Niall stepped back. Finally able to think beyond how quickly he could draw the next bucket, he glanced at the kitchen. The smoke rising into the sky had thinned to a thin, pale ribbon.“Let me see those hands.”He spun around. Ana stood next to him, a dark streak of soot smudged across her cheek and a faint gray tint to her normally white brèid. She was paler than he’d ever seen her. He frowned. “Are you ill?”“Nay.”“Where were you when the fire broke out?”She opened her leather satchel and dug inside for a small earthenware pot stopped with melted wax. “Inside.”“Where inside?”“Does it matter?”He grabbed her chin and angled her face toward the sun, checking for any hint of injury. Beyond the soot, thankfully, he saw nothing. He released her. “Aye, it matters. Answer me.”“I was consulting with the cook.”“In the kitchen?”“Of course, in the kitchen.” Using her knife, she pried the wax from the pot. Then she took one of his hands in her much smaller palm, unfolded his fist, and slathered unguent on his red, raw blisters. Her hands trembled as she worked. “Where else does one meet with the cook?”The image of her running blindly through a smoke-filled corridor, chased by fire and choking on hot fumes, flayed his thoughts. He’d imagined her safe in the upper chambers with the baroness all this time, not fleeing for her life.
He stared into her eyes for a long moment, then turned and retrieved his weapon. Ana was treated to a breathtaking view of his lean backside as he bent—and of the ten red arcs caused by her fingernails. Lord. She’d quite forgotten herself.“What’s this?” he asked, pulling out a small burlap-wrapped bundle.“The arrow that felled you. Gordie thought the fletching might give you a clue to the shooter, so I held it.”He laid his sword on the bed, then peeled back the layers of burlap. His face darkened as his fingers ran over the pale gray fletching.“Are you familiar with the color?”“Aye.”“So you know who shot you?”“Aye.” He rewrapped the arrow and thrust the bundle at her. “Bury it in the woods. The constable should not discover it here.”Ana placed the rolled burlap on the table. “An unlikely event. I convinced Mr. Hurley that you were sick with the ague, not injured by an arrow.”He tilted his head and looked at her. “He took you at your word?”“More or less.” Ana found it hard to concentrate with Niall’s unclothed body an arm’s reach away—her gaze constantly strayed from his face, drifting downward. He had the rangy, rippling sinews of a large wolf. Not an ounce of softness to be found. Anywhere. “Do you have another lèine?”
Wrongfully accused of murder and left to die in a hellish Highland dungeon, Ana Bisset has lost all hope of freedom. But the beautiful healer’s luck takes an unexpected turn when a hooded stranger appears as her rescuer. After a harrowing escape, Ana settles alone in a quiet village where no one knows her past or her reputation. The last thing she ever expects is to meet her mysterious savior again...
Niall MacCurran is no hero, but a warrior on a dangerous mission to expose a threat to the realm. After his decision to free Ana, he now realizes that it is he who needs her help—willing or no—to advance his quest. But his growing feelings for the delicate yet resilient beauty soon jeopardize their safety—and not even Ana’s healing gifts may be enough to protect their love, or their lives.
When not writing, Rowan can frequently be found in a dark movie theater indulging in a large bag of popcorn, or watching the sunrise with a mug of steaming coffee wrapped in her hands. She lives in Central Canada with a goofy black lab, a very talkative cat, and a daughter whose own creative talents awe and inspire her every day.
One copy of Taming the Wild Scot will be gifted per the total number of tour stops.