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His Wicked Promise

His Wicked Promise

4.3 23
by Samantha James

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He would take her as his bride...but could she give her heart in return?

When Egan MacBain takes beautiful Glenda MacKay as his bride, it appears that he's done so for the noblest of reasons. In truth, he has vowed at last to claim the woman he's always loved--yet once lost--to another man. But the rugged Highlander is determined to keep his passion


He would take her as his bride...but could she give her heart in return?

When Egan MacBain takes beautiful Glenda MacKay as his bride, it appears that he's done so for the noblest of reasons. In truth, he has vowed at last to claim the woman he's always loved--yet once lost--to another man. But the rugged Highlander is determined to keep his passion hidden while he woos her with his gentle caress and wicked kisses. For he will not have an unwilling wife and will only show his tenderness once she is tamed.

Although Glenda has agreed to the marriage, she's only done so to gain the protection of Egan's name. Yet this young widow of the once-powerful clan MacKay never expected that vows of love would leave her lips again, nor did she believe she'd ever hold any man so dear. But suddenly she finds herself succumbing to the strong, silent warrior who fills her with trepidations and a fevered, forbidden yearning to fulfill his wicked promise of the love--and the child--she aches for in the depths of the soul.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When young widow Glenda MacKay learns of her uncle's death, she decides to leave her in-law's home in the Scottish Highlands to return to the place of her childhood in this medieval romance by the author of His Wicked Ways. Though Glenda is sad to leave the people who have become her family, she must return to maintain Blackstone Tower, her family's land. The chieftain of the MacKay clan sends his truest friend and warrior, Egan MacBain, to protect her on her journey. Bound by loyalty to her dead husband, Glenda has vowed never to love another man, never suspecting that Egan has loved her from afar for years. When they arrive at her home, the keep is in disrepair and the tenants have deserted the land due to raids from mysterious marauders. When the Earl of Whitley visits to collect the rent, he gives her time to repair Blackstone to its original prosperity but insists she must choose a husband--or have one chosen for her. Reluctantly, she accepts Egan's proposal, telling herself she has no choice but unable to ignore her growing passion for him. With excellently drawn, complex characters and a moving plot, James delivers a delicious and exciting romance. Well-written and touching, this novel is a beautifully wrought love story, as steamy as it is tender. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

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Chapter One

Dunthorpe Weep,
ScotlandEarly 1200s

"She's leaving," the lad whispered.

"Nae, Drummond," scoffed the thin-faced lad next to him. "Me mum said she won't leave. She won't go back to...to -- "

"Blackstone Tower," supplied Drummond, the elder of the pair who perched behind the tooth-shaped crags of the high stone wall that overlooked the chapel. A dirt-stained hand pointed toward the forest. " 'Tis there, far yonder in the Borders. My da told me so."

"The Borders," repeated Gordon, a wide-eyed, scruffy-haired lad of ten. "But there are thieves in the Borderlands. Thieves and"-his voice plunged to a whisper -- " and Englishmen."

Drummond's mouth turned down. "Aye, you are right. Thieves," he repeated, his air clearly disdainful.

The sweet scent of wild flowers drifted through the air. Far afield, a hound bayed, and three horsemen followed the animal in fervent pursuit. But it was not the excitement of the hunt that claimed the two lads' attention. Instead they peered over the high stone wall toward the pair of women who sat on a blanket far below. Clinging tendrils of ivy climbed ever upward to where the lads strained to hear their voices.

"My aunt says the mistress will miss Glenda terribly if she leaves. Glenda cured the ache in my tooth, ribly if' What if it should return?" Gordon's tone had turned mournful. "'Twill be a sad day if Glenda leaves us."

Such was true, not just for the young lad Gordon, but for many...including the woman to whom the boys referred. For in truth, the thought of leaving the home Glenda had known for these past eight years roused a piercing sadness in her...yet it wasforged by a resolution she could not forsake.

For this was a task that was hers alone -- and the decision had been hers alone to make.

"So. You will go to Blackstone Tower."

Meredith, wife to Cameron, chieftain of the Clan MacKay, repeated the words Glenda had uttered but a moment earlier.

"I will," Glenda said simply.

The brightness of the warm spring sun reflected in Meredith's hair, turning it into a bright halo of fire around her head. She tipped her head to the side and regarded Glenda. "'You will not be swayed from this course, will you?"

Glenda shook her head. "I fear not, Meredith. My father and my uncle are dead. I doubt my sister's husband would consent to moving Eleanora and their children from Ireland. Of a certainty I cannot ask her to leave her family."

Meredith's reminder was gentle. "But we are your family now, Glenda."

Glenda smiled slightly at the flame-haired beauty. Aye, she was a MacKay, for she had married Niall, eldest son of Ronald, the clan chieftain, more than eight years ago. She had shared the clan's many joys in that time, as well as the crippling grief when Ronald and six of his sons had been slain by the Munro clan...

Among them was Niall.

It was a day that would haunt her forever. A day that had wrought not just one blow, but two...

Taking a deep breath, Glenda wrested her mind from the empty bleakness of those days ... and every day since. "Aye, I am a MacKay, just as you are now, Meredith. Yet Blackstone Tower is where I spent my childhood. 'Tis different in the Lowlands -- different than the clan way -- the Highland way. With my father and my uncle gone, with my sister Eleanora and her husband so far away, there is no one left but me. I fear that if I remain here, if I do not step forward and Blackstone Tower were to fall into ruin, my poor father would surely turn over in his grave."

Before she could explain further, there was a highpitched shriek across the bailey. Both women turned their heads toward the sound, in time to see Brodie Alexander MacKay crawl out from beneath the skirts of Myrna, the washerwoman. In an instant the lad had scrambled to his feet. He darted to the left, sending the chickens scattering and squawking before him.

"Now, there's a rogue who likes the ladies -- och, and but two years old!" someone called out.

The laughing jest roused the attention of the lad's father, who stood near the stables, talking to a groom. His head came up and Cameron groaned.

"Brodie! Brodie Alexander! Come here, you scamp!"

He took off in pursuit of his son. As if the child knew precisely how to elude his father, Brodie ducked under the hay cart, which sat idle.

Cameron dropped down on his belly and peered beneath the cart.

"Brodie! Come here, lad."

Brodie giggled and stretched out a chubby hand. "Come hide with me, Papa!" he demanded.

Cameron sighed. "I cannot fit beneath the cart as you can, lad."

"Try, Papa!"

"Another time, laddie. For now, please come out."

It took no small amount of pleading and cajoling before the child crawled out. The instant he was snatched high in his father's strong arms, Brodie planted a wet, noisy kiss on the broad sweep of his father's bristly cheek.

Spying his wife, Cameron strode toward her, ruffling hair as dark as his own before carefully easing the boy into his mother's lap.

"Can you not teach your son some manners, lady?"

Glenda looked on as the chieftain of the Clan MacKay dropped a kiss on his wife's nose.

"My son?" A slender brow rose askance. "I but gave you the son you demanded of me, sirrah, and now you would complain!"

"And I but gave you the daughter you demanded' of me, wife -- and most insistently, as I recall, which...

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

What People are Saying About This

Lisa Kleypas
A remarkable writer.
Catherine Anderson
No one can write a book quite like Samantha James.
Linda Lael Miller
Samantha James writes exactly the sort of book I love to read. —(Linda Lael Miller, New York Times bestselling author)

Meet 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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His Wicked Promise 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read other books by Samantha James and I have to say that this one is my favorite. I loved the characters and the story was well written. I highly recommend it.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Early in the thirteenth century, Egan MacBain vows to himself that he will gain the heart and hand of the woman he loves, the widow Glenda MacKay. Though still mourning her loss, Glenda learns she must marry again if she is to keep her lands.

To gain protection, she agrees to marry Egan. Everyone feels the Scotsman is just being noble especially when he hides his feelings of tenderness towards her. Egan needs Glenda to come to him out of love not need, thus he refuses to even complete their wedding vows. To her surprise and guilt, Glenda quickly finds herself falling in love with her champion. However, as their relationship blossoms, an unknown assailant plans to destroy the loving twosome.

Best-selling author Samantha James escorts her readers to medieval Scotland with this cleverly written tale. At first brush, the story line sounds like many similar tales, but Ms. James provides an invigorating plot due to the interactions and dialogue of the two main charcaters. The growing passion and compassion between Glenda and Egan heats up the pages of this beautiful historical romance that will elate sub-genre fans as the author emphasizes the romance before the pageantry and intrigue.

Harriet Klausner

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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought the book had a potentionally good storyline but the constant fighting between Glenda and Egan gets old. I found myself rolling my eyes at the same arguments and characters stubborness. I dont like a romance where the characters fight and are cruel to each other until the last few chapters of the book when they suddenly decide they love each other.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book in 5 hours. I could'nt put it down. The sexual tension between the characters is hot. They fight their attraction for each other. But in the end love wins out. It's fantastic!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading this book in one sitting. What can I say. I think EVERY woman should have a man like Egan to love her. I am an avid reader (2-3 books a wk) and I must say I think Egan is my favorite hero yet. Egan is the strong, sensitive, silent type and that 'dangerous looking' scar makes him sooooo sexy. I couldn't put this book down and was disappointed when it ended. I can't wait until she wraps up the trilogy with Brodie and Elizabeth's story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I selected Samantha James to read and her book from 2000, 'His Wicked Promise'. The reviews seemed very strong so, I was looking forward to finding a new author to read. Over-all, I have to say I was not disappointed. It was extremely interesting to have an author finally write about a woman who was married before, in love, lost her spouse and lost a child. She was clearly NOT the typical beautiful virgin child that so many writers love to go on and on about. It was refreshing to hear a love story about a woman who has experienced goodness in her life AND sadness to such an extent. Plus, she is able to go on and find a brand new life - not to replace her old one - but, to move on to a new level and find a different type of love, marriage and happiness. It gives the saddest of hearts the chance to believe again. I too found the hero Egan to be a worthy leading man. He was kind, honorable, dignified and trustworthy. The exact type of man a woman yearns for - one she can count upon in good and bad. This was a nice story that kept moving and was believable. The ending was strong and the future looks good with the children to finish out the series with their story. The intimate scenes were fine - nothing earth shattering but, appealing nonetheless. I don't know if I missed it but, I'm unsure what in the end 'was his wicked promise'? Was it to win her over? Woo her and love her? I'm not sure but, Egan was worth the work - that's for sure. I would recommend this book - it is worthy of your time, imagination and belief in love. Enjoy!