Title: Warrior's Wrath
Author: Gianna Simone
Genre: Erotic Romance, Historical Romance
Hosted By: Book Promotions by Literary Nook
How he made his way to the stables, he didn't know. Though the hour had grown late, the urge to ride seemed more important than anything else. Whenever he raced his steed across the fields, he cleared his head, found it easier to think and plan.He quickly saddled his destrier, patting the black on the neck. The animal butted his nose into Rowan's chest. Somehow the animal sensed his distress. He led the horse across the bailey and mounted, calling up to the sentry on the battlements. "Raise the gate!" "But sir, 'tis late!" Rowan growled. "Now!" His shout echoed in the bailey and died down, just as the creak of the wooden gate being raised sounded in the quiet night. Rowan held his impatience back, his head still spinning, both from the ale and the lies he'd uncovered. It seemed a cruel nightmare, one from which he couldn't wake. His name echoed around him, finally sinking through the haze. He turned. Gerard Moreland, a knight in Montchester's garrison and Rowan's close friend, hurried across the bailey. "What is it?" Rowan turned his gaze back to the gate, not rising quickly enough. "I came to offer congratulations!" Gerard gave him a worried stare. "I didn't think… What troubles you?" Rowan didn't know what to say, so he ignored the question. "You can't be meaning to ride now, not when you're so far into your cups, you can barely sit straight in the saddle." "I am fine." Finally! The gate rose high enough now, and he spurred Mercury out of the bailey, aware of Gerard shouting behind him. He and Mercury knew the land well, so Rowan gave the animal its head, letting him run across great stretches of land. The cool air lashing his face did nothing to soothe the turmoil rolling his gut. All the while, the vision of Gillian's teary face hovered in his thoughts, seeming to surround him. Her voice, insisting she loved him. Rowan shook his head. All lies. Who was he? Hoofbeats behind him drew him from the haze and he slowed Mercury. He scowled to see Gerard riding toward him. "Are you mad?" the other knight asked as he moved within earshot. Though he slowed his horse to a walk, Rowan did not stop and wait. He couldn't outrace his friend now, not in this shape. He fingers clenched on the reins. Mayhap this was some imagining brought on by the amount of ale he'd drunk. Gerard rode up beside him. "What happened? I thought to offer my good wishes and find you in a drunken rage. Look at you! Why would you risk your horse, nay your life on such a foolish ride?" "You don't know what you're talking about." "Tell me." Rowan tossed the words over in his thoughts, but nothing made any sense. Anger, harsh and burning, rose in his throat and his hands fisted again. "They lied. They all lied. I'm not…" The words ended on a growl. He had no way to express the fury tearing at him, ripping apart everything he thought he knew about himself. All had been a lie, every excuse they fed him whenever he'd been brave enough to question the instinct telling him he didn’t quite belong. "Who am I?" he asked. Gerard eyed him curiously. "I don't understand." Rowan straightened, pulling the rage under his control until the gut-rolling sensation eased. He urged Mercury into a slow trot, unwilling to look at his friend. "I am not a Langley. Gillian is not my mother, and the Earl is not my father." Gerard chuckled. "Nay! I won't fall for another prank!" "'Tis not a prank. They lied to me since I was born." He gave silent thanks for the clouded moonlight, so Gerard wouldn't see the agony he knew he couldn't conceal. "When did you learn this?" Gerard's steady and calm voice only stirred more anger. Somehow, Rowan managed not to lash out at his friend. "I overheard them. My moth… Gillian said she wished she'd birthed me. When she saw me… the look on her face confirmed the truth. God's blood, why didn't they tell me?" He slammed one fist into the other open palm. The anger continued to spark, growing with each passing moment. Gerard reached around and grabbed Mercury's reins. When Rowan moved to jerk them free, Gerard tightened his grip. He dismounted and gave Rowan's arm a tug. "Get down." Still dizzy from the ale, and too tired to argue, Rowan complied. He swayed when his feet touched the ground. Gerard grabbed his shoulders to steady him. "Man, what are you going to do? I expect you'll seek out the truth." Rowan gave a grim smile. "You know me well. Since you came to foster. Have you never wondered why I never fostered out?" Gerard nodded. "I have, but assumed there must be a good reason. Are you sure this is true?" Rowan nodded. "They admitted they had saved me from.., when I was born. They took me in as theirs." "So what will you do now?" "I have to leave. I need to sort this all out." "You need to talk to your… them before you do anything foolish." Rowan paused. He gave Gerard a calculating nod. "You're right. I need more answers before I go anywhere. I need to know where to look to find my true family." "I will go with you," Gerard vowed. Rowan nodded. He looked back toward Montchester. His home. Not his. Where was his home, his family? Where did he belong? Anger and nausea mingled. Would he ever know?
Near the Scottish border during the reign of Edward I, Marissa Langley, daughter of a powerful English earl is captured by a band of marauding Scotsmen. Completely at their mercy, she is desperate to escape. When the leader of the group saves her from certain rape, she believes she will be freed. But Ian MacCallum is no savior. He takes her for his own, seduces her then makes her a submissive. Her collar and chains are part of his vengeance on her father—the man Ian claims is responsible for the death of his beloved wife and son. But her immediate death is not Ian’s plan. He subjects her to daily suffering and punishments and goes so far as sharing her with another clansman. Yet, her spirit will not be broken. He finds himself drawn to that core of strength within her; finding it most exquisite as it cannot be violated. When danger from within his clan threatens her, Ian protects her, discovering at the same time that he does not want to lose her, ever. Marissa makes her own discovery: she comes to crave Ian’s torturous touch. When she learns the source of his hatred, she is certain he is wrong. Her father would not commit atrocities. She waits for the moment when she can escape and prove her father’s innocence. But that would mean leaving Ian when she is no longer sure she wants to be free. Includes: Bondage, collars, spanking, multiple partners and so much more!
A sudden stab of fear ran through Marissa. The slow smile parting his dark beard revealed even, white teeth sent not only a frisson of alarm, but a shiver of excitement. She recognized a gleam in his eyes that hinted at his approval of what he saw. Perhaps this was something she could use to her advantage until she could get her hands on a sword or dagger. If she played along with the attraction, he might lower his defenses and she could find her way free. Pretending to feel an attraction should not be difficult. She found it easy to look at him as well. His dark eyes smoldered with heat as he stared, and a neatly trimmed beard covered his strong jaw. Long dark hair fell beyond his shoulders. Some of the chill of the cave left her.
She wasn't unfamiliar with the attentions of men. Many of her father's knights had openly admired her, some had even tried to woo her. While she'd enjoyed the flattering attentions, she'd dismissed most of the men. Leland had been the first she had agreed to meet. He didn't mock her skill or insist she tend to more feminine pursuits, such as needlework or running a household. She had no time for silly dalliances like her sisters. Instead, Marissa had trained with her brothers, handling a sword with ease and ability, until she'd become almost as skilled as they. She longed for a sword now. Any blade would do. Damn Leland for convincing her to leave her weapon behind. She would use her beauty and feminine charms to get out of this situation. She should have paid more attention to her sisters' behavior around men. She truly had little idea of how to lure one to her bed. Even if she planned to beat him senseless once she got him there. She concentrated, hiding her grimace as she recalled how her sisters had simpered foolishly after some of the knights in her father's garrison. Could she do this? She had to; else she would never be free. "'Twould be wise for you to release me now, before my father and his men come looking." "Do you still deny you are the Panther's daughter?" She shook her head. Better to let him think she had been subdued. "Aye, I am the daughter of the Panther. He will kill anyone who harms me." "Who said anything about harming you?" She held his gaze, sensing his suspicion ebb, while the interest in his dark gaze rose. She could do this. Her heart raced a little faster, oddly pleased to know he found her attractive. Stop it, foolish girl, concentrate on freeing yourself. "You've kidnapped me, I assume for a ransom. That crime alone is harming me. I'm sure my father will see it the same way." "I promise you, lass, you will find nothing but enjoyment in your stay with us. By the time the sun rises high in the sky, we'll be long gone from these caves." A brief flare of panic threatened to erupt. Marissa tamped it down. "Certainly the caves are cover enough? Why leave?" "I'll not tell you our plans. I suggest you settle in, 'twill be a long night if you insist on cowering in the corner." "I am not cowering." "Mayhap. But my order remains. You will obey me." "I'm afraid I cannot." "Why is that, lass?" "This cave is simply unacceptable. I am used to being treated in a much better manner." He laughed, and Marissa's temper fired hot once more. She held it inside, trembling with the force trying to burst through her calm exterior. "You mock me?" "Nay, lass, not entirely. You're lucky to have even these small comforts. Mayhap once we are back in my village, you'll find the accommodations more to your liking." He stepped closer, and her senses came to full alert. Determined not to show the fear that now left her knees shaking, she held herself steady. All too soon, he stood before her, his massive height forcing her to tilt her head back to hold his gaze. One hand came up, and she winced, preparing for a blow. Instead, the backs of his fingers lightly brushed her cheek. The gentle and unexpected touch sent an unrecognizable sizzle along her spine. "Dinna fear, lass. I willna hurt you." "You already have, sir." He nodded, his gaze turning thoughtful. "I suppose in your eyes, 'tis the right of it. Set your worries aside. You will be safe as long as I am here to see to it." Deep inside, warmth continued to glow, and she found herself with the odd thought she believed she would be safe with him as her protector. He stared at her a few more moments, his fingers caressing her softly sending more of those delightful tingles throughout her. She curled her fingers into fists, but refrained from lashing out. Now was not the time. Despite his assurances, she knew he didn't really believe her. She had to continue to play this game, until his guard lowered and she could make her escape. Before she could give it another thought, he gripped her upper arms and hauled her closer, his mouth crashing down on hers. Her surprise was quickly lost on the yearning his lips inspired. His beard rubbed against her chin, creating an odd delight. All her careful thoughts faded as he tasted her and her body heated in response to the warmth rushing through her veins. His tongue slipped along her lips and she didn't even think to resist, opening her mouth to allow him inside. The heat threatened to reduce her to cinders. She had never known such a thrill, and never wanted the kiss to end. Abruptly, he released her and she stumbled backward. Without her hands to steady herself, she lost her balance and landed on her arse. The shock jolted her from the cloud of longing he'd stirred, her body suddenly chilled. Had she actually enjoyed his kiss? "Forgive me, lass." He reached for her and helped her to stand. "Come, rest here for a while. I have tasks to tend to." He led her to the sleeping pallet and eased her to sit. He planned to leave her alone? He gave her a grin that told her he knew exactly what path her thoughts took. "Dinna get any ideas about escaping." He lifted a rope and quickly tied it to the leather strap binding her wrists. Once satisfied, he took the other end of the rope and fastened it to a rock protruding from the cave's wall. With dismay, she realized she could not reach it, even if he had given her sufficient slack to move about the area. "I wouldna leave you a chance to flee. Not that you'd get far. You'd have to get through my men and that's as likely to happen as a sheep mating a donkey. I'll not have you wandering the caves alone. 'Tis too dangerous for a lass. You'll be safe while I decide what to do with you. I will return shortly." With that, he turned and disappeared into the darkness of the caves. She stared after him, then turned to eye the odd branch-like stone the rope was bound to. Damn him! Yet, she knew, even if he hadn't secured her to his little alcove, he'd been right. She wouldn't have been able to get past his men, or she would have wound up lost in the caves. She sighed and plopped down on the pallet. At least she had time to think and plan. Mayhap she could find something to cut the ropes. She crawled over to his pack, hesitating before lifting the flap and peering inside. She gulped. Nestled in the bag lay many long lengths of rope. She also spotted a vicious looking whip, and many more leather strips like the one that bound her now. Alongside them lay a crudely drawn outline of Montchester, and the surrounding area. The two towers along the battlements had large X's over them. The earlier revelation that these Scots planned to siege Montchester came back to her. Terror prickled along her spine. Colin and his men had spoken of scouting the area. No siege could occur now; Ian did not have enough men. Marissa had a moment's relief at knowing her presence here in the caves could very well spare her mother and sisters from a horrific fate. She hoped her failure to return home
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