It’s been three years since Lady Elizabeth Walsingham ended her childish crush on Laird Ian Munro, the fierce Highlander who scared everyone but her. She’s a grown woman now, heading to London to find a proper English gentleman. But when the wild Highland laird walks through the door, she’s that breathless youth all over again.
Ian tries hard to avoid the young lass who’s confounded him for years. But now that they’re attending court, he must keep watch on her night and day. Danger is at every turn and advisors to the Crown are being murdered. Ian soon realizes the girl he’s been protecting is a beautiful lady who needs his help, almost as much as he needs her.
Buy Online: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads
Elizabeth didn’t wait for the driver’s hand and stepped down from the coach into the glade. She walked with hurried purpose, and branches cracked under her feet as she made a mad dash through the brush. It wasn’t long before a bunch of thistles attacked the hem of her skirts, and she was pulling and tugging to free her dress. As she stepped behind a bush to see to her personal needs, she yelped in pain.
She should’ve known better than to lower herself too far to the ground. Something pricked her bare bottom. Closing her eyes, she stood. She glanced over her shoulder, and the unyielding patch of nettles appeared as though they mocked her for being so careless. After reaching behind her and determining no unwanted remnants of the dreaded plant remained, she dropped her skirts and wandered deeper into the forest.
Although the summer solstice would soon be upon them, spring had bloomed in the Highlands like a sigh of relief after the long, dark months of winter. Leaves were green, blossoming flowers blanketed the fields, and the sun was shining. If she weren’t so distraught over Uncle Walter’s death or irritated by her sister, this would have been a perfect day.
Elizabeth jumped when something snapped behind her.
“’Tis only me,” said Laird Munro. “I did nae mean to startle ye. Are ye hurt? I heard ye cry out.” He gazed into the forest and, as if he was expecting something to appear, uncertainty crept into his expression.
Rays of sunlight through the pine trees cast his face in contorted shadows. His long, red hair was ruffled by the wind. He looked powerful standing there in his kilt and tunic, not to mention the hand that rested on the hilt of a very large broadsword strapped to his waist. There were age lines around his mouth and eyes, but she’d barely noticed. After all these years, Ian still had a commanding way about him, but she certainly wasn’t going to answer him with the truth—well, at least not all of it.
“Nettles pricked me.”
He closed the distance between them. “Do ye want me to have a look? Ye donna want to leave any nettles beneath the skin.”
“Thank you, but there’s no need. I’m certain nothing remains.” An unwelcome blush crept into her cheeks as he held up a large flask.
“If ye pour water over it, the pain will lessen. Where did the wee bastards pierce your skin?”
She felt her face turn to crimson. “I don’t think I need the water, but thank you just the same.”
“If ye change your mind, lass, let me know.” Ian secured the flask on his belt. “We’re resting the horses, but ye should nae be wandering this far into the trees. Let me escort ye back.”
Elizabeth wasn’t about to defy his order. As she walked beside the laird, she silently cursed when the memory of being held in his arms in the bailey came to mind. But as quickly as the thought emerged out of nowhere, the feeling passed. She girded herself with resolve, refusing to relive the humiliation of the past.