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He would sell his warrior soul to possess her. . . .
An alluring laird...
He was known throughout the kingdom as Hawk, legendary predator of the battlefield and the boudoir. No woman could refuse his touch, but no woman ever stirred his heart—until a vengeful fairy tumbled Adrienne de Simone out of modern-day Seattle and into medieval Scotland. Captive in a century not her own, entirely too bold, too outspoken, she was an irresistible challenge to the sixteenth-century rogue. Coerced into a marriage with Hawk, Adrienne vowed to keep him at arm's length—but his sweet seduction played havoc with her resolve.
A prisoner in time...
She had a perfect "no" on her perfect lips for the notorious laird, but Hawk swore she would whisper his name with desire, begging for the passion he longed to ignite within her. Not even the barriers of time and space would keep him from winning her love. Despite her uncertainty about following the promptings of her own passionate heart, Adrienne's reservations were no match for Hawk's determination to keep her by his side. . . .
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Karen Marie Moning is the internationally bestselling author of the Highlander and Fever novels. Her books have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists, and have one numerous awards, including the prestigious Rita. She lives in Georgia and Florida with her husband Neil and the world-traveling cat, Moonshadow.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Hawk placed a finger beneath Adrienne's chin and tilted her head back, forcing her to meet his flinty gaze.
"I will tear from you anything Adam gives you. Remember that. If I find his body draped over yours, he will suffer the same fate." His eyes drifted meaningfully over a scrap of crimson silk stuck on the bark of tree, flapping like a dead thing in the breeze.
"Because I want you."
"You don't even know me!"
His mouth curved in a beautiful smile. "Oh, sweet lass, I know everything about you. I know you're a complex woman, full of dualities; you're innocent, yet tough; intelligent"--He cocked a teasing brow--"but lacking a smidge of common sense."
"I am not!" Adrienne scowled her protest.
He laughed huskily. "You have a wonderful sense of humor and you laugh often, but sometimes you're melancholy." He crowded her with his body and gazed down at her with heavy, hooded eyes. Adrienne tossed her head, trying vainly to dislodge his finger from beneath her chin and escape his penetrating gaze.
He cupped her face firmly with both hands. "You're a willful woman, and I'd like to be the focus of such a willful woman's desire. I'd like to have you yield your trust and loyalty to me as steadfastly as you withhold it. I'm a mature man, Adrienne. I will be patient while I woo you--but woo you, I will."
Adrienne swallowed hard. Damn him for his words!
Not only will I woo you, lass--I will win you completely, the Hawk added in the privacy of his heart. But he couldn't say that aloud, not yet. Not when she was staring at him, her lower lip trembling ever so slightly, but enough. Enough to give him hope. "I'm going to teach you that one lifetime isn't long enough for all the pleasure I can bring you, lass," he promised.
Adrienne closed her eyes, willing the image of him to hell and beyond. "Where's Olivia?" she asked, eyes closed.
"Fallen over a cliff, if the gods are smiling," Hawk replied dryly.
Adrienne opened her eyes and crinkled her nose, peering at him. Did she see the hint of a smile in his dark gaze? A passionate Hawk was deadly, but she was on guard against passion. A teasing Hawk might slip right through her defenses.
"Or if I'm really lucky and the gods are forgiving, she wandered into Adam's arms and he's been struck by the same thunderbolt that hit me when I saw you. Wouldn't that solve my problems?"
The corner of her mouth twitched.
"Oh, nay. I have it. She wandered into the forest and the fae mistook her for one of their own--the wicked banshee--and she is never to return."
Adrienne laughed and was immediately rewarded with one of the Hawk's devastating smiles.
He was melting her, disarming her defenses. And it felt good.
More seriously he said, "I instructed the guards to see to Olivia's return journey the moment her horses are rested enough to make the ride."
Adrienne's spirit elevated at his words.
"Adrienne." He sighed her name like a rich port, complex and sweet. "It's only you--"
Abruptly his mood changed, lightened like quicksilver. "I want to take you somewhere. Come, lass. Give me this night to show you who I really am. That's all I ask."
Adrienne's mind shrieked a resounding no . . . but perhaps it wasn't too dangerous. Let me show you who I really am . . . how intriguing.
You mean besides beautiful beyond bearing?
But what harm could there be in conversation?
"What harm could there be in conversation, Adrienne?"
Adrienne blinked. He must have plucked the words right out of her mind.
"Look, Adrienne, the moon comes out, peeping from behind the rowans." The Hawk pointed, and her eyes followed. Down the muscled curve of his arm, over his strong hand to the shining moon beyond.
"Cool silver orb that guides the night's slumber," Hawk mused softly. "I wager you sleep little on such nights as this, lass, when a storm hovers, threatening to break through the fragile night. Do you feel it? As if the very air is charged with tension? A storm threatening has always stirred a restlessness in me."
Adrienne could feel herself weakening with each word, beguiled by his enchanting brogue.
"'Tis a restlessness I feel in you as well. Walk with me, Adrienne. You'll never sleep if you return to the castle now."
The Hawk stood, hand outstretched, gazing down at her with promises in his eyes. Not touching her, just waiting for her to choose, to commit--if only to walking with him. His breath was shallow and expectant. Her fingers twitched hesitantly beneath the heat of his smiling eyes--eyes with tiny lines at the outer corners. Eberhard hadn't had any wrinkles. She could never trust a man without a few wrinkles about his eyes. He hadn't lived and laughed enough if he didn't have a few faint creases. How had she failed to notice the fine lines of life on the Hawk's face?
"Give yourself this moment, lass," he breathed huskily. "Try."
Adrienne's hand slipped like a whisper into his and she felt him jerk at their contact. His ebony eyes flared, and she felt the exquisite sensation of his strong fingers closing over hers. He swayed forward and she felt the brush of his lips skim her cheek, an unspoken thank-you for the chance that pushed no further.
"I used to walk here when I was a boy. . . ." He took her hand and steered her westward, away from the circle of rowans and the forest's edge.
Tell her about yourself, he thought. About the boy you used to be before you went away. About who you couldn't wait to be when you got back. But most especially--make her love you before she discovers who you were in between. Love still might not be enough to make her understand, but then at least there's a chance.
They talked and strolled while the Hawk wove his wild tales of boyhood impetuosity and bravery and she laughed into the gentle breeze. They sat atop the cliff's edge and tossed pebbles down into the surf, the crisp salt air tangling her silvery-blond mane with his raven silk. He showed her where he'd hung a hammock, just over the edge and down a man's length, and he made her laugh at how he used to hide there from Lydia. Lying on his back, his arms folded behind his head he would watch the sea and dream while his mother searched the bailey for hours, her lilting voice demanding he return.
Adrienne told him about the nuns and the sultry streets of New Orleans, even got him to say it like the locals did a time or two. N'Awlins. And he listened without chiding her for believing such fantasy. Whether he believed she was weaving tall tales or he somehow placed it all in the context of the sixteenth century, she didn't know. All she did know was that he listened to her like a man had never listened before. So she told him about Marie Leveau the voodoo queen and Jean Laffite the famous pirate, and the great plantations that once stood with their magnificent sprawling houses and the scents and sounds of Bourbon Street. When she spoke of the jazz, the lover's croon of a deep sax, the trumpeting blare of the brass horns, her eyes grew deep with mystery and sensual arousal, and he found he could almost believe she was from another time. Surely from another land.
"Kiss me, lass."
"I . . . shouldn't."
Her breathless, husky murmur enchanted him. "Is it so bad then?"
Adrienne drew a deep breath. She stood up, moved away from him, and tipped her head back to study the sky. The night had cleared; the cloud cover had furled out to sea and the storm had passed without breaking. The sound of the surf ebbed and flowed below them in unfaltering rhythm. Stars pierced the mantle of night and Adrienne tried to locate the Big Dipper when suddenly a small, bright star seemed to shiver, then plummeted from the sky.
"Look!" she said excitedly. "A falling star!"
Hawk surged to his feet. "Whatever you do, don't wish, lass."
She turned a pure, glowing smile his way, and it dazzled him so completely that for a moment he couldn't think. "Why ever not, Hawk?"
"They come true," he finally managed.
Her gaze fled back to the falling star. Adrienne held her breath and wished with all her might. Please let something very good happen to me soon. Please! Unable to say the words even beneath her breath, she willed her vision to the stars.
He sighed. "What did you wish?"
"You can't tell," Adrienne informed him pertly. "It's against the rules."
Hawk cocked a questioning brow. "What rules, lass?"
"You know--the wishing-on-a-star rules," she informed him in a tone that said everybody knew those rules. "So what did you wish that came true?"
Hawk snorted. ...
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Book Description Dell, 2007. Mass Market Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110440244161
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STRM-0440244161
Book Description Dell, 2007. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0440244161