BOOK DETAILS

The Draig's Woman

The Draig's Woman

by Lisa Dawn Wadler

ASIN: B0195ND072

Publisher Soul Mate Publishing

Published in Romance/Time Travel, Romance/Historical, Romance, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description

$2.99

Rescuing the man tied to a tree seemed like a rational decision. She has no idea the door she walked through to save the bound man would leave her trapped in 13th century Scotland. Compelled by honor and tormented by desire, is being his woman enough?

Ian, Laird of the Draig clan, craves the woman who saved his life and spent one night in his arms. Claire fell through time to be his. Will she accept his offer of being his woman while he marries another?

Sample Chapter

Lowlands of Scotland May 4, 1217

Many things should have occupied his mind at this moment: three dead men, his betrothal contract that would bring much needed wealth, the fate of his clan, the fate awaiting him, or even the dawning of the new day. Instead, Ian, Laird of the Draig clan, sat mesmerized by the sight before him. He’d heard the tales his whole life, the stories of passages that brought people from other places, and had always assumed these to be the imaginings of the old ones, just stories to brighten a dark winter’s night. Never would he have believed that his ancestor had truly created these passages without seeing the truth before him.

Haloed on all sides by early morning light, the door- sized opening was dark, yet small patches of torchlight revealed her to him. The lass wore an odd, wee gown that exposed her bare arms, shoulders, and even her long, slender legs. The fabric shimmered like moonlight. Thick brown hair owed to the middle of her bare back. How he loved a lass’s hair unbound. She turned just enough for him to see her face. Even with the distance between them, her beauty called to him. She had high cheekbones and large dark eyes which, combined with full lips and fair skin, made his body long to touch hers. The lass took his breath away. She smiled as she walked along a wall, with her hair blowing in a breeze he could not feel.

Ian saw the man stalking silently behind her before she did and easily read his intentions. He wanted to shout a warning. As the man shoved the woman up against the brick wall, Ian felt like weeping with frustration. Her fate hurt his soul. While every ber in his being screamed to help her, to save her, he could not.

He could do nothing. He was gagged and securely bound to a tree. He couldn’t even save himself.

Pheonix, Arizona

October 2012

Claire was officially her own worst enemy. It was her own fault she was here. Every move had been carefully coordinated to leave her in this place, trapped. Trapped was a bit extreme, but she had no one but herself to blame for making the arrangements for the evening, the ones that placed her in this loud, music blaring hell. One phone call to her new stepfather, David, and there had been no waiting at the hottest club in town. No lines, just a quick check on the VIP list and Claire and her friend were in.

Unfortunately, this was where they had stayed throughout the evening. While this was Brook’s idea of a perfect Friday night, it was far from hers. Shifting her feet in three-inch heels in an attempt to ease the ache, she let out a heavy sigh. The night was supposed to have been an evening to celebrate Brooke’s job promotion. Instead, it had become another evening with Brooke attached to her latest conquest.

“Did I tell you your mom invited me to her surprise birthday party?” Brooke shouted as she leaned across the table.

Claire smiled and nodded her head in acknowledgment. “David is very sweet but lousy at keeping secrets. This whole surprise party thing was his idea.” With a grin, she said, “But I’m glad you’re coming. We’ll make a night out ofit.” The invitation didn’t surprise her at all. Brooke had been a constant part of Claire’s life since kindergarten.

Claire’s fingers smoothed down her silver dress as she yelled over the music, “Mom bought me this dress for the party. Can you believe my conservative mother bought me something silver, plus so short and backless?”

Brooke chuckled at the question. If there was one thing Brooke and her mother had in common, it was the agreement that Claire needed to date. Her schedule at the dojo and her class load kept her too busy for socializing. She had one more semester to go, and the accounting degree would nally be hers. The fact that it was self-funded only added to the victory to come.

As she pulled down the short skirt, Claire had only regret for the impulsive decision to wear the new dress to the club. She felt far too exposed. The open back, not to mention the lack of a real bra, didn’t help. The outfit screamed single and available. Unfortunately, the wrong man had heard the cry.

“Here, I bought you another beer.” The tall blond sounded very pleased with his offering to Claire. She really didn’t mind if Brooke liked to meet men in a bar, but they always had a friend who wound up talking to her and expecting a bit too much.

She stifled her groan as the man she dubbed Smelly Cowboy came back to their table. He reeked as if he had bathed in cheap cologne before coming to the trendy dance club wearing a western shirt, giant belt buckle, and cowboy boots.

“Thanks, but I wasn’t drinking beer, Peter,” Claire said with a forced smile. If he had spent any time listening or observing he would have known that. Instead, most of his concentration had been spent staring at her cleavage.

Claire practically jumped when she felt him slither up against her and put his hand on her ass. That was the last straw for Claire. She was done playing wingman forBrooke. Leaning over to separate Brooke from the male face she was currently attached to, Claire yelled over the music, “I’m leaving now.”

“Oh no, you can’t leave yet. The fun is just beginning,” Brooke said as she displayed her patented pouty face.

“Pouty face won’t work tonight. I’m done. Peter keeps grabbing my ass, and I need to get up for work in the morning.” Brooke seemed to be enjoying the attention from the guy at her side too much to notice Claire’s discomfort.

“Hands on ass can be fun, Claire. Don’t you like Peter? He’s kind of hot!” Brooke replied with a devilish grin. “Besides, I thought you were coming back to my place to sleep over. I know you have yoga pants in that giant bag of yours.”

Claire couldn’t hide her grin as she looked at the giant purse by her feet; she did have her sleepover gear. She loved a slumber party.

“No, I don’t like Peter. All he does is stare at my boobs and talk about how his last girlfriend was a fool for breaking up with him.” She left out how Peter gave her the creeps. Claire’s instincts said he was bad news. Challenging her friend, she said, “Fine, Brooke. Tell me you actually plan on going home tonight and I’ll stay.”

The two friends stared at each other until both burst out laughing. Brooke broke free from the male arms circling her waist and hugged Claire. Yelling in her ear, Brooke said, “You know you should try it! You may like it. I mean no one is going to be perfect. That dream guy of yours does not exist.”

At that moment, Claire regretted telling her friend everything. She vowed from then on she would keep her recurring dreams private. “Enough with my dreams. I’m not looking for some fantasy guy. But Peter is so not going to work for me.” Besides, I didn’t spend this long waiting for the right guy to settle for drunk, stinky, and convenient.

Brooke let a grin cover her face as her eyes surveyed theclub. “Then let’s find you a different guy. Why should I be the only one who is having all the fun?”

Claire could only laugh. That was Brooke, always having fun. “Going home with strangers isn’t my idea of a good time. Call me tomorrow.”

“Thanks for coming out tonight and for getting us in here. Call me after work, maybe Tex-Mex for dinner tomorrow?” After a quick glance at the guy behind her, Brooke amended, “Or maybe Sunday night?”

“Tonight was great.” Claire managed to say with a straight face, though Brooke’s laughter acknowledged the white lie. “We’ll talk in the morning. Remember, text me the address where you end up. I can always come get you.” Claire made the offer, knowing Brooke would comply.

“I will.” After they hugged goodbye, Brooke was back on her new man, literally.

Claire couldn’t get out fast enough.

Claire smiled as she walked behind the club to the parking lot. The night hadn’t been so terrible. Brooke had a great time, which was what mattered most. As a bonus, she had managed to get out without Smelly Cowboy touching her again. Being out in the fresh air was what she needed to find balance after hours of ridiculously loud music.

She raised her face to enjoy the warm breeze but was immediately shoved into the back wall of the building. Just before her face hit the bricks, her hands braced against the wall in a move that was pure instinct. Someone grabbed her hands and yanked them in place over her head. Her heart raced, and her sense of smell identified her attacker: too much bad cologne and breath that reeked of beer.

“You left without saying goodbye, Claire,” Peter said into her ear as he pressed roughly against her back. “This could have turned out differently, but you had to be difficult,didn’t you?” Pausing to smell her hair, he said, “But I’m willing to forgive you. My car is around the corner. Let’s go back to my place.”

Claire knew something was not right with Peter. However, she hadn’t thought he was dangerous, but being a good judge of people only worked if you paid attention. She had also ignored her surroundings in the dark parking lot, which doubled the mistake.

With an attempt at levity, Claire joked, “This is really not a great way to ask me out.” Not feeling any slack in his hold on her wrists, anger surged through her veins. Finding a false calm voice, Claire said, “I’m only going to warn you once. You’re making a mistake, Peter. I’m giving you one chance to back away . . . now.”

Peter’s hold on her hands tightened painfully. Rocking into Claire’s backside, Peter started to laugh. “What if I don’t want to back away, baby?”

She felt her anger rising at the laughter, and her face flushed with silent fury at being accosted. “You didn’t pay attention to a word I said, did you?” She knew if he would talk, she could distract him. If he loosened his grip, she could push him away. If not, shame on Peter. Years of training pushed the emotion aside; all she needed was a single moment to end this threat.

“Sure I did, baby, I heard it all. Blah, blah, blah, you are a bookkeeper, blah, blah, you still go to school, blah, blah, out with friends, blah, blah.” Leaning into Claire’s ear, Peter harshly whispered, “All that matters is how fantastic you feel.” After securing her hands in one of his, he ran his hand up her bare thigh. “Maybe I don’t want to stop. You are just like all the rest. You don’t want me to stop, do you?”

Claire shuddered with revulsion at his clammy hands on her flesh. “Last chance to let me go.”

As Peter shifted his grip to grab at her skirt, Claire seized the moment. Raising her foot, she kicked backwardto connect with Peter’s shin. Wrenching her right arm free, she tilted her arm up and elbowed him in the side of his face. Turning quickly, Claire grabbed his shoulder, pulled him forward and down so her knee could meet his chest hard, twice for good measure. She pushed him backward as her foot stepped behind his ankle, tripping him. He hit the ground hard. She even winced when she heard his head smack the pavement.

Glaring down at her attacker, Claire said, “No, you didn’t listen, asshole. I’m a bookkeeper for a martial arts academy. If you have any sense at all, you will stay down.” She assumed Peter couldn’t get up now if he wanted to. She figured she should call an ambulance.

Walking to grab her phone from the dropped bag, Claire saw a man. She turned to Peter, still lying on the pavement. “You sick bastard, what have you done? Why did you tie that guy up?” Given the fall to the pavement, she wasn’t surprised he was unable to reply. Claire spoke the thought aloud, “But you didn’t do this, did you? You were in the club.”

Claire stared at the man sitting gagged and tied to a tree. His surroundings looked too bright, like the bound man sat bathed in sunlight. But how can that be? It’s after midnight. Something about the situation didn’t add up. Claire moved to close the gap between her and the bound man. He stared at her while pulling against his ropes. Even with the distance between them, she knew there was no choice; every fiber of her being screamed to save this man. Without hesitation, she stepped into the light.

Claire stepped through what appeared to be a doorway and fell to her knees. Her stomach rolled, and she felt like she was going to be sick. She gasped in shock as cool grass and sharp stones dug into her palms and knees. Cold, damp wind blew her hair back from her face as she took a deepbreath of the rich, earthy-smelling air. Goosebumps rose on her skin as she stood on shaky legs to face the bound man less than ten feet away. His green eyes stared at her, eyes that were almost electric. Long, dark hair fell to his massive shoulders. The captive’s face was covered by a short beard. He was disheveled at best and still made Claire’s breath hitch in her throat. Mess or not, the man was very attractive, even wearing a filthy shirt, tattered plaid, and leather boots.

Claire closed the distance between them on unsteady legs. “Who did this to you?”

Realizing the man couldn’t answer, she bent down to lower the gag, pulling her hand back quickly when she saw his smile. She had been lost in the tingle in her fingers from the sensation of his warm skin after the cloth had dropped.

Speaking with a dry throat and a deep baritone, he said, “Cut my bindings, lass. They will be coming back soon. My dagger is next to me in the ground. Left there to torment me, out of reach, yet in sight.”

Following the motion of his head, Claire spied the dagger sticking out of the earth. Several things dawned on her at that moment. She was standing in the woods, not in the club’s parking lot, and it was cold and damp, not desert warm. The man spoke in what could only be described as a Scottish brogue. It was early morning here, definitely not the midnight sky she had just seen. So many things were so very wrong.

Grabbing the dagger, Claire noted it felt very solid in her hand, even if the pattern felt strange on her palm. The metal of the handle was engraved with some type of dragon, with a head on each end and no tail. Reestablishing a firm grip on the weapon, she pointed it at the bound man. “What the hell is going on here? Where am I?”

As the man stared at the point of his blade, the response was soft but commanding. “Lass, cut the ropes. I mean nothreat to you. Keep the dagger. Just do it with haste. The men who captured me will be back soon.”

Should I trust him? The bound man was obviously trying to keep her calm, and she was already reaching for the ropes that held him, as if by instinct. Giving in to her urgings, she stepped behind the large old tree to cut the ropes. As Claire leaned into the bindings for more leverage, the man’s smell caught her by surprise. Even though he wasn’t at his best, he still made her senses reel. He was a heavenly combination of earth, fresh air, musk, and something she couldn’t name. The rational part of her brain quickly chastised her lack of focus. What I need is to get the heck out of here, not to inhale him like he’s the best smelling person I’ve ever met. As the ropes fell away, the man stood to full height, stretching his sore limbs. He stood at least six foot two and looked to weigh more than two hundred and forty pounds.

He turned to face Claire. “Lass, I am Ian, Laird of the Draig clan, and I am in your debt.” His bold green eyes never left hers as he moved to stand in front of her.

Claire just stared. She knew this was wrong and she shouldn’t be there. It wasn’t right. You don’t just wind up in the forest from a door in a parking lot. You don’t untie men like this from trees. Now is the time to go back. Where is that door? Her head turned to see the door just to her right, and through it, a view of the world she knew. She moved toward it. As Claire reached the threshold, Ian gently clasped her hand.

“Your name, lass?” Ian asked as his eyes studied her face.

Caught in his gaze, she had trouble remembering who she was. After managing to mumble it, she stumbled on her heels.

“Claire,” Ian repeated with a small smile.

It seemed to Claire as if Ian savored the sound of her name in his mouth, spilling them gently from his lips. She couldn’t stop staring at his lips. Enough! She knew she should go.Ian reached gently for her face. He moved very slowly, and his face inched closer to hers. She looked up at him, unsure of his intention. Ian leaned closer, gently brushing his lips against hers, just the softest of kisses.

Delighting in the feel of his mouth against hers and the rush of sparks that shot through her limbs, Claire could only let the kiss blossom into something more, enjoying the tingly warmth it created. She was unable to stop her soft whimper as Ian broke the kiss. She found her cheek cupped in his warm hand and Ian tilting her head up so that he could see her. His soft smile was replaced by something different, an intense gaze that all but screamed raw sexual desire. She stepped back abruptly. She needed to leave.

Appearing all too pleased with her response, he said, “Go back, Claire, with the knowledge you will always have my thanks.” Ian released her hand.

She immediately missed the feel of his hand, even as her lips wanted more of what he had offered. Claire shook away the unbidden thoughts; she needed to get back home.

Continues...

Excerpted from "The Draig's Woman" by Lisa Dawn Wadler. Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Dawn Wadler. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Lisa Dawn Wadler

Lisa Dawn Wadler

Lisa began writing after reading yet another romance novel where the heroine needed a man to rescue her from physical harm. While a firm believer in the strong alpha-male hero in any story, she wondered what would happen if that hero met a woman who was able to take care of herself physically. Using her several years of Tae Kwon Do training and mixing in time travel, her multi-award winning debut novel, The Draig’s Woman was born.

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