Book Three - The Gunn Guardsmen have always pledged their duty comes first: to protect their laird, his family, each other, and when necessary, the clan. When each of them finds unexpected love, they have no choice but to surrender their heart.
Titles in series: One & Only, On A Highland Hill, A Highlander In Peril, In Love With A Warrior.
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A Highlander In Peril
A life forever changed
In order to receive his family’s fortune, Sean Gunn must agree to wed the lady thrust upon him by his dying uncle. As a Gunn clan protector and guardsman, he is honor bound to accept his uncle’s legacy and the woman whose voice alone affects more than his heart.
A heart on the mend
Lady Frances Jordan never thought to feel the stirrings of love since she’d lost her husband, but Sean Gunn’s irresistible manner and handsomeness is just what she needs to move on with her life. He awakens more than desire with his passionate kisses and romantic gestures.
Mysterious events abound
When many a lady goes missing near the border of Scotland and England, Sean is determined to find out who the knave is. Unfortunately Frances becomes the target of the would-be attacker and needs the aid of the Gunn protector. Can Sean keep his lady safe and embroil himself in border politics to ferret out the assailant?
His craving was about to be sated. He’d kept his fervor at bay but now lust sent its anxious tremble through his body for he hadn’t had a woman in many months. Duty and travel kept him from his desires, and now that he’d returned, he could appease his longing.
For more than a fortnight, he’d courted the lady and she like the others did not meet with his expectation. He’d sent gifts, poems, and sweet gestures, hoping to win her favor. Alas the declarations did little to sway her heart. It mattered not, because he would have them one way or another. The selfish women dismissed his affections without care of his feelings, and his desires turned from the deepest love to the dark yearnings now coursing through his blood.
He would do anything to possess them. Why did they deny him? Was he not as handsome as the young lords they chased after? Was he not in a powerful enough position, having the ear of the king himself? There wasn’t a single thing that should have caused their aversion of him and yet …
“Set the lass there, on the log. Careful now, don’t muddle her hair. Place her hands and legs as I bid. She’s perfection.”
His brother, whom he paid handsomely to guard his secrets, did as he bade. He gave his brother no choice but to assist him, for he knew his life would be ended were he to refute his orders.
Once his brother set the lady on the log and positioned her arms over her abdomen and crossed her legs, he turned to him for further instruction. “Do ye wish me to stay?”
“Nay I will handle the matter from here. You may leave. Speak not of this to anyone.”
“I won’t.” Without dispute, his brother left the dense woods.
Now alone, he could do his will. He stood still in the silent frozen forest, watching her tranquil form. A light snow drifted through the sparse branches overhead; the cold flakes hit his face. Her dressing was impeccable, and for a brief moment he thought she might be cold. The silk fabric of her gown did little to protect her against the elements. Nay, she would feel nothing for she was not fast asleep.
Before he would take his pleasure, he pressed a hefty-bloomed crimson rose between her dainty fingers. Joy came to him upon seeing her lifeless body, lying in wait, holding the precious reminder of her rejection. With a light caress to her dewy lips, he tasted the thorn apple powder he’d put in her wine.
He’d been prepared for her rejection and had made his plans. How easy she made it for him. Within an hour she was akin to a lamb being caught by the fox. Aye, for he enjoyed watching the poison weave its spell upon her, taking her soul from her once spry body, and ending once and for all her aversion of him.
He ambled around the log, content to watch her, wishing he hadn’t had to end their liaison so soon. The chase always gratified him and when he no longer enjoyed the game there was only one way he could ensure she remained his. Though he’d spent a good time courting her, he suspected her abhorrence. Like the others, she pretended fondness when really she had her heart set on another.
As if the lady responded, he ceased walking, and gazed fondly at her. “How dare ye dangle such a glorious prize before me, and expect to throw me over as though I am nothing?”
He caressed her hair and slowly moved his hands over her breast, and down her body. “You’re remorseful? Ah, dearest, but it is too late for regrets, my love.” Now kneeling, he ripped the rose from her grasp and held the fragile blossom in his hand, taking a whiff of its fragrance before setting it gently aside.
“Why could you not appreciate my gifts? You will never receive such adoring sentiments from another. Evermore you shall be mine.”