Cover Reveal : Respect (An Infidelity Novel) by Aleatha Romig

 

Respect – An Infidelity Stand-alone Novel

“The making of a man”

Standing at what I believe is the precipice of my life, I, Oren Demetri, was too young to understand that it wasn’t and too old to imagine that it couldn’t be.

The already hefty accumulation of my successes and failures, bravery and fears, and rewards and suffering, had brought me to this point. It was hard to contemplate the things I’d done, and yet, in reality I’d only begun to learn the possibilities.

I suppose that’s how it was for me at twenty-nine years of age on the brink of all I’d ever wanted without fully realizing the price I would pay. Yet in that moment, I knew there would be no cost too great or sacrifice I wouldn’t make. I had no idea how far-reaching that moment of self-discovery would be; because as the congregation’s murmurs quieted, bleeding into silence and allowing the thump of my heart to be the only sound I heard, I was a man filled with love and adoration, emotions in stark contrast to those I needed in the world I’d built or the one I was about to enter.

Angelina Costello was my dream and now my reality. I’d worked diligently to move beyond the actuality of being a dockworker’s son to becoming a self-made, successful entrepreneur, all in an effort to earn the right to call her my own. I’d overcome servitude to others, collecting their paychecks and lowly praises, to being the one who signed the paychecks and offered the accolades when they were rightfully earned.

The world was my oyster and walking toward me on the arm of her uncle was my pearl. I’d found her amongst the empty shells life had offered. There was no need to pry open another possibility. Angelina was all I wanted. Yet my path was uncharted. There was more for me to earn, lose, and willingly give.

The top of that list was respect.

This stand-alone novel may be read without reading the Infidelity series.

From New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Aleatha Romig comes a stand-alone novel based from her beloved Infidelity series. With classic Aleatha Romig twists, turns, deceptions, and devotions, this new epic romantic thriller will delve into a world where family takes on new meaning and even the inhabitants are suspicious of the next chapter.

Have you been Aleatha’d?

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Aleatha Romig is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana, USA. She grew up in Mishawaka, graduated from Indiana University, and is currently living south of Indianapolis. Aleatha has raised three children with her high school sweetheart and husband of over thirty years. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she’s not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time a with her family and friends. Her other pastimes include reading and creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams and bring your imagination to life!

Aleatha released her first novel, CONSEQUENCES, in August of 2011. CONSEQUENCES became a bestselling series with five novels and two companions released from 2011 through 2015. The compelling and epic story of Anthony and Claire Rawlings has graced more than half a million e-readers. Aleatha released the first of her series TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE, INSIDIOUS, in the fall of 2014. These stand alone thrillers continue Aleatha’s twisted style with an increase in heat.

In the fall of 2015, Aleatha moved head first into the world of dark romantic suspense with the release of BETRAYAL, the first of her five novel INFIDELITY series that has taken the reading world by storm. She also began her traditional publishing career with Thomas and Mercer. Her books INTO THE LIGHT and AWAY FROM THE DARK were published through this mystery/thriller publisher in 2016.

In the spring of 2017, Aleatha released her first stand-alone, fun, and sexy romantic comedy with PLUS ONE, followed by the sweet stand-alone, ONE NIGHT.

Aleatha is a “Published Author’s Network” member of the Romance Writers of America and PEN America. She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

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Blog Tour : Defiant Queen (The Mount Trilogy #2) by Meghan March

The Mount Trilogy continues with

Defiant Queen…

I’m his entertainment. His toy. Payment on a debt.

I tell myself I hate him, but every time he walks into the room, my body betrays me. How can I want him and fear him in the same moment?

They told me he’d mess with my head. Make it go to war with my body.

But I didn’t realize it would be complete anarchy.

I should’ve known better. When Mount’s involved, there are no rules.

I will not surrender. I will not show weakness. I’ll stand my ground and make it out of this bargain with my heart and soul intact.

But he has other plans . . .

Defiant Queen is the second book of the Mount Trilogy. Mount and Keira’s story concludes in Sinful Empire.

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MY REVIEW

Rating : 5 out of 5 Stars

In this second installment, we get to know more about Lachlan Mount’s childhood in the foster system and the way it shaped him. He fought overwhelming odds to become the man he is. To stay on top, Mount never showed any weakness, until Keira. But he rules through fear and he can’t let her change him.

Their power struggle was fascinating. Keira is stubborn, her fighting spirit is her greatest strength, she challenges Mount. He is not an easy person to interact with, and their relationship is complicated. Keira wants to understand the crux of Mount’s complex personality. The dynamics of this couple, the push and pull, the emotions and desires were beautifully rendered. I loved that both characters grew a lot in this story. Keira’s development as a character, her acceptance of her dark desires, was breathtaking.

Mount and Keira are struggling with their feelings. Both of them felt real to me and their relationship and chemistry felt more intense than ever in this installment.

The storyline was gripping with enough plot twists intertwined to keep me guessing and I was drawn ever deeper into this amazing story. I can’t wait to see where this story is going next and will be anxiously awaiting the next installment!

Thanks for visiting and happy reading!

An advanced copy of this book was provided by the author and Inkslinger PR.

Get ready for the darker and dirtier side of New Orleans with a brand new alpha romance from USA Today bestselling author Meghan March.

New Orleans belongs to me.
You don’t know my name, but I control everything you see—and all the things you don’t.
My reach knows no bounds, and my demands are always met.
I didn’t need to loan money to a failing family distillery, but it amuses me to have them in my debt.
To have her in my debt.
She doesn’t know she caught my attention.
She should’ve been more careful.
I’m going to own her. Consume her. Maybe even keep her.
It’s time to collect what I’m owed.
Keira Kilgore, you’re now the property of Lachlan Mount.

*Ruthless King is book one of the Mount Trilogy*

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Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She’s also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she’s ever had. She loves hearing from her readers at meghanmarchbooks@gmail.com.

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Cover Reveal : Sex, Not Love by Vi Keeland

We are thrilled to bring you the next standalone novel from #1 New York Times Bestselling Author, Vi Keeland. SEX, NOT LOVE will release on January 15th, 2018

Model: Fabian Castro
Photographer: Rafael Catala
Cover designer: Sommer Stein, Perfect Pear Creative

My relationship with Hunter Delucia started backwards.

We met at a wedding—him sitting on the groom’s side, me sitting on the bride’s. Stealing glances at each other throughout the night, there was no denying an intense, mutual attraction.

I caught the bouquet; he caught the garter. Hunter held me tightly while we danced and suggested we explore the chemistry sparking between us. His blunt, dirty mouth should’ve turned me off. But for some crazy reason, it had the opposite effect on me.

We ended up back in my hotel room. The next morning, I headed home to New York leaving him behind in California with the wrong number.

I thought about him often, but after my last relationship, I’d sworn off of charming, cocky, gorgeous-as-sin men. A year later, Hunter and I met again at the birth of our friends’ baby. Our attraction hadn’t dulled one bit. After a whirlwind trip, he demanded a real phone number this time. So I left him with my mother’s—she could scare away any man with her talks of babies and marriage—and flew back home.

I’d thought it was funny, until the following week when he rang the bell at Mom’s house for Sunday night dinner. The crazy, gorgeous man had won over my mother and taken an eight-week assignment in my city. He proposed we spend that time screwing each other out of our systems.

Eight weeks of mind-blowing sex with no strings attached? What did I have to lose?

Nothing, I thought.

It’s just sex, not love.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans…

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PURCHASE LINKS:

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**No Amazon ebook preorder. Will go live on Amazon on release day.

Sign up for Vi’s mailing list now and be the first one notified when it goes live!

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over eighty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in nineteen languages. She lives in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

Website | Facebook Fan Group | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Other books from Vi Keeland:

Standalone novels

Beautiful Mistake
Amazon eBook http://amzn.to/2uoeoJN
iBooks http://smarturl.it/20x53a
B&N http://smarturl.it/n8jey6
Kobo http://smarturl.it/1btxsz

Egomaniac
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/b1gi74
iBooks: http://apple.co/2fIsmvC
B&N: http://smarturl.it/t4ohsv
Kobo: http://smarturl.it/azmhq9

Bossman
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2a8D5B6
iBooks: http://apple.co/25x2jyX
B&N: http://bit.ly/29sL4H2
Kobo: http://bit.ly/29lW19I

The Baller
Amazon: amzn.to/1PBF2hG
iBooks: http://bit.ly/iBooksBaller
B&N: http:// bit.ly/BarnesBaller
Kobo: http:// bit.ly/KoboBaller

Left Behind (A Young Adult Novel)

Life on Stage series (2 standalone books)

Beat
http://www.amazon.com/Beat-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00ZOMUV12/ http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beat-vi-keeland/1121715501 https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/beat/id983959123 https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/beat-5

Throb

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/throb/id948747986
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/throb-vi-keeland/1121112695
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/throb-4

MMA Fighter series (3 standalone books)
Worth the Fight

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-fight/id805540252
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-the-fight-vi-keeland/1117014180
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-the-fight

Worth the Chance

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-chance/id813714461
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-the-chance-vi-keeland/1118634058
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-the-chance

Worth Forgiving

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-forgiving/id906130022?ls=1&mt=11
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-forgiving-vi-keeland/1120173153
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-forgiving

The Cole Series (2 book serial)
Belong to You

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/belong-to-you/id639401754
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/belong-to-you-vi-keeland/1114962845
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you

Made for You

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/made-for-you/id84550637
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/made-for-you-vi-keeland/1115883225
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you

Co-written novels

Cocky Bastard
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1LfN3fc
iTunes: http://apple.co/1PffE2J
B&N: http://bit.ly/1EjxNpY
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1UxCSUO

Stuck-Up Suit
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1S3LnpZ
iBooks: http://apple.co/1Qbwy57
B&N: http://bit.ly/29vrQhV
Kobo: http:// bit.ly/1RJdUif

Playboy Pilot
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2d5I5rS
iBooks: http://apple.co/1Wb06Cf
Nook: bit.ly/2caXPEK
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2cJDXO1

Mister Moneybags
Amazon http://amzn.to/2oTaaHf
Barnes & Noble http://smarturl.it/kx7h8m
iBooks http://smarturl.it/3y1tuq
Kobo http://smarturl.it/qqf5ho

Dear Bridget, I Want You
Amazon: ➜ http://amzn.to/2sGyJbZ
iBooks: ➜ http://smarturl.it/y4x3xi
B&N ➜ http://smarturl.it/o780mb
Kobo: ➜ http://smarturl.it/kfgc6a
Google: ➜ http://smarturl.it/7cvewu

 

Release Week Blitz : Twisted Truths (Blood Brothers #3) by Rebecca Zanetti

TwistedTruths_ReleaseWeekBlitzTWISTED TRUTHS by Rebecca Zanetti

Part of the BLOOD BROTHERS series.

November 14, 2017 | Trade paperback: $14.99 | eBook: $5.99 | ISBN: 978145559431

 “TOP PICK! 4 1/2 stars! Zanetti proves that when it

comes to RS, she is in a class by herself!” ―RT Book Reviews

Blurb

Zanetti_TwistedTruths_TROne year ago, Denver Jones blew up his life and left everything behind. To stay alive, he had no other choice. But now, when video footage of the woman he could never forget goes viral, begging for his help, he has no choice but to go to her. Her niece has been kidnapped and Denver and his blood brothers are the only people she can trust.

But Denver isn’t the only one watching that video. The deadly forces from his past see it too-and they’ll use anything–and anyone–they can to lure Denver out of hiding to exact their revenge.

 BUY THE BOOK

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2zjXVoC

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The Series

Series Page on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2dcQsPD

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rebecca Zanetti CREDIT Dylan PatrickRebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five romantic suspense, dark paranormal, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestseller lists. She has received a Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review for Wicked Edge, Romantic Times Reviewer Choice Nominations for Forgotten Sins and Sweet Revenge, and RT Top Picks for several of her novels.  She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family.  She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out. Find Rebecca at: www.rebeccazanetti.com

Author Information

Author Website: http://bit.ly/2dh9aFd

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2dsZaXB

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#ReadForever

 GIVEAWAY

 Win 1 of 10 paperback copies of Twisted Truths.

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Cover Reveal : The British Knight by Louise Bay

TBK.FBCover w text

Blurb

When I’m offered the chance to leave New York to live in London for three months, I can’t pack my suitcase fast enough.

As soon as I touch down I’m obsessing over red telephone boxes, palaces and all the black cabs.

But my favorite place is the tube. It’s wall-to-wall hot British men in suits.

When I’m offered a temporary job working for a barrister, I say, sign me up.

On my first commute into work, it’s a total accident when I lose my balance and fall against the most handsome Brit alive. He’s as charming as James Bond and as suave as Mr. Darcy. I want to lick tea from his hard abs and listen to his accent all night long.

Turns out Mr. Handsome is my new boss. And his attitude isn’t as hot as his gorgeous face, broad shoulders and tight ass. He’s brooding, short-tempered and the most arrogant man I’ve ever met.

As we’re fighting, out of nowhere he kisses me. And I’m pretty sure I see fireworks over Big Ben and hear God Save the Queen.

I wasn’t looking for the fairytale but I might have found my knight in shining armor. The problem is he lives an ocean away.

A standalone romance.

Add to your TBR on GR: http://bit.ly/2zZ4D3B

Pre-order on iBooks: http://apple.co/2z8UaUk

Releases: December 5 2017

TheBritishKnight.Ebook

Release Blitz : Once Upon A Maiden Lane (Maiden Lane #12.5) by Elizabeth Hoyt

OUAML_ReleaseDayBlitz

ONCE UPON A MAIDEN LANE by Elizabeth Hoyt (November 14, 2017; Forever Yours Ebook; $1.99; The Maiden Lane Series #12.5)

A stand-alone novella from New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Hoyt!

Miss Mary Whitsun is far too intelligent to fall for the rakish charms of a handsome aristocrat. But when the gentleman in question approaches her in a bookshop, mistaking her for his fiancée, Lady Johanna Albright, the flirtatious encounter only raises more questions. Could Mary, a servant raised in a St Giles orphanage, actually be Lady Joanna’s long-lost twin sister? If so, Mary has been betrothed since birth—to the rakishly handsome artistocrat himself . . .

Henry Collins, Viscount Blackwell, is far too intrigued by Mary to let her go so easily. He’s drawn to her sharp mind, indomitable spirit, and the fiery way in which she dismisses him—ladies simply don’t dismiss Lord Blackwell. But as Mary makes her first hesitant steps into society, she can’t help but wonder if she truly has a place in Henry’s world—or in his heart.

OnceUponAMaidenLane5_RGB301

Buy the Book!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2gJhSht

B&N: http://bit.ly/2gIKyXR

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Google: http://bit.ly/2hg3bDl

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Add Once Upon a Maiden Lane to your shelf on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2hhJsmO

My Review

Rating : 4.5 out of 5 Stars

This novella can be read as a standalone, but if you have read the Maiden Lane series (and if not, you really should) you’ll know that the heroine, Mary Whitsun, is an orphan with no family who was raised at the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children in St Giles. Mary finds herself lucky to have found a nursemaid position with her friend, Lady Caire. Her world is turned upside down when an aristocratic family claims she is their long lost daughter, who was kidnapped at the age of 7 months. She is expected, not only to quickly become a refined lady, but also to marry a stranger, Henry Collins, Lord Blackwell. Mary is not a woman to be intimidated easily and certainly not by an arrogant rake who presents himself as her fiancé.

Their banter was delightful. The sparks fly between them from the start. Both are engaging and well-developed characters and their romance is engrossing. I liked Mary, her simplicity and honesty were refreshing. Henry was caring and tender, not at all the rakish hero I expected him to be. As a couple, Mary and Henry were just adorable.

This was a really great story with a set of vibrant characters that I absolutely adored and enough unexpected twists to keep you turning the pages. As a reader, I have mixed feelings when a great series comes to an end. On the one hand, it’s great to have closure to a story, but on the other hand, I never wanted this outstanding series to end! I can’t wait to see what Elizabeth Hoyt has in store for her readers.

An advanced copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher, via NetGalley.

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About the Author:

Elizabeth Hoyt 2017 (1)Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing “mesmerizing.” She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.

Social Media Links:

www.ElizabethHoyt.com

www.twitter.com/elizabethhoyt

www.facebook.com/ElizabethHoytBooks

Follow Elizabeth Hoyt on BookBub: http://bit.ly/2tyf2ja

Follow Elizabeth Hoyt on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2uvYH2N

Giveaway!

Enter win 1 of 15 ebook copies of Wicked Intentions:

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Release Blitz : Romancing The Scot (The Pennington Family #1) by May McGoldrick

RomancingtheScot_Banner

ROMANCING THE SCOT

by May McGoldrick,

E-Original published by Swerve

Publication Date: November 14, 2017

ISBN: 9781250166906

Price: $3.99

RomancingtheScotIn this stunning series starter by USA Today bestselling author May McGoldrick, meet the new generation of Penningtons…five brothers and sisters of passion and privilege. Enter their aristocratic world…where each will fight injustice and find love.

Hugh Pennington—Viscount Greysteil, Lord Justice of the Scottish Courts, hero of the Napoleonic wars—is a grieving widower with a death wish. When he receives an expected crate from the continent, he is shocked to find a nearly dead woman inside. Her identity is unknown, and the handful of American coins and the precious diamond sown into her dress only deepen the mystery.

Grace Ware is an enemy to the English crown. Her father, an Irish military commander of Napoleon’s defeated army. Her mother, an exiled Scottish Jacobite. When Grace took shelter in a warehouse, running from her father’s murderers through the harbor alleyways of Antwerp, she never anticipated bad luck to deposit her at the home of an aristocrat in the Scottish Borders. Baronsford is the last place she could expect to find safety, and Grace feigns a loss of memory to buy herself time while she recovers.

Hugh is taken by her beauty, passion, and courage to challenge his beliefs and open his mind. Grace finds in him a wounded man of honor, proud but compassionate. When their duel of wits quickly turns to passion and romance, Grace’s fears begin to dissolve…until danger follows her to the very doors of Baronsford. For, unknown to either of them, Grace has in her possession a secret that will wreak havoc within the British government. Friend and foe are indistinguishable as lethal forces converge to tear the two lovers apart or destroy them both.

My Review

Rating : 4.5 out of 5 Stars

This story shines with fantastic heroes and a plot that was well thought-out and smart. I was genuinely caught up in the intricacies and details of the story and I could not put this book down!

Grace Ware’s father was an Irish colonel who fought on the side of the French during the Napoleonic Wars. Her father is killed by strangers and Grace escapes sure death, trapped in a crate shipped from Antwerp to Scotland, barely surviving the crossing. The crate was sent to Hugh Pennington, Viscount Greysteil, who also happens to be the Lord Justice in Edinburgh and was a high-ranking cavalry officer during the Napoleonic Wars. Obviously, Grace can’t tell him her true identity.

Hugh is a widow who has spent years grieving the loss of his wife and young son. He is irresistibly drawn to Grace and is fascinated by her wit. He is a delicious hero, confident in his abilities, loyal and honorable. And yet Grace confronts him with his Court’s anti-Irish bias, prosecuting defendants for petty offences, simply because they are Irish. He accepts her findings, although it cuts him deeply that his sense of justice and fairness has failed.

The romance between Hugh and Grace is simply beautiful, I found that the attraction between them was wonderfully rendered. The authors did a great job of building up the tension. Hugh and Grace are not enemies but soulmates. Hugh fears for Grace’s safety and his love is demonstrated in actions and words.

Riveting storytelling, elegant writing style and wonderful characters, this book had it all! It was my first read by authors May McGoldrick, but it won’t be my last! “Romancing The Scot” is the first in a new series about the Pennington siblings and I can’t wait for more!

Thanks for visiting and happy reading!

An advanced copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, via NetGalley

Excerpt

Looking the shipping crate over for damage and seeing none, he retrieved an iron crow from a workbench. Jo was standing inside the doors, eyeing the box doubtfully from a safe distance.

“Come closer. It won’t bite.”

“Not a chance. From the smell of that thing, a person would think you’re importing cadavers. Have you also taken up being a Resurrectionist as a hobby?”

He patted the crate affectionately. “This sweet thing has been sitting in the bowels of a ship from Antwerp. You know what the hold of a ship smells like?”

“Actually, I don’t.” She held a handkerchief to her nose and drew closer. “But I think you’re correct with the reference to ‘bowels.’”

Hugh took the first nail out. “Well, stand back, since you’ve become so prissy. Though I recall a younger version of you leading the rest of us through bogs and marshes that smelled no better.”

“Of course! But as I recall, we had frogs and turtles and the occasional dragon that needed hunting,” she replied with a smile. “Very well. Open it and let’s see this treasure of yours.”

Prying off the top took him only a moment. Throwing it to the side, he pulled back the tarp that covered the basket and then stared curiously at the dark green rags bundled at the bottom.

Leaning in, Hugh’s enthusiasm evaporated as a horrid realization settled in. This was no pile of old clothing. A shock of blond hair. A shoe. A hand. The body of a dead woman lay curled up in the gondola.

“Bloody hell.”

“What is it?” Immediately, Jo was at his side. “Good God!”

Hugh climbed in and crouched beside the body. He took her hand. She was cold to the touch. His heart sank. The crate had been shipped from Antwerp. To be trapped for so many days with no water, no food, in the cold and damp of the ship’s hold. He had no idea who this woman was or how she came to be in here.

The thought struck him. Perhaps it wasn’t an inadvertent act. Perhaps she was murdered and her body had been dumped into the crate.

Dismay and alarm clawed at him as he pushed away the matted ringlets of golden hair. She was young. He lifted her chin. The body had none of the stiffness of postmortem. He stared at her lips. He may have imagined it but they seemed to have moved.

“Bright . . .” The whisper was a mere rustle of leaves in a breeze.

The fingers jerked and came to life, clutching at his hand.

“She’s not dead,” he called to Jo, relieved. “Send for the doctor. I’ll take her to the house.”

His sister ran out, calling for help, and he lifted the woman. She emitted a low groan. Her limbs had been locked in the same cramped position for so many days. Hugh propped her over the side of the gondola.

“Stay with me,” he encouraged. “Talk to me.”

Holding the woman in place, he clambered from the basket and then gently lifted her out, cradling her in his arms. She weighed next to nothing.

As they went out into the rain, he feared she was about to die. The exertion of trying to breathe showed on her face. He’d seen this on the battlefield. The final effort before death.

Starting up the path, he stumbled, not realizing the woman’s skirts were dragging on the ground. He staggered but caught himself before they went down. Her head lolled against his chest, her face gray and mask-like. She appeared to be slipping away. It would be a shame that she’d survived the crossing only to perish now.

A dagger point of anger pierced Hugh’s brain as he recalled another dismal day when he’d lifted two other bodies, wrapped in burial shrouds, from a wooden box.

“Talk to me,” he ordered. “Say something.”

As he made his way up the hill toward the house, a bolt of lightning streaked across the sky above Baronsford. Thunder shook the ground and the sky opened, unleashing fierce torrents of rain on them.

His wife. His son. Hugh hadn’t been there for them. They’d died as he and the British army were being chased by the French across Spain. He’d been trying to save his men’s lives, not knowing that those most precious to him were suffering.

“You’ve survived a horrifying ordeal. Give me the chance to save you.”

The woman struggled weakly in Hugh’s arms, and her head tipped back. He watched as her lips parted, welcoming the wetness of the falling rain.

“We’re almost there.”

“Bright . . .” she murmured.

He looked into her face and saw she was trying hard to open her eyes.

“Yes, brighter than that crate,” he said, encouraged by her effort. Any movement, however small, gave him hope. “And you’ve been in there for Lord knows how long.”

Author Bio
View More: http://loghanrosephotography.pass.us/nikooandjimAuthors Nikoo and Jim McGoldrick (writing as May McGoldrick) weave emotionally satisfying tales of love and danger. Publishing under the names of May McGoldrick and Jan Coffey, these authors have written more than thirty novels and works of nonfiction for Penguin Random House, Mira, HarperCollins, Entangled, and Heinemann. Nikoo, an engineer, also conducts frequent workshops on writing and publishing and serves as a Resident Author. Jim holds a Ph.D. in Medieval and Renaissance literature and teaches English in northwestern Connecticut. They are the authors of Much Ado About Highlanders, Taming the Highlander, and Tempest in the Highlands with SMP Swerve.

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Website: www.maymcgoldrick.com

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