The biggest highlight for me last year was winning UK publisher Choc lit’s Search for an Australian Star Competition. (I was also nominated for an Australian Romance Readers award and signed with Ellora’s Cave, so it was a huge 12 months.)
Well, now The Reluctant Bride has just come out in ebook with the paperback release scheduled for September 15.
Please read on for the blurb and a short extract and then for details on how to be entered into my giveaway competition.
The Reluctant Bride is about a beautiful French spy who places her daughters – by various French revolutionaries – into different foster homes. The story begins 20 years later when the girls have been brought up with different allegiances.
Emily Micklen has no option after the death of her loving fiancé, Jack, but to marry the scarred, taciturn, soldier who represents her only escape from destitution.
Major Angus McCartney is tormented by the reproachful slate-grey eyes of two strikingly similar women: Jessamine, his dead mistress, and Emily, the unobtainable beauty who is now his reluctant bride.
Emily’s loyalty to Jack’s memory is matched only by Angus’s determination to atone for the past and win his wife with honour and action. As Napoleon cuts a swathe across Europe, Angus is sent to France on a mission of national security, forcing Emily to confront both her allegiance to Jack and her traitorous half-French family.
Angus and Emily may find love, but will the secrets they uncover divide them forever?
‘It’s not a sin, unless you get caught.’
The gentle breeze seemed to whisper Jack’s teasing challenge, its soft, silken fingers tugging at Emily’s ingrained obedience. She put down her basket and stared with longing at the waters below, sweat prickling her scalp beneath her poke bonnet as desire warred with fear of the consequences.
‘Where’s your sense of adventure, Em?’
Still resisting, Emily closed her eyes, but the wind’s wicked suggestiveness was like the caress of Jack’s breath against her heated cheek; daring Emily to shrug aside a lifetime of dutiful subservience – again – and peel off her clothes, this time to plunge into the inviting stream beneath the willows.
he imagined Jack’s warm brown eyes glinting with wickedness. Taunting her like the burr that had worked its way into the heel of her woollen stockings during her walk.
Exhaling on a sigh, Emily opened her eyes and admitted defeat as she succumbed to the pull of the reed-fringed waters.
Desire had won, justified by practicality. If she had to remove one stocking to dislodge the burr she might as well remove both.
Scrambling down the embankment, she lowered herself onto a rock by the water’s edge. Her father would never know. If he glanced from his study in the tower room, where he was doubtless gloating over his balance sheet, he’d assume she was a village lass making her way along the track. Emily had never seen him interest himself in the poor except …
Like most unpleasant memories, she tried to cast this one out with a toss of her head, still glad her father had never
discovered what she’d witnessed from her bedroom window one evening five years ago: the curious sight of Bartholomew Micklen ushering the beggar girl who’d arrived on his doorstep into his carriage.
Then climbing in after her before it rumbled down the driveway and out of sight.
Now was just another of those moments when Emily was glad her father remained in ignorance. Her insurance, should she need it, was that she knew a few of her father’s secrets the excise men might just want to know.
By the time the first stocking had followed Emily’s boots onto the grassy bank she was bursting with anticipation for her swim.
What did one more sin matter when she’d be Mrs Jack Noble in less than a week?
And now for the chance to win a copy of A Little Deception, which was shortlisted Favourite Historical by Australian Romance Readers Association.
Just read the blurb and tell me what blackmail method Emily would use on her father if she had to. EG: “She knew a few secrets the ……. ……. might just want to know.
Thanks you for dropping by and participating.