Thursday, December 3, 2015

Before "Reluctant Knight" was "Tarnished Knight"

The Distressed Damsel

In 1817 England, Abigail Stewart is not the appointed estate manager. Her father, who was, is dead. The position should have been hers if not for the fact she's a woman. She's willing to go to any lengths to protect all she loves, including incur the wrath of the owner.

The Tarnished Knight

Jack Roper knows espionage and intrigue. Protecting King and country is his life, until a woman he's never met sets about demolishing everything he's worked to build for the purpose of attaining her own ends, regardless of what happens to him.

The Roper Estate

Without the baron present, Castle Sugan, the surrounding land, and the people living on it struggle to survive. All is not lost. God turns evil for good and changes hearts, but will Abigail and Jack choose to be a part of it...

Excerpt

Every sense alerted Jack he wasn't alone in the courtyard. He turned and caught sight of a woman standing on the keep's steps. His heart stuttered.

Dressed all in black, but for a patterned shawl draped over her shoulder, along with a thick waist-length braid. Her glorious auburn hair glinted in the momentary sunlight, reflecting the most astonishing shades of copper and red he'd ever seen in his life. Perhaps the whole miserable experience would include a bit of pleasantness after all.

The sun slid behind a cloud. The copper and gold in the woman's tresses also vanished, leaving an ordinary brown closer in resemblance to dirty dish water than anything of a celestial nature.

The enchantment broken, he inspected the woman awaiting him, taking in her stance and mien more than her appearance. He'd faced desperate soldiers and even more desperate criminals. None instilled in him the absolute assurance he ranked lower than the dirt beneath his leather soles.

He crossed the cobblestone courtyard to the steps leading into the keep and stopped, gazing up at her. A part of him noted the view only improved, her curves more noticeable upon closer inspection.

She compressed her full raspberry-red lips and narrowed her bright green eyes like she knew what he was thinking, which, of course was impossible. A muscle ticked in her jaw.

He didn't believe in luck. A man made his own kind of luck with planning and hard work. However, if he were a betting man, he'd go so far as to say she was angry, but for no reason he could discern. They hadn't even met, yet, so why was she glowering like the storm clouds gathering in the west?

Unless it was the unconscionable Abigail Stewart.

"Madam, I believe you owe me an explanation."

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