From USA TODAY Bestselling author Heather McCollum comes the final installment in the Sons of Sinclair series! Released on October 24, 2023, this book is currently available for purchase. Find out where to purchase here.
But what we need to know,” Cait said, her words even like he’d heard men speak when leading a trial in court, “is how you treat a woman.”
His mouth opened with his inhale. “A woman?”
“Yes,” Ella said. “How do you treat the women you’ve been with? Kindly? Or like chattel to be used?”
“Been with?” he asked. Were they really asking him—?
“Are you a gentle lover?” Kára asked, making Erik’s face snap toward her. She stared into his face without glancing away. When he didn’t answer, she leaned toward him, pinning him with hard eyes. “We know you cannot be a virgin.” She flapped her hand at his form. “So, we must know how you treat a woman you are…tupping.”
Erik blinked, glancing over at Hannah who watched the proceedings with interest.
“Are you kind and considerate?” Cait asked.
Kára spoke again before he could even have time to make sense of the interrogation. “Do you know how to bring a lass to pleasure?”
“Before you take your own?” Ella added.
“Yes,” Cait said, nodding. “Do you make sure she feels pleasure too before you fall asleep?”
Five sets of eyes studied him. Would they ask him to strip down for inspection next? Erik’s gaze slid across to Hannah who stared back. “Do you have a question too?”
She had propped her hands on the stump, which made her breasts seem to swell even more over the lace edge of her smock. “Do you know how to read ancient languages from the far east?” A small bubble of laughter came from Cait, and Kára snorted softly.
“Nooooo,” Erik said, drawing it out.
Ella frowned at him. “No to what exactly?”
“And do you bathe frequently?” Hannah asked on top of Ella’s question. All five women nodded as if the question was of utmost importance.
“Aye,” he said slowly. “Whenever there is a clean body of water or bath available.” Hannah gave him a small nod, her gaze dropping for the slightest moment to his breeches.
Kára Sinclair tapped his leg with one finger. “You haven’t answered our other questions. Are you a gentle lover?” she repeated. “Do you treat women well, and do you make sure a woman is finding her pleasure when tupping?”
Erik turned his face to Ella. “Are these the types of questions you ask traders?”
She offered him a smile, but her gaze was piercing. “Sometimes. We need to get to know what type of man you are before we agree to do business with you. And how a man loves a woman, someone who is physically weaker than himself, says a lot about a man’s morality and heart.”
“How many women have you tupped?” asked the other woman who sat next to Hannah. She narrowed her eyes accusingly. “Are you diseased from it?”
“This is Ivy,” Hannah said, introducing her as if he should know the names of his women inquisitors. “She’s Shana’s sister by blood.”
Erik felt shot through by arrows rooting him to a tree trunk. He could stand up and walk away, act insulted, or give them false information. But to walk away might make Hannah believe terrible things about him. And that possibility didn’t sit well with him.
He exhaled in a long sigh, deciding that even though he never surrendered, he would give them some answers. “I have a sister whom I love and respect, so I view women as important as men. They are not chattel, and I do not count the ones I have… tupped, as if they were sheep in a herd,” he said. “I am not diseased,” he said, looking at Ivy. His gaze slid across to Hannah. “And if a woman chooses to trust me with her body, I reward that trust by giving her… immense pleasure.” He turned to shoot Kára with a hard gaze. “And I would never hurt her.”
Each book in the Sons of Sinclair series is STANDALONE:
* Highland Conquest
* Highland Warrior
* Highland Justice
* Highland Beast
* Highland Surrender
Heather McCollum is a USA Today Bestselling author of over twenty 16th century Scottish romances full of adventure and intrigue, sprinkled with humor, history, and spice. When she’s not researching Britain’s rich history or writing adventures, she spends her time educating women on the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer. She’s a survivor and resides with her very own Highland hero and three spirited children in the wilds of suburbia on the mid-Atlantic coast.