Her Highland Master
The first traces of apprehension swept over her now that she stood near hopeful salvation. The door was a heavy scrolled oak number, with a huge brass knocker in the form of a crest with three stars on a shield, and above it a knight's helm with a stag's head, which her befuddled brain didn't recognize.
Holding the image of that roaring fire and hot tea in her mind, she alighted the dark stone stairs. She seized the brass knocker, her fingers all but frozen inside her gloves, and knocked on the heavy door. After a few minutes with no response, Zoey started banging incessantly against the wood using both her fist and the knocker.
"Hello," she cried, as the wind kicked up and swept the sound from her. Not that anyone heard her as the wind howled with a ferocity that made her wonder if it would pick her up and sweep her to Oz. When no one answered as she stood there shivering, searching for a doorbell, colder than she had ever been in her life, she grew impatient, frustrated that the dreamt about hospitality wasn't forthcoming. She finally spied a doorbell, coated with snow. Her body trembled so fiercely that her arm shook as she pressed the bell, and then she did something she normally would never do. She tried the door handle and when it turned with an audible groan, she opened the door to another person's home and stepped inside.
The warmth of the entryway enveloped her. Her body shook, she couldn't feel most of her body, she was so cold. An impression of subtle wealth surrounded her. This wasn't the gaudy Hollywood flash of new money she witnessed all over LA, but an understated grandeur as her feet sank into the large rug carpeting shiny, marble-looking floors. Cream-colored walls were lit by silver scrolled wall sconces lining them every few feet. She wobbled, standing in the foyer, dripping wet as the snow melted onto a rug that looked to be a true Persian, not one of those knockoffs found at the local superstore.
Her trepidation mounted and Zoey called out, "Hello, is anyone here?" Her teeth chattered as she glanced around the room. Soaking in the magnificence of the home, she wondered whether she had ever visited a finer one.
"Och, and look at ye, melting all over the Tang rug I might add." The sound came from a deep, male voice which made her think of brandy and cigars as its owner descended the grand marble staircase. She shook her head, attempting to clear her mental freeze. It was a Tang and not a Persian? She never would have guessed that.
"How might I be of service?"
Zoey stared as the man descended, momentarily tongue-tied as a gorgeous male specimen approached. It was like she had died and gone to the Scottish Express with a man who had a likeness to what she imagined the old Highland raiders had looked like. His ginger hair was longer than was the usual fashion; curly, and shoulder length. It would make any other man appear feminine, but his hair style actually helped soften the hard angles of his face. He had startling jade eyes and a generous smile, framed by short, scruffy stubble a few shades darker than his hair. As he reached the bottom step, Zoey noticed how tall he was; the man had to be at least close to six and a half feet. His long legs ate up the remaining distance between them.
"Lass? Are you all right?" His voice rolled with a deep Scottish burr that made her toes curl. If only men in Los Angeles talked like this—she would never leave the city.
"N-n-n-no." She shivered, feeling woozy, her vision wavering. "My car is stuck in a ditch down the hill a ways, and my cell phone can't get a signal. I hoped you might have a phone I could use and a place where I could wait for a tow truck."
"Och, an American lass?" The surprise was thick in his voice. "I'm sorry, but you won't get old Robbie out in a storm such as this, I'm afraid."
Disappointment crashed through Zoey. The entire contents of her suitcase were likely lost. The dream vacation to escape hell ended as she discovered that hell did indeed freeze over from time to time. Her vision faltered again as the day's events caught up with her, and she swayed.
No, I have to push forward.
She lifted her hands up in an effort to catch herself on the way down. She fought valiantly, but her body no longer obeyed her command as she slid down.
A pair of strong arms saved her from hitting the ground and she stared into concerned jade eyes. "I've got you, lass."
Blurb: Her Highland Master
Zoey Mills's life is in shambles. She’s been accused of leaking her upper crust Hollywood clients’ data to an online magazine for a large payday. After a wine and chocolate-filled evening of drowning her sorrows, she determines that her best course of action is to leave her home in sunny Los Angeles for a week-long vacation in the Scottish Highlands. It’s the only way she can escape from the fact that her image is being splashed across the nightly news – and it might actually give her a chance to consider what her next move should be, now that her Great Master Life Plan has disintegrated into dust. Unfortunately, she's only just landed and is navigating the tiny roads in her rental car when a freak early autumn snow storm hits. Zoey finds herself stranded and winds up on the doorstep of Mullardoch Manor; home of the sexy Scotsman, Declan McDougal, who is her every dark fantasy brought to life.
Declan is one of the founding members of The Dungeon Fantasy Club. As a billionaire businessman and a Dom, he prefers to keep his sexual preferences and tastes away from the boardroom. He’s also become bored, not just with the club, but also with his life. None of the subs he meets can hold his interest for more than a night and it's been that way for a long time. He just never wants more than a brief encounter. At least, not since his ex-fiancée cheated on him with another Dom and ran away. However, that all changes when Zoey barrels into his home uninvited and upends his luxurious but stale existence. When Zoey finds herself without a place to stay, Declan makes her a tantalizing but scandalous offer: Stay in his home for the week, free of charge, and spend each night warming his bed. Or any other time of the day, for that matter. Deciding she doesn't have much to lose and possibly everything to gain, Zoey accepts.
With Zoey’s every sweet subsequent cry of ecstasy, Declan uncovers a sub who warms not only his bed, but slowly thaws his frozen, scarred heart. And as Zoey explores her deepest fantasies, even as he spanks her bare bottom for disobeying his rules, she finds herself wanting more than just a week of unmitigated pleasure with the Dom. Things seem to be progressing perfectly, both in bed and out, when Zoey’s past catches up with her. When he feels betrayed once more, and fears the woman he has grown to care for is not who she says she is, will Declan still be willing to risk his heart to become Her Highland Master?