Kat stared at him through narrow, suspicious eyes. She wanted to trust him, but she didn’t know if she’d ever be able to trust anyone again after what she’d just been through. He had a gentle look to him and a ready smile. He was a charmer and quite handsome as well. At about six foot four, with tousled brown locks and those unbelievable tawny eyes, he was definitely her type, but not here. Not now. She still couldn’t understand how she found herself in this place and time. How was it possible that she was examining medieval artifacts in the Scottish highlands as part of her work for billionaire Malcolm Granger, when she suddenly and very inexplicably fell through time to find herself in sixteenth-century Scotland, alone and unprepared for what was to come next?
Glancing around the camp, she noted where everything was located, including Nick’s horse. If it was at all possible, she would escape tonight. Her only thought was to get to civilization. Perhaps if she got to Edinburgh, she could figure out a way to get back home to her own century and at the very least she thought she’d be safe from Bearach Calhoun. Kat didn’t have time to waste traveling through the highlands with this man and then living with his family. How could that be any better than the situation she’d just left? She was a prisoner, no matter how she looked at it, unless she could take matters into her own hands. It wouldn’t be easy, but she’d wait for her chance and then seize it. She’d, of course, be leaving Nick alone in the woods without transportation, but that couldn’t be helped.
“Yer giving me the evil eye, lass. What is it that yer thinking?” He smiled warmly at her, but she was unable to return his smile.
“I’m debating about whether or not I should trust you.” She tipped her head to examine him more closely.
“And yer conclusion?” Nick tipped his own head to match her and eyed her with a teasing glint in his eye.
“You’re quite charming, Mr. Mackall, but I’ve learned a valuable lesson these past several days.” She fussed with the cape and averted her gaze.
“And that is?” Nick was obviously aware of her discomfort and was doing his best to win her over.
“And that is, not to trust someone until they give you a reason to trust them. You haven’t given me a good enough reason yet.”
“Time will give ye yer proof, Katriona. I dinnae doubt ye’ll trust me before verra long.” He smiled confidently at her.
“The jury’s still out on that one, mister.” She continued eating the food he’d given her. It was either very good, or she was very hungry. Probably the latter she thought. She practically bit her tongue when she realized she may have just used language that would call attention to her true origins. He was gazing at her with a curious expression, or perhaps she was just being paranoid.
Nick made himself comfortable next to her in the tiny shelter, readjusting the cape and covering them both.
“Just what do you think you’re doing?” He wasn’t thinking of sleeping with her, was he?
“This may nae be to yer liking, lass, but I’m going to sleep in here with ye tonight. We’ll need each other’s body heat so we dinnae freeze.” He continued making himself comfortable next to her.
“And what would you be doing if I wasn’t with you?” Now I see what he’s up to. He’s got me here alone in the middle of nowhere and he thinks he can just have his way with me. Well he’s got another thing coming.
“I’d have my cape and that blanket to keep me warm.” He gestured with his hands towards both items.
He had her there. She could force him to sleep by the fire, but that hardly seemed right. “Fine, but keep your hands and other body parts to yourself.”
“As ye wish, m’lady.” He leaned back against the tree, arms folded across his chest and closed his eyes.
Katriona Hughes has no idea how she’s managed to find herself in 16th century Scotland, but she’s beginning to think the emerald gem she picked up on an archeological site may have had something to do with it. Wanting nothing more than to return to her own time, Kat is betrayed by the first person she meets and forced into a marriage with a loathsome stranger. Now running for her life, Kat meets the one man who deserves her trust, but can she give it to him.
Nick Mackall is happy to finally be back in his beloved Scotland after accidentally being transported to twenty first century San Francisco and spending the last two years of his life there. His home and family are calling to him, but things are not about to go smoothly for the handsome highlander as he meets a young woman fleeing her husband and an old foe returns from the dead. Two things are certain – he must gain the woman’s trust in order to save her and he must stop his foe from unleashing the power of an imprisoned sorcerer.
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Jennae Vale is an author of romance with a touch of magic. Her Scottish Medieval time travel series The Thistle & Hive, Books One through Four, is available in print and ebook versions from Amazon. The first book in her new series, The Mackalls of Dunnet Head has been released, with more to come throughout 2016.
Jennae started life in Massachusetts as part of a large extended Irish and Italian family of imaginative story tellers, but now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, her dog, two cats and four chickens. Storytelling is her passion, but Jennae also loves to quilt, cook, read and indulge in her crafting obsession when she’s not writing.
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