Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Pre-Order Blitz ~ Bad Men by Airicka Phoenix

 

  

Title: Bad Men
Author: Airicka Phoenix
Genre: Dark Romance
Cover Designer: Airicka’s Mystical Creations
Publication Date: Dec. 17th, 2021
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s Reviews & PR

Blurb:

THE SACRIFICE

MIA MARTINEZ had always been the good girl. She knew what lurked in the shadows of her rundown community, knew when to keep her head down and her mouth shut. She was a girl from the hood, and nothing was scarier than that, except being short protection money when the collector came to the door and the only thing she had to offer them was herself in exchange for her family’s life.

 

THE ENFORCER

NERO DIAZ was born a killer. It was in his blood. It was all he knew how to be. His dark heart was incapable of forgiveness or mercy. Of love. But Mia … he had no business going anywhere near her. He had no right to want her, but her every smile called to him in a way he knew was wrong. She went against all his rules. But even he couldn’t say no when she was offering herself to him so willingly. He was a monster after all.

 

THE COLLECTOR

DAVIEN TORRES knew the rules. He knew his place in the world. Guys like him, guys who hurt innocent people to line the pockets of a dictator didn’t deserve happiness. He definitely didn’t deserve someone like Mia. For five years, he’d done his damnedest to keep away from her, yet even he wasn’t strong enough to resist when she was putting herself in his clutches and offering him a taste of something he shouldn’t be allowed.

 

Lines will blur as actions become consequences. Can Nero and Davien protect Mia from the madman threatening to destroy them? Can Mia walk away once her debt is paid? Can bad men ever find redemption?




Airicka Phoenix is a multi-genre author of novels starring strong female leads and sexy alpha heroes. She started her journey after never finding the type of books she wanted to read. Her love of tortured souls and forbidden romance carried her into writing her own hard-earned happiness. Currently, she lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her babies and can be found hard at work on her next project.

 

For more about Airicka, visit her at AirickaPhoenix.com

 

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Book Tour & Giveaway ~ Jaguar Paloma and the Caketown Bar by Jess Wells

 

 


Jaguar Paloma and the Caketown Bar

by Jess Wells

Genre: Magical Realism, Historical Fiction 


In 1865 in the shanty town of Tartatenango, the Caketown Bar is owned by the extraordinary Jaguar Paloma, matriarch of a village that is home to raucous miscreants, cast-off mothers, muleteers, and forgers. Amid drunken monks, a roaring trade in faked marriages just for fun, and the Romani, all balance on the knife-edge between legality and the illicit. Paloma’s life is honed by this community, as their lives are affected by her mystery and magic.

Co-founder of this extraordinary gathering is Orietta Becerra. Breathtakingly beautiful and ambitious, her distillery builds the success of Caketown. But when she crosses the tracks and marries the town’s mayor, her double life severs her friendship with Paloma and the town starts to pay the highest of prices.

Adding to this land of chaos and feminine power is a forger, a murderer, the darker shade of the female heart, and a Civil War that claims men before their time.

Caketown – men want to destroy it. Women want to play in it. The township itself has to fight on all sides to survive.

Told in evocative magical realism, Jaguar Paloma and the Caketown Bar is a tale of wronged women who stand up to be counted.


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Jess Wells is the author of six novels and five books of short stories, winner of the Bronze Medal in the 2020 Foreword Reviews Indies Award for Adult Fiction/Romance, the recipient of a San Francisco Arts Commission Grant for Literature, a four-time finalist for the national Lambda Literary Award, and a member of the Saints & Sinners Literary Hall of Fame. Her work has appeared in more than three dozen literary journals and anthologies, has been reprinted in England and translated into Italian and Dutch.

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

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Book Tour & Giveaway ~ Save Him by William M. Hayes

 

 


Save Him

by William M. Hayes

Genre: Military SciFi Thriller, Time Travel 


Winner - 2021 Pinnacle Achievement Awards—Time Travel
Winner - 2021 American Fiction Awards—Religious Thriller
Winner - 2021 Pacific Book Awards—Thriller
Winner - 2021 Firebird Book Awards—Time Travel
Winner - 2021 International Impact Book Awards—Military
Winner - 2020 Author Circle Awards - Novel of Excellence—Science Fiction

Military scientist Rydel Scott has discovered time travel. He also believes he's received a message from God. The message: go back in time and save Jesus from being crucified.

“Save Him combines the physics of chaos theory and the whiz-bang action of a techno thriller to fuel a military page-turner that tests the faith of everyone involved.” - Blue Ink Reviews
“Every time I thought I had this book figured out a little bit it surprised me...and then did it again and again.” Amazon Reviewer


Military scientist Rydel Scott is proud of the hi-tech gear he invents for battlefield heroes. When a secret mission involving one of his inventions goes horribly wrong, Rydel obsessively tries to learn what caused the system failure and accidentally reveals the ability to time travel. Overworked and massively sleep-deprived, he believes he has received a message from God—save God’s son. And the man of science embarks on a world-changing quest to rescue Jesus. As he covers his tracks to journey back undetected, he neglects to factor in the consequences of a devastating butterfly effect. And he’s terrified to discover The Unit, a highly-trained team of elite soldiers, is hunting him down to stop him from making choices that could upend all of human history. Will they find Rydel before he alters the past? And, if they find him, will some in The Unit be persuaded to join Rydel on his mission to save Christ?


**Only .99 cents!!**

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Award-winning Author William M. Hayes started out writing screenplays and transitioned to writing novels. He loves movies and reading and is a die-hard New York Rangers fan.

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$50 Amazon giftcard,

Paperback of Save Him

- 1 winner each

  


Book Tour & Giveaway ~ Ninety-Five by Lisa Towles

 

 


Ninety-Five

by Lisa Towles

Genre: Thriller 

Troubled University of Chicago student, Zak Skinner, accidentally uncovers evidence of an on-campus, organized crime scam involving drugging students, getting them to commit crimes on camera, and blackmailing them to continue under the threat of expulsion. Digging deeper, Zak discovers that the university scam is just the tip of the iceberg, as it’s connected to a broader ring of crimes linked to a darkweb underworld. Following clues, Zak is led to a compound within Chicago’s abandoned Steelworker Park, only to discover that he’s being hunted. While trying to find his way out alive, Zak discovers there’s something much more personal he’s been running from – his past. And now there’s nowhere to hide.




Lisa Towles has 6 mystery/thrillers in print. Her 2019 thriller, The Unseen, was a Finalist in the Thriller category of the Best Book Awards by American Book Fest and her 2017 thriller Choke won a 2017 IPPY and a 2018 NYC Big Book Award for Thriller. Lisa’s published books include The Unseen, Choke, and the following titles published under her previous name, Lisa Polisar: The Ghost of Mary Prairie, Escape, Blackwater Tango, and Knee Deep. She is an active member and frequent Panelist/Speaker of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She has an MBA in IT Management and works full-time in the tech industry in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Lisa is also a passionate graphic designer and video creator.


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Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Hardcover of Ninety-Five with swag pack,

Paperback of Ninety-Five with swag pack,

$25 Amazon giftcard

-1 winner each

 

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Book Tour & Giveaway ~ Gemma Calverston and the Forest of Despair The Aepistelle Chronicles by Ryan Hoyt

 

 


Gemma Calvertson and the Forest of Despair

The Aepistelle Chronicles Book 1

by Ryan Hoyt

Genre: Epic Fantasy Adventure 

A heroine’s first adventure. A kingdom’s last hope.

Gemma spends her days studying a war her father fought in before her birth, but she realizes that not everything is what it seems. When she sets off to interview an aging hero, she learns about an emerging threat to the kingdom prophesied by the forbidden factions of magic and religion.

Since she can’t go to the officials without incriminating her new friend Richard, they must set off together on a journey through an uncanny forest to confirm and neutralize the threat. Can they forge new alliances and defeat the forces of evil without the use of magic or the might of a military?

If they fail, everyone they love will perish.

The Forest of Despair is the first book of the Aepistelle Chronicles, a new series of epic fantasy adventures following an emerging heroine and her team of sidekicks, including a witch with an army of children, a young homeless seer, a giant ogre, a boisterous stage performer, and an all-female crew of pirates.



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Ryan Hoyt is a San Francisco Bay Area native and has lived, studied, and worked there his entire life. His love for creepy and fantastic stories was nurtured early on by his mother, who let him watch the TV miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s It at six years old.

Ryan's debut novel,Gemma Calvertson and the Forest of Despair, is the first book of the Aepistelle Chronicles series of fantasy adventures and releases November 1, 2021. A prequel novella,The Witch of Ferathan, is available now, and more will be released in 2022 and beyond. A post-coming-of-age short story, "Freddy Goodman (Ain't No Good Man)" is also available in eBook and paperback. The gothic horror tale Raventree Hollow follows in the summer of 2022.


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Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$20 Amazon giftcard,

Hardcover of the prequel The Witch of Ferathan

paperback of The Witch of Ferathan,

ebook of The Witch of Ferathan,

-1 winner each!


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Fantasy & Sci-Fi for Christmas ~ Agents Adam and Eve - Kristian Clark and the American Agenda by Jes Drew

 

On tour with Prism Book Tours

Agents Adam and Eve
(Kristian Clark and the American Agenda, #1)
By Jes Drew
Sci-Fi, Spy-Fi
Paperback & ebook, 428 Pages
April 16, 2019 by Boo's Books

Dream not of other worlds...

They call him agent and he answers. They tell him conquer and he does. But there's something they don't know. He's beginning to remember. His name is Kristian Clark. He has a wife and four children. Or he did. But he will find them again, whoever is left, wherever they are, and whatever it takes.

They call her the Aisling. She does their missions only as far as it helps her accomplish her own: to find and rescue the children of a fallen woman. And she will not let anyone get in her way- most certainly not the brainwashed father who has for so long been an unthinking weapon for the government. To save the innocents, she will not hesitate to do whatever it takes- no matter how much it condemns her.

They are the root of a conspiracy that would bring two worlds together, for good or for evil, for better or for worse, for life or for death. Their choices shall echo throughout all eternity.

Advanced Praise for Agents Adam and Eve:

"Agents Adam and Eve is the kind of book you can't put down, the kind that has you laughing and crying. Jes Drew successfully keeps you turning the page and renders you longing for more when the last page has been turned." - Karsyn Shae, Creative Writer

"Kristian Clark is back in an all-new duology after the birth of his twins. Are he and his wife finally able to enter parenthood safely without the threat of anarchist groups, or will Kristian have to sacrifice everything to save those he loves?" - Allyson Kennedy, author of Speak Your Mind

“I love the story! It felt so real and very intense! I felt like I was in the story with the characters!”
- Shine, author and blogger of Hauntingghosttown

(Affiliate link included.)

Excerpt



I teleport the door toward the motorcycles, causing them to crash into each other and knocking off those still on them. Then I drop down and teleport myself to the nearest gunman and wrestle his weapon from his hand. I elbow him in the face and his grip loosens enough for me to take it and shoot at the engine of one of the motorcycles, making it blow up into an inferno that the men scurry to avoid.

Striding forward, I taser one of the fleeing men before tasering another. Then I dive backwards as another man shoots at me before teleporting behind him and putting him into a strangle hold while using his body as cover from his contemporaries.

Three of them try to approach me. Only to freeze mid-step.

I turn to see Aisling darting through the darkness with two figures coming up behind her—making their way to the truck.

Being the gentleman that I am, I teleport to the truck and open the front door for her before grabbing the driver and teleporting us away where I can punch him in privacy.

Then a gun goes off behind me, causing a hot sting in my newly healed shoulder, but this time I’m sure it’s just a graze.

I sigh, and without turning around, I teleport behind the shooter and taser him in the back. See how he likes it.

Mid-tasering, the NEO truck drives past me.

Sighing again, I retract my taser. Then I teleport into the truck—the backseat to be exact.

Aisling is driving, and a very pale man wearing a rumpled suit is sitting shotgun. A man of Indian descent is sitting next to me, trying to ask Aisling, “What just happened?”

“I did,” I answer, tugging off my shirt with my good arm.

The man next to me screams at this and jumps to the farthest end of the row away from me.

“Please,” I mutter, pressing my hand to my bleeding shoulder. “It’s not that bad.”

Aisling glances at the rearview mirror before groaning. “You.”

“And to think,” I tell my backseat buddy, “just moments ago, she couldn’t keep her hands off me. Split personality or what?”

He just whimpers at me like I’m some sort of ghost.

And the other man whirls around before narrowing his eyes on me. “You.”

“Wow, it’s really weird how you said it just like she—”

He cuts me off by lunging at me.

“Man,” I gasp as he wraps his hands around my neck and mine reach for his unused seatbelt. “You should really—” He tightens his grip. “Wear a—”

I click the seatbelt over him and tighten it so he’s trapped in his position. Then I use the middle seat belt to wrap around him too before teleporting to the space my attacker is no longer occupying in the shotgun seat.

And find a revolver aimed at me.

“Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t use this on you,” Aisling hisses as she turns the truck down a side-street with one hand.

“There is none!” my attacker yells behind us. “Shoot him!”

I eye the revolver. Beautiful thing. Familiar thing. “Because it’s just cruel to kill a man with his own weapon?”

She switches off the safety. “Not good enough.”

Because I can teleport away anyway? “Because I want in on whatever you’re in on. I need out of my old agency.” At least long enough to work through the grieving process out of sight of their watching eyes. And to find out everything I can about Aisling, my wife, and this battle I’ve been a drone in for far too long.

But most of all, I need it to be long enough to be able to return to the Amerios with enough information to rescue my children.

“We can’t trust him!” my attacker yells. “You of all people know what he’s done.”

“I also know we can’t fight him, Peter.” Aisling lowers the gun. “You’re in.”

“What!” Peter demands, and his friend—Robbie?—whimpers.

I push Peter a bit more out of my seat to get a little more comfortable, despite my wound. “So, what agency do you work for anyway?”

“Oh,” Aisling says, stopping at a red light. “The NEOs.”

Excerpted from Agents Adam and Eve by Jes Drew. Copyright © 2019 by Jes Drew. Published by Boo's Books.

Other Books in the Series

(Linked to an Amazon affiliate link.)

About the Author


Jes Drew is the author of the Ninja and Hunter trilogy, the Howling Twenty trilogy, the Kristian Clark saga, the Castaways trilogy, The Dystopian Takeover trilogy, The Clockwork Faerie Tale Novellas, The Summers of Yesteryear series, Legends of the Master Spy, The New ESE Files, Tales from Parallel Worlds, Genie and Serena, PIs, and Accidentally on the Run. Her true love is Captain Steve Rogers, and there is a possibility that she may or may not be a superhuman, but she hasn't discovered her powers. Yet. Also, she might be a spy, but that's classified. You can contact her at author.jes.drew@gmail.com.
Tour Schedule
(Posts go live on the day they're scheduled.)

November 28th: Launch
November 29th: Elayne Audrey Becker - Forestborn
November 30th: Michelle Diener - The Turncoat King
December 1st: Jes Drew - Agents Adam and Eve
December 2nd: Sharon Hinck - Windward Shore
December 3rd: Kara Linaburg - The Broken Prince
December 4th: Cathy McCrumb - Recorder
December 5th: Sandra Fernandez Rhoads - Realms of Light
December 6th: Chawna Schroeder - The Vault Between Spaces
December 7th: Melissa Wright - Beneath Stone and Sacrifice
December 8th: Kristen Young - Elite
December 9th: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway


One winner will receive a $50 (USD) Amazon eGift Card

Open internationally
Ends December 13, 2021

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Book Tour & Giveaway ~ Mr. Dale and The Divorcee - The Brazen Beauties by Sophie Barnes

 



The Brazen Beauties, Book 1

Regency Romance, Historical Romance

Date Published: November 23, 2021



He's a respectable barrister...

She's the most scandalous woman in England...

Wilhelmina Hewitt knows she's in for a rough ride when she agrees to help her husband get a divorce. Nothing, however, prepares her for the regret of meeting Mr. Dale on the eve of her downfall. No other man has ever sent her heart racing as he does. Unfortunately, while she'll soon be free to engage in a new relationship, no upstanding gentleman will have her.

James Dale would never pursue another man's wife. Or a woman reputed to be a deceitful adulteress. Furious with himself for letting the lovely Mrs. Hewitt charm him, he strives to keep his distance. But when her daughter elopes with his son, they're forced into a partnership where passion ignites. And James soon wonders if there might be more to the divorcée than meets the eye.



Chapter One

 

London, 1818

It was horribly hard for Wilhelmina Hewitt to find the words she needed to start this discussion. But after all her husband, George, had done for her, she felt it her duty now to help him as best she could. Even if the subject she wished to broach would probably shock him.

“Would you like a brandy?” he offered, the gentle sound of his voice conveying the warmth and consideration he’d always shown her.

Her resolve – the complete lack of nervousness she experienced in spite of her decision – surprised Wilhelmina. Instead of panic, an extraordinary sense of calm overcame her. She knew she was making the right choice, no matter how much it was destined to upend her life.

She considered her husband with deliberate practicality. The man she’d married twenty years earlier when she’d been eighteen and pregnant reclined in the armchair opposite hers, his gaze expectant. Their fathers had been like brothers. They’d attended the same schools, had fought side by side in the American War of Independence, and had later perished together at sea.

Wilhelmina and George had both been ten years old when news of their fathers’ deaths had arrived. With their properties less than one mile apart, they’d quickly found solace in each other. As one would expect, the incident had deepened the bond they’d already shared since birth. So when Wilhelmina faced the greatest ordeal of her life eight years later, George hadn’t hesitated for a second. Having recently been denied the woman he loved, he’d insisted he’d never want to wed another. So he’d chosen to protect Wilhelmina instead. George had, she acknowledged, sacrificed more for her than what was fair. It was time she returned the favor.

Deciding to be direct, she cleared her throat. “I think we ought to get a divorce.”

George’s eyes widened. He stared at her as if she were mad. “I beg your pardon?”

Wilhelmina took a deep breath. “How long have you and Fiona been seeing each other?”

His gaze slid away from hers as his cheeks grew ruddy. “You know the answer to that.”

“By my estimation it’s almost exactly two years. Two years of pretending Fiona is my dearest friend – that it is me she comes to see thrice a week, not you.” The lovely widow, ten years George’s junior, had caught his attention one evening at Almack’s. The two had struck up a conversation, which had led to a dance. When subsequent run-ins with Fiona had increased George’s interest in her, Wilhelmina had decided to step in and help the pair. By covering for them, she’d allowed them to conduct their affair in private and without scrutiny.

It was, she realized, an unconventional arrangement. But then again, her entire marriage was far from ordinary. The one and only attempt she and George had made to consummate their union turned out to be a spectacular failure. Bedding each other had been impossible due to their being like brother and sister and, Wilhelmina admitted, due to her own aversion for the act itself. So she’d happily encouraged George to pursue such relationships elsewhere in the years since.

“I’m sorry. I did not realize you were opposed to our meetings. You never—”

“George.” Wilhelmina gave her husband a reassuring smile. “I believe you’ve misunderstood my reason for suggesting a divorce. It is not because I’m offended or upset by the relationship you and Fiona enjoy, but rather because I believe you have fallen in love with her and she with you.”

He sat utterly motionless for a moment, then finally nodded. They’d always been frank with each other. “You’re correct, but divorce is not the answer, Mina. It would be public and messy. Our reputations would be destroyed in the process – yours especially.”

Bolstering herself against the truth of his words, she shrugged one shoulder. “I’ll manage.”

“No.” He shook his head. “I won’t have that on my conscience.”

She stood and went to crouch before him. Her hand clasped his. A pair of dark brown eyes filled with concern met hers. “You gave up on love for me once – on starting a family of your own. Please, allow me to return the enormous favor you did me when you decided to save me from ruin and Cynthia from illegitimacy.”

“Ah, but I did marry for love, Mina.”

“I know, but not in the way you should have.”

“If you think I have regrets, you’re wrong. I’d make the same decision again in a heartbeat.”

“Because you’re the best man there is, George. And as such, you deserve every happiness in the world. You deserve to have a life with Fiona just as she deserves to have a life with you.” She carefully released his hand, then stood and crossed to the sideboard where she proceeded to fill two glasses with brandy. Returning, she handed him his drink and took a sip of her own.

A frown appeared on George’s brow. “You’ve no idea how hard it would be to break up our marriage completely. We’re not just speaking of legal separation, Mina, which in and of itself is enough to see one shunned from Society. What you’re suggesting would require parliamentary involvement with three readings of the divorcement bill before the Lords. Witnesses to your adulterous behavior would have to give evidence.”

“I’ve thought about that. Obviously, the simplest thing to do would be to pay a few men for the trouble.”

He gaped at her, then took a sip of his drink. “No. I appreciate the offer, but we’ll do no such thing.”

“George. I really—”

“It’s absolutely out of the question.”

“You’re certain I can’t persuade you?”

He gave her a steady look. “Quite.”

“All right,” Mina agreed after a moment’s hesitation. She knew when George was beyond budging. “But this arrangement with Fiona is untenable. It’s just a matter of time before someone catches on to the fact that the two of you are lovers, and when they do, she will suffer the most. So if you refuse a divorce, you should at the very least consider moving out of Town. Find a small village somewhere so you can carry on with each other discreetly.”

“And leave you here by yourself? Would that not raise a few eyebrows?”

“Not if you come back from time to time and visit. Plenty of husbands travel for work.”

“My work, as you well know, is here in London.”

“It doesn’t have to be.” As the designer and manufacturer of fine furniture, George had made a name for himself amid the upper class. Having a Hewitt sofa was all the rage. So much so they’d both been admitted into upper class circles and counted Viscount and Viscountess Pennington among their dearest friends. “You already have employees who are trained to handle new orders along with the shop on a regular basis. Whether you sit in your study here and create new designs or you do so a hundred miles away would make little difference, would it not?”

“I suppose not.”

“Especially if you were to set up a home near Croft, which in my mind would make your life simpler since that’s where the carpenters are.”

For the first time since this conversation had begun, George allowed a hint of humor to tug at his lips. “You’ve put a frightening amount of thought into this. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you were eager to be rid of me.”

“Not at all,” she told him in earnest. “I merely desire to see you happy.”

He seemed to mull this over a moment. “I’ll think on it. Right now, there’s still Cynthia’s upcoming wedding to consider. Moving ahead with any drastic changes should probably wait until she has spoken her vows. I’d hate to give Mr. Petersen or his parents a reason to call things off.”

“Agreed.”

George finally smiled. “Good. That’s settled then. Care for a game of cards?”

Wilhelmina located the deck and returned to her seat. She knew George was being protective. It was in his nature. But she hated feeling like she was becoming a hindrance to him, a burden keeping him from the life he deserved.

Of course, altering his perspective only required a change in circumstance. This was apparent when he came to speak with Wilhelmina six months later. In the sort of bleak tone one might use when there’d been a death in the family, he announced that he’d gotten Fiona with child.

“I’m sorry,” he muttered. Slumped in the same chair he’d used for their previous conversation on the matter, he clasped his head between his hands. No man had ever looked more defeated or miserable. It broke Wilhelmina’s heart. The joy George would surely have felt over the pregnancy was being overshadowed by the complication of his marriage to her.

Now, faced with a choice between the scandal of divorce or bringing an illegitimate child into the world, she knew his hand had been forced by fate. As such, the only thing she could think to do was offer comfort and reassurance as he’d so often done for her. “It’s all right. I will survive this, George. We all will.”

“I’ve spoken about it at length with Fiona. She asked me to convey her gratitude. What you are willing to do is—”

“The correct thing.”

“Mina…” His voice was thick with feeling.

“Moving forward, we’ll need a plan,” she told him matter-of-factly before she too succumbed to emotion. “Right now, only the three of us know the true nature of this marriage or that you and I share a bond stronger than what most married couples enjoy. If we are to succeed in dissolving our marriage completely, we’ll need to put up a good façade. The fewer people we confide in, the better.”

“I’ve considered this too,” George said. “I think we need to tell Cynthia and her husband, Henry, what to expect. I also think it would benefit you if one or two of our closest friends, like the Penningtons, were brought into our confidence. This way, you won’t be completely alone afterward.”

“Maybe,” she agreed. “From what I gather, you and I shan’t be permitted to see each other once the divorce has been settled.”

“Not that we’d have much opportunity to.” When she gave him a puzzled look he explained, “Although getting through this may take a long time, Fiona and I intend to leave England as soon as it’s over since staying here and facing the aftermath could be difficult for our child.”

Wilhelmina’s stomach clenched at the idea of George moving overseas. He’d always been there and while she was happy to help him marry Fiona, she instantly knew his absence from England would lead to an unwelcome emptiness in her heart. For his sake, she forced herself to maintain her composure.

“Where will you go?”

“Massachusetts has a well-established logging industry, but it’s my understanding that the area surrounding the Great Lakes shows promise. It’s reputed to be an especially stunning part of North America. Most importantly, it’s far away.”

It certainly was. Wilhelmina forced a smile and tried not to panic. This was for the best. George would be with the woman he loved and start a family. With Cynthia already settled a few months earlier, her future had been secured. As for Wilhelmina herself, she’d weather the storm as best as she could, most likely by focusing all her energy on the property she owned near Renwick. George had helped her purchase the small farm nearly five years ago. After a serious bout of influenza, he’d insisted on making sure she’d have a property in her own name in case he died. She’d not been there often, but having it did reassure her.

“You do realize your child will likely be born out of wedlock,” Wilhelmina said. She hated bringing this up, but decided it was best to face the facts, no matter how unappealing. “From what I gather, the proceedings we intend to undertake could last a couple of years.”

George’s gaze finally sharpened. “I’m aware, but once it’s done, my son or daughter shall have my name.”

 

            


About the Author

USA TODAY bestselling author Sophie Barnes spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She’s lived in five different countries, on three different continents, and speaks Danish, English, French, Spanish, and Romanian with varying degrees of fluency. But, most impressive of all, she’s been married to the same man three times—in three different countries and in three different dresses.

When she’s not busy dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, cooking, gardening, watching romantic comedies and, of course, reading.


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