A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Wednesday, March 19, 2014



Captured by the Pirate Laird

Highland Force

Book One

Amy Jarecki

Genre: Scottish Historical Romance

Date of Publication: 2/17/14



Number of pages: 342

Word Count: 96,600

Cover Artist: Kim Killion

HYPERLINK "http://www.amazon.com/Amy-Jarecki/e/B0061VIGDK/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1388277153&sr=8-1" Amazon

Book Description:

Wed by proxy to a baron old enough to be her grandfather, Lady Anne trudges up the gangway of a galleon that will deliver her into the arms of a tyrant. Crestfallen, she believes her disastrous life cannot get worse—until she awakes to the blasts of cannon fire.

Facing certain death, Anne trembles in her stateroom while swords clash and the chilling screams of battle rage on the deck above. When a rugged Highlander kicks in her door, she prays for a swift end.

But Laird Calum MacLeod has a reason for plundering the ship—and it’s not a stunning English lass. With no other choice, he takes Anne to his crumbling keep on the isle of Raasay and sends a letter of ransom to her husband. In time, Anne grows to understand MacLeod’s plight and finds it increasingly difficult to resist Calum’s unsettling charm—until the baron sends a reply agreeing to terms.

Ripped from passion that will be forever seared into their souls, will Anne and Calum risk everything for love?


She turned and caught him staring. He bowed and his heart melted when she smiled—a smile with dimples that could light up the horizon. He half expected Anne to turn up her pert little nose and head the other way.

Before he could persuade himself otherwise, Calum pattered down the steps and stood beside her. She watched the sunset and her warmth pulled him close like a magnet.

"’Tis beautiful," she said when the sky shone with orange and pink, highlighted against the strips of clouds that sailed toward the ship.

He inhaled. Her scent ever so feminine, Calum inclined his head to capture more of it. "Aye, milady."

She placed her hand on the rail. Again his reflexes took over and he rested his palm atop it. Calum expected her to snatch it away, but she did not. Her fingers were cold and he held his much warmer hand there as a comfort. They stood in silence as the sun glowed orange-red on the horizon. He wanted to stand there forever—touching her. Barely breathing, he watched the sun disappear and held his hand still, unwilling to move it.

The sun was replaced by darkness. Lady Anne slipped her hand out from under his and the dark of the evening took up residence inside him. She was not his to lust after. "May I walk you to your stateroom?"

"Yes." Her voice sounded husky. Had she felt the connection too? Of course not.

Calum offered his arm and that same small, cold hand grasped it. "We’ll arrive at Raasay in the morning."

"Our destination?"


"Bran told me."

Secrets were impossible to keep on a ship. "I will send a letter of ransom to yer husband upon our arrival." He didn’t like how that sounded—ye are my prisoner until Lord Wharton pays for your release. But that’s how it had to be. If he sailed up the mouth of the River Aln, he would incite yet another war between Scotland and England—and this time his countrymen might side with the enemy.

When they stepped into the corridor, warm air relaxed the tension in his shoulders.

Anne stopped outside her cabin door, breasts straining against her bodice with every breath. "I’ve never met him."

Calum forced himself to concentrate on her face. "Who?"

"Lord Wharton."

"What? How?"

"We were wed by proxy. My uncle made the arrangements."

Ah Jesus. Calum understood the way of highborn marriages, arranged for the trade of lands and riches. "Ye ken he’s old enough to be your father?"

"He’s three times my age plus one year to be exact. His children are older than I."

A hundred questions flooded his mind. "Why?" he clipped with shocked disbelief.

Anne nodded as if fully understanding his monosyllabic inquiry. "I’m told the Baron fancied me from across Westminster Abbey during the Queen’s coronation."

"No." She doesn’t even know the bastard. That’s why she wears no ring.

"Yes. My uncle said he kissed my hand, yet so many lords greeted me on that trip to London, I’m at a loss to place him."

The despair in her lovely eyes twisted around his heart. "Mayhap ye will remember if we playact it." With a halfcocked grin, Calum reached for her hand. His mouth went dry when her silken skin met the rough pads of his fingertips. Though a grown woman, her fingers were fine and delicate.

When she didn’t pull away, he moistened his lips and bowed. Hovering above her hand, the soft scent of honeysuckle mixed with her—the unmistakable scent of woman now more captivating than it had been on the deck—ignited his insides as if she stood naked before him. Closing his eyes, he touched his lips to the back of her hand and kissed. Anne’s sharp inhale made his skin shiver with gooseflesh. She did not try to pull away but remained so still, her pulse beat a fierce rhythm beneath.

Calum held his lips there longer than necessary. He wanted this moment to linger. He wanted a memory he could cherish long after she was gone. His eyes locked with hers as he straightened. Her lips parted slightly, almost as if asking him to kiss her mouth, but he knew she wouldn’t want that.

He stood for a moment not saying a word. She did too.

"Any recollection?" His voice rasped.

"No." Her voice low, she then blinked as if snapping back to the present. "You mustn’t ever do that again."

"Apologies, milady." Grinning, he opened her door and bowed, though he did not regret her lack of recall.

Anne stepped into her stateroom. Calum could not pull his gaze away until the door closed and blocked the bewilderment reflected in her sapphire eyes. Calum waited a moment and stared at the hardwood door—the same one he had kicked in five nights ago. What the hell was he doing?

He ground his teeth and headed back to the quarterdeck. He needed to get the lady out of his life. She was not his to care for. Worst of all, she had wed the enemy.


Captured by the Pirate Laird (Highland Force, #1)Captured by the Pirate Laird by Amy Jarecki
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Captured by the Pirate Laird is a 2014 Rapture Books publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Poor Anne has been wedded by proxy to an English Baron who is nearly 60 years old. He has children older than Anne. What's worse is she's never even been formally introduced to him. Supposedly they had met once, but Anne had no memory of him. Traveling to England to meet her new husband the ship is taken over by pirates.
Calum Macleod has his reasons for plundering the ship( Galleon) where he finds the beautiful Anne. She is a complication he wasn't counting on. Not knowing what else to do he brings her back to his keep and sends a ransom note to her husband.
Anne finds herself more than relieved to have been sidetracked from having to meet her new husband. Truth be told Calum is very easy on the eyes and Anne is quite taken with him. Calum scolds himself for his lusty attraction to Anne. After all she is wed to his arch enemy. When he learns of how she came to be married to the Baron and realizes she has no real allegiance to him, Calum feels bad for her. He wants her and she wants him, but the situation is a no win. Anne's husband agrees to the terms of the ransom and so now Calum must turn her over to him.
I love priate novels , I always have, but these days there aren't as many to chose from. Anytime I see one I have to read it. This was a really good one! Scottish Lairds are also a weakness and so we have pirates and men in kilts, oh my! The story though is Romeo and Juliet type story that is deeply romantic and sensual. Anne is not a shrinking violet even though she is from an aristocratic family. She is well bred but finds herself falling in love with Scotland and feeling empathy for their situation. If she had a choice she wouldn't have any problem at all staying there forever. But, she doesn't have a choice and she will have to face her husband and hope he will not mistreat her because he has a bit of a nasty reputation. Calum was a true gentleman, torn between the love of his life and his duty to his country. He respected Anne and treated her very well. He also took very good care of her when she found herself a few sticky situations. As sweet as he was, he could be quite fierce when it came anyone trying to hurt Anne. Anne was not only a smart, strong woman, she was also very funny. She and Calum made a great couple. I enjoyed the comraderie the couple had as much as the sexy scenes. Naturally, you can't have a pirate novel and not have adventure, so of course an epic battle will be fought. It's tense and exciting and thankfully all is well that ends well.
A very fun and entertaining romance. This one is an A.

About the Author:

Amy has won multiple writing awards and lives in Utah with her husband, Bob. She writes contemporary romance and Scottish historical romance. For fun, she hikes, bikes and plays a mean game of golf. Born in California, Amy holds an MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for hosting me on your blog and many thanks for your wonderful review!


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