Series: His Highland Heart #1
Shipwrecked in enemy territory, Euan Brodie fears the rest of his crew are at the bottom of the Moray Firth. While he searches for his crew, the youngest barely twelve years old, he must evade Clan Ross warriors. Yet when he sees a lass about to drown in the incoming tide, he risks capture to save her.
Along with two other Munro lasses, Muireall Munro was taken by Clan Ross raiders nearly a month ago. She's yet to be claimed as a Ross bride. Still, after two failed escape attempts, her hope is waning of ever seeing her home and the younger brother she was raising. But the stranger who pulls her from the surf will change her life forever.
If Muireall reveals who she really is, the delicious man who just saved her life will want nothing further to do with her—yet she needs him if she is ever to escape her Ross captors. If Euan reveals who he really is to the woman he saved, he risks not only his life, but his clan. Left with no choice, can they save each other while they fall in love?
A man knelt beside her, pounding on her back and muttering, “Spit it out, lass. Breathe. Ye are well.”
She thought she’d met all of her captors, but she didn’t recognize his voice. She didn’t want to owe any of the Ross men her life. That would seal her fate to his. Donas would give her to this man.
Grit clung to her face as she pushed up onto her hands and knees, still coughing up seawater. Her hair hung in damp tendrils to the sand, blocking her view of her savior, and his of her. At least he had ceased pounding on her when she’d moved. Her coughing eased.
Her wet cloak clung to her back and draped down her sides like a tent, but her shift, now soaked, was nearly transparent where it stuck to her skin. She sank onto her heels, gathered her sopping cloak around her for cover, if not for warmth, then scooped her hair out of her face and took her first clear breath.
The man sat back and regarded her with sea green eyes under russet brows. A stranger!
Muireall’s gasp set her to coughing again, but she held up a hand to stop him when he reached for her back. “Nay!” she hissed, then got her breath back. “Give me a minute afore ye pound me back into the sand.” She thought she’d seen every man in the Ross village. She hadn’t seen this one. She would have noticed him. Even features, broad shoulders, and kindness in the glinting green depths of his eyes. He looked at her with care, not as if he wanted to rend her sopping garments and take her here on the beach.
A grin split his face, revealing even white teeth. “Arguing with yer leech so soon after he saves ye? Ye are well, then.”
The man was possessed of a sense of humor, too.
She glanced around while she heaved another breath. Ach, nay! She was still trapped in the far cove with a rising tide. And a stranger. “Who are ye?”
The grin fled his face.
In that instant, she knew. “Ye are from that wrecked birlinn, aye?”
Hope started to slowly unfurl in her chest. He was not a Ross! When she next opened her mouth to speak, he clapped a hand over it and grabbed her around the shoulders with the other.
“Dinna scream,” he warned.
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