Adaira Ferguson is a fiery, unconventional Scots. Though gently-born and the sister of a viscount who’s also a laird, she wears breeches, swears, raises horses, and at almost twenty, has no more desire to marry than she does to follow society’s dictates of appropriate behavior. She trusts no man with the secret she desperately protects.
Abused as a child, Roark Marquardt, The Earl of Clarendon, is haunted by the scars on his back and his father’s cruelty. That, along with his brother’s traitorous activities and his dead wife’s infidelities, has turned Roark into a man who rigidly adheres to propriety, holding himself and those around him to the highest decorum standards. Betrayed once, he’s guarded and leery of all women.
Mistaking Roark for his brother, a known spy, Adaira locks him in her keep’s dungeon. Infuriated he’s been imprisoned, Roark vows vengeance. Once she realizes her error and releases him, he sets about transforming Adaira from an ill-mannered hoyden to a lady of refinement. He succeeds only to discover, he prefers the free-spirited Scottish lass who first captured his heart.
Adaira stared into his piercing eyes. She could find no trace of subterfuge. She wanted to believe him, wanted to trust him. All that mattered now was helping Yvette.
He raked a hand through his mahogany hair, leaving the damp strands sticking up at awkward angles. The scar on his forehead stood out, a white beacon of ire.
“With every passing minute, the danger to Yvette increases.” Whipping around, he rushed to the corner of the cell and snatched his shirt from the arm of the chair. Puckered pinkish-red scars crisscrossing his back resembled a ragged quilt of human flesh. He yanked the soiled garment over his head. His back to her, he lowered his voice, and she swore he swallowed against emotion clogging his throat.
“This delay could cost my sister her life.”
Yvette’s gentle voice echoed in her mind. ‘As a boy, the poor man was whipped by the old earl. He bears the scars to this day.’
Choking on a horrified gasp, Adaira’s gaze riveted on his back. She clutched the door to steady herself against a sudden rush of faintness. “Oh sweet Jesus in heaven.”
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About the Author
Award winning, Amazon best-selling, and multi-published historical romance author, Collette Cameron, has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in Teaching. A Pacific Northwest Native, Collette’s been married for thirty years, has three amazing adult children, and five dachshunds. Collette loves a good joke, inspirational quotes, flowers, the beach, trivia, birds, shabby chic, and Cadbury Chocolate. You’ll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels. Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, or too many flowers. She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.