Highlander Besieged - Out Now!
Highlander Besieged is Cyrus MacKenzie's long-awaited story. I hope you enjoy seeing what kind of trouble he gets into when he meets Elspeth Seton, Baroness Grey. He will be challenged in ways he never imagined. Many of your favorite past characters return for appearances in this story, including Dirk, Isobel, Rebbie, Calla, Fraser and others.
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.
Cyrus glanced around the massive great hall with its stone walls, polished oak tables, gleaming silver candlesticks and many tapestries depicting historic scenes intricately woven in jewel tones. Where was Lady Lily? Surely she would appeal to him beyond her wealth and social station.
Three ladies he didn't know descended the stairs and claimed seats near an enormous fireplace at the opposite end of the great hall. They sent furtive glances toward Cyrus and his brothers.
Fraser moved in beside him and raised a sly dark brow, his blue eyes gleaming with interest. "I wonder which ones are unattached?" he murmured too quietly for Rebbie to hear.
Annoyance darkening his stormy green eyes, Dermott leaned close and whispered, "Cease your skirt-chasing for a few minutes. Some of these ladies are countesses. You must show them respect."
"I show all women respect," Fraser muttered.
"Dermott is right," Cyrus said. "I don't wish anything to jeopardize my chances of marrying Rebbie's sister."
"I'll be on my best behavior." The mischievous gleam in Fraser's eyes belied his words.
Rebbie approached, grinning. "I see you have spotted the ladies."
Cyrus gave a brief nod. "Is your eldest sister among them?"
"Aye. Come, I'll introduce all of you." Rebbie moved forward.
Following, Cyrus scanned the ladies, searching their faces to see who appeared honest and who seemed as if she wanted to manipulate and use him. Usually, he could spot them right away by their coy smiles.
As they drew nearer, an elegant ginger-haired woman seized his attention. She was a beauty, still young but not a naïve lass and her expression was most serious. Her self-assured, amber-colored eyes met his for an instant, then darted away. He forced himself to glance at the other two females as he tried to guess which one must be Lady Lily. Both were dark-haired, bonny and refined, and he presumed that the more girlish one was Lily. Aye, with her dark brown eyes, she did bear a family resemblance to Rebbie.
As the ladies all arose from their seats, Cyrus couldn't stop his gaze from venturing back to the stunning redhead, even though he was near certain she wasn't Lily.
He had no plans of falling in love, but he did want to find his wife desirable. Begetting an heir shouldn't be too much of a chore.
"I would like to introduce all of you to Cyrus MacKenzie, the Earl of Stornmor and Chief of Clan MacKenzie." Rebbie gestured toward him.
"And two of his brothers, Dermott and Fraser." Rebbie then motioned to the lady with brownish-black hair in her mid-twenties. "This is our cousin, Lady Rose Forbes, the Countess of Kerrimuir."
"My laird, I'm most pleased to meet you. Please call me Rose." After a curtsy, she gave him a cheeky, flirtatious smile and freely offered her hand.
"Cyrus." He bowed and kissed her gloved hand.
Rebbie indicated the flame-haired beauty standing next to her. She was dressed in shimmering blue silks, more befitting a queen or princess, with twinkling jewels and pearls draping onto her creamy throat and décolletage. "This is Lady Elspeth Seton, Baroness Grey, a friend of the family."
Having his suspicions confirmed, Cyrus wanted to curse that she was not Lily. Besides that, she was most likely married.
"My laird." She curtsied and he noticed she hadn't invited him to call her by her given name.
"My lady." Cyrus bowed and kissed her gloved hand. When her luscious scent washed over him, his body quickened with carnal interest, and he barely suppressed a curse. What the devil was that complex, alluring scent? He could not identify it, but he wanted to drown in it. Reluctantly, he released her hand.
Rebbie motioned to the fresh-faced, dark-haired girl. "This is my eldest sister, Lady Lily."
The lass was pretty, with big brown eyes, but she didn't smile. Instead, she blanched and looked at him in the way many women did, as if she feared him.
'Haps he wore the wrong expression. He forced a smile and tried to appear friendly. 'Twas simply that this meeting was of utmost importance to him and he took it all very seriously.
"Lady Lily, 'tis my great honor to finally meet you." Cyrus bowed over her hand and kissed it.
Her face shifted from pale to blushing pink in a matter of seconds. He approved of her shy glance, which proclaimed her naïve. Not coy in the least, thank the saints. But her smile appeared as strained as his felt.
Lady Lily curtsied. "My laird, I'm pleased to meet you."
"Please call me Cyrus—all of you."
"If you will excuse us, I'm going to offer my friends a wee dram before supper." Rebbie bowed, as did Cyrus and his brothers.
Again, Cyrus glanced over the ladies and wanted to skewer himself when his eyes lingered longest on Lady Grey. Hellfire, what was wrong with him? She was most likely wed to a baron… either that or she was a widow. What difference did it make? He forced himself to turn away and follow his brothers. Regardless of her marital status, she was not the daughter of the marquess, and he must put her from his mind.
Highlander Besieged is available at:
Coming soon to print and audiobook!