Read an Excerpt
Taming the Scotsman
It took a lot of nerve to face the devil in his lair. Or in the case of Eleanor ingen Alexander, it just took a lot of desperation. Desperation that hung in her heart and throat, choking her with its urgency.
If the devil refused to help her ...
Well, she'd walk herself to England alone then. No one would sway her from this course. No one. Not her father, not her mother.
Not even "the devil" himself.
As she neared the cave at the top of the mountain, her courage faltered. Could a man really live in a cave? That was the rumor, but until now she'd assumed it to be nothing more than a myth made up by men who were too afraid of Ewan MacAllister to face him.
After all, the MacAllisters were the most respected and feared men in all of Scotland. They were also said to be the richest. Surely such men, unlike her burly and irksome father, would have some form of refinement.
Yet as she looked about the barren mountain-top, she saw nothing even remotely resembling a cabin or home.
Ewan MacAllister really was the barbarian of legend.
"That's just as well," she said, lifting the hem of her dark blue skirt to step around a cluster of rocks. She might be dreaming in her heart of a refined gentleman of courtly virtues to win her hand, but a barbarian was what she needed at the moment.
A barbarian with a mighty big sword.
From all she'd heard, Ewan MacAllister was just what her adventure called for.
At the top of the craggy slope, she realized that the "cave" had a wooden door that was mostly concealed by brush and dirt. Apparently Ewan had no desire for visitors.
Any other time, she would take the hint and respect his wishes, but right now, she couldn't afford to.
Her need for freedom was much greater than his for solitude.
Nora started to knock, then paused as she looked about the small cleared area.
What an interesting place he had here. The cave looked out onto the loch far below where the sunlight glistened on the water. It was a breathtaking view. Calm. Serene. No wonder the man had chosen it.
Surely a true barbarian wouldn't be able to appreciate something as refined and beautiful as this view.
It gave her hope.
Moving back to the door, she knocked on it.
No one answered.
"Hello?" she called, knocking louder. "Is anyone there?"
Still no answer.
Undaunted, she tried the door. The latch clicked, and it opened easily enough.
Inside she found an even more interesting abode. The floor was covered with plush rugs and rushes. The stone walls even held a few tapestries to blot the dampness. There was a strangely designed fireplace that had a bent flume and chim-ney to go out the side of the mountain instead of up through the top. A table and two chairs were set before it.
But the most interesting thing of all was the bed at the rear. Large and lush, it looked as if it belonged in some fine noble's castle, not stuck out in the midst of the woods, on top of a mountain.
Ewan MacAllister was a strange man indeed.
Why would he choose such a place and then bring with him the comforts of home?
And it was then she heard the snarling sound of the beast himself. It was a brief, eerie kind of snort, terrifying and deep.
Her heart skipped, then pounded as she realized it came from the large bed. All she could see from her position by the door was a dark lump she now assumed was a man.
He was asleep?
It was high afternoon, too early to be abed for the night and too late to be abed from the morning.
A nap perhaps?
Or was he ill?
Please, not sickness. She needed him to be hale and hearty for this venture. A sick barbarian wouldn't do at all.
"Excuse me?" she asked, stepping nearer the lump. "Lord Ewan, might I have a word with you?"
Only the snore answered her.
Well, bother this. Here she'd come all this way expecting to face an ogre and all she got was a sleeping cub. Where was the giant of legend who terrified everyone who spoke his name?
She needed that fearsome beast.
Aye, she needed him.
Stiffening her spine, she approached the bed, then faltered again as she saw him clearly for the first time in the dim light of the cave.
He lay on his side, spread out across the mattress as naked as the day he'd entered the world.
Not once in her life had Nora ever beheld a naked man, but she was quite certain no other man looked as fine and handsome as this one.
Especially not while he slept.
His long, muscled limbs seemed to go on forever. He was so large in stature and muscle that the bed barely accommodated him, and if he were stretched out to his full height, she was certain his arms and legs would be left dangling over the edges.
His black hair was shaggy and ill-trimmed, and draped over a face so manly and handsome that it stole her breath to look at him. He held at least a week's growth of beard on his face.
The rugged, untamed look only made him seem even more desirable. Fierce.
His tanned flesh was stretched tight over muscles that were rock-hard and well defined.
Aye, this was a fine man to make her heart race and her body warm. Truly, he had no equal.
Before she could stop herself, she realized her gaze was traveling down to the center of that delectably male body to his ...Taming the Scotsman. Copyright © by Kinley MacGregor. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.