Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Available Now: One Knight in Stirling by Kate Robbins

Sir William MacPherson is honoured by the queen mother's invitation to protect her from her enemies. The only catch: he must reside at Stirling Castle where he will encounter Coira MacLaren; the one woman who can bring him to his knees and keep him there. Her refusal of his marriage proposal a year ago hit him hard and he has not seen her since. Can he harden himself against her, or will their insatiable lust for one another burn them to cinders this time?

• • •

Stirling, September, 1438

William MacPherson galloped hard toward Stirling Castle with the missive he’d received still crumpled in his hand. Christ. After all this time, why did it have to come now? A year ago, even two, he would have been thrilled with the news, but now the offer filled him with trepidation. Still, as a knight and member of the king’s guard, he could hardly refuse his queen.

Riding across the flat expanse with the blooming, heather-splashed mountains on his right, his heartbeat picked up once Stirling Castle came into view. Jutting up from the flat land all around it, the craggy rock on which the castle was built commanded attention and obedience. Those who had erected it long ago gave strategic thought to it as a vantage point. Soon, William would employ that same strategy without and within its stone walls.

He’d worked hard to earn his place among the guard and this opportunity was to be his reward. And rightly so. He’d been loyal to the Stewarts all through the Highland upheavals and constant challenges among the various chiefs. Long ago, he’d sought the counsel of James MacIntosh, Earl of Moray, and his advice had been sound. Stand with the Stewarts and you will be rewarded.

But then the king was assassinated. The Highland nobles had had enough. King James Stewart, first of his name, was betrayed. He hid in the sewers, leaving his queen and her ladies to fend for themselves, and was then stabbed to death once found. The queen barely escaped with her life, but that did not curb her thirst for revenge. It was a nasty business. For a time, William wondered what would become of the dynasty the Stewarts had fought hard to forge. But prevail they had. The eight-year-old King James, second of his name, now resided at Stirling Castle with the queen mother and his other siblings, and stewardship of the country had fallen to the Earl of Douglas until the king came of age.

But neither the view nor the prospect of becoming personal guard to the widowed queen was the cause of William’s apprehension.

Coira MacLaren.

Images of her heavy breasts and full hips flooded his mind, making him squirm in his saddle. Try as he might, he could not get that woman out of his head. By his estimation, he shouldn’t have to. She was his and no one, not even she, could deny it. But she had refused his proposal of marriage. That was a year ago, and she’d not left his thoughts either day or night since. From her silky black hair and crystal-blue eyes to her dainty feet, William had explored every inch of her body and knew every curve. God, how he ached to drive his cock into her one more time.

But he would resist. He’d wanted to spend the rest of his life with her and could not stand by knowing she would not have him. A wonderful lover, she’d called him. And then she tore his heart to shreds by refusing him.

Damned woman.

As one of the queen mother’s personal maids, she would be present and he would no doubt see her, though hopefully not often. He’d steel his heart against her—if only he could restrain his lust.

William rode into the courtyard and dismounted. He tossed the horse’s reins at a stable hand then made his way to the great hall. A page met him in the doorway. He took the missive and went straight to the stairs away from the hall, straight toward the queen mother’s lodgings.

William entered the long hall to await her grace. Once inside, he poured himself a goblet of ale from a sideboard and stood by the window, gazing out over the courtyard. Dozens of ladies had gathered to watch some noblemen spar with wooden swords; their manner was much like a dance. William was certain they’d topple over if they ever held a real broadsword. How dainty they were in their hose and doublets.

He smirked. Mayhap a spar could help him temper his ache for Coira. After his meeting, he’d seek out his brother, Thomas, and work off some of his frustration.

“You came straight away.”

• • •

Kate Robbins writes historical romance novels out of pure escapism and a love for all things Scottish, not to mention a life-long enjoyment of reading romance.

Kate loves the research process and delving into secondary sources in order to blend authentic historical fact into her stories. She has travelled to Scotland twice and visited the sites described in her Highland Chiefs series.

Her debut award winning novel, Bound to the Highlander, is the first of three books set in the early fifteenth century during the reign of James Stewart, first of his name.

Kate is the pen name of Debbie Robbins who lives in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.

See Debbie here on Canada's Back Stage Pass TV program, aired 4 March 2014.

Find Kate Online:

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