Borderland Bride by Samantha Holt
The Borderland Legacy Book 1
sensual historical romance
Release Date: 03/21/2013
Cover Art by Valerie Tibbs
In the wilderness of 14th century Northumbria, Lady Isabel discovers just how dangerous the Borderlands can be. With the loss of her voice and her hearing, there is little hope left for her. But when a brooding knight rescues her, she vows never to become a victim again and buries the secrets of her past in the hope that those hunting her will never find her in the Borderlands.
Jake is astonished to come across the beautiful Isabel, near to death, on his brother’s lands. Bringing her back to his brother’s home, he finds himself longing for something more from the courageous woman, something that he thought he would never want again. Isabel works her way into his scarred heart and opens Jake up to loving once more. But will Isabel’s secrets destroy their bond? And with his charismatic brother, Dominic, charming her, does he even stand a chance?
Jake grabbed at the reins, making to give chase when a flash of colour in the undergrowth caught his eye, a pale blue in amongst the fusion of greens. He jumped down and stepped gingerly over to where the peasants had stood. The blue fabric of a woman’s gown winked up at him. A swathe of auburn hair covered her face, the tumbling curls tangled around her. Gold strands glinted under the sunlight that crept through the trees and he gulped.
She lay unmoving, hands splayed on either side of her head. Jake’s stomach churned. If the peasants had found her like this it was likely they meant to relieve her of any possessions.
He knelt down beside her, noting the expensive fabric of her gown and delicate hands. Aye, her soft skin gave her away as a noble lady and it was likely any jewels she had were long gone. But what was she doing out here alone?
Carefully, he pulled aside her tresses. His heart gave jolt at the sight. She had taken a beating, one side of her face swollen and puffy. Great purpling welts circled her neck, fingerprints clearly visible. He cursed again. Had he just come across some murderous outlaws rather than the harmless peasants he had thought them to be? Anger boiled inside of him. If he had but given chase, he could have brought at least one of them to justice.
God’s blood, he dare not imagine what her last moments must have been like.
His throat tightened. What to do with her? He could not just leave her to rot in the woods. Jake studied her face once more with a sigh. A shame so fine a beauty should meet such an end. Even with the swelling in her face, it was clear she had been blessed with striking looks. Her unmarred cheek offered up smooth and creamy skin, and her dark lashes stood out in stark contrast. A slight scattering of freckles marched across her nose, just visible under the dried blood. Jake smiled sadly. He never understood why most women hated freckles. He thought them wonderfully enticing.
Brushing a finger across her cheek, Jake was surprised at the warmth of it. God’s teeth, if he had only come across her moments before he could have stopped such an atrocity. He pictured the men’s faces and swore he would avenge her. He would bring the outlaws to justice.