Submit to the Warrior

By: Tatiana March

Scotland, 1541

The bastard son of a Spanish pirate, Stefan Navarro has had to fight hard for his revered position at court. Now he needs a wife and an estate to hold on to it. By the command of the King, Stefan must marry Lady Morag Stenholm—but first he has to remove her husband.

Morag feels nothing but relief after the death of her cruel laird. Her freedom is short-lived, for she is to be wed at once to the fearsome warrior known as The King’s Arrow. Yet it is not fear that her bridegroom inspires within her on their wedding night…

Submit to the Warrior

Tatiana March

Dear Reader,

Submit to the Warrior is the second book in my miniseries Hot Scottish Knights. In the first book, The Virgin’s Debt, the most feared warrior in Scotland is thwarted in his attempt to wed a woman who’ll bring him lands. Now, King James V offers him another bride, and this time the hero is determined to succeed, even if it means marrying a woman who’ll consider him the enemy.

I wanted to write about a hero who due to his birth is an outcast among the people he serves, and let him find a home. I wanted to allow a man who is known as a cruel killer to prove that sometimes we need to look behind the circumstances to see the man himself.

Medieval Scotland is a wonderful place to set a romantic story. Unlike England, under Scots Law women are allowed inherit noble titles and the estates that go with them. This can make women coveted prizes in marriage, or pawns for forming political alliances.

I’ve enjoyed researching the series: castles and knights, armour and destriers, weapons and warfare. Food, social customs, dress and travel. Religion and politics. Architecture and commerce. For this title, I spent a great deal of time understanding the legal system. The Internet is a wonderful resource, and the original court documents from the 1540s are available to study.

Although I wish to avoid turning my romantic stories into history lessons, I strive to enrich them with period details and make the background as authentic as I can.

I hope you’ll enjoy the story of The King’s Arrow and his bride.

Best wishes

Tatiana March

Chapter One

Scotland, Early 1541

Fury twisted inside Stefan Navarro as he stared at his king. ‘You are offering me a bride who is married to another man?’

‘Lady Morag is married now, but I expect her to be a widow after you finish your siege of Stenholm Castle.’ King James dipped the quill in the inkwell and scrawled his signature on the parchment in front of him. ‘I’ll give you a letter approving your betrothal to her. You can insert the date when you know her husband is dead. Do your duty, and the lands will be yours.’

‘If I kill the laird, I get to marry his wife?’

The king leaned back behind the walnut desk. He called to the knights standing guard outside his private rooms at Holyrood Palace to alert them that his guest was about to leave. Then he turned to Stefan. ‘You want a wife who can bring you lands. Although women are allowed to inherit under the laws of Scotland, most noblemen sire sons, who take precedence. I don’t have an unmarried woman with estates to offer you.’

‘And you want Stenholm dead,’ Stefan said bluntly.

The king gave a grim nod. ‘Last month alone, three messengers rode from Stenholm Castle to King Henry’s court. I believe the laird is plotting against me with the English.’

Stefan hid his unease at the news. Suspicious of mind, distrustful of the nobles, the king had more than once condemned an innocent man. ‘You could be mistaken.’

King James folded the parchment and threw it across the desk. ‘I don’t care to find out. I want him dead, but I don’t want his vassals in an uproar if he hangs for treason. He must perish in battle, with the honour due to a laird.’

The doors swung open, and four sentries stepped out to flank the exit, broadswords clanking at their sides.

‘Go,’ the king ordered. ‘Send a message to me as soon as the deed is done.’

Holding on to his anger, Stefan reached down to collect the letter. He didn’t need to ask if the king meant Stenholm’s death, or his marriage to the widow. The king wasn’t interested in his wedding festivities, only in removing the threat of a traitor.

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