by Susan Johnson

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He was a wild rogue who filled her with ecstasy—and impossible longings.
She should have been afraid, for he towered over her, holding her captive with eyes that smoldered with barely leashed passion, but what Elizabeth Graham felt instead was an answering fire. He was her enemy, the infamous Laird of Ravensby, a bold privateer who’d abducted her to win his brother’s freedom from an English dungeon. Yet even though tomorrow they’d be adversaries once more, tonight she could not deny herself the pleasure of his touch.

She was a temptress who made him ache with desire—and forget they were enemies.
The lady was his prisoner, completely at his mercy, yet when the feisty angel whose hair glittered with moonlight stood proudly before him and insisted he spend the night, Johnnie Carre was shocked to feel a restless, aching need to possess her, to taste her secrets and make her his forever. But keeping her with him would force a battle with leacherous foes—men who’d vowed to tear his beloved from his arms and send him to the gallows.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307574985
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/17/2010
Series: Carre , #1
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 321,013
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Susan Johnson, award-winning author of nationally bestselling novels, lives in the country near North Branch, Minnesota. A former art historian, she considers the life of a writer the best of all possible worlds. Researching her novels takes her to past and distant places, and bringing characters to life allows her imagination full rein, while the creative process offers occasional fascinating glimpses into complicated machinery of the mind. But most important...writing stories is fun.

Read an Excerpt

Goldiehouse, Ravensby, Scotland March 1704
“Are you sleeping?”
“Ummmm …” Johnnie Carre surfaced from a light doze, the soft sound of the woman’s voice secondary to the carnal pleasure he was suddenly feeling. It took a moment more to definitively focus his senses: A warm tongue was leaving a cool path.…
He shifted his powerful body slightly, the sensation exquisite. A faint smile lifted the corners of his mouth in pleasurable remembrance of the woman’s special skills, and a second later his vivid blue eyes opened. Reaching down, his fingers lazily slid through honey-colored silken curls, and he murmured, his deep voice still drowsy, “Don’t you ever sleep?”
He’d met Mary Holm two days ago in Kelso at a country inn where her acrobatic troupe was staying. She’d caught his eyes deliberately and then came up to him where he stood watching his men throwing dice.
“I’m Mary,” she’d said, looking up at the tall, dark-haired Border Lord with an open invitation in her eyes.
And after a long afternoon of sampling Wat Harden’s special reserve French brandy, he let his gaze drift downward briefly to the luscious swell of her bosom before returning to her sweetly smiling face, and he’d simply said, “I’m on my way home. Are you hungry?”
They’d hardly been out of bed since Tuesday.
“Now, if we weren’t leaving for Berwick on Friday, darling Johnnie,” the pretty young woman replied, lifting her head to smile at the Laird of Ravensby with cheerful impudence, “I might be inclined to sleep. But who knows when I’ll have such a bonny stud to entertain me again?”
He was fully awake now, and his own grin matched hers. “In that case I’ll try to last till Friday.”
“You’re doing gracious fine,” she purred, and with a wink, resumed her pleasuring.
On the muddy forest road south of Goldiehouse that evening, an exhausted rider whipped his lathered horse to more speed, every minute of delay terrible in its consequences. Like all Borderers, he knew the countryside even at night with the moon behind more threatening rain clouds. Now if his mount would just hold out.… He swore under his breath as the black stallion faltered in the rough going and, taking pity on his Laird’s best bloodstock, eased the pace. But even as he drew the horse to a trot, he debated whether his chieftain would rather he ride the black barb to death, so urgent was his message.
“Come sit on me,” Johnnie softly said, touching Mary’s chin with a finger. “I like the feel of you.…”
Rising in a lithe movement, her slender body, supple, feline, she stroked his splendid arousal and answered, “And I adore the feel of you, my darling Laird.” She grinned as she moved over him. “How pleasant to discover all the stories are true.”
“You’re testing my stamina, pet,” Johnnie murmured, aware of the stories but disinclined to discuss his reputation as stud to the Middle Marches. “But I’m not complaining,” he added with a small smile, gently placing his palms on her hips as she slid down his erection, his eyes closing against the delicious friction. “God, you’re tight.…”
Mary’s own blue eyes were half-closed, as profligate sensation flooded her mind. “And you’re enormous.…” she whispered into the firelit room, feeling his hard, rigid length stretch her. Her back arched against the delirium. “You’re my lovely rutting stallion,” she breathed, the exquisite feel of Johnnie Carre filling her.
The bedchamber was utterly silent for a time, the small sounds of the crackling fire distinct in the hushed, charged atmosphere. She moved down, he arched up. And they both caught their breath for that moment of indelible glory. Then she’d glide upward again with riveting slowness. And they’d both breathe again.
It was a languorous rhythm, not impatient after two wanton days in bed but feverishly acute after forty-eight hours of sexual excess. Extravagant, luxurious feeling reigned. No distractions tempered the irrepressible passion.
And then, overzealous once, Johnnie penetrated too deeply, and she cried out. Instantly remorseful, he touched her rosy cheek, his fingers as gentle as his voice. “I’m sorry,” he whispered. “Am I hurting you?”
It took her a shuddering moment to open her eyes and a moment more to answer. “It’s fine,” she ambiguously replied, her words uttered with a soft, breathy sigh.
He understood what she meant; he was an experienced man. But he cautioned himself to more control. She was small and fragile, and it was possible to do damage.
The fatigued horseman spurred the black stallion up the last incline to Goldiehouse, no longer concerned with his mount’s failing strength. Only a few hundred yards remained of his breakneck ride. Galloping through the courtyard gate, he shouted to rouse the household, the lantern-lit court empty. Throwing himself off the winded barb, he collapsed on the courtyard flags, damp and puddle-strewn from days of rain, just as the studded door to the old keep burst open. With drawn swords three clansmen bolted through the massive doorway, their jackboots like mallets on the cobblestones. Spread-eagle like a dead man on the wet ground, the messenger spoke, breathless, panting.
And they stopped cold when they heard his words.
Johnnie was unaware of the tumult, his private quarters of the last few days distant by his choice from the daily bustle. His attention at the moment was totally absorbed, his climax imminent.
Mary Holm’s arms were laced tightly around his neck, her breasts warm and soft against his chest, her sleek rhythm increasing in intensity. Her body was damp with sweat; his own temperature feverish; he could feel the heat of his arousal as if a tropical sun had invaded the massive stone walls and raftered ceiling of the room. Her agitated breathing warmed his neck; his strong fingers possessively captured her narrow waist, exerting a minute pressure at times that caused small, breath-held pauses while they both gathered new air into their lungs.
“I’m dying,” she breathed.
He shook his head, a small movement of negation, all he was capable of at the moment. Never, he thought, and if he’d had the capacity, he’d have smiled.
Reaching up suddenly, she twisted her fingers into his unruly black hair, jerked his face downward, and kissed him, devoured him, frantically ate at his mouth, greedy for the feel and taste of him everywhere.
He felt her begin to quiver, his own release racing downward.
• • •
Two Carre clansmen raced through the first-floor corridors, took the wide, shallow steps three at a time to the second floor, and ran full out to the narrow staircase at the back of the west wing, taking the corners in flying swoops. They sprinted up the narrow circular stairwell of the original tower1, their hearts beating a frantic tattoo. Johnnie had left orders that he not be disturbed, but neither questioned the need to disobey. In the medieval portion of Goldiehouse the ceilings were low, the hallways narrow, built for defense centuries ago. Only one man could comfortably navigate the corridors. One racing after the other, they dashed toward the small room at the end of the passage.
Lord, she was hot … on fire, Johnnie reflected as he exploded in orgasm, agonizing bliss convulsing his senses, the world diminished for brief seconds to one small woman in his arms and incredible sensation.
She was amazing.
Which exact thought was passing through Mary Holm’s mind as she lay overcome, panting, Johnnie Carre living up to his amorous fame. He was truly amazing … again.
She licked him like a contented cat, her warm tongue tracing a slow path across his muscled shoulder. She felt him tense minutely. His head lifted suddenly, and a second later he shifted her in his arms, unconsciously readying himself.
And then he heard it clearly. The faint pattern of running feet. When he’d made it clear his privacy was sacrosanct.
He lifted her from him in a flash of movement, set her against the pillows with a curious tenderness considering his blurring speed, and gallantly threw the embroidered sheet over her just as the door burst open.
He’d only half turned from her, his peripheral vision searching out the intruders, when the brutal exclamation struck him like a blow.
“They’ve taken Robbie!”
There was no need to define who “they” were. The same enemy had confronted the Roxburgh Carres for a thousand years.
He leaped from the bed, reaching for his weapons left conveniently on the bedpost. The Borders had been Scotland’s battleground since the dim dawn of history; a man’s dirk and sword never left his side.
His men swiftly related the facts of his brother’s abduction as Johnnie gathered his clothes, the woman forgotten. His questions were harsh staccato queries, his dark brows drawn together in a scowl at the answers. His leather breeches were on in seconds, his boots jerked on next, his shirt thrown over his shoulders followed by his leather jack. Handing his sword belt to a clansman to carry, he strode from the room, closing his shirt, tucking it into his leather breeches with rough thrusts.
Halfway down the second-floor corridor he remembered Mary Holm. “See that the girl is sent back to Kelso with an escort,” he curtly said, buckling his jack shut, reaching out for his sword baldric. Taking the belt from his lieutenant, he slipped it over his shoulder. “Give her a purse and my thanks. Are the horses saddled?”
At a nod he adjusted the dirk at his waist, pulled his sword slightly out of its scabbard to test its feel, jammed it back in, and, in a voice harsh with hatred, growled, “Damned Godfrey! Damned English! They’re fucking vermin.”
Descending the broad balustraded stairway in long, racing leaps, he broke into a run immediately he reached the main floor. “How long ago was it?” he asked again of the man keeping pace with him.
His muttered curse at the unpalatable reply reflected everyone’s unease.

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Outlaw 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
stephenskel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
At first I wasn't sure about this book. There were some pretty racy love scenes right from the start, but it turned out to have a very good story to go along with it. It kept my attention until the very end. This turned out to be one of my favorite books.
loverofromance More than 1 year ago
Outlaw is the first of two books in this duo series. These connected books are based on brothers. In this one we have Johnnie’s story. It has been so long since I have read this author. Susan Johnson is an impressionable author, and out of all the authors I have read, she is one of the most talented storyteller’s out there. Her books aren’t lighthearted and fun (although they do have some playful aspects), her stories are the hard to win romances that stimulate the blood and awaken the mind. Years and years I ago I read “Blaze” which was an amazing story, and after finding this treasure, I am going to need to buy the rest of her books. I had forgotten how much I had enjoyed her before. The story starts off a bit slow, but I felt after I finished the book, that it was necessary to build it up. The author here is creating a story that is vividly detailed and full of historical events that are vital to the story. It is set in the early 1700’s, in Scotland. The set up of the story is two people who are enemies but are turned into lovers. But from their first meeting, they have a teasing and playful interaction. This is no angst romance, it has many deep complexities to the plot, that I found riveting from the first chapter. The development of the characters are done very well, and we see the many layers of the two people who you will come to fall in love with. I don’t think there is a big issue I had with this book. I really had such a good time with it, it is over 400 pages, so you need to make sure you have time to read it. It’s not going to be read quickly. You don’t want to skim over this one, because you might miss out on something that is vital to the story. I am so relieved I took my time with this one, and didn’t rush through it. I put on some relaxing classical music, and relaxed for a few hours so that I could fully enjoy this one. Because I knew that I wouldn’t want to skimp out on Susan Johnson. If you have yet to try this author out, you are missing out. She writing stunning historical romances that captivate you in every way. Cover The cover is very stunning. I love the simplicity of it, and I do enjoy Johnson’s stepbacks. There are times I miss the older covers, and this is why. There is so much simple beauty in the step back and I just wanted to share it because with the setting, it definitely connects to a scene in the story. Overall View Outlaw is a riveting tale that is about sacrifice, loyalty and the true power of love…a tale of sensuality and danger, a intoxicating love story…TOTALLY CAPTIVATING!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm a Susan Johnson fan from way back . This has gotto be one of her best yet! John Carre has to be one of the most charismatic male characters I've ever met (and the way Susan's words bring him to life, it feels so real). The unfolding of his feelings for Elizabeth is well worth the up and down journey their love story takes; and if you decide to come along for the ride, you won't regret a single moment of the trip!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Three things I didn¿t like about this book. 1. Terrible ending. The story ends so abruptly you are left angry and frustrated. 2. After Elizabeth meets Johnnie she looses all her independence and becomes this week little kitten. I like books where the woman is strong, spunky and is the dominating character. 3. The sexual scenes are just not graphic enough. While reading this book I found myself skipping paragraphs because I was getting bored with the scenery and political bits. I wouldn¿t recommend this book to someone who wants a fiery, passionate sexual romance novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
OUTLAW was so good. i could not put it down, i kept it with me for days after i finished because i got so attached to it. this book made me addicted to susan johnsons books, and its earned a place close if not deeply imbedded inside my heart and soul. read it then my other reviews and we can talk. there's nothing i love more. well maybe... but books r pretty close to number one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Johnie is so hot i wish he was in my bed!!!!!! I would love to bed Johnie and Robbie with only my cloak on.