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Quantity Available: 1
Title: The Twilight Laird
Publisher: Amber Quill Press, LLC
Book Condition: Good
About this title
(Romance / Historical Romance / Regency Romance) When James MacGregor's father loses his lands during a London gambling spree and kills himself, James is forced to grow up immediately. His forebearers had been lairds of Glasdun Castle and the village of Mindor for centuries, and James feels responsible when his former clansmen lose their livelihoods under the new owner's factor, George Grimes. Hoping to relieve his clansmen's burden, James works as a physician for little or no pay. His efforts yield few results until the arrival of George Grimes's niece, Mariah Lawrence, a religious do-gooder who immediately interferes in the lives of Mindor's people and fills them with false hope. Mariah inherits Glasdun Castle from her wealthy father. When she visits her uncle, the castle's factor, she is shocked at the level of poverty she sees. When she seeks to improve the lot of Mindor's people, they receive her warmly. The only person not impressed is the young, handsome doctor, James MacGregor, who claims her family is responsible for all the problems she strives to fix. When a typhus epidemic strikes, Mariah and James work together to save the people. Now, they are forced to fight the attraction that has plagued them since their first meeting. Only by putting aside their differences and acknowledging their love for one another can James and Mariah heal from the personal scars resulting from the whist game their fathers played together many years ago...From the Inside Flap:
...His eyes shone with unshed tears. He ran his hand over his eyes and seemed to try with all his being to keep his composure. A minute passed while he kept his mouth tightly closed.
"It's my fault it all happened," he said through clenched teeth.
"How can you say that?" Mariah demanded. "If not for you, far more would've died. Epidemics happen. No one knows--"
"There was a dreadful storm, and I was in the taproom at The Merry Hart when the lads came in and announced a ship had wrecked on the shoals. I had already drunk two pints of ale, but I ran out with them and tended those poor souls in this very warehouse. Flora, Mrs. Gordon, Lizzie and some of the fisherman's wives helped me."
She said nothing as he paused.
He turned from her and looked out to sea. "Most of the crew was Spanish. Few knew English. Many had fever, but that was to be expected with the trauma they had endured. I worked diligently to save those I could. It was over an hour before I noticed that many of the men had rashes on their armpits. Those men were doomed before they ever hit the shoals. It was a death ship with a crew sick from the typhus.
"By the time I drove the women from the warehouse, it was too late. I continued to keep the men here and treated them as best as I could. Some survived; many died. One of the women who helped them that first night fell sick. I wasn't able to warn all the men who had rescued the sailors, for many had gone home and no one could give me a full accounting of all the villagers who had come in contact with the sailors. Within a week, the warehouse had started to fill up with men and women sick from the typhus."
"I don't understand where you're at fault. You weren't going to stand aside and do nothing while the sailors died."
"Of course not, but if I had realized in time, the epidemic would had been contained and would never have affected the village."
"You can't know that!"
He turned on her. "I most certainly can because I've dealt with this disease before on the Peninsula. Many of the men in my regiment fell ill with it. I am quite familiar with the symptoms. I should've known immediately, and I would have if my brain hadn't been so addled with the effects of the ale."
He loved the people of Mindor and felt responsible for them. Mariah knew that, but his anguish was more acute because he held himself responsible for the outbreak of the epidemic.
"I haven't told anyone else this," he said. "I don't know what has come over me."
She came to him, threw her arms around him and rested her head on his chest. "It's not your fault," she whispered. "It's no one's fault. You've done your best, and no one can do better than that. You must forgive yourself."
He crushed her to him and buried his face in her hair. They held onto each other for several minutes.
Mariah was aware of her danger. Though his clothes were soiled with sweat, the faint smell of pipe tobacco, when mixed with the sandalwood scent of his toilet water, intoxicated her. He smoothed her hair and covered her head with feather-light kisses.
She released him and backed away. No matter how much her heart broke from James's plight and no matter how much she wanted to kiss him, she couldn't betray Edward again.
He squeezed her hand and released her. "I told you once before we can never be friends, Miss Lawrence," he said sadly. "You have a good heart, but your sympathy is wasted on me."
"I shouldn't have done that."
His mouth curved in an insolent smile. "Of course you shouldn't have because the comfort I want from you involves far more than an embrace." His gaze raked her from head to foot and then lingered on her bosom.
There was no hostility in his eyes. It was almost as if he were deliberately trying to scare her off, and scared she should be because, no matter how much she claimed to herself and the world she loved Edward, at this moment she wanted nothing more than to give James more, much more than an embrace...
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