Published by Harlequin Historical on January 24, 2023
Genres: Adult Historical Romance
The laird’s bridal bid…
Is love too high a price to pay?
When new laird, Ewan Stewart, comes across a wife for sale at a market, he outbids everyone to rescue her. He never intended for Catriona to become his bride, but a convenient marriage could secure his clan’s future and her freedom. They agree that their arrangement must stay free of love, yet Catriona’s bravery and fire intrigue him. Can Ewan resist falling for his wife—the one rule he must not break?
Purchase Link – https://books2read.com/u/m2eyak
Extract from Chapter 6 of Jeanine Englert’s Conveniently Wed to the Laird
for Lisa Loves Literature:
Context: In Chapter 6, Laird Ewan Stewart intercepts his new “wife,” Catriona, attempting to flee from his home at Glenhaven in Argyll, Scotland in the dead of night.
Excerpt from Chapter 6 of Conveniently Wed to the Laird:
Where exactly do you plan to go, wife?’
Catriona froze at the threshold. Her hand grasped the door handle, a satchel stolen from the kitchen strapped to her back. Never mind the coin and food she had also ‘borrowed’ from the cook’s coffers tucked inside it. There was no mistaking her purpose. She was fleeing in secret in the dead of night. It was as clear as the hard, chiding edge in the man’s tone on the word wife.
Her hesitation was her downfall. If she’d but thrust the door open, she might have gained a start upon him and had a chance to disappear into the lush forest that whispered freedom across the edge of the large, empty fields. But now, with that beat of waiting, she had lost the option. Laird Ewan Stewart melted out of the shadows of the room. A slant of moonlight hit his blue-green eyes, and that flash of iris the colour of sea glass she’d noted on their first meeting sent a jolt of awareness and heat through her once more.
How did a man even learn to look upon someone that way? She felt exposed and held all in the same moment. She shivered. It was wholly unnatural.
She leaned against the door, turning the handle slightly, and he ceased his advance, lifting an open palm in supplication.
‘I mean you no harm,’ he began, his voice softening to a rolling wave over her as if he was placating a small foal unknown to human touch. ‘But I do wish for us to have one last conversation before you decide to leave.’
She turned the handle a degree more.
‘Deuces. Just listen. I believe we may be able to help one another.’
Help one another? She almost snorted aloud.
What a farce. Or perhaps this was a finely veiled trap? She was a poor woman with nothing and no family to her name. He was a wealthy laird with power. While he could help himself to her, which is what one might expect from a man in his position, there was little she could offer him.
But even so, her curiosity at his play of words intrigued her, and he could have already lunged and pinned her to the ground if he’d wished to. He was no small man, and he had quick eyes. He didn’t seem to miss much, which was becoming quite the nuisance. Dim-witted men suited her far better. This one was, well…quite peculiar. She couldn’t sort him out at all.
She held his gaze, studying him. He was a puzzle amongst men.
No deception rested in his eyes, and she knew people. It was one of the things that had kept her alive for so very long. Being able to read them and foresee their intentions had spared her life on more than one occasion.
She let go of the door handle. Her instincts had kept her alive this long, so she’d trust them again now. ‘Go on,’ she replied, ever watchful for any unexpected movements.
‘What is it you want, Mrs Gordon?’ he asked.
What do I want?
She balked and narrowed her eyes. ‘What?’ she asked, shifting on her feet.
‘You heard me.’ His voice was steady, clear, and certain. The very opposite of how she felt at this moment.
It had been so long since anyone had asked her what she wanted that she was flummoxed to think of an answer. She sputtered out the first word that formed in her heart, ‘Freedom.’
He lifted a brow and nodded. ‘Not exactly what I thought you might say.’ He crossed his arms against his chest. ‘But I still believe we may be able to help one another.’
‘Why should I help you with anything?’ She bristled. ‘I can still run from here.’
‘Aye,’ he answered, his gaze sweeping across her form with approval. ‘You seem strong and capable enough. I believe you could survive…for a time. But for how long would a woman such as yourself be able to travel alone through these parts safely?’
He had a point, and it plagued her to concede it, so she refused to. ‘I could make it.’ She lifted her chin and squared her shoulders to rally her full height, no matter how meagre it was.
A smile tugged up the corner of his lips. ‘I have no doubt as to your will. It is the will of others I would not trust. As you well know, not all men are kind.’ His smile fell into a flat line.
A shiver scurried up her spine.
‘And what are you, then?’ she asked quietly.
He paused. ‘What do you believe I am?’
‘I believe you are like most men. It depends on how you need to be. You can be kind, but also cruel.’
To her surprise, he didn’t become angry, but nodded in agreement.
‘Aye. Quite right. I possess the duality of most men, but I believe my actions at the Grassmarket might earn me at least a listen.’ He came closer, his steps measured and precise like a man trying not to startle a grouse in the brush. He paused an arm’s length from her. ‘But first, I would have you set down your satchel, or shall I say the cook’s satchel, so I know you will stay long enough to hear out my proposal.’
About the Author
Jeanine Englert’s love affair with mysteries and romance began with Nancy Drew, Murder She Wrote, and her Grandmother’s bookshelves full of romance novels. She is a VIVIAN® and Golden Heart® Finalist as well as a Silver Falchion, Maggie, and Daphne du Maurier Award Winner in historical romance and mystery. Her Scottish Highland historical and historical romantic suspense novels revolve around characters seeking self-acceptance and redemption. When she isn’t wrangling with her characters on the page, she can be found trying to convince her husband to watch her latest Masterpiece or BBC show obsession. She loves to talk about books, writing, her beloved rescue pups, as well as mysteries and romance with other readers. Visit her website at www.jeaninewrites.com.
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