The Piper's Lady
Part of the Blue Stocking Belle's Holiday Anthology.
Lady Coira Easton spent her youth traveling with her grandfather. Now well
Garrick of Clan MacLaren can hold his own with the trained Knights of Berwyck, but as the clan’s piper they would rather he play his instruments to entertain them—or lead them into battle—than to fight with a sword upon the lists. Only when he sees a lady across the training field and his heart sings for the first time does he begin to wish to be something he is not.
Will a simple misunderstanding between them threaten what they have found in one another or will they at last let love into their hearts?
Garrick once more captured the woman in his arms as they fell to the ground in a heap. In a repeat performance, he rolled to bear the impact ’til she was captured beneath him. Hazel eyes stared at him in wonder, and his heart lurched in his chest.
“Sir Garrick…” His named passed her lips in a breathy whisper.
“Lady Coira…” he answered, and afore common sense returned to him, he leaned down and placed his lips upon her own.
By God’s Bones, he must be mad, he thought even as her arms pressed their way over his shoulders and wrapped themselves around his neck. His mouth moved over hers gently for he did not wish to scare her. ’Twas an exploration… a first-time meeting of two souls as their breaths exchanged with one another. He was lost ’til a low throaty moan escaped her and brought him back to the reality of what he was doing.
He broke off their kiss and jumped up as though he had been burned, which was not far from the truth. Bloody hell! If Coira were in truth Morgan’s lady, the knight would skewer him alive and see his head placed on a pike outside Berwyck’s gates for taking such a liberty. He would not think of what Lord Dristan would do to his remains since the lady was also under his watchful eye.
He began cursing and pacing back and forth ’til he realized he had left the lady of his musing lying on the hard ground. She had propped herself up on her elbows and was watching him intently. He came to her and held out his hand to help her rise. Her fingers slipped into his palm, and he once more forgot about everything else but the lady he pulled up to stand.
Her knees gave out, and she once more fell into his arms as they stumbled up against the very oak that began the downfall of his life as he knew it. Garrick reached out to steady them whilst her back was up against the solid trunk. He clearly had no sense left in his head whilst he rested his arm above her head and stared down at the beautiful woman who was beginning to claim his heart.
“Coira…” he murmured. “’Tis a beautiful Gaelic name, but I am surprised ye are called such for an English woman.”
“’Twas my mother’s doing. She told me years afore she died that she and my father had travelled to Scotland, and she fell in love with the country and its people. She said I was a wonderful reminder of their time together.”
“Ye must miss them. I am sorry for their passing along with yer brother’s.”
“I seem to be alone in the world now,” she answered softly. Garrick did not miss the small catch in her voice.
He reached out and ran the back of his finger along her cheek. “Ye are not completely alone, lass,” he replied, and although he hated to say the next words, he knew he must. “Ye have Morgan. ’Tis obvious he cares for you.”
Eight authors and eight different takes on four dramatic elements selected by our readers—an older heroine, a wise man, a Bible, and a compromising situation that isn’t.
Set in a variety of locations around the world over eight centuries, welcome to the romance of the Bluestocking Belles’ 2017 Holiday Anthology.
1181 The Piper's Lady by Sherry Ewing
True love binds them. Deceit divides them. Will they choose love?
1354 Her Wounded Heart by Nicole Zoltack
A solitary widow, a landless knight, and a crumbling castle.
1645 A Year Without Christmas by Jessica Cale
An Earl and his housekeeper face their feelings for one another in the midst of the English Civil War.
1795 The Night of the Feast by Elizabeth Ellen Carter
One night to risk it all in the midst of the French Revolution.
1814 The Umbrella Chronicles: George & Dorothea's Story by Amy Quinton
The Umbrella Strikes Again: St. Vincent’s downfall (aka betrothal) is assured.
1814 A Malicious Rumor by Susana Ellis
A harmonious duo is better than two lonely solos for a violinist and a lady gardener.
1886 Forged in Fire by Jude Knight
Forged in volcanic fire, their love will create them anew.
1916 Roses in Picardy by Caroline Warfield
In the darkness of war, hope flickers. In the gardens of Picardy, love catches fire.
It’s Never Too Late to find love.
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