Moments before her death, medieval history student Lilly Marten mysteriously arrives in the year 1503, where soldier Gabriel Sutherland has been expecting her arrival.
Standing on the battlements of a 16th century Keep was the last place Gabriel Sutherland should be. Then again, being ‘shifted' to 1503 seconds before a rocket blew his ass to bits wasn't something he had envisioned either. Still, he was surviving the only way he knew how, as a soldier. Then Lilly arrived. Sweet, innocent Lilly. For a genetically superior soldier whose life had entailed of nothing but serving King and country, the arrival of Lilly proves too much for Gabe to ignore. For the first time in his life, Gabe can have a woman of his own and Lilly is the one.
Lilly Marten lives alone, her quiet life the result of a highly sensitive photographic memory. That changed when she arrived in the year 1503 seconds before Toronto's popular C.N Tower came crashing down on top of her. Now she was never alone. Gabe was always near. With his unbelievably perfect features and intense green eyes, he is not a man easily ignored. Yet, uncertainty about her new life leaves Lilly with no choice but to put faith in a man she fears and whose strong physical presence causes her to desire more than just his trust.
General Release Date: 10th October 2011
“You’re being summoned.”
With arms crossed and legs braced apart, Gabriel Sutherland watched the movement in the forest from the high walls of the keep. “How does he look?”
Stepping closer to him, Harry answered, “Like he’s been sliced open wi’ an axe.”
Slowly turning his head, Gabe raised a single, golden eyebrow.
“How the hell do ye think he looks?” Harry crossed his thick arms and glared back. “The man is going to die, very soon.” Harry sighed. “He’s agitated about something. You need to get down there. I’ll take care of things here.”
Gabe nodded and turned back to the forest. “Go and find out who is behind this. These Scots are too well organised—they’re running basic assault drills.”
“Really?” Harry focused on the forest.
“Mmm. They’re running our basic drills,” Gabe clarified.
“That’s interesting. Then I suppose I’ll pay those boys a quick visit, while you see to Thomas.”
In the shadow of the heavy wooden door, Gabe stood motionless, watching.
Harry was right—Thomas was dying. And from what the professor had said, Thomas would be dead before midnight.
Thomas. The poor bastard had been hit from behind with an axe three days ago, and his wound had grown steadily worse since then. Gabe watched as Thomas closed his eyes and gritted his teeth. Even the simple act of breathing looked to be almost unbearable.
Squeezing his hands into fists, Gabe stared at him. This was no way for a man like Thomas to die. He was tall and strong, and a talented fighter.
The unfamiliar feeling of amazement shook him again.
Everything Professor McGill had told him was true—it had all taken place just as he’d said it would. He hadn’t believed a goddamn word the little man had said until this very moment. He still was having a hard time believing...everything. He narrowed his eyes as he studied Thomas lying helpless on the large bed. He and Thomas were so similar in appearance it was scary. He should be used to it by now—two weeks had passed since he’d first arrived—yet it still amazed him.
When McGill had told him that Thomas was a distant relative, he’d thought the man was a mental case. Until the proof was standing in front of him.
They were roughly the same size and build and they both shared the same light brown hair, green eyes and strongly angled chin. And, from what Gabe could tell, Thomas was calm, self-assured and assessed situations before reacting, traits that made a good soldier great. And if he was anything, Thomas was a soldier.
The steady pounding against the north wall echoed inside the keep as Gabe continued to study Thomas.
Thomas smiled weakly and called out, “So the Scottish bastards are still at it?”
Gabe’s deep chuckle echoed in the chamber. Shifting his weight casually, he stepped from the shadows. ”Yes, they are.”
Stopping a few feet away, Gabe kept his stance non-threatening as he looked Thomas over. The man was pale and clearly struggling to breathe, yet his eyes were bright and sharp as he stared back. Gabe clasped his hands tightly behind his back. This was wrong—a soldier shouldn’t die like this. And even though he knew Thomas was a man of high-ranking stature—a lord, of all things—he was still a soldier.
Gabe paused and gave a slight bow as he reached the side of the man’s bed.
“We are beyond that now, Gabriel.” Thomas waved his hand. The slight movement seemed to take tremendous effort.
“Are we?” Gabe asked, watching the man who, to all appearances, was his uncle.
“Do you dare argue with me?” His arrogant tone made Gabe smile. “You are Edwin’s son, my nephew, and soon to be Lord Sutherland.”
Narrowing his eyes, Gabe studied Thomas closely. “I am the bastard son of your brother.”
The information McGill had given him about Thomas had come in handy—all he’d had to do was plant the idea of his being Edwin’s son and Thomas had latched on to it. Gabe didn’t like to lie and it wasn’t something he did on a regular basis, but if it made things easier, then so be it. “The King sent me to help protect your holding. I didn’t come to collect a title as payment.”
“Your father would have said the very same thing. Ah, Edwin! You remind me of him.” Thomas’ soft chuckle changed to a rough, painful-sounding cough. “I miss him.” Thomas shook his head and looked up at Gabe. “I hope to see Edwin when I join Marie and my son. Though I doubt God would allow him through the gates.”
Gabe frowned. “No.”
Thomas smiled. “Your father was happiest when he was either in battle or in a woman’s bed. Any woman’s bed,” he stressed. The chuckle that followed caused the upper half of his body to shake painfully.
Gabe’s frown deepened.
“Edwin will most certainly be denied entry into paradise. Yet, it was those sins that have brought me aid. The fact that you are my brother’s bastard means nothing to me. You are a Sutherland and you will be my successor.”
“What about your youngest brother, Edmund?” Gabe asked. “You should choose a legitimate heir.”
“Edmund would make a suitable replacement, but he is vassal to Gomfrey in the south, and his wife is expecting their firstborn. He would not be able to arrive in time. This land cannot be without protection for even one day.” Thomas raised his voice, clearly agitated. “The risk of the Scots raiding further inland is too great and that is something I will not allow.” Thomas finished on a harsh tone, his battered body stiff.
Gabe nodded patiently, understanding Thomas’s determination to protect what belonged to him.
“If Edwin was alive today, I would have chosen him over Edmund. Your father was unmatched in battle.”
The man was dead. How good could he have been? Gabe raised his eyebrows to show his interest but kept his thoughts to himself.
Nancy's addiction for a good trash novel began in her late-teens when her grandmother gave her a bag of Harlequin Romance books. She was hooked and spent the next few years lurking in the dark corners of used bookstores searching for her next fix. Until, one marriage and two kids later, her own ideas had her jumping up at 3 am (much to her husband's annoyance) and typing them into her laptop. Beside her husband and children, Nancy has three passions, rearranging furniture, buying bed linens and, of course, writing. Nancy lives in Eastern Ontario with her family and two over sized lap dogs.