Word Count: 102k
Cover Artist: Najla Qambar
Morrie Brandon is the best horse trainer in Oklahoma, able to tame the wildest of beasts. She's also the Celtic goddess of War and Sex, The Morrigan, abandoning her supernatural life for a simpler, more human one.
When Morrie is hired by a secretive Scottish family to capture a killer horse ravaging their Highlands manor, the past she has spent thousands of years running from calls her back.
Will Morrie learn from her past mistakes and embrace the bold goddess she truly is, or is it too late?
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“Did no one tell ye it’s rude tae give a man the best night of his life and then run away?” a voice rumbled low and soft and managed to be as seductive as it was menacing.
“Kade,” Morrie sighed, hoping he couldn’t hear the desire and relief laced in the sound.
She shouldn’t be this excited over knowing he had raced home after her, but inside she nearly bounced like a giddy school girl.
And what did he say? The best night of his life…Morrie would have to admit, she felt the same.
She spun around on the stool to face him, leaning back when she found him standing too near.
He closed the small space, towering over her as he dipped his head to be eye level with her, forcing her back against the bar.
“Ye will no’ leave like that again,” he growled.
Morrie frowned at his order and opened her mouth to respond, but the words caught in the back of her throat.
Emotion flickered in his eyes, eyes that had grown black with what could have been either desire or fury, she wasn’t sure. But also something else…
Morrie tilted her head to the side. “Did I scare you?”
Kade huffed with quick offense and straightened up, leaning back from her. But his expression changed to one of wonder.
“Like ye would no’ believe,” he admitted on an exhaled breath as though surprised by his own revelation.
“I told you I was here for business.” And that business was quickly becoming an obsession of hers.
A challenge that would determine just how far down the mortal hole she had fallen and whether she could find her true nature as a goddess once again.
This job tested her mettle because it should have been done by now. She knew she could find the horse if she used her powers, but she needed to know she could find him on her own.
Though why she needed that, she couldn’t say.
Kade turned his angry eyes on her. “Do ye really expect tae succeed in this daft quest?”
Morrie blinked, surprised by the…well, vehemence of his question and the turn of his questioning.
Of everyone in the home, he had seemed the least concerned about her reasons for being there.
“If I didn’t think I could catch him, I wouldn’t stay.” And she had thought he wanted her to stay, but his question had elicited an unwanted response—one of insecurity. “If you think I’m wasting my time, then I should just leave.”
For emphasis, she moved to slip off the stool, to really get away from him before he could see just how his doubts had touched her, but he stopped her by placing his hand on her hip.
“Wait, that’s no’ what I want.” Morrie paused but crossed her arms over her chest, pressing her lips together and waiting for him to continue. Kade sighed. “O’ course I think ye can catch him. If anyone can, it’s you. I doona doubt ye.” He blinked, like a discovery had been made. “Maybe ye’re supposed tae. In fact, I’ll help ye do so.”
Morrie gave Kade a sidelong glance. He was up to something, she just wasn’t sure what.
“You’ll come with me to the loch?”
There it was again!
A passing cloud of fear across his face, but this time it was different. It seemed spurned on by a different place.
But it came and went so quickly, Morrie soon questioned seeing it at all.
“I’ll follow ye anywhere,” he answered her and there was a deep truth behind his statement. “Just doona leave again like ye did this morn.”
Morrie studied him like a suspicious package wrapped in a thin veil of desperate relief. He seemed changed from the night before—this emotion even different than the cloud that settled over him after the encounter with his mother.
Kade either wore many masks or his true nature was too complex to determine.
Like the horse, Kade was a challenge.
And Morrie was a sucker for challenges.
And his dark eyes turned her into a puddle and it seemed there was nothing she could do about it. Her shoulders slumped before she muttered, “Stop making me melt.”
Kade frowned. “What was that?”
“Nothing,” Morrie stood up, placing her body much too close to Kade’s, but she couldn’t appear weak. She pulled out some money and slapped it down on the bar to well cover her tab.
“Alright, you can help. But what happened last night cannot happen again. I am your brother’s employee, I am your employee. And for us to entangle ourselves…” Kade’s responding grin caused Morrie to roll her eyes and regret her word choice, but she continued on, hands on her hips, “would only result in an unnecessary distraction.”
She hoped to glower that smirk right off his beautiful lips.
At the fire in her eyes, Kade threw up is hands in surrender.
“Aye, lass, as ye wish. If ye insist on lying tae yerself and pretending, then I will no’ impose my will on ye.”
Morrie’s face burned with outrage, but that only resulted in Kade laughing at her, gazing down with desire in his smoldering eyes and adoration in his smile.
“Stop that!” she complained, pushing past him.
“Stop what?” he asked with feigned innocence.
She whirled around and nearly smacked her face into his chest.
Sighing, she stepped back and looked up at him.
“Stop trying to provoke me. Nothing will happen between us.”
“If ye say so. As I said, I will no’ impose myself on ye, but if ye canna keep yer hands tae yerself, lass, I will no’ stop where they may roam. And we both know they’re curious, lil’ things.”
Volumes were spoken in his heated gaze. Morrie flushed anew.
Her body grew rigid, her hands balled into fists at her sides.
“My hands do not—there will be no—gah!” Morrie sputtered and turned her back to him, stomping out of the restaurant and towards what was going to surely be a violent battle of wills.
For the first time in her existence, Morrie didn’t know if she would be the victor.
Kennan Reid traveled from the vast, open spaces of Texas to the vast, open ocean of California where she enjoys sitting outside in the sun, tossing a frisbee to her dog, Barnabas, and on occasion, writing a few words hoping one day they behave and become a book. When she's not pretending to be a romance author, she is writing young adult novels about elves, witches and reincarnation. The Morrigan is her first adult romance novel and after falling in love with the feisty goddess and her crazy sisters, will not be her last.
Kennan also writes Young Adult as Kelly Riad. Other Novels include Return to Arèthane and Prince of Arèthane.
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