Highland Hearts #4
June 24, 2014
Available in: Paperback, Audio, e-Book
Elena has spent her entire life hiding her family name while walking the thin line between lady and servant in a Protestant household. Keeping the secret of her lineage has been a success for years, but now, with a new, fiercely Catholic queen on the throne, Elena’s Protestant caretaker is being targeted. And when Bloody Mary discovers Elena’s true identity, she must not only flee to Scotland for her freedom, but also for her life.
Highland warrior, Searc Munro, has secrets of his own. In a family of healers, his own dark, killing magic must never be known. But when his father’s life is threatened, Searc unleashes his lethal power to save him. With his clan’s suspicious glances and whispers plaguing him, he sets off alone, only to find another use for his magic in saving a beautiful lass being attacked in the forest.
Teaming up as exiles, Elena and Searc head toward Edinburg to find refuge. Yet, with a series of ritual killings haunting the city and a traitor attempting to assassinate Scotland’s regent, suspicion turns to Searc. As word of another British heir reaches the country, the two must find a way to trust each other, despite their secrets, before it’s too late.
She leaned back against the door, her bare, wet toes curling against the stone floor. She didn’t want him to go. She didn’t want to be alone. Not anymore.
“Step aside,” he ordered.
“I’d rather you stayed.” Elena traced the hard angles of Searc’s face with her gaze. She’d come to know those lines over the days since he’d rescued her in the forest, come to trust the man behind them. For the first time in her life she didn’t want to hide herself anymore. She had today, and it had cost her so much, too much. “Don’t leave me.” One by one Elena opened her fingers that clutched the bath sheet. The damp linen dropped to her feet.
“I am unhurt,” she interrupted. “But—” she raised her hand timidly toward his face. He didn’t move away. “I don’t want to be alone.” He still hadn’t looked down at her body, but held her gaze locked to his. Her hand crept closer. “I don’t want to hide anymore.”
The pads of her fingers hovered near his jaw, the stubble giving him a roguish look. She held her breath and touched him. He closed his eyes and inhaled as she lay her palm along his face. When he opened them again Elena’s breath caught at the intensity there. The red spark was gone, but another spark made her heart beat inside her like a bird within a cage. She left his jaw and took his hand, placing it on her exposed collarbone where her heart beat insistently. “I will do everything I can not to have you look at me again like you did today in that filthy cottage.”
She slid his hand down her chest to her breast.
“Nay.” He shook his head, pulling his hand away. “Ye will not make amends this way, Elena.”
She stepped closer to his warmth, her naked back cold in the chilled room, completely vulnerable. “No, I mean…I’m done hiding from you, Searc.” She shook her head. “It is too painful to keep secrets. I’d rather… After today, your look. It would be less painful to die then keep them from you.” She felt her eyes watering up but blinked the tears away. “I want you to know me, everything about me.” She pressed close against him to wrap her hands around the back of his neck. “Starting with this.” She kissed him.
His exhale was half groan, half growl, yet still he resisted. “Lass, ye don’t need to do this.”
She frowned at him. “Damn it, Searc, stop being so noble.” His eyes widened slightly. “I want this. I want you, and if you turn me away after I’ve thrown myself literally in your hands naked—”
Searc cut her off, grasping her face, angling it to press tightly against his lips. His one hand wrapped around her back, running down the chilled skin covering her spine, pressing her to him. The feel of him, so completely aroused, melted her worry away. He did want her. A hot ache shot down through her body.
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“Do you love a land of mysterious legends, magical powers and let’s not forget, the sexy and yummy men in KILTS? Then this book is for you.” Patty on Goodreads
“CRIMSON HEART marks the first time I’ve read a book in a series without having read the ones that came before – but kilts and magic? Then adding in the bonus of a historical bent? Come on. It’s a complete home-run, book wise. For me, anyway.” Libbie on Goodreads
“This is a historical romance that carries its weight in gold. Very enjoyable characters, romance, mystery and so much more. This book kept me guessing and eagerly waiting for the two main characters to discover happiness. I never considered myself a lover of historical romance but Ms. McCollum has enticed me over the her way of thinking.” Patricia on Goodreads
“I love a highlander story. Some can be really hot and some can be sweet. This particular story was a good combination of the two. Searc was so sexy and all alpha highlander, but sweet and kind, as well. I can’t wait to read more from the amazing Munro clan.” Coffee and Book Review