Highland Surrender

Sons of Sinclair #5
October 24, 2023

Available in: Paperback, e-Book

Highland Surrender

Hannah Sinclair has decided that she's done being a virgin. She's 29yo and has been protected by her brothers so fiercely that no man will touch her. But then she meets the brawny Norwegian trader who doesn't seem afraid of anyone or anything. She confides to her sisters-in-law. They decide that they need to interrogate Erik first before trusting him to teach Hannah about making love. These women have developed a strong connection through the series, which pushes the plot forward through the rest of the book.


Hannah sat with the other woman in the group opposite Cait so that they created a semicircle around him with the fire throwing out heat and light right in his face.

“Good eve, ladies,” Erik said cautiously, the feeling of his grandmother’s judging eye intensifying until he felt like he sat before God on Judgment Day, the bright fire blinding to him. Helvete!

Ella started. “I would ask to see your hands, but ’tis obvious from the display at the games today that you’re a warrior.”

“I am a trader who is a warrior when called upon by my soveri—”

“We know,” Kára said, cutting him off. “You’ve told everyone that, but you train.” She squeezed his upper arm. “And have strength to rival the Sinclair Horsemen.”

“You flatter me,” he murmured, remaining still even though he’d have rubbed at his arm. The woman had a pinching grip.

“But what we need to know,” Cait said, her words even like he’d heard men speak when leading a trial in court, “is how you treat a woman.”

His mouth opened with his inhale. “A woman?”

“Yes,” Ella said. “How do you treat the women you’ve been with? Kindly? Or like chattel to be used?”

“Been with?” he asked. Were they really asking him—?

“Are you a gentle lover?” Kára asked, making Erik’s face snap toward her. She stared into his face without glancing away. When he didn’t answer, she leaned toward him, pinning him with hard eyes. “We know you cannot be a virgin.” She flapped her hand at his form. “So, we must know how you treat a woman you are…tupping.”

Erik blinked, glancing over at Hannah who watched the proceedings with interest.

“Are you kind and considerate?” Cait asked.

Kára spoke again before he could even have time to make sense of the interrogation. “Do you know how to bring a lass to pleasure?”

“Before you take your own?” Ella added.

“Yes,” Cait said, nodding. “Do you make sure she feels pleasure too before you fall asleep?”

Five sets of eyes studied him. Would they ask him to strip down for inspection next? Erik’s gaze slid across to Hannah who stared back. “Do you have a question too?”

She had propped her hands on the stump, which made her breasts seem to swell even more over the lace edge of her smock. “Do you know how to read ancient languages from the far east?” A small bubble of laughter came from Cait, and Kára snorted softly.

“Nooooo,” Erik said, drawing it out.

Ella frowned at him. “No to what exactly?”

“And do you bathe frequently?” Hannah asked on top of Ella’s question. All five women nodded as if the question was of utmost importance.

“Aye,” he said slowly. “Whenever there is a clean body of water or bath available.” Hannah gave him a small nod, her gaze dropping for the slightest moment to his breeches.

Kára Sinclair tapped his leg with one finger. “You haven’t answered our other questions. Are you a gentle lover?” she repeated. “Do you treat women well, and do you make sure a woman is finding her pleasure when tupping?”

Erik turned his face to Ella. “Are these the types of questions you ask traders?”

She offered him a smile, but her gaze was piercing. “Sometimes. We need to get to know what type of man you are before we agree to do business with you. And how a man loves a woman, someone who is physically weaker than himself, says a lot about a man’s morality and heart.”

“How many women have you tupped?” asked the other woman who sat next to Hannah. She narrowed her eyes accusingly. “Are you diseased from it?”

“This is Ivy,” Hannah said, introducing her as if he should know the names of his women inquisitors. “She’s Shana’s sister by blood.”

Erik felt shot through by arrows rooting him to a tree trunk. He could stand up and walk away, act insulted, or give them false information. But to walk away might make Hannah believe terrible things about him. And that possibility didn’t sit well with him.

He exhaled in a long sigh, deciding that even though he never surrendered, he would give them some answers. “I have a sister whom I love and respect, so I view women as important as men. They are not chattel, and I do not count the ones I have… tupped, as if they were sheep in a herd,” he said. “I am not diseased,” he said, looking at Ivy. His gaze slid across to Hannah. “And if a woman chooses to trust me with her body, I reward that trust by giving her… immense pleasure.” He turned to shoot Kára with a hard gaze. “And I would never hurt her.”

Kára glared back but eventually gave one nod. “That is good to know.”

“And my friends”—he tipped his head toward the stables—“they would not harm a woman either. Frode wishes to marry back in Norway. Sten has a warrior mother who would slice his cod right off if he harmed a woman who wasn’t trying to kill him in battle. And Nial is kind and even-tempered when not in battle.” Erik watched the glances slide among the ladies like pebbles rolled in a game, their frowns relaxing.

“Very well, then,” Ella said and stood. “I hope you enjoy your time here in Scotland.”

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