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Second book in the Brunson Clan Trilogy
Excerpt | International Editions
TO MARRY HIM WILL BE TO BETRAY HER FAMILY
Bessie, the selfless sister of the powerful but stubborn Brunson clan, has sacrificed herself for her family’s honor and is at the mercy of the court of King James. Ill-suited to court life, she must confront their mortal enemy, Lord Thomas Carwell, dressed in nothing but borrowed finery and pride.
Underneath the relentless gaze of her captor, she’s enticed not only by him but also by the opulence of a world far removed from her own. When the furious king demands her brother’s head, Carwell is the only one to whom she can turn. But she must pay the ultimate price for his protection….
You met Wee Mary in CAPTIVE OF THE BORDER LORD. Now read her story, TEMPTED BY THE BORDER CAPTAIN, free on the Harlequin web site.
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PASSION À LA COUR D'ECOSSE
(Passion in the Scottish Court)
April 1, 2014
For more information, visit the Amazon.fr web site.
CAPTIVE OF THE BORDER LORD
Mills & Boon
August 1, 2014
For more information, visit the Amazon.au web site.
EN LAS FRONTERAS del AMOR
(On the Border of Love)
Harlequin Ibérica, S.A.
For more information, visit the Amazon.es web site
O LIMITE DA PAIXAO
(The Limit of Desire)
For more information, visit the Harlequin Brazil web site
PRIGIONIERA A CORTE
(A Prisoner to Court)
For more information, visit the Harmony Italia web site
CAPTIVE OF THE BORDER LORD
Mills & Boon
Release: January 2013
For more information, visit the Amazon.co.uk web site.
|READ AN EXCERPT|
Here’s a scene from Chapter Four:
For the first moments after she opened her eyes, Bessie thought she must still dream. Where were the walls that sheltered her? Where was the ceiling that had protected her from wind and rain for all of her eighteen years?
She had been away from home before, of course. Since her mother's death, she had visited every scattered Brunson household. But she had never been so far away.
She had never been out of sight of the Cheviot Hills.
Now, she was on the edge of a strange landscape with a strange man, going to a place that might as well have been across the sea.
She sat up and shook her hair down her back. Well, here she was. She would do her duty. At least she had slept well.
She cast an eye towards the stream. This morning, shielded from the rest of the camp, she had easy privacy. When would she have water and seclusion again?
She grabbed her plaid and slipped out of her dress, leaving only the linen sark. Light touched the sky, but the sun still hid below the hills. Cold, cloudy, but without snow. The water would be freezing. Too bitter to bathe, but at least she could rinse off the dust of the journey before they headed into the hills again.
She crept down to the water and stilled as she heard something downstream.
And she turned her head to see Thomas Carwell, naked as the day he was born, wading into the freezing river up to his waist.
Her eyes widened to take in broad shoulders and a strong chest narrowing to—
She shut her eyes.
Hearing the splash that meant he waded in deeper, she dared to open them again. He had submerged himself in the water, then stood, throwing his head back, letting the water drip off his straight brown hair and run down his neck and shoulders on to his chest.
She shrank down, hoping he would not see her. Too late for pretence. If he saw her, he would know what she had seen.
Well, she had as much right to the river as he did.
Next time he ducked beneath the water, she would run around the bend, where he couldn't see—
“Do you spy on me, then?"
Too late. And a Brunson should never cower.
She opened her eyes and stood to her full height, fighting a shiver. How could the man stand so calmly, waist deep in frigid water? "You put my bed near the river. I assumed you wanted me to use it."
For a moment, she could read his eyes clearly. They travelled from her hair to her bare toes, raising heat within to fight the air's chill. The water safely disguised him below the waist, but the plain white linen covering her from shoulder to knee suddenly felt transparent.
Did her breasts press against the linen? Could he see the shape of her legs?
She wrapped the Brunson plaid around her shoulders, the ends covering her. "It seems you spy on me, Thomas Carwell."
Yet she did the same, taking him in, no longer a warden, but just a man. Not as broad of shoulder as Rob, nor as tall as Johnnie, but she remembered how he stood close and draped the cloak over her shoulders, how his body seemed to fit against hers…
And then her eyes met his.
No ambiguity now. Just hunger he did not, or could not, hide.
He opened his mouth, but the words emerged slowly. With difficulty. "Perhaps we each only seek to bathe in the river."
She nodded, her head a jerky thing, tongue-tied as if she had never seen a man's chest before. She'd seen men aplenty. But never one that seemed…
"I will let you finish, then," she said, turning her back. Hard to muster even those words, that movement.
He did not answer, but she heard more splashing behind her, and then footfalls, as if he had quickly climbed the bank. The rustle of cloth, as if he were pulling on breeches.
And then, behind her, the steps came closer…
She whirled, not wanting him to creep up upon her when she could not see him.
As soon as she turned, he stopped, still a safe distance away, carrying a shirt over his shoulder. Still out of reach. But close enough now she could see the hair sprinkled across his bare chest and the sword-trained muscles of his arms. She had thought of the man as the warden, as a courtier, perhaps, but this reminded her—he was a warrior, just as much as any man of the Borders.
"I did not mean to disturb you," he said.
She shook her head. She had been the one to blunder upon him.
"The water is cold," he continued. "Do not go in too deeply."
"You did." She had never intended to do such a daft thing, but the decision was hers, not his.
"That's how I know how cold it is." He gave her an easy smile, but she could see the cold had raised bumps on his arms. She had the strangest urge to wrap her plaid around him, to warm him…
"Then go. Finish dressing yourself and leave me be."
He swung the shirt over his head, blessedly covering himself, but the sigh she released was more regret than relief.
"I'll stand over there and keep my back turned. Let me know when you are ready."
She nodded and scampered down the bank.
Would he turn to look? She felt as if they were equally armed, neither with an advantage. If she turned to find him looking, then what? Better not to know. Better to imagine him a man of his word.
And yet as she splashed water on her face and arms, she had the strangest need to defy him.
If he wasn't looking, he wouldn't know if she stepped in the water.
She held her sark above her knees and waded in, curling her toes against the rocks on the river bottom, and shivered.
It was every bit as cold as he had promised.Excerpt from CAPTIVE OF THE BORDER LORD
Copyright © 2012 by Wendy Blythe Gifford
Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A...
Copyright 2003-12, W. Blythe Gifford
Cover copyright 2012, Harlequin Enterprises
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