A Highlander Never Surrenders

BOOK: A Highlander Never Surrenders
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The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

Copyright © 2008 by Paula Quinn

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Book design by Stratford, a TexTech business.

Forever

Hachette Book Group USA

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New York, NY 10017

Visit our Web site at
www.HachetteBookGroup.com

Forever is an imprint of Grand Central Publishing.

The Forever name and logo is a trademark of Hachette Book Group USA, Inc

First eBook Edition: December 2008

ISBN: 978-0-446-55259-2

Contents

Seduction in the Mist

Acknowledgments

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-one

Chapter Twenty-two

Chapter Twenty-three

Chapter Twenty-four

Chapter Twenty-five

Chapter Twenty-six

Chapter Twenty-seven

Chapter Twenty-eight

Chapter Twenty-nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-one

Chapter Thirty-two

Chapter Thirty-three

Chapter Thirty-four

Chapter Thirty-five

Chapter Thirty-six

Epilogue

About the Author

SEDUCTION IN THE MIST

“The longer I know you,” Claire said in a voice she reserved for her most scathing sarcasm, “the more I’m convinced that your mouth is not the deadliest weapon in your arsenal against women.”

Graham shrugged his powerful shoulders, a lazy ripple of muscle. “There are many women who would disagree with that assessment.”

Damn him to Hades, but he was probably correct. Every blasted time she looked at him she remembered the way he’d kissed her, so rough and so . . . acutely arousing. Such an uninvited kiss should have enraged her, but instead she had near melted all over him.

“Yer mouth, on the other hand,” he said with an irrepressible smile, “is deadly indeed.”

Praise for the novels of

PAULA QUINN

LAIRD OF THE MIST

The romance is special, the characters are terrific, and there is plenty of action and suspense. Paula Quinn outdoes herself this time. Bravo!”

—RomanceReviewsMag.com

Paula Quinn once again proves her skill with words.”

—NovelTalk.com

The Highlands of Scotland come alive in
Laird of the Mist
. . . Paula Quinn knows exactly how to capture the imagination of her readers by giving them memorable characters and enthralling plots.”

—SingleTitles.com

LORD OF SEDUCTION

Quinn is an author to watch.”


Publishers Weekly
(starred review)

4 Stars! Readers will fly through the pages and wiggle in their seats . . . Feast on this medieval banquet!”

—Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine

Passion, peril, and plenty of medieval political intrigue . . . expertly crafted historical romance.”

—Booklist

Exciting . . . A delightful tale.”

—Midwest Book Review

Excellent writing and tantalizing romance.”

—RomRevToday.com

This novel captures the era, on both sides of the conflict, with masterful skill . . . a fine romance, plenty of action.”

—ARomanceReview.com

Not to be missed. Paula Quinn crafts a story in which the details combine to make you feel as if you are there with her characters. I sighed over the gentleness of the hero and the charm of the heroine.”

—Bookloons.com

Bold and passionate medieval romance.”

—FreshFiction.com

This book has it all . . . Should find its way to your keeper shelf! . . . The first novel I have read by Paula Quinn, and I can assure you it will not be my last.”

—RomanceReaderAtHeart.com

CASTLE KEEPER! (
The Mystic Castle
’s highest honor) . . . [With] a wild and enigmatic hero, sure to set pulses racing . . . Readers will be enchanted with
Lord of Seduction
.”

—TheMysticCastle.com

LORD OF TEMPTATION

Features a sinfully sexy hero who meets his match in a strong-willed heroine . . . An excellent choice for readers who like powerful,passion-rich medieval romances.”

—Booklist

Will enchant and entertain . . . Passion, danger, treachery, and heartbreak fill the pages of this splendid novel . . . don’t miss
Lord of Temptation
.”

—RomRevToday.com

Quinn’s lively romance . . . offers two spirited protagonists as well as engaging minor characters . . . The sharp repartee and dramatic finale make this a pleasant read.”

—Publishers Weekly

Quinn wins readers’ hearts with a light touch, even as she invokes strong themes of slavery, freedom, and the need for independence.”

—Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine

A truly magnificent tale . . . Dante is a perfect hero and lover and Gianelle is special—perfect for each other. The passion is fantastic—unbeatable!”

—RomanceReviewsMag.com

LORD OF DESIRE

4 Stars! . . . fast-paced and brimming with biting, sexy repartee, and a sensual cat-and-mouse game.”

—Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine

Gloriously passionate . . . boldly sensual . . . Quinn deftly enhances her debut with just enough historical details to give a vivid sense of time and place.”

—Booklist

Fans of medieval romances will enjoy spending a few warm summer evenings with this one.”

—RomanceReadersConnection.com

A page-turning experience from beginning to end . . . Highly recommended . . .
Lord of Desire
’s strength resides in Ms. Quinn’s talent for characterization and storytelling . . . [she] does a fabulous job of creating characters to care about, laugh with, and shed a tear or two for.”

—RomRevToday.com

A fine historical romance.”

—Midwest Book Review

An emotional and compelling story that brings together a strong but wounded hero and spirited and determined heroine. The characters quickly immerse the reader into their lives.”

—RomanceJunkies.com

A novel worthy of movie rights . . . If you love a good romance, with a nod toward
Ivanhoe
, then
Lord of Desire
will be a fine addition to your collection. If you have never tried a medieval romance, it would be a good choice, because it is one of the best in recent years.”

—ARomanceReview.com

A
LSO BY
P
AULA
Q
UINN

Lord of Desire

Lord of Temptation

Lord of Seduction

Laird of the Mist

Daddy . . .

I will love you always.

Acknowledgments

A special thank you to the wonderful people of Metropolitan Jewish Hospice for all the special, loving care they gave to my dad. It made a difference.

To Chris Capaldi for helping me bring Graham alive, and to Teresa Fritschi of Thistle & Broom for all the great pictures.

S
COTLAND

A
UTUMN
1659

Chapter One

I
t has all gone terribly wrong. What I feared most has come to pass.

The stench of cheap wine and ale filled the tavern like a dense fog and settled onto the table where Graham Grant, first in command of the mighty clan MacGregor, sat watching his friend, the eleventh Earl of Argyll, drain his fourth cup of ale.

“This business with Connor Stuart weighs heavily on ye.”

Robert slapped his cup on the table and raised his heavy-lidded gaze to him. “Why do you say that?”

“Ye’re getting drunk, and ye brood more than I can stand of late.”

“I’ve only had four cups,” Robert countered with a scowl. “I’ve seen you drink more than twice that amount.”

The mocking curl of Graham’s half smile needed no explanation, but Graham gave one anyway. “I’m a Highlander,” he said and raised his cup to his mouth.

“I can drink as much as any of you.” Robert swung around on his chair, teetered, caught himself, and tried to catch the attention of a swarthy serving wench.

He succeeded, but the deep-cleavaged lass’s eyes swept past his and settled on Graham’s. Graham looked her over from foot to crown, thinking what a pity it was to have to send her away, but the last thing his friend needed was more ale. A subtle shake of his head was all it took for her to move on, pretending not to have seen Robert motioning for her.

“Damnation,” Robert swore, then waved to another wench.

“Rob.”

“What?”

“Look at me,” Graham said seriously, and Robert obeyed. “Not being able to find Stuart is naught to be ashamed of. The man’s as elusive as Callum. Find yerself a wench fer the night and ferget yer duty.”

Robert pushed his cup away, raked his hand through his dark hair, and gave Graham a look that said his friend could never understand what he was feeling. “Graham, General Monck commanded me to find him. Since I was a boy I’ve wanted to serve the realm. Now, when I’ve been granted the honor, I have failed.”

“Who have ye failed, Rob?” Graham asked him and winked at a bonny wench who caught his eye. He stretched his long, bare legs out in front of him, crossing his boots at the ankles, and downed the rest of his ale. “Oliver Cromwell is dead. His pacifist son Richard has been ousted from his seat by military tyrants who claim to hate despotism, yet fight fer power to rule the country.”

“But someone needs to lead us, Graham. General Monck was one of Cromwell’s most fearsome warriors of the New Model Army.”

“Aye,” Graham agreed caustically. “So great were his victories over the Royalists in Scotland, the old Lord Protector named him governor over the country he had so skillfully subdued. Yer country.” Graham added, giving his friend a pointed look.

“That was many years ago,” Robert pointed out. “He’s been fair to our people and has refused to support the dissolving of Parliament.”

Graham yawned.

“Besides, the most likely to gain the title is John Lambert. Remember, he commands all the military forces in England.”

A vision caught Graham’s eye, thankfully distracting him from his friend’s tedious passion for politics. The lovely Lianne. The lass had stolen into his thoughts several times since she left his bed the night before. He flicked his simmering gaze over her form as she approached his table, toting a pitcher of ale.

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