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To Dream of a Highlander
Sent on a rescue mission, Finn Mac Chaluim is prepared to do his duty, hand over the lass and return home.
But fate has other ideas.
In the midst of a Norse invasion, Catriona barely escapes with her life. Masquerading as her sister, she finds herself in the hands of Finn who intends to hand her over to her sister’s betrothed, Laird Gillean. In the interests of bringing peace to her home, Catriona is determined to continue the ruse—even if it means going along with the marriage and denying her growing attraction to a man who keeps his hurts hidden behind a quick grin.
If the green faery, Tèile, has anything to do with it, Catriona and Finn will come together—but only at the right time. Thanks to her last attempt at matchmaking, many paths were changed and now it’s up to her to put it right. Can she help Finn— who learned the hard way that sharing your life with someone only leads to heartache—get past his doubts? And will the battle-scarred Catriona even accept him into her heart? When Laird Gillean’s attentions toward Catriona become dangerous, both Finn and Tèile will find they have an uphill battle on their hands.
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He swung his gaze around, grateful the night had not yet swallowed them. A flash of green a few feet in front of him caught his eye. Hair swirling about her, gown waving like seaweed in the wash, she floated on the surface—knocked senseless.
With several strong strides, he caught up with her. The tide drew her away but it was not strong enough to defeat him. The sea now up to his hips, he dragged Katelyn into his arms. By God, her gown weighed her down. Even for a man of his strength, he felt as though he were carrying a heavy sack of grain rather than a sylph of a woman.
Wading to the boat, he hefted her out of the water and passed her to Logan. The man shook his head. “Sorry, Finn. We were concentrating on not getting tossed about in the wash. ‘Tisnae easy holding such a small vessel steady.”
“Aye, have no fear. ‘Twas my fault. The lass has clearly had a shock and I should have been watching her more closely.”
Logan laid her in the bow while Finn clambered in. He knelt by the lass and glanced up at Logan.
“She must have taken a hit to the head.”
“Aye, likely against the boat. Must have hit hard to render her senseless.”
Finn nodded. “Let us get on our way. We can do no good for her here.”
“Aye,” Logan agreed and backed away to help row the boat from the shoreline.
Leaning over her, Finn studied the gash on her forehead with a grimace. Poor lass. She’d have a mighty fine headache when she awoke. The steady rise and fall of her breasts against the soaked green wool assured him no permanent damage had been done.
“Ye’ll have to get her out of those wet garments,” Logan called out behind him.
Finn clenched his teeth. “Aye, thank ye, Logan. I’m aware o’ that.”
He ran his gaze over her. Damn his luck. He’d undressed many a fine woman but none had ever been out cold and an unwilling partner. No doubt the lady would be deeply ashamed he’d done as much. But he could hardly leave her to die from exposure. If anything, his sister would have his head.
Fingers tentatively prying at the front of her bodice, he forced his gaze onto the wood just behind her head. But the wet fabric proved too hard to tug apart so he pressed his hands to her back and lifted her lifeless form. Icy skin and sumptuous curves flattened briefly to his chest as he fumbled with the ties at the back of her gown. By God, when had he ever blundered like a whelp when undressing a woman? But he had to admit, though he’d had little time to admire her and the swelling on her face did not reveal her features properly, the flash of creamy skin was tempting enough. In other circumstances—and had she been anyone other than a lady in distress—he’d have enjoyed such a sight.
He had her face pressed into his neck as he pulled her gown from her. Soft skin under his fingertips forced his breath to stilt. Only the grunts of men rowing reminded him he was meant to be helping the lass and not enjoying the moment.
Katelyn’s chemise and gown came away in one go and he peered behind him, narrowing his eyes at the men. “Keep yer eyes away,” he warned, “or I’ll be having yer heads.”