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Rebellion & In From The Cold

Nora Roberts

  Nora Roberts

  Hot Ice

  Sacred Sins

  Brazen Virtue

  Sweet Revenge

  Public Secrets

  Genuine Lies

  Carnal Innocence

  Divine Evil

  Honest Illusions

  Private Scandals

  Hidden Riches

  True Betrayals

  Montana Sky



  The Reef

  River’s End

  Carolina Moon

  The Villa

  Midnight Bayou

  Three Fates


  Northern Lights

  Blue Smoke

  Angels Fall

  High Noon


  Black Hills

  The Search

  Chasing Fire


  Irish Born Trilogy

  Born in Fire

  Born in Ice

  Born in Shame

  Dream Trilogy

  Daring to Dream

  Holding the Dream

  Finding the Dream

  Chesapeake Bay Saga

  Sea Swept

  Rising Tides

  Inner Harbor

  Chesapeake Blue

  Gallaghers of Ardmore Trilogy

  Jewels of the Sun

  Tears of the Moon

  Heart of the Sea

  Three Sisters Island Trilogy

  Dance Upon the Air

  Heaven and Earth

  Face the Fire

  Key Trilogy

  Key of Light

  Key of Knowledge

  Key of Valor

  In the Garden Trilogy

  Blue Dahlia

  Black Rose

  Red Lily

  Circle Trilogy

  Morrigan’s Cross

  Dance of the Gods

  Valley of Silence

  Sign of Seven Trilogy

  Blood Brothers

  The Hollow

  The Pagan Stone

  Bride Quartet

  Vision in White

  Bed of Roses

  Savor the Moment

  Happy Ever After

  The Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy

  The Next Always


  The O’Hurleys

  The Last Honest Woman

  Dance to the Piper

  Skin Deep

  Without a Trace

  The Donovan Legacy





  Cordina’s Royal Family

  Affaire Royale

  Command Performance

  The Playboy Prince

  Cordina’s Crown Jewel

  The MacGregors

  Playing the Odds

  Tempting Fate

  All the Possibilities

  One Man’s Art

  The MacGregor Brides

  The Winning Hand

  The MacGregor Grooms

  The Perfect Neighbor

  Rebellion & In from the Cold

  Night Tales

  Night Shift

  Night Shadow


  Night Smoke

  Night Shield

  Nora Roberts & J. D. Robb

  Remember When

  J. D. Robb

  Naked in Death

  Glory in Death

  Immortal in Death

  Rapture in Death

  Ceremony in Death

  Vengeance in Death

  Holiday in Death

  Conspiracy in Death

  Loyalty in Death

  Witness in Death

  Judgment in Death

  Betrayal in Death

  Seduction in Death

  Reunion in Death

  Purity in Death

  Portrait in Death

  Imitation in Death

  Divided in Death

  Visions in Death

  Survivor in Death

  Origin in Death

  Memory in Death

  Born in Death

  Innocent in Death

  Creation in Death

  Strangers in Death

  Salvation in Death

  Promises in Death

  Kindred in Death

  Fantasy in Death

  Indulgence in Death

  Treachery in Death

  New York to Dallas


  From the Heart

  A Little Magic

  A Little Fate

  Moon Shadows

  (with Jill Gregory, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Marianne Willman)

  The Once Upon Series

  (with Jill Gregory, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Marianne Willman)

  Once Upon a Castle

  Once Upon a Rose

  Once Upon a Star

  Once Upon a Kiss

  Once Upon a Dream

  Once Upon a Midnight

  Silent Night

  (with Susan Plunkett, Dee Holmes, and Claire Cross)

  Out of This World

  (with Laurell K. Hamilton, Susan Krinard, and Maggie Shayne)

  Bump in the Night

  (with Mary Blayney, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Mary Kay McComas)

  Dead of Night

  (with Mary Blayney, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Mary Kay McComas)

  Three in Death

  Suite 606

  (with Mary Blayney, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Mary Kay McComas)

  In Death

  The Lost

  (with Patricia Gaffney, Mary Blayney, and Ruth Ryan Langan)

  The Other Side

  (with Mary Blayney, Patricia Gaffney, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Mary Kay McComas)

  The Unquiet

  (with Mary Blayney, Patricia Gaffney, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Mary Kay McComas)

  Also available…

  The Official Nora Roberts Companion

  (edited by Denise Little and Laura Hayden)


  Published by the Penguin Group

  Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

  Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada

  (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

  Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)

  Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia

  (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)

  Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India

  Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand

  (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)

  Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

  Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have control over and does not have any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.


  An InterMix Book / published by arrangement with the author



  Harlequin Books edition / July 1988

  InterMix eBook edition / Apr
il 2012


  Harlequin Books edition / March 1999

  InterMix eBook edition / April 2012

  REBELLION Copyright © 1988 by Nora Roberts.

  IN FROM THE COLD Copyright © 1999 by Nora Roberts.

  Excerpt from The Witness copyright © 2012 by Nora Roberts.

  All rights reserved.

  No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

  For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,

  a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

  ISBN: 978-1-101-56939-9


  InterMix Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,

  a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

  INTERMIX and the “IM” design are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.




  Special Excerpt



  Glenroe Forest, Scotland, 1735

  They came at dusk, when the villagers were at their evening meal, and the peat fires sent smoke curling from the chimneys into the chill November air. There had been snow the week before, and the sun had beaten down and then retreated until the frost had set hard as rock under the bare trees. The sound of approaching horses rang like thunder through the forest, sending small animals racing and scrambling for cover.

  Serena MacGregor shifted her baby brother on her hip and went to the window. Her father and the men were returning early from their hunting trip, she thought, but there were no shouts of greeting from the outlying cottages, no bursts of laughter.

  She waited, her nose all but pressed against the window glazing, straining for the first signs of their return and fighting back her resentment that she, a girl, was not permitted to join hunting parties.

  Coll had gone, though he was barely fourteen and not as skilled with a bow as she herself. And Coll had been allowed to go since he was seven. Serena’s mouth became a pout as she gazed out through the lowering light. Her older brother would talk of nothing but the hunt for days, while she would have to be content to sit and spin.

  Little Malcolm began to fuss and she jiggled him automatically as she stared down the rough path between the crofts and cottages. “Hush now, Papa doesn’t want to hear you squalling the minute he walks in the door.” But something made her hold him closer and look nervously over her shoulder for her mother.

  The lamps were lighted and there was the scent of good, rich stew simmering over the kitchen fire. The house was neat as a pin. She and her mother and her little sister Gwen had worked all day to make it so. The floors were scrubbed, the tables polished. There wasn’t a cobweb to be found in any corner. Serena’s arms ached just thinking of it. The wash had been done and the little lavender sachets her mother loved so much were tucked in the chests.

  Because her father was laird, they had the best house for miles around, built of fine blue slate. Her mother wasn’t one to let dust settle on it.

  Everything looked normal, but something had set her heart to racing. Grabbing a shawl, Serena wrapped it around Malcolm and opened the door to look for her father.

  There was no wind, no sound but the horses’ hooves beating against the hard frost on the path. They would ride over the rise any moment, she thought, and for a reason she couldn’t name, she shuddered. When she heard the first scream, she stumbled backward. She had already righted herself and started forward when her mother called out to her.

  “Serena, come back in. Hurry.”

  Fiona MacGregor, her usually lovely face pinched and pale, rushed down the stairs. Her hair, the same red-gold shade as Serena’s, was pinned back and caught in a snood. She didn’t pat it into place, as was her habit before welcoming her husband home.

  “But, Mama—”

  “Hurry, girl, for God’s sake.” Fiona grabbed her daughter’s arm and dragged her inside. “Take the bairn upstairs to your sister. Stay there.”

  “But Papa—”

  “It’s not your father.”

  Serena saw then, as the horses crested the hill, not the hunting plaid of the MacGregor but the red coats of English dragoons. She was only eight, but she had heard the tales of pillage and oppression. Eight was old enough to be outraged.

  “What do they want? We’ve done nothing.”

  “It’s not necessary to do, only to be.” Fiona closed the door, then bolted it, more out of defiance than of any hope it would keep out intruders. “Serena—”

  A small, slender woman, she gripped her daughter’s shoulders. She had been the favored daughter of an indulgent father, then the adored wife of a loving husband, but Fiona was no weakling. Perhaps that was why the men in her life had given her their respect, as well as their affection.

  “Go upstairs into the nursery. Keep Malcolm and Gwen with you. Don’t come out until I tell you.”

  The valley echoed with another scream, and with wild weeping. Through the window they saw the thatched roof of a cottage rise in flames. Fiona could only thank God her husband and son hadn’t returned.

  “I want to stay with you,” Serena’s wide green eyes overwhelmed her face, damp now with the beginnings of tears. But her mouth, the one her father called stubborn, firmed. “Papa wouldn’t want me to leave you alone.”

  “He would want you to do as you’re told.” Fiona heard the horses stop at the door. There was a jingle of spurs and the sound of men shouting. “Go now.” She turned her daughter and pushed her toward the stairs. “Keep the babies safe.”

  As Malcolm began to wail, Serena fled up the steps. She was on the landing when she heard the door burst in. She stopped and turned to see her mother face half a dozen dragoons. One stepped forward and bowed. Even from a distance, Serena could see that the gesture was an insult.

  “Serena?” little Gwen called from the stairs above.

  “Take the baby.” Serena pushed Malcolm into Gwen’s pudgy five-year-old arms. “Go into the nursery and shut the door.” She lowered her voice to a whisper. “Hurry—keep him quiet if you can.” From her apron pocket she dug a sugarplum she’d been saving. “Take this and go before they see us.” Crouching at the top of the stairs, she watched.

  “Fiona MacGregor?” said the dragoon with the fancy stripes.

  “I am Lady MacGregor.” Fiona kept her shoulders back and her eyes level. Her only thought now was to protect her children and her home. Since fighting was impossible, she used the only weapon at hand—her dignity. “By what right do you break into my home?”

  “By the right of an officer of the king.”

  “And your name?”

  “Captain Standish, at your service.” He drew off his gloves, waiting, hoping, to see fear. “Where is your husband … Lady MacGregor?”

  “The laird and his men are hunting.”

  Standish signaled, sending three of his men on a search of the house. One overturned a table as he passed. Though her mouth was dry as dust, Fiona held her ground. She knew he could order her home torched, as easily as he had her tenants’ cottages. There was little hope that her rank, or her husband’s, would protect them. Her only choice was to meet insult with insult, and calmly.

  “As you’ve seen, we are mostly women and children here. Your … visit is ill-timed if you wish to have words with the MacGregor or his men. Or perhaps that is why you and your soldiers come so bravely into Glenroe.”

  He slapped her then, sending her staggering backward from the force of the blow.

  “My father will kill you for that.” Serena flew down the stairs like a bullet and launched herself at the officer. He swore as she dug her teeth into his hand, then swept her a

  “Damn devil’s brat drew blood.” He lifted his fist, but Fiona flung herself between him and her daughter.

  “Do King George’s men beat small children? Is that how the English rule?”

  Standish was breathing fast. It was a matter of pride now. He could hardly let his men see him bested by a woman and child, especially when they were Scottish scum. His orders were only to search and question. It was a pity the sniveling Argyll had convinced the queen, in her role as regent, not to enforce the Bill of Pains and Penalties. Scotland would indeed have been a hunting ground if she had. Still, Queen Caroline was furious with her Scottish subjects, and in any case she was hardly likely to hear of an isolated incident in the Highlands.

  He signaled to one of the dragoons. “Take that brat upstairs and lock her up.”

  Without a word the soldier scooped Serena up, doing his best to avoid her feet and teeth and pummeling fists. As she fought, she screamed for her mother and cursed the soldiers.

  “You raise wildcats in the Highlands, milady.” The officer wrapped a fresh handkerchief around his hand.

  “She is unused to seeing her mother, or any woman, struck by a man.”

  His hand was throbbing. He would not regain his men’s esteem by thrashing a puny child. But the mother … He smiled as he let his gaze wander over her. The mother was a different matter.

  “Your husband is suspected of involvement with the murder of Captain Porteous.”

  “The Captain Porteous who was sentenced to death by the courts for firing into a crowd?”

  “He was reprieved, madam.” Standish laid a hand lightly on the hilt of his sword. Even among his own kind he was considered cruel. Fear and intimidation kept his men in line; the same would work with one Scottish whore. “Captain Porteous fired on a group of rioters at a public execution. Then he was taken from prison and hanged by persons unknown.”

  “I find it difficult to sympathize with his fate, but neither I nor anyone in my family know of such matters.”

  “If it’s found differently, your husband would be a murderer and a traitor. And you, Lady MacGregor, would have no protection.”

  “I have nothing to tell you.”

  “A pity.” He smiled and moved a step closer. “Shall I show you what happens to unprotected women?”

  * * *

  Upstairs, Serena beat on the door until her hands were raw. Behind her, Gwen huddled with Malcolm and wept. There was no light in the nursery but for the moon and the flames from the fired cottages. Outside she could hear people shouting, women wailing, but her thoughts were all for her mother—left below, alone and unprotected, with the English.