Cathy MacRae has a special treat for us today--a brand new title HIGHLAND ESCAPE, coauthored with DD MacRae. And from the sounds of the excerpt, Anna is one formidable heroine!
Fleeing the English army that murdered her family before her eyes, Anna Braxton rescues two young women, kidnapped by a barbaric Highland clan only to find herself unjustly imprisoned by the clan she aided. Disgusted by her treatment, she counters their belated offer of friendship with anger and distrust. But she does not count on the unexpected effect the laird’s son has on her heart.
Duncan MacGregor does not understand his da’s command to imprison the young woman who saved his sister’s life. He is more than intrigued with Anna’s skill with a bow and sword—in fact, he is fascinated by everything about her, in spite of her lack of feminine wiles. Straightforward and with a deep-seated sense of honor, Anna Braxton disrupts his entire notion of a suitable woman.
Trained as a warrior and unwilling to be any man’s chattel, Anna shuns the idea of marriage—until Duncan coaxes her into a world of acceptance and passion she never knew existed. He wants her as his wife. She will agree, but only on her own terms—conditions Duncan is not sure he can accept.
Neil led them through the double oak doors and into the great hall. A score or so men sat on stools and benches around trestle tables, eating. As their group walked past the seated men, a deep voice bellowed, "Wench, why are ye dressed like a man? Come here, and I will teach ye what it means to be a woman."
He followed his taunt with a stinging swat to Anna’s backside, hard enough to propel her forward. Anger ignited Anna's blood, accelerated by the accompanying laughter of his companions. She shot a warning look to Duncan to stay out of it, shoving his chest for emphasis.
She took a quick side step toward the man who'd hit her, bringing her knee up high to her chest. Using the momentum of the step toward this oaf, Anna released a sidekick, driving her booted heel into the center of his chest. Her stepping kick knocked the breath from his lungs with an exaggerated grunt, and sent him sprawling backward onto the floor, his head bouncing off the flagstones.
Not allowing him time to recover, Anna grasped his left hand, twisting it away from his body, locking both his wrist and elbow. Bringing one foot down on his neck and jaw, she stretched his arm out further.
"You will apologize, mongrel, or lose the use of these fingers," she snarled.
He struggled against her hold, but she had the lock cinched tight and his struggling only caused him additional pain.
"I willnae apologize to a wench who plays at being a man!" he ground out between clenched teeth.
"As you please," she answered. An audible snap sounded as Anna pulled his smallest finger out of socket at the second knuckle, causing it to protrude at an odd angle.
A loud yelp and an anatomically impossible curse flew from his mouth.
"Apologize!" she yelled at him.
She responded by displacing his third finger, creating a louder snap. This time, his fellows groaned in sympathy with him, but none dared come to his aid.
Anna glanced at Duncan, who leaned against an empty table, arms folded across his chest, a smirk on his face. Only the taut muscles of his jaw belied his calm expression. He warned off the MacGregor men with a glance and slight hand gesture. Before she could demand another apology, Duncan spoke up. "What is yer name, Graham?"
The man on the floor continued to hurl curses, each more creative and colorful than the last, as he struggled uselessly against her hold.
"What is his name?" Duncan calmly asked the man seated nearest to him.
"Angus, I would like ye to meet Anna of clan MacGregor. She has been adopted by our laird, my father, as a daughter, and is my future wife if she will have me."
Anna shot Duncan a look of astonishment. The expression on his face showed no emotion except the silent fury he barely contained.
"I have seen her defeat six Highlanders in battle unassisted and another two warriors from my own clan. She saved yer commander's life this afternoon. Ye might want to reconsider yer position on that apology."
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Buy link: http://www.amzn.com/ B00X60XB2U