Promo: Shake Loose the Border by Andrea Matthews
I'm delighted to share an enticing excerpt today from Shake Loose the Border, an intriguing Scottish historical romance by Andrea Matthews.
It's currently on blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club, so make sure to check out all the other stops!
Shake Loose the Border
Thunder on the Moor, Book 3
Scottish Historical Romance
“Where’s Will?” she screamed, grabbing Dylan by the shoulders. “If he wouldn’t leave . . .” She was struggling to quell the hysteria rising like bile into her throat. “You should have made him. He promised!” Her hands balled into fists, and fearing what he might say, she turned away, but even that couldn’t drown out the words that followed. “I’m sorry, Maggie.” Dylan’s voice cracked, the words themselves fighting to remain unsaid. “I was almost there . . . just a few seconds sooner . . .”
“No! No!” She turned to face him again, her words coming out in sobs. “You can go back earlier, find him before—”
“I can’t, Maggie. It won’t work.” He grabbed her shoulders and stared deeply into her eyes, willing her to hear his words. “And even if I could, I’m not sure there’s enough of the stone left. I’m not even sure it would get one of us back.”
“But you have to try. You can’t just leave it like this.” Maggie gasped for air as one sob crashed upon the next until she felt as if she couldn’t breathe. Her knees gave way, and she leaned into Dylan’s arms, pulling him down with her as she collapsed onto the carpet of wildflowers. He held her there, pressing her against his chest until there were no more tears to shed. Her breath came in ragged gasps as the realization broke over her. As much as she wanted to deny it, Dylan was right. He couldn’t chance going back, and it was unfair of her to ask him to risk his life again. Instead, she rested her head against his jack, listening to the sound of his heart beating a steady rhythm as his chest rose and fell in a quivering motion. It was only then she realized that he was holding back his own pain. In coming back to her, he had lost his own love.
Wiping the lingering tears from her cheeks, she sat back. “I’m so sorry, Dylan. I never thought about you having to leave Annie. You loved her, didn’t you? But there’s still a bit of the stone left. Why didn’t you bring her back with you?”
“She’s still so fragile. I couldn’t take her away from her family. She’ll get over me, but she needs them around her, needs the security and warmth they can give her. Besides, I didn’t even know where she was.” His eyes looked out over what was once the barmekin yard, and though he sat beside her, Maggie knew he was centuries away. “It was awful. So much death and misery caused by one man’s perverted desires.”
“It was him, wasn’t it?” she finally managed to ask, her voice cold and determined.
Dylan bowed his head, avoiding Maggie’s eyes, but her fingers pressed into his arm in a silent but urgent command, making it clear nothing but the truth would suffice.
“Yes, it was Ian . . . but I got the bastard!” he added, his chin set firm and a deep resolve in his voice. “He won’t hurt Annie ever again. I made him pay for what he did to her, for what he did to you and your father, and I made him pay for Will.”