The Wolves of Clan Sutherland Book 1
by Mary Morgan
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Known as the Barbarian, Magnar MacAlpin is a fierce ruler for those under his command. As leader of the Wolves of Clan Sutherland, his loyalty and obedience lies with Scotland. However, the king’s last demand is not something Magnar will tolerate.
After Elspeth Gunn’s brother the Chieftain of Castle Steinn is murdered, she flees with her nephew, and finds safety amongst a band of men who are rumored to be part wolf. When the king forces her to wed a heathen Northman, she fears losing her heart and soul not only to the man, but the beast as well.
In order to restore peace to a shattered clan, Magnar and Elspeth travel a treacherous path that challenges their beliefs. When evil seeks to destroy ancient traditions, will Magnar be compelled to restrain his wolf or allow him free to protect those he loves?
She stomped the ground with her foot. “I will not be forced to marry a…a heathen!”
He gritted his teeth—her words sparked outrage from his inner beast. Glancing over his shoulder, he offered, “Then which would you prefer? Halvard or me? Make your choice, Elspeth. Did you not consider I do not favor this union either?”
Confusion marred her features. She fisted her hands on her hips and glanced upward. “Did you argue against this marriage with King William?”
“Yet he convinced you?”
When she returned her gaze to him again, resolve and a bit of stubbornness filled them. “Why, Magnar?”
“The king will permit me to continue with my duties with the elite guard, including an important task which requires my attention after our marriage.”
Chewing on her bottom lip, she nodded slowly. “Then you will be absent most months from Steinn?”
“Most assuredly, and when I am there, Erik will be my focus.”
Her face softened as she moved slowly toward Magnar. “Therefore this marriage is in name only for Erik’s protection, aye?”
Annoyed with the direction of his thoughts, he looked away. How Magnar longed to tell the lie on the tip of his tongue. The word ached to be released. He turned and stared into her jeweled eyes in an attempt to offer her any hope of what she wanted to hear.
When she placed a hand on his arm, she whispered, “Tell me honestly, Magnar.”
He swallowed and removed her hand from his arm. Placing it securely over his heart, he stated, “Our marriage will be binding in all ways, Elspeth—in name and body. You may worship your God and I shall do so with mine, but ken this, you will be mine completely.”
The battle of emotions splayed across her face. She stepped closer and pulled her hand free from his. “Then you understand this, Magnar MacAlpin, you can have my body on my terms. The time of my choosing. I am tired of having men telling me what to do. Will you accept my terms?”
By the hounds! Her words sparked his lust further. Magnar concluded he did not want a simpering wife by his side. For the first time, he yearned to have one challenging him—in mind and body.
Grasping her around the waist, he ignored her gasp and cupped her chin. Her eyes widened as he slowly lowered his head. “Agreed.” He breathed the word against her cheek.
Standing abruptly, Elspeth glanced around the table. She wanted to shout at them all. Did they not understand how exhausted they were? From the moment they arrived at Lord Sutherland’s castle, they were ushered into the great hall to await the king. No food given. Only wine served. Bright red splotches covered her nephew’s cheeks.
Moving away from the table, she went to her nephew and placed a firm hand on his shoulder. “My king. If you would be so kind, I shall see Erik to his chamber.”
King William smiled. “Do not fret, Lady Elspeth. There was not much wine in his cup. I deemed it best to acknowledge his new position as chieftain with a small amount.”
Relief coursed through her, and she gave him her best smile. “Then with your consent, may I fetch him some food from the kitchens?”
The king rose from his chair. “Lord Sutherland has prepared chambers for you both.”
“Chambers in the south tower?” asked Magnar, taking a hold of her elbow.
Lord Sutherland gave him a slight nod.
Startled once again by the man’s silent movements, Elspeth remained mute, trying to control the warring emotions from the man’s touch. The heat of his fingers seared into her gown and onto her skin.
Giving the king a small smile, she permitted Magnar to usher her out of the great hall. Erik kept a steady pace with their movements as he continued to entertain their overly bold guide with yet another tale of how they escaped their home.
Her steps slowed as the torchlight danced off the giant tapestry hanging on the wall near the stairs. The eyes of a white wolf bore into Elspeth as she drew near. Though only the head of the animal was represented within the woven threads, she half expected the wolf to jump out at her.
Elite Guards. Wolves. King William.
Elspeth returned her attention to the man holding her in his grip. “I heard my brother once mention the elite guards for the king. He spoke with reverence and with fear. They are loyal to the king but had one leader—one who all of Scotland should fear because of his magic.”
The man’s eyes darkened and a smile tipped the corners of his mouth. “Your brother was wise in his account.”
Multi award-winning Celtic paranormal and fantasy romance author, Mary Morgan resides in Northern California, with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return.
Mary's passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. Inspired by her love for history and ancient Celtic mythology, her tales are filled with powerful warriors, brave women, magic, and romance. It wasn't until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling by writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories.
If you enjoy history, tortured heroes, and a wee bit of magic, then time-travel within the pages of her books.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$25 Amazon gift card and Viking pendant