Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, The Dark Highlander Karen Marie Moning CO. Dark Highlander Book Jacket Series: Highlander [5] Rating: SUMMARY: Journey to a world of ancient magic, breathtaking. Moning, Karen Marie - Highland 5 - The Dark Highlander. Read more · Moning, Karen Marie - Highland 4 - Kiss of the Highlander · Read more.

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Journey to the world of The Dark Highlander. Crisscrossing the continents and the centuries, here is a novel as gripping as it is sensual--an electrifying adve. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Darker, sexier and more serious than Moning's The Dark Highlander - site edition by Karen Marie Moning. The Dark Highlander book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Journey to a world of ancient magic, breathtaking sensuality.

Crisscrossing the continents and the centuries, here is a novel as gripping as it is sensual— an electrifying adventure that will leave you breathless I am Dageus MacKeltar, a man with one good conscience and thirteen bad ones, driven to sate my darkest desires… From his penthouse lair high above Manhattan, Dageus looks out over a glittering city that calls to the darkness within him.

A sixteenth-century Scot trapped between worlds, he is fighting a losing battle with the thirteen Druids who possess his soul, dooming him to an eternity of sexual pursuit. When Chloe Zanders, student of antiquities, is drawn into his world, she finds the insatiable alpha male an irresistible lure. Before long, she is caught up in an ancient prophecy that will sweep her back into time to medieval Scotland. Plunged into a world of timeless magic and dark seduction, she will soon face the challenge of a lifetime: fighting thirteen evil spirits for the heart of one irresistible man From the Paperback edition.

From his penthouse lair high above Manhattan, Dageus looks out over a glittering city that calls to the darkness within him. A sixteenth-century Scot trapped between worlds, he is fighting a losing battle with the thirteen Druids who possess his soul, dooming him to an eternity of sexual pursuit.

When Chloe Zanders, student of antiquities, is drawn into his world, she finds the insatiable alpha male an irresistible lure. Before long, she is caught up in an ancient prophecy that will sweep her back into time to medieval Scotland. Plunged into a world of timeless magic and dark seduction, she will soon face the challenge of a lifetime: From the Paperback edition. Fiction Romance Historical Fiction.

She'd been waiting fifteen minutes, hoping he might appear. A few moments ago she'd finally told Bill to go on without her, that she'd catch a cab back to The Cloisters and expense it to the department. She drummed her fingers impatiently on the counter. She just wanted to deliver her parcel and go. The sooner she got rid of it, the sooner she could forget her part in the whole sordid affair. It occurred to her that unless she could find an alternative, she was probably going to end up wasting the rest of her day.

A man who lived in the East 70s in such affluence was a man accustomed to having others await his convenience. Glancing about, she spied a possible alternative. Taking a deep breath and smoothing her suit, she tucked the parcel beneath her arm and strode briskly across the elegant grand foyer to the security desk.

Two beefy men in crisp black-and-white uniforms snapped to attention as she approached. When she'd first arrived in New York last year, she'd known instantly that she would never be in the same league with city women. Jeep, or maybe a Toyota Highlander on a good day. Her purse never matched her shoes--she was lucky if her shoe matched her shoe.

Still, she believed in working with what one had, so she did her best to put a little feminine charm into her walk, praying she wouldn't break an ankle. MacKeltar," she announced, curving her lips in what she hoped was a flirtatious smile, trying to soften them up enough that they'd let her go drop the blasted thing off where it would be a bit more secure.

No way she was giving it to the pimply teen behind the call-desk. Nor to these beefy brutes. Two leering gazes swept her from head to toe. He gave her another thorough look. MacKeltar gets lots of deliveries," his dark-haired companion smirked. Oh, great. Just great. The man's a womanizer. Popcorn and God-only-knows what else on the pages. But she supposed she should be thankful, she told herself a few minutes later, as she rode the elevator up to the forty-third floor.

They'd let her go up to the penthouse level unescorted, which was astounding in a luxury East-Side property. Leave it in his anteroom; it's secure enough, the blond had said, though his smarmy gaze had clearly said that he believed the real package was her, and he didn't expect to see her again for days, at least. If Chloe had only known how true that was--that indeed he wouldn't be seeing her again for days--she'd never have gotten on that elevator.

Later, she would also reflect that if only the door hadn't been unlocked, she would have been fine. But when she arrived in Mr. MacKeltar's anteroom, which was overflowing with exotic fresh flowers and furnished with elegant chairs and magnificent rugs, all she'd been able to think was that Security might let some bimbo up, just as they had her, and said bimbo might tear a page out of the priceless text to wad up her chewing gum in, or something equally sacrilegious.

So, sighing, she smoothed her hair and tried one of the double doors. It slid silently open on--heavens, were those gold-plated hinges? She caught sight of her gaping reflection in one. Some people had more money than sense. Just one of those stupid hinges would pay the rent on her tiny efficiency for months. Shaking her head, she stepped inside and cleared her throat. Like she'd never seen.

She glanced about, and still might have been okay if she hadn't spotted the glorious Scottish claymore hanging above the fireplace in the living room. It drew her like a moth to the flame. Twenty minutes later, she was in the midst of a thorough exploration of his home, her heart hammering with nervousness, yet too enthralled to stop.

Casually propped against the wall in a corner. Ripe for the plucking. Though Chloe prided herself on sound morals, she suffered a shocking urge to tuck it beneath her arm and make a run for it. The place was full of artifacts--all Celtic at that! Scottish weapons dating back to the fifteenth century, if she didn't miss her guess, and she rarely did, adorned a wall in his library. Priceless Scots regalia: sporran, badge, and brooches in mint condition lay beside a pile of ancient coins on a desk.

She touched, she examined, she shook her head disbelievingly. Where previously she'd felt nothing but distaste for the man, she was growing fonder of him by the moment, shamelessly seduced by his excellent taste. And growing more curious about him with each new discovery. No photos, she noticed, glancing around the rooms. Not one. She'd love to know what the guy looked like. Dageus MacKeltar. What a name. Nothing against Zanders, Grandda had often said, it's a fine name, but it's as easy to fall in love with a Scotsman as an Englishman, lass.

A weighty pause. A harumph. Then, inevitable as sunrise, Easier, actually. She smiled, remembering how he'd endlessly encouraged her to get a "proper" last name for herself.

Her smile froze as she stepped into the bedroom. Her desire to know what he looked like escalated into obsession territory. His bedroom, his sinful, decadent bedroom, with the enormous hand-carved, curtained bed covered with silks and velvets, with the exquisitely tiled fireplace, the black marble Jacuzzi in which one might sit sipping champagne, gazing down over Manhattan through a wall of windows. Dozens of candles surrounded the tub.

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Two glasses had been carelessly knocked over on the Berber carpet. His scent lingered in the room, scent of man and spice and virility. Her heart pounded as the enormity of what she was doing occurred to her. She was snooping through a very wealthy man's penthouse, currently standing in the man's bedroom, for heaven's sake!

In his very lair where he seduced his women. And from the looks of things, he had seduction down to a fine art. Virgin wool carpet, black velvet draping the monstrous bed, silk sheets beneath a sumptuous beaded velvet coverlet, ornate museum-worthy mirrors framed in silver and obsidian. Despite the warning bells going off in her head, she couldn't seem to make herself leave.

Mesmerized, she opened a closet, trailing her fingers over fine hand-tailored clothing, inhaling the subtle, undeniably sexual scent of the man. Exquisite Italian shoes and boots lined the floor. She began conjuring a fantasy image of him. He would be tall she was not having short babies! He would be intelligent, speak several languages, so he could purr Gaelic love words in her ear , but not too polished, a little rough around the edges.

Forget to shave, things like that. He would be a little introverted and sweet. He would like short, curvy women whose noses were in books so much that they forgot to pluck their brows and comb their hair and put on makeup.

Women whose shoes didn't always match. As if, the voice of reason rudely popped her fantasy bubble. The guy downstairs said you weren't his usual type. Now get out of here, Zanders. And it still might not have been too late, she still might have escaped had she not moved closer to that sinful bed, peeking curiously and with no small amount of fascination at the silky scarves knotted about bedposts the size of small tree trunks.

Corn-fed-Kansas Chloe was shocked. Never-gone-all-the-waywith-a-man Chloe was Shakily averting her gaze, and backing away on legs that wobbled, she nearly overlooked the corner of the book poking out from beneath his bed. But Chloe never missed a book. An ancient one at that. Moments later, skirt twisted around her hips, purse abandoned on a chair, suit jacket tossed on the floor, she'd dug out his stash: seven medieval volumes.

All of which had been recently reported stolen by various collectors. Good God--she was in the lair of the nefarious Gaulish Ghost! And it was no wonder he had so many artifacts: He stole whatever he wanted. On her hands and knees, rooting about beneath his bed for more evidence of his heinous crimes, Chloe Zanders' opinion of the man had taken a sharp turn for the worse.

Condom wrapper. How many people lived here? Magnum, the wrapper advertised smugly, for the Extra-Large Man. Chloe blinked. I might be persuaded to oblige. She froze, her brain stuttering over the fight or flight dilemma.

At five foot three, fight wasn't the most promising option. Unfortunately, her brain failed to process the fact that she was still under the bed when it downloaded the surge of adrenaline necessary to flee, so she succeeded only in cracking the back of her head against the solid wood frame.

Woozy, seeing stars, she began to hiccup--a mortifying thing that always happened to her when she got nervous, as if simply being nervous weren't bad enough.

She didn't have to back out from under the bed to know she was in very, very deep shit. She tried for a big scream, but an inconvenient hiccup turned it into an imploded screech that left her gasping. Ruthlessly, he tugged her from beneath his bed.

Frantically, she grabbed her skirt with both hands, trying to keep it from bunching up around her waist as she slid inexorably backward. Last thing she wanted to do was make an appearance bare bottom first. Her panty line showed under this particular skirt which was one reason she didn't wear it often, coupled with the fact that she'd gained a little weight and it was snug , so she'd worn hose with no panties. Not something she did frequently.

Figured she'd have to do it today. When she was clear of the bed, he dropped her ankle. She lay on her tummy on the carpet, hiccupping and trying desperately to gather her wits. He was behind her, she could feel him staring at her.

In silence. In terrible, awful, disconcerting silence. Swallowing a hiccup, unable to summon the nerve to look behind her, she said brightly, in her breathiest ditz voice, "Je ne parle pas anglais.

Parlez-vous francais?

Still silence behind her. She was going to have to look at him. Gingerly rising to her hands and knees, she smoothed her skirt, pushed herself into a sitting position, then managed to stand on trembling legs. Still too distraught to face the man, she focused on an empty glass and plate atop a table beside the bed and, determined to convince him she was Maid Service, pointed at it, chirping, "Dirtee dish-es.

Vous aimez I wash, oui? Heavy, ponderous silence. A rustling sound. What was he doing?

The Immortal Highlander

Taking deep breaths, she slowly turned. And all the blood drained from her face. She noticed two things at once, one absolutely irrelevant, the other terribly significant: He was the most breathtakingly gorgeous man she'd ever seen in her life, and he was holding her purse in one hand, slipping the battery out of her cell phone with the other. He dropped the battery on the floor and crushed it beneath his boot. Oh, blast it--she should have tried Greek! She was too stunned to catch it; it bounced off her and dropped to the floor.

Bloody hell. I met your employer a quarter hour past. He said you awaited me here. I would never have guessed he meant in my bed. Mesmerizing eyes. They locked with hers and she couldn't look away. The mild amusement did not touch his eyes. Oh, God, she thought, staring wide-eyed. Her life was quite probably in danger and all she could do was stare. The man was beautiful. Impossibly so. Terrifyingly so. She'd never seen a man like him before.

He was her every darkest fantasy sprung to life. Scottish blood was stamped all over his chiseled features. Clad in black trousers, black boots, a cream fisherman's sweater, and a buttery-soft leather coat, he had silky black-asmidnight hair that was pulled back at his nape from a savagely masculine face. Firm, sensual lips, the lower one much fuller than the upper, proud, aristocratic nose, dark, slanted brows, bone-structure a model would die for.

A perfectly sculpted dusting of a beard shadowed his perfect jaw. Six foot four, at least, she'd guess. Powerfully built. The grace of an animal.

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The exotic golden eyes of a tiger. She suddenly felt like so much fresh meat. Her hiccups vanished instantly. Sheer terror could do that. Better than a spoonful of sugar or a paper bag anytime. She glanced down too. The look he gave her made the fine hair on the nape of her neck stand on end.

His gaze drifted meaningfully to the tomes again. You mean the books. So you like books," she said lightly. Again he said nothing, merely held her with that intense golden gaze. God, the man was stunning! Made her feel like Run off to exotic lands. Stroll about topless on a terrace overlooking the sea. Live beyond the law.

Pet his artifacts when she wasn't petting him. And whence they came," he added gently. Gentle from him was dangerous. She knew it instinctively.

Gentle from this man meant he was about to do something she really really wasn't going to like. And he did. Crowding her with his powerful body, he backed her toward the bed and gave her a light push that sent her sprawling backward across it.

With the grace of a tiger he followed her down, pinning her to the mattress beneath him. I don't care. It's okay with me if you have them. I have absolutely no desire to go to the police or anything like that. I don't even like the police. Police and me have never gotten along. They gave me a ticket once for going forty-eight in a forty-five zone; how could I possibly like them after that? It doesn't matter one whit to me if you steal half The Met's medieval collection, I mean, really, they have six thousand pieces, so who's going to notice a few missing?

I am an excellent secret-keeper," she practically screeched. Muni's the word. And you can take that to the-His lips took the rest of her words along with her breath. Oh, yeah. Rene Russo here. Those sensual lips closed over hers, brushing lightly, tasting. But not taking. And for an absolutely insane moment, she wanted him to take.

Wanted him to crush her mouth in a hard, starving, bruising kiss and help her find that red-hot button of love that had never once hit lukewarm.

The man rilled a woman's head with fantasies she would have sworn she didn't have. Her traitorous lips parted beneath his. Fear, she told herself, it was just that fear could translate swiftly into arousal.

She'd heard about people facing certain death suddenly getting a sexual charge that just wouldn't quit. So bizarrely, intensely aroused, she didn't even notice that he was knotting a scarf around her wrist, until he swept it tight, and it was too late and she was tied to his bed. His sinful, decadent bed. Moving with inhuman grace and suddenness, he deftly knotted her other wrist to the far post. She opened her mouth to scream, but he caught it with one powerful hand.

Lying atop her, staring dead into her eyes, he said quietly, carefully, enunciating each word, "If you scream, I will be forced to gag you. I prefer not to, lass. It bears considering that no one can hear you up here anyway. What will it be? He must have seen something in her eyes, because he raised himself slightly.

Which meant, she concluded with a huge flood of relief, that he wasn't going to rape her. A rapist would have shifted a few inches to the right, not raised his hips. But you'll suffer no harm at my hands.

Mind you, however, one scream, one loud noise, and you're gagged. She knew he meant it. She could either be bound, or bound and gagged. She shook her head, then nodded, befuddled by whether she was supposed to say yes or no. No one can hear you up here anyway.

God, that was probably true. On the penthouse level walls were thick, there was no one above, and the elite were given wide berth unless they requested something. She could probably scream her head off, and no one would come. Then, in one swift, graceful move, he pushed away from the bed and stalked from the bedroom, dosing the door behind him, leaving her alone, tied by silken scarves to the sinful bed of the Gaulish Ghost.

Dageus cursed softly in five languages, recalling his earlier thought, palming himself roughly through his trews. It didn't help.

Indeed, made it worse. Happy for any attention. Scowling, he went to stand before the wall of windows, gazing sightlessly out over the city. He'd handled that badly. He'd frightened her. But he'd not been able to offer her soothing words, for he'd had to get away from her, quickly, lest he give his blood what it had been howling for.

Though he told himself he'd pressed his lips to hers only to distract her while he bound her, he'd kissed her because he'd needed to, because he'd quite simply not been able not to. It had been a brief, sweet taste without tongue, for had he crossed that barrier, he'd have been lost. Lying atop her had been sheer agony, feeling the darkness rustle and flex within him, knowing tooping her would drive it back.

Feeling cold and hungry, trying desperately to be human and kind. He'd gone to The Cloisters, pleased with how firmly he'd put all thoughts of the Scots lass from his mind.

There, he'd discovered the parcel was en route to him, while he was en route to it. The cocurator had, with much fawning and gushing, assured him Chloe Zanders would be waiting for him, as someone named Bill had already returned, having left her at his address. But the lass hadn't been downstairs and Security had, with much winking and grinning, told him that his "delivery" awaited him upstairs.

Not finding the woman from the museum in the anteroom, he'd glanced about the living room, then heard noises upstairs. He'd loped swiftly up the stairs and walked into his bedroom, only to discover the loveliest pair of legs he'd ever seen, poking out from beneath his bed.

Succulent thighs he wanted to nip with his teeth, slender ankles, pretty little feet dad in delicate high heels. Beautiful feminine legs. Those two things in close proximity had a tendency to divert all the blood from his brain. The legs had looked alarmingly familiar and he'd assured himself he was imagining things. Then he'd plucked her out by an ankle and confirmed the identity of the lass attached to those heavenly legs, and his blood had simmered to a boil. Staring down at her shapely backside as she'd lain unmoving on her tummy, a legion of fantasies riding him hard, it had taken him several moments to realize what she was lying amid.

The "borrowed" books. The last thing he needed was the twenty-first century's law enforcers hunting him down. He had much to do, and too little time in which to do it. He couldn't afford complications. He wasn't ready to leave Manhattan just yet.

There were two final texts he needed to check. By Amergin--he'd nearly been done! A few days at most. He didn't need this! Why now? He inhaled deeply, exhaled slowly. Repeated it several times.

He'd had no choice, he assured himself. He had been wise to immediately restrain her. For the next few days, until he finished, he was simply going to have to hold her captive. Though he could use magic, a memory spell to make her forget what she'd seen, he wasn't willing to risk it.

Not only were memory spells tricky and oft damaging things, taking more memory than intended, he used magic only if there was no human way to handle the situation. He knew what it cost him each time. Tiny spells to obtain the texts he needed were one thing. No magic. The lass would have to endure a short time of comfortable captivity while he finished translating the final tomes, then he would leave, and release her somewhere along the way.

Along the way to where? Do you finally accept that you're going to have to return? He sighed. The past few months had confirmed what he'd suspected; there were only two places he might find the information he needed: in Ireland's and Scotland's museums, or in the MacKeltar library. And the MacKeltar library was by far the best bet.

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He'd been avoiding it at all cost, for it was fraught with myriad and varied perils. Not only did the land of his ancestors make the darkness inside him stronger, he dreaded facing his twin brother.

Admitting that he'd lied. Admitting what he was. Arguing bitterly with his da, Silvan, seeing the anger and disappointment in his eyes had been bad enough, Dageus wasn't certain he'd ever be ready to face his twin brother--the brother who'd never broken a vow in his life. Since the eve he'd broken his oath and turned dark, Dageus had not once worn the colors of his clan, though a scrap of wellworn Keltar plaid was tucked beneath his pillow.

Some evenings, after he'd seen whichever woman it was into a cab though he tooped many, he shared his bed with none , he would dose his hand around it, shut his eyes and pretend he was in the Highlands again. A simple man, naught more. All he wanted was to find a way to fix the problem, to get rid of the dark ones himself. Then he would regain his honor. Then he could proudly face his brother and reclaim his heritage. If you wait much longer, that nagging voice warned, you may no longer care to reclaim it.

You may no longer even understand what it means. He forced his thoughts away from such an unpleasant bent, and they drifted with alarming intensity straight back to the lass tied to his bed. Tied vulnerably and helplessly to his bed. Dangerous thought, that. Seemed all he ever had anymore were dangerous thoughts. Raking a hand through his hair, he forced his attention to the text she'd left on the coffee table, refusing to dwell on the disconcerting fact that a part of him had taken one look at the lass in such proximity to his bed and said simply: Mine.

As if from the moment he'd seen her, that he would claim her had been as certain as the morrow's dawn. Several hours later, Chloe's volatile emotions had run the gamut. She'd pretty much exhausted fear, plunged with effusive glee, for a time, into outrage at her captor, and was now thoroughly disgusted at herself for her impetuous curiosity.

Curious as a wee kitten, you are, but a cat has nine lives, Chloe, Grandda used to say. You have but one. Beware where it leads you. You can say that again, she thought, listening intently to see if she could hear the thief moving around out there. His penthouse had one of those music systems that was piped into every room and, after an initial painfully loud blast of a bass-heavy song that sounded suspiciously like that Nine Inch Nail's song that had been banned from airplay a few years ago, he'd put on classical music.

She'd been treated to a medley of violin concertos for the past few hours. If it was intended to soothe her, it was failing.

It didn't help that her nose itched and the only way she could scratch it was to bury her face in his pillows and bob her head. She wondered how much time would have to pass before Bill and Tom would start to wonder where she'd gotten off to. Surely they would come looking for her, wouldn't they? Though both would say, "but Chloe never deviates from routine," neither would question or accuse Dageus MacKeltar.

After all, who in their right mind would believe the man anything but a wealthy art collector? If asked, her captor would simply say, "No, she dropped it off and left, and I have no idea where she went. No one would ever imagine him a kidnapper and a thief.

She was the only one who knew differently, and only because she'd gotten all foolishly infatuated with his artifacts and gone snooping through his bedroom.

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No, although Tom might send Bill around this afternoon, or more likely tomorrow, asking when Chloe had left, it would end there. In a day or two, she imagined Tom would really start to worry, call her at home, stop by, even report her missing to the police, but there were oodles of unexplained disappearances in New York all the time.

Deep shit, indeed. With a sigh, she puffed a ticklish strand of hair out of her face and did the nose-in-pillow thing again. He smelled good, the dirty rotten scoundrel. Womanizing, bullying, amoral, larcenous, vilest-of-the-vile, debaucher of innocent texts. She inhaled, then caught herself. She was not going to appreciate his scent. She was not going to appreciate a darned thing about him.

Sighing, she wriggled her way up the bed until she was leaning, in a mostly upright position, against the headboard.

She was tied to a strange man's bed. A criminal to boot. A little play, no give. The man knew how to tie knots. Why hadn't he hurt her?

And since he hadn't, just what did he plan to do with her? The facts were pretty simple and quite horrifying; she'd managed to stumble into the lair of an expert, slick, thoroughly top-notch thief.

Not a petty thief or a bank robber, but a master thief who broke into impossible places and stole fabulous treasures. This was not small-time stuff. There weren't thousands riding on her silence, but millions.

She shivered. That dismal thought could send her straight into hysterics, or at the least, a potentially terminal bout of hiccups. Desperate for a distraction, she wriggled as far to the edge of the bed as the bonds permitted, and peered down at the stolen texts.God, that was probably true.

The "borrowed" books. There was too much lore for a man to absorb in a single lifetime, and verily, there'd been no need to. The people, the masses of teeming people, bewildered him. Sprawled across the leather sofa.

Each day was a battle to accomplish three things: And it was no wonder he had so many artifacts: He stole whatever he wanted. He did. This book is not as light-hearted as the first book, or rather book 4, Kiss of the Highlander.

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