By Linda McLaughlin
4 ½ stars and a Top Pick from Romantic Times!
Romantic Times Nominee—Best Small Press Romance of 2003!
2nd Place - Lorie Awards - Best Historical Romance!
In 1758 the Pennsylvania frontier is wild, primitive and dangerous, where safety often lies at the end of a gun. Mara Dupré's life crumbles when a French and Indian war party attacks her cabin, kills her husband, and takes her captive. Marching through the wilderness strengthens her resolve to flee, but she doesn't count on her captor teaching her the meaning of courage and the tempting call of desire.
French lieutenant Jacques Corbeau's desire for his captive threatens what little honor he has left. But when Mara desperately offers herself to him in exchange for her freedom, he finds the strength to refuse and reclaims his lost self-respect. As the shadows of his past catch up to him, Jacques realizes that Mara, despite the odds, is the one true key to reclaiming his soul and banishing his past misdeeds forever.
Note: Rogue’s Hostage is part of the Romance Super Bundle, a boxed set of ten full-length novels.
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(Note: This excerpt starts with Jacques lacing Mara’s bodice because she injured her wrist after she threatened him with a knife. It’s not the most romantic first kiss you’ll ever read.)
When he’d finished lacing her bodice, Corbeau took her chin in his strong brown hand and tipped her face up to meet his gaze. “Do not be too proud to ask for help when you need it.”
She glared up at him, her eyes narrowed with anger. “I don’t want you touching me. Not after yesterday.”
Gently he stroked her face. “I never meant to hurt you.”
She pulled away from him and held up her bandaged wrist. “What do you call this?”
A spark of anger flashed in his eyes. “I call it self-defense. Have you forgotten that you tried to kill me?”
“You forced me to do it,” she said defiantly. “You should have let me go.”
“Never. Not if I have to sleep with my back to a tree from now on.”
He advanced on her and she retreated, her alarm growing.
“Will you try to stab me in the back next time?”
“No,” she insisted, shaking her head wildly. “I don’t want to hurt you. I just want to be free.”
He stalked her until she was backed up against a tree with no room to maneuver. He moved closer, looming over her, heat emanating from his body. “I have no wish to hurt you either, madame,” he said in a husky voice.
“Then what do you want?” The moment the words were out, Mara wished she could snatch them back. She saw his intent in his eyes as his gaze focused on her lips.
She pushed against the hard muscles of his chest but to no avail. Easily he encircled her in his arms, one hand at her waist, the other tangling in the hair at her nape, pulling her head back. She couldn’t miss his musky smell as he pressed closer to her. Her knees were weakened by the quivering of her limbs, and she fisted her hands in the rough linen of his shirt.
“What do I want,” he whispered as he lowered his head, his breath hot against her face. “This. This is what I want.”
* * *
Jacques stared at her through half-closed eyes. The anger, frustration, and desire that fired his blood merged into an overwhelming need to kiss her. He claimed her mouth with his own, smothering her lips, knowing the kiss was rough and aggressive, but unable to stop. He wanted to silence her, subdue her, and make love to her all at once.
Her hands beat against his chest in time with the wild drumming of his heart. Then she went still, enduring his embrace, lips clamped tightly together.
Desire won out over anger. He eased the pressure of the kiss, letting his tongue trace the fullness of her lower lip, coaxing her mouth to open. His hand loosened, let go of her hair, and stroked the back of her neck.
Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of books and history, so it's only natural she prefers writing historical romance. She loves transporting her readers into the past where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward. Linda also writes steamy to erotic romance under the name Lyndi Lamont, and is one half of the writing team of Lyn O'Farrell.
You can find her online at http://lindalyndi.com
Twitter: @Lyndi Lamont https://twitter.com/LyndiLamont
Rocking Romance questions
1. What romantic event would you like to see this year? I’m looking forward to the California Dreamin’ Conference coming up in March. I always enjoy getting together with my romance writer friends.
2. Name your favorite romantic tip – Listen to your partner; so many couples talk past each other
3. What Rocking romance do you find intriguing (Miss Piggy and Kermit is mine)? I’m loving the romance between bad boy Killian Jones, aka Captain Hook, and good girl Emma Swan on Once Upon a Time. It has been fun to see the rascally pirate fall for the town sheriff.
4. What is your Rocking Romance flower? Roses are always classic, but orchids are beautiful and special.
5. Plan one romantic evening; what would you do? Since I live in Orange County… a walk on the beach at sunset. We have beautiful sunsets over the Pacific.
Thanks Linda for sharing,