Turquoise Morning Press
ISBN (Print): 9781935817321
ISBN (Ebook): 9781935817345
"MAC LIAM, the second book in the EMERALD ISLE TRILOGY, is a delightful historical romance. Amazing author Renee Vincent carries her readers off to another place and time, allowing them an escape from their own cares. Filled with love, plot twists, secrets, danger, steamy sensual love scenes, an interesting plot, complex, compelling characters and plenty of wit, this is a story you will hate to see end. If you enjoy this story, you will also want to read the first book in this trilogy, RAELIKSEN. Mara’s story, which originated in RALELIKSEN, is continued in MAC LIAM. Having read both stories, I look forward to reading the next book in this exciting trilogy. Be sure to get your own copy. You won’t regret it!"
4.5 Blue Ribbons ~ Dottie of "Romance Junkies"
4.5 Blue Ribbons ~ Dottie of "Romance Junkies"
Breandán woke to the sound of a twig snapping under foot. He remained still against the hard, uncomfortable trunk of the tree, examining his surroundings with only a careful shift of his eyes. Marcas was sound asleep a few feet from him, the fire burning warmly, and his dinner—which Marcas must have cooked anyway—beside him on a spit.
Despite that their two horses were not stirring, their ears were perked high and their faces alert. Peering in the direction the horses stared, Breandán unsheathed his dagger and stood carefully, knowing full well the sound he heard was not of a nightly scavenging animal. Its weight was too large to make such a prominent snap, more closely resembling the accidental misstep of a prowling human.
He tried to awaken Marcas with a hard shake of his shoulder, but Marcas only grunted and rolled over, muttering something about “get your own wood.”
While keeping his eyes on the distant spread of darkness ahead, Breandán frowned in irritation and decided to search the woods alone. He didn’t bother with his bow, as it was too dark to make out a target anyway. His plan of attack was to sneak up on the intruders in the same manner as they had snuck up on him, all the while hoping he would not be too terribly outnumbered.
He slowly rounded the horses and darted to the right behind a tree. Cautiously, he looked again, allowing his vision to adjust from the bright light of the fire to the dim obscurity of the dense woods. Once the woodland objects started to emerge and be recognized, he scurried past a few more trees, taking refuge behind a larger one. His path was deliberate, wide and circular, scouting the area as he crept, in order to flank whoever was trespassing his hunting grounds.
Suddenly, he caught sight of a single dark figure, in a hood and cloak, moving closer to where he and Marcas had made camp. The stranger was not close enough to the fire to do any harm to Marcas yet, but it was obvious the person was advancing in that direction.
Breandán reached down and picked up a stone. To distract the man, he launched it distantly behind the prowler, hitting a tree. As planned, the hooded figure turned in the direction of the sound and walked guardedly away from Marcas, but foolishly in the direction of the ricocheting stone.
Breandán was glad to see the man was quite short in stature and virtually unintelligent, or at the least, not at all skilled in the ways of combat or hunting. He could easily take him alone, considering he wasn’t getting much help from his sleeping friend. Taking a deep breath, he pressed on, this time, cutting a path straight toward the stranger.
He padded a bit further between the scores of trees and shadows, and once he was close enough, he leapt forward, taking the hooded man’s back by surprise. With one arm around the man’s forehead, Breandán stretched his neck to meet a well-placed dagger. “Who are you? Speak your name!”
“Please!” a woman’s whimpering voice proclaimed. “Do not kill me!”
Breandán’s heart stopped and his breath caught deep in his throat. He knew that voice, but he couldn’t believe his own ears. He frantically spun the woman around, jerking the hood from her head, only to gasp at his find. His feet automatically retreated a bit, his steady hunting hands shook at his sides, and the knife dropped from his grip.
Breandán was the first to speak, but Mara’s name came out so erratically, he sounded more like a stuttering fool.
She smiled in relief, hearing her name on his lips. “I feared perhaps you would have forgotten me.”
Breandán stared at her, thinking he was only having another dream and she would soon disappear. But he watched her step forward and heard the sound of the wet autumn leaves beneath her feet. He saw the few wisps of hair blow back from her face. And he even swore he felt her light, warm breath on his cheek as she neared.
He swallowed hard, trying to pull himself together, but he was failing. Even his breathing refused to cooperate, staggering out of him in the same troubled fashion as her name. And now, to make things worse, he could smell her. He could smell the fragrant oils from her body and the honeyed scent of her hair falling out of the hood and down around her shoulders. It was the most pleasant scent he could ever imagine—like honeysuckle, only sweeter.
This is not a dream, Breandán convinced himself. Mara was real and standing before him. The only thing that helped him to finally react like a sensible, grown man was the flashing image of him holding the dagger at her precious throat. His eyes widened and his stern, rich voice returned.
“My God, Mara! I could have killed you!” Immediately his hands came up and cradled her jaw, tilting her head to the side to examine her neck. To his relief, her skin had not even reddened from the gruffness of his choke hold.
Mara looked deep into his eyes and spoke ever so softly to him. “You would never harm me.”
Breandán caught her sensuous stare and held it with his own, a slight grin tugging warmly at his lips. “Aye, I would never harm you, Mara.”
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