The Laird’s Reckoning

May 11, 2017

Ahoy, me hearties!

Come aboard! Grab a mug o’ rum and sit yer arse on a barrel while I treat you to a tale.

‘Tis true, I have penned another pirate adventure filled to the devil’s seam with danger, betrayal, battle, and, of course, romance. I traveled across the pond into uncharted waters off Scotland’s coast. Aye, this story is of a disgraced Highlander turned pirate. He’s coming home. And mark me, vengeance will be his.

Make ready and pass the word, The Laird’s Reckoning goes on sale May 30th at Amazon, but you can pre-order your copy today HERE!

The Blurb:

Pirate or Laird…?

Birk Bane was born the second son, the unwanted son, the unneeded son. Crossed by family and falsely accused of a crime, he flees Scotland to the sea where he’s recruited by a pirate. Five years later, he’s captain of his own ship and embraces his new life, though an ache for the woman he left behind remains. When he receives word of his father’s death and his clan is floundering, Birk begrudgingly returns home. Little does he know there’s more he left behind than a title…much more.

Sheena MacRae helped Birk escape to safety years ago, always expecting he’d return. Time passes and she believes him to be dead. With her clan being terrorized and slaughtered, she accepts she is the only one who can stop the suffering by agreeing to marry Laird Gordon, the man behind the assaults. The man who is also poised to rule Birk’s clan. Despite the crushing need to hold Birk in her arms once more, his reappearance changes nothing. Sheena has too much to lose if she reneges the betrothal to Gordon. And while Birk’s intentions are to return to the sea after reclaiming his clan, she didn’t count on her pirate lover’s plan for revenge…

The longer he’s home, the more betrayal Birk uncovers. There will be a fiery battle ahead for Birk and his brethren. If he survives, how will he choose between the life he loves and the love of his life?

Enjoy this excerpt:

1726, Tradale Port, Isle of Skye, Scotland

“They’re coming!”

The panic in Sheena’s eyes matched Birk’s racing heart. Their breaths stirred the dust they had kicked up crouching behind the crates. Shouts carried down the alleys, drawing closer.

Sheena gripped his arms. “Go!” Her pleading command rushed out in a hoarse whisper. “Run, before they catch you.”

“Come with me.” It was a desperate attempt to keep Sheena by his side, a selfish one. But he was no fool. If the magistrate found out she helped him escape, his bonny lass would be imprisoned. He couldn’t protect her if he left her behind.

She shook her head, mahogany tresses slipping free from the knot at her crown. “I canna leave my father and Mallabroch Manor.” Gruff voices neared. Her eyes widened, begged. “Please, Birk. If ye are hanged, I’ll kill myself, I swear I will.”

He believed it. By the heavens, he loved his lass. Loved her more than anything this world had to offer. He’d give his life for her. But never would he allow her to give hers for him. Never. “I canna leave you.” He could hardly swallow, the lump of fear wedged tight in his throat. She was his air, the beat of his heart. He was terrified to be without her. Terrified and angry. Angry for the pain marring her beautiful effervescent smile. He swore whoever set him up, accused him of being a false coiner, would pay and pay dearly.

“Ye must go.” She grabbed his face with both hands. “Ye must. For me.”

The tears cresting in those moss green eyes, the tremble in her bottom lip, tore at his soul. What choice did he have? Sheena would not leave her father, her home. This he knew. Her love and loyalty for her da was fierce. Could he really expect her to leave Ramsay, the laird of Mallabroch, alone, as ill as he was? Would he be able to protect her any better on the lam? No. He had no choice. She was a mighty one. She’d be fine, if only he’d let her go. Let her go and run. Damn it, he never ran from anything. He tucked a wayward lock behind her ear. “For you,” he repeated.

A shaky smile accompanied her gusty breath of relief. “I love you, Birk.”

“And I you. More than the moon and stars.” He pressed a kiss to her mouth. “I will clear my name,” he vowed against her lips. “I will come back for you.”

Birk gripped the back of her neck and she deepened the kiss. For a moment, he lost himself with her. The accusations, the magistrate’s guard closing in, his damaged, jaded world faded into the light, musky, floral scent of heather and urgent caress of her lips.

“This way!” The strident shout broke the haze, yanking him back to the present.

“Promise me.” She choked on the words.

Footfalls pounded against the packed dirt.

He could take no more of her agony. Aye. He would see the man who framed him dead. “I promise, mo teine, my fire. I will return for you.”

“Back here! This way!”

Tears streamed down her creamy, flushed cheeks. She nodded once. Without a word, she spun to stand, ready to face the men chasing after him.

Birk took off at a run, dodging barrels and crates, cutting around the buildings on the leading edge the rest of the way through the town to the docks. Behind him, he heard her shrill scream. He pushed hard against the urge to hasten back to her. He had to believe she would be all right. She was a hellcat when provoked. Sheena would be fine. She had to be.

He jumped over a pile of ropes and looped through stacks of lumber. The stench of timber and pitch mixed with brine. Off to the left, a carpenter hammered, the thudding so familiar. Ahead, several stevedores unloaded cargo from a ship. Birk hadn’t thought beyond fleeing the cell which Sheena unlocked. He hadn’t thought to where he’d go. But Sheena had. He was to flee to the only place he’d known—his father’s shipyard. Now as he skidded to a stop in the middle of the yard, realization struck. He had trapped himself between the town and the men coming for him and the sea. Bloody hell. Aye, there was a boat waiting for him somewhere, but would he reach it in time?

Sheena’s plan. Take a skiff across the Sound of Sleat to the mainland. Find a horse in Mallabroch and disappear. It was his only option, though he would rather have her by his side. Running from all the injustices their young lives had suffered, together.

Birk slunk through the maze of planks, boxes, casks, and tools, weaving through the scaffolding beneath the hull of a brigantine. He set his sights to the end of the docks where fishermen cast out in their skiffs. Just as he cleared the last support beam, he came face to face with his father.

Bewilderment flashed across his haggard face but was soon replaced with a flare of venom.

Birk slid his gaze past his father to his cousin rounding the other side of the scaffolding and coming up short. Cam slowly took a step back, as if he hoped not to become entangled in a confrontation.

“Birk.” A sneer crooked his father’s mouth. “Let ye out, did they?” His tone belied he knew the better.

Shouts traveled through the shipyard. His pursuers were nearly upon him.

“Hmph.” The old man lifted his chin and sneered down his nose. “Suppose not.”

“I didna do it, Father.” Speaking truths, hell, speaking at all was lost on the man.

Since birth, Hugh Bane, laird of Creaganbroch Manor, the village of Tradale, and the surrounding lands, had shunned his youngest son—the weak, sickly child who wasn’t expected to live. But his mother refused to accept her little bairn could not grow happy and healthy. Through her love and nurturing, never leaving his side, Birk survived the infant months to become the favorite of her three sons. That didn’t change as he grew a few years older. Hugh had become resentful, claiming his wife mollycoddled Birk. He’d force Birk into harsh labor around the yard, harsher than he should have for a boy his age. This but angered his mother and many fights were waged over Birk. Until his mother fell ill with fever. Upon her final breaths, it wasn’t Hugh she called for, but Birk. And Birk had suffered for it ever since.

Except that he didn’t. He hadn’t let the old man get the better of him. Not after the last time he took a backhand across his face at the age of fifteen.

“Didna do it?” Hugh spat. “’Tis your fault I’ve buried James. Ye and your goddamned defiance.”

And there it was. The blame he’d been burdened with and the guilt that his father was right this time. But that was his cross to bear and he’d be damned to let the old man lay one more thing at his feet. He’d be damned to give him any such satisfaction.

A wicked grin crooked one side of Cam’s mouth. One day, Birk would bloody up that idiot’s face, the toady.

“I didna kill James.”

“Ye did, and ye sullied the Bane name with your thievery.” Hugh, quick as a viper, snatched Birk’s arm. “Cam.”

“Yes, uncle?”

His father’s expression hardened. “Alert the authorities in the yard,” he leaned within an inch of Birk’s face, his eyes darkened with hate, “we have the bastard here.”

Birk had never gotten along with his cousin, but something about the toothy grin splitting Cam’s face didn’t set right with him. ’Twas more than Birk facing certain death at the end of a rope. ’Twas something…triumphant. Cam spun on his heel toward the approaching men.

“May ye rot in hell,” Hugh spewed.

Birk wrenched his arm free and leaned in even further, a hair’s breadth from the man. “Ye first.”

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Fair winds and following seas, mates!

MuseTracks Guest – Eliza Knight – Highland Striptease

November 16, 2012

Good grief, my buddy Eliza Knight is at it again! Check out what’s got her riled this time. I’m already fanning myself. 🙂

Highland Striptease…

By Eliza Knight

Have you seen Magic Mike? If you haven’t… please do yourself a favor and watch that movie!!! It was totally a hot display of gyrating, perfectly formed male bodies, and I admit to drooling shallowly over their sexiness… So much so I’m going to have a party with my girlfriends—we’ll watch the movie and drink cocktails just so I can see it again .

The only thing that would have made that movie better was if the hotties were in kilts! Seriously, could you imagine? Whew! *Fanning self frantically*

Besides the erotic movements that simulate sweaty sex, what makes stripping so sensual? To me, it’s the anticipation, the heat of it, the imagining what’s underneath and just how far they’ll go.

I’ve used the art of Highland stripping in most of my stories. I like my heroines to watch each and every move as the hero slowly reveals his flesh. To see every inch of skin and wonder what it will feel like under her fingertips. In my novella, Take if Off, Warrior, the heroine actually mistakes my Highland hero for a stripper—he’s traveled forward in time and heck, she’s planning a bachelorette party! That was a fun story to write!

In the second book of my Stolen Bride series, THE HIGHLANDER’S CONQUEST, I really tried to slow down my hero Blane’s undressing the first time they made love. It upped the tension and anticipation for my heroine. Every sound, movement is intensified too by her own fear, desire and curiosity.

Here’s a look!

“You came back quicker than I thought.” She found her eyes wondering over his shadowy form, still soaked with fabric clinging to him. Her breaths quickened and she pulled the blanket up to her mouth, trying to hide the way she licked her lips, yearning for what she couldn’t have. Then she said something she’d never in her wildest dreams imagined saying to a man, but what was worse was the images that flashed in her mind. “You’d best take off your clothes.”

Without taking his eyes off her, Blane tossed his pack somewhere into the back of the cave. She heard it bounce with a soft thud. Eyes wide, frozen in place, she watched as he unlatched the pin from the plaid at his shoulder, letting the fabric drop. Her gaze locked on the fabric of his shirt, clinging indecently to his broad chest. Blane’s nipples, tiny dark dots, were taut. She couldn’t recall a man’s nipples ever having the effect on her that his were. Then again, had she really witnessed many naked chests? Her breath caught, insides quivered. The wet shirt followed the dips and ridges of his muscles and her hands itched to reach out and stroke each one. With deliberate slowness, Blane reached up and untied the strings at his neck, allowing her to see actual smooth, muscled skin. Her mouth went dry.

Aliah’s feet remained rooted in place. She felt ethereal in this magical place. The sound of the waterfall, the silvery light of the moon, this man, so unbelievably handsome and with a look of sensuality upon his face geared just for her…

Part of her knew this was wrong. That to feel the way she did, both physically and emotionally, was bound to get her into trouble. But she didn’t care. She wanted to watch him undress. Wanted to touch him. Wanted to tell him how much she loved him. To show him how much they made sense. Blane would only fight her on it. Some part of him wouldn’t allow her in. The damaged part that he’d hinted of. Consciously he would push her away, she knew that. ’Haps though, she could show him the right of it. Show him how much being together would only make their two worlds perfect.

Aliah took a step forward, faltered as he reached for the edges of his shirt and pulled it up over his head. That too he tossed. Her eyes were riveted on his flesh—smooth, muscled flesh. A long scar curved wickedly over his ribs, intimating at some deeper struggle. A male had never entranced her more.

Blane’s eyes were still connected with hers, as if he challenged her to continue watching. She was up for the task, her lip curling slightly in invitation. A shudder of pleasure passed over her at the boldness of her actions. She was tempting this man. Blane had already called her temptation itself once… Now she toyed with him, wanting to see just how far he’d go.

His fingers fiddled with his sporran, undoing the leather strap, he tossed it somewhere. The corded belt came next and with it…his plaid pooled at his feet. Aliah’s eyes widened, stretching so far open she swore they’d pop from her head.

Blane was naked. Gloriously, frighteningly, naked.

Nude, muscled flesh.

Aliah’s breath caught. Her heart stopped.

So tell me, have you seen Magic Mike? Do you think there should be a sequel with Highlanders in it?


The Highlander’s Conquest, Book Two: The Stolen Bride Series 

What is a Highlander to do when he falls for the daughter of his enemy?

Highland warrior, Blane Sutherland, has one mission: disguise himself as an Englishman, cross the border and retrieve Lady Aliah de Mowbray. Always up for a challenge, he agrees, pursuing his conquest with vigor—and trying to deny the powerful desire that eclipses him each time he touches his charge. A rogue of the highest order and a younger son, he has nothing to offer a lady but a broken heart.

And what is a lady to do when she cannot trust her heart?

Aliah is skeptical of the English noble who has come to take her to her father and sister in Scotland, but she pushes her doubts aside. Without word in months, she must make certain her family is safe, then she can return to England to join the convent to which she has sworn to pledge her life. But then her escort reveals his true self—he’s a Highlander and his kisses are more seductive than the sweetest of wines.

Surrender never tasted so sweet…

Read it!: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Eliza Knight is the multi-published, award-winning, Amazon best-selling author of sizzling historical romance and erotic romance. While not reading, writing or researching for her latest book, she chases after her three children. In her spare time (if there is such a thing…) she likes daydreaming, wine-tasting, traveling, hiking, staring at the stars, watching movies, shopping and visiting with family and friends. She lives atop a small mountain, and enjoys cold winter nights when she can curl up in front of a roaring fire with her own knight in shining armor. Visit Eliza at or her historical blog History Undressed: Facebook: Twitter: @ElizaKnight