Borderland Beauty by Samantha Holt
The Borderland Legacy Book 2
historical sensual romance novel
Release Date: 05/23/2013
Lord Dominic is in need of a wife. With the reivers, the wild and dangerous criminals that haunt the borderlands, breathing down his neck and his brother now married, he needs a strong woman by his side. So when he finds out about an old marriage contract between him and his neighbour’s daughter, he vows to give the mysterious woman a chance. Upon meeting the beautiful, feisty maiden, he vows to make her his wife.
Lucy Montgomery wants nothing to do with the arrogant lord. She doesn’t understand his interest in her. Surely a man like Dominic could never fall for a woman like her? Hurt by the past, she refuses to believe that she is anything more than a game to him. If only she didn’t find him quite so charming.
Can Dominic persuade Lucy that she is more than just another woman to him? And with the reivers growing bolder, are there worse dangers than Lucy saying ‘Nay’?
Northumbria, England 1368
“Thornewall?” Lucy stared at her mother. “We’re to go to Thornewall for Christmas?”
Her mother eyed her with a look of bemusement as she hauled out a gown from the wooden chest that occupied one corner of her chambers. “Aye, this will do nicely.”
“You know I loathe large gatherings, Mother. And Thornewall of all places…”
“Aye, my dear, I know you do. Though Lord only knows why. A girl of your…age should welcome the chance to meet fine men and there is no place better to do it than in Thornewall.”
Slapping her comb down on the table in front of her, she turned from her mother. Lucy contemplated herself in the mirror. What her mother meant was that it was time she found herself a husband. At one and twenty, she was turning into an old maid. She tilted her face, eyeing her complexion. It was pale and smooth, thankfully having lost the pallor that she used to be afflicted with as a young maiden, and it had not aged. Ack, not that it had made any difference. No man wanted her. No man ever had.
Her mother’s chattering cut in through her thoughts as she uttered a name she knew all too well, “…and Lord Dominic is, of course, a most handsome lord. You would do well to catch his eye, Lucy.”
Swiveling on her chair, she fixed her mother with a cold stare. “Lord Dominic is an arrogant blackguard. I would do well to steer clear of him. Anyway, ‘tis unlikely he would pay any attention to me.”
Her mother flung the gown she was holding across the enormous canopied bed and pressed her hands onto Lucy’s shoulders, urging her to face the mirror.
“You, my love, are a fine beauty. Lord Dominic, or any other man for that matter, would do well to have you for his wife.”
Her mother ran her hands through her fair hair as Lucy scowled at herself. Her mother had the blessing of dark, silky hair that did exactly as it should. Unfortunately for Lucy, she had inherited her father’s looks…and build. Her fair hair hung perfectly straight and would never curl, instead falling all the way past her bottom. It was not as mousy as it once was, for which she supposed she should be grateful. Years of horse riding and hawking in the sun had picked out pale highlights that at least added some interest to it.
“Well, Mother, I assure you, there is no chance of me ever becoming his wife. Men like Lord Dominic do not look at women like me and I would not wish it so. I would sooner die an old maid than marry a man of such repute.”
Gasping, her mother clutched her hands to her chest. “Die an old maid? Lucy, you taunt your mother so. ‘Tis most unkind. Anyway, I am sure you shall be an old maid no longer by the end of the Christmas celebrations.” Her mother’s grey eyes sparkled and Lucy’s stomach dropped. What was she planning?
“I just mean that you are bound to catch a man’s eye, that’s all, especially now that you are not so bu—so…so curvy.”
Lucy snorted. So buxom, she meant. She cast her eyes over her mother’s silk gown. She was as slender as a reed. Flicking a glance down at her own generous bosom, she heaved a sigh. Aye, she had at least slimmed out as she had aged. As a young girl, she had been as plump as they come. The weight had gradually dropped off as she became an active rider, but now she had a tiny waist and huge breasts that refused to be confined. To add to it, her hips still flared out and her bottom made any gown stick out whether she wanted it to or not.
Meeting her mother’s worried gaze, she offered her a small smile. “I have no need of a husband. Father is rich enough and Edward will inherit. I have no obligations to fulfill.”
“Aye, my love.” Her hands came back on her hair, smoothing across it. “Edward will return with his wife soon and they shall no doubt bring forth some children, but I wish not for you to marry for duty, I wish for you to marry for love. ‘Tis a fine, fine thing.”
Lucy rolled her eyes at her mother’s wistful tone. It was all well enough for her mother, who had happened to fall in love with the man her father had chosen for her, but she knew well enough few other people had been as lucky.
“‘Tis a fine thing, indeed, but I’ll not find love this Christmas. And I’ll certainly not find love with Lord Dominic.”