Series: Sirens of the Scottish
Author: Gwyn Cready
From RITA winner Gwyn Cready comes a Scottish borderlands time travel romance perfect for fans of Outlander
For Duncan MacHarg, things just got real…
Battle reenactor and financier Duncan MacHarg thinks he has it made—until he lands in the middle of a real Clan Kerr battle and comes face to face with their beautiful, spirited leader. Out of time and out of place, Duncan must use every skill he can muster to earn his position among the clansmen and in the heart of the devastatingly intriguing woman to whom he must pledge his oath.
Abby needs a hero and she needs him now
When Abigail Ailich Kerr sees a handsome, mysterious stranger materialize in the midst of her clan’s skirmish with the English, she’s stunned to discover he’s the strong arm she’s been praying for. Instead of a tested fighter, the fierce young chieftess has been given a man with no measurable battle skills and a damnably distracting smile. And the only way to get rid of him is to turn him into a Scots warrior herself—one demanding and intimate lesson at a time.
The horse trotted off. Abby appeared again in Duncan’s view, offering him a nodded “all clear.” He bounded out, stung by the double lashes of incompetence and jealousy. “I don’t want to hide again,” he said, not caring if he sounded like a sullen child. “I want my pistol back.”
Abby readjusted the strap of her quiver, tactfully choosing not to point out the situation that just passed was not one that had required a weapon. “Is that really what ye want?”
“. I don’t want to be hearing hooves and wondering whether I’ll be massacred in the next minute. I need to be able to protect myself.” hung in the air, though he knew her amusement would kill him if he said it.
To her credit, Abby didn’t even smile. “I know what it is to long for the power to protect oneself, MacHarg. And I will give ye your pistol. But if you are to be my strong arm, you will need more than that.”
She handed him her bow, and reached for the buckle on her belt. “I don’t think I would make much of an archer,” he said uncomfortably.
“Good. Since I don’t have a year to teach you the skills.” She tossed the belt and quiver on the ground and retrieved the bow. “Did I not hear ye say ye knew how to wield a sword?”
“Yes.” Duncan had aced two years of fencing classes and considered himself if not quite an expert then certainly the most skilled of his reenactor friends.
He had a beautiful lunge. “Show me.” He squirmed a bit. It was one thing to back his instructor into a corner in the heat of an encounter. Doing his moves with a wooden sword while Abby appraised him felt very different.
With some trepidation, he withdrew his blade and angled himself into the position. “This would be better if I had someone to fight,” he said. "Perhaps we can arrange that. But for now, please, just begin.”
Soles flat and body carefully balanced between his feet, Duncan advanced and retreated. The wooden sword was, of course, differently weighted from the fencing saber he used in class, but the principles were the same: Loose but controlled grip, point angled slightly downward. Non-sword hand in the air for increased agility. Eyes focused in the middle distance but alert to tiny movements at the edge of one’s vision that betray an opponent’s next move. He advanced, retreated, and jump lunged, followed quickly by an advance, retreat, and flèche.
With each movement, the familiar sense of mastery increased. He thought of her father refusing to teach her to use a sword and wondered if he might be the man to open this world to her. He extended his attack over a wider area, thrusting his sword left and right with a graceful ease. With a beautiful crossover, he turned his line of attack ninety degrees, and prepared for a beautiful—
The sword flew from his hand and hit the chapel steps. Like an eighteenth-century Babe Ruth, Abby recovered from her swing and ran a finger along the length of her bow, searching for damage. “I think,” she said flatly, “you may need a bit of polishing.”