Caelen held back from the free-flowing wine and whisky. He walked among his new clan by marriage, accepting the toasts and accolades, his bride on his arm, his blood little tainted by alcohol. He had no desire to enter his marriage a drunkard. The night ahead already held too many questions for him to willingly add to the discomfort and regrets.
A wedding night was anticipated by the guests and family. What did Arbela expect?
Bloodied sheets would be displayed on the morrow. Whose blood would it be?
Born in the Holy Land only a few years after the Third Crusade, half-Armenian, half-Scot Arbela MacLean is a true daughter of the desert, beautiful and untamed. Trained to be a warrior to avoid her gentle mother’s fate, Arbela has honed her skills with Turkish bow and arrow, sword and throwing darts—and dreads the day her father choses a man for her to marry.
After more than thirty years in the Holy Land, Donal MacLean, Baron of Batroun, is recalled to Scotland, the last son available to take up leadership of clan MacLean. He brings with him knights, treasure, trade—and a daughter of marriageable age.
Caelen MacKern, known as the Bull of the Highlands, is cynical about women. His first marriage formed an alliance, and he did not grieve when his spoiled, immature bride passed away. He has agreed to marry again—against his better judgement—for the men, means and coin to recover from a devastating pestilence that all but wiped out his clan.
Though more than a little resentful at finding himself forced to remarry, Caelen’s proposal to Donal MacLean’s headstrong daughter nevertheless piques her interest. Each will receive what they want most from life—the ability to live as they please without interference from a meddling spouse. But their marriage of indifference will soon change to one of passion that neither Arbela nor Caelen could have predicted.
Buy Link: Amazon
Join Cathy next week on Barbara Bettis’s blog http://barbarabettis.blogspot.co.uk for the next excerpt from The Highlander’s Crusader Bride!