Captured by the Highlander (Highlander Series #1)

Captured by the Highlander (Highlander Series #1)

by Julianne MacLean

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Lady Amelia Sutherland would rather die than surrender to a man like Duncan MacLean. He is the fiercest warrior of his clan—her people's sworn enemy—and tonight he is standing over her bed. Eyes blazing, muscles taut, and battle axe gleaming, MacLean has come to kill Amelia's fiancé. But once he sees the lovely, innocent Amelia, he decides to take her instead…

Stealing the young bride-to-be is the perfect revenge against the man who murdered Duncan's one true love. But Lady Amelia turns out to be more than a pawn of vengeance and war. This brave, beautiful woman touches something deep in Duncan's soul that is even more powerful than a warrior's fury. But when Amelia begins to fall in love with her captor—and surrenders in his arms—the real battle begins…

Julianne MacLean's Captured by the Highlander is sizzling historical romance.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312365318
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 03/01/2011
Series: Julianne MacLean's Highlander Series , #1
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 209,944
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Julianne MacLean is a USA Today bestselling author with degrees in English Literature and Business Administration. She is a three-time RITA finalist, and has won numerous awards, including the Booksellers' Best Award, the Book Buyers Best Award, and a Reviewers' Choice Award from Romantic Times for Best Regency Historical of 2005. She lives in Nova Scotia with her husband and daughter, and she is a dedicated member of Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
Fort William, the Scottish Highlands,
August 1716

Monstrous and mighty, teeth bared like a feral beast, the Butcher rose from his battle lunge and watched the English soldier drop lifelessly to the floor at his feet. He swung his damp hair away from his face, then knelt down and removed the keys from the dead man’s pocket. The Butcher continued in silence through the cold corridor of the barracks, ignoring the stench of stale sweat and rum, while he searched for the staircase that would take him to his enemy.
The chilly haze of death flowed through him, steeled him viciously, and compelled him to the top of the stairs, where he stopped outside the heavy, oaken door of the officers’ quarters. The Butcher paused briefly to listen for the ill-timed approach of yet another tenacious young guard, but there was no sound other than the noise of his own ragged breathing, and the beat of his heart as he savored this long-awaited moment of vengeance.
He adjusted the shield strapped to his back, then squeezed the handle of the sawed-off Lochaber axe in his hand. His shirt was grimy with dirt and sweat from days in the saddle and nights spent sleeping in the grass, but it had all been worth it, for the moment had come at last. It was time to cut down his foe. To slaughter the memory of what had occurred that cold November day in the orchard. Tonight he would kill for his clan, for his country, and for his beloved. There would be no mercy offered. He would strike, and he would strike fast.
With a steady hand he inserted the key into the lock, then entered the room and closed the door behind him. He waited a moment for his eyes to grow accustomed to the darkness, then moved silently toward the bed where his enemy lay sleeping.
*   *   *
Lady Amelia Templeton was dreaming of a butterfly, fluttering over a hazy field of heather, when a faint noise caused her to stir in her bed. Or perhaps it was not a noise, but a feeling. A sense of doom. Her heart began to pound, and she opened her eyes.
It was the nightmare. She had not had it in years, not since she was a girl, when images of the massacre she’d witnessed at the age of nine still burned hellishly in her mind. On that dreadful day, she had pressed her tiny nose to the window of her coach and watched a bloody battle between a band of rebel Highlanders and the English soldiers sent to escort her and her mother into Scotland. They had been traveling to visit her father, a colonel in the English army.
Amelia watched the dirty Scots slit the throats of the soldiers and bludgeon them to death with heavy stones they picked up on the road. She heard the screams of agony, the desperate pleas for mercy, quickly silenced by sharp steel blades through the heart. And just when she thought it was over, when the screaming and sobbing faded to an eerie silence, an ugly blood-splattered savage ripped open the door of the coach and glared in at her.
She had clung to her mother, trembling in fear. He studied Amelia with burning eyes for what seemed an eternity, then slammed the door in her face and fled to the forest with his brethren. They disappeared into the glistening Highland mist like a pack of wolves.
The sense of terror Amelia felt now was no different, except that it was mixed with anger. She wanted to kill that savage who had opened the door of her coach years ago. She wanted to rise up and shout at him, to slay him with her own bare hands. To prove that she was not afraid.
The floor creaked, and she turned her head on the pillow.
No, it could not be. She must still be dreaming.…
A Highlander was moving toward her through the darkness. Panic swept through her, and she strained to see through the murky gloom.
The light sound of his footsteps reached her ears, and suddenly he was above her, raising an axe over his head.
“No!” she cried, reaching out to block the strike, even when she knew the heavy blade would cut straight through her fingers. She squeezed her eyes shut.
When the deathblow did not fall, Amelia opened her eyes. The brawny, panting savage stood squarely over her bed. His axe was poised and gleaming in the moonlight from the window. His long hair was wet with grime or sweat or river water—she knew not which. Most terrible of all, his eyes glowed with the boiling furies of hell itself.
“You’re not Bennett,” he said in a deep, growling Scottish brogue.
“No, I am not,” she replied.
“Who are you?”
“I am Amelia Templeton.”
He had not yet lowered the macabre weapon, nor had she lowered her trembling hands.
“You’re English,” he said.
“That’s right. And who are you, to dare enter my bedchamber at night?”
She wasn’t quite sure where she’d found the courage or sense to inquire so boldly about his identity when her heart was pounding like a mallet in her chest.
The Highlander took a step back and lowered the axe. His voice was deep and terrorizing. “I’m the Butcher. And if you scream, lassie, it’ll be the last breath you take.”
She held her tongue, for she’d heard tales of the brutal and bloodthirsty Butcher of the Highlands, who committed grisly acts of treachery and left a trail of murder and mayhem in his wake. According to legend, he was descended from Gillean of the Battle-axe, who had long ago crushed an invading fleet of Vikings. The Butcher was never without his morbid death weapon, and he was a Jacobite traitor, straight to the bone.
“If you are who you claim, why have you not killed me?” she asked, fear and uncertainty burning in every pore.
“I was expecting to kill someone else tonight.” His sharp, animal eyes surveyed the room, searching for some hint of the person he’d come to slaughter. “Whose room is this?”
“There is no one here but me,” she informed him, but his heated gaze swung in her direction and compelled her to answer the question more thoroughly. “If you are looking for Lieutenant-colonel Richard Bennett, I am sorry to disappoint you, but he is away from the fort.”
“I don’t know exactly.”
He studied her face through the moonlight. “Are you his whore?”
“I beg your pardon?”
“If you are, I might slice your head off right now, and leave it here in a box on the table, for him to admire when he returns.”
A nightmarish queasiness churned through her belly as she imagined her head in a box. Where would he put the rest of her? Would he toss her headless body out the window?
She struggled to breathe evenly, in and out. “I am not Colonel Bennett’s whore. I am his betrothed. My father was a colonel in the English army and the fifth Duke of Winslowe. So if you mean to kill me, sir, be done with it. I am not afraid of you.”
It was a bald-faced lie, but she would not let him see her cower.
Something in his face changed. One large, strong hand squeezed the handle of his axe, and he lifted it to rest on the edge of the bed. She found herself staring mutely down at the dangerous hook at its tip, which was pressing against her thigh. She noted the huge broadsword in a scabbard at his side, and the flintlock pistol in his belt.
“Get up,” he commanded, poking her. “I want to look at you.”
Amelia swallowed over a sickening knot of fear in her throat. Did he mean to ravish and abuse her before he killed her?
God help them both if he tried.
He poked her harder, so she carefully folded the covers aside and slid her legs over the edge of the bed. Eyes fixed on his, one hand clutching the neckline of her shift, she stood.
“Come closer,” he commanded.
As she moved forward, she noted that his face was drawn from elegantly sculpted contours and sharp, flawless angles, and his eyes unveiled a passionate fury—the likes of which she had never seen before. There was a spellbinding intensity there, and it gripped her by the throat, held her captive in its power.
The Butcher backed up, and she followed. She could smell the masculine scent of his sweat. His shoulders were broad, his biceps heavy, his hands rugged and enormous. They were a warrior’s hands, roughened by years of battle and butchery.
Her eyes returned to the fierce expression on his striking face, and she felt her insides quiver. As brave as she wanted to be at this moment—and she had always dreamed she would be brave—she knew she was no match for this beast of a man. There was little chance she could ever overpower him, no matter what she tried to do. If he wanted to ravish or kill her, he could. He could knock her to the floor with one swift swing of that deadly battle-axe, and she would be powerless against him.
“When it comes to your fiancé,” he said in a coarse voice, “I have an axe to grind.”
“Do you intend to grind it on me?”
“I haven’t decided yet.”
Sheer suffocating panic squeezed the air out of her lungs. She wished she could scream for help, but something was paralyzing her—a strange, almost hypnotic power that turned her muscles into useless pools of liquid.
He moved slowly around her. “It’s been a while since I’ve had a woman.” He circled around to the front, lifted his axe, and touched the hook to her shoulder. Her mind flooded with alarm as the smooth steel slid over her flesh.
“Are you his beloved?” the Butcher asked.
“Of course I am,” she proudly replied. “And he is mine.”
She loved Richard with all her heart. Her father had loved him, too. And God help this dirty Jacobite when her fiancé learned of this.…
“Is that a fact?”
She turned her raging eyes to meet his. “Yes, sir, it is a fact. Though I doubt you would know the meaning of the word love. It is outside your realm of understanding.”
He leaned close until his lips touched her ear. His hot, moist breath made her shiver. “Aye, lass, I have no use for tenderness or affection, and you’d do well to remember it. So it’s decided, then. I’ll kill you instead of him.”
Terror swept through her. He was going to do it. He truly was.
“Please, sir,” she said, working hard to soften the animosity in her voice. Perhaps she could distract him with a desperate plea for mercy. With any luck, his entry to the fort had been noticed and someone would soon come to her rescue. “I beg of you.”
“You beg of me?” He chuckled grimly. “You don’t strike me as the begging type.”
He was enjoying this. It was a game to him. He had no compassion. None at all.
“Why do you want to kill my betrothed?” she asked, still hoping to delay the inevitable.
Please, God, let someone knock on the door. A maid. My uncle. The cavalry. Anyone!
“How do you know him?” she asked.
The Butcher lifted the axe off her shoulder and tipped it upward to rest on his own. He continued to circle around her, like a wolf studying its prey. “I fought against him at Inveraray,” he said, “and again at Sheriffmuir.”
The Jacobites had been defeated at Sheriffmuir. It was the battlefield where Richard had saved her father’s life. It was why she fell in love with him. He’d fought with courage and valor, with unwavering honor to the Crown—unlike this savage moving around her, who didn’t seem to understand the rules of war. He seemed bent only on exacting some dark, personal revenge.
“Do you intend to kill all the English soldiers you fought against that day?” she asked. “Because that may take you a while. And there were Scots there, too, fighting for the English Crown. Campbells, I believe. Are you going to butcher all of them as well?”
He circled around to her front. “Nay. It was only your beloved I wanted to slice in two this evening.”
“Well, I am sorry to disappoint you.”
Visions of war and murder spun before her eyes. How unfair it all was. Her father had been dead for only a month, and she had come here to Fort William under the guardianship of her uncle to marry Richard. Her protector.
What was going to happen now? Would she die a grisly death here in this room, under the cold, heavy blade of a Highlander, just like in her childhood nightmares? Or would he leave her to live while he went on in search of Richard and succeeded in killing the man she loved?
“But I’m not disappointed, lass,” the Butcher said, cradling her chin in his calloused hand and lifting her face, forcing her to look at him. “Because tonight I stumbled on something much more appealing than a swift, clean death for my enemy. It’s something that’ll make him suffer much longer.”
“You’re going to kill me, then?”
Or perhaps he was referring to something else.…
Fighting against the knot of upheaval in her belly, she glared at him with hatred. “I am betrothed, sir, to the man I love. So if you mean to rape me, I promise you, I will scream my guts out—and you can kill me if you want to, because I would rather die a thousand agonizing deaths than be violated by you.
His eyes narrowed; then he swore something in Gaelic and let go of her chin. He strode to the tall wardrobe where her clothes were stored.
After tearing through the costly gowns of silk and lace, he threw them to the floor in the center of the room, then found a simple skirt of heavy brown wool. He pulled it from the wardrobe, along with drawers and stays, stepped over the other gowns, and thrust the articles at her.
“Put these on,” he said. “You need to learn a lesson or two, so you’re coming with me.” He backed away and waited for her to dress in front of him.
For a moment, she considered her options, and thought it might be best to obey him, if only to buy more time. But when she imagined stepping into the skirt and lacing herself up in front of him—so that he could steal her away to the mountains and do Lord knows what with her—she could not do it. She would rather be beaten to a pulp.
Amelia squared her shoulders. She was terrified by this man, there was no denying it, but the intensity of her fury somehow overpowered her fear. Before she could truly contemplate the consequences of what she was doing, she had flung the clothes on the floor.
“No. I will not put these on, nor will I leave this fort with you. You are welcome to try and force me, but I told you before that I would scream if you touched me. So if you do not get out of my bedchamber this instant, I will do it. I promise I will scream and you will soon be dead.”
For what seemed an eternity, he glared at her, clearly surprised and baffled by her rebellion. Then his expression changed. He took a slow step forward, and their bodies touched.
“So you’re Winslowe’s daughter,” he said in a deep and quiet voice. “The famous English war hero.”
She felt the Butcher’s warm breath at her temple, and his tartan brushed against the front of her shift.
Her heart trembled at the nearness of him. He was like some kind of living, breathing mountain of muscle. She could barely think or breathe through the heady effect of his presence, so overwhelmingly close. “Yes.”
“You’re fearless, like him. I like fearless women.” The Butcher took a lock of her hair in his hand, rubbed it between his fingers, then lifted it to his nose and closed his eyes. He seemed to drink in her scent; then he touched his lips lightly to her cheek and whispered, “And you smell good.”
Amelia gave no reply. She couldn’t think. All her senses were shivering with flames of terror and confusion. The heat was making her dizzy.
“Now take off your shift,” he quietly said, “and do it now, or I will cut it off of you myself.”
At last, she found her voice and reached for one last shred of courage. She lifted her eyes and regarded him steadily. “No, sir, I will not.”
“Are you testing me, lass?”
“I suppose that’s one way of putting it.”
His gaze traveled over her face and searched her eyes; then he looked down at her breasts. She felt a curious sensation in her belly and tried to pull away, but he took hold of her arm and held her against him. His lips brushed against hers as he spoke.
“This is your last warning. I said take it off—and if you continue to defy me, I won’t be held responsible for what I do to you next.”
Amelia looked up at him and shook her head. “And I’ll say it a hundred times if I have to. The answer is still no.”

Copyright © 2011 by Julianne MacLean

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Captured by the Highlander 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 257 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't know about most ladies out there but I do like the whole captor/falling in love and being ravished fantasy. When I read the first two pages, I was already sold. I couldn't stop reading! There are definitely some good twists in the book. Usually you can tell how a story is going to go, but this was a page turner. I read this book until 6 in the morning just because I wanted to know what was going to happen. I kept squealing and punching my boyfriend saying OMG blah blah happened and this and this happened!! ( all while he stares at me like im crazy ) but he got involved when i told him the story and he periodically asked what happened so far and would give predictions. Over all it was a great book. I rushed out this morning to buy the 2nt part and will be starting on it tonight. I hope it'll be as good as the first!
marianne68 More than 1 year ago
i loved this book. Such a great page turner that leaves you wanting more.
ReadersGroupsLiaison More than 1 year ago
In March 2011, USA Today bestselling author, Julianne MacLean makes her triumphant return to historical romance with a superb new Highlander Trilogy for her new publisher, St. Martin's Press debuting with CAPTURED BY THE HIGHLANDER. In 1716, Fort William in the Scottish Highlands, Lady Amelia Templeton is asleep in bed when she is awakened by a fierce warrior wielding his Lochaber axe at her. The English fiery haired, green-eyed beauty knows that she is in grave danger when she is confronted with the notorious, Duncan MacLean "The Butcher of the Highlands", a Jacobite traitor, who battles with his fellow Highlanders to see James II's son crowned King of England instead of German Prince, George of Hanover. Duncan is shocked when he discovers a gorgeous woman in bed instead of his bitter enemy, Lieutenant-Colonel, Richard Bennett, who he intended to kill that night. He's sure the woman must be Richard's whore but Amelia convinces him she is not only Richard's betrothed but also the daughter of a late revered English Army Colonel, the fifth Duke of Winslowe! Duncan threatens to cut off Amelia's head if she doesn't tell him where Richard is and when she says he's away on a mission Duncan decides to kidnap her. When Amelia refuses to go, Duncan strips her of her nightgown, forces her into her clothes and carries her over his shoulder down the fort wall! As they journey together and the handsome blue-eyed Duncan is joined by some of his men including, Angus "The Lion" MacDonald, Amelia discovers Richard might not be the courageous and honorable man she originally thought. However, Amelia still tries to escape Duncan by knocking him out with a rock and running to an English camp for help. Despite this, Duncan comes to her rescue when he discovers the drunken English soldiers trying to rape her. To see who ends up Amelia's true hero and love of her life read the captivating CAPTURED BY THE HIGHLANDER. Julianne MacLean has penned one of the best kidnap plots I've read in a long time with a dynamite couple and enough sexual tension in this fiery Highland tale to satisfy any romance reader!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author definitely knows how to keep her readers hooked! I couldn't put it down for the whole night. The love story is exciting and the plot behind it is surprising... especially a certain part. Of course there are some unrealistic occurrences, but hey, that is what fiction is for. Overall, a great read and I would recommend it to any woman looking for a romance.
lilyrose16 More than 1 year ago
I found this at Walmart and figured I'd try it. It was WELL worth it. I enjoyed the book and had it finished in a day.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lots of twist in this one!
Vetress Boyce More than 1 year ago
i stayed up till 3am reading this book. it has a great story line
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1716 Duncan "The Butcher of the Highlands" MacLean seeks to kill British Lieutenant Colonel Richard Bennett for the vicious murder of his loved one. With his sawed-off Lachaber axe swinging, the Jacobite traitor charges into a bedroom at Fort William where he expects his enemy sleeps. Instead, he encounters Bennett's betrothed Lady Amelia Templeton. She explains she is also the daughter of the late highly regarded revered English Colonel, the Duke of Winslowe. MacLean alters his plan by abducting Amelia and taking her into the Highlands. On their trek accompanied by his men, she sees how kind her captor is to everyone and begins to wonder about her fiancé. However, she escapes when she hits Duncan in the head with a rock. He comes to rescue her from intoxicated British soldiers who plan to rape her. However, his rescue leaves him caught by the British. Captured by the Highlander is a terrific Georgian romance starring a strong lead couple in which the Butcher learns rather quickly that when it comes to capturing a feisty female, he is the prisoner of her heart. The story line is driven by the triangle as the intelligent heroine revises her opinions of the two men in her life; the Butcher proves kind and caring killing only out of safety for his people while the Lieutenant kills as a big game hunter. Although some tension is abated by Bennett's prejudice that the Scottish are wild beasts to hunt down, readers will appreciate the changing relationship between Duncan and Amelia, as the heart of the matter is the Highlander is captured by the late English officer's daughter. Harriet Klausner
NavyWave62 More than 1 year ago
WISH I COULD GIVE IT MORE STARS!! I loved this book, very exciting, alot of twists, great character's, whether it is the main characters or the secondary ones. I couldn't put this book down. My heart ached for Duncan and his best friend. This is a must read book, one of the best Highlander books I have read.
LAS102905 More than 1 year ago
Great book if you love romance novels!
Morgan Herr More than 1 year ago
I understand this a fictional, adventurous romance novel, but no couple can have sex multiple times a night every night. The sex scenes were generic and too graphic. I also thought she gave into her kidnapper way too easily and too soon. It just much more fun to read a book that is at least somewhat beliveable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book! Great Read!
SallyPinkReviews More than 1 year ago
MacLean leaves you breathless with "Captured by the Highlander." Duncan MacLean has a ruthless reputation as the "Butcher of the Highlands," but when he kidnaps Lady Amelia Templeton, she tests him on so many levels and dares to ruin the Butcher's reputation. Set in Scotland in 1716, the story opens with Duncan's suspenseful kidnap of Amelia. He's looking for her betrothed, Colonial Richard Bennett, who is known for his brutality towards the Scots. Initially, Duncan, as the Butcher, just wants revenge, but he can't deny he's attracted to Amelia. She's headstrong, believes in her convictions, and dares to defy him. Amelia breaks away from Duncan and seeks refuge from a squad of English soldiers. Unfortunately, they're drunk and act poorly. Duncan saves Amelia, and the incident challenges her to understand his motivations. Duncan takes Amelia to Montcriffe where she discovers his true identity. Dare she give in to the passion Duncan evokes knowing the danger he faces if his secret is revealed? MacLean's writing is easy to read and plunges the reader in a suspense filled opening. The action is perfectly paced, allowing the reader to catch their breath before racing forward again. MacLean paints wonderful pictures with words allowing the reader to vividly see Duncan and Amelia's word in their mind. The most rewarding part is the characterization. Despite Duncan's ruthless reputation, his motivations are clear to the reader. As a reader, I easily lost my heart to him. Amelia is feisty, challenging, and when evidence presents itself, willing to give Duncan a chance. The story is sophisticated for romance readers with love scenes that capture the passion and sensually of the couple. MacLean will leave you breathless, wanting more tales of the Scottish highlands. "Captured by the Highlander" is a wonderful romantic escape on a rainy Saturday afternoon. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Over all, I enjoyed this book. The characters were well developed, as was the plot. However, I felt the book was longer than it needed to be-a bit drawn out.
MelaGreen More than 1 year ago
While it's been years since I have read a historical romance (much prefer paranormal these days) this one was decent. Not a Johanna LIndsay or Kathleen Woodiwiss but fairly good story line. The hero was a little hard to understand and his character seemed somewhat conflicted but had a satisfying ending,and a decent amount of passion making it a quick and easy read.
TigerLily_Johnson More than 1 year ago
Not the best the genre has to offer. I wasn't interested in the characters or the weak plot. The book seems to lose all momentum after the main characters consummate their relationship. There are better romance books out there so don't waste time with this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Iskipped over a lot and finished it because i bought it. Started out good but was soooo boring.
suballa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't usually read romance, but i liked this one! Good adventure and an intelligent heroine. This is the first in a series of 3.
reesa00 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Run of the mill Scottish kidnapping story. An OK read but definitely not a memorable book in the genre.
SugarPlums More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book. Will certainly be reading again in the future. This is so far my favorite romance/erotic novel. I hope the author will keep writing novels like this one. The next two in the series were not as good but still well worth the reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!
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ReinMT More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, it was witty, romantic, funny, and also very pull worthy. What I mean it pulls you into the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good!