It’s been a busy week and a half, with releases of both Beloveds and Only Marriage Will Do coming within a week of one another. But if you’ll indulge the proud parent for a moment, I want my new book to strut its stuff, so to speak.
To make it even sweeter, I’m giving away a copy of one of my back listed books to one of the commenters on this blog today. All you have to do is tell me you’d like an e-copy (you can tell me which one if you already know). Good luck!
Not every happy-ever-after begins at “I do.”
When the hero of her dreams rescues Lady Juliet Ferrers from the man claiming to be her husband, she is sure she has found her one true love. But is she free to marry him? Not to be deterred, Juliet arranges for her hero, Captain Amiable Dawson, to escort her to her family estate, hoping that along the way she can win his love.
Amiable is charmed by the sweet, beautiful woman he rescued, and although he has grave reservations about her marital status, he allows himself to be swept up into Juliet’s romantic spell and the promise of a happy-ever-after.
The spell breaks when legal questions arise and Juliet faces the horror of not knowing if she is married to her knight in shining armor or the cruel viscount who is determined to have her at any price.
“Juliet, mon amour.” St. Cyr reverted to his native French. “You cannot have a serious regard for this monstrous oaf?” He raked Amiable contemptuously with his gaze. “He is a barbarian compared to me, my dear. I can make you forget him, forget any of his crude gestures of love. Do you remember our embrace? At the king’s Christmas court ball? Such a quaint custom of the mistletoe. You seemed to long for more than just my tongue that night, my sweet.”
“Philippe, please.” Juliet shrank from him, blushing until her face matched the hue of her dress.
“I fear you did not heed my words earlier, St. Cyr,” Amiable replied in flawless French, pulling his sword free. “You have just besmirched the honor of my wife and I will have satisfaction of you.”
“Jack, no.” Juliet pulled Amiable to a corner of the room and whispered, “Please do not engage him, sir. We can hardly have a scene here without…” She peered over her shoulder.
Totally unconcerned with the challenge he had just been issued, St. Cyr inspected the Watteau on the wall, once again idly twisting his walking stick in his hand. The fool.
“You have no true reason to challenge him.”
“There you are wrong, my dear. Any gentleman has the duty to defend a lady’s honor.” He smiled at her, then turned back to St. Cyr. “May I suggest you apologize, my lord, unless you wish to meet me tomorrow morning?” He pointed his sword tip at St. Cyr’s mouth. “I will be much obliged to cut that offensive tongue out at your earliest convenience.” At last. Action he could take satisfaction in. He’d savor the anticipation of such a meeting.
St. Cyr paled a trifle as he looked from him to Juliet. “Forgive me, mon ange,” he addressed her, “for recalling our past intimacies. They should have remained in the memories of just us two.”
“Humph.” He stared hard at St. Cyr. Not the most contrite plea for forgiveness, but nothing more seemed forthcoming. Reluctantly, he executed a slight bow, acknowledged the dubious apology, and sheathed his blade.
“I have no such memories, Philippe.” Juliet spoke in French. “Nor do I want anything else from you except to be left alone.”
“C’est impossible, chérie. We are man and wife. I will not leave you alone in the care of another man. I insist you accompany me back to my inn.” St. Cyr dove for her hand.
With a strangled cry, Juliet spun around to hide behind Amiable.
“By God, that is enough.” He’d make an end to the wretch this time. “There are laws in England that prevent men from forcing women to marry them.”
“The law says Juliet is already married to me,” St. Cyr said softly and drew a sheaf of papers from his jacket. He waved them at Amiable. “And only to me.”