Highlander Besieged by Vonda Sinclair - Book Excerpt
Updated: Jul 11, 2020
She's wrong for him in every way, so why can't he stop thinking about her?
Cyrus MacKenzie, a powerful Highland chief and newly titled Earl of Stornmor, is in search of the perfect bride. The young, naïve daughter of a marquess should do nicely, but she's not the one who has captured his attention.
Lady Elspeth Seton, Baroness Grey, is a widow with a secret past. She's also a cunning businesswoman who has fought for everything she has. When a mysterious enemy turns her own guards against her and attempts to steal every piece of property she owns, she's uncertain who to rely on. With his fearsome warlord reputation and battle-hardened scowl, Cyrus is the last man she wishes to seek help from, but he's the only one offering it. She wants no domineering Highland earl taking control of her life, but in order to protect her home and her businesses, she must learn to trust him.
More accustomed to laying siege to castles than charming the ladies, Cyrus has no patience for stubbornly secretive women like Elspeth. He's infamous for deadly glares that terrify lesser men, but he's impressed by Elspeth's strength, fortitude, and canniness, for she not only stands toe-to-toe with him but also stands beside him to confront the enemy.
How can one ginger-haired lady with intoxicating eyes the color of whisky besiege his stone-cold heart? Even though his mind tells him she's the absolute worst woman for him, in his heart, he knows he will risk life and limb to protect her from the brutal Lowland laird bent on destroying her.
In the author's words . . .
Cyrus MacKenzie has been in several of my previous books, always as an older brother, fearless rescuer, and ally, ready to join his friends in battle. He has the reputation of a fearsome warlord who lays siege to enemy castles. When it came time to find his own bride, he thought he knew what he wanted, but destiny had other plans for him, giving him what he needed instead. Readers requested his story and I was glad to write it. I had fun with the exchanges between Cyrus and his frivolous younger brother, Fraser, because they are such opposites. They can hardly agree on anything and Fraser has a jolly time teasing the ever stern and serious Cyrus.
Cyrus and Elspeth's relationship was interesting to write because neither wanted to be drawn to the other. They fought against it hard. But something about them simply fits together like two puzzle pieces. They complement one another. She is one of the few women unintimidated by his brusque behavior, and he's not the least bit threatened by her independence.
"I found Vonda's book during a trying time in my life. You know how there is always one character and you want that story. Cyrus was that character for me. I loved how he knew something was there the minute he first laid eyes on Elspeth. I love how they both fought the bond, but the bond was stronger, just like their love." Katie (Goodreads)
"Just like the previous books in the series, this one captured my attention from the very beginning and was a complete page turner until the very end. The writing is absolutely beautiful and the story and characters came completely alive...They are each what neither of them wants but discover the other is everything that they need. The chemistry they have is so strong you can feel it. It is perfectly paced and believable too. And who doesn’t love a story where the hero and heroine fight their attraction to each other?! One word - FIREWORKS!! If you love a good Highlander romance, guaranteed you’ll love this one too! Absolutely mesmerizing read from beginning to end and one I highly recommend. It makes me want to reread the entire series! Absolutely love it." Candace N. (Goodreads)
Enjoy an Excerpt from
After thinking about Cyrus and this entire situation for hours, Elspeth felt as if she'd only fallen asleep when an explosion of thunder startled her awake. A blaze of lightning flashed through the crack in the window draperies. More thunder.
She sat upright.
Had anyone closed the window in the tower after they'd been shot at? If not, rain would pour in.
She leapt from the bed, belted her wrap into place and slid on her slippers. Peering into the corridor, she saw no one. Flashes of lightning lit the place enough for her to traverse the winding stairs to the upper tower room.
Fierce wind blasted into the small chamber through the open double casement window. Thunder boomed even louder. She rushed forward, raindrops stinging her face. Using both hands, she shoved one of the hinged windows closed against the gale's powerful force. After latching it into place, she pushed at the other one. A tremendous gust snatched the window from her hand. Emitting a small screech of alarm, she barely caught the window before it slammed against the stone wall.
A strong hand closed over hers and the warm wall of a muscular male came up behind her. Startled, she glanced back to find Cyrus looming over her shoulder. He bolted the window shut, blocking off most of the noise and wind, though a whiff still entered through a small broken pane.
"What the devil are you doing up here?" he demanded.
"What does it look like? I knew the place would get flooded if these windows weren't fastened." She faced him. "How did you know I came up here?"
Through the wavy glass, lightning illuminated his fearsomely handsome visage and dark eyes. "I heard someone running up the steps."
'Twas true his room was next to the turnpike stairs.
With a curse, he forcefully dragged her away from the windows. "The knaves could still be out there."
Though 'twas doubtful in this storm, he could be right. When he didn't immediately release her, she wondered at his intentions. Spellbinding tingles coursed over her as if a wee bit of the lightning ran along her nerves.
She didn't understand her strange reactions and emotions around him. His bossiness and bluster should repel her, but instead, she found these qualities manly and protective. He was the most confident and assertive man she had ever met. A lot of other men were mere dishcloths in comparison. In the past, she had always disliked forceful men like him. But she did not dislike Cyrus. Looking into his mysterious midnight eyes gave her a heated jolt. He intrigued her in ways she had never before considered. What in blazes was wrong with her? She wanted no man in her life, trying to take control of it.
Rain splashed against the windowpanes, then a crack of thunder, as loud as a cannon, made her jump and gasp.
"'Tis all right." With one arm at her waist and one around her shoulder, he drew her against his chest.
Her heart thudded. Good heavens, what was he doing holding her like this? She was not a wee terrified lass. But she had never felt as safe and secure as she did right now. It seemed as if Cyrus could protect her from anything—man, beast, or violent weather. Inhaling his intoxicating manly scent, she found herself perilously drawn to him, wanting to press her lips against his heated skin. But she could not do this, nor allow herself to be ensnared in his seductive spell, for he was not hers. And never would be.
"I am well," she murmured, pulling back gently.
"I ken it. You're a strong woman." The delicious deep timbre of his voice near entranced her.
During a flare of lightning, she witnessed the admiration in his eyes. Why on earth would he look at her in such a way? Surely, her strength was naught compared to his.
In the darkness between flashes, he lowered his mouth to hers and claimed her lips. He cradled her cheek gently against his roughened fingers.
End of Excerpt © Vonda Sinclair
Learn more by visiting the author's website. HIGHLANDER BESIEGED released October 2019.
Meet the Author
Vonda Sinclair is the USA Today bestselling author of award-winning Scottish historical romance novels and novellas. Her favorite pastime is exploring Scotland and taking photos along the way. She especially loves ancient castle ruins. She also enjoys writing about hot Highland heroes, unconventional ladies and the healing power of love. Her series are the Highland Adventure Series and the Scottish Treasure Series. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the CRW Award of Excellence, the Winter Rose Award of Excellence in Published Romantic Fiction--1st Place Historical, and an EPIC Award. She lives in the mountains of North Carolina where she is crafting another adventurous, romantic Scottish story.
Highlander Besieged by Vonda Sinclair
Genre: Scottish Historical Romance
Heat Level: 4
Language Level: 3
Violence Level: 3
Click here to learn more about content ratings.