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Valiant and Wise by Laura Strickland

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  • Hearts of Caledonia Book 2

    Wick map Radoc has lost his direction. Following the death of his parents in a brutal raid, the Caledonian tribesman surrenders his place as chief and flees to the Scottish countryside. Tracked through snow by a band of enemy Gaels, he escapes by way of an unexpected transformation and stumbles upon a neighboring tribe, the Caerena. Is it chance, or has he been led there?

    Verica, widow of the Caerena’s slain war chief, has lost her faith. Leading her tribe by raw grit and sheer determination, she awaits a miracle. When Wick arrives cloaked in enchantment, she hopes she’s found the help she so desperately needs. Yet Wick doubts his own courage, and Verica has sworn she will never love again.

    Verica and Wick could restore one another’s belief… Together, will they discover the true strength of a Caledonian heart?

    Rating: Spicy
    Page Count: 318
    Word Count: 73397
    978-1-5092-2243-8 Paperback
    978-1-5092-2244-5 Digital

    Excerpt

    “Me?” She jerked up her gaze and once more met his. Barely a whisper separated them, and Verica lost her breath at what she saw in his eyes.

    Another smile quirked his lips and warmed his gaze. “Do you not need your wounds tended? Will you take off your clothing, also, for me?”

    Quite an improper suggestion, even under the circumstances. But the soft mischief in his voice lent no offense; instead Verica felt a stir of titillation.

    With the native honesty that marked most of her utterances, she said, “I might.”

    His fingers rose and cupped the back of her head. Gently—so very gently—he drew her to him. Their lips met.

    A caress. A whisper. Verica had never been kissed this way, by lips so warm they wooed, coaxed, and persuaded. Tentatively he tasted her, decided he liked the flavor, and dove deeper.

    Verica had a sudden flashback to one of Morirex’s kisses—swift and brutal, teeth clashing on teeth, the taste of blood. The pain of invasion accompanied by the overwhelming subjugation of her body. Hard-learned experience told her a man took what he wanted without asking.

    But Wick map Radoc’s lips asked. They sought, thrilled, and comforted. His fingers slid lower and caressed her cheek, the calloused thumb stroking lightly like the touch of a butterfly, and Verica’s entire body melted.

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