After escaping a pirate ship and an unwanted betrothal to a French baron, Lady Adrianna Beechwood may well be safe on land but is alone with a band of smugglers running from the law in the wilds of Scotland.
Finally reunited with the love of her life, she is distressed to find a rugged Highland warrior has replaced the refined, stylish Drew Mackenzie she fell in love with in London.
With her betrothed’s men hot on her heels, she must flee with her Highlander, but will their love survive the troubles to come?
Adrianna hobbled from the small room in the castle ruins with one arm draped across Betty’s shoulder for support and gaped at Drew in astonishment. Dressed in a clean shirt with his plaid attached to one shoulder by an exquisite brooch and a glistening claymore strapped to his back, short sword strapped to his waist, there could be no doubt of his position in the clan. Drew straightened to his full impressive height at her entrance and rested one hand on the gold handled dirk at his waist. He held an aura of respect and was defiantly not the vagabond barbarian he led her to believe.
Her Highlander was indeed a chameleon, for before her stood a confident Highland warrior as did the tall handsome man standing beside him. Drew’s gaze drifted over her and a glimpse of the man she met in London surfaced for a brief moment before his expression hardened to one of disinterest. An act for his clan no doubt.
She glanced over the restless group of clansmen and all to a man glared back at her grim-faced. A shiver of apprehension slid down her spine. By the wave of Anglophobic hatred directed toward her, Drew had informed them of the trouble her presence would cause. The grunts and Gaelic mutterings combined with unusual hand gestures from the men clearly indicated their attitude toward her. To be sure, they would have preferred if the fever had taken her.
Limping the short distance to stand before him and ignoring his less than welcoming manner of his men, she offered him the letter. She had detailed the reasons for escaping Lord Moreau and informed her father of her reasons to remain in Scotland without mention of Drew or her whereabouts. She had folded the paper neatly and placed her father’s direction in bold print on the front then sealed the missive with a crude blob of soot-streaked candle wax. “I do hope this will set matters straight.”
“As do I.” Drew took the letter and broke the seal eyeing her with a steady confident gaze.
She gaped at him in disbelief and grabbed at the paper in his hand but to no avail. At the twitch of a smile on his lips, indignation rose and she glared at him. “Laird Mackenzie, I find it hard to believe you have the effrontery to examine a private note to my father.”
“Effrontery is it to keep ma clan safe or maybe I am too canny for ye, aye?” Drew gave her such a look of disdain that she took a step backward. He grabbed her arm drawing her around to face him. “Do ye really think I would be stupid enough to allow anyone with enough information to see us hanged, free reign to inform Lord Beachwood of our whereabouts, and destination?” His gaze moved over her face assessing her. “If ye are so against me reading the contents of your correspondence, ye must have something to hide.”