Never Seduce a Scot - Maya Banks

Maya Banks - The Montgomerys and Armstrongs #1 - Never Seduce a Scot

Never Seduce a Scot (The Montgomerys and Armstrongs #1)
Maya Banks

PROLOGUE

Peace had come to the highlands. The land whispered softly of its gratitude for a brief respite from violence, rebellion, and bloodshed. Spring had come, bringing with it lush green grass among the rock outcroppings and boulders that were so predominant over the terrain.

The winter snows had fled, chased by the warmth of longer days. All was well. King Alexander II could focus on other matters, but for one thing.

One very big thing.

His two most powerful allies, the two most powerful clans in his kingdom, loathed the very sight of each other.

The Montgomerys and the Armstrongs were at war. This was no simple feud. The king had not the time, nor the desire, to lose such valuable supporters to infighting.

Now that the winter snows had thawed and the long nights had come to an end, battle would resume. Clansmen would be lost.

And so the king devised a plan to force peace between two bitter enemies.

Early one morning, before the sun had fully risen over the horizon, he sent two messengers on horseback, each to deliver the royal decree to Laird Armstrong and Laird Montgomery.

He only hoped to hell that they didn’t kill each other at the wedding.

CHAPTER 1

“ ’Tis madness!” Bowen Montgomery exclaimed. “He cannot tie you to the wee daft daughter of our most hated foe.”

Graeme Montgomery stared grimly back at his brother, unable to formulate a response for the growing rage in his chest. The king’s messenger had departed and was even now riding beyond the Montgomery border. Graeme had made sure of it. He felt deeply betrayed by his king and wanted no representative of the crown on his lands for a second longer.

“She’s but a child,” Bowen said in disgust. “And she’s … she’s … well, everyone knows she isn’t right. What the hell are you supposed to do with her, Graeme?”

Graeme held up his hand for silence and his fingers trembled, betraying his fury. He turned and stalked away from his brother, needing the distance and solitude to take in the magnitude of what had just been done to him. To his clan.

His king hadn’t just made a simple decree of marriage in an effort to halt hostilities between two feuding clans. He’d effectively chosen to end Graeme’s chance to pass the mantle of leadership on to his heirs.

Because there wouldn’t be any.

It would all end with Graeme.

With no sons to become laird, it would be up to one of his brothers—Bowen or Teague—to assume the role and provide heirs so that the Montgomery name would be carried into the future. His clan might even decide that one of his brothers would be a better choice for laird simply because he would be in a position of having a wife who couldn’t assume her role in the clan and he wouldn’t be able to sire children.

What a damnable mess the whole thing was.

How could his liege have done this? Surely he understood the future he was consigning Graeme to.

He paced into the small antechamber down the narrow hallway from the great hall. The room was darkened, the furs not yet thrown back from the windows. He chose to leave them covered and instead lit a candle from one of the wall sconces in the hallway.

The glow from the candle did little to illuminate the room, but he found his way to the sturdy table where his da had sat many a night scratching his quill over ledgers. The old laird had been a tightfisted, scrutinizing