As the sheltered niece of a Highland chief, Caitrina Grant longs for adventure beyond the lush hills of Scotland. So when a pirate ship glides into the loch, tempting her with promises of exotic lands and hidden treasures, Trina sneaks aboard. But she is unprepared for the consequences-and the seductive captain who demands the ultimate price for her deception . . .
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For Alexander Kidd, the sea is no place for a lady. Pursued by deadly enemies from every direction, Alex won't rest until he claims the bounty of riches left to him by his father, the notorious Captain Kidd. A stowaway will not be tolerated-no matter how beautiful. But soon fighting his desire for Trina becomes his toughest battle yet, and he will have to make an agonizing choice: sacrifice his quest-or lose the woman who has stolen his heart.
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He moved up against her again, sending hot fissures down her spine, and curled his arm around her waist. His grip was filled with strength and tension, yet gentle when he pulled her closer. “Miss Grant,” he scorched across her lips, hypnotizing her, paralyzing her. “I’ve had the Royal Navy on me arse. I don’t care about yar kin comin’ after me. Still, I’d prefer not to battle me father’s friend.”
In an instant the gravity of what she had done became clear. Her kin would indeed come after her and he wasn’t afraid. He was obviously mad, not in his right state of mind. Nevertheless, her kin could die in a battle on the sea. “Then…” She arched her back to get away from him. He moved in over her. What would a madman do with her? With Kyle? She needed to know. “…what d’ye plan on doing with me?”
He gave her no time to think, to catch her breath, to pull away…if she had a mind and the strength to do.
Caitrina had been kissed a few years back by young John MacKinnon. But she knew, as the captain’s beguiling mouth dipped down to hers, that this kiss was going to be very very different.
And hell, she was correct.
There was nothing gentle or curious about it. His mouth covered hers with dominance and scalding heat while he dragged her in against the rigid, flat lines of his body. His tongue teased against her lips, licking, tasting her, tempting her to join in his sweet madness. Like that flame, he swept over her, consuming her muscles, scorching her nerve endings. He kissed her until she began to believe he had every right to do so—until her knees went weak and a slight, pitiful gasp escaped her lips.
He finally broke away with a slow, seductive smile she wanted to gaze at for years to come.
She slapped him hard across his face, lest he think to take further liberties in the future—since she hadn’t stopped him the first time.
For a moment, something dark and fully seductive moved across his features. She thought, trying to slow her heartbeat, that he might either strangle her or rip the gown from her body and have his way with her.
“Fergive me,” he said roughly and without a trace of remorse. “I misjudged. I don’t bed children.”
Her mouth fell open and her eyes narrowed into slits. Here she thought he was being gallant, when he was simply being insulting. Children! How dare he imply that she wasn’t yet a woman! “I should slap ye again fer yer insult,” she seethed.
“Do it,” he provoked her with a sinful, sinuous smile, “and the beast that I am at this moment keepin’ at bay, will more than likely haul ya up against that wall and take ya, despite yar protests.”
She felt the color drain from her face. She couldn’t breathe, or think, or speak, blushing and stammering about for something to say. The images he conjured for her frightened and thrilled her out of her skin at the same time. She didn’t like being threatened but she wasn’t a fool to test him.
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She laughed, drawing his gaze to her mouth. “My, my, Grant, but ye certainly havena’ changed. Ye are as cocky as before.”
“Ye’re no’ the first to think so.” Letting her hear the smirk in his voice, he raised his fingers to her face and caressed the sweet contour of her chin. He stopped suddenly at the pinch of steel at his groin. He looked down at the small dagger in her free hand, poised between his legs.
“If ye don’t remove yer hand from my face, I’ll most likely be the last.”
Her promise was made of silk and steel, convincing enough to keep him still. Close enough to look into her eyes, Darach drenched his vision in what he saw. A strong, fearless lass, who at present, was enjoying herself immensely. A spirited mare with lightning quick hands and a merciless tilt of her lips.
“I only wish to kiss ye, lass. Nothin’ more,” he promised quietly, pressing her, drawing her in with a finger under her chin. She wouldn’t kill him. Not with a marriage to the Menzie chief looming in her future. He tilted his head and grazed her mouth with his, just lightly enough to share breath, short and instantly heated. He watched her eyes close, her lips parting ever so slightly to receive him more fully.
He paused. What was he doing? Hadn’t it taken him months to put Janet out of his mind? Didn’t every lass he’d pursued since meeting her pale in comparison to her fiery spirit? She made him want to tame her, even though he knew he never could. No one ever would. Should he pursue her this time? She claimed to hate him but he doubted it to be true. What if it wasn’t true and he breaks her heart when he leaves yet again? He might want Janet Buchanan, but Grants didn’t lose things like castles…or hearts to Buchanans. What if his kin didn’t accept her?
“The thought of yer mouth on mine repulses me,” she said shakily, moving back.
She lied. Darach smiled. He didn’t want to think about his kin or past feuds, or anything but Janet’s mouth. She slept in his bed. She thought of him enough to feel the need to write about it—just like he did. It shouldn’t feel like a victory, however small, but it did. And since Darach already knew that victories with Janet would be few, he allowed himself to take enjoyment in it. He took a step closer and dipped his lips to her ear. “Prove it.”
Just as he suspected, she couldn’t. She fell weak when he took her up in the crook of his arm. She didn’t resist his hungry mouth, but searched his with equal abandon.
She awakened every nerve ending, sending scorching heat through Darach’s body. He stopped thinking and kissed her the way he’d dreamed of kissing her long after he left her. With a tight groan and an arm beneath her waist, he hefted her up, closer, if that were possible, and supported her back and her nape while he bent over her and deepened their kiss. He felt her resistance, very slight. Another man might have ignored it. But Darach wasn’t other men. He wanted to fit her between his thighs and let her feel what she brought him to, but he’d promised that he’d only wanted a kiss.
So he steadied her and set her firmly on her feet.
He’d gone daft. It had to be that.
She may have swayed. He knew he did.
She stared at him through hooded eyes and almost made him regret stopping. “If ye ever do that again,” she warned an instant later, looking more clear-headed. “I’ll scratch oot yer eyes.” Without waiting for his reply, she bent and plucked her letters from the trunk. “I’ll send someone tomorrow fer the rest of Margaret’s things. Now move aside and let me pass.”
He obeyed, smiling as she left his chamber. Returning to his bed, he wasn’t completely sure if he wanted to bed her or toss her out the window. He picked up his pillow and smelled her fragrance all over it.
About Paula Quinn
New York Times bestselling author Paula Quinn lives in New York with her three beautiful children, three over-protective chihuahuas, and a loud umbrella cockatoo. She loves to read romance and science fiction and has been writing since she was eleven. She loves all things medieval, but it is her love for Scotland that pulls at her heartstrings.