an alpha male with a brogue and a kilt! As Ravished by a Highlander begins, we meet Davina Montgomery - she's been disguised as a novice at a convent in England. She's been there since birth, and for the last 4 years her main companion and friend has been Captain Asher, leader of the men assigned to protect her. Robert MacGregor is the son of a highland laird, and he and his brothers are on their way to meet his father at the coronation of the new king. As they are riding, they come upon the convent under attack. They join in the conflict, and as Asher lays dying, he begs Robert to save her and keep her safe. Against his better judgement, Rob agrees to the dying man's wishes. He doesn't know who she is or why she needs protecting, but he is a man of his word. After many stops and surprises (some pleasant, some unpleasant), they decide to go to Robert's home on Skye, where he knows he can protect her against any intruders. Although she has kept her identity from him, he has figured it out and knows how dangerous it will be to protect her. Robert understands the weight of the responsibility he is undertaking, but he finds he cares about her, and will do anything to keep her safe and near him. My thoughts: I enjoyed this book. For much of the first half I was a bit frustrated - it was hinted at many, many times that she had a secret identity and if anyone found out trouble would ensue. But once the storyline kept moving, and her identity was revealed to the reader, I enjoyed it more. There was a lot of political intrigue, but I was able to keep all the parties separate and it was not hard to follow. I'll admit I was surprised at who the traitor was. The scenes that took place once they reached Rob's castle were the ones that drew me in. The images of the castle, and the surrounding countryside were wonderful. I liked that we were able to see a more playful side of Davina, it made her a more engaging character. Rob is just delicious! His scenes with Davina were so sexy and tender; I wanted this HEA for them and I didn't see how it was going to work out! I also enjoyed reading about Rob's family; I liked his aunts and cousins. I was especially captivated by his brothers and brothers-in-arms; they were quite entertaining and I hope they all get their own stories. So, after a slow start I did really enjoy the 2nd half of this book and am looking forward to the next book in this series - Seduced by a Highlander, which IS about one of Rob's brothers :) I give Ravished by a Highlander 3 1/2 stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent story! Even the critiques I think I want to say won't form; the story flows very well, the characters are quite likeable, and the romance isn't too sappy; fair amount of fighting but not too much; Robert and Davina fit perfectly-gotta love her intrigue with his bared torso! The cost for this book is fair as it isn't terribly long while containg enough length to be enjoyable, and not feel cheated; I wouldn't have objected to a bit more to resolve the question of the bairn, but finished the book wanting to read more from this author-even being torn between reading more of this serious and not wanting to read more so I can savor this one a little longer
Seamless More than 1 year ago
Amazing book! I loved Laird of the Mist and A Highlander Never Surrenders and was not disappointed by how Paula continued the story with the next generation of characters! Robert is my favorite leading man. Exciting, romantic,  adventurous, what's not to love? 
Oodlesofnoodles More than 1 year ago
I thought that this book was good but the previous book Laird of the Mists was a million times better. At some points the dialogue was hard to follow and the plot over-dramatic. This book is not Paula Quinn's best but it is a good beach-read if you want a light book. I thought that it definitely could have been much better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read Laird of the Mist and Seduced by a Highlander first before you start Children of the Mist because you will not enjoy all the cross over character's as much. Loved the story of Rob and Davina. They both knew what they wanted and gave it there all. So much suspense and twists that I read it in one day and even peeked at the ending because I couldn't take wondering what was happening. Can't go wrong with buying this book. Does start out slow, but picks up speed fast. (Ljb)
AnnieRyan More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed meeting the second generation MacGregors .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Found my new favorite author loved this book
RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
Review by Jen: When Paula Quinn asked me if I wanted to read Ravished by a Highlander, I jumped at the chance. I've been wanting to read Paula's books and I love highlander stories. And let me tell you, this book did not disappoint. I adored the characters of Robert and Davina. Robert is that fantasy highlander... powerful and strong, yet loving and tender and willing to do anything to protect his woman. Davina is a woman with a very important secret... and a woman with men hunting her. Even the secondary characters were interesting, all the way down to a very despicable villain. The book is action packed from page one, with twists and turns abounding. I was immediately drawn into the story and didn't want to put the book down until I read the last word. This is the first book in a new series revolving around Robert and his brothers. I am very much looking forward to the next book and hope it is another winner.
audio_book_adict More than 1 year ago
I love a well written highlander tale and will often relisten to a good one several times a year. This one is on it's 2nd listen in a year, and I have the same opinion of it as I did the first time. The story is fine, and the sequel (Seduced by a Highlander)is also fine. However, the actress that narriates the two stories (Carrington MacDuffie) may have the right surname, but she is obviously American, or at least raised with a particular midwest accent. None of the Highlander or English accents are well done and the entire cast of the book is Scotish or English and it's rather painful to listen to. Sometimes it even seems as though she forgets that she is supposed to be doing an accent at all. Customers that purchase audio books pay a premium for them *because they have been performed. It seems to me that if those of us that do pay that premium should be treated to a decently done accent when one is required, as well as a fairly decent range of voices for different characters. I've listened to other books performed by MacDuffie and they are not as difficult to listen to as these two particular performances. If Brilliance Audio had a comments page, I would post this there, but since they don't, I'm just going to warn those that look for audio reviews that these two are not worth the extra money to get them in audio form. Audio Book Addict
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love all of P.Q. books & really enjoyed this one. Thanks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am now a fan of Paula Quinn! This series is a great read! Cant wait to read the next books!
Annedoglover4 More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful story and the whole series is great. I could not wait to read each book in the series. This is a great love story. I love all stories about the Highlands and this is a must read.
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Skairt2 More than 1 year ago
Paula Quinn's novels are a great taste of historical romance! She wraps you in a fictional story set within the history of the time. She adds mystery and intrigue to every one of her books. I have read several of her stories, and not one has failed to suck me in! The characters are the kind that you can actually feel for and become involved with. You begin to feel the emotions and the turmoil!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great book. I love all them. Great highland series.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best Highlander romance book ever! Rob and Davina are simply perfect together.
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