A man she can trust…
With her life…and her heart?
Ordered by her father to choose a husband by the end of the Highland Games—or he will select one for her—widow Moira Fraser hastily elopes with Rory McKenna, Laird of Blackmore. But they soon discover neither is free of the past. Rory has a price on his head, and needs an heir as soon as possible, and Moira’s horrible first marriage has left her afraid of letting her new husband close…
Context: In the opening chapter of the book, widow Moira Fraser is out walking the meadow with her brother Ewan during the Tournament of Champions. She has been tasked with selecting a husband before the games are over, otherwise her father will select one for her. Her brother has told her of a few possibilities for a husband as they watch the men compete. When she sees Rory McKenna and hears of his illness and impending death, she decides he might be the perfect husband for her and wishes to speak to him then and there. Driven by her urgency, she walks absentmindedly into a practice field.
Excerpt from Chapter 1
‘Hold fast!’ Laird McKenna called, thrusting out an arm to halt Moira’s advance a few paces away.
Confused by his call she carried on, unburdened by his words. Alarm lit his features and he ploughed into her as an arrow hissed by her ear. They hit the ground hard. She gasped, unable to take in air, as he lay atop her. The weight of his muscular body a reminder that he was strong and formidable, despite what Ewan said.
‘What were you thinking? You could have been killed,’ he stated.
When she struggled for air, he moved off her but kept hold of her hand. A soft prickle of awareness as his warm, calloused fingers wrapped around her own travelled along her arm and she shivered. She pulled her hand away. His touch sparked an odd, unfamiliar sensation she hadn’t felt in ages: safety. She shifted away from him. She knew far better than to believe such.
‘Give it a moment. You had the breath knocked out of you, is all.’ His grey eyes were hard and unflinching. His voice commanding and certain. She believed his words despite not knowing him at all, which was ridiculous. ‘Take one slow breath in,’ he ordered.
Air rushed into her lungs, and she coughed and sputtered. A crowd formed around them. Their faces peered down at her. ‘Are you well enough to stand?’ he asked.
Indeed, she was well enough to rise…and die from embarrassment. Her face flushed with heat and she nodded. He stood and offered his hand. She hesitated, but accepted it, as she couldn’t gain her footing on her own. Pulling her up easily alongside him, he muttered, ‘Here, sit a spell.’ He gestured to a nearby timber. He attempted to guide her by the elbow, but she shifted away from his touch, and his arm fell back to his side.
‘Give her some air,’ he commanded, his clear tone cutting through the throng of people with authority.
The crowd dispersed. Ewan stood back, watching. He began to approach, but she shook her head to stave him off before glancing away.
She struggled to regain her composure, her thoughts and her voice. Her heart hammered in her chest and her back ached from the fall. Her lungs brought in uneven breaths, and overall she was plain startled by what had happened. She could see they had moved the target now. How had she failed to notice earlier? She had never been so careless before during a tournament. What had come over her?
She frowned. Her urgent desire to find a suitable husband had blocked out her reason. If he hadn’t intercepted her, she’d have an arrow through her chest, or worse. She rubbed her arms.
‘Is this your first time here as well?’ he asked, glancing over. He leaned forward on his elbows, assessing her.
‘Nay. I have been at these as long as I can remember. I am Mrs Moira Fraser, daughter of the Laird of Glenhaven.’
His face paled. ‘Whom I have just tackled unceremoniously to the ground.’ He cringed. ‘My apologies. I’ve never attended the tournament before and arrived only today due to an unexpected delay. I’ve yet to meet everyone. I’m Rory McKenna, Laird of Blackmore.’
‘You saved my life. I should thank you.’
His brow crinkled. ‘So, if you know a great deal of tournaments and shooting, why did you charge headlong out into the practice field where the targets were? You could have been killed.’ He held her gaze awaiting an answer.
‘Honestly, I wished to speak to you, my laird. Urgently.’
‘Oh? Why is that?’
‘I wished to ask you to be my husband.’
Thank you,Jeanine Englert and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Jeanine Englert’s love affair with mysteries and romance began with Nancy Drew, Murder She Wrote, and her Grandmother’s bookshelves full of romance novels. She is a Golden Heart ® Finalist, Silver Falchion, Maggie, and Daphne du Maurier Award Winner in historical romance and mystery. Her Scottish Highland historical and historical romantic suspense novels revolve around characters seeking self-acceptance and redemption. When she isn’t wrangling with her characters on the page, she can be found trying to convince her husband to watch her latest Masterpiece or BBC show obsession. She loves to talk about books, writing, her beloved rescue pups, as well as mysteries and romance with other readers.
Cozy up with a beautiful cashmere scarf made in Scotland, some book swag, and a Scottish Blessings bracelet while you read my latest Highlander romance, Eloping with the Laird! I hope you enjoy this first book in the Falling for a Stewart series! Happy reading!
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