Highland Barbarian (Murray Family #13) Read Online Hannah Howell

Categories Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Tags Authors: Series: Murray Family Series by Hannah Howell

Total pages in book: 111
Estimated words: 100537 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 503(@200wpm)___ 402(@250wpm)___ 335(@300wpm)

Bestselling author Hannah Howell returns to the Highlands of Scotland for a sensual new series about two twin brothers both tempted and tormented by their passions–and driven by the love that will shape their destinies. . .

Sir Artan Murray was right when he decided that the dying old man who bid him collect his niece didn’t know her at all. The furious woman facing him is neither “sweet” nor “biddable.” She demands the brawny Highlander return her to the wedding party from which he took her. But Artan has no intention of allowing so spirited and bewitching a creature to endure a loveless marriage to a ruthless lord for her clan’s sake. He aims to woo the lass and to show her that true love also yields unforgettable pleasure. . .
Cecily Donaldson knows a bond forged by danger and desperation cannot endure. But Artan’s touch leaves her breathless, and she knows this to be her one chance to experience true passion before an arranged marriage seals her fate. Yet once begun, passion cannot be denied. . .nor can a love with the promise to change everything.


Chapter 1


Summer 1480

“Ye dinnae look dead; though I think ye might be trying to smell like ye are.”

Angus MacReith scowled at the young man towering over his bed. Artan Murray was big, strongly built, and handsome. His cousin had done well, he thought. Far better than all his nearer kin who had borne no children at all or left him with ones like young Malcolm. Angus scowled even more fiercely as he thought about that man—untrustworthy, greedy, and cowardly. Artan had the blood of the MacReiths in him and it showed, just as it did in his twin, Lucas. It was only then that Angus realized Artan stood there alone.

“Where is the other one?” he asked.

“Lucas had his leg broken,” Artan replied.


“Could be. I was looking for the ones who did it when ye sent word.”

“Ye dinnae ken who did it?”

“I have a good idea who did it. A verra good idea.” Artan shrugged. “I will find them.”

Angus nodded, “Aye, ye will, lad. Suspicion they will be hiding now, eh?”

“Aye, as time passes and I dinnae come to take my reckoning they will begin to feel themselves safe. ’Twill be most enjoyable to show them how mistaken they are.”

“Ye have a devious mind, Artan,” Angus said in obvious admiration.

“Thank ye.” Artan moved to lean against the bedpost at the head of the bed. “I dinnae think ye are dying, Angus.”

“I am nay weel!”

“Och, nay, ye arenae, but ye arenae dying.”

“What do ye ken about it?” grumbled Angus, pushing himself upright enough to collapse against the pillows Artan quickly set behind him.

“Dinnae ye recall that I am a Murray? I have spent near all my life surrounded by healers. Aye, ye are ailing; but I dinnae think ye will die if ye are careful. Ye dinnae have the odor of a mon with one foot in the grave. And, for all ye do stink some, ’tisnae really the smell of death.”

“Death has a smell ere it e’en takes hold of a mon’s soul?”

“Aye, I think it does. And since ye are nay dying, I will return to hunting the men who hurt Lucas.”

Angus grabbed Artan by the arm, halting the younger man as he started to move away. “Nay! I could die and ye ken it weel. I hold three score years. E’en the smallest chill could set me firm in the grave.”

That was true enough, Artan thought as he studied the man who had fostered him and Lucas for nearly ten years. Angus was still a big, strong man, but age sometimes weakened a body in ways one could not see. The fact that Angus was in bed in the middle of the day was proof enough that whatever ailed him was serious. Artan wondered if he was just refusing to accept the fact that Angus was old and would die soon.

“So, ye have brought me here to stand watch o’er your deathbed?” Artan asked, frowning, for he doubted Angus would ask such a thing of him.

“Nay, I need ye to do something for me. This ague, or whate’er it is that ails me, has made me face the hard fact that, e’en if I recover from this, I dinnae have many years left to me. ’Tis past time I start thinking on what must be done to ensure the well-being of Glascreag and the clan when I am nay longer here.”

“Then ye should be speaking with Malcolm.”

“Bah, that craven whelp is naught but a stain upon the name MacReith. Sly, whining little wretch. I wouldnae trust him to care for my dogs, let alone these lands and the people living here. He couldnae hold fast to this place for a fortnight. Nay, I willnae have him as my heir.”