A Legend to Love: Lady Soldier by Jillian Chantal

A Legend to Love: Lady Soldier by Jillian Chantal

Matilda “Maud” Somerset is a disaster. Her parents and uncle, the Duke of Beaufort, want her to make a spectacular match to a suitable beau. Maud is more interested in galloping across the fields on her stallion, Khan, and shooting arrows at targets. Her mother despairs of her and her father bears the brunt of his wife’s and the Duke’s anger for allowing the girl to learn all the arts of war when he was teaching them to his now-deceased older son.

When Maud’s father is recalled to the Army to fight Napoleon in the Peninsular Wars, Maud sneaks off to join his regiment in his place. His vision isn’t what it used to be, and fearing for his life if he fights, she disguises herself as a man and leaves before dawn. She’s determined to uphold the family honor, even at the cost of her own reputation.

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Jillian Chantal is the writer of romantic stories with an international flair. She enjoys history and has penned a few early twentieth century historical romances. She also loves the modern era and has contemporary fiction stories available as well. She lives on the gulf coast of Florida in a little slice of paradise.

Connect with Jillian at her WEBSITE, AMAZON, or TWITTER

 

Watch for the weekly release of all the legends in the Legend to Love series available at your favorite online vendors!

 

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A Legend to Love: The Lady and Lord Lakewood by Aileen Fish

A Legend to Love: The Lady and Lord Lakewood by Aileen Fish

The Lady and Lord Lakewood

A man on a quest to save the heir of his dearest friend.
A woman in possession of an enchanted weapon.
Can they protect the young duke from those who are out to kill him?

Almost from birth, Vivienne has known that one day she would play an important role involving a family heirloom, a sword called Excalibur. Her Aunt Nimue says she’ll know what to do when the time comes—but she had no idea the man she waited for would be so handsome, so powerful.

Richard, 5th Earl of Lakewood, must save Arthur, the new young Duke of Camelot, from a woman seeking revenge. Killing Uther, Arthur’s father, wasn’t enough; now she’s after Arthur. A series of mysterious clues leads Lakewood to an even more mysterious woman, Lady Avalon. What role does she play in this battle, and what’s this spell she’s cast on Lakewood’s heart? Her distraction might just lead to his death.

June 1818
Near Glastonbury, England

A violent dream held Vivienne, the widowed Viscountess Avalon, deep within its darkness and wouldn’t let her escape. Shadowy figures swarmed around her, threatening and maleficent. Heavy fog kept her from seeing exactly where she was, but some inner sense told her it was the woods near Lake Avalon. The shadows gathered behind her, guiding her—no, forcing her—toward the shore. Her heart pounded in fear of what had taken control of her. She held her breath as if the sound would reveal her location to the enemy.

When she cleared the trees, the fog thinned, allowing her to see a few feet ahead. Still the shadows closed in, and she stepped into the cold water to stay beyond their reach. Hesitantly she inched forward. First her half-boots grew damp, then her hems soaked up the cold water. Vivienne shivered, but a glance over her shoulder showed the shadows still approached. What evil wanted to control her?

Lake Avalon shimmered in a radiating circle in the direction Vivienne felt compelled to go. Tiny waves rippled outward as if a pebble had broken the surface. In the center a face appeared. A kind, gentle face. Her great-aunt Nimue. She remained just below the surface. Vivienne’s heart raced in fear. Was this vision saying her aunt was going to die soon? Vivienne shook her head, pleading, “No, please no.”

Nimue raised her arms and a magnificent sword appeared in her hands. She lifted the weapon above the water but her body and head remained below the surface.

Compelled to reach for the sword, Vivienne hesitated to do so. “What am I to do with this?”

Nimue was silent, not even sharing her thoughts. She simply lifted the sword again, displaying it with both hands like a gift, and motioned for Vivienne to take it.

As soon as Vivienne did, the last of the fog lifted. The shadowy figures vanished and Nimue swam away. A gruff voice called her name from within the trees. Merlin, who some claimed was a magician, stood watching her.

“What am I to do with this?” Vivienne repeated, this time asking him.

The old man with stringy white locks blending into his long, graying beard said, “You will know when the time comes. Since you are having this vision, the time must be soon.”

She hated answers like this. You will know… Would she ever trust her second-sight enough to be confident in what lay ahead?

“You will,” Merlin said, and Nimue’s voice echoed the words in a whisper from the distance.

Looking down at the magnificent weapon, Vivienne marveled at the workmanship. The bronze grip and hilt looked like a little primitive man. The cross guard curled downward on either side creating legs, and the arms of the man curled upward around the head to create a pommel. It even had a face of sorts, and a belt carved into the middle of the body. It was heavy, with the broad blade of an old weapon of battle. Someone had put great pride and love into making it. Given the way the metal shone, it was clear others had polished it and cared for it in the centuries since. Who did it belong to?

And as she studied it, it faded away, leaving her hands empty. She lifted her gaze to Merlin only to find him gone, too. She was alone at the edge of Lake Avalon, her skirt and boots wet but nothing else to show for the odd events.

Then she jolted awake in her bedchamber, snuggled deep under her heavy woolen blankets, barefoot and wearing her nightgown. Moonlight streamed between the draperies on her window, and the castle was silent. Her dream was so vivid she felt certain she’d lived it, yet her nightgown was dry.

Vivienne hated these visions and the period of waiting afterward as she watched for clues to guide her toward the meaning. Aunt Nimue might be able to shed light on the clues, but she couldn’t visit her until daylight. Knowing she’d never get back to sleep, she got up, pulled on her robe and slippers, and went downstairs to make tea. Not having seen her aunt for several months, she’d enjoy a brief visit. Nimue was a font of memories and the history of the village of Avalon, and their family’s part in it. Time spent with her was never dull.

The Lady and Lord Lakewood releases tomorrow, October 2, at all online vendors, but you can pre-order a copy at iTunes today!

 

 

USA Today Bestselling Author Aileen Fish is an avid quilter and auto racing fan who finds there aren’t enough hours in a day/week/lifetime to stay up with her “to do” list. There is always another quilt or story begging to steal away attention from the others. When she has a spare moment she enjoys spending time with her two daughters and their families. Her books include The Bridgethorpe Brides series and the Small Town Sweethearts series.

She also writes steamy romance under the pen-name Ari Thatcher.

Connect with Aileen at her WEBSITE or follow her on

 

 

Keep Calm and Read This: The Reunion by Sara Portman

Keep Calm and Read This: The Reunion by Sara Portman

Sara Portman joins me this week to showcase her award-winning, debut novel. It was chosen a Top Pick by RT Book Reviews. They said, “Portman’s debut is smart, sharp and insightful, ushering readers into a detailed historical setting, and right into the middle of an emotional and utterly rewarding romance. Her heroine’s unwavering strength and refreshing self-confidence make her a perfect match for her wounded but headstrong hero…a must-read.”

An inconvenient engagement turns a marriage of convenience into so much more in this sparkling new series from award-winning author Sara Portman . . .

Lady Emmaline Shaw’s reputation was irreparably damaged when her fiancé, John Brantwood, disappeared immediately after their engagement four years ago. Since then, she’s grown from a shy, uncertain girl to a woman who knows her own mind. And what she knows is that London society holds nothing for her.

Rumor has it that John ran off to war and died in battle. Now, as the new Duke of Worley, his shocking resurrection throws the ton into a tizzy and makes him one of England’s most sought after bachelors—except that he’s already engaged.

John needs a wife capable of smoothing his beloved sister’s introduction into society. But though Emma happily grants him his freedom, her fiery beauty and resilient spirit hold him captive. In fact, John has no intention of letting her go. Her fate is now in his hands, but will her heart be safe there?

“Although…” John shifted closer and gently brushed his hand down her forearm. “It seems a shame not to marry when we’ve only just discovered what a compatible pair we will be.”

Emma looked up, her amber eyes bright with alarm. “The vicar is across the hall.”

He smiled wickedly. “I believe I may want to add a condition.”

He watched her flush deepen as possible conditions tumbled through her mind.

“But you already have a condition.” Her words were hasty and flustered. “You…you want me to help Charlotte.”

He shrugged. “Another condition, then.” He pressed even closer, using up the remaining inches between them.

When she lifted her amber eyes to his, he took her gaze and held it locked with his own, transmitting all the intensity he’d felt since she’d entered his home, and watched her flush from top to bottom. She’d been feeling the same attraction as he throughout their conversation, and, with his stare, he challenged her to admit it.

Her eyes widened, apprehension growing, until she did admit it. She didn’t say it, but for a brief, nearly imperceptible moment her gaze dipped to his mouth, betraying her thoughts.

He broke the moment with a triumphant smile.

“I’d like you to ask me.”

Her shoulders fell with an exasperated exhale of air. She glared. “You want me to ask you to marry me?”

He nodded. “Sweetly. With a kiss.”

“But the vicar is across the hall.”

“You’ve already said that.”

“It bears repeating.”

He laughed at the reprimand in her tone. She needed kissing—an excessive amount—and he rather looked forward to providing it.

“That is my condition.” He made the declaration firmly, but he softened it with a coaxing smile. “Come now, Emma. A chaste kiss shared by an affianced couple won’t scandalize the Betancourts or anyone else.” In truth, if the vicar understood what John would really like to do with his daughter’s dear friend, he should have charged across the hall with a pair of dueling pistols.

Emma swallowed. “Oh, very well.” She exhaled and clasped her hands in front of her before looking up at him. “Will you marry me, please?” She darted quickly forward to place a brief kiss in the air near the general location of his cheek.

He shook his head slowly back and forth as she looked defiantly up at him. “That was, frankly, weak in every respect. Surely you’re braver than that.”

Her eyes narrowed. “My Lord Duke,” she began with venom, “would you do me the very great honor of allowing me to become your wife?”

He waited but she failed to follow her words with action. He leaned in. “Now the kiss, dear.”

 

 

 

Additional Books in the Brides of Beadwell Series:

 

THE OFFER
available October 24, 2017

 

THE CHASE,
available November 21, 2017

 

Sara Portman is an award-winning author of historical romance. Her debut novel, THE REUNION, was named the 2015 winner in the Historical Category of the Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® contest.

A daughter of the Midwest, Sara was born in Illinois, grew up in Michigan, and currently lives in Ohio. In addition to her writing endeavors, Sara is a wife and mother in a large, blended family.

When not reading or dreaming up romantic fiction, Sara works in corporate finance by day and holds a B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Toledo. As part of her academic experience, Sara spent a semester in London, UK through a study abroad program at Richmond College. Her anglophile tendencies continue today.

Connect with Sara!

 

 

 

 

And remember to always #ReadaRegency!