Book Three in the bestselling Highland Outlaws Series
Here’s what people are saying…
“The chemistry between Rory and Alex is the stuff legends are made of.”
“I wish I could give it ten stars!”
“There are twists and turns that keep things interesting and kept me turning the pages.”
“Bravo! A 6 Star Book!”
“There is fun, sorrow, intrigue, and luscious surroundings!”
“Exciting, emotional, and engaging!”
A passionate story of honor, rebellion, and forbidden love.
Lady Alexandria MacKenzie is one of Abbot Matthew’s network of rebels, fighting for Scottish independence. When her father dies, leaving their clan without a laird, she asks the abbot for aid in finding a husband. He sends her a selection of three noblemen from which to choose. Accompanying them is secret agent and reputed rake, Rory MacVie, who must assist Alexandria with a perilous mission for Scotland. But the abbot makes one point very clear–Rory is not a potential suitor.
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Enjoy an sample from Rory: A Scottish Outlaw, Book 3
Rory MacVie’s horse nickered and tossed its head. “Hush, lass,” he crooned, leaning forward to stroke her thick, black mane.
“He should be here already,” David hissed. “I don’t like this.”
Rory glanced sidelong at his agitated friend before once more scanning the surrounding woods, still illuminated by summer’s twilight. “Give him time,” Rory said. “Ye’re always too quick to worry.”
Several moments passed in silence. Then Rory rolled his eyes at David who had grabbed up his reins.
“Something’s not right,” David growled. “Let’s go.”
“Ye need to calm down,” Rory began, but then he heard a branch snap deep in the thicket. “Wait,” he hissed, grabbing David’s forearm, stopping him from turning his horse about. “Listen.”
Leaves rustled the instant before a flash of movement through the trees caught Rory’s eye. “He’s coming,” Rory whispered.
A white horse nosed its way into the clearing, carrying a cloaked figure. Rory’s eyes narrowed, taking in the person’s diminutive stature. They had expected a man, not a mere lad. He flexed his hand, ready to grab the sword strapped to his back if need be as he watched the rider turn his horse to face them, stopping several paces away. Rory tensed when a small hand peeked out from beneath the voluminous folds of black cloak and pulled back the draping hood.
“Bloody hell,” Rory cursed under his breath as he locked eyes with an intensely beautiful woman. Flaxen hair shone nearly as white as her snowy skin.
A slow smile curved her lips before she dipped her head and said, “Alba gu bràth.” Scotland forever.
“Alba gu bràth,” Rory said, repeating the secret password of their cause.
“Who the hell are ye?” David growled, his harsh tone causing Rory to wince.
“Don’t be an arse,” Rory snapped before turning apologetically back to the woman in front of them. “Forgive my friend, but we were supposed to be meeting one Alex MacKenzie.”
“And so ye have,” she replied, her lips now stretching into a full smile—lips so luscious Rory could almost taste their sweetness in his mouth. “I am Alex MacKenzie,” she said.
The sharp scraping of a blade leaving its sheath drew Rory’s attention away from the distracting image.
“What are ye doing?” he asked, shaking his head in disapproval as David pointed his sword at the lass.
“She’s a trap,” David snapped. “The English must have taken the real Alex and are baiting us with a pretty skirt.”
An indignant harrumph drew Rory’s gaze back to the woman.
Her eyes flashed bright with anger. “I am, indeed, Alex MacKenzie.”
God’s blood but he loved a spirited lass.
“Aye, then prove it,” David taunted. “Where’s the coin. Ye’ve no satchel, chests or saddlebags. If ye’re Alex MacKenzie, then where’s Scotland’s money?”
She cocked a golden brow before slowly sliding from her horse and landing on the ground with a heavy thud. “Ye spook easily,” she said to David.
Rory chuckled. “Ye don’t know the half of it.”
Once more, she locked eyes with him. “I require yer assistance.”
He needed no urging. In fact, he could think of nothing more he wanted to do in that moment than assist a beautiful Scottish rebel.
“Don’t trust her,” David hissed.
Rory hesitated. Could David be right? Could he be walking into a trap?
Alex raised her brow at him. “Are ye as skittish as yer friend?”
That settled matters. Rory never backed down from a challenge, especially when issued from lips as exquisitely shaped as hers. How could he resist? He slid from his horse and walked toward her, but then she turned her back on him. Confusion stopped him in his tracks. He glanced back at David, but his friend only lifted his shoulders, clearly equally as baffled.
Rory turned around in time to watch her cloak drop to the ground. “My laces, if ye please,” she said.
He stared at her long, slender back for a moment, contemplating what to do. Just as he made it a point never to back away from a challenge, he also never said no to that particular request. Still, a strange woman asking him to untie her laces in the middle of a vast forest with another man looking on was a first. He cleared his throat and closed the distance between them. Who was he to deny any lass such a simple favor? His fingers worked quickly, and in a flash, her surcote dropped to a heap around her ankles. Then she bent in front of him, giving him a stunning view of her round derriere as she grabbed the hem of her tunic. Standing, she began pulling off the dark green wool.
“If ye please,” she said sharply. The fabric around her head muffled her voice but did nothing to shield him from her annoyance.
He grabbed hold of her tunic and whisked it off her raised arms.
“I should have asked yer friend to help,” she said, glancing up at him. “Perhaps he has more practice undressing women.”
Rory stepped forward, his eyes scanning the length of her. “In the future, when I remove yer clothes, I promise not to tarry.”
“Then show me ye’re a man of yer word. There are layers to go still.” She flashed him a smile before bending to grab the hem of her second tunic.
He swallowed the groan that rushed up his throat as he grasped the fabric from her hands and began to lift the dress, but he was amazed by its weight.
“Why the hell is this so heavy?” Rory asked.
“Did the prospect of seeing me naked somehow make ye forget why we’re here?” she crooned, her voice low and seductive.
“The coin?” Rory said.
He eased the laden fabric over her head, revealing her kirtle. The thin fabric pressed taut against her full breasts and hugged her shapely curves.
His mouth watered when she bent at the waist, lifting the hem of her under-dress.
“Ye can’t be hiding anymore?” Rory said, tightly clutching the heavy tunic.
She grinned playfully and lifted her kirtle higher, exposing a slender dirk strapped to her thigh. The blade glinted when she eased it from its sheath. Then she dropped her kirtle in place and reached for the tunic he held. She flipped back a portion. Straightaway, he noticed the small square patches sewn into the interior. She pricked at the fabric with the tip of her dirk, catching one of the patches and slicing it open, exposing a silver mark. “The entire dress is lined in them—from the bottom hem to the neckline, even down the sleeves. ‘Tis a small fortune in silver.”
“However did ye manage to mount yer horse in this thing?” he asked.
“I had a boost,” she said coyly. “I will of course require yer assistance once more,” she said, pointing to her garments still in a heap on the ground.
Setting the coin-filled garment down, he reached for the other tunic. After pulling it down over her head, he smoothed the fabric in place, running his hand down the gentle curve where her slim waist flared to her rounded hip.
“Ye have strong hands,” she said softly over her shoulder to him.
Her praise fueled his ardor. Resisting the desire to tear off the very tunic he had just fitted into place, he grabbed her rumpled surcote and began easing the thick worsted wool over her head. Tying the laces, his eyes drank their fill, memorizing the lines of her narrow waist and rich curves.
She whirled around, surprising him the instant after he cinched the final knot. They locked eyes. Then her gaze dropped, journeying over his person with the same slow and sensual deliberation he had shown her lovely form.
When her eyes once again met his, she released a long breath before saying, “Regretfully, I must go.”
He stepped closer. “Will we meet again?”
Giving no answer, she reached for the reins of her horse. “A leg up please?”
He stepped closer and laced his fingers together. She put a knee in his hands, and he lifted as she pulled herself up and into the saddle with practiced ease.
His left hand lingered on her knee for a moment. He looked up at her, the intensity of her gaze fueling his desire to greater heights. “Will we meet again?” he said, repeating his question.
She lifted one of her shoulders. “Who can say what the future holds?”
Rory clenched his fist to keep from pulling her back off the horse and into his arms. “I hope my future holds ye,” he said, his voice low and husky. “It would be a tragedy were I never to taste those lips.”
She flashed him a smile. “Ye’re in luck.” She leaned over in the saddle, grabbed his tunic and pressed her full lips hard against his. Desire quickly overcame his initial surprise. He reached his hand around the back of her neck and deepened their kiss. A soft groan escaped her when she drew away. “Thank ye,” she whispered.
“For what?” he breathed through a haze of shock and desire.
She smiled. “For being a loyal servant to Scotland.” Then she drove her heel into her horse’s flank and sped off down the forest road.
He stared after her. The sweetness of her kiss lingered in his mouth, never to be forgotten, even as she disappeared into the fading light.