When Laird Camden Sinclair lost his Highland clan to the deceitful traitor Malcolm MacKay, the fierce warrior and his elite guard of men vowed to get revenge. King James of Scotland provides his only option and that is to marry a young English countess for her inheritance of Scottish land. Camden will do anything to save his clan and that includes dealing with a timid young bride.
Olivia was unlike most girls her age, after training with her brother’s royal army for many years she was anything but timid. The young countess was skilled with a sword, deadly with a bow and arrow, and braver than most soldiers but none of that mattered when King Henry of England marries her to a Scottish stranger.
Laird Sinclair wastes no time in preparing to save his clan from the evil Malcolm and Olivia does everything possible to prove her worth as a warrior to her new husband. When their heated lovemaking sparks feelings between the two, Camden and Olivia realize they can no longer deny their love for one another.
With the sinister Malcolm MacKay coveting Camden’s beautiful new wife, the rouge Highland laird does everything in his power to protect Olivia, but is it enough? Can Olivia’s own abilities keep her safe from the vile man who wants her for his own?
Length: Full Novel
Word Count: 69,145
Genre: Historical Romance
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)
© Cover Art by Eliza Black, March 2012
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636
This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
Time seemed to be racing by when suddenly the steward came to escort Olivia to the see the king. The countess was never afraid of anything but at this moment she was terrified and she wanted to run. Olivia wondered how she would endure the endless chatter of the courting men. As she entered the great hall, Olivia saw the king and prince seated at the far end of the magnificent space. She never understood why everyone found the inside of a castle so beautiful when one could be outside in the splendor of nature.
“Presenting Olivia, the Royal Countess of Lansington,” the herald announced loudly as she walked toward King Henry.
Moving gracefully towards the men seated on the thrones, Olivia stared down her cousin Prince Henry and the closer she got to him, the angrier she became. The countess saw the amused smirk on his face and if she were not in the presence of the king, she would tell the prince just exactly what she was thinking. When she reached them, Olivia bowed to the royalty as she had been trained with great poise.
“Ah, Countess Olivia, it is wonderful to finally meet you. I have heard nothing but great things of your beauty from my son Henry. He was certainly true in his statements but I think you are even far greater a beauty than he described,” the king said, becoming entranced with her.
“Thank you kindly Your Majesty. It is a pleasure at last, to meet my father’s favorite cousin. From all that I remember of him, he spoke highly in your favor,” she said with a soft and gentle voice.
The king turned to his son. “Henry, where is this temper driven woman that you spoke of? Olivia seems to be quite the gentle lady.”
Prince Henry burst into laughter as he listened to his father’s description of Olivia. He knew the other side of her and she was anything but a gentle lady.
“Come now Olivia, putting on this show for my father must be torture for you. I told him how you are full of strength and fire. I have never met a woman as brave and fearless as you are. You must let my father see this side of you or else I’m afraid, I will look like a liar,” the young prince said with a smile.
“I assure you that I know nothing of what the prince speaks of,” Olivia replied to the king.
“Well father, if you would like to see a great reaction from the woman, you must tell the countess why you have summoned her here. I am sure she is anxious to know the reason why,” the prince grinned, taunting his cousin.
The king continued to observe Olivia. “My dear, do you know why you are here today?”
“Your Majesty, I assume it is because the prince thinks I should be courted by the noblemen so that I may choose a husband,” she answered.
“Beautiful Olivia, you are not here to be courted.”
Relief flooded her entire body as she heard the wonderful news. Olivia was immediately grateful that she would not have to deal with all the men and their wandering hands. She was curious then as to why she has been called to see the king.
She curtsied slightly. “Thank you kindly Your Majesty. I am afraid I am not the type that would enjoy being courted.”
“Countess, do you know of your inheritance from your father?”
“Forgive me Your Majesty, but I don’t know all that it entails.”
“Your father was given a beautiful piece of land in Scotland, in the Highlands no less. I have spoken with your brother and the land was given to you on your sixteenth birthday. Living on this land are hundreds of unruly and lawless men that need a laird to guide them. I have said that you are not here to be courted and that is because I called you here to be married,” the king announced.
Olivia had a difficult time processing all of the words that the king had just spoken. She thought he said something about her owning land in Scotland and then something about her being married. When she looked at Prince Henry, his amused face suddenly made everything make sense.
“Countess Olivia, you will be married in a matter of moments to Laird Camden Sinclair of the Highlands. Your inheritance will then become his and he will take control over the disorderly land. He is here to claim his English bride.”
She was speechless, which was unlike her, and she continued to stare at the young prince while she started to piece together the king’s command in her mind. It took everything in her power to control herself and not attack her cousin for finding her misery so humorous.
“Father if I may interrupt, it seems the countess is a bit overwhelmed at the moment,” the prince said looking at Olivia. “My dear cousin I know you must think me to be horrible and spiteful but I do have the best intentions. I know you rather well and I believe you will enjoy the natural beauty of Scotland. Also, I think you should know that your future husband believes his bride to be a delicate and timid little English woman,” Prince Henry said with laughter.
As Olivia heard what her cousin had said, she too found the humor in his statement. She was anything but delicate and timid and the countess could not help herself from smiling at the young prince. The king watched as Olivia’s smile transformed her into a stunning beauty. She was captivating and her eyes sparkled like bright emeralds.
“Bring in Laird Sinclair and let us begin this marriage ceremony before nightfall comes,” the king announced.
Olivia suddenly stopped smiling when the king made that statement. Fear overcame her body and she tried to gather every bit of courage she had to face what was about to happen. The large wooden doors opened behind her and she turned to see three enormous muscular men standing at the entrance. Describing them as giants, she thought, was not nearly correct because they seemed to make the castle doors look minute.
The countess watched as they started to walk towards her and maybe it was her imagination but the floor felt as though it were shaking from their movement. Olivia had heard tales of the Highlanders and the way they dressed but now she could their bare powerful legs as they approached. Most women would have been frightened at the sight but Olivia was immediately jealous that they were allowed to wear such clothing. She had always wished of being that free and not having to wear such tight and binding clothes.
All three of them looked as though they were angry about something and that made Olivia furious. She decided the front man in the center, with the brooding eyes must be the laird and the closer he got, the more upset Olivia became. If anyone here has the right to give deadly glares it is I, she thought to herself.
Camden walked towards the king and he was sure the woman in the large billowing gown was to be his bride. She was certainly far more beautiful than he expected. The countess also seemed a bit older than the child Camden thought he was going to marry. He was pleased as well with the fact that she was not as tiny as the other English women he had seen. This would hopefully help his future wife endure the harsh Highland weather with greater ease. None of that mattered now because the land he needed would soon be his. Camden wanted to find a secure place to leave the woman until his battle with the McKays was over.
As the bride and groom came face to face and their eyes met, Olivia felt her heart beginning to beat a little faster. She was not sure if it was terror or not but the look he had in his eyes made, her body tingle all over. Camden wondered why this enchanting beauty was leaving all the comforts of a wealthy royal lifestyle to live in the Highlands with him. She obviously had no choice in the matter and the laird actually felt sorry for the poor girl as they continued to look at one another.
The king inspected both of them thoroughly and thought that the match he made looked like the perfect couple. King Henry only hoped that he was doing the right thing by sending this gentle woman into the rugged Highland country to live with these brute warriors.