Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Out Today - Brit Boys: With Toys

Out Today, Brit Boys: With Toys, a collection of 8 M/M novellas written by 8 top British M/M authors. All stories feature British characters and the stories are set in British locations. This seriously sexy boxed set is initially available at the bargain price of 99c/99p, (that’s a steal for 422 pages of unforgettable M/M literary entertainment that will leave your eReader, and you, burning up) so go and treat yourself this festive season to some uniquely British man-on-man erotic romance, or if you have Kindle Unlimited, grab a copy for free.

With stories by

Ashe Barker
MK Elliott
Lucy Felthouse
KD Grace
Lily Harlem
Ashley Lister
Sarah Masters
Tabitha Rayne

Back Cover Information

From coast to coast and city to country Brit boys enjoy playing with each other and their toys. Not any old toys, though; guitars, rope, plugs and Moleskine journals all prove to be enormous fun. Throw in a shop that’s wall to wall with kinky ideas, a journalist on the lookout for the next big thing, and Dominants who insist on obedience and there’s sure to be something to cater for everyone’s taste. 

Whether it’s a quickie or a slow indulgence, Brit boys know how to hit the spot and they aim to please every time. So take a ride, fly high, come enjoy these sexy boys and their toys. 

Brit Boys: With Toys is an anthology of M/M stories written by British authors, featuring British characters in British locations.

Available now on Amazon.

Brit Boys: With Toys

Hard Riders
By Ashe Barker

If there’s one thing Liam loves more than a scorching hot lust-on-wheels superbike, it’s the gorgeous sexy guy who owns such a dream machine. When Jackson finds him all but drooling over his tyres and offers him a ride Liam takes no persuading at all. Soon they discover that their mutual fascination with boys’ toys is not limited to the two-wheeled variety, so it’s just as well that Jackson owns his own sex shop and Liam’s job leaves plenty of scope for dressing up. 

But real life is much more than just a few kinky games, and has an unfortunate habit of getting in the way.

All Roped Up
By M K Elliott

When Alex Fraser interviews Conner ‘Big-Mac’ McCaughey, the champion of London’s bare-knuckle boxing scene, he has more than just the fighter in his sights. Hoping to expose the fight club’s illegal dealings, Alex will stop at nothing to get the story, including doing whatever Conner asks.

The moment Conner sees Alex Fraser, all he can think about is what the young reporter will look like bound. Shibari—the ancient art of rope bondage—is the fighter’s passion, and he can’t think of anyone else he’d like to practise on more.

But Alex’s quest to expose the truth could land them both in serious danger...

Doctor’s Orders
By Lucy Felthouse 

Hospital porter Aaron Miller isn’t expecting a very exciting birthday. He and his doctor boyfriend, Blake Colville, are working opposite shifts, leaving Aaron to go home to an empty house and the prospect of another shift the following day. Just as he’s leaving work, however, an unexpected sexy encounter in a supply cupboard leaves him feeling in a much more celebratory mood. And an impending dirty weekend away with Blake just puts the icing on the non-existent cake. But who needs cake when you’re dating a dominant doctor?

Toys for Boys 
By K D Grace

Alpha Nerd, Will Charles teams up with Caridoc ‘Doc’ Jones in a coast to coast walk across England reviewing outdoor gift suggestions for the Christmas edition of Toys for Boys—an online magazine dedicated to the latest gadgets to tickle a man’s fancy. Will is recording their adventures with the latest smart phone technology. Doc is reviewing the latest outdoor gear. The two quickly discover the great outdoors provides even better toys for boys, toys best shared al fresco, toys that, in spite of Will’s great camera work, will never be reviewed in Toys for Boys.

Mile High Kink Club
By Lily Harlem

Rhodri’s looking for love, but not ordinary love. He needs a man who’ll bend to his will, submit to his desires and obey his every command–including chastity.

So when Gay Hook Ups finds his perfect partner it’s well worth a trip to London. What he doesn’t bet on is his fragile-looking match being a sharp and successful entrepreneur. So when things between them soar, will he unlock the passion, free his desire and will they reach the dizzying heights of ecstasy together? It all depends on whether Darius is prepared to be caged in order to be set free.

Open Mike
By Ashley Lister

Ken finds Mike reading poetry in a bar. Mike is confident and clever and seems capable of teaching Ken everything he needs to know about poetry. And, when Ken asks for his guidance, Mike gladly offers to share his expertise. Consequently, when Mike offers to share more than his expertise in poetry, Ken discovers there are a lot more things he wants to learn from him.

I Get You
By Sarah Masters

Morton is Warren’s boss, and they fancy each other like crazy. Except neither of them has the courage to say so, until Warren blurts out an inkling of his feelings. Morton is stunned by Warren’s offer for them to go away together, but not half as stunned as Warren when Morton accepts. Both of them are pretending to be someone they’re not. And both of them soon realise that being yourself is the best bet.

The Guitar
By Tabitha Rayne

When shy, awkward Kel plays guitar, it’s the only time he feels at home in his own skin. On stage he can hide in plain sight behind his band and the music. It turns him on to play and he can’t help rubbing up against his guitar. Kel is enraptured by a guy he sees every night in the audience and is shocked when this gorgeous guy seems to notice him. So full of his own self-loathing, Kel just can’t accept that someone as perfect as Damien wants to be with him. Will his insecurities put their happiness in jeopardy?

Grab your copy now from Amazon.

And if you want more Brit Boys, check out the first anthology, Brit Boys: On Boys, available from Amazon and all other good ebook retailers.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Dark, Gritty and with a splash of humor... #romances @KMNbooks @RebeccaJVickery #stockingstuffers #contest

Let me know which book intrigues you and you'll be entered to win an eBook copy. I'll be choosing one lucky winner. 

Dark, gritty and with a splash of humor.... Stake and Dust is Book One in the Stake and Dust series, but the stories are standalone. There will never be a cliffhanger. :)

StakeandDust_Final4 medium
Available at:
Ebook: Amazon / Amazon UK / Smashwords

About the Book:
Stake and Dust, (Stake and Dust series, Book I)
A Lamia, a sea creature worthy of John Keats' prose, teams up with a vampire with serial tendencies. When young promising artists are found dead, the Preternatural Bureau sends Cassandra Hayes to the Hamptons to help a fellow hunter track down this lethal duo. She's only spoken to Mr. Green once on the phone and when she meets him in person, he is not what she expects. His hunting skills are spot on, but there is something the man is hiding, and she's determined to find out what it is despite the attraction developing between them.

Tremayne Graystone, a vampire from one of the oldest septs, is not pleased when he finds a dead hunter left on the doorstep of his pub. He should have never answered the hunter's phone, but someone is trying to frame him and he wants answers. Surely he can masquerade as Mr. Green, the hunter Cassandra is supposed to meet, before she figures out his true identity and stakes him. She's a Hayes, from a long line of vampire hunters, and fraternizing with the enemy is simply not done, but as they work together and follow the clues, the lines become blurred when he falls for the hunter's charms.

Flowers and Fangs_KMN_medium 
Available at:
Ebook: Amazon / Amazon UK / iTunes / Smashwords /Nook

About the Book:
Flowers and Fangs, Stake and Dust series, Book II
Derek Hayes and his family are preternatural hunters. Stake and dust is their motto, but Derek has a difficult time accepting his sworn duty when Sloane McBride, his ex-girlfriend from high school, is the one he's been sent to eliminate. Once infected from a Nosferatu bite, there is no turning back. Sloane has been bitten and she will eventually change.

It proves a race against time when Derek puts aside his core beliefs and teams up with Sloane. The Nosferatu wants Sloane for his own, Derek's brothers are hunting her, and every second brings Sloane closer to changing into the very fiend they want to kill.

For more of the Graystones, here's Adryanna and Bram's story...
E-book: Kindle / Smashword /Nook/
The Oiche Sith, the blood drinkers, forged an alliance with the Lathe Sith, a neighboring daywalker clan.

The Oiche Sith would protect them from invaders in exchange that one female a year wed one of their warriors for the blooding ritual. Unfortunately, the female Lathe Sith never survives for very long.

Adryanna, a Lathe Sith, mourns the death of her recently mated sister, but she finds solace in the most unlikely place—in the arms of Bram, an Oiche Sith. She should fear him, loathe his existence, but instead she longs for their twilight embraces. Bram admires Adryanna’s strength and wishes only to protect her, even if it’s from him.

If Bram cannot find a way for Adryanna to survive the blooding ritual, the romance is doomed. They seek help from Sheerin, Bram’s cousin, who believes he’s found a way for the Lathe Sith to survive, but others in the Oiche Sith clan do not wish for them to succeed.

Bram and Adryanna are also featured in a short story, Abraham's UN-DEAD, which can be found in Myths, Legends, and Midnight Kisses.
Myths, Legends and Midnight Kiss_Final_medium
Myths, Legends, and Midnight Kisses, 2015 Collection from VTP
Ebook: Amazon / Amazon UK / iBook / Smashwords /Nook /Kobo
Five complete sweet to sensual romances from five multi-talented authors in settings that are sure to warm the heart. There's a story for everyone from historical to contemporary. Let the magic of myths and legends sweep you away to where dreams of midnight kisses spark an unforgettable romance.

My story is: Abraham's UN-DEAD
Adryanna and Bram Graystone encounter the Cantwells, another vampyre couple, who question their motives when their actions spark a legend about angels and miracles. It all began when they saved Abraham, a young lad, who would later become the author of the UN-DEAD.

Love's Eternal Embace is the Cantwells' story...
Love's Eternal Embrace (Vampire Tale of Ireland's legendary Dearg-du.)
E-book available at:

About the book:

A knight...
A lady...
And a deadly dark secret...
A fiend dwells in the forest and Sir Liam Cantwell sets out to slay it. Only the fiend is a fair maiden named Glamis Drui. Will Liam fall prey to her deadly embrace or will his knightly charms be her undoing?

***Read and excerpt of Soul Taker (Urban Fantasy)
E-book Available at:
Print Available at:
Audible is narrated by Guy Veryzer.
Audio_Soul TakerAvailable at: Audible US  / Audible UK
No soul is safe…
A vampire from the Grim Sith sept is sucking the souls out of young women from the Boston area, but this sinister crime is far worse than a vampire seeking substance. He’s selling the souls to the highest bidder and it seems business is booming.
A vampire, a werewolf, and a Necromancer are a most unlikely team, but Garran, Harrison, and Isabella plan on putting a kink in the dubbed Soul Taker’s plans. It’s personal now. One of their friends has fallen victim to the Soul Taker’s charms, but to stop him from hurting anyone else, their efforts may involve raising the dead.

Got a favorite shifter?
Darrien is a Gryphon shifter that is sure to swoop in and make your day! The Gryphon and His Thief is a tale of mystery, reincarnation, and Greek mythology all rolled into one intriguing adventure where cursed artifacts could end your very existence. This tale will give paranormal fans what they're craving—one bloody good show!
The Gryphon & His Thief!
Some Treasures are Priceless…
A long time ago, a Gryphon shifter’s duty was to guard and protect the people of the tribes, but Darrien Andros failed to keep his human wife safe from harm. Cursed for the crime, he must guard everything in the Museum of Cursed Antiquities forever, never to truly live and never to die. Centuries have passed, but when he encounters a thief, who uncannily resembles his dead wife, he is convinced he has a second chance.

Calli Angelis is hired to steal back Hecate's Stone from the Museum, believing she would be returning it to its rightful owner. She never really trusted the person who hired her and now Darrien makes her doubt her motives, too. He also has her questioning the possibility of reincarnation when the attraction between them ignites into something she can no longer ignore.
As the two work together to unravel the mysteries behind the stone, it becomes apparent an old and dangerous enemy from Darrien’s past is determined to have history repeat itself.

Travel to Scotland where the Loch Ness Monster lives and breathes...
E-book Available at: The Wild Rose Press / Kindle  / NOOK / ARe / OmniLit/iTunes
Print Available at: The Wild Rose Press  /Amazon 

Michaela Grant travels to Scotland for a holiday, knowing this vacation is her last. A medical condition threatens her life and any chance of a future—until she meets Alan MacLachlin, a man forced to exist between two worlds.

Alan is the legendary Loch Ness Monster. Once every fifty years he returns to human form in search of his soul mate, the one woman who can break his curse. He believes he has found forever with Michaela, but to claim it he must figure out how to save her life.

Michaela and Alan vow to take what time has to offer, but another threat looms. A sinister shape shifter with a vendetta against Alan is making Loch Ness his personal hunting ground. Now he's threatening Michaela. Alan must discover who the shifter is and stop him before it's too late.

Are Hunky Rodeo Stars more your style?
Available at:
Eight Seconds to Lose the Girl…
One chance to win her back.
Tye Casper, a.k.a. the Ghost Rider and champion bull rider, should be the happiest cowboy alive, but when he left home ten years ago to make it big, he said goodbye to the only woman he has ever loved. He's had his eight seconds of glory, but without Jolie Lockhart by his side, the wins mean nothing.

He's been given an opportunity to return home to Skeeter Blue for one last rodeo. He believes fate has sent him there and he'll have a second chance with Jolie, but nothing goes as planned. He soon realizes staying seated on a bull for eight seconds may prove much simpler than winning Jolie's heart.

Perhaps stories about Outlaws and Lawmen intrigue you.


Wanted (Western)

E-book Available at:
Amazon Kindle/ Barnes and Noble Nook / Smashwords / OmniLit /ARe
Print: Amazon/Barnes and Noble/Book Depository / Createspace

About the Book :

Sheriff Jace Kelly's wife died birthing his remarkable daughter, Emma. She inherited the families' seer abilities. At six years old, she can't tell the difference between a vision and an ordinary dream. So Jace doesn't put much faith in Emma's recent premonition: marriage for him and a new mother for her.

When JoBeth Riley arrives, Emma is convinced she's the woman in her dream: dark hair, green eyes, and shamrocks in her pocket. There's one problem – she's the notorious outlaw, Baby Face Jo. Her stay in town is meant to keep Shane Maverick, the leader of the outlaw gang, from finding her before the authorities devise a plan to capture him.

JoBeth finds the Kellys a strange lot. A little girl, who believes her dreams are tales of the future and the rugged sheriff whose kindness proves a distraction. She's an outlaw, for heaven's sake, but Jace is bound and determined to steal her heart.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

The Master has a dangerous secret...

Sometimes a risk is worth taking....and sometimes there's no other choice

BLURB: Circumstances force Melanie Grey to accept a post as housekeeper in remote Gavington House where horses are forbidden. Her curiosity is aroused by Lord Jarrow’s secret life and strange night-time activities and once she discovers what it is that occupies him, she must decide if she will lie for him, or condemn him.

‘Come in, come in.’ Lord Jarrow did not raise his head, but simply lifted one hand and beckoned her forward.
The walk across the stretch of carpet seemed to last for ever. She positioned herself at the right hand side of his desk and warily examined his profile. Thick dark hair curled over his collar, and the warm, umber tones of his skin surprised her. She had expected the pale, pasty skin of a man who spent his life indoors, grieving.
He went on writing.
In her former life, she would have swept into the room with a smile and a comment about the weather if nothing else seemed appropriate. In this situation, she must wait patiently for him to finish whatever he had been writing when her tap at the door interrupted him. She watched his hand move across the paper, saw him begin a new sentence and against all her good intentions, irritation rose in her breast. She may be applying for the post of housekeeper, but she deserved the usual courtesies.
Her toe began to tap on the carpet.
Melanie cleared her throat. ‘Sir?’
At the single word, his quill stopped moving. Slowly, his head lifted and swivelled in her direction, displaying a short, straight nose, firm jawline and a mouth of generous proportions. His gaze focused on the grey stuff of her gown and then rose to her face. ‘Miss Grey?’
Melanie inhaled sharply, caught her lower lip between her teeth and did not speak.


Sunday, 29 November 2015

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

A Perfect Christmas Read - One Christmas Knight - Out Today

ONE CHRISTMAS KNIGHT, an anthology of medieval novellas, is now out at Amazon. There are seven wonderful historical romances here, by various authors, all set around Yule and Christmas.

Here's a blurb for each of  the stories, plus the blurb and an excerpt from mine.


Sir Rhys de Valyer, on his way to Scotland to join his liege, Julian Challon, becomes lost in a blinding snowstorm. But this is only the start of his troubles. In a brutal ambush, he and his men are attacked and left for dead. Rhys only escapes the horrible fate due to his trusted steed, who manages to drag him away from the battle. Fearing death’s approach, he never expects a beautiful snow angel to come to his rescue.
After being cast out by her family for being the bastard child of a Selkie, Annys Bràigheach has made her life in the sanctuary of Rowenwood Forest, far away from the world. In spite of her acceptance of the solitary life, her heart still yearns for more. To her surprise, after making a Yuletide wish, she discovers a handsome knight, clinging desperately to his horse, half-frozen with two arrows piercing his body. Her healing skills may save him, but can she reach his heart?
Magic can happen at Yuletide if only you can believe….


When Meryk the Outlaw finds a badly beaten woman beside the road, he almost rides on. With a price on his head and a winter storm raging, even a short delay could cost him everything. But when he discovers she’s ready to give birth, he takes the risk and vows to protect her.
Ada of Bew doesn’t want the outlaw’s help—much less his protection—but she has no choice. Unable to run any farther and ready to give birth, she must place her faith in this stranger…or die at the hands of the men who want to kill her unborn son.
In the struggle against the cold and would-be kings, Meryk and Ada discover love is the most unexpected gift of all, but will they survive long enough to claim it?


Sir Hugh Tarrant returns home from war with a limp from an enemy's sword and a hole in his heart from the death of his beloved. Lady Margaret Dillon is filled with anger at the man she believes deserted her sister. On a stormy Christmas Eve night filled with danger, fate throws them together and makes unexpected allies of them. Will passion ignite as a result...or will they survive to find out?


Annalisa has lost everything to her uncle. Taking sanctuary in a convent for safety, she yearns to go back and reclaim her rightful place. When she discovers a seriously wounded man, she realizes that he might be the one who can help her.
Jack wakes up in a convent, wounded and fearing for his own sanity. The last thing he remembers is a firefight in the Middle East, and the pain of being shot. Waking up centuries in the past is not what he expects—but Jack has his own code of honor, and when Annalisa asks for his help, there’s no way he can turn her down.
With the help of Mother Albrade, a nun who has powerful visions and knowledge of the future, Jack and Annalisa begin a journey of discovery and bravery that just might change both their lives—or end them.


Cursed by a bitter enchantress in ancient times to wander the earth as an immortal, Jurian Locke is bound by both love and magic to answer his beloved's need in times of danger.
Into each new life, his soulmate is born, unaware she is tied to him by magic, unknowing that a threat to her life will send forth a summons to a man she doesn't know.
Drawn together in dangerous times—his eternal love is her single chance at life. His curse, the only time he can be with the woman who possesses his heart.
Her call reaches him, this time, in 1328 at a Yuletide tournament for King Edward III.


To save her family’s fortunes, Lady Alisoun must wed an elderly earl the day after Christmas. But in the chapel on Christmas Eve, her heart collides with that of an elegant, mysterious stranger. Is he…one of King John’s spies?
Raised in a monastery, Lord Kitt has no experience with love, but finds his heart lost to a lovely lady. Yet he cannot succumb, for the day after Christmas, he must marry a woman he has never met.


Ambitious and arrogant, the young knight Sir Baldwin returns to his family’s lands and estate at Brigthorpe to face disaster. The pestilence has struck, destroying his parents and all his family save for a young half-brother, Martin, whom Baldwin does not wish to acknowledge because Martin is the bastard child of a serf. Baldwin needs to learn kindness and how to be a lord–and quickly.
Into this hopeless situation comes Sofia, a young woman who can see glimpses of spirits, of the restless dead. These revenants are very restless around Sir Baldwin.
Somehow, Baldwin and Sofia must work together, to make a true Christmas for the survivors of Brigthorpe and the Christmas ghosts. Can they do so in time—or will the gulf of class and custom make any love between them impossible?

For sale here at Amazon here 

And at my author Amazon page here

For sale at Amazon UK here

Excerpt from Sir Baldwin and the Christmas Ghosts.

One Christmas Knight

Sir Baldwin and the Christmas Ghosts

Lindsay Townsend

December, North of England, 1369

“I can help you with your ghosts, sir.”
For an instant, no longer than a single beat of his heart, Sir Baldwin of Brigthorpe was too startled to answer. That a stranger had entered the manor and he had not heard any approach was disconcerting, that the said stranger could sense the spirits that accosted him every night was disturbing. Not that he let such unworthy, serf-like feelings show on his face. He was a knight—courage and power were his.
“Sir? Do you wish for my help?”
He would have ignored his own peasants if any had dared to keep questioning him, especially one certain grizzling boy, but courtesy to strangers had been ground into him. Reluctantly, he fashioned some reply. “I do not think anyone can aid me. There are too many ghosts.”
I should not have admitted that. Mother of Almighty God, I must be wearier than I thought.
Scowling, Sir Baldwin swept the last of the rotted floor strewing into the fire-pit in the great hall and watched the stinking mess smoke and slowly burn. His back and shoulders ached worse than after a sword practise but he forced himself to straighten and relax. He had not been physically attacked yet and doubted he would be. There are few left alive to try. The ghosts were another matter. There are so many...

Reminded of his losses afresh, the grief sharp as broken glass within him, Baldwin looked at the dais. A swift glance reassured him that the brat was still asleep on the platform, snuggled down in his own long winter cloak. Last year I would never have given a cotter bastard any of my clothes, even though we are akin. Frowning anew, he flicked the broom from hand to hand and raised his head. “How did you come here?”

Lindsay Townsend

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Post-War Issues

When World War II ended there was a feeling of anti-climax, as if the bright blue, sun-filled sky had clouded over, leaving a feeling of uncertainty about the future. A grey chill seemed to hang over everything. But then the country was in a mess, near bankrupt. There were bombed areas and rubble everywhere, homes lost or wrecked, many empty shops and huge bomb craters everywhere.

Women had become much more hardened and independent, having worked hard jobs usually occupied by men, spending endless sleepless nights in shelters fearing they could be killed. And suffering years of anguish worrying over the fate of their loved ones in the war.

When the fighting men returned, these problems were not always taken into account, the husband too beset by his own problems. Women lost their jobs, expected to concentrate on being a wife and mother again by creating a family and home. Housework did take much more time in those days, of course. Even so, many of them resented this change in their lives. They were also urged to no longer wear plain looking suits, trousers or overalls, but to be bright and pretty females again.

She might also have to cope with a shell-shocked or injured husband, outbursts of violence, depression or infidelity. A soldier having been trained to kill was not always the same civilised a person he’d once been. He could be far too accustomed to giving orders and inflicting punishment in order to achieve his aim, for him to show much patience for her. Or he might feel in desperate need for peace and quiet and hardly move or speak.

Many men suffered from sleepwalking, nightmares, or shouting in their sleep. Settling back into Civvy street was not easy, nor was finding a home and employment. He might be missing his pals, decide she’s grown old and become bored with her. Lives had changed and relationships were often badly affected, not least because couples had seen little of each other as leave generally were quite short, and many men had gone overseas. Even letters were often late and much of them blacked out. Whatever his reaction to the traumas he’d suffered, she would largely be the one left to cope. There was little in the way of counselling or assistance.

Cathie is remarkably patient with her fiancé, perhaps a little too kind and vulnerable. She does her best to help by listening to the advice given out over the radio and from the WVS. But then finds there is a price to pay.

Christmas is approaching and Cathie Morgan is awaiting the return of her beloved fiancé, Alexander Ramsay. But she has a secret that she’s anxious to share with him. One that could change everything between them. Her sister has died and she wants to adopt her son. 

When the truth is finally revealed, Alex immediately calls off the wedding, claiming that the baby is actually Cathie’s, causing all of Cathie’s fears to be realised. As Cathie battles to reassure Alex of her fidelity, she must also juggle the care of the baby and their home. 

But then Alex crosses the line with a deceit that is unforgivable, leaving Cathie to muster the courage to forge a life for her and her nephew alone. Will Cathie ever be able to trust another man again and as peace begins to settle will she ever be able to call a house a home… 

Published 17 November by Mira books.

Read an extract:

Buy from your local book shop or at:


Wednesday, 4 November 2015

“Are you come to kill me, or help me?”

Blurb: In 1543 Harry Wharton is caught up in a reivers' cattle raid and left for dead. Alina hides him, but her father threatens to kill him and subsequent events force her into a life-changing decision. An exciting historical romance set in the Anglo-Scottish borders in Tudor days.

“Are you come to kill me, or help me?”
At the sound of the croaky, laboured voice, she dropped his cap and jerked backwards. Her heart loosed a single mighty thump against her chest wall. Poised to rise and flee, she hesitated when the man made no effort to move. She frowned. He hadn’t sounded like Harry at all. His eyes were open, but only as mere slits. Careful to stay out of reach of his arm, she bent low to peer into his face.
She prodded his shoulder. “Harry?”
His eyes had closed again.
“Sir? Sir?”
His lids lifted, but only half-way. “Yes?”
Alina shuffled to one side, so he did not have to adjust his line of vision to see her. “What are you doing here?”
His lids closed once more. “My head…hurts.”
“You have a swelling. There.”
She whipped her finger back from his brow. “I’m sorry. I did not mean to cause pain.”
One of his eyes opened to the merest slit and regarded her with displeasure. “My horse has a gentler touch than you, madam.”
“Well!” Affronted, Alina could think of nothing to say.
“No,” he said. “Since you ask, I am not well.”
“I didn’t ask.”
“Then you should have done.” He closed his eyes again.
Alina stared at him. His name was Harry Scott, and because of that, hurt or not, her father would kill him. But Harry had saved her from the bull, so she owed him something. She couldn’t walk away and leave him.
Yesterday the intensity of his gaze made her heart flutter.
Today he behaved as if she were a stranger.
Birdsong flooded from the branches above. Dragon dozed in the sunshine. The stranger’s horse moved a pace or two out into the meadow and continued to graze. Could she keep him hidden? Father might return at any moment. She turned back to the prone figure.
“Can you walk?”
His dark brows drew in towards his nose while he considered the matter. “I doubt it.”
“I can’t shift you on my own.”
“No need. Just let me be. Sleep…would be…good.” His voice slurred on the words and his eyes closed.
Alina leaned over and shook his arm. “You can’t sleep here. Someone will find you, and then it will be all over. There was a raid last night, and Father will think you were a part of it.” He took no notice, so she shook him again and raised her voice. “Do you want to die today?”
He groaned, and his hand lifted, fingers splayed, to stop her rough shaking. “Enough, I am awake.”
She sat back on her heels and surveyed him. “I hope you are not too heavy, Harry.”
His fingers clenched on the fabric of her skirt. “You know me?” His voice was sharper, demanding. “You know my name? Wait. Help me sit up.”
It was the kind of flippant reply she gave Lionel when he tried his new found authority on her. Lionel didn’t like it when she stood up to him, but she was the elder and had no intention of being brow beaten by her brother. Harry, however, was unmoved. He stared at the damp hem of her brown skirt as if fascinated by it.
“You are correct,” he said. “I am sorry. Would you please help me sit up? I shall do my best to assist.” Resigned amusement flavoured his apology.
Lionel never reacted like this. Alina made no move to help the man at her feet, but studied the lines of his face and remembered the oddness of his remark. “What do you mean when you ask if I know your name?”
“For God’s sake, woman! Help me!”
“How do I know you won’t attack me?”
He groaned. “By the Rood! How will I manage to attack you when I can’t sit up? You could fell me with a hazel twig at the moment.” Frustrated resignation rang through his voice.
“Can you turn over? It will be easier if you are on your back.”
“I can but try.” His mouth lifted in a crooked smile.
She observed his careful sequence of movements with a critical eye. Each limb seemed sound, and when he rolled over and stared at the spreading canopy of green leaves above him, she could not help but gasp, for his eyes glowed like sapphires in the soft light beneath the tree. Her heart gave an odd little jerk.
“Where are you?”
“Here.” She moved closer, confident he would not hurt her. “Can’t you see me?”
“I can now you’ve moved.” His eyes flickered and squinted as he struggled to focus on her. “What lovely eyes you have. I hope they are kind eyes. If I move my head it makes me dizzy, so just now I prefer not to, if you don’t mind.”
“Then how am I to move you?”