When Claire Armitage’s fiancé, Captain Felix Hughes, informs her that he must interrupt their courtship to travel to his estate in Scotland on urgent business, she is distraught. Refusing to wait patiently for his return as he instructed, she instead journeys to the highlands on her own to join him, but upon her arrival she quickly discovers that he will not tolerate such reckless behaviour.
Resolved to demonstrate to his future bride that disobedience will have consequences, Felix takes Claire over his knee for a thorough spanking on her bare bottom. But chastising her in such a fashion awakens desires in him that are too powerful to control, and to protect her innocence he attempts to send her back home to England until he can make her his wife.
Claire cannot be dissuaded from returning once more to Felix’s side, however, even if it means submitting to any punishment he sees fit and then surrendering completely to his lustful dominance. But when she learns the true reason for his visit to the ancient home of his family, and sees with her own eyes that Felix is much more than an ordinary laird, will Claire still yearn for him to claim her?
Publisher’s Note: The Highlander’s Mate is a stand-alone sequel to His Lordship’s Mate. It includes spankings and sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.
The entrance to Castle Luichart was not at ground level, but raised and she had to climb several steep steps before reaching the great door. She knocked, then realising it had little impact on the thickness, she hammered with her fist.
The old man who opened the door had a shiny pate and a scraggly beard, which could probably accommodate a bird’s nest. His bright little eyes narrowed as he inspected her. She wasn’t at her best, she might agree, what with the mud-splattered boots and the damp cloak, so she straightened her back and threw back the hood that covered her bonnet. He continued to squint as he spoke. She dissected his Scots carefully, having learnt from bitter experience that to misunderstand the Scots’s accent wasn’t interpreted favourably.
“Lassie, you picked a bad day to come a’calling. His lairdship isn’t home.” He began to ease the door shut.
“No,” she exclaimed. “You don’t understand. I have to see him.”
“Aye, I understand, but, there’s nobody home to see ye.”
“I’ve come so far.”
“That I ken. It makes no difference. Ye best be leaving before night comes.” He pointed to the grey skies behind.
Claire floundered. She’d not anticipated Felix being away or the inhospitable servant. She’d envisaged a warm fire and a welcoming, if somewhat surprised, greeting. Tears welled in her eyes. “Please let me in. I’ll wait for him.”
“Nae, lassie. It’s not to be. Not for ye.”
The tears splashed down her cheeks. Exhausted by the walk, she quickly lost her bravado. “But, I’m promised to him,” she wailed pitifully.
The doorman rolled his eyes. “He’s not taking any callers. Especially the lasses.” The gap closed shut.
She stared at the oak panels. Raising her two fists, she beat upon the door. “Let me in!” The rumble echoed up the stone walls but to no avail.
With her legs tired and heavy, she trekked back down to the lower courtyard, where the chickens pecked at the muddy ground. It would take to midnight to return to the village, but at least she had a change of clothes there and the possibility of a bed at the tavern. She’d no choice—she had to start walking before the darkness descended.
No sooner had she left the boundaries of the house, she lost the track. The grass and mud blurred in the gloom and although she kept her back to the last dregs of the sunset, she had no real idea where she was going. Halting, she pivoted. Something was moving in the bushes.