A 2017 RONE Award Finalist!
Book Four in the bestselling Highland Outlaws Series
Here’s what people are saying…
“…Alec is definitely one of the best historical romance novels out there, and a worthy entry in The Scottish Outlaws series.” ~ InD’Tale Magazine.
“Outstanding…This book was off the charts.”
“Worth more than five stars!”
“Secrets, unimaginable pain and hardship, second sight, drama and trauma are all present in this eminently satisfying journey. Join Alex and Joani, buckle your seatbelt and enjoy the trip.”
Two broken hearts unite, becoming one love that will last forever.
Sold from one ruthless master to another, Joanie is a servant who has lived her whole life in fear. When Randolph Tweed, an English merchant with cold, unfeeling eyes, buys her, she fears she has fallen into the hands of her cruelest master yet. But what she doesn’t realize is that Randolph is actually Alec MacVie, Scottish spy and rebel.
The first time Alec sees Joanie is in his dreams. He has a vision of a young woman standing on a bridge alone, bleeding, and broken hearted. He must rescue her, and when he does he soon realizes she holds the power to rescue him right back.
Join Alec and Joanie on a journey of healing, passion, and hope, where their love and strength forge a new destiny for themselves and for Scotland.
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Enjoy an excerpt from Alec: A Scottish Outlaw, Book 4…
Of all the secret rebels in Scotland, Alec was particularly adept as a spy, owing to gifts that had both served and plagued him his entire life. In the simplest of terms, Alec possessed the Sight. He could feel what another person was feeling, and if he laid his hand on someone, he saw into their soul — their fears, pains, sorrows, and desires. When it served him to be charming, no one could resist him. He could sense a person’s response to him, guiding his word and deed. They invariably told him exactly what they needed to hear. Lies could never fool him. Detecting deception came as naturally to him as breathing. More than that, he had visions, dreams that revealed need or what loomed in the future — like his dream of the heartbroken lass on the bridge.
When he was not pretending to be someone else, he chose to isolate his thoughts, to buffer and block out the voices. Over the years, he had learned to erect walls around his senses, shielding his heart and mind from the continuous barrage of human emotion. As a result, most thought him cold-hearted … a hard man. And whether true or not, he did nothing to change their minds. He preferred to keep people at a distance. They were all too human, too quick to distrust and to assume the worst of themselves and others. The inner workings of another’s mind were seldom uplifting. Most of the time, it was like walking through a nightmare of despair, and the king’s palace was no different. The keeper had amassed a collection of companions with the vilest of hearts, bent only on baseless pleasures.
He knew not the hour as he approached the great hall, but he would be able to judge the time depending on how drunk the revelers were. He closed his eyes, steeling his strength against the assault of emotion as he pulled open the large double doors and walked headlong into the large room. Piercing laughter and battling voices echoed off the vaulted ceilings. Raucous men salivated after dancers who languidly moved among the tables, undulating their hips in layers of sheer silk. Barmaids busily skirted around the dancers, filling greedy fists with large tankards of ale at a speed that meant the night was still young.
He took a step forward just as one of the dancers twirled away from groping hands straight into Alec. Her hands splayed across his chest as she looked up to meet his eyes. Flashes of her life came unbidden to his mind; a little girl loved and treasured, a father lost at sea, a mother with no place to turn, a life torn asunder, a beautiful young woman alone.
“I’m sorry,” she said, a sensual smile curving her lips. But then her eyes narrowed on his, and her smiled vanished. She dropped her hands to her sides. “Randolph,” she said, surprise and trepidation lacing her voice.
He held her gaze but revealed none of what he’d glimpsed of her. Nor did he acknowledge her distrust of him. The dancers and serving maids were all afraid of him. They had seen his black eyes and cool facade and assumed the worst of him. Rumors abounded of his cruel sexual appetites, although he had never taken any one of them to his bed. Still, he did naught to dispel the rumors as it kept them away. Eyes now wide, the dancer turned and darted away from him.
He cleared her from his thoughts, emptying his heart and mind, choosing numbness over the lust, greed, hunger, and fear, which pulsed through the room and fought to enter him. Only snatches of emotion made it past. But then an ache so soft and pure, cut through the rest, overtaking all his defenses. Pain accompanied by truth rang out, even in its gentleness, above the din of desperation. His eyes fell on a woman he had seen many times before. Her name was Diana. Her flaxen hair trailed the ground where she sat, and her green eyes shone with mirth and delight. She was an actress without equal. Those surrounding her, her many admirers, could never have guessed the pain she was in. Only Alec knew that which even she might not have known herself. She was dying. He could feel the struggle for life in her waning heartbeat, but something or someone was keeping her alive. He looked at the large, detestable man at her side and knew he was not the reason behind her strength.
“Randolph,” a voice called out.
Alec turned and locked eyes with the keeper. John’s thick black hair curled close to his scalp. He had just celebrated his fortieth year with all the pomp of a true royal despite the humbleness of his birth. He was neither lord nor knight, but he carried himself as though he were king. He raised his tankard as Alec approached. “Randolph, I’ve not seen you for days.” His small, brown eyes darted left then right before he continued in a quiet voice. “Have you any news?”
Alec, of course, knew what John sought. Unbeknownst to anyone, from the very beginning, Alec had been pitting John’s companions against one another, mostly merchants and some lesser nobles, inciting conflict among the ranks. Then he revealed the subsequent deceptions and misgivings to John, earning his unquestioned trust. In turn, John’s approval protected him from the others, that and his own stony demeanor.
“I’ve nothing to report,” Alec said, his face and voice impassive.
John nodded, then his eyes left Alec’s as one of the dancers enticed him with the gentle sway of her hips. The keeper grabbed her. Alec looked away. Hazy drunkenness blurred John’s emotions, but he had at least what he thought he wanted — a tankard in one hand and a woman on his lap who was not his wife. Alec resisted the urge to shake his head in disgust as John palmed the dancer’s breast. He turned and started to walk away. He had to get out of there.
“Will you not join us?” the keeper called.
Alec glanced back. “I’ve some business to take care of.”
“Some evening you must bring your business here so that we might meet her,” the keeper called after him, laughing.
With a cool nod, Alec turned away from John’s greed. Ignoring the stares as he passed through the revelers, he stepped out into the courtyard and welcomed the sting of icy wind. The city awaited him, and perhaps this night he would find what kept him in London — the lass from his dreams.