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Monday Puzzler > 21st August 2018

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message 1: by Aly is so frigging bored (last edited Aug 20, 2018 02:48PM) (new)

Aly is so frigging bored | 857 comments Mod
Sorry for being late! I hope you'll enjoy the excerpt, I know I did the whole book :)

This is the first meeting between the hero and heroine, it's hilarious!

She was going to give him grief.
Fifteen-year-old HERO Campbell marched across the torchlit great hall and stared at his eight-year-old bride. Nervous apprehension made his heart sink to his stomach and his clenched hands felt clammy with sweat, yet his unconcerned expression never altered. As the Marquess of Inverary and the Duke of Argyll’s heir, HERO had a reputation to safeguard, and he would never allow any eight-year-old to gain the upper hand with him. If the watching MacArthurs and Campbells guessed how uncertain he felt at that moment, HERO knew he’d be the laughingstock of the Highlands until the day he died. God’s balls, imagine the scandal of the Duke of Argyll’s heir trembling before his future duchess — an eight-year-old bairn.
Not in this lifetime, HERO vowed, fixing his gray-eyed gaze on her.
The lass was trouble all right. HERO knew that as surely as he knew his own name.
Dressed in virginal white and wearing a wreath of orange blossoms in her ebony hair, the girl looked as innocent as an angel, but gleaming trouble leaped at him from the depths of her emerald green eyes. The tilt of her upturned nose and the stubborn chiseling of her chin gave proof to her less than passive temperament. The lass even had the audacity to stare right back at him. Without blushing.
She gave him an ambiguous smile. Standing with her arms behind her back, the girl seemed as demure as a shy angel. In contrast, the thick mane of ebony that cascaded to her waist and those disarming emerald eyes with their thick fringe of sooty lashes lent her a seductive appearance beyond her years.
Feeling a hundred interested gazes on his back, HERO decided to use his superior sophistication to win the girl’s affection. He gave her his most charming smile, the same one that worked so successfully with Inverary Castle’s maids.
In answer, the girl raised her perfectly shaped ebony brows at him. Did the wee witch know what he was thinking.
“Yer as cute as a kitten,” HERO remarked, crouching down to be eye level with her.
“I’m a girl,” she said flatly.
HERO forced himself to smile. “A verra bonny girl,” he complimented her, thinking flattery would soften her attitude. “I’m HERO Campbell, the Marquess of Inverary.”
“I know who ye are,” she said, apparently unimpressed by his tide.
“What’s yer name?”
“HEROINE B. MacArthur.”
“Ye’ve a boy’s name.”
“I’m a girl.”
“What’s the B signify?” HERO asked.
“Brat,” shouted the girl’s three older brothers.
HEROINE turned her head and cast each of them a reproving look. She flicked a smile filled with love at her father, the earl, and then returned her attention to HERO, saying, “The B stands for Bruce. My father named me in honor of his special hero, Robert the Bruce. Have ye ever heard of him?”
God’s balls, HERO thought in disgusted dismay. How could he hope to live down the fact that he’d married a girl named Rob Bruce? What kind of daft parents did the lass have?
“And I dinna give a tinker’s damn if my name pleases ye or no,” she added.
“HEROINE is a lovely name,” HERO said, wondering how she’d known what he was thinking. “As a matter of fact, Robert the Bruce is my own special hero.”
That made her smile. The sweetness of it tugged at his heartstrings. She really was as cute as a kitten and held the promise of growing into a great beauty.
“Did ye know I’m goin’ to marry ye today?” HERO asked.
HEROINE nodded, but asked in a loud whisper, “Dinna ye think yer a bit elderly to be my husband?”
Pockets of smothered laughter erupted in the hall. Embarrassed, HERO cast his father a meaningful look.
“Dinna look to me for help,” Magnus Campbell called to him, apparently amused by his son’s discomfort. “Each man makes his own way in the world.”
“Speak to yer daughter, Brie,” Iain MacArthur ordered his wife. “She’s givin’ the lad a hard time.”
Lady Brigette started forward.
“Brie, stay where ye are.” Magnus countermanded the order. “HERO will be dealin’ with her for his whole life. The lad may as well make a beginnin’ of it now.”
“’Tis my father, the Duke of Argyll,” HERO told HEROINE. “If ye marry me, I’ll make ye a duchess someday.”
“I dinna want to be a duchess,” she replied.
“The devil take ye,” he exclaimed, but his piercing gray eyes flickered with interest. “What do ye — ?”
“This is my hall,” HEROINE interrupted him. “I’ll thank ye to keep a civil tongue in yer head when yer speakin’ to me.”
“I do apologize,” HERO said with laughter lurking in his voice. For a child of eight, the lass already issued orders like a seasoned duchess. “If ye dinna mind me askin’, what would ye like to be?”
“An English lady like my mother.”
Holy horseshit, HERO thought, his charming smile never wavering. “If ye marry me, I’ll be yer knight,” he coaxed. “That means I’ll slay yer dragons.”
Now her eyes flickered with interest. “What aboot the monster that lives under my bed?” she asked.
“Ye’ve a monster livin’ beneath yer bed?” HERO echoed, feigning shocked dismay.
HEROINE nodded gravely.
Drawing HERO’s attention, thirteen-year-old Ross MacArthur called, “The only monster in her room is the one who sleeps in the bed.”
“Show the marquess yer devil’s hand,” ten-year-old Jamie MacArthur added, then quickly sidestepped out of his father’s reach.
“Both of ye shut yer mouths, or ye’ll answer to me,” fifteen-year-old Dubh MacArthur threatened.
HERO cast the three MacArthur brothers a long, measuring look and wondered at their words. When he turned back to the girl, his heart nearly broke at the startling transformation in her demeanor. One moment she’d been a proud Highland lass and the next moment a pathetic angel complete with quivering bottom tip as if she waged a fierce inner battle to prevent the flood of tears that threatened to spill. What would he do if she started to weep?
“Why dinna ye ask yer da to kill the monster?” HERO asked.
“Old people canna see him,” she answered, making everyone but her father smile.
“What does he look like?”
“Da or the monster?”
HERO swallowed the chuckle he felt bubbling up. The lass was more entertaining than a band of traveling players. “I meant the monster,” he said.
“I never saw him but —” HEROINE broke off, lowered her gaze, and worried her bottom lip with her teeth.
“Share it with me, lass,” HERO said in a soothing tone of voice.
“The monster touched me once,” she whispered, holding her left hand out for his inspection. “See what he did.”
A dark, flower-shaped birthmark stained the back of her left hand. The six-petaled flower of Aphrodite signified sin, or so the church authorities taught their faithful. Most people regarded the mark as a sure sign of the devil.
HERO slowly raised his gray-eyed gaze to hers and noted the unshed tears glistening in her disarming eyes. Without forethought, he lifted the offending hand to his lips and kissed the birthmark.
“I’ll kill that monster for darin’ to touch ye,” HERO promised, smiling at her surprised expression. “As soon as ye place yer mark on the marriage contract.’”
HEROINE shook her head and said, “Ye must kill the monster first.”
“Dinna ye trust me to keep my word?”
“Everyone in the Highlands knows that Campbell means ‘crooked mouth.’”


message 2: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2102 comments Mod
I have no idea. I’m sure I haven’t read it.


message 3: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1207 comments I have no idea but I want to read it!
Good one Aly!


message 4: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1925 comments Mod
Not a clue.


message 5: by Stacey (new)

Stacey (staceyissassy) | 1281 comments I think I know it but I couldn't tell you the name, though. :-)


Aly is so frigging bored | 857 comments Mod
It's old, but it's been rereleased :)


message 7: by Susan (new)

Susan (susaninaz) | 1044 comments Even at Eight, she already knows how to flirt. Heaven help him!


message 8: by Irisheyes (new)

Irisheyes | 896 comments I have no idea, but I can't wait to find out. What an adorable scene!


message 9: by Susan (new)

Susan (shaydock) | 727 comments Oh geez, birthmarks, dragons, early marriages sounds delightful.


message 10: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (nikanne) | 222 comments No clue but sounds like she is a spit-fire! Reminds me of my youngest daughter!


message 12: by Stacey (new)

Stacey (staceyissassy) | 1281 comments Aly is so frigging bored wrote: "It's Courting an Angel by Patricia Grasso"

Not the one I was thinking of. I haven't heard of this author before.


Aly is so frigging bored | 857 comments Mod
Stacey is Sassy wrote: "Aly is so frigging bored wrote: "It's Courting an Angel by Patricia Grasso"

Not the one I was thinking of. I haven't heard of this author before."


She's republishing her older books. I found her when I was looking for some harem HRs and Russian heroes and heroines. I like her writing style too :) Most(all the ones I read) books are a bit old school, so you might want to punch the hero :D


message 14: by Stacey (new)

Stacey (staceyissassy) | 1281 comments Aly is so frigging bored wrote: "Stacey is Sassy wrote: "Aly is so frigging bored wrote: "It's Courting an Angel by Patricia Grasso"

Not the one I was thinking of. I haven't heard of this author bef..."


I don't think it's just old school books that make me want to punch the hero 🤔🤨😉


Aly is so frigging bored | 857 comments Mod
Stacey is Sassy wrote: "I don't think it's just old school books that make me want to punch the hero "

True that! Sometimes I enjoy it tough :D


message 16: by Stacey (new)

Stacey (staceyissassy) | 1281 comments Aly is so frigging bored wrote: "Stacey is Sassy wrote: "I don't think it's just old school books that make me want to punch the hero "

True that! Sometimes I enjoy it tough :D"


I do too...sometimes. I think it depends on my hormone levels :D


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