The Devil Take You by H K Carlton (@authorhkcarlton) #HistoricalRomance #ScottishRomance #HighlanderRomance #ScottishWarsofIndependence #HistoricalFiction
Thank you so much for hosting, today. I’m excited to once again share this story with readers. The Devil Take You, is a bit different for a historical romance. Though it’s still heaped with historical significance of the time—set in 1307 during the Scottish Wars of Independence and the story also focuses on, of course, a romance, but the ‘hero’ is the villain.
I wanted to create an anti-hero, a severely flawed, cruel, and malevolent character with no hope of redemption.
Meet Gard Marschand—known in the Highlands as the legendary devil—an evildoer of epic proportions. Marauder, murderer, thief, a man hell bent on revenge. He is prepared to do anything, no matter how heinous to accomplish his goals. This man is nobody’s hero. But even in his wickedness, he still holds to his own moral code, skewed as it may seem to decent folk.
So, how then, do we create a romance when the protagonist is such a deplorable character?
Place a feisty Scottish lass—with a few secrets of her own—in the devil’s path, of course!
This story was challenging right from the beginning, and I knew that I had to create the right woman with a combination of strength, resilience and an overabundance of, if not understanding, at the very least acceptance, for a man who has no remorse for any of his wrongdoings and with no inclination or desire to change. Braelynn Galbraith began as the woman in the wrong place at the wrong time, but she eventually evolved into a character that could stand toe-to-toe with the devil and hold her own.
I hope you’ll enjoy, The Devil Take You—
Braelynn Galbraith wants peace for her beloved Scotland, marriage to her childhood sweetheart, and a house full of children. In that order. But evil incarnate, in the form of Gard Marschand, turns her life inside out and destroys all hope of a decent marriage.
Known in the Highlands as the legendary devil, Gard Marschand raids his way across Scotland and England amassing power and property in his malevolent wake. He will stop at nothing in his pursuit to regain what is lost— even conceal his true identity and associate with his enemies. His determination is all-consuming until he and his men lay siege to Ross-shire holding and one feisty Scottish lass obliterates his single-minded purpose.
Can Gard abandon his deep-seated need for revenge for a love that just might save his rotten soul? Or will he succumb to the demons that hound him and surrender to the devil within?
I believe your stay in purgatory has only just begun…
This story has been previously published
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What readers are saying:
What a fabulous, well crafted story! I could hardly put it down. I love Brae as much as I loved Holly in the Always Cambridge series. They’re not the same character at all, but Brae is just as spunky, brave, creative, smart and grounded.
This book was wonderful in so many ways. Feisty heroine, brooding hero, historical facts woven into the plot, descriptions of sweeping landscapes, drama and intrigue…well-deserved praise!
I love a good historical romance, especially those set in Scotland. With a spirited young miss in Brae and a rogue in Gard, HK Carlton has created two of my favorite characters in The Devil Take You. With a story that ranks with those of Jude Deveraux and Nora Roberts, HK’s tale will sweep you up in a tide of passion and intrigue that will keep you turning pages.
Brae slept until the noise of the camp rising woke her.
She dressed, then packed her gear and waited for Marschand’s tent to come down, and the day’s travel to begin.
She was unsure with whom she would ride this day, Llach or Marschand. Or if she would have to walk. She could not march too far without eating. She was starving.
Half and hour later, Brae waited outside, where Marschand’s quarters had stood only moments before.
“Did you eat?” Without a sound, Marschand appeared at her side.
She jumped. “Nay.”
“Why not? Do you think if you do not consume, that in death, you will escape me?”
“Nay, it had no’ occurred ta me, but it is somethin’ ta keep in mind. Thank ya for the suggestion.”
His lips tightened.
“As usual I am no’ allowed ta leave your quarters, but no one brings me food,” she explained. “And you are off doin’ wha’e’er it is tha’ ya do. I’d think ya might be nicer ta the one ye need ta rely on.”
His dark eyebrows knitted. “You grant yourself too much importance.”
Unable to help herself, even after Hudson’s warning, she said, “Ye ne’er ken when I could reword your correspondence, or jus’ plain no’ read the whole o’ it. Puttin’ ya in a bad position.” She challenged, returning his scowl. “Ya migh’ want ta think aboot tha’ the next time ye be dolin’ oot your punishments. I can be vindictive, too. ’Twould seem ya have a whole lot more ta lose than I do.” She tried to walk away, but he snaked his hand out and grabbed her braid, hauling her backward.
His black eyes glittered as he yanked on her hair so hard, she had no choice but to face him. “Why do you not learn?” he sneered.
“And why dinna ye learn? I think I jus’ made meself perfectly clear.” Slowly and deliberately, she reached downward in hope that neither Marschand nor his men would detect the measured movement.
“And if you are of no use to me,” Marschand countered, “then I have no use for you. Do not bite the hand that feeds you, Mistress Galbraith, is that not what you once said?”
“No one feeds me, Marschand, be tha’ no’ wha’ precipitated this particular argument?”
“And perhaps the withholding of food may continue, Miss…” He stopped speaking when she pressed the blade from his own dirk against his skin. A trickle of blood ran down his neck. His mouth quirked, and his eyes lit from within.
He is the most confounding man! If she did not know better, she’d think he was proud of her. “Ya see, Marschand, I am learnin’. Soon ya willna be able ta push me aroond.”
“You need to be willing to use it, Braelynn.” With lightening speed, he took hold of her wrist and applied enough pressure that she was forced to drop the blade. “Or I will continue to push you around all I wish.” He ground his hips against her, leaving her no doubt as to what kind of pushing he meant. “But it was a splendid attempt.” He winked. The carefree action surprised her—so at odds with his severe nature. “However, I did enjoy the bloodletting.”
Copyright © 2019 H.K. Carlton
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Also available in Print
I hope you enjoyed the extract!
If you’d like to sample another snippet, head on over to my blog Pick a Genre Already and read the first chapter.
H K Carlton is a multi-genre Canadian author of romance, with over thirty titles in publication. From naughty to nice, historical to contemporary, time travel to space travel, and everything in between.
Variety is creativity’s playground—It’s where you’ll find me
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