Authors: Reivers Bride
“A vivid Scottish setting, an engaging battle of wits, and a dash of fantasy all come together beautifully.”
“Totally engaging… highly charged romance, snappy repartee, memorable characters, and some wild adventures… a non-stop read.”
“Ms. Scott soars through her story with excitement.”
“Filled with adventure, fantasy, and the wonders of love.”
“An exciting work of romantic suspense… a wonderful novel.”
—Midwest Book Review
“Sensual… a well-written, recommended read.”
“Amanda Scott has done it again!… This is the perfect combination of reality and legend.”
“Vivacious… fluid and lyrical… a whirling, twirling read that’s as haunting as the beautiful skirl of bagpipes.”
“Doesn’t miss a beat… plenty of intrigue, suspense, and romance… a very satisfying and entertaining read.”
“Scott’s fans will be glad to see this one.”
—Southern Pines Pilot
The Secret Clan: Highland Bride
The Secret Clan: Hidden Heiress
The Secret Clan: Abducted Heiress
The Bawdy Bride
The Rose at Twilight
WARNER BOOKS EDITION
Copyright © 2003 by Lynne Scott-Drennan
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including
information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may
quote brief passages in a review.
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First eBook Edition: September 2009
To Sue B. Steele, Lady Peel, and Kay Cole,
whose comments and attitudes continue to inspire me.
Thank you, now and always.
Everything that deceives may be said to enchant.
For readers who enjoy knowing the correct pronunciation of the names and places mentioned, please note the following:
Buccleuch = Buck-LEW
Ceilidh = KAY-lee
Dunsithe = Dun-SITH-ec
ady Anne Ellyson gazed despairingly at her dying father, the third Earl of Armadale, as he struggled weakly to raise himself
in his bed. The bedchamber was stuffy, too warm, and redolent with myriad odors of a sickroom. She gestured to the earl’s
wiry manservant to help him.
Slight of build as Anne was, and standing beside her father’s huge bed, she felt smaller and more vulnerable than usual. She
wore an old robe over her nightshift and had slipped her feet into fur-lined mules when her woman had wakened her. Her auburn
hair hung untidily down her back, and her gray eyes were somber. Her throat felt tight, and as she watched the earl, her stomach
clenched with fear.
“Pillow,” Armadale muttered.
Without argument but with visible disapproval, his manservant helped him shift his wasted upper body forward and shoved a
plump pillow behind him.
“He tires easily, my lady,” the man said with a speaking look.
Wearily, but in a stronger voice than before, the earl said, “Go away, John. I would be private with her ladyship.”
“Aye, my lord.” Turning, he said quietly, “I’ll be just outside, Lady Anne.”
She nodded, her attention fixed on the glowering figure in the bed.
It was four o’clock in the morning, and although she had left him asleep only two hours before, he seemed to have lost even
more weight, strength, and color in the meantime. His usually ruddy complexion was gray, his eyelids drooping. The pale blue
eyes behind them, however, still showed much of their usual spark.
Armadale, like most men of the Scottish Borders, was a man of less than middle height but one born to the saddle and possessed
of a strong sense of independence. Until the previous fortnight, he had enjoyed a healthy, muscular body and a vigorous life.
His formidable power had derived not only from his rank and his energy but also from his domineering spirit and legendary
temper. Now all that lingered of that power and spirit was the grim look he bestowed upon his sole surviving child as the
door shut behind his servant.