The vivid scar that spans Sir Iain MacLagan's cheek is a daily reminder of the wife he lost - and of the enemy that still stalks him. Commanded by Scotland's king to remarry in order to unite two powerful border clans, lain reluctantly weds Islaen MacRoth, a woman of a seductive nature that proves dangerously attractive to a man who has vowed ...
The vivid scar that spans Sir Iain MacLagan's cheek is a daily reminder of the wife he lost - and of the enemy that still stalks him. Commanded by Scotland's king to remarry in order to unite two powerful border clans, lain reluctantly weds Islaen MacRoth, a woman of a seductive nature that proves dangerously attractive to a man who has vowed never to jeopardize his heart, or his loved ones, again.
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Islaen is brought to court to find a husband. She is of an age and she has not selected one yet. Her father, of a mind to allow her choice in the matter has deemed it time to force it if necessary. He is close to the king and holds much power. He is not in it for the power by joining clans, but to see his daughter wed and happy. She appears nothing more than a child due to a secrect she keeps hidden from the world. Iain is at court as he is a king's man and must be for some duties he needs to perform. He has refused to marry ever again, having lost a wife and child once already. They meet and talk in the court gardens where she finds him instinctively someone she wants. Set upon a good marriage for his daughter - he requests Iain as a betrothed from the king as Iain has not offered. That their clans form a strong alliance is not really what does it for him, just that it is known his daughter wants Iain. Forced by the king, Iain makes the offer. He is sought after by many women (one nasty one in particular). Upon the eve of the wedding, Islean goes to Iain to confess her secret about her ugliness and deformity (you will have to read what it is as I will not spoil it). Shocked, Iain is not repulsed at all, they comsumate the marriage a day early. Sealing the forcing of the marriage it continues. There is a past love of Iains at the wedding/court who tries to wrest Iain from Islaen. They must stay 40 days for Iain to complete is King's yearly requirement. Tormented and tortured mentally by cruelty of the people at court who rumor about her short comings and her lack of self confidence due to her "deformity", she wishes to flee. Too late, something bad happens at court and they leaves, but not until Iain has hurt her. She is set upon a course to free Iain from his emotional past and his forcing her to remain barren with birth control. He leaves his home many times for long periods to restore and manage the keep they will eventually live in. While he is away, she plots and tries with little success to gain his love. The court comes into play again when the rejected woman shows up at the new keep and tries to get Iain to consumate their past love union. Same time Islaen shows. Danger lurks attempts are made on lives. She gets with child which is exactly what he did not want. Their personal battle rages. She learns all she can and is determined to bear this child to show that a woman need not die in childbirth. You will have to read to find out what happens - you may think you can guess, but you will still be surprised at the lengths she goes to in order to save her marriage and bear her children and enforce that the woman from court does not take her man.
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