The Chase book. Read 90 reviews from the world's largest community for readers . It wasn't her first choice, for Seonaid Dunbar had, like her brother, bee. LYNSAY SANDS is the nationally bestselling author who is known for her hysterical historicals as well as the popular Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series. Lynsay Sands is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter The Loving Daylights. The Lady is a Vamp. The Lady Is a Vamp. The Key.
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I thought it would be fun to write and might be really caite.info only if the heroine had control of the key to the belt. So, I sat down and pondered the problem of. The Key. The Chase. Devil Of The Highlands series: Devil Of The Highlands. Taming the Highland Bride. The Hellion & The Highlander. Madison Sisters series. Editorial Reviews. Review. Through all these disasters, Iliana comes into her own as the savior The Key (Deed Book 2) - Kindle edition by Lynsay Sands.
The Bishop's expression was sympathetic. Devil of the Highlands 2. Born to Bite Return to Book Page. His sister's reluctant groom was to be brought to heel and either forced to fulfill the contract that had been arranged when they were children, or set her free.
Despite his impaired vision, Duncan caught her action and raised an arm to sniff at himself, then shrugged. He smelled fine. Not as fine as her mayhap. He had caught a whiff of summer flowers about her while lifting her from her horse, as if she had found a field of the fragrant buds and rolled in them to carry away their scent.
It was a fair sweet smell. He liked it, he decided, trying to get a better look at her. Unfortunately it was an impossible feat just yet. She seemed all aglow to him, her gown near hurting his head with it's canary, yellow brightness. She felt quite out of her depth in this situation. This was the man she was to marry. A veritable stranger Who stank. This way, Lass. The older man's legs were a fair sight longer than Iliana's. She had to grab up the hem of her skirt and near run to keep up with him.
By the time they reached the top step, she was panting slightly from the effort. Taking in her breathless state, Angus frowned at her worriedly. Iliana caught the word, but had little time to worry over it as he opened the door of Dunbar keep and her attention was turned to what was to be her new home.
If she had hoped that the inside would show more promise than the outside, she had been sore mistaken.
A set of stairs to her right lead up to a second floor where a narrow walkway had three doors leading off of it. Bed chambers she guessed, turning to survey the Great Hall now. It took up most of the main floor and was a large, dark cave with arrow slits for windows that were too high up for the feeble beams of light they allowed to penetrate the gloom in the room.
If not for the fire roaring in a large fireplace against the far wall, she doubted she would have been able to see anything. Which might not have been a bad thing, she thought with dismay, taking it all in. The floor was covered with filthy rushes, the walls marked and smoke stained, the tapestries that graced them showing the effects of age and neglect, and the trestle tables and benches looked as if they were quite ready to give up the ghost.
Iliana was almost afraid to sit on them and not just because they appeared about to shatter under the least weight, but because they were also stained and splattered with grease and bits of food. She was appalled. Wildwood, her childhood home, had been run efficiently and well. One could almost eat off the table top there. The floors no longer sported rushes, but several rugs that were warmer in winter and softer underfoot.
Iliana had never seen the likes of this place and did not know whether to burst into tears or turn and run for the hills. She simply could not live like this; could not manage amid such filth. He then reached for a pitcher, straightened, saw that she had got to her feet at once, and frowned slightly as he pushed her back onto the seat with his free hand. Ye've had a long trip. Grabbing a nearby tankard, he emptied the dregs of ale that still remained in it out onto the floor, then grabbed up a pitcher, only to scowl.
Oh, aye, I er His gaze slid to his son who bore the contents of the empty pitcher, then he started to turn toward the kitchen, only to pause and frown as he saw that Iliana was once again standing. Grunting, he pushed her back down onto the bench before bellowing toward the kitchen door, "Giorsal!
Bring me more ale, wench! Turning back, he saw that Iliana had risen once more and his scowl deepened. I press ye down and ye pop right back up. Settle yerself," he instructed not unkindly and pressed her back onto the bench before his gaze slid over her head.
He began to set up a storm of twitching and nodding then.
Iliana began to think the poor man was suffering a fit Until she glanced over her shoulder and saw his son standing behind her, squinting at the signals his father was giving him. Growing impatient, the elder Dunbar finally snapped, "Set yerself beside her, lad. Woo 'er a bit. Filling it to the brim, he set it before her, then moved on to first empty, then fill, tankards for the Bishop and Lord Rolfe.
Iliana lifted the tankard she had been given toward her mouth, only to pause and stare down into the murky drink doubtfully. There appeared to be something foreign floating about on the top of the liquid.
A bug of some sort. Iliana glanced at her betrothed. He was still squinting, but it seemed he could make out enough to know that she was not drinking the ale his father had poured her. But- " Iliana began to stammer in dismay, but it was too late. He downed almost the entire tankard in one swallow And the bug with it, she saw as he rested the now empty tankard back on the table between them.
Iliana stared at him wide eyed. For one brief moment when he had smiled, his emerald eyes sparkling with good humor, her husband-to-be had taken on the look of an entirely different man. He had looked quite handsome for a moment, despite the grime and soot on his face and whatever else was staining it just now.
Of course, he had ruined that at once by wiping his mouth on his sleeve and bringing her attention to the fact that the fine, white lawn was hopelessly stained from such repeated actions. Among others. There were stains, smudges, and crumbs of food on it just from sitting. There was also a great wet spot on it.
Apparently, the bench had not been wholly dry when she had been forced to sit there. From the scent wafting up to her she would have guessed she had sat in a puddle of ale. Frowning, she began brushing at it fretfully. Care for clothing had been hammered into her from a very early age.
Clothing was expensive and difficult to replace so far from the city with it's tailors and dressmakers. That being the case, she had never been allowed to run or roll about on the ground with the other children at Wildwood.
She had been expected to ever be a little Lady and act with decorum. Her mother would have been appalled at the state of her gown just now. Ebba knelt to try to aid in removing the marks on her skirt, but it quickly became obvious that 'twas an impossible task. Her skirt was ruined, she realized with dismay.
Angus Dunbar's bluff words caught Iliana's attention, dragging it away from her skirt and to the conversation Lord Rolfe and the Bishop were holding with him. Turning sharply toward his son, Laird Angus glared at him meaningfully until Duncan sighed and murmured, "Me father does no agree that ye go to Sherwell and force 'is hand.
He fears he may agree to the marriage takin' place. Rolfe's eyebrows rose. Nodding his head with relief, the younger man then turned back to his host and forced a smile. There was a moment of tense silence, then Angus nodded grimly. I'll inform the men and send one out to fetch Seonaid. She's gone ahuntin'. She'll no have gone far. We can the ceremony when she returns. Brushing her maid's efforts away, Iliana hurried anxiously to Lord Rolfe's side as Angus Dunbar headed for the doors of the keep.
He sat where she had left him, but was turned toward them, obviously listening to the conversation. Urging the two men a few steps away, she hissed, "I do not think I can go through with this.
Lord Rolfe was a little less impressed. Expression blank, he shook his head. How could you expect me to marry him? This whole place smells. They are drunken louts. They wreak of spirits. It fair oozes from their very flesh. Rolfe took a look about, noting for the first time the frayed edges that seemed to grace every strip of material in the place, from Duncan's less-than-pristine clothes, to the stained tapestries on the wall.
A glance down showed him bones and gristle mixed in with the rushes on the floor, along with several other things he did not care to identify.
Aye 'tis a bit messy," he agreed slowly. These people are barbarians and I will not stay here. Look at my gown from simply sitting on that bench. I will not marry him. There was silence for a moment as Lord Rolfe and the Bishop exchanged helpless glances, then the younger man sighed and pulled his trump card.
Iliana stiffened. A vivid image of her mother's bruised and tear-streaked face filled her mind and she sagged unhappily. She had no choice. She was in dire straits. She needed a strong husband, far from Wildwood, who could keep her safe.
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