Niall MacIan, a Highland laird, desperately needs funds to save his impoverished clan. Lady Katherine Ruthven, a lowland heiress, is rumored to be “unmarriageable” and her uncle hopes to be granted her title and lands when the king sends her to a convent. King David II anxious to strengthen his alliances sees a solution that will give Ruthven the title he wants, and MacIan the money he needs. Laird MacIan will receive Lady Katherine’s hand along with her substantial dowry and her uncle will receive her lands and title.
Lady Katherine must forfeit everything in exchange for a husband who does not want to be married and believes all women to be self-centered and deceitful. Can the lovely and gentle Katherine mend his heart and build a life with him or will he allow the treachery of others to destroy them?
When they reached their chamber, the beautiful man she had married finally kissed her in a way he had only hinted at before. She shyly responded, opening her lips, and he deepened the kiss, exploring her mouth with his tongue. She put her arms around his neck, giving in to the wonderful sensations, returning his kiss with abandon. He stroked her back lightly and, with the pain from her injuries gone, she shivered with delight. He cupped one breast through the fabric of her gown, rubbing the nipple lightly. Awed, she felt it harden at his touch and was surprised to realize the throaty moan of pleasure she heard was her own. As he trailed kisses down her neck, she arched her head back, giving him greater access.
“Lass,” he whispered roughly, “I was going to wait,” claiming her mouth again, “until we were home...ye need to rest.”
“I don’t want to rest.” As he continued to caress her nipple, the warmth kindled with his kiss became a liquid fire spreading through her. The feeling of his tongue exploring her mouth, together with his hand on her breast, made her knees weak. She didn’t know exactly what she wanted, she only knew she wanted more. She needed more.
She felt him remove her belt before he stopped kissing her to turn her away. She had a moment of panic as she thought she might have done something wrong, but then he unlaced her gown and pulled it off her shoulders. He turned her back to face him again before continuing the tender onslaught of her mouth. He removed the rest of her clothes, letting them fall to the floor. He stopped kissing her for a moment and simply looked at her. Realizing for the first time she stood naked in front of him, she raised her hands up nervously to cover herself.
He grasped her hands and held them away from her, saying, “Nay, lass, ye are lovely. Let me look at ye.” She flushed under his perusal and, although she couldn’t quite look at him, she didn’t cover herself when he released her hands.
Leaning down he captured one pert nipple in his mouth, suckling on it. This new sensation fed the fire building in her core until it became almost unbearable. Returning once again to her lips, his kisses became more urgent and she put her hands around his neck again.
“My sweet lass, I have wanted ye from the moment I saw ye.” He pulled her hair free from its braid, running his fingers gently through her tresses.