Bride of a Wicked Scotsman

Bride of a Wicked Scotsman

by Samantha James

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Bride of a Wicked Scotsman by Samantha James

Lady Maura O'Donnell swore to her father on his deathbed that she'd recover the Circle of Light, an enchanted Celtic relic that had brought the family prosperity—until it was stolen a century earlier by a notorious pirate. Now the pirate's descendant, the Duke of Gleneden, holds this rare treasure, and Maura would give anything to get it back . . .

Alec McBride knows when he's been had. Lady Maura tricked him into marriage with the expertise of a born seductress, and now she'll pay for her treachery. He'll ravish her, tempt her, tame her—until she sorely wishes she'd never heard of the Duke of Gleneden. Caught up in their game of revenge, Alec and Maura never notice what is happening in their hearts—until it's too late.

Their marriage may have been a farce, but there is nothing truer than their desire . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060899400
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/24/2009
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 809,035
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

About the Author

It was Samantha James's love of reading as a child that steered her toward a writing career. Among her favorites in those days were the Trixie Belden and Cherry Ames series of books. She still loves a blend of mystery and romance, and, of course, a happily-ever-after ending. The award-winning, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of many romances and one novella, her books have ranged from medieval to Regency.

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Bride of a Wicked Scotsman

Chapter One

The day began as any other.

Yet for some vague reason, Lady Maura O'Donnell reflected, something seemed different that day.

While the curtain of night retreated, dawn began its awakening. Snug in the warm nest of her bed at Castle McDonough, Maura watched as pale pink light hovered as far as the eye could see; it banished the shadows and deepened to amber and rose, at last spilling across the earth until it poured through the open curtains.

Ha! Whoever said that it rained in Ireland more than anywhere in the world had never lived here, on the northernmost tip of the isle!

Wide-awake now, Lady Maura rose from her bed. It was mid-June, but the mornings carried a chill yet. There was no rug on the floor, so she yanked back her toes at the feel of the cold wood. Jen the housekeeper had seen the once grand carpet beneath the four-poster whisked away while Maura was gone one day. A hazard and a relic, Jen declared with a glint in her eye, daring Maura to refute it when she yelped at its absence. Maura admitted that Jen was right when the threadbare carpet joined the burn pile and burst into flames thrice her height...why, thrice the height of Jen's husband Murdoch, truth be told.

Papa had promised her another the next time they made the trip to Dublin.

Maura hadn't reminded him. It was she who kept the books. There were no funds for such extravagances as beautiful, hand-woven carpets. The household staff had grown smaller through the years, as more rooms of the drafty castle were closed off. Now it was only the earl, herself, Murdoch, and Jen who resided in the main section of the castle.Maura's mother had died before she was six; she could scarcely remember her.

Shivering, she finally braved the cold floor and scampered toward the washstand. A floorboard creaked. She paused and glanced down, only to stub a toe on the edge of the next. Stopping, she ran the other toe along the loose edge of the long, pitted plank. As she washed her face, then combed her hair and tied it back with a length of ribbon, she decided she would have to call Patrick the Woolly in to fix it before she fell flat on her face. Her father had always claimed that Patrick the Woolly...not a soul in the valley called him otherwise...was the best carpenter in County Donegal. And he was, provided one used his services early in the day, before he'd had a pint too many. And if she did not have it fixed posthaste, her father would be wondering if she herself had imbibed with Patrick the Woolly.

A wistful sigh escaped. How dearly she wished there were funds to see the castle restored to its former glory. Oh, how Papa would beam . . . But she knew it would never be so. Little by little it had become necessary to begin selling off items of value. They were not destitute, not yet, but she feared that someday it might come to...

No. No. She must not think like that. She had to believe that better days were ahead.

Elsewhere in the castle, the morning ritual had begun as well. Maura heard her father's boots cross the floor in his room at the end of the hall. Slipping into her petticoats and gown, she heard Murdoch's heavy footfalls on the stairs. More creaks there than she could count, she decided.

A heavy door opened, then closed. Another creak. Maura stifled a sigh and turned. As always, Jen's timing was impeccable.

The shorter woman gave a curtsy, as much as her portly form would allow. "Good morning to you, milady."

"Milady? What?" Maura teased. "What misdeed have I done that I have lost your good graces?"

The older woman shook her head. It was a long moment before she lifted her head. Maura stared. Her eyes seemed overly bright. Was she . . .

"Jen. Jen, what is this? Why these tears?" Maura grabbed her hands and pulled her into her room. "Jen, tell me! What's wrong?"

"Nothing is wrong." Jen spoke strongly, then her tone wavered. "It's just that...well, you are a lady, Maura, a most beautiful one at that."

Maura was still stunned, taken aback at the tears Jen couldn't quite hide, the unsteadiness of her tone that she couldn't control. She scoured her mind but couldn't recall ever seeing Jen cry before. Not even when both her sons had left for America, and she and Murdoch knew they'd likely never see them again.

"Jen," she whispered, and all at once there was a huge lump in her throat.

"You've grown up before I even knew it. And I...I thought you should know. I oft tend to see you as a child. But you're a lady," Jen said again. "So much a lady and so beautiful you bring tears to my eyes. Soon, Maura, some dashingly handsome young man will appear and take you away as his bride. I'll miss you, Maura. I'll miss you so." Trying desperately to smile, she smoothed one velvety black curl that lay on Maura's shoulder.

Touched beyond words, Maura reached out, wrapped her arms around Jen's sturdy form and hugged her tight. After the death of her mother, her father had never remarried, and Jen, the woman who raised her, was the only motherly figure she'd ever known. She had comforted her, tended her scrapes...and oh, there were many!...and scolded her soundly when she was into mischief. Why, both Jen and Murdoch had done so. They were more than servants. Much more.

They were her family, as much as her father.

For a long time they stood that way, clinging to each other. In the back of Maura's mind was that same sensation as when she woke . . . that something was different. Yet still it eluded her.

Bride of a Wicked Scotsman
. Copyright © by Samantha James. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Bride of a Wicked Scotsman 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Ireland Clan McDonough possessed the legendary Celtic relic Circle of Light seemingly forever. Over time with so much fortune bestowed on the clan, a belief grew that the Circle of Light was a special gift that even St. Patrick came to see. The clan felt they were the guardians, but to lose the Circle of Light meant to lose prosperity. When the Black Scotsman McBride stole the Circle of Light, Clan McDonough fell into poverty and a sense of disgrace for failing their mission.

On his deathbed, Clan McDonough leader Lord O¿Donnell forces his daughter Maura to vow to take back what is theirs and save the clan. Duke Alec McBride, a descendent of the thief, arrives in town. When Maura meets him to beg he give her the Circle of Light, they are compromised. Outraged and holding her culpable they marry; something she did not plan when she went to beg. Neither is aware of the enchantment of love between them as each tries to top the other in a game of seduction.

BRIDE OF A WICKED SCOTSMAN is a fabulous historical romance with a touch of whimsical fantasy based on a Celtic legend. Misleading title aside; Alec and Maura are fully developed rivals competing for the upper hand in their relationship with the stakes being the Circle of Light artifact. Fans will enjoy the battle between the Scotsman and the Irish lady as love proves the most powerful magic of all.

Harriet Klausner
LJW725 More than 1 year ago
All stories with bitter rivals should end this well. The banter between the two main characters was witty and fun. The secondary characters however were underdeveloped. The older I get and the more romantic fiction I read, the sillier the verbage used for the sexy scenes seems. Overall a pleasant, escapist read.
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AnnBKeller More than 1 year ago
Desperation drives Lady Maura O’Donnell into the arms of her greatest enemy in search of the Circle of Light. The treasured Celtic relic was her family’s talisman and the hope of the people, unfortunately lost long ago to the hands of a ruthless pirate. Maura will risk anything to get the Circle back - even wedding the duke himself! It isn’t long before the Duke of Glenenden suspects he’s been tricked into a hasty marriage. Fortunately, his anger at being roped and shackled by Lady Maura is slowly supplanted by an even stronger emotion. Yet, his lady wife remains a puzzle to him. How can the seductress and the demure mistress be one and the same woman? What power is it that drives their destinies and will either of them find the strength to avoid a terrible tragedy?
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GeorgiaPeach More than 1 year ago
I was a huge fan of the first book in this series and it was my first book by Samantha I was thrilled to learn it would be a series. The 2nd book and now this one have been so-so for me and I'm a little disappointed. The back-story for both hero and heroine are not fleshed out and the constant back and forth of Maura's feelings were annoying to me. I look forward to what's next though and hope for a wonderful read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have loved a lot of her books but this one was not the best. I thought the plot and story was a little lacking. A little disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story was new to me. Fresh. Riveting. Captivating. I wasn't sure that I was going to like it at all. The love between Alec and Maura is undeniable from the beginning. Maura tricked him into 'marrying' her so that she could complete her father's dying wish was to return the circle of light back to her family lands. I loved the electricty in the air when they saw each other. I thought this was a fabulous end to the McBride series. :] More Samantha James Please.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was just okay for me. It was one of those books that are lite easy reading. It wasn't boring but it wasn't very exciting either, it was just an okay book.
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