The Scot Who Loved Me Scottish Treasures Book 1
by Gina Conkle Genre: Historical Romance
A Mass Market Original
The first in a daring new Scottish historical series about a woman determined to return Scottish treasures to the Highlands and the only man who can help her—the lover she once abandoned.
Proud Scot, Will MacDonald sits in prison for wearing his kilt. He’s determined to leave England as soon as he’s released, but his plans go awry when a mysterious woman enters his cell, promising freedom and gold.
Anne Fletcher never thought she’d see her former lover again. She knows Will hasn’t forgiven her for leaving him so many years ago, but to accomplish her league’s mission, she needs him by her side. Stealing the Treasure of Loch Arkaig from English hands and returning it to the Highlands where it belongs is no easy feat. But with Will’s help, they can achieve the impossible, even if being with him is as painful as it is pleasurable.
Taking back the fortune could mean death but after being parted from Anne for so long, Will can’t leave her side. As they work together to steal the treasure from watchful eyes, will they return to their lonely lives or will they risk everything for a love they thought was lost forever?
She emptied one cauldron after another into the tub. He should help, but his feet were lead. Warmth, imprecise and imperfect, seeped into his bones. It came from faint light dancing on stone floors. From the water’s cheery splash and the plum skirts hugging Anne’s bottom. He stood by the hearth, kneading his aching shoulder, weakened by a canny woman. Her weapons of choice were clean linens, a hot bath, and a cake of soap she set out for him. The comforts of home.
“You knew I’d follow. That I’d have to see where you lived.”
Was his voice hoarse?
Anne was an enchantress, her fingertips swirling bathwater. “You’re a free man. That is what matters.”
Shadows and light played on her bodice, and like a starving wretch, he took his fill. Steam anointing her skin. A tiny freckle blooming on her breast. Her cleavage, an enticing trail and the plump mounds pressing it. A man could spend all night drawing his finger through that mysterious line and count himself content. Even her collarbone’s silken ridge begged to be traced.
Anne glowed. A widow’s independence became her.
She stretched upright, firelight slanting across her face. “Your bath is ready.”
He ceased his shoulder rubbing, the artless moment sinking in. He was about to take off his clothes, which wouldn’t be bad except that he’d been inside Anne. He’d tasted her. Their past whispered a sensual language he longed to forget. The same couldn’t be said of Anne. She was remote, as if tending a half-naked man in her kitchen was commonplace.
Could be it was. Let her host all of Southwark. He was miserable, stretching angrily to free himself of his shirt. It was halfway off when he flinched, a groan curdling in his throat. Every cut and welt branded him.
Warm hands urged his elbows down. “Let me help.”
Arms heavy, he did.
Mellow light licked the column of Anne’s neck and crafted her lashes as ebon fans. Her attentive hands checked a frayed seam. Slowly. Agonizingly. He burned to be irked with her for reappearing after all these years, but she was kindness itself with glossy midnight tresses.
Black-haired lasses . . . his weakness.
Her touches were innocent; his thoughts were not.
Heat from the kitchen’s fire raked his legs. Sweat popped from his skin. He fancied himself stuck between Limbo and Lust, the First and Second Circles of Hell.
“It’s a lost cause,” she murmured and ripped his shirt in two.
He lurched, a silent howl bursting in his chest. Linen slipped off his shoulders. So quick, there and gone. A woman tearing off his clothes was savage. Primal. Made his blood pump, erratic and loud in his ears.
Anne’s dark-fringed eyes met his. “It was the best solution.” Tell that to my reeling senses, lass.
The ruined shirt sailed into the fire. Molars gritting, he felt his nipples pinch to needy points, and he knew who he wanted to touch them. Or kiss them. He wasn’t particular. Instead, his efficient dark-haired temptress dusted threads off his shoulder and accidentally skimmed his ribs with fingertips wispy as dandelion tufts.
In short, a woman utterly unmoved at touching him.
He eyed the ceiling, sweet agony rippling to his toes. How much more could he take?
“Now the kilt,” she said.
It was the splash of cold water he needed.
“Oh no.” He grabbed his belt with both hands. “You’re no’ gettin’ my kilt.”
“You plan to bathe in it?”
“I’m no’ lettin’ you toss it to the fire. That’s blasphemy.”
“You cannot be serious. It is beyond repair.”
He glowered his best for a man sleep deprived and lust addled. “I agreed to your demands. Now honor mine.”
Anne’s slender nose nudged higher, and her eyes sparkled. She liked that he wanted to keep it.
“Let me see what I can do to save it.” And bold as she did eight years ago, Anne hooked two fingers into the waist of his tartan and pulled him close. Trust me flashing in her eyes.
USA Today Bestselling author Gina Conkle writes lush Viking romance and sensual Georgian romance. Her historical romances always offer a fresh, addictive spin on the genre, with the witty banter and sexual tension that readers crave. Her writing career began in southern California and despite all that sunshine, she prefers books over beaches and stone castles over sand castles.