A LADY WHO WILL DEFEND HER FAMILY AND HER CASTLE...
Lady Marin Barrington, eldest of the Earl of Werrick's five daughters, is a born protector. Not only has she taken on the role of mistress of the castle and caregiver to her sisters upon their mother's death, she also acts in her father’s stead while he is serving the king abroad. Dedicated and resolute, failure is never an option for her. So, when a reiver forces his way into the castle, Marin won’t surrender easily and takes it upon herself to kill the usurper. Except plans go awry when passions are awoken and matters get complicated.
A MAN WHO MUST SUCCEED NO MATTER THE COST...
Bran Davidson's sister is going to be hanged, unless he agrees to take Werrick Castle. Ever a pawn in a rich man's game, Bran has no choice but to force his way into Werrick on behalf of the Scottish Middle March Warden. He quickly discovers getting into the castle is the easy part. Dealing with its mistress, however, will take every ounce of cunning and determination he can muster, especially when she turns his blood to fire.
A PROMISE THAT CHANGES IT ALL...
In a game where desperation and love dictate the lives of many, a simple promise can change the tide of favor and open the door to pleasure and danger alike.
Further Books in Series:
2. Anice’s Bargain – releasing 6/25/19
3. Ella’s Desire – releasing 7/30/19
4. Catriona’s Secret – releasing 8/27/19
5. Leila’s Legacy – releasing 9/24/19
Madeline Martin is a USA TODAY Bestselling author of Scottish set historical romance novels filled with twists and turns, adventure, steamy romance, empowered heroines and the men who are strong enough to love them.
She lives a glitter-filled life in Jacksonville, Florida with her two daughters (known collectively as the minions) and a man so wonderful he's been dubbed Mr. Awesome. All shenanigans are detailed regularly on Twitter and on Facebook.
Madeline loves animals in sweaters, cat videos, and working out (to support her love of wine and Nutella). As she is unable to have pets herself due to allergies, she has acquired a plastic Halloween skeleton named Nick and a small robot named Meccano - both of whom are dressed up regularly by the minions.
She loves connecting with her readers, so feel free to follow her on any one of her social media platforms or send her a message.
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Lady Marin Barrington was used to attacks from the reivers. As the eldest daughter to the third Earl of Werrick, the English West March Warden, she was even used to acting as his unofficial constable in his absence.
Threat of an impending battle in Berwick had resulted in the earl bringing a majority of his forces with him to go to King Edward’s side. The remaining soldiers looked to her for guidance, to ensure the people within the castle remained properly defended and safe.
The castle had not been breached, not in the last eleven years when the last raid forced them to erect fortified curtain walls so great no marauders could get penetrate them to reach the castle within. Not until this moment.
Marin kept her arrow nocked and pointed toward the dark-haired man below. The blonde girl in his arms did not move. It was that last fact which made Marin's heart chill.
“Open yer gates,” he shouted.
The army around him was larger than the one remaining to defend the castle. Well over one hundred men. If the gates were opened, her forces would be easily overwhelmed.
“Open yer gates, or I will kill yer sister.” The man leapt from his stocky reiver’s horse and dragged Catriona with him, her hair streaming in the summer wind like a banner of gold.
As soon as his feet hit the ground, Catriona jumped to life, launching her elbow at his face. He jerked hard to the side from the impact but kept his hold on her.
Marin lowered her bow and edged to the castle wall.
“Don't give in to him, Marin—” Cat opened her mouth to say more, but the reiver snagged her around the waist and pulled her toward him. A knife flashed at his side and pressed to her neck.
He sniffed hard, the way one often did when a blow to their face resulted in a bloody nose. “Open the gate or I will kill her.”
Marin's heart plunged into her stomach.
He drew his thumb from her mouth and kissed her again, his mouth hot and tasting of the spiced wine he'd drunk earlier. It would be too easy to give in to the seductive words.
Rather than allow herself lustful thoughts, Marin pushed to the forefront the things she ought to recall.
Eversham's sacrifice in his attempt to save Cat. The way her sister had so valiantly hit Bran, a man twice her size, and how the younger girl had pleaded with Marin to let her die to save the castle. Her soldiers locked in the dungeon below the castle. The anticipation of Father's reaction when he discovered Marin had lost Werrick Castle.
She touched Bran's naked chest. His skin was warm and soft, the soap clean scent heady. The coarseness of his hair was masculine and appealing. He pushed closer to her, so her hands pressed to him more firmly. She let her fingers work down the bands of his flat stomach to where their hips touched. To where she hid her dagger.
The metal had heated from where it sat between the heat of their bodies. Marin had to skim its surface several times before finding the hilt. In her efforts, her fingers brushed the hard column of manhood beneath Bran's leather trews. He groaned and ground his hips harder against her.
Pleasure tingled through Marin and made her want to elicit more of his groans, more of his enjoyment. She steeled herself, closed her hand around the hilt and drew out the blade. It slid from its sheath with a telltale metallic hiss. Before surprise could reflect in Bran's eyes, Marin pushed it to his throat.
She meant to keep shoving it until her hands were wet with the life gushing from his body. She meant to kill him and remove his head from his body to show to his men and strike fear into their hearts.
Except he stared at her with as much hurt as he did surprise. It should not have stayed her hand, but it did. And that was her greatest mistake.
It took only that one fractured moment of doubt, of care, for him to grip her hand and twist it so all the strength drained from her fingers and the dagger clattered to the floor. Marin was familiar with the move, she'd used it many times herself. She knew better.
The dagger glinted from the floor.
“Marin,” Bran said, his voice light with chastisement.
That was when she slammed her forehead into his, for no daughter of Werrick went down without a fight.
All of Bran's senses became sharper in battle. He discerned the hiss of a blade over the cries of the dying and the clanging of weapons, the odor of an impending attacker over the horrors of death and dying redolent around him. His awareness worked to keep his body strong and his focus intact.
When a slight blonde woman wearing chain mail and wielding a mace stepped forward into the gap where the soldiers had fallen, however, his focus shattered. She was too little for battle, barely a woman at all.
His body moved with memorized action, blocking and killing as needed, but his gaze remained fixed on where young Ella whirled the spiked metal ball of her mace. Her lip curled back in a vicious snarl as she let the heavy head of her weapon slam into a man's face, its impact wet and hollow. Blood exploded where the Graham’s face had been.
Ella kept her attention fixed on another reiver and tugged her weapon free with a jerk. Anice appeared at her side with her arm outstretched, as if the action might keep the two younger sisters behind them safe. In front of her, Piquette stood like a sentry, his mouth colored with blood and his snout peeled back from his bared teeth.
Like Marin, Anice wielded a blade, arcing and slicing with a skill only slightly less than that of her older sister.
Another man in the distance gave a wild shriek into the air, followed by another and another until the wild cries rose above even the chaos of war. Then it stopped, as suddenly as it'd begun.
The women paid it no mind and continued to fight with their exceptional skill. While Bran didn't know much about the Earl of Werrick, he was well aware the man had trained his daughters to fight like men. And in doing so, the earl had undoubtedly saved their lives.
Marin's Promise by Madeline Martin is book One in the Borderland Ladies Series. This is the story of Bran Davidson and Marin Barrington.
Bran has had to make a living for his sister and himself being a border reiver / raider. But the one thing Bran and his crew knew that no women or children would be hurt or raped..it was just one of the rules they had. When Bran sister is taken by Kerr who swears to put her to death if he doesn't take the Werrick Castle over. Bran does find a way into the Castle but then he finds out that may have been the easy part...because meeting the protector Marin sets up a whole new obstacle.
Marin as the eldest daughter of the Earl of Werrick she had to take on the role of mother, protector and overseer of the Werrick's Castle after her mother was raped and died in childbirth. This set the sister's father on a downward spiral for a while, and when he was able to go on with his life he went off to war for the King. So Marin is the barrier of protecting her family and will do anything for her family but feelings can't be stopped between Bran and Marin.
WOW...what a great start to a series! I am such a fan of Ms. Martins writing and she never lets me down ...one of my go to authors! Excited to read more in this series and of course by Ms. Martin.