Meet the Author:

2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Winner and 2016 & 2015 Maggie Award winning author, Carrie Nichols, is a hardy New Englander transplanted to the Deep South, where she marvels how two inches of snow can bring a city like Atlanta to its knees. She loves to travel, is addicted to British crime dramas and knows a Seinfeld quote appropriate for every occasion.

She has one tolerant husband, two grown sons, and two critical cats. To her dismay, Carrie’s characters—much like her family—often ignore the wisdom and guidance she lovingly offers. She enjoys weaving heart, home and humor into her stories.

Carrie is a member of RWA, Georgia Romance Writers, and Chattanooga Area Romance Authors.

Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

About the Book:

When teacher Sasha Honeycutt kisses a handsome cowboy in a bar on a dare, she never expects to see him again. To her surprise, though, he walks through the door of her classroom for a parent-teacher conference. Sheriff Remy Fontenot might be sexy as sin, but Sasha has no interest in falling for another police officer. Rose Creek, Texas is her fresh start after being “that poor widow.” Only, Remy’s precocious daughter has big plans for the two of them…
After their stolen kiss, Remy knows there’s a sexy woman hiding under that school marm charm. When fate—aka his seven-year-old—keeps putting her in his path, he decides to take it as a sign. His daughter needs a mom, and the intriguing, beautiful Sasha is perfect for the role. Not to mention their chemistry is off the charts. Unfortunately, he’s set his sights on the one woman in town who has no interest in falling for another man with a badge.
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

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My Thoughts 

The Sheriff’s Little Matchmaker by Carrie Nichols is a sweet, clean, feel good story of love,  and life, set against a small town background, in Rose Creek, Texas.  Features,  Sheriff Remy Fontenot,  teacher Sasha Honeycutt, a 7 year old, Evie, sassy banter,  sweet romance and a little girl determined to match her father with her new teacher. Would make a great Lifetime or Hallmark movie.

Definitely,  a feel good read! I enjoyed the characters and the plot, the sweetness of the two made for enjoyable reading. A quick read, perfect for a rainy day or on a chilly Autumn night. Thus was my first reading anything from this author,  and I enjoyed this one. Plan to read more from Carrie Nichols.

I voluntarily received a complimentary copy, however,  these are my honest opinions. I was in no way required nor compensated to write a review.”


Rating: 4

Heat rating: Sweet

Reviewer: AprilR 


INTRODUCING JESSIE BENNETT~~ Author of… Clean Short Read Historical Romance



Regency Romance: Thawing A Duke's Heart (Clean Short Read Historical Romance) (Faces of Love Series)Regency Romance: The Lady's Torn Heart (Clean Short Read Historical Romance) (Faces of Love Series)Regency Romance: A Brazen Lady and the Shunned Duke (Clean Short Read Historical Romance) (Faces of Love Series)Regency Romance: The Scarred Ladies (Clean Historical Romance) (The Chronicles of Loyalty Series)

**All are available on Amazon for $.99 and FREE on Kindle Unlimited**


TRegency Romance: Thawing A Duke's Heart (Clean Short Read Historical Romance) (Faces of Love Series)hawing A Duke’s Heart – To protect the family honor, the Lady has to enter a marriage of convenience with a Duke that is aloof & cold and not interested in marriage. He thinks that the fairer sex only wanted to marry up the social classes. Will Lady Mary finally thaw the heart of the handsome Duke of Gaffton before it’s too late?





Thawing a Duke’s Heart by Jesse Bennett is a Clean Regency Romance. #1 in “Faces of Love” series, which promises to be an interesting series. It is a Novella.
Steady paced, well written, it is written in first person. The characters are engaging and even a bit flawed, but realistic. The storyline was interesting, not so unusual for the Regency era, but a sweet romp.

A bachelor Duke, Jacob Fitzroy, Duke of Gaffton, with a frozen heart meets Lady Mary Withington, a young lady who believes in love, even for nobility.
Can Mary unthaw and heal Grafton’s broken heart, before it’s too late for them both?
A sweet, clean romance that readers will find miminics life, with the many upsets, unpredictable downfalls, healing, and finding true love.
But can lust turn into real love?
Can Grafton and Mary remain true to themselves while following their own hearts?
The secondary characters are interesting as well with their many layers. “Thawing the Duke’s Heart” is a multiple faceted story, that entails many challenges on the road to finding a HEA. Pick up “Thawing the Duke’s Heart”, for a sweet, clean Regency Romance. An enjoyable read!
Received for an honest review from the author.

Rating: 4
Heat rating: Sweet
Reviewed by: AprilR


(Faces of Love, Book 2)

The Lady’s Torn Heart

Regency Romance: The Lady's Torn Heart (Clean Short Read Historical Romance) (Faces of Love Series)Can a Colonel with a broken heart, feeling as if he not destined to find true love, finally find happiness with the wayward Lady Julia Summers? Although he has watched from afar while she has been pursued by a man with no title, Colonel Henry Fitzsimmons has fallen in love with the beautiful woman, though he seems fated to remain solely her friend. Even when her heart is broken by the fortune-seeking Lord Patterson, Lady Julia must learn to love again, and it is Colonel Henry who must pick up the broken pieces if they are ever to have a chance at true love together. Together they must build a new life, find a fresh start, or Lady Julia may never find a way to help the Colonel overcome his tragic past.

Can the Colonel find a way to be a true friend when his heart’s desire is to become Lady Julia’s husband?

Will Lady Julia be able to mend her broken heart in time to find happily ever after before it’s too late?




Regency Romance: The Lady’s Torn Heart (Clean Short Read) by Jessie Bennett. Book 2 of the “Faces of Love” series, but can be read as a stand alone. A short story, only about 106 pages but packed full of dark secrets, second chances and first love.
Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Fitzsimmons, a sad, but kind, and patient man, with a wounded heart.
Lady Julia Summers, finds herself drawn to Henry, but feels her heart belongs to another, Lord James Patterson, a Rogue, without a means of supporting Julia. But Julia wishes only for Henry’s friendship, offer comfort and to help heal his broken heart.
A heartwarming story of betrayal, a blossoming romance and second chances. But, will Julia and Henry find their HEA?
An enjoyable read, that is well written with well-developed characters, and a tenderness were the reader finds themselves captivated by this short story. Ms. Bennett did a great job of bringing the story to a satisfying conclusion with effeciency and skill. Readers of quick, clean Romance will enjoy this quint Regency Romance.
Received for an honest review.

Rating: 4
Heat rating: Sweet
Reviewed by: AprilR


(Faces of Love, Book 3)

A Brazen Lady For the Shunned Duke

Regency Romance: A Brazen Lady and the Shunned Duke (Clean Short Read Historical Romance) (Faces of Love Series)Can a handsome duke with a checkered past finally find true love in Lady Scarlett, a woman with a hefty dowry and a fiery personality?

Lord Edward, Duke of Kent, is everything most girls could want in a husband, handsome, titled, and with a bright future ahead of him. However, many of the ton also know that his past is checkered, with rumors of a stilted lover and an illegitimate child clouding his chance for a marriageable future with a noble girl. He has long since decided to marry only for love though, so their opinions matter little to him until he meets a beautiful woman named Scarlett, sister of the Duke of Bellingham, and is carried away by her brazen lack of propriety when it comes to society’s rules.

Lord Edward is willing to expose everything about his own past in order to marry the woman he loves, but must decide whether he’s willing to risk losing her heart when she knows the truth.

Can Duke of Kent expose his past and win the respect of the outspoken merchant’s daughter, or will the Duke of Bellingham’s own buffoon stepbrother be given the beautiful maiden’s hand in marriage instead?



A Brazen Lady for the Shunned Duke (Faces of Love) by Jessie Bennett is a quick Regency Romance. A Novella. While, Book 3 of the “Faces of Love” series, it can be read as a stand alone. A series of sweet, clean Regency Romances.

Meet, Lord Edward, Duke of Kent and the brazen Scarlett, sister of the Duke of Bellingham. She has a lack of propriety and cares even less for society’s rules.
Edward, is drawn to her Brazen ways. However, he has secrets that could destroy their blossoming romance. Edward has a checkered past, rumors of a stilted lover, and a illegitimate child, but will a manageable, noble young lady gamble on losing her heart on a Lord with such a past? Or will Edward finally lose his heart to the brazen Scarlett?

Steady paced romance with many twists and turns, well-developed characters and a captivating storyline.
Can a fiery spirited, Scarlett, who has a hefty dowry, find her prince in Edward, an Earl with a checkered past? Will they lose their HEA to outside forces? A must read, sweet Regency Romance. I enjoyed how Ms. Bennett brings together this story, with passion and romance. I look forward to more from Ms. Bennett. A quick summer read!
Received for an honest review.

Rating: 4
Heat rating: Sweet
Reviewed by: AprilR


(Chronicles of Loyalty, Book 1)

*Full length, 326 pages, for only $.99*

The Scarred Ladies

Regency Romance: The Scarred Ladies (Clean Historical Romance) (The Chronicles of Loyalty Series)What do a scarred marchioness, a laundress with a face-covering birthmark, a naval intelligence officer, a woman with dreams of grandeur, and three king’s guardsmen have in common?

Five friends, tied together by true love, duty, or friendship, begin a journey that will change the lives of everyone involved.

From the king to the pretty woman who does his laundry, no one is immune to the effects of the secret that will be revealed by a handsome naval intelligence officer and a member of the king’s own guard.

However, their lives drastically change again when the secret is revealed and the laundress must go on the run with a scarred marchioness hoping to find a place to be safe at last.

Finally, the two women face the biggest trial of their young lives when one of their closest friends is cruelly ripped away at a young age. Join Lady Nora, Loyalty, Nathan, Lady Mary, Alexander and Jerrico as they learn about life, love, and reality together—and in the process discover more than they ever wanted to know about death and betrayal.

Nathan is on a mission to protect one of the prince regent’s—soon to be the king’s—most valuable treasures, and his guard friends are also protecting a beautiful asset of the realm. However, each man must battle his own inner demons before it’s too late for love…and hope that they succeed in their missions, for to fail would be the end of them all.

Can Nathan and Ricardo protect the women they love and find a way to be together forever or watch as the Ladies are married off simply for protection and nobility?

Will Loyalty and Lady Nora finally find safety in the arms of the men they love or will they be forced to accept a marriage proposal in a remote location to stop the deadly attacks?

My Thoughts:

Regency Romance: The Scarred Ladies (Clean Historical Romance) (The Chronicles of Loyalty Series)
by Jessie Bennett is a Clean Historical Romance.
“What do a scarred marchioness, a laundress with a face-covering birthmark, a naval intelligence officer, a woman with dreams of grandeur, and three king’s guardsmen have in common? Five friends, tied together by true love, duty, or friendship, begin a journey that will change the lives of everyone involved.”

Follow, Lady Nora, Loyalty, Nathan, Lady Mary, Alexander and Jerrico on a journey of love, and the reality of life, as they discover grief, death and betrayal.
Political intrigue, sacrifice, danger, betrayal, challenges, suspense and romance, makes for an exciting, captivating tale of five friends, who become caught in the intrigue of Kings and a battle for survival.
Lady Nora, and Loyalty, may be future Princess’ in line for the next Crown of the Realm. But someone wants them stopped, preferably by death. The King’s Guardsmen are determined to keep them safe at all cost, including their deaths, if necessary. Love blossoms but can they all stay alive long enough to find their HEA.

Well written with well-developed, strong, and engaging characters. A unique, intriguing and utterly comsuming epic romances. Ms. Bennett interweaves and blends each character’s story together to make an emotionally charged, and mesmerizing Romance. Ms. Bennett is a wonderful storyteller, who draws readers into her stories and holds them in awe. A fantastic romance with no cliff-hangers. Each character has their complete ending. Powerful, compelling and dangerously addictive. A great read! A sweet, clean romance!

*Personal buy*

Rating: 4.5
Heat rating: Sweet
Reviewed by: AprilR



Jessie BennettJessie Bennett is an obsessed romantic freak. She loves historical romance stories. Recently, she discovered another interest within the historical romance, which is Regency Romance stories. She wants to use her ideas, knowledge and interest of the regency era to spin out characters that readers wants to read. She aspires to be the next Jane Austen that combine grace, love, and simplicity to delight readers to find their happy endings.

She lives in Norfolk county, England most of the her time. When she’s not writing, you will find her walking down the countryside with her husband and her beloved dog.



What a delightful, and wonderful series! Please help us spread the word on Jessie Bennett and her amazing Clean Short Read Historical Romances!!


BOOK BLAST~ DEAR MR. WEAVER~KIT MORGAN with #Giveaway & #Excerpt

Dear Mr. Weaver Book Blast Banner

Dear Mr. Weaver
by Kit Morgan


DEAR MR. WEAVER by bestselling western romance author, Kit Morgan, is the first in her much anticipated Mail Order Bride Ink Series. Welcome to Nowhere, a town where everyone knows everyone else’s business, and in Daniel Weaver’s case, his business is that he needs a wife. Enter Ebba Knudson, who wonders why everyone in Nowhere looks at her with such curiosity. What does the future hold for Daniel and Ebba? Can they make their unconventional marriage work? Will there be a happily ever after for these two wayward hearts?



Join Kit Morgan and the Killion Group as we celebrate the release of Dear Mr. Weaver with this 17 stop Book Blast from July 11th to 15th. Included in this book blast is exclusive content, guest posts from Kit, book reviews, a spotlight of the book, and a giveaway. One GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card & a SIGNED copy of Dear Mr. Weaver!


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Follow the book blast to these participating blogs for new content each day:


Happily Ever Chapter
The Silver Dagger Scriptorium

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Jen’s Reading Obsession
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Cara’s Book Boudoir
Yah Gotta Read This
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Underneath the Covers
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Carries Book Reviews
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Reviews by Crystal


Title: Dear Mr. Weaver
Series: Mail Order Bride Ink #1
Author: Kit Morgan
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: April 28, 2016
Publisher: Self Published
Print Length: 244 pages
Format: Digital and Paperback
Digital ISBN: B01EZ4NPJ4
Paperback ISBN: 978-1533127044

Daniel Weaver was ready for a wife. His three older brothers had been married for several years and now it was his turn. So, like his brothers Arlan, Benjamin and Calvin, he sends for a mail-order bride, with a little help from their cousin Matthew of course. After all, he helped his brothers write their letters to their prospective brides, so why not him? But when the letter from his bride comes, it’s got more than her acceptance of his proposal written in it. Worse, it gets picked up and read by the town’s worst gossip, Nellie Davis.

Ebba Knudson can’t figure out why folks in her intended’s town of Nowhere would be giving her such odd looks. It was bad enough she had other things to deal with by coming to the Washington territory to marry a farmer, but now this? Was there something wrong with her future husband? Or just with her? Of which she knew there was plenty. Enough to make her think she might not get married at all…

Enjoy this sweet, historical, western romance and the first book in this laugh out loud new series!


Available Here: Amazon



KitMorgan_DearMrWeaver_1400“Do you have a list for me?” he quickly interjected.

“Certainly – why else would I be here?” She reached into her reticule to pull out her list.

Matthew turned and scrambled up a ladder to fetch something from a high shelf. “Just set it on the counter next to Daniel’s. I’ll get to it in a minute.”

“Oh, all right.” She set it down, then glanced at Daniel’s list – and spotted the envelope underneath it. “Has your cousin heard anything from his prospective bride?” she inquired innocently.

“Yes, as a matter of fact he did,” Matthew called down as he rifled through a stack of boxes on the shelf.
“Is that so?” she said as she deftly extracted the letter from beneath the list. She suppressed a rush of excitement by biting her lip. “And has he read it?”

“Yes, ma’am, he has.”

“What did she say?”

“That’s my cousin’s business. You’ll have to ask him.”

“Of course.” She quickly slid the letter out of its envelope.

“Why, Nellie!” Betsy Quinn called from the hall. “How are you?”

Nellie did what any self-respecting gossip would do – she stuffed the letter into her reticule. “Betsy! How nice to see you…”


About Kit Morgan:

Kit MorganKit Morgan, aka Geralyn Beauchamp, has been writing for fun all of her life. When writing as Geralyn Beauchamp, her books are epic, adventurous, romantic fantasy at its best. When writing as Kit Morgan they are whimsical, fun, inspirational sweet and clean stories that depict a strong sense of family and community. Kit likes fun and romance, and there’s plenty of both in her books. Kit resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest in a little log cabin on Clear Creek, from which her fictional town from her Prairie Brides and Prairie Grooms series are named after.


Connect with Kit: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads





Twitter: @AuthorKitMorgan




Hosted by:


Mail-Order Bride Ink: Dear Mr. Weaver set in 1886, Nowhere, Washington by Kit Morgan. A sweet, funny, clean Western Historical Romance. While, part of a series, it can be read as a stand alone. I would suggest readers to read the other stories in series, however, it is not necessary to follow this story. This was my first time reading Ms. Morgan and this series, and I had no issues following the story. I hope to go back and the others of the Weaver brothers, Arlan, Benjamin, Calvin, and their cousin Matthew. This is the ending of one series and the beginning of another. How unique!
Daniel Weaver is the last of the Weaver brothers to marry. Ebba Knudson, has lost everyone she holds dear, so, to escape a life of drudgery, her only option, become a mail-order Bride. Enter, Mrs. Pettigrew, of the Pettigrew Mail-Order Bride Agency, who loves her Mail-Order Brides to find their HEA and love. So she helps Ebba write her letter to Mr. Weaver, oh but there is more, so much more, Mrs. Pettigrew adds a final sentence, unbeknownst to Ebba, a touch of flare you might say. Of course, the letter falls into the wrong hands, the town’s worst gossip and busybody, Nellie Davis, what follows is marriage, a series of mayhew and mishaps.
Oh, did I mention, seven crank-pulling, and mischievous, children? Thank goodness their not Ebba’s new husband, but, Ebba is exspected to become the schoolteacher. What? What more could possibly help? What has she gotten herself into. The one good thing, she enjoy her nights with her husband, when they get the alone time.

Read “Mail-Order Bride Ink: Dear Mr. Weaver”, to see how one letter can cause so much, mischief, misunderstandings, trouble, confusion but with laugh-out-loud moments, a bit of mystery and a few twists and turns.

Steady paced, well written with well-developed and interesting characters. The storyline has a uniqueness, the reader will not read in other Mail-Order-Bride stories.
The reader will be held attentive, while, reading this story. I found the characterization of the cast of characters intriguing. The storyline has a sweet, clean romance, the whole town is in an uproar, which Ebba doesn’t understand why the townspeople are odd, to say the least. But can Ebba and Daniel find their HEA, as the other Weaver Brothers has or will the mischievous children, the townspeople, and misunderstandings, to be to much for their budding relationship?
You will find yourself laughing at the not, so nice shenigans, the foolishness and the turn of events that follows. A great Western Historical Romance!
Fans of Western Historical Romance, Mail-Order Brides, loud-out-loud moments and mischievous characters, will enjoy “Mail-Order Bride Ink: Dear Mr. Weaver” ). I was not disappointed.
Received for an honest review.

Rating: 4
Heat rating: Sweet
Reviewed by: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More


LOVE’S PRELUDE TOUR! 99Cents…Multi-Genre Set of Historical Romances…

Love’s Prelude: A multi-genre set of historical romances that begin a series.

First Slide


In this stunning set, an amazing cast of BESTSELLING and AWARD WINNING AUTHORS bring a prelude to an epic love story, the beginning of one of their series. These love stories begin on the Highlands, in Regency England, on the Great Plains of America, and beyond but each will start a love story that begs to be finished.

Buy Links

Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Seed of Love by Tammy Andresen

Regina Lafayette had done as she was told her entire life. Does she dare to take a chance and find out if she can have more than she ever imagined?
A Flawed Jewel by Dawn Brower

Pieretta boards a ship, unaware that Thor is waiting to kidnap her for revenge against her grandfather. Will love intervene, altering both their courses?
Chef’s Mail Order Bride by Cindy Caldwell

Read the book that started it all, first in the Wild West Frontier Brides series set in Tombstone, Arizona in the 1880s.
Love’s Imposters: The Setup by Maggie Dallen

In the high stakes world of espionage, falling for one’s partner might just be the biggest danger of all in this fast-paced Regency romance.
Loving Lieutenant Douglas by Barbara Devlin

Take a trip back in time, to 1785, when Horatio Nelson was a new captain. It is the Age of Sail, England is on the brink of war with France, and Royal Navy First Lieutenant Mark Douglas is not looking for a wife.
Howard Haskell Takes a Bride by Merry Farmer

A historical western never before published
Gold Rush Brides by Cassie Hayes

The GOLD RUSH BRIDES is a series of stand-alone clean historical western romances that will warm your heart.
Little Red by Caroline Lee

She’s gone over the river and through the woods, but who will protect her from the Big Bad Wolf?
Scandalous Endeavors by Amanda Mariel

A determined heroine, a Scottish duke, and a scandal.

Lady Amelia’s willing to create a scandal to stay in her beloved England. A Scottish duke ignites her passion, but will she abandon her endeavor for love?
Beauty and the Highlander by Hildie McQueen

Discover this wonderful, compelling Scottish medieval romance that will transport you to the beautiful Highlands into a spellbinding page turning love story.
Emma, Mail-order Brides Club by Ashley Merrick

A Sweet and Clean Western Historical Romance about Mail-Order Brides set in Montana.
Conquered by Kirsten Osbourne

Christiana and her two sisters, women of power in medieval Europe, are left alone to defend their family’s home when Duke William of Normandy invades England in 1066.
The Viscount’s Christmas Temptation by Erica Ridley

Enjoy the laugh-out-loud first book in USA Today bestselling author Erica Ridley’s new Dukes of War regency romance series!
Love’s Prisoner by Laura Stapleton

A never before published historical western.



Author Links

Tammy Andresen

Amazon author page

Dawn Brower

Amazon author page

Cindy Caldwell

Amazon author page

Maggie Dallen

Amazon author page

Barbara Devlin

Amazon author page

Merry Farmer

Amazon author page

Cassie Hayes

Amazon author page

Caroline Lee

Amazon author page

Amanda Mariel

Amazon author page

Hildie McQueen

Amazon author page

Ashley Merrick

Amazon author page

Kirsten Osbourne

Amazon author page

Erica Ridley

Amazon author page

Laura Stapleton

Amazon author page

Get your copy of Love’s Prelude today for just 99 cents!

Buy Links

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by Rachel Rossano
Series: Novels of Rhynan, #2
Genre: Medieval Clean Romance
Release Date: February 23, 2015



The Earl of Dentin excels in his position as Securer of the Realm. But the king’s order to pluck an orphaned child from a loving home unsettles Dentin. When a dark-eyed woman challenges his honor regarding the mission, Dentin finds himself unable to justify his actions or get her out of his mind. Something about her lack of fear intrigues him.

Lady Elsa Reeve attempts to avoid the marriage of convenience her brother and mother demand of her. She understands the need to pay off her brother’s massive debt. She only wants her family to consider her wishes in the process.

As Elsa becomes further entangled in a snare of her brother’s creating, only one man defends her. But can she trust Dentin, her unlikely champion, and his motives? With a murderer on the loose, Elsa’s fate in jeopardy, and a traitor plotting against the king, Dentin finds his priorities shifting in an unexpected direction.


Her face lost all color. Though she tried to hide her disquiet by adjusting the toddler on her hip, her sudden tension betrayed her. I struck close to something important.

I continued to prod. “Darnay is not a boy easily spooked, but he was convinced Merrill intended to do something terrible to you.”

“Merrill is more of a friend of Barack than me. I hardly speak to him usually. Lately he has been taking more of an interest in me. Perhaps he liked the cut of my new dress.” She tried to toss her dark mane in a flirtatious manner. The movement fell flat. Her honesty shone through despite her intentions.

“I don’t believe you.”

Her chin came up and she glared at me. “Regardless, it is none of your concern, my lord.”

“Considering this is the second time I played hero for you, you owe me something.”

“I never requested help.”

The defiant look in her eye warmed my heart. I much preferred her fire than the alternative. She put on a brave front, but the cracks were showing. This was a woman who felt alone.

“Darnay did,” I pointed out.

“He did, didn’t he?” She sighed, as though giving in after a fight. “Thank you.”

“You are welcome.”

She took a step toward me, obviously assuming I would step aside. I did not.

“I need to deliver Ian to the nursery before he is missed.”

“Not until you tell me more about your dealings with Merrill.”

Gold flashed in the brown depths of her eyes before she diverted her gaze to my feet. “I plot no treason or crime, my lord. My business is my own.” She hefted Ian higher on her hip.

The boy regarded me solemnly. “Food?”

“Soon,” Elsa assured him before turning her full attention to me. “If you will not move, I shall go another way.”

As she turned to do just that, I offered my open hands to the child. He came willingly to me with surprising eagerness. Before she could protest, Ian was securely in my arms. The lad settled his head against my shoulder, stuck his thumb in his mouth, and relaxed.

Elsa stared at me in shock. “So much for the fearsome monster.”

“Now you have to listen to me.”

Her eyebrows quirked and one side of her mouth rose. “Actually I don’t. I could walk away now and leave you to deliver him to the nursery. He seems to have tamed you.”

“Appearances can be deceiving.” Though, I was hardly in a position to demonstrate it.

“I will show you the way.” Striding past me, she set a brisk pace through the hedges.

I followed, using my longer legs to overtake her. “Merrill is an evil man.”

“I have heard the same said of you.”

“He isn’t trustworthy.” I grappled for words to convey a warning about Merrill’s complete lack of moral restraint. I couldn’t exactly start numbering the women he had ruined, numerous though they were. Pointing out that he had committed treason with the princess would be foolish, especially in such a public place. “He is not an honorable man.”

“And you are?”

She turned to confront me so fast I almost plowed her down. As it was, I ground a patch of rosemary into the earth to avoid the collision. Ian protested the abrupt halt with a squeal in my ear. However, Elsa’s flushed features demanded my full attention. She glared up at me.

“You walk into each situation, pronouncing judgment before even assessing the intentions of the people involved. Merrill could have been caught in a perfectly innocent conversation and have the best of the intentions. Did you ask him? No. Did you investigate? No. Yet, you blithely proclaimed words that ruined a man’s reputation without so much as trying to understand what was actually happening. Have you ever considered that no one invited you?”

I frowned in confusion. “Are we still discussing Merrill?”

Her face flushed crimson and then blanched. “Give Ian to me.” She held out her arms.

“Not until tell me what is truly going on between Merrill and you.”

“Keep Ian. Just be sure to deliver him to the nursery before his linens leak. Good day, my lord.” She executed a perfunctory curtsey before whirling on her heel and marching off in the direction of the main entrance to the great hall. I watched her whipping skirts and tried to make sense of her tirade.






Book 1: Duty: First Novel of Rhynan



Rachel Rossano is a happily married mother of three children. She spends her days teaching, mothering, and keeping the chaos at bay. After the little ones are in bed, she immerses herself in the fantasy worlds of her books. Tales of romance, adventure, and virtue set in a medieval fantasy world are her preference, but she also writes speculative fantasy and a bit of science fiction.